Jimmy's golden arm a fine silver lining

Caribbean tour: Monsoons follow England to Trinidad but not before Anderson recovers his wicket-taking habit

It was presumed that James Anderson had done little throughout England's tour of the Caribbean but train hard and keep smiling. All the time, it emerged yesterday, he was also ensuring that his golden arm remained in full working order.

Anderson has already revealed this much-envied weapon several times before in his short career, and he put it on view almost immediately yesterday on his return to the side. He had bowled a couple gentle looseners and a wide when he placed one woefully short and wide outside Chris Gayle's off stump.

The batsman, who was presumably unaware of Anderson's reputation, seized on it gleefully and slammed it hard and knee high to Paul Collingwood's left at point. He was simply messing with the wrong bowler and the wrong fielder. Anderson, like Darren Gough six days previously, was back.

This was the only small consolation for England as the last section of their winter tours continued to be beset by torrential, unseasonal rain. After Guyana's turn last weekend, it is now Trinidad's. The early halt yesterday ensured that Brian Lara's return as the conquering hero was delayed.

Given the deluge that halted proceedings, it is unlikely that today's match, the scheduled third in the Cable & Wireless Series, will take place. It is a pity, for Lara's entrance to the arena on his home ground for the first time after making 400 in a Test innings would be one of the most moving of sporting scenes.

Nothing is more designed - not even the intended schedule of playing the last six matches in the one-day international series in 12 days - to leave the players pining for spring at home. The deluge, the third in consecutive days over Port-of-Spain, came after 16 overs and was merely topping up the water that was already lying under the surface. West Indies, who had won the toss after the start was delayed for an hour (courtesy of Friday's downpour), were 57 for 2.

England were expecting to be dog tired in a fortnight after their one-day excursions. At this rate, they will only be bored and drenched.

Michael Vaughan, the captain, had issued a mild but significant warning against heavy schedules on the eve of the match. He said there was nothing players could do about it because boards were packing in games to fill grounds to raise more money. The objective of that, of course, is to pay the players.

England had no option but to agree to play a seven-match series in the Caribbean because they are expecting the West Indies to play at least six (seven if they reach the final) in the NatWest Series at home this summer. There is as yet no sign of the one-day goose that laid the golden egg having to visit the sanatorium, let alone shrivelling up. Fans love it and the way to stop players becoming complacent is to pack the team with one-day specialists.

Five is probably the ideal number to promote excitement and decide who are the superior team. The recent clash between Pakistan and India (3-2 to the visitors) was testimony to that.

One-day cricket is showbiz and the secret of showbiz is to leave 'em wanting more.

In leaving Anderson out of the side England's management might have surprised even themselves. Despite his Test absences, until last Sunday Anderson had played 27 from 28 one-day games and England lost the one from which he was rested, against Zimbabwe. He needs more, not less, bowling if he is to become a master of his trade. England must find it for him.

The same could not be said of Steve Harmison, who took the other West Indies wicket to fall yesterday in seven overs which conceded 16 runs. He is already a one-day bowler completely transformed from the one who bowled wide after wide in Australia last winter. He probed Shivnarine Chanderpaul's off stump yesterday until the batsman obliged by nicking one.

"I've been really nervous before the games because of what happened last winter but I've drawn on my Test experiences and I'm more confident of getting the ball in decent areas," Harmison said. "I feel part of the one-day team now and I think playing in one-day cricket might actually help my Test cricket. It isn't the days you're playing when you feel tired, it's those in between. Once the cricket starts, you get on with the job and the adrenalin takes over."

But Harmison has toiled manfully for England this winter. He deserves a rest. If it continues like this, home cannot come soon enough for everybody.

Queen's Park Oval scoreboard

West Indies won toss

West Indies
C H Gayle c Collingwood b Anderson 20
S Chanderpaul c Read b Harmison 3
R L Powell not out 8
R R Sarwan not out 11
Extras (lb6, w9) 15
Total (for 2 wkts, 16 overs) 57

Fall: 1-28 (Chanderpaul), 2-34 (Gayle).

Bowling: Gough 5-0-20-0 (4w); Harmison 7-1-16-1 (4w); Anderson 3-0-13-1 (1w); Flintoff 1-0-2-0.

Did not bat: *B C Lara, D R Smith, D J J Bravo, ÝR D Jacobs, M Dillon, R Rampaul, C D Collymore.

England: M E Trescothick, *M P Vaughan, A J Strauss, P D Collingwood, A Flintoff, I D Blackwell, R Clarke, ÝC M W Read, D Gough, S J Harmison, J M Anderson.

Umpires: D L Hair (Aus) & B Doctrove. Third Umpire: B Morgan. Match Referee: J J Crowe (NZ).

Match abandoned due to rain. Previously restricted to 46 overs per side.

1st ODI, Guyana, 18 April: England won by 2 wkts; 3rd ODI, Trinidad, 25 April; 4th ODI, Grenada, 28 April; 5th ODI, St Lucia, 1 May; 6th ODI, St Lucia, 2 May; 7th ODI, Barbados, 5 May.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power