Toiling England are set for a final day assault
Published 10/03/2009 | 00:00
Andrew Strauss' England turned to desperate measures in their bid to win the final Test and square the series against West Indies.
Having finally dismissed West Indies deep into the final session of the penultimate day of a Test campaign they appear destined to lose, the tourists closed on 80 for three at Queen's Park Oval after trying to force the pace against the clock.
Hamstrung by half-a-dozen missed chances in the field, and some stiff umpiring decisions against them, Strauss' team spent five hours toiling before the hosts were bowled out for 544.
That meant England gained just a two-run advantage on first innings and were left to manufacture a position from which they might have a sniff of victory.
Their hopes became slimmer by the over, however, as overnight pair Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brendan Nash both hit hundreds after being given lives.
Chanderpaul, who finished unbeaten on 147, was also the beneficiary of a controversial decision by Australian umpire Daryl Harper to overturn his original judgement of a caught behind appeal off Graeme Swann, eight runs short of three figures.
Strauss also survived before the close when West Indies were convinced he had nicked behind off Lionel Baker in the fourth over and were left enraged when he remained.
He did not do so for long, however, as he chipped back to opposite number Chris Gayle, on to bowl as early as the fifth over despite a grade one tear to his right hamstring.
Owais Shah then perished in the next over, caught behind flashing at a wide delivery from Baker, as England wobbled.
The stage was set for Kevin Pietersen's improvisations and he raced to an impressive unbeaten 34 with typical wanders outside off-stump to flick through the leg-side.
Alastair Cook lost a challenge against a caught behind off Ryan Hinds 15 minutes before the close but West Indies used up their final review later in the same over as Paul Collingwood survived a leg before shout.