England battle for first victory over West Indies in Investec Test


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The Independent Online

Stuart Broad etched his name in Lord's folklore today - but England still had work to do to defy a West Indies fightback and clinch victory in the first Investec Test.

The world's number one team had Graeme Swann to thank for finally shifting Shivnarine Chanderpaul (91), just before tea on day four, after the previously immovable left-hander's crease occupation reached 425 balls following his 87 not out first time round.

But Broad, adding four for 93 to his first-innings career-best seven for 72, was again the principal driving force as England bowled West Indies out for 345.

He became only the fourth cricketer to put his name on all three honours boards - for a century, five-wicket innings figures and 10 in a Test - helping to leave England with a perfectly feasible target of 191 on a benign and still relatively unworn surface.

It looked a little less routinely achievable, though, after Kemar Roach got rid of England captain - and first-innings centurion - Andrew Strauss for just a single and then nightwatchman James Anderson in the hosts' 10 for two at stumps.

Chanderpaul was barely five minutes short of batting through a third successive session, only for Swann (three for 59) to defeat his crablike crawl to what would have been a 26th Test hundred.

The off-spinner struck with the first delivery of a new spell, Chanderpaul lbw sweeping and unable to continue his previously interminable stay even by resort to DRS.

Chanderpaul had lost his fifth-wicket partner Marlon Samuels (86) to the second new ball early this afternoon, and could himself add only 18 runs in almost two more hours' batting.

But he still stood between England and significant progress for nearly six and a half hours as West Indies, who yesterday conceded a yawning first-innings deficit of 155, moved back into three-figure credit.

Chanderpaul and Samuels' stand of 157 in 54 overs was the cornerstone of the tourists' resistance.

They gave England's bowlers precious few moments of encouragement that a breakthrough might be on the way throughout a wicketless morning.

On this slow pitch, the value of the short ball was minimised - and time and again in the early exchanges on another cloudy day, edges by both batsman were controlled short of the slips.

England's best chance against Chanderpaul appeared to be the ever-present possibility of a run-out mix-up.

They almost got him that way too on 38 when he was painfully slow to respond to Samuels' call for a single into the leg-side and would have been short by yards, had Kevin Pietersen's back-handed throw hit the stumps.

Samuels comfortably beat his senior partner to 50.

After withstanding a succession of short balls, hit on the helmet by one from Broad, he decided to counter-attack.

Successive pulled boundaries off Broad were followed by a cover-drive for his eighth four, off Anderson, to bring up his 98-ball half-century.

It was Samuels too who took the Windies back in front, with the first of two cuts for four from Swann's first two deliveries of the day.

Chanderpaul, appropriately for his admirable but never pretty innings, completed his painstaking 50 with an inside edge past his stumps off Tim Bresnan for his sixth four.

Under floodlights in persistently murky conditions, England's seamers went into a holding role in anticipation of the second new ball. It was Broad who profited, when it became available, drawing the edge with full-length swing as Samuels drove without feet from the crease and was caught at second slip.

He had demonstrated to his team-mates, though, that Chanderpaul was not the only one capable of permanence - and Denesh Ramdin took his cue.

With Chanderpaul gone, Darren Sammy bolstered the Windies still further with some fine driving - off Bresnan in particular - until Broad bounced him out.

Sammy pulled out of a pull, only to allow the ball to run off the face of the bat for caught-behind, and Broad struck again in his next over when Roach speared a head-high catch straight to point.

It took a good one from Anderson to get through Ramdin's defences, seven short of a third half-century of the innings.

Then after a handy last-wicket stand of 20, England's chase got off to a miserable start when Strauss fenced a nasty ball from Roach straight to gully - and then Anderson was unfortunate to go caught-behind, apparently off his shirt.