England toil in Antigua

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The Independent Online

Andrew Flintoff could not inspire a breakthrough as England toiled without reward in their bid for Test victory at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

All-rounder Flintoff, hampered by a hip injury, sent down a spell of 5-1-9-0 from the Factory Road end after lunch on the final day but the tourists could not dislodge West Indies' fourth-wicket pair Ramnaresh Sarwan (102) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (50).

Despite not being able to bowl at full tilt, Flintoff was thrown the ball by captain Andrew Strauss for the second over after lunch.

But West Indies maintained their discipline and had reached 239 for three, facing an improbable 503-run victory target, shortly after the second new ball was taken.

Sarwan completed his second hundred of the series in the 81st over of the innings with a guide to the third-man boundary off James Anderson.

Flintoff, who had an anti-inflammatory injection in his right hip on Tuesday, took to the field with his team-mates but was unable to charge in with his usual gusto.

He was not employed at all during a 19-over session in which Guyanese pair Sarwan and Chanderpaul extended their fourth-wicket alliance to three figures.

Their patience was emphasised by left-hander Chanderpaul going 34 deliveries in the 40s without scoring.

Strauss' team entered the fifth morning requiring seven West Indian wickets to level the Test series at 1-1.

However, their efforts were delayed by 75 minutes by early morning rain.

The wet weather which blew in to the island prevented play resuming at the scheduled 10am start, and in a bid to make up time lunch was put back to 12.30pm.

Sarwan, whose previous scores in this series have been 107 and 94, was in determined mood once more.

Both James Anderson and Steve Harmison beat the bat in the opening overs but Sarwan brought up his latest half-century from 104 balls, in the sixth over of the morning.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann also created a couple of moments of discomfort but Strauss was late on a prod down the pitch from Sarwan, who then survived an appeal for a bat-pad catch on 68.