Jerome Taylor, the man who effectively settled this year's first Test series between England and West Indies, will team up with the tourists in Derby today. After an inauspicious visit to Chelmsford, they could do with a bit of encouragement before taking on the Lions two days later.
Taylor's magical February spell of five for 11 in nine overs sent England careering to 51 all out in Jamaica – and to an innings defeat from which Andrew Strauss's men never quite recovered. More recently, though, the fast bowler has been sidelined by a hip injury and he remained in the Caribbean to receive extra treatment while most of his colleagues launched this campaign. "We expect him to be fully fit when he arrives," said West Indies coach John Dyson after rain washed out the final day's play of a game Essex will recall with more fondness than their guests. "The reports from the West Indies say that and we expect him to play at Derby."
Being bowled out for 146 by Essex's second-string attack clearly displeased Dyson, however. "I thought we batted poorly, except for Shiv," said the coach, who praised Chanderpaul's unbeaten 66. "The other batsmen are very inexperienced in these sorts of conditions and they wasted their opportunity to get some good time in the middle."
For Essex, acting captain James Foster singled out Maurice Chambers for special praise after the 21-year-old fast bowler took four for 62. "West Indies will be disappointed, but there were some good balls out there," said Foster.
In the IPL yesterday, the Deccan Chargers won their fourth straight match, beating the Chennai Super Kings by six wickets after Herschelle Gibbs hit 69 not out. Deccan won with three balls to spare, ending on 169-4 in reply to Chennai's 165-5, to top the standings with eight points from four games. Chennai stayed on three points from five matches.
Gibbs played a flawless innings, hitting six boundaries and two sixes in 56 balls and sharing a 67-run opening stand with Adam Gilchrist, who belted 44 runs off 16 balls. Dhoni blamed his bowlers. "The bowlers let us down," he said. "We need to come up with new ideas. Maybe a new combination."
In the later match, an opening partnership of 127 between Sachin Tendulkar (68) and Sanath Jayasuriya (52) propelled the Mumbai Indians to a thumping 92-run victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders. The Knight Riders, chasing 188 to win, were never in it and subsided for 95.