Harmison foils Windies comeback

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:05 IST

Windies struggling at 189 for eight in their first innings against England, as Harmison tore through the top order.

Harmison foils Windies comeback

Port Of Spain:

Steve Harmison has again bowled England into a superior position as West Indies promised much, but delivered little on the opening day of the second cricket Test at Queen's Park Oval. In between two stoppages for rain, Harmison captured five wickets for 48 runs from 17 overs as West Indies struggled to 189 for eight in their first innings when bad light stopped play 10 overs early. West Indies might have felt their decision to bat on a hard, true pitch under sunny to overcast skies was correct when they benefited from a century opening stand between left-handers Chris Gayle and Devon Smith. Sensational collapseMichael Vaughan, however, swung Harmison to the southern, or Queen's Park Cricket Club End, for a second spell and his introduction transformed the complexion of the match. Gayle, Smith and West Indies captain Brian Lara, all departed in a sensational 15-minute period just prior to lunch in the space of 13 balls and the rot continued, although the rains offered the home team temporary respite.Batting like a man possessed, Gayle hit 12 fours and one six from 81 balls in the top score of 62 in just under two hours and had eased West Indian pain of last Sunday's debacle at Kingston when they were bowled out for a Test low of 47. Things fell apart for West Indies after the left-hander, playing defensively forward, was caught behind to end an opening stand of exactly 100 with Smith to lift English spirits after the two openers, but Gayle in particular, marauded the visitors' attack. In Harmison's next over, England gained a bonus when Smith, playing back to the first delivery, was adjudged lbw for 35 that included seven fours from 71 balls, and then hit the jackpot when Lara was caught at gully for a four-ball duck. Rain interruptionsOnly half an hour of cricket was possible in the afternoon period, but it was enough time for Simon Jones to have experienced left Shivnarine Chanderpaul caught behind for two top-edging a cut to leave West Indies on 127 for four when light rain prompted an early tea break. Once play restarted after almost 90 minutes, West Indies declined rapidly as they had no answer to the English bowlers, who exploited the prevailing overcast conditions and moist pitch to great effect.Dwayne Smith was caught at square for 16 and Sarwan was caught at second slip for 21 to complete another five-wicket haul for the irrepressible Harmison to leave West Indies 143 for six. Matthew Hoggard joined the party when Tino Best was caught behind for one before Adam Sanford was run out for one by England captain Michael Vaughan's throw from deep fine leg to the keeper that summed up the plight of the West Indies, who sank further into the abyss on 165 for eight. Poised for killWest Indies made two changes to their side that lost the opening Test at Kingston with Dwayne Smith and Pedro Collins replacing the ill Ryan Hinds and the injured Fidel Edwards. England, who lead the four-Test series 1-0, have kept faith with the same side that completed that sensational victory. Harmison's seven wickets in the previous Test catapulted England to a 10-wicket victory.The visitors are bidding to end a 36-year wait for a Test series victory over West Indies in the Caribbean. (PTI)



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