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Sunday, 8 February 2009





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Ton-up Gayle and Sarwan put West Indies in front

CRICKET: KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb 6, 2009 - Skipper Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan hit centuries as West Indies edged into a 34-run lead, with three wickets remaining, at stumps on the third day of the first Test here on Friday.

Sarwan hit the top score of 107 and Gayle, 103, his first Test century on his home ground, to help their side reach 352 for seven, replying to England's first innings total of 318, at close of play at Sabina Park.

England appeared to have control of the match, when they removed World Cricketer of the Year Shivnarine Chanderpaul about 15 minutes before tea to leave West Indies on 254 for five.

But they again met resistance in the form of a sixth-wicket stand of 66 between Brendan Nash and Denesh Ramdin.

Ramdin was one of two wickets England claimed in the final session, when he became Monty Panesar's first wicket in the 37th of the left-arm spin bowler's 45 overs, leaving Nash to shepherd the tail until the close with 47 not out.

Stuart Broad was England's most successful bowler with three wickets for 61 runs from 24 overs, and Andrew Flintoff supported with two for 57 from 27 overs.

"It means a lot to me to score my first century on my home ground. It's just unfortunate I couldn't carry on," said Gayle. "It will be nice to get a lead of at least 60 on this pitch. Hopefully, the spinners can come into play for us."

Broad said he had to work hard on a tough pitch.

"It's flat and slow. The surface here is a bit like the sub-continent.

You have to use the cutter and try and deceive the batsman."

England failed to make early inroads into West Indies' batting, after the home team continued from their overnight total of 160 for one.

But Broad struck twice in the penultimate over before lunch to bring England back into the contest, after Gayle and Sarwan reached their landmarks.

Broad snared Gayle and then fellow hometown boy Xavier Marshall for a second-ball duck in the space of three balls, as West Indies reached 224 for three at the interval.

England's successes only came following a second wicket stand of 202 between Gayle and Sarwan.

Broad got a delivery to keep low to Gayle, and the West Indies captain played back, and was bowled when he inside-edged the ball into his stumps.

Gayle batted for a little over five and three-quarter hours, faced 193 balls, and struck five fours and five sixes.

Clearly energised, Broad sprinted in to deliver his next delivery which rushed into the front of new batsman Xavier Marshall, but his and England's loud appeal for an lbw verdict was turned down by umpire Tony Hill.




(overnight 160 for one)

C. Gayle b Broad 104

D. Smith lbw b Flintoff 6

R. Sarwan b Flintoff 107

X. Marshall lbw b Broad 0

S. Chanderpaul lbw b Broad 20

B. Nash not out 47

D. Ramdin c Collingwood b Panesar 35

J. Taylor lbw b Harmison 8

S. Benn not out 10

EXTRAS (b-5, lb-9, nb-1) 15

TOTAL (7 wkts, 144 overs) 352

TO BAT: D. Powell, F. Edwards

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-18 (Smith), 2-220 (Gayle), 3-220 (Marshall), 4-235 (Sarwan), 5-254 (Chanderpaul), 6-320 (Ramdin), 7-341 (Taylor)

BOWLING: Sidebottom 24-5-35-0; Flintoff 27-9-57-2; Harmison 20-4-49-1 (w1); Broad 24-7-61-3; Panesar 45-13-121-1; Pietersen 4-1-15-0.



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