England crush West Indies

Ruthless England needed only 33.1 overs on the fourth day to inflict West Indies heaviest ever Test defeat, by an innings and 283 runs.

Ryan Sidebottom showed his improvement on his return to the international scene, finishing with second innings figures of 4-44, and match figures of 8-86. Steve Harmison proved a useful ally with 3-37.

Only Dwayne Bravo offered any real resistance for the West Indies with a well compiled 52, as he watched his team mates perish at the other end.

England needed only 7 wickets on a particularly chilly day at Headingley, with West Indies skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan still not fit to bat and a big doubt for Old Trafford in just over a weeks time.

The visitors inability to cope when the ball is moving around was evident in this rain interrupted day.

Liam Plunkett got England up and running today when he angled one across Chris Gayle, whose footwork is genrally limited, nicked one through to the grateful Matt Prior.

Sidebottom then showcased his talents for exploiting the opposition when conditions are helpful as he removed Sylvester Joseph with his fifth LBW decision of the Test, and Devon Smith, who edged to Strauss. The Notts seamer showed why he has been recalled, continually pitching the ball up and giving it every chance to swing while bowling consistently good lines.

The partnership of Runako Morton and Dwayne Bravo offered West Indies brief hope, as they combined for a 63-run partnership.

That was until Morton failed to get on top of a short ball from Harmison and skied it to Prior to claim a regulation catch by the stumps. The wicket in effect ending any resistance the dishevelled looking visitors had, in terms of partnerships, as an end was opened up.

Denesh Ramdin received a harsh looking LBW decision from umpire Asad Rauf, Hawkeye suggesting the ball would have gone on to miss leg stump. However, Harmison is currently in no position to question fortunate decisions, and gratefully accepted his 194th career Test wicket.

The paceman from Ashington showed signs as this game wore on that he is getting closer to returning to the fast, hostile bowler England have been missing in recent times, clocking deliveries in excess of the 90 mph mark.

Bravo continued to show his ability with the bat, as he registered West Indies only half century of the match mixing good concentration with a sound technique. His fifty came up after only 61 balls, including a majestic six over the long off region from Monty Panesar.

The spinner was to gain his revenge with a clever piece of bowling as Bravo spooned one to Plunkett at mid off.

West Indies were duly put out of their misery the next ball, when Harmison banged another short ball in and Jerome Taylor rather awkwardly attempted a pull, only to see the ball deflect, via his shoulder, and gently onto the stumps.

It saw England register their first Test win since August of last year, and the confidence they will take from this against an under prepared and poor travelling side like the West Indies, you get the feeling the next win is not too far away.

Missing the experience of Shiv Chanderpaul clearly hampered West Indies preparations, as did Sarwan’s unfortunate injury, but the batsman that did play will be only too aware of their deficiencies in this game. Too many loose shots and technical inadequacies will give the coaching staff a busy time before the sides do battle again at Old Trafford.

England 570-7 declared
Kevin Pietersen 226, Michael Vaughan 103, Matt Prior 75
Cory Collymore 2-110, Daren Powell 2-153

West Indies 149
Devon Smith 26, Dwayne Bravo 23, Jermaine Lawson 23*
Ryan Sidebottom 4-42, Liam Plunkett 3-35

West Indies 141
Dwayne Bravo 52, Runako Morton 25
Ryan Sidebottom 4-44, Steven Harmison 3-37

England won by an innings and 283 runs

Cricket Web Player of the Match Ryan Sidebottom – 4-42 & 4-44

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