Tue, Jun 12, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Third Test heading for a draw as rain wipes out session

AFP, BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND

The third Test between England and the West Indies was heading toward a draw after rain prevented any play before lunch on the final day at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, yesterday.

England were 221 for five in reply to the West Indies’ first innings 426, a deficit of 205 runs and needing a further 56 to avoid the follow-on, in a match where the first two days had already been washed out completely.

Ian Bell was 76 not out and nightwatchman Steven Finn 0 not out.

The West Indies’ total owed much to Tino Best’s whirlwind 95, the highest score ever by a Test match No. 11 batsman.

Best faced just 112 balls with a six and 14 fours on Sunday’s fourth day.

Sir Vivian Richards, one of cricket’s greatest batsmen and a former West Indies captain, was delighted by Best’s innings.

“If this match was being played in the Caribbean everyone would have been in the trees or on top of the pavilion, they’d be going mad,” he told the BBC. “People love to see this type of innings. All praise to him.”

In 2004, Best became something of a joke figure in England when he was stumped off Ashley Giles in a Test at Lord’s just after being urged to “mind the windows” by Andrew Flintoff.

“Nnnoooooooooo Tino! He went for the windows to reach his 100!” retired all-rounder Flintoff told his Twitter followers Sunday. “Well played sir, great entertainment take a bow.”

Together with wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, who made 107 not out, Best shared a partnership of 143 — the third-highest 10th-wicket stand in Test history and a West Indies record.

Then, before Sunday’s close, fast bowler Best removed both England captain Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Bairstow.

England, with the series already won at 2-0 in their favor, controversially chose to rest first-choice new-ball pairing James Anderson and Stuart Broad from the match.

In their places came fellow seamers Graham Onions and Finn.

Durham quick Onions, who two years ago suffered a career-threatening back injury, took four wickets for 88 runs in 29.3 overs, with Finn managing three for 109 in 32.

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