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Windies last pair thwart England to draw Test

February 20, 2009 08:05 IST

West Indies held on for a dramatic draw against England in the third Test on Thursday, finishing the final day on 370 for nine to maintain their 1-0 lead in the five Test series.

Last wicket pair Daren Powell and Fidel Edwards frustrated England in deteriorating light conditions before the umpires offered them bad light with four scheduled overs remaining.

England had dominated the Test from the opening day, making 566 for nine declared and then setting West Indies a mammoth target of 503 to win.

But in the end, a bowling attack, hampered by a hip injury which restricted strike bowler Andrew Flintoff, was unable to dismiss West Indies in four-and-a-half sessions with Ramnaresh Sarwan making a 106 to add to his 94 from the first innings.

"Clearly when you get so close in a Test and you don't make it over that final hurdle it is very hard to take," said England skipper Andrew Strauss.

"In some ways it does feel like a defeat, but once the emotion subsides and we realise there's a lot of positives to come out of the test."

After a 75 minute delay due to rain, Sarwan led West Indies' resistance in a determined 148-run partnership with Shivnarine Chanderpaul that went midway into the afternoon session


Then came a spell of bowling from Stuart Broad, having an impressive tour, which looked to have turned the game England's way.

Broad, who bowled beautifully with the new ball, dismissed Sarwan with a ball that cut back and then Chanderpaul edged to keeper Matt Prior for 55 on a rising ball that moved away from him.

With the two most experienced and prolific batsmen in the home team gone, England had a chance to get their teeth into a West Indies lower order that has crumbled easily in the past.

But the hosts, were not about to roll over with Australian-born Brendan Nash making 23 before he was trapped lbw by off-spinner Graeme Swann.

Jerome Taylor and Denesh Ramdin fought hard before they both fell to James Anderson, who finally got some reward for his impressive bowling, allowing England access to the tail.

Swann had Sulieman Benn leg before to bring the last pair to the crease and have the travelling England fans sensing victory.

Powell and Edwards may be tail-enders but they showed a solid defence putting up the shutters, with catching fielders all around the bat.

The pair survived 10 overs before light was offered -- a decision Strauss had no objection to.

While England looked deflated, West Indies celebrated as though they had won the game.

"They have the bigger wound," said Powell, "Because looking at the position the game was in, if we were the fielding side I would think we would win the game, especially with me and Fidel there batting.

"But we batted brilliantly and saved the game. England will feel bad now," said the Jamaican.

The performance was a replica of the last Test match at the Antigua Recreation Ground three years ago when West Indies drew with India with nine wickets down.

The fourth Test starts in Barbados on Thursday.



England (1st innings): 566-9 decl

West Indies (1st innings): 285

England (2nd innings) (overnight 31-1)
 A. Strauss c Smith b Edwards 14
 A. Cook c Smith b Hinds 58
 J. Anderson c Ramdin b Powell 20
 0. Shah b Powell 14
 K. Pietersen c Ramdin b Benn 32
 P. Collingwood b Hinds 34
 M. Prior not out 15
 S. Broad run out 1
 A. Flintoff c Hinds b Benn 0
 S. Harmison not out 7
 Extras: (b-12, lb-3, w-5, nb-6) 26
 Total: (eight wickets declared; 50 overs) 221

Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-69, 3-97, 4-145, 5-189, 6-195, 7-201, 8-206.

Bowling: Edwards 9-1-36-1 (5nb, 1w), Taylor 9-2-34-0, Powell 7-0-33-2, Benn 14-1-58-2 (1nb), Hinds 11-1-45-2.

West Indies (2nd innings):
C. Gayle lbw b Swann 46
D. Smith lbw b Harmison 21
R. Sarwan b Broad 106
R. Hinds c Shah b Broad 6
S. Chanderpaul c Prior b Broad 55
B. Nash lbw b Swann 23
D. Ramdin b Anderson 21
J. Taylor c sub b Anderson 11
S. Benn lbw b Swann 21
D. Powell not out 22
F. Edwards not out 5
Extras: (b 21, lb 7, w 1, nb 4) 33
Total: (9 wickets; 128 overs) 370

Fall of wickets: 1-59, 2-81, 3-96, 4-244, 5-261, 6-287, 7-313, 8-322, 9-353

Bowling: Anderson 25-6-68-2 (1nb), Broad 21-3-69-3 (1w), Swann 39-12-92-3, Harmison 22-3-54-1, Flintoff 15-5-32-0 (2nb), Pietersen 3-0-15-0, Shah 3-0-12-0 (1nb)

Result: Match drawn

Series: West Indies lead the 5-match series 1-0

Player of the match: Ramnaresh Sarwan

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