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In the balance

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

In the balance

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LONDON – A devastating spell from pacer Kemar Roach rocked England late on the penultimate day yesterday, leaving the hosts stunned and handing West Indies a glimmer of hope of winning the first Test at Lord’s.
Set 191 for victory, England stuttered to the close on 10 for two after Roach produced two quick, lifting deliveries to knock over captain Andrew Strauss for one and night-watchman Jimmy Anderson for six, in a torrid 20-minute period at the end.
England will enter today’s final day requiring 181 more runs with eight wickets intact, setting up a thrilling finish to an encounter that has swung this way and that.
Earlier, the unflappable Shivnarine Chanderpaul fell just short of his 26th Test century as West Indies staged a gallant effort before they were dismissed in their second innings for 345.
Resuming the day on 120 for four, still requiring 35 runs to avoid an innings defeat, West Indies were lifted by half-centuries from Chanderpaul, who struck 91, and Marlon Samuels, who got 86.
They put on 157 for the fifth wicket, a record for the West Indies at Lord’s, as the visitors safely navigated the first session without losing a wicket.
When both perished in the post-lunch session, wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin hit a responsible 43 and captain Darren Sammy stroked a cavalier 37 to provide impetus to the innings.
Seamer Stuart Broad once again led England’s attack with four for 93 to finish with 11 for 165 and become the first Englishman to grab a ten-wicket haul at Lord’s in 34 years. Off-spinner Graeme Swann picked up three for 59.
In four of the scheduled seven overs available before the close, Roach and new-ball partner Fidel Edwards then rattled England, changing the complexion of the match.
Roach got his second delivery of the second over to rear from a length and the left-handed Strauss could only stab it to gully where Kieran Powell took an easy catch with England having just a single run on the board.
Anderson lasted five balls before gloving the first delivery of Roach’s second over to Ramdin behind to make it ten for two, as he tried to avoid a short one angled into his ribs.
West Indies had a huge slice of misfortune off the very next delivery when an lbw appeal was turned down against Jonathan Trott.
They immediately reviewed the decision but while replays showed the ball cannoning into the stumps, it pitched just outside the line and the call remained with the on-field umpire.
The drama was in contrast to the sedate start to the day for the Windies as Chanderpaul and Samuels clawed the tourists back into the contest with obdurate innings.
Chanderpaul faced 250 balls in just under six and a half hours at the crease and struck ten fours while Samuels stroked 12 fours in an innings spanning 172 balls and 230 minutes.
West Indies lost Samuels in the seventh over after lunch at 222 for five, caught by Swann at second slip off Broad as the right-hander sparred at one that left him.
Chanderpaul and Ramdin added a further 39 for the sixth wicket in a drama-less stand and they seemed set to take West Indies to tea without further loss when Chanderpaul missed a sweep at Swann, nine minutes before the break and was adjudged lbw.
Sammy entered and boldly raised the tempo of the game with a typical cameo, slamming five fours in a breezy 47-ball knock as he put on 46 for the seventh wicket with Ramdin.
He was eventually caught at the wicket 40 minutes after tea, swinging at a wayward bouncer from Broad, at 307 for seven, and Roach followed quickly afterward for four with
six runs added, slashing a Broad delivery to Ian Bell at point.
Ramdin, whose knock lasted a shade under three hours and required 104 balls, was ninth out, bowled by Anderson before Shannon Gabriel missed a heave at Swann and was bowled for 13. (CMC)