Defiant seventh-wicket stand duo hold up England charge

West Indies 306-6 v England

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A defiant seventh-wicket stand between Marlon Samuels and captain Darren Sammy dragged the West Indies back from the brink on day one of the second Investec Test against England.

Sammy's decision to bat first at Trent Bridge looked to have backfired when a top-order collapse left them 136 for six but no further wickets fell for the rest of the day as Samuels (107no) scored a third Test century and Sammy made an attacking 88no.

The unbroken 168-run partnership left the tourists on 304 for six at the close and in a promising position.

Samuels' first hundred since January 2008 was just reward for a disciplined knock lasting almost five hours, while Sammy easily topped his previous Test best of 61 and will resume in sight of his own century.

The morning session had yielded two wickets apiece for James Anderson and Stuart Broad but after Denesh Ramdin was sixth man out, England sent down 41.3 overs without success.

Just as they had at in the five-wicket win at Lord's, England made light work of the Windies' top order.

Adrian Barath departed for a 13-ball duck, Broad taking the edge and Anderson showing superb reactions to snare a memorable one-handed catch at third slip.

Number three Kirk Edwards had a life when Tim Bresnan grassed a tough chance off Anderson but did not capitalise. Instead, Anderson found enough seam movement to guide one into the gap between bat and pad to bowl him for seven

Kieran Powell, who had started his innings with a couple of streaky fours, began to time the ball at the other end, but Darren Bravo scraped only three before Anderson struck again.

The seamer moved round the wicket and struck gold at the first attempt. He found a shade of away swing and drew a big drive from the left-hander, who could only succeed in feeding Graeme Swann in the cordon.

That brought Shivnarine Chanderpaul in at 42 for three and Anderson welcomed him with a nasty bouncer that clipped his shoulder.

Chanderpaul, who hit 87no and 91 in a losing cause at Lord's, nicked Anderson just short of Bresnan on four but it was Powell who fell next.

He perished in identical fashion to Bravo, though this time Broad was the man coming round the wicket and taking the edge.

Lunch came at 84 for four, with Chanderpaul and Samuels doing a decent job of stemming the tide.

Just 32 runs came in the first hour after lunch until Chanderpaul to milked nine from Bresnan's next over to reach 46.

He did not score again. Swann got one to straighten, beat the bat and appealed loudly for lbw. Asad Rauf turned him down only to be overturned on review.

Wicketkeeper Ramdin scored a single before losing his off stump to Bresnan, bringing together a settled Samuels and Sammy at 136 for six.

They reached tea safely and Samuels reached 50 in 130 balls by collecting two fours in Bresnan's first over after the break.

Sammy's aggression proved a good foil for Samuels, with the captain racing to 20 in short order.

Samuels struck Bresnan, whose line strayed at times, for two fours in four balls as the West Indies began to enjoy their first period on top.

Sammy produced the shot of the day when he thumped Bresnan for four more past mid-on and a single took the total to 200 for six.

Swann returned to the attack and tossed one up to Sammy, who duly clubbed the first six of the series over extra-cover.

Sammy's 50 came from his 76th delivery and his ninth four, off Jonathan Trott's innocuous trundlers, took him past his Test best of 61.

The much-needed new ball was gratefully received after 80 overs but the runs continued to come at a good rate.

Sammy was rapidly catching up with Samuels, adding three boundaries in five balls - though two were edges down to the third man.

England mustered a couple of lbw shouts but were becoming visibly frustrated in the field, not least when Sammy brought up the 150 partnership with a straight drive off Anderson.

Samuels reached three figures by tucking Anderson to fine-leg for his 14th boundary and steered another to third man before stumps.