Tue, Mar 03, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Windies derail England’s attempt to even up series

AFP , BRIDGETOWN

Sri Lankan batsman Prasanna Jayawardene plays a shot during the second day of the second and final Test match against Pakistan in Lahore, Pakistan, yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

England’s bid for a series-leveling victory in the fourth Test against the West Indies was derailed on Sunday when Ramnaresh Sarwan hit his highest Test score and Denesh Ramdin his maiden Test century to give their side a 149-run lead.

Sarwan hit the top score of 291 and Ramdin supported with 166 to allow the West Indies to declare on 749 for nine, replying to England’s first innings total of 600 for six declared, on the fourth day at the Kensington Oval.

Batting a second time, England reached six without loss in the two overs available before stumps.

For close to four hours, England were powerless as Sarwan and Ramdin added a record 261 for the sixth wicket at this ground.

The visitors also found themselves staring the down the highest team total on the ground for almost six decades.

England had to wait until 10 minutes before tea to gain their first breakthrough, when they removed a tired Sarwan.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann took five wickets for 165 runs from 50.4 overs and James Anderson finished with three for 125 from 37 overs. Sarwan completed his second Test double-century to take West Indies to 483 for five at lunch after the hosts resumed from their overnight total of 398 for five.

By tea, West Indies reached 607 for six with Sidebottom finally dismissing Sarwan just before the break with the sixth over of the third new ball.

The little right-hander drove lazily at a full-length delivery and was bowled off the inside edge.

Sarwan spent 11 hours, 39 minutes at the crease and struck 30 fours and two sixes from 452 balls.

West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Ramdin glanced a ball from Sidebottom to deep fine-leg for a single to reach triple figures in Tests for the first time.

S africa v australia

AFP, JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

Australia were on target for victory, but South Africa gave themselves an outside chance of salvaging the first Test on the fourth day at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.

South Africa, set an improbable 454 to win, were 178 for two at the close.

Australia collapsed to 207 all out in their second innings as South Africa fought back on their best day of the match.

But Australia’s dominance of the first three days left them well placed to bounce back from a home series defeat against the same opponents earlier in the season.

South Africa, who trailed by 246 runs on the first innings, started solidly in their second turn with the bat, with captain Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie putting on 76 for the first wicket.

McKenzie was caught behind off Mitchell Johnson for 35, but Smith and Hashim Amla batted confidently in a second wicket stand of 54 to raise hopes of a come from behind win for South Africa, even better than their 414-run chase in the first Test of the Australian series in Perth last December.

But Ben Hilfenhaus struck a crucial blow when Smith top-edged an attempted pull to mid-on after hitting 69 off 110 balls.

Phil Hughes top-scored for Australia with 75.

Sri Lanka v pakistan

AFP, LAHORE, Pakistan

Thilan Samaraweera became just the sixth batsmen in Test cricket to notch a double-century in consecutive matches as Sri Lanka made Pakistan toil in the second and final Test yesterday.

The 31-year-old followed his 231 in the drawn first Test with 214 to lift Sri Lanka to 606 in their first innings and shared a record 207-run stand for the fifth wicket with Tillakaratne Dilshan (145).

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