Ian Bell held firm for England against a revived West Indies on the first day of the third Test here on Thursday.
At stumps, England were 296 for seven, having started the final session on 167 for five at Old Trafford after West Indies, 1-0 down in the four-Test series, had enjoyed a rare spell of dominance.
Bell was 77 not out and Stephen Harmison unbeaten on two. Together with Matt Prior (40), Bell put on 98 for the sixth wicket in 26 overs.
Fast bowler Corey Collymore led the West Indies attack with two for 44 from 20 overs. Warwickshire’s Bell struck some eye-catching drives on his way to a 99-ball fifty with 10 fours while Prior, content to play a supporting role, attacked anything loose when given the chance.
But just when it seemed Prior would bat through to the close, he got carried away and tried to hook medium-pacer Dwayne Bravo’s looping bouncer from above shoulder height and was caught at mid-wicket by Runako Morton.
The wicket-keeper faced 66 balls with seven fours but, with England now 264 for six, West Indies were back in the match.
A lively pitch, offering assistance to fast bowlers and shotmakers alike, lured recalled quick Fidel Edwards, who delivered a wasteful 10 no balls on his way to one for 75, into the trap of bowling too short.
But when he pitched one up with the new ball, Liam Plunkett, backing away, was bowled middle stump for 13.
England, well placed on 112 for one at lunch, saw Collymore take two wickets for nine runs to spark a collapse. They resumed with opener Alastair Cook 51 not out and England captain Michael Vaughan 40 not out.
Vaughan had added just one to his score before he was bowled by a full-length Collymore delivery that nipped back.
It was a much needed wicket for West Indies, being captained in a Test for the first time by Daren Ganga after Ramnaresh Sarwan sustained a tour-ending shoulder injury while fielding during England’s innings and 283 run second Test win at Headingley — West Indies’ heaviest Test innings loss.
Earlier, Andrew Strauss’s poor run continued when he was lbw for six to Jerome Taylor after Vaughan won the toss. Strauss has now gone 16 Test innings without a hundred, averaging just above 26 in that period.
England won toss
England 1st inns
A J Strauss lbw b Taylor 6
A N Cook c Bravo b Sammy 60
*M P Vaughan b Collymore 41
K P Pietersen c Bravo b Collymore 9
P D Collingwood lbw b Taylor 10
I R Bell not out 77
†M J Prior c Morton b Bravo 40
L E Plunkett b Edwards 13
S J Harmison not out 3
Extras (b10, lb6, w5, nb16) 37
Total (7 wkts, 86 overs) 296
To bat: R J Sidebottom, M S Panesar
Fall: 1-13, 2-117, 3-132, 4-132, 5-166, 6-264, 7-285
Bowling: Taylor 15-1-53-2 (3nb, 2w); Edwards 15-2-75-1 (10nb, 1w); Collymore 20-5-44-2 (3nb); Bravo 19-4-76-1 (2w); Sammy 17-7-32-1
C H Gayle, *D Ganga, D S Smith, S Chanderpaul, R S Morton, D J Bravo, D J G Sammy, †D Ramdin, C D Collymore, J E Taylor, F H Edwards
Series: England lead the 4-match series 1-0
Test debut: Darren Sammy (West Indies)
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and B F Bowden (New Zealand). TV umpire: P J Hartley. Match referee: A G Hurst (Australia)
Previous matches: May 17-21 1st Test Lord’s, match drawn. May 25-28 2nd Test Leeds, England won by an innings and 283 runs
Fourth & final Test: June 15-19, Chester-le-StreetMore on:Corey Collymore, england, Fidel Edwards, Ian Bell, Runako Morton, Stephen Harmison, West Indies
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, June 8th, 2007 and is filed under Statistics, Cricket, Review.
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