Samuels and Chanderpaul continue West Indies fightback against England at Lord's

 

England endured a wicketless morning at Lord's as Marlon Samuels and Shivnarine Chanderpaul continued West Indies' unexpected fightback in the first Investec Test.

The tourists began yesterday with a 155-run first-innings deficit, and were soon a perilous 65 for four.

But from that point, Chanderpaul (73no) and Samuels (79no) dug in on a benign surface - and by lunch on day four, their unbroken stand was a source of significant frustration for England.

On 212 for four, Samuels' and Chanderpaul's contrasting styles had taken their team 57 in front - and given England's bowlers precious few moments of encouragement that a breakthrough might be on the way.

On this slow pitch, the value of the short ball was minimised - and time and again in the early exchanges on another cloudy morning, edges by both batsman were controlled short of the slips.

England's best chance against Chanderpaul appeared to be the ever-present possibility of a run-out mix-up.

They almost got him that way too on 38 when he failed to respond to Samuels' call for a single into the leg-side and would have been short by yards, had Kevin Pietersen's back-handed throw hit the stumps.

Samuels comfortably beat his senior partner to 50.

After withstanding a succession of short balls, hit on the helmet by one from Stuart Broad, he decided to counter-attack.

Successive pulled boundaries off Broad were followed by a cover-drive for his eighth four, off James Anderson, to bring up his 98-ball half-century.

It was Samuels too who put the Windies in credit, with the first of two cuts for four from the opening two balls in today's first over of off-spin from Graeme Swann.

Chanderpaul, appropriately for his admirable but never pretty innings, completed his painstaking 151-ball 50 with an inside edge past his stumps off Tim Bresnan for his sixth four.

Under floodlights in persistently murky conditions, England's seamers went into a holding role in anticipation of the second new ball straight after lunch.

PA

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