Historic victory for England

Third Test: Hoggard's hat-trick relives swinging Sixties as England make history in the Caribbean with a demolition job on Lara's men
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The Independent Online

England created their own significant slice of cricketing history last night by securing a Test series victory in the West Indies, their first in the Caribbean since 1968. Back then, only one of the squad - Nasser Hussain - had been born. The overwhelming eight-wicket victory on the third day of the Third Test left them in an unassailable 3-0 position.

England created their own significant slice of cricketing history last night by securing a Test series victory in the West Indies, their first in the Caribbean since 1968. Back then, only one of the squad - Nasser Hussain - had been born. The overwhelming eight-wicket victory on the third day of the Third Test left them in an unassailable 3-0 position.

The result was accompanied by a hat-trick for the Yorkshire bowler, Matthew Hoggard, whose incisive spell of swing in the morning utterly undermined the West Indies top-order in their second innings. The home side were dismissed for 94, leaving England with only 92 to achieve what they came for. And they dashed home in 20 overs.

Michael Vaughan, the England captain, said the result had been only achieved by a lot of hard work. "I thought we could win, but never by 3-0," he said. "We played with real character and it was a team effort involving application, concentration and a million other words on those lines. We always won the tough sessions and on Friday when we were up against it Graham Thorpe's battling century saw us through. But without the tail he couldn't have done it."

The 12,000-strong English contingent in Kensington Oval maintained a cacophonony of largely unmelodious noise as soon as it became clear that England were destined to win. The match had started as an even contest on the third day as it invariably had previously in the series. But the West Indians wilted.

With one wicket down overnight they had to see off the swinging new ball in humid, overcast conditions. Instead Hoggard gradually worked up a head of steam. First he dismissed Daren Ganga and then, with the score on 45, he accounted for Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ryan Hinds in rapid succession. Captain Brian Lara stood alone but he sustained several blows on both arms from a rampant England attack who were clearly targeting him and by early evening, despite four breaks for rain, it was all over.

England lost both their openers in the cruise to victory to continue wretched runs for Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick but it did not seem to matter. Lara, naturally subdued, said his side had to regroup and think more about their batting before the Fourth Test which begins in Antigua next Saturday. "There are five matches to come, if you count the four in England and we have to play for that," he said. But the day and the series belonged to Michael Vaughan's England.

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