Samuels, Sammy frustrate England
NOTTINGHAM, England – Marlon Samuels stroked a high-class hundred and Darren Sammy was on the verge of his maiden hundred in a career-best innings, as West Indies flirted with disaster before staging a brilliant recovery in the second Test against England on Friday.
Samuels carved out a superb, undefeated 107 and Sammy chimed in with a matured, unbeaten 88, propelling the Windies to 304 for six in their first innings at the close on a sun-kissed opening day at Trent Bridge.
Such enterprise was but a fleeting thought when the visitors collapsed in a heap at 136 for six, 35 minutes before tea after they chose to bat in favourable conditions.
Not for the first time this series, West Indies salvaged what seemed a terminal situation, as Samuels and Sammy put on a record, unbroken 168 for the seventh wicket, as the Caribbean side dominated the final session.
Given out lbw for one at 64 for four off seamer Tim Bresnan half-hour before lunch, Samuels made the most of his reprieve through the umpire decision review system, collecting his third Test hundred and his first in nearly six years.
He struck 15 boundaries – mostly an array of sparkling drives – in an innings that required 225 balls and lasted seven minutes shy of five hours, and shared in two partnerships that repaired the West Indies innings.
He added 62 for the fifth wicket with Shivnarine Chanderpaul before partnering with Sammy in the precious century stand, the highest seventh-wicket partnership by any team at Trent Bridge.
Chanderpaul fell for 46, just short of his third successive half-century of the series, and Sammy collected 13 fours and one six in a typically robust knock, facing just 121 balls in 169 minutes at the crease.
The innings was only the third half-century of Sammy’s career and it surpassed his previous best of 61 in the third Test against Australia last month in Dominica.
West Indies were in trouble from as early as the fourth over of the morning, when Adrian Barath was caught at third slip off Stuart Broad without scoring, attempting a forcing back-foot stroke.
Vice-captain Kirk Edwards fell, when Anderson bowled him for seven before stylish stroke-maker Darren Bravo fell on the stroke of the first hour’s play for three, when he edged a loose drive at a delivery from Anderson and was at second slip, leaving West Indies 42 for three.
Opener Kieran Powell played positively, stroking seven fours in 33 off 49 balls before becoming the fourth wicket of the session, when he flirted with a wide ball from Broad to give Anderson his second catch of the morning at third slip.
Samuels and Chanderpaul, as they did in the opening Test at Lord’s, then stitched up the innings with a partnership that saw West Indies to lunch at 84 for four.
Chanderpaul, who faced 86 balls in 131 minutes at the crease, stroked nine fours in a breezy knock and seemed on course for another big score.
Totally against the run of play however, the veteran left-hander missed one from off-spinner Swann that pitched and straightened, falling lbw an hour and 12 minutes after lunch after England reviewed umpire Asad Rauf’s not-out verdict.
West Indies were 125 for five, and Denesh Ramdin lasted just nine deliveries before he was late on a defensive prod and Bresnan bowled him with just over half-hour to go before tea.
Samuels and Sammy comfortably saw out a nervy period to carry West Indies to the break at 154 for six before blossoming in the final session.
Unbeaten on 41, Samuels announced his intentions immediately on resumption with a pair of rasping back-foot drives for four in the first over bowled by Bresnan.
He took another two boundaries from Bresnan’s 17th over to move into the 70s and then carefully crafted his way into the 90s before bringing up his landmark with a couple of boundaries.
The first, another back-foot drive off Bresnan, took him to 98 and he raised three figures with the second when he tickled Anderson fine in the next over.
Sammy, meanwhile, emerged from an uncustomary quiet start to play merrily, clearing long-off with Swann and then swatting the bowler through cover, moving to the brink of his third Test half-century.
He capitalised on Trott’s innocuous medium-pace with two boundaries in the part-time bowler’s fifth over that cost 10 runs, as he marched to his highest Test score.
Both batsmen survived anxious moments against the second new ball late in the day though, with Sammy getting a couple of streaky boundaries through the slips cordon off Anderson, and Samuels playing and missing, but England went without success at the close.
Anderson with two wickets for 58 runs from 24 overs and Broad with two for 59 from 20 overs were the most successful bowlers for the hosts.
WEST INDIES 1st Innings
A. Barath c Anderson b Broad 0
K. Powell c Anderson b Broad 33
K. Edwards b Anderson 7
D.M. Bravo c Swann b Anderson 3
S. Chanderpaul lbw b Swann 46
M. Samuels not out 107
+D. Ramdin b Bresnan 1
*D. Sammy not out 88
Extras (b8, lb10, w1) 19
TOTAL (6 wkts) 304
K. Roach, S. Shillingford, R. Rampaul to bat
Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Barath), 2-26 (Edwards), 3-42 (Bravo), 4-63 (Powell), 5-125 (Chanderpaul), 6-136 (+Ramdin)
Bowling: Anderson 24-10-58-2; Broad 20-3-59-2; Bresnan 21-4-83-1 (w1); Swann 20-4-62-1; Trott 5-0-24-0
ENGLAND: *A. Strauss, A. Cook, J. Trott, K. Pietersen, I. Bell, J. Bairstow, +M. Prior, T. Bresnan, S. Broad, G. Swann, J. Anderson
Toss: West Indies
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan), Asad Rauf (Pakistan)
TV umpires: M. Erasmus (South Africa)
Match referee: R. Mahanama (Sri Lanka)
Reserve umpire: N. Mallender (England)