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Thread: The West Indies to Glory (note oxymoron)

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Samuel_Vimes's Avatar
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    The West Indies to Glory (note oxymoron)

    After a decent 2002-03 season, including an indifferent tour to India with only a draw in the third test match as a highlight and a World Cup campaign which went with only one loss until the semi-finals, the WICB were intent on revenging themselves when New Zealand came to visit.

    First test at Kingston:

    West Indies XI: RR Sarwan, R Samuels, S Chanderpaul, *BC Lara, CH Gayle, J Adams, +R Jacobs, N McGarrell, M Dillon, C Stuart, R King.

    The crowd at Sabina Park were let down by a dismal first-innings performance, where only Brian Lara's 57 was anything to celebrate. The other batsmen got scores below thirty, and only five managed double-digit figures. The bowling wasn't too penetrative, either, and especially Merv Dillon and Neil McGarrell had off-days. In contrast to the West Indians, most of the Kiwi batsmen played well, and that took them to a first-innings lead of 166. Despite Sarwan's knock of 111 in the second innings, the other batsmen failed again, and the WIndies could only post a target of 123 - easily made by Bell, Vincent, Sinclair and McMillan. Only worry for the Kiwis was that Sinclair got hit by a nasty ball and was out with a fracture.

    WI 175 & 288 lost to NZ 341 & 123/1.

    Second test at St John's:

    West Indies XI: RR Sarwan, R Samuels, S Chanderpaul, *BC Lara, CH Gayle, J Adams, +R Jacobs, M Nagamootoo, D Ramnarine, C Stuart, R King.
    12th Man: F Rose.

    New Zealand XI: M Bell, L Vincent, C McMillan, M Richardson, S Fleming, N Astle, C Cairns, A Tait, D Tuffey, S O'Connor, C Drum

    The West Indians had decided to drop both Mervyn Dillon and Neil McGarrell after both had a decidedly indifferent performance in Jamaica, and brought in Dinanath Ramnarine and Mahendra Nagamootoo as replacements. Especially Ramnarine had impressed during the World Cup in South Africa and also during the Indian tour last year, while Nagamootoo took the chances he was given while in South Africa. He had also taken a three-for in a tour match against New Zealand, and was looking for more. The opener Sherwyn Campbell, with an ODI average in the 70s last season, was still out with a knee injury, as was Corey Collymore. and sorely missed in this series.

    Lara lost the toss and the New Zealanders chose to field on a cloudy first day in Antigua. The pitch had something in it for seamers, but nothing at all for the spinners. Therefore, the New Zealanders with no seamers would like to get something in early.

    However, a gritty but unspectacular opening partnership between Sarwan and Rob Samuels didn't exactly inspire confidence into the Kiwis. They made 87 together, Samuels clearly taking the job as attacking batsman, before managing to get bowled by O'Connor. Chanderpaul and Lara supplied Sarwan with decent support, making scores in the thirties and forties, while Sarwan himself went on to make 87 off 238 balls before going off on 217/3. That triggered a mini-collapse, as Brian Lara and Jimmy Adams went inside 5 overs for 11 runs. However, Chris Gayle made an effort to stabilised the innings together with Jacobs and Nagamootoo, making a slow and not exactly confidence-inspiring 38 off 131 balls. The West Indies nevertheless made a decent first innings score of 320, O'Connor being the pick of the bowlers by making a five-wicket-haul for 65. The only minor points to be taken against the West Indians were the slips in concentration that caused a number of batsmen to get out on 30s and 40s.

    WI 1st innings: Sarwan b Cairns 87, Samuels b O'Connor 55, Chanderpaul c Astle b O'Connor 31, Lara b Tuffey 41, Gayle lbw b O'Connor 38, Adams lbw b Drum 2, Jacobs lbw b Tuffey 23, Nagamootoo lbw b O'Connor 10, Ramnarine b O'Connor 3, Stuart lbw b Tait 8, King not out 5. Total 320.

    The Kiwis started their reply with Matt Bell firing 15 off 21 before being bowled by Reon King. Howver, Lou Vincent and Craig McMillan built up a solid partnership of 81 before McMillan got a bottom edge back to Stuart - caught and bowled. Stuart and King continued to bowl well, taking the first six wickets and pressuring the batsmen a great deal, and the Kiwis were in disarray at 187/6. Vincent and Tait tried to rebuild the innings with a decent 37 partnership for the 7th, but Nagamootoo and Ramnarine did wonders with the old ball, and the notion of not taking the new one was genius. Tait, Vincent, O'Connor and Drum fell for three runs off 34 balls, with Nagamootoo cutting the tail nicely and earning three wickets on the now quite rapidly wearing pitch. The West Indians had earned an unlikely first innings lead of 93 before lunch, and were looking to defend themselves to a high target.

    WI bowling - total of 220: King 22-1-68-3, Stuart 24-3-67-3, Nagamootoo 16.5-6-37-3, Ramnarine 20-2-45-1.

    However, Ramnaresh Sarwan went for 2 just after lunch, caught by Richardson at mid off off the bowling of O'Connor, who seriously troubled the batsmen today. Samuels got out caught behind after a very loud and clear nick, and the WIndies were 155 ahead at tea. Chanderpaul, again, failed to comply under pressure, and got clean bowled for 38, and Gayle got caught at midwicket for 2. Lara got hit in the ribs by a nasty one in the 42nd over, and in the next over, Adams was dropped on four. Then, Brian Lara was adjuged lbw to what looked like a high ball, and the West Indies were 86 for 5. However, Jacobs and Adams steadied the innings, and at stumps they had put on 37 for that fifth wicket.

    In the early morning, Adams and Jacobs continued to put on some vital runs, and even though Fleming dropped another slips catch, the WIndies continued on their way to a decent target. The partnership wasn't broken before Ridley Jacobs miscued a ball from Adam Tait, and went for 31. The umpire remained bribed and didn't see that Nagamootoo was lbw just before lunch, and the WIndies went at 172 for 6. The afternoon session, however, saw some interesting developments. A number of lbws were turned down, and Nagamootoo and Adams put on a further 94 for that wicket before tea. Another run was taken before Nagamootoo was out lbw to a very stragne shot, two runs short of his fifty, but Adams continued to make a century off 263 balls. Ramnarine waited for 22 balls before not edging a run, having already been dropped once by Fleming. However, he did somehow manage to score 36 not out as well.

    The West Indies declared on the morning of the 5th day (bit of a mistake there) with a massive lead of 434. Jimmy Adams ended up as top scorer with his slow 125 not out, but both he and Ramnarine were very lucky to get off the hook at the end.

    WI 2nd innings: Sarwan c Richardson b O'Connor 2, Samuels c Vincent b Tait 13, Chanderpaul b Tuffey 38, Lara lbw b Cairns 20, Gayle c Bell b O'Connor 2, Adams not out 125, Jacobs b Tait 31, Nagamootoo lbw O'Connor 48, Ramnarine not out 36. Total 341 for 7 declared.

    The morning started well for the West Indies, with Matthew Bell going in the third over with an edge that was easily caught by the captain at first slip for a duck. However, the next overs proved harder, and even though King had Vincent dropped off a quite hard opportunity, the Kiwis were staging a fightback. Vincent had another wild slash outside off in King's last over, the seventh, but the appeal was denied. Another close appeal against McMillan was denied just before lunch, but the WIndies could simply not get that final breakthrough. 98 for 1 at lunch.

    In King's first over after lunch, Vincent got rapped on the pads, but it was a bit high for the umpire to accept. Finally, Craig McMillan got too aggressive and Jacobs managed to hold the catch, meaning that McMillan was out for 88. Still, the WIndies needed eight more wickets in little more than three hours. Mark Richardson did well coming in at four, scoring 29 before being caught at Adams at midwicket just before tea - but Stephen Fleming, who came in, opened with a sweep shot to square leg for six. At tea, the Kiwis were 214 for 3.

    The evening session was a sorry one for the WIndies, with the Kiwis blocking their way to an easy draw. The series could now only be drawn, and the West Indian bowling didn't exactly look promising.

    WI bowling: King 23-7-51-1, Stuart 21-2-77-0, Nagamootoo 23-7-60-0, Ramnarine 28-9-100-2.
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    Re: The West Indies to Glory (note oxymoron)

    Originally posted by Samuel_Vimes
    WI bowling: King 23-7-51-1, Stuart 21-2-77-0, Nagamootoo 23-7-60-0, Ramnarine 28-9-100-2.

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    Third test at Bridgetown:

    Merv Dillon called up to the squad again, in place of the eternal 12th man Frank Rose.
    West Indies XI: Sarwan, Samuels, Chanderpaul, *Lara, Gayle, Adams, +Jacobs, Nagamootoo, Ramnarine, Dillon, King. 12th Man: Stuart.

    Stephen Fleming won the toss again, and decided to bat. The Kiwis batted well against the new ball, and especially Bell looked in control. Then came the spinner, Ramnarine, and bowled some decent line and length before getting him clean bowled with a lovely in-swinger in the 12th over (38 for 1). However, Craig McMillan came on and did decently until he also got beaten by the spin and was clean bowled - though this time by Nagamootoo. Just before lunch, Mills should have been caught at short leg, but Jimmy Adams dropped it. The spin pair toiled again for a number of overs, until Lou Vincent decided to bottom edge a ball that was going well outside leg, and Sarwan was thankful to catch him at mid on for 58 (120 for 3). Lara then tried the seamers for a while, but they were disappointingly uneffective, and Ramnarine and Nagamootoo had to do the job again. A good ball on middle and off did the trick, beating Richardson for spin and sending him out for 26 (179 for 4). Only a few overs later, Kyle Mills survived a rap on the pads that was perhaps a bit too high to be given out, but he was given out on 49 three balls later to a ball that kept low. At tea, the Kiwis were 190 for 5, and were not exactly in control. Merv Dillon was brought back after tea, and his first over went for ten, mainly due to Nathan Astle running riot. However, he got Fleming to play at a ball that swung into him, and there was certainly more than a stifled appeal from the WIndies. Dillon had a decent chance at caught and bowled about thirty minutes into the third session, but he grassed the catch.

    After a disappointing evening session, Dinanath Ramnarine finally got the vital breakthrough when Astle was caught at square leg by Nagamootoo. This summed up the day nicely, the two main wicket-takers cooperating to take one of the better batsmen. New Zealand went off at 289 for 6. Vettori and Fleming were not expected to be a major threat, but they did notch up a good partnership. However, Merv Dillon finally got a deserved wicket when he managed to hold on to that bottom edge from Fleming, who was out for 56. Nagamootoo then held on nicely to another good ball from Dillon, which Tuffey wanted to hit through covers but instead got an edge to second slip. Shayne O'Connor then got clean bowled for a duck from two balls, and Dillon ended with three wickets off four balls. Eventually, Reon King got a wicket too, as the ball caught the bottom edge and landed in Ridley Jacobs' hands. The Kiwis were all out for 324 - a bit too great a target, thought most people in Barbados. Nevertheless, Sarwan and Samuels got off to a great start, especially Samuels who hit twelve off Tuffey three overs before lunch.

    WI bowling - total of 324: King 18.5-2-57-1, Dillon 25-4-82-3, Ramnarine 39-9-97-4, Nagamootoo 32-7-84-2.

    Samuels and Sarwan continued the rout after lunch, and even though Samuels was lucky to get off the hook when he was dropped in the slips on about 60, he continued and went on to hit a magnificent six through covers off Vettori. For Sarwan, however, 111 seems to be an unlucky number. His highest knock is 111, and today he got out when the partnership had reached 111. The next ball, Chanderpaul edged to first slip Fleming for a golden duck, and West Indies were struggling a bit. The hat-trick ball, though, was well worked away to mid on for four by Samuels. However, at tea Lara and Samuels had managed to come back, and the WIndies were only 184 behind. A couple of overs after tea, Samuels completed his splendid knock with a four through mid off, and the century was up. He eventually got out to a good turner from Vettori for 129. Lara and Gayle continued on the decent work though, and at stumps the WIndies were 218 for 3.

    Chris Gayle managed to get out early in the morning, clean bowled by Tuffey, and then Brian Lara got a leading edge back to Vincent for 42. Adams and Jacobs tried to rebuild, but Jimmy Adams messed it up and got lbw to O'Connor with a ball that pitched on middle and leg. Jacobs and Nagamootoo were looking very good and in their game, but Jacobs took one risk too many and was clean bowled by Tuffey. Shortly thereafter, Nagamootoo was lbw to Drum, Ramnarine caught behind from a very spinning delivery by Vettori, but Dillon and King somehow managed to rebuild the innings and give West Indies a first innings lead of 24 before tea.

    West Indies 1st innings - total of 348: Sarwan b Tuffey 33, Samuels b Vettori 129, Chanderpaul b Fleming c Tuffey 0, Lara c Vincent b O'Connor 42, Gayle b Tuffey 9, Adams lbw b O'Connor 16, R Jacobs b Tuffey 22, Nagamootoo lbw b Drum 20, Ramnarine c Vincent b Vettori 7, Dillon not out 32, King b Vettori 13.

    Lou Vincent started well, and hit two fours off Reon King's bowling in the opening overs. However, Merv Dillon succeeded to get him out with a bit of a dodgy lbw appeal, and he was gone for 9 (11 for 1). Bell then edged a short ball from King to second slip, where Nagamootoo thankfully held on to it, and the Kiwis were deep into it (17 for 2). And Mills was clearly being troubled by the bounce, beaten once before he edged it to first slip Brian Lara (17 for 3) - and the West Indies players started to look happier. McMillan was also easily beaten, getting a bottom edge to Ridley Jacobs in Dillon's fifth over (21 for 4). At that time, Merv Dillon had figures of 5-5-0-2! Fleming tried to cut King for four, but was instead caught at cover point by Ramnarine for nothing (24 for 5). However, Lara's aggressive field backfired after that, and Richardson and Astle could make promising starts. Astle, in fact, looked very promising before he charged down the wicket to a short one, got beaten, and Jacobs had him stumped off Nagamootoo's bowling (69 for 6). A little bit later, Ramnarine had a half-hearted appeal against Richardson which the umpire gladly accepted, sending him off at 21 (77 for 7). After that, Vettori and Tuffey resorted to defending their way to stumps, and the Kiwis went back to the pavilion with 91 runs on the scoreboard - having collected three ducks on the way.

    In the first over of the fourth day, Ramnarine had more successes as he collected the wicket of Daryl Tuffey with relative ease - an edge which was taken close in with his fifth ball of the day (91 for 8). Shayne O'Connor tried, but there was just no way he was going to get runs today, and he eventually got bowled by Nagamootoo for 9 (116 for 9). Then Vettori got a bottom edge straight back to the bowler, Ramnarine gladly caught it, and the Kiwis were all out for a rather too disappointing score of 116.

    WI bowling - total of 116: King 8-1-25-3, Dillon 8-5-23-2, Ramnarine 15.2-5-29-3, Nagamootoo 15-6-30-2.

    The West Indies needed 93 to win, and even on a difficult pitch nobody thought that total was going to pose a serious threat. Even thought Samuels was slightly troubled by Drum just before lunch, playing at a ball which went miles outside off stump, he then scored a nice four off Tuffey in the next over. He even survived a close lbw appeal from Drum late on. At lunch, the West Indies were 39 for 0, and cruising to the victory. The afternoon session was marred by very defensive cricket, as the West Indians knew they had all the time in the world. Ron Samuels hit the winning four to covers off a good ball, bringing up his fifty off 158 balls, and ensuring a 10-wicket West Indian win and a drawn Test series.

    WI batting - total of 95 for 0: Sarwan not out 39, Samuels not out 50.

    Series averages, West Indies:
    Batting: Samuels 299 @ 59.8, Adams 170 @ 56.7, Sarwan 279 @ 55.8, Lara 182 @ 36.4, Chanderpaul 135 @ 27.0, Nagamootoo 78 @ 26.0, Gayle 96 @ 24.0, Dillon 46 @ 23.0, Ramnarine 46 @ 23.0, Jacobs 78 @ 15.6, McGarrell 20 @ 10.0, King 21 @ 7.0, Stuart 11 @ 3.7.

    Bowling: Sarwan 3 @ 12.0, King 12 @ 25.1, Ramnarine 10 @ 27.1, Nagamootoo 7 @ 30.1, Stuart 6 @ 44.3, Dillon 5 @ 47.0.

    In other cricketing news, Sri Lanka successfully chased 284 to clinch victory over the Aussies in the VB series. Jayawardene's partnership of 206 with Russel Arnold did the trick, and they are now second in the points table. Pakistan lead Sri Lanka on run rate, both with eight points, and they are four points ahead of Australia, who now need to beat Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the next three days to clinch their finals place. South Africa were reeling 92 runs behind England in the fourth test after the first innings, but some suicidal batting from England gave the South Africans the possibility to chase a modest target of 213, which the South African batsmen got with ease to go 3-0 up in the 5-Test series.



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