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Live Test Match Blog: West Indies v England, 3rd Test, day five

Live Test Match Blogging RSS / / 19 February 2009 / 1

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Good news for England: they have a whole day to take seven wickets and that doesn't include Chris Gayle who is out. Bad news for England: Chanderpaul and Sarwan are at the crease and Flintoff probably won't bowl. Ed Hawkins talks us through what should be a thrilling day's cricket.

Match drawn
Daren Powell punches the air as West Indies take the light that is offered to them. Flash bulbs light up the AGR and as the setting sun illuminates from behind the steeple of the church behind the Richie Richardson stand, England may well need to get on their knees to get back in this series. A thriller. Told you it would be a draw.

21.56 WI 369-9
The umps are coming together. Nervy times. Nervy.England are pleading. They sanction another over. It will be spin, in the form of KP. Draw jolly at [1.90]. What a crazy day

21.54 WI 369-9
If in doubt turn to Fred, even if he is gritting his teeth because of the pain. His over was harmless, though. Swann will try now. Desperate for England. It's officially dark. England have 10 minutes to get back in this series. Draw is the outsider.

21.51 WI 367-9
Lovely stuff from umpire Rudi. A West Indian fan is screaming at him and pointing at his watch from the Richie Rich Stand. Rudi, nonchalantly, turns and puts his hand on his hip. The fan screams louder, the rest of the crowd boo and Rudi exaggerates his stance, cocking his head slightly.

21.48 363-9
I'm a bit chilly here now. That wind is getting in. A cold reception too for the Windies pair who try to waste some time. Oooh! Edged through the slips of Swann. England [1.69] and the draw [2.38].

21.45 WI 362-9
The sun is out again. But the umpires are having a play with the light meter. Supposed to be 9 overs left but I don't think we'll get all those in.

21.42 WI 359-9
"Turn on the lights, umpire! Turn on the lights, umpire! Turn on the lights, umpire!" Heard you the first time. Harmison about to start again. England will son have two spinners on because the liught is dodgy.

21.38 WI 358-9
That over was too short from Harmison. He's got to pitch it up. Edwards had no trouble swaying out the way. Others were back of a length and Fiddy watched them sail harmlessly by. Harmison has contrasting form in such situations. Brilliant v Australia in 2005 at Edgbaston. Not so good at Old Trafford the same series.

21.34 WI 358-9
It's getting dark. Not long before the umpires come together methinks. Have a bit of that draw price.

21.31 WI 358-9
Powell did well to fend off a snorter in that over from Harmison. Next ball, Powell tried an audacious hook (left his brains in the rooms again) and England eventually decided it was out. They went up in staccato fashion. Fantastic-looking field, too. Three slips, gully, short leg, silly mid on, short midwicket. England [1.19] and the draw at [6.00]

21.27 WICKET WI 353-9
Swann gets that appeal though. England in a huddle as Benn goes. Umpire Rudi's slow death finger was fitting for the tension. Pretty much everyone is on their feet in the ground, including those in the stand opposite. I wouldn't stand up in that, isn't that the condemned one?

21.22 WI 353-8
Fitting in a week that billionaire Sir Allen Stanford, who famously said Test cricket was "boring" was disgraced, that we should have an absolute thriller. He has poor judgement on every level. Swann has had two big appeals rejected. That was pure desperation. And I'll tell you why, it's getting a bity gloomy here folks.

21.19 WI 352-8
Nerve wracking stuff. Benn would have been run out if Shah had hit. The West Indians in the press hut are arguing about which of them has the most faith in this pair at the wicket. "Shut up mon, they'll be fine". The applause that greeted every survived ball as been replaced by whoops of delight.

21.15 WI 347-8
The skies are bright blue at the moment. So we don't have an immediate problem with the light.We might do in about 40 minutes, though so England to hurry themselves in the field. Benn and Powell look comfortable it has to be said. England as skinny as [1.59]. The draw is[2.62]. Give it 10 wicketless minutes and we'll virtually have parity with those odds. Oh Harmison's deigned to turn up has he?

21.10 WI 343-8
Anderson has twice gone close with catches to short leg. First Powell and then Benn, just a ball ago. 17 overs left but the smattering of West Indians in the ground applaud every ball survived.

21.08 WI 342-8
The Antigua and Barbuda government have just said that anyone who has been attending this Test won't have to pay the airport departure tax when they leave. That means me with a bit of luck. Big of them, consiering a large chunk of English fans who came for the Antigua Test are ither at home or in Barbados. Anderson comes in once more. A leg slip in place for Benn. They fancy getting him in that position for some reason.

21.00 WI 330-8
Four slips (one of them is Flintoff England backers will be relived to know) and two gullies (one of them is Harmison which is not so confidence inducing) for Ramdin as Broad runs in. A whopping 20 overs left. Still, though, there are nerves among the crowd. Chill out, yeah. One northerner has just embarrassed himself by singing 'nice on Jimmy' to Anderson. Come on, pal this isn't school.

20.54 WI 322-8
Actually, it was an inside edge which did for Ramdin, I've done him a disservice.

20.50 WICKET 322-8
Stuart Broad is warming up so expect to see him sharpish. Anderson has looked a little tired since his wicket. We haven't see much of Harmison have we in the final throes? OOOPS! I cursed Ramdin there. Bowled neck and crop by, guess who, Anderson. Draw was jolly at [1.90]before that wicket.

20.39 WI 318-7
Ten minutes since the last wicket and England are drifting again. Anderson will continue toi Ramdin.Three slips, two gullies,deepsquare and the obligatory mid on and off. Shadows are begining to lengthen now. Apart from a small pocket of locals in the bleachers, the ground is occupied by English.

20.29 WI 313-7
Jerome Taylor gone. England, who were approaching [2.60] are back into [1.50]. No doubt we'll have several more flip flops before play is out, which is 27 overs away by the end. Smart catch by Ian Bell off Anderson did for Windies' No. 8

20.25 WI 307-6
Anderson has had a big shout turned down for caught behind off Taylor. Miles away from bat or glove, though. Flintoff has left the field. He may not bowl again in this Test. Perhaps just as importantly England have lost their best slipper. Graeme Swann is going to have a go at breaking this 20-run partnership.

20.22 WI 307-6
The Top 5 Things I Want To Do Before I Die (but won't be able to because I'm at the cricket and the ant venom will have firmly taken hold by tea)
No. 2 Have 10 minutes one-on-one with Natalie Imbruglia
'One-on-one'. That is not a euphemism folks, come on, keep it clean. All I'm saying is that if I got 10 minutes with said Australian beauty I reckon I could charm her, that's all. And from this blog you should know that I am not the sort to make rash or arrogant predictions. We've got a connection me and Nat. Apparently I missed her on the Brits the other night. My partner texted to say that the love of my life was performing. I texted back and said 'Really? What are you singing?'. Smooth. Watch and learn, people.

20.15 WI 305-6
There are still 30 overs left tonight. If England got past even money, I may well have a monster wager. Mini umbrella field from Strauss when Taylor is facing. Three slips, two gullies.

20.06 WI 303-6
The draw and an England win are separated by just 0.4 points. So it's close then. England are the marginal favs, which is as it should be. I still think they'll win this.

20.00 WI 297-6
The Top 5 Things I Want To Do Before I Die (but won't be able to because I'm at the cricket and the ant venom will have firmly taken hold by tea)
No. 3 Strike Hazel Blears across the face with an iron bar

Similar to the Michael Flatley fantasy this one. You must know who Hazel Blears is? She's that opinionated, holier-than-thou Labour government politican. She looks like a pig trying to work out a particularly tough maths puzzle? No? Here's her picture. https://www.the-spine.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/hazel-blears.jpg I rest my case.

19.49 291-6
Nash fell beg before to Swann. It looked a close call. But who cares? Now I would love to take credit for that wicket because a minute earlier I suggested backing England. But I doubt anyone had time to get on. Still, there was an important lesson. The market was panicking and when that happens, sit back, think logically and you should be ok.

19.47 WICKET WI 287-6
They're not [2.65] any more. Nash gone. England's price goes through the floor.

19.46 WI 287-5
Flintoff is charging in heroically. He looks anguished. Stuart Broad has thrown him the ball to restart his over and it has gone way over his head and all the way to the boundary. He's not happy. Shah has gone to get it for him. How sweet. The draw is favourite again. I still have England as value. They are [2.5] with 38 overs left and are only one wicket away from the bowlers. Get involved.

19.31 WI 279-5
There are times in life when one is rendered utterly speechless. One such incident has just occurred. A Caribbean lady, who shall we say, is rather buxom and not afraid to let everyone know, asked if she could sit next to me because "on the front row everyone can see my you know what and I don't want people looking". I'll repeat that 'you know what'. Well goodness me, I was flabbergasted. She could have meant anything, although obviously not her chest because I think she was trying to sell advertising space there. I got the answer when she bent over to leave her seat for tea. Put me off my cake.

19.11 WI 280-5 TEA
England are right back in it. Only one wicket away from the bowlers now. Geoffrey Boycott came bounding up the stairs soon after Chanderpaul was out, gave me a wink and with that crooked smile of his chirped "we're gonna win, we're gonna win!".

19.08 WI 273-5
The Top 5 Things I Want To Do Before I Die (but won't be able to because I'm at the cricket and the ant venom will have firmly taken hold by tea)
No. 4 Go to a strip club and read a book

Slightly left field this one but go with it. I just do not understand the attraction of these places. You go to one, drinks are astronomical, the girls even more so and you're not allowed to touch them. They work you into a lather and then you have to get an expensive cab home ... alone. Pointless. Bad value. Much better getting a video out. Also, I don't like the way that the women probably think the people who come to watch them 'dance' are a bit weird. So I would relish going to a club and paying no attention whatsoever. Maybe I would take some knitting as well as a good novel, like Treasure Island.

18.54 WI 270-5
England are buzzing at the moment. Even Steve Harmison seems to have found some gusto. It has all been inspired by Broad, who has bowled fantastically. He has been all things to all men in this spell. Fast, aggressive, smart and with movement off the pitch.

18.45 WICKET WI 261-5
The rock that is Chanderpaul is out. A huge breakthrough for England and it is Stuart Broad who has done it again, tempting the left-hander to offer a catch at the wicket. The market has reacted accordingly. England into [1.58].

18.32 WI 253-4
The Top 5 Things I Want To Do Before I Die (but won't be able to because I'm at the cricket and the ant venom will have firmly taken hold by tea)
No. 5 Strike Michael Flatley across the legs with an iron bar
This man is truly sickening. I believe he is in some way in league with the dark side because of the way his legs move independently from his body. Does he go down to the shops like that? No, of course not. So just stop it. Oh Lord! I've just found his official website. Look at this if you have a strong stomach https://www.michaelflatley.com/home.cfm. Oh he's a character you say. No, he's something else beginning with c.

18.22 244-4
Key period this. Not quite make or break but England need another one reasonably sharpish. They would love it to be Chanderpaul who has been as stubborn as a red wine stain. Nothing unusual there then.

18.16 WICKET WI 244-4
Bingo! Sarwan cleaned up by one that kept low from Broad. Stump cartwheeling back and the new ball does it again. England into [2.26]

18.11 WI 240-3England have the new ball and if you're going to back the touring side, now is the time to do it. It is a reliable ploy to expect wickets with the new ball and I don't see why today should be any different. You can get [3.30] about England. James Anderson had first use and his first over passed without alarm. Drinks.

18.07 WI 239-3
100 for Sarwan. A very fine innings. And couldn't have happened to a nicer chap.

18.04 WI 235-3
50 for Chanderpaul. Sarwan is 3 away from a ton. Attacking fields from Strauss. Four catchers for Swann and 5 for Shah.

17.57 WI 226-3
"Is that Anderson bowling?" asks chubby lady scorer. No it's Owais Shah. Only a slight difference, though love, namely in colour, height, bowling action and bowling style. Unbelievable.

17.54 WI 223-3
Andrew Flintoff has left the field. Monty Panesar is his replacement. England weakened in every respect. They get a new ball, though in four overs' time. Sarwan and Chanderpaul are reaching milestones on 93 and 42 respectively.

17.46 WI 214-3
Andrew Flintoff was briefly fielding just to my left. He looks absolutely shattered. Not to mention in pain. Clearly it is a big effort for him to bowl at all. You can always tell when something isn't right with Flintoff. When everything is okay, he has a naturally quick step, or even bounce, on the field but today he is lumbering about, looking very sorry for himself and spending most of his time studying the ground. He is bowling again now. Cor, if England don't win this and the all-rounder misses next week's Barbados Test they could be as good as cooked in this series.

17.39 WI 211-3
A Flintoff ball has just kept low. Sarwan did well to dig it out. The new ball is due in 10 overs. That provides the best trading opportunity on this last day because, really, England should pick up wickets. The pitch has been at its most tricky when the bowlers have had the hard cherry. And boy do England need a breakthrough.

17.25 WI 202-3
I had a stroll round the ground at lunch and was unfortunate enough to hear an Englishman use the word 'poorly' in the context of illness. This really is an abominable word and grown men should never, ever use it. In fact, they should be taken away and given a good beating until they really are ill. I mean, I've been bitten by a red ant!

17.15 WI 199-3
Desperate times desperate measures. Flintoff comes onto bowl.

17.11 WI 196-3
We're back after lunch. Frustration for England so far. There are 66 overs left. That puts the tourists behind the 11 over per wicket rate that they needed to keep up with.

<strong>16.33 WI 196-3 LUNCH
Andrew Strauss was asking Shiv Chanderpaul to play the drive in that over before lunch. He packed the offside with catchers. The skipper himself was at silly mid off with KP at short extra and Flintoff at short mid off. Didn't work, though.

16.26 WI 189-3
We have just had the flipflop.The draw is now favourite. Inevitable I guess. It is at [1.90], which is lower than when the rain was falling this morning. England are [2.14]. They are getting increasingly desperate, too with Swann appealing for everything.

16.13 WI 181-3
Oh tremendous news. I've just found this on some medicine site. "The fire ant, also known as the red ant, is a wingless member of the order Hymenoptera, which includes wasps and bees. It is a potentially lethal." On the plus side, I could go down in history as the first person to record the deterioration of one's health to eventual death fron ant bite on a blog. To that end, I shall be listing The Top 5 Things I Want To Do Before I Die (but won't be able to because I'm at the cricket and the ant venom will have firmly taken hold by tea).

16.06 WI 178-3
Bit panicky. I just swatted a red ant from my neck. I think it bit me. It hurts. Don't they paralyse you or something? Death? Or a fever? Ooomph. Beginning to feel woozy. It is the onset of some mysterious tropical disease, I know it. Just my luck that. Most people come to the Caribbean and get a sense of wellbeing. I get something incurable which will put me in a wheelchair for the rest of my days with a little tartan rug covering my legs.

15.57 WI 173-3
True to form, our scorer friends have got the Tip-X out and are using it on great swathes of their recorded entries. Graeme Swann is coming onto bowl now. England need some of his first-innings magic because they are probably beginning to feel a little nervous about that breakthrough.

15.53 168-3
A 50 for Sarwan to go with his first-innings 94. He really has played tremendously well both times around, save for the silly shot he got out to first time.

15.46 WI 157-3
In fourth innings, Ramnaresh Sarwan averages 40.8 runs per dismissal. He has already surpassed that mark. Against England the mark is a now rather irrelevant 15. As for Chanderpaul, his figures are, worryingly for England, 46 and 89 respectively.

15.39 WI 155-3
Harmison has had a decent shout forleg before against Sarwan. Previous to that, Anderson got one to nip nicely past the same batsman's outside edge. The draw is currently [2.24],that's almost as short as it was when the rain was falling. England are [1.62] as Chanderpaul creams one through the covers off Anderson.

15.22 WI 147-3
Our rather large lady scorer friend is not here today. I take that back, she has just maneuvered herself into position. I have found out that the pair are actually very legit. Now, cast your minds back to yesterday when I was telling you that four days in, they still did know who the key protagonists were. Strauss, Broad, Swann etc. They have just asked me "who bowlin?". It's Anderson for the tenth time. Anyway, I digress, they are here for the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association. The same association whose job it was to make sure the Sir Viv Richards stadium was last week fit for play. It suddenly all makes sense.

15.12 WI 143-3
We have play. Steve Harmison will start with the first over. He has urged his team to win it for Andrew Flintoff, who may not bowl much today because of a hip injury. He also used the rather unfortunate phrase "suck it and see" with regard to whether Flintoff would be fit for the Barbados Test. I guess the pitch will have been juiced up quite a bit because of the rain, so that should help England.

We should start in 10 minutes. We should be able to make up some of the overs lost. Remember, on average in fourth innings at ARG, a wicket falls every 11 overs

We could be good to go in a mo. The sun is shining strongly now. There is a wind but I have today come prepared. I am wearing three layers, two of those are jumpers. I shall not suffer.

We could start in 20 minutes or so reckons Michael Holding. He knows more than me that's for sure. Covers are off the field but there are some dark clouds in that area where the rain came from this morning.

14.28 RAIN
England's game of football has been abandoned as the rain starts to fall. We're going to have it blowing in all day I think because of the strong wind.

14.22 Eng 143-3 WET OUTFIELD
England's players are out on the field playing their obligatory game of football. Monty Panesar is in goal. Why would you put him in goal? He can't catch. Mind you, I have seen him play outfield before, and he is truly awful. No co-ordination whatsoever. The guy is just not a sportsman. Full stop.

14.01 WI 143-3 WET OUTFIELD
The rain has stopped. The sun is out. Lots of work for the groundstaff. There are enough of them. About 20 are out there at the mo. In other news Ravi Bopara and Amjad Khan have been called up to provide cover for Andrew Flintoff.

The rain has eased off slightly and thethe sun is out. I can even see some blue sky. The word is that this ground drains well but we have puddles on the outfield and it will take the groundstaff at least a couple of hour to get this fit. The draw price is now odds on at [1.93]

Welcome to a wet ARG. It's chucking down. I am huddled underneath the press hut desks to bring yout this report because it is this funny sideways rain. The draw has crashed from [3.15] to [2.72]. There are sunnier skies, however, where the rain was heading in from. The outfield is soppy, though. A delayed start of about an hour and a half if the rain stopped now.


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  1. captain_s | 19 February 2009

    serves eng right for batting on too long prior to dec on day 4.