England fight back on day 4

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:06 IST

Following on 466 runs behind on first innings, England were battling hard to save the fourth and final cricket Test against West Indies.

England fight back on day 4

Antigua:

Following on 466 runs behind in the first innings, England were battling hard to save the fourth and final cricket Test against West Indies. With West Indies hunting wickets and a victory, opening batsmen Marcus Trescothick and captain Michael Vaughan gave England a sound platform for the first time in the series. The visitors reached 145 without loss in their second innings when stumps were drawn on the fourth day. Trescothick was unbeaten on 74 and Vaughan was undefeated on 61. Strong partnershipRecognising the easy nature of the pitch and this was their last opportunity to make amends for their poor form, Vaughan and Trescothick batted confidently for their biggest partnership of the series in England's second innings. Fortune favoured Trescothick twice. Umpire Darrell Hair gave him the benefit of the doubt early in his knock when West Indies appealed for a catch off the glove to the keeper down the leg side off Best, and on 55, Gayle at slip muffed a chance when he late cut Ryan Hinds. Trescothick hit eight fours from 158 balls and Vaughan struck half-dozen fours from 137 balls in the 3-1/4 hours they batted together before the close. Following onAndrew Flintoff gave the visitors hope of avoiding a crushing defeat when he completed his third Test hundred in the first innings. Flintoff struck 13 fours and one six from 224 balls in an undefeated 102 that lasted 5-1/2 hours, as England were dismissed for 285, replying to West Indies first innings total of 751 for five declared. The tall, rugged Flintoff remained unflappable, despite being dropped twice before lunch to bring some respectability to the England innings and land his third test century. Let-off the previous evening by West Indies captain Brian Lara at slip off Ramnaresh Sarwan, the England all-rounder gained a reprieve when Ricardo Powell floored him on 56 at gully off Pedro Collins, who later failed to hold a return chance when the batsman was 67. Collins was the pick of the West Indies bowlers with four wickets for 76 runs from 26 overs, and gained essential support from Tino Best with three for 37 from 10.3 overs and Fidel Edwards two for 70 from 18. Early strikeEarlier, England continued from their overnight position of 171 for five, but the West Indies struck early when Fidel Edwards bowled Geraint Jones for 38 in the first half-hour to leave the visitors 182 for six. For just over an hour, Flintoff and Gareth Batty defied the West Indies attack. Runs were at a premium, but the two batsmen wore the bowlers down. West Indies captain Brian Lara introduced Collins from the Factory Road End and he produced two wickets in the final half-hour before lunch. Batty was caught at first slip for eight and Matthew Hoggard became Ridley Jacobs 200th victim in Tests when he edged playing defensively forward and was caught behind for one. England reached 231 for eight at lunch and, after the interval, attention turned to Flintoff to see if he could take advantage of the pitch to hit a hundred. He eventually reached the landmark thanks to tail enders Simon Jones and Steve Harmison with whom he gathered 57 valuable runs towards the end. (PTI)



Topics : Cricket
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