Samuels and Sammy fightback for West Indies
by Andy Jalil

Ground:Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Scorecard:England v West Indies
Player:DJG Sammy, MN Samuels
Event:West Indies in England 2012

DateLine: 26th May 2012


Andy Jalil - Cricket Writer and Commentator
Andy Jalil reporting from Trent Bridge © Pakistan Cricket


Samuels and Sammy fightback for West Indies


In association with Investec.


Just when it seems West Indies are going to be dismissed for a paltry total they put up a defiant stand which totally revives the innings. It happened in both innings in the first Investec Test and again on the first day of the second Test yesterday when they were reduced to 136 for six on a perfect day for batting. The pitch was flat and conditions sunny and warm. But it was late in the day when a dominating unbroken seventh wicket partnership of 168 between Marlon Samuels and the captain Darren Sammy took the day away from England as they finished on 304 for six with Samuels unbeaten with 107, his third Test century and Sammy on 88 not out.


It wasn't so much the bowling, good as it may have been, but poor shot selection that saw West Indies' top order batsmen failing to give their side a good start after deciding to bat first. On 63 for four the start was worse than in the previous Test where they had just reached three figures before the fourth wicket went down. Adrian Barath whose 42 was the second highest score in the first innings at Lord’s, had not got off the mark when he edged the first ball he faced from Stuart Broad to James Anderson at third slip to take a splendid one-handed catch.


The next two fell to Anderson whose in-swinger beat the forward prod from Kirk Edwards who had been dropped earlier at third slip, on 1, with the ball going for four. Edwards began the series with a decent Test average of 47 but has had a disappointing start with scores of 1, 0 and 3. Sixteen runs later the third wicket went with Darren Bravo, on 3, driving loosely at a ball outside off stump for a catch at third slip.


With Broad returning for a second spell, the tourists lost Kieran Powell who also fell driving at a ball that he did not have to play. In taking the catch at third slip, Anderson had been involved in all four wickets that had fallen at that stage. Powell played shots from the start of his innings and all but five of his 33 runs had come from boundaries. It was left to the veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul to attempt a recovery and he did so to an extent, as he had in the previous Test, in partnership of 62 with Samuels.


They took West Indies to 125 before Chanderpaul departed an hour after lunch with 46, scored at a quicker rate than would be expected from one who grafts through his innings. In the process he struck nine boundaries before being trapped lbw by Graeme Swann. Umpire Asad Rauf had given him not out but his decision was overturned on review. Denesh Ramdin was bowled by Tim Bresnan playing back to a ball that wasn’t short of a length and came in to hit top of off stump and West Indies were 136 for six.


Then came the superb seventh wicket stand between the all-rounder Samuels and Sammy. The former was in excellent form and once he had settled in he went on to play fluent strokes. They took the side to 154 for six at tea and in the final session of play they raised the scoring tempo with some free stroke-play. Samuel's fifteenth Test half century, from 130 balls, came from a lovely drive to cover point after he had hit a four in the same over off Bresnan.


He followed that with a four off Swann to the same area and brought up the fifty of the stand, from 95 balls, taking his score to 64 with a drive to the extra cover boundary. Both batsmen looked in total control of the game almost throughout the last session of play and as the innings progressed Sammy too gave a fine display of batting. He brought up his third Test half century from 76 balls just after the hundred of the partnership and celebrated it with a boundary which he smacked to wide mid-wicket off Jonathan Trott.


England took the second new ball for the 81st over and it made little difference to either batsmen. Sammy helped himself to a boundary at extra cover in the next over to take his score to 70 and the total to 264 for six. Samuel meanwhile having progressed to 80 hooking a bouncer from Bresnan was happy with singles at that stage. He later played a beautiful back foot drive to cover to reach 98 followed by a four glanced off Anderson in the next over to bring up a brilliant hundred from 219 balls.

(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2012 Andy Jalil)