England were set a target of 108 to win the second Test after dismissing the West Indies for 165 in their second innings on the fourth day at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England, yesterday.
Tim Bresnan took four wickets for 37 runs in 17 overs, to follow his four in the first innings, while fellow seamer James Anderson took four for 43 in 20.1.
Anderson ended the innings when he had last man Ravi Rampaul caught by Bresnan in the slips for a duck.
Marlon Samuels was 76 not out after also top-scoring in the West Indies’ first innings with 117.
Samuels resisted England’s attack once more to give the tourists the merest glimmer of hope.
The West Indies were 141 for eight at lunch on the fourth day, but considering they had resumed on 61 for six it represented something of a recovery, although England were still on course for a victory that would give them an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series after a five-wicket win at Lord’s.
Both Samuels and West Indies captain Darren Sammy, who each made centuries during a seventh-wicket stand of 204 in the first innings, were unbeaten at the start of play.
Samuels was 13 not out and Sammy 0 not out.
They made a positive start, with Samuels clipping Bresnan for a boundary off his pads, while at the other end Sammy drove him through extra-cover for four.
Samuels, who had been involved in some fiery verbal jousts with Anderson, later square-drove the Lancashire paceman for another stylish boundary and the Jamaican took the West Indies to 100 by fluently driving an over-pitched Stuart Broad delivery through the covers for an even better four.
Sammy too went for his shots, slamming Bresnan for a boundary behind point, but Bresnan trapped Sammy leg before wicket — his fourth leg before of the innings — for 25.
Sammy reviewed the decision and replays showed the ball, which hit him on the back leg, would have just clipped the top of the stumps.
As Aleem Dar had already given Sammy out, the Pakistani umpire’s call was upheld and the West Indies were 110 for seven after their two best batsmen of the match had only added 49 this time around.
Kemar Roach struck several fours before he was trapped leg before by Anderson for 14, although England had to review umpire Asad Rauf’s original not-out decision, and the West Indies were 139 for eight.
England captain Andrew Strauss, occasionally setting defensive fields with just the one slip, equally curiously opted against using Graeme Swann’s off-spin before lunch.
On Sunday evening, Bresnan insisted England could not take anything for granted.
The Yorkshire all-rounder struck a useful 39 not out as England made 428 for a first-innings lead of 58 and the fast-medium bowler then took three wickets for nine runs in 26 balls as the West Indies slumped to 61 for six at the close of the third day.
“We know Sammy and Samuels can put a stand on, we’ve still got a lot of work ahead to get those wickets,” Bresnan told Sky Sports. “There’s still a lot of hard work to do.”
Bresnan’s place was under threat after a return of one for 144 at Lord’s.
“At Lord’s I felt great. I thought I was hitting my straps and putting the ball where I wanted, I was just a bit unlucky, but that’s the game, you keep doing those things and I got my rewards in the last five overs today [Sunday],” Bresnan said.
Reverse swing helped Bresnan and the rest of England’s attack expose again the weakness of the West Indies’ top order.