|Ground:||Trent Bridge, Nottingham|
|Scorecard:||England v West Indies|
|Player:||MN Samuels, DJG Sammy, JM Anderson, TT Bresnan|
|Event:||West Indies in England 2012|
England grab series with 9-wicket win
In association with Investec.
Nottingham An England win on the fourth day of the second Investec Test was practically inexorable after the brilliant effort of their pace bowlers in the final session of the third day when they ripped through the top and middle order of the West Indies second innings. That it took as long as half an hour after tea to complete the task was primarily because of the effort of Marlon Samuels who once again played a major innings, to remain unbeaten with 76, following his century in the first innings. Taking the two innings together he had occupied the crease for nearly ten hours.
It can be said that England, firmly at the top of world Test rankings, have put the winters disappointments behind them and after two emphatic victories in the current series, with a Test yet to come, will be looking forward with some confidence to the tougher series against South Africa later in the summer. Having been set just 108 runs to win, Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook went about their task steadily, even with a low target they were in no particular hurry. It took them four overs to score the first run and eventually reached the fifty of the innings from 99 balls.
At tea on 74 without loss, they needed a further 34 but three overs after the break, Strauss drove Samuels to extra cover and was caught on 45. Jonathan Trott joined Cook and eventually hit the winning boundary to see the side home by nine wickets and take the series as they go two nil up in the three-Test series. Cook remained unbeaten with 43.
England captain Strauss said: We are delighted to get over the line in this Test match. It was quite hard work at times, we got ourselves in a position where we felt we could take the game by the scruff of the neck but all credit to West Indies they came back at us. He added: You always like to be a bit more clinical than we have been, we have been in match winning positions where we could have finished the games earlier than we have but we have been made to work hard and that makes us feel pretty good when we get over the line.
Earlier, Samuels and Darren Sammy made the England bowlers strive hard for the wicket they hoped to get early. Resuming on 61 for six, with Samuels on 13 and Sammy without a score, West Indies made steady progress. No doubt lifted by their massive double century stand in the first innings they showed confidence but batted with some caution as well. England tried all four bowlers whom they used in the second innings but failed to get the breakthrough until the sixteenth over.
The first wicket came with a straight ball from Tim Bresnan which rapped Sammy on the back pad. Sammy, on 25 from 49 balls, asked for a review which went against him. Samuels meanwhile, having driven Anderson square to the boundary and Broad to cover for four, had progressed to 36. He continued with his fine strokeplay, hitting Anderson twice to the boundary in an over to get to 46 and brought up his fifteenth Test half century from 130 balls. It was an excellent effort to go well with his 117 in the first innings.
Kemar Roach, having hit three boundaries in one over off Broad fell lbw to Anderson and nine runs later Graeme Swann claimed his only wicket of the innings having Shane Shillingford held without scoring. With the last man in, the tourists led by 90 runs and Samuels was on 59. He took a single and then with a late flourish took 16 in one over off Swann. He hit the off spinner first for four to wide mid-wicket and then lifted him for two sixes in three balls over long-on and straight.
When the last wicket fell, caught at third slip off Anderson, Samuels was on 76 from 160 balls. With his superb effort he had greatly helped to put his side in an overall lead of 107. Anderson and man of the match Bresnan finished with four wickets apiece for 43 and 37 runs respectively.
Having lost the series, West Indies captain Sammy said: We have really got to consider how we go about playing our cricket. We (current team) have been playing for a while and we are not learning. We have to be more focused, continue working hard and put a higher price on our wickets. He went on to say: Marlon (Samuels) has done a lot and he has a lot of experience over the years, he has been in excellent form and I hope he continues. We have been doing some good stuff, we have definitely been showing signs of improvement but we are not getting much success. We have been playing good in patches (but) not playing good for an extended period of time, hopefully well learn a lot faster.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2012 Andy Jalil)