England seal victory against West Indies to take series


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The Independent Online

England coasted to a series-clinching nine-wicket win in the second Investec Test against the West Indies, wrapping up victory on the fourth evening at Trent Bridge.

Chasing 108 to win, captain Andrew Strauss (45) and Alastair Cook (43 not out) sealed a result - and an unassailable 2-0 lead with one game to play - that was all-but assured by last night's bowling exploits.

Marlon Samuels, following on from his first-innings century, at least succeeded in frustrating England with 76 not out in his side's 165 all out - a significant improvement on their overnight position of 61 for six.

The day summed up the West Indies' exploits in this game and the tour as whole: a period of defiance against the odds followed by England asserting their dominance at the decisive moments.

Tim Bresnan and James Anderson both finished with four wickets in the second innings, while Strauss took his series tally to 309 runs in four knocks.

England opened with last night's hero Bresnan and the ever-reliable Anderson but found the West Indies in much more resolute form than on the third evening.

With both first innings centurions - Samuels and Darren Sammy - at the crease, that was perhaps no surprise.

The pair started confidently, Sammy off the mark immediately and Samuels flicking his fifth ball of the morning for four.

Sammy punched Bresnan to the extra-cover ropes and Samuels turned Anderson to long-leg as the runs ticked by at a decent rate.

They continued busily, Samuels caressing a cover drive for four to bring up his side's 100 and a lead of 52 after an hour's play.

It took a drinks break to disrupt Sammy, Bresnan trapping him lbw on the back foot for 25 three balls after the interruption.

It was Bresnan's fourth wicket of the innings, all leg before.

New man Kemar Roach had a lively start to his innings, taking three boundaries in four balls off Broad - two authentic attacking strokes either side of a mis-cued hook off the glove.

Samuels sprayed Anderson past point for four and then aimed a huge drive at the Lancastrian.

This time the ball went towards Strauss at first slip but his full-length dive left him just short and the ball disappeared for four more.

Samuels dropped a single to bring up his half-century, in 130 balls, but Roach departed when Anderson claimed England's sixth lbw - DRS reversing an initial not-out verdict.

At lunch the tourists were 83 in front and Samuels scored seven more after the break before losing Shane Shillingford to Graeme Swann - who did not bowl in the morning session.

Shillingford, held at slip by Anderson, lasted 22 balls without troubling the scorers.

With Ravi Rampaul in at number 11, Samuels was by now turning down all singles in an attempt to farm the strike.

Realising time was running out Samuels smashed 16 runs off one Swann over, including two mighty sixes to take him to 76.

He had no chance to make more, Anderson having Rampaul caught at third slip to end the innings on 165.

England began sedately, with just two runs in the first four overs before Strauss took on Roach's short ball and twice pulled in front of square for four.

In doing so, he and Cook became only the fifth partnership in Test history to score 5,000 runs together.

Cook remained cautious, but Strauss ran his fourth boundary to third man as Sammy joined the attack.

Shillingford, who went for 110 in the first innings, saw his opening delivery cut away by Cook for his first four of the day.

His second was close behind, a flick down to fine-leg as Sammy's line drifted.

That took England past the halfway mark and Cook continued to pick up the pace when Rampaul misfielded the ball into the boundary rope at deep-backward point.

By now the tourists had accepted their fate, demonstrated when wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin allowed a Strauss edge to sail past him without attempting a catch.

Tea came at 74 for nought, leaving 34 more for victory.

They scored 15 of them before Strauss unexpectedly chipped Samuels to Darren Bravo at cover, five short of his half-century.

Cook and Jonathan Trott (17no) completed the job, the latter winning it with four to fine-leg.