Lara's attack finally worthy of the West Indies

Brian Lara's extraordinary feat of endurance, invincibility and class over the first three days here ensured the further humiliation of an English series sweep would be avoided by the West Indies.

Brian Lara's extraordinary feat of endurance, invincibility and class over the first three days here ensured the further humiliation of an English series sweep would be avoided by the West Indies.

Lara's fast bowlers have given his team a real chance to convert his record into victory. If they can achieve it, it would be of even more long-term significance to West Indian cricket than the captain's unbeaten 400.

Since Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh retired, the West Indies have searched in vain for replacements. Rose, King, Cuffy, McLean, Stuart, Dillon, Black and Drakes have tried but were pale imitations of Ambrose and Walsh. Big opposition totals became increasingly prevalent.

Suddenly, in the last year, a group of young bowlers with pace and potential have been discovered. Fidel Edwards and Tino Best, two 22-year-old Barbadians, are the duo who have led the attack this series. Their improvement, and the way they have worked in partnership with their fellow Barbadians, the less lively but more experienced Pedro Collins and Corey Collymore, have made England's batsmen work hard for modest scores.

Last season and in Zimbabwe and South Africa subsequently, the West Indies attack was so impotent that they yielded four totals over 600 and four over 500 in 10 Tests, in which they bowled the opposition out only twice.

Best, raw and wild, went without a wicket in his only Test in that time. Edwards, plucked from the nets by Lara after a solitary first-class match, was learning on the job. Collins was omitted from the South Africa tour before rediscovering his in-swinger in the domestic season.

They have been fortunate to find friendly pitches in the first three Tests. Their batsmen were not and it was their repeated failures that let them down. This placid pitch presented them with their sternest test and, after Lara had set them up, they bowled beautifully. The West Indies have not bowled better as a unit since the heyday of Ambrose and Walsh than they did in England's first innings. Now they must seal the deal.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleGerman paper published pictures of 18-month-old daughter
Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicKate Bush set to re-enter album charts after first conerts in 35 years
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams' life story will be told in a biography written by a New York Times reporter
arts + ents
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis