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English pace bowlers strike early

Ted Corbett


  • Daren Ganga dismissed first ball
  • Sidebottom impresses

    CHESTER-LE-STREET: The West Indies, playing shots against the swinging ball, lost its captain Daren Ganga first ball and its first four wickets for 55 when the fourth Test finally got underway at the Riverside ground on what should have been the second day.

    As soon as Ryan Sidebottom, Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison found the right line it was clear that the West Indies batsmen had precious little idea how to deal with typical English conditions.

    Shivnarine Chanderpaul was once again trying to retrieve the situation as he did at Old Trafford and at tea the West Indies was 92 for four with Chanderpaul, as cramped as ever, leading the way with 36. He had found support from Dwayne Bravo, one of the few West Indies batsmen able to play innings to suit the state of the match. The fifth wicket pair had put on 37 and how the West Indies needed its runs.

    England wins toss

    Vaughan won the toss and chose to bowl under a sky filled with cloud save for a patch no bigger than a paper tissue. The forecasters promised more rain and with a day and a third lost already Vaughan's bold move was designed to cut down on the time needed for victory. He did not have long to wait for the first wicket.

    Daren Ganga, the new captain and as out of form as any batsman can be, prodded forward at the first ball from Sidebottom and was caught chest high at short leg. The next five deliveries swung viciously. Gayle and Devon Smith negotiated the next over but in the third Smith survived a loud leg before appeal while Hoggard, back after injury, had Gayle defending desperately in the fourth.

    Botham applauded

    The game had begun just before the toss with a touching moment in which the crowd stood to applaud Ian Botham whose knighthood was announced in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. He has never ceased to be a hero to the British public who remember his walks for charity, his match winning exploits mainly in the 1981 Ashes series and his appearances in Question of Sport on BBC television.

    At lunch time he spent half an hour with a lad in a wheelchair, never attempting to end their chat, always giving the impression that he was enjoying their conversation. Perhaps he was; the man called Beefy is nothing if not generous towards the unfortunate.

    By the sixth over, with Sidebottom losing his first control, Gayle drove four wide of Monty Panesar and six to square leg before a third rose off the turf and almost hit Vaughan on the head; but in the eighth over Gayle tried a hefty shot off Hoggard and was leg before. It was hardly the shot for the conditions as the ball was still moving around. In the next over Sidebottom produced a straight ball which hit Smith's off stump a dismissal which seemed to indicate that he had misjudged the line completely.

    Yorkshire day

    It was a Yorkshire day. Vaughan has won the toss in every game since he took the captaincy again and both the successful bowlers were both Yorkshiremen even though Sidebottom now plays for Notts.

    The last time that happened was in 1905 when Wilfred Rhodes and Schofield Haigh took the new ball at Lord's against Australia.

    They sent down four successive maidens; there was a big appeal against Chanderpaul for a catch behind and a half chance to Ian Bell in the slips.

    Morton and Chanderpaul took the score past fifty but at 55 Steve Harmison, playing in the biggest game staged at his home ground, had Morton caught at mid off.

    The sun began to shine as Chanderpaul glanced the four that edged him beyond the 7,000 aggregate mark.

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