West Indies rock England to leave Test in balance
Bridgetown (Barbados), May 3 (IANS) The West Indies compensated for a dismal batting effort with a sensational bowling display against England following a riveting second day's play when 18 wickets tumbled in the third and final cricket Test here on Saturday.
The hosts required just 43 minutes in the morning session on Saturday to wind up the England first innings for 257. Jerome Taylor took all three wickets to fall.
But the Caribbean outfit slumped to a disappointing 189 all out half-hour after tea, despite Jermaine Blackwood's aggressive 85.
Trailing by 68, the West Indies then rocked England in their second innings, to leave the visitors tottering on 39 for five at the close. England have a lead of 107 runs heading into Sunday's third day at the Kensington Oval.
The West Indies were again inspired by pacer Taylor who claimed two for 16 in an incisive, six-over opening spell with the new ball.
Left-hander Gary Ballance, who ended 12 not out, has been the only England batsman to reach double figures.
Taylor, operating from the southern end, got the breakthrough in the fourth over when he trapped Jonathan Trott (9) to extend the right-hander's nightmare run in the series.
Trott has scored 13 runs in his last five outings and 72 in the series.
In the next over, fast bowler Shannon Gabriel claimed captain Alistair Cook for four to a catch by Kraigg Brathwaite at second slip.
Taylor ensured Ian Bell suffered the disgrace of scoring a 'pair', when he had the right-hander leg before wicket (lbw) to a full, straight delivery.
Tottering on 18 for three, Ballance and Joe Root (1) kept the Windies attack at bay for a half-hour, adding a mere 10 runs for the fourth wicket.
However, seamer Jason Holder replaced Taylor and claimed Root in his second over, caught at first slip for one by Darren Bravo.
Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul completed an excellent session for the Windies when he prised out left-hander Moeen Ali (8).
No such enterprise was envisioned when the hosts slumped to 37 for three at lunch, undermined by a three-wicket burst from the clinical James Anderson who finished with six for 42.
The lanky seamer started the rout when he had Brathwaite caught at third slip by Chris Jordan without scoring, off the second ball of the innings.
Debutant Barbadian Shai Hope (5) lasted 16 deliveries before edging to Cook for a low catch at first slip. Umpires reviewed the catch and ruled the batsman out though replays proved inconclusive.
With the West Indies struggling at five for two, Marlon Samuels seemed intent on counter-attacking, with two silky off-side boundaries off seamer Stuart Broad.
He had scored nine when he offered no stroke to one from Anderson that came back and was palpably lbw, in the sixth over before lunch.
Bravo, dropped by Cook at first slip off Broad in the fourth over before he had scored, never settled. He steered the third ball after lunch from off-spinner Moeen to Jordan at first slip without adding to his nine runs at the break.
Blackwood, who scored his fourth Test fifty, then put on 45 for the fifth wicket with veteran left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul (25) as the West Indies battled back.
All told, the right-handed Blackwood faced 88 balls and counted 11 fours and four sixes.
Part-time off-spinner Root ended the stand 50 minutes after lunch when he had Chanderpaul brilliantly taken one-handed by Jordan at slip, diving to his right at 82 for five.
Captain Denesh Ramdin (13), Holder (5) failed to trouble the visitors.
On 124 for seven, 15 minutes before tea, Blackwood and Veerasammy Permaul (18) put on 38 for the eighth wicket before the last three wickets fell in the half-hour after tea for 27 runs.
Earlier, England had added just 17 runs after resuming the day on 240 for seven, with Taylor picking three for 36 and Holder (2-34) and Gabriel (2-47) claiming two apiece.