Sun, Jul 25, 2004 - Page 23 News List

Ashley Giles keeps England ahead of W. Indies batsmen


Left-arm spinner Ashley Giles took three top-order wickets Friday to halt a West Indies comeback and keep England in control after two days of the opening test at Lord's.

The 31-year-old broke a century opening stand and controversially added the prized wicket of captain Brian Lara as the visitors slumped to 208 for four at stumps.

Giles was at three for 58 off 20 overs.

Earlier, Robert Key converted his overnight 167 to 221 and skipper Michael Vaughan notched 103 as the home team totaled 568 all out.

Key and Vaughan stretched their third-wicket stand to 165 as England resumed on 391 for two.

But the West Indies, behind a four-wicket haul from Barbados left-arm swing bowler Pedro Collins, took the last seven wickets for 41.

Collins, wicketless in his first 20 overs, ended with four for 113 off 24 overs. Medium pacer Dwayne Bravo supported with three for 74 on his debut.

The left-handed pair of Chris Gayle (66) and Devon Smith (45) added 118 for the first wicket as the West Indies began well.

But Giles energized a capacity crowd of 28,000 with a wicket blitz midway through the final session.

The Warwickshire man broke through when Smith, forcing off the back foot when he should have been forward, dragged back onto his stumps.

One run later, Giles claimed Gayle as he swept across the line. Umpire Daryl Harper gave the lbw decision in favor of the bowler.

Smith struck seven boundaries off 62 balls in 1 1/2 hours.

Gayle, whose half century came off just 44 balls, hit eight fours in 101 minutes off 83 deliveries.

Fast bowler Matthew Hoggard kept the momentum with England as he added the scalp of West Indies vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan at 127 for three.

Sarwan was unconvincing throughout his 12-ball stay and was plumb lbw as he shuffled across his stumps.

Giles then collected Lara's wicket as umpire Harper upheld an appeal for a wicketkeeper's catch.

Left-hander Lara pulled the bat inside the line and the ball appeared to brush his front pad on the way to Geraint Jones.

Lara looked skywards for several seconds after seeing Harper's upraised finger and kept his pads on for the remainder of the day, watching from the balcony of the pavilion.

The 35-year-old saw Shivnarine Chanderpaul and rookie Bravo add an unbroken 69 in 79 minutes.

Left-hander Chanderpaul stroked six fours in an unbeaten 41 off 68 balls. Bravo counted four boundaries in a composed 30 not out off 56 deliveries.

Key molded his maiden test century into his highest first-class score before he fell 40 minutes before lunch. The Kent right-hander slapped a square cut to backward point to provide Bravo with his first test wicket.

Key struck 31 boundaries in a knock that spanned 288 balls in just over seven hours.

Graham Thorpe (19) was Bravo's second victim and Andrew Flintoff (6) also perished late in the morning session.

Thorpe chased a wide ball and edged to wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs while Flintoff dragged an Omari Banks off-break onto his stumps.

England lunched at 534 for five but a collapse was completed 45 minutes after the interval as Collins impressed with his swing.

Jones was the 27-year-old's first scalp, chasing an outswinger and nibbling a catch to Jacobs.

Giles followed in similar style in Collins' next over. His edged drive was snared two-handed to his right by Smith at second slip.

Vaughan passed his 12th test century in his 47th test before he was the third batsman to fall to a Collins outswinger. The 29-year-old edged to Smith at first slip after stroking 12 boundaries off 154 balls in just under four hours.

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