Tag Archives: narine

Bangladesh crush West Indies in first ODI in Khulna

Tamim and Anamul stand helps Bangladesh crush Windies to take ODI series lead

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UPDATED:

20:08 GMT, 30 November 2012

Bangladesh today thrashed West Indies by seven wickets to win the first one-day international in Khulna.

After dismissing the visitors for just 199, Bangladesh cruised to their victory target with 58 balls to spare.

Openers Tamim Iqbal (58) and Anamul Haque (41) set the tone with a stand of 88 for the first wicket, with Naeem Islam then making exactly 50 not out as the hosts cantered to an easy win.

All too easy: Bangladesh batsman Naeem Islam hit a half century in Khulna

All too easy: Bangladesh batsman Naeem Islam hit a half century in Khulna

The victory target would have been even smaller but for a fightback from Sunil Narine (36) and Ravi Rampaul (25) after the West Indies slumped to 133 for eight.

Windies skipper Darren Sammy won the toss and opted to bat first, but there were no immediate fireworks from flamboyant opener Chris Gayle, with just three runs in the first three overs.

Lendl Simmons scored the first boundary of the day off the 23rd ball and that seemed to inspire Gayle, who plundered 14 off the fifth over, with two fours and a six off Mashrafe Mortaza.

Abul Hasan had Simmons dropped on 12 before Gayle took another maximum and two more fours off the over.

Shotmaker: Anamul Haque hits out at The Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium

Shotmaker: Anamul Haque hits out at The Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium

Mortaza removed Simmons for 13 in the first over after the powerplay and Sohag Gazi followed with the prize scalp of Gayle (35 from 40 balls) with only his second ball in ODIs.

Gazi sent Marlon Samuels packing for a duck, but Darren Bravo set about rebuilding the innings as he took 16 off Naeem's only over.

Kieron Pollard (15), Devon Thomas (16), Sammy (10) and Andre Russell (nought) all failed to make significant scores, while Bravo's entertaining knock ended on 35.

That left the score at 133 for eight but Narine, with 36 in 45 deliveries, and Rampaul made a major contribution at the back end of the innings.
Gazi (four for 29) eventually wrapped things up when he made Narine his final victim.

Swashbuckling: Bangladesh's Tameem Iqbal cuts to the boundary

Swashbuckling: Bangladesh's Tameem Iqbal cuts to the boundary

Bangladesh's reply got off to the ideal start when Tamim smashed four fours and two sixes in making 58 from 51 balls before being caught off the bowling of Narine.

And Anamul struck seven boundaries in his 41 before being caught and bowled by Sammy.

That briefly gave West Indies hope but Naeem made a composed half-century and, after Nasir Hossain made a quickfire 28, Mushfiqur Rahim (16 not out) finished the match in style with a boundary in a final total of 201 for three.

West Indies win World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka

West Indies battle to glorious win over hosts Sri Lanka to win World Twenty20 title

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UPDATED:

17:08 GMT, 7 October 2012

Marlon Samuels inspired a West Indies fightback from the brink to deny Sri Lanka a home win and triumph themselves instead in the ICC World Twenty20 final.

Samuels' memorable 78 revived the Windies, after it appeared they had fluffed their lines terminally, on the way to an improbable 36-run victory at the Premadasa Stadium.

In a showpiece match which saw the majority of bowlers excel themselves, and almost all the batsmen stumble on centre stage, Samuels bucked the trend emphatically with a 56-ball innings containing six sixes and three fours on a fair pitch. How the West Indies needed him, though, after an embarrassing false start to their innings in which master blaster Chris Gayle could make only three from 16 balls.

On top of the world: West Indies players celebrate after winning the World Twenty20 final

On top of the world: West Indies players celebrate after winning the World Twenty20 final

We've only gone and done it: Dwayne Bravo celebrates as he holds a catch to clinch victory for the West Indies

We've only gone and done it: Dwayne Bravo celebrates as he holds a catch to clinch victory for the West Indies

Even after Samuels had transformed
proceedings, it seemed West Indies had almost certainly fallen short of a
winning score with their 137 for six. But it was to be Sri Lanka who
truly froze as what appeared a near routine chase featured a mid-innings
collapse of six wickets for 21 runs – for a final product of 101 all
out in the 19th over, and just the Windies' second International Cricket
Council global trophy since the 1979 World Cup.

But the match had started ominously
badly for them. Their famed big-hitters were simply nowhere to be seen
for the first half of their innings, as initial caution went to extremes
– and Ajantha Mendis (four for 12) took most advantage.

Delight: Sunil Narine celebrates with teammates after the run out of Jeevan Mendis

Delight: Sunil Narine celebrates with teammates after the run out of Jeevan Mendis

Angelo Mathews and Nuwan Kulasekera
used the new ball well, but it was still bizarre that the West Indies
should take until the fifth over to reach double-figures.

Their achingly slow start was under
way with four dot-balls from Mathews to Johnson Charles, who reacted to
the fifth by mistiming a catch to mid-off. After that wicket-maiden –
number three Samuels let the sixth ball, his first, go – there was not a
run on the board until Kulasekera bowled a wide halfway through the
second over.

All smiles: Denesh Ramdin celebrates with Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle after running out Thisara Perera

All smiles: Denesh Ramdin celebrates with Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle after running out Thisara Perera

Around 40 was probably par in
powerplay. But after Gayle took nine balls to get off the mark, with a
scampered single to mid-off – and was eventually lbw pushing forward to
Ajantha – the Windies could muster only 14 for two in their first six
overs.

They had a solitary boundary at that
point, punched past cover by Samuels off Kulasekera. It was not until
the 12th over, after Kulasekera had dropped Samuels at long-off on 20
off Jeevan Mendis, that birthday boy Dwayne Bravo added a first six to
go with the four – over midwicket off Akila Dananjaya.

Hitting out: Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene batting in Colombo

Hitting out: Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene batting in Colombo

But Samuels clubbed consecutive sixes
off the returning Lasith Malinga, over midwicket and extra-cover, and
then a third in the over, beyond long-on. The 13th over therefore cost
21 runs.

Bravo was to go to lbw, even though
bat might have been involved, pushing forward to Ajantha to end a
third-wicket stand of 59. Yet when Samuels brought up his 50 with his
fourth six, over long-on off Jeevan, West Indies were at last striking
to their potential.

Bowled: Tillakaratne Dilshan loses his wicket in Colombo

Bowled: Tillakaratne Dilshan loses his wicket in Colombo

It seemed too much had been left too
late, though, an impression underlined after Ajantha put himself on a
hat-trick – Kieron Pollard cutting, and well-held at backward point, and
Andre Russell lbw sweeping.

Samuels was eventually sixth out,
caught in the leg-side deep off Dananjaya, but captain Darren Sammy gave
his team a late lift by taking 16 off Kulasekera's final over. That
feelgood continued for the Windies when Ravi Rampaul produced an
excellent first delivery, knocking out Tillekeratne Dilshan's off-stump
to see him off for a duck.

Cheer we go: Sri Lankan bowler Ajantha Mendis celebrates after taking the wicket of West Indies batsman Andre Russell

Cheer we go: Sri Lankan bowler Ajantha Mendis celebrates after taking the wicket of West Indies batsman Andre Russell

The early breakthrough was a
necessary starting point for Sammy's men, but scoreboard pressure
appeared minimal while home captain Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar
Sangakkara were sharing a second-wicket stand of 42.

Not until Sangakkara picked out deep
midwicket with a pull at Samuel Badree did the Sri Lanka wobble kick in.
Mathews somehow managed to be bowled round his legs, off-stump, trying
to sweep Sammy.

Having a go: Kieron Pollard in batting action for the West Indies

Having a go: Kieron Pollard in batting action for the West Indies

The lynchpin himself, Jayawardene,
had already been dropped twice but could not make it count when he
reverse-swept Sunil Narine into Sammy's hands. Then the collapse went
into overdrive as Jeevan and then Thisara Perera were both haplessly
run-out.

There was no way back – despite some
late hitting from Kulasekera – after Lahiru Thirimanne, the last
specialist batsman, also bowed to the pressure by holing out in the
deep. A shell-shocked home crowd of 35,000 capacity had assembled to
cheer Sri Lanka all the way to their first 'World Cup' success since
1996.

Instead, they witnessed the
unlikeliest of denouements as West Indies got their hands on some
silverware to add at last to the Champions Trophy of 2004.

Showpiece: Sri Lanka face West Indies in the final

Showpiece: Sri Lanka face West Indies in the final

Hair we go: Sri Lankan fans cheer on their side at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo

Hair we go: Sri Lankan fans cheer on their side at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo

What England need to do to beat West Indies: Nasser Hussain

England expects: How to get on top of West Indies

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UPDATED:

21:44 GMT, 26 September 2012

Blow out Gayle early

West Indies opener Chris Gayle is a match-winner who could take the game away by smashing the bowlers as no-one else really can. England may remember how Steven Finn got him out pulling a short ball to deep fine leg when these teams met in the Twenty20 at Trent Bridge last summer and open with his pace, and use Graeme Swann’s off-spin at the other end. It can’t be easy pulling Finn with that big heavy bat that Gayle uses and Swann could bring slip and lbw into play because Gayle likes to have a look for an over before he goes on the attack.

Master blaster: Chris Gayle is a very destructive batsman

Master blaster: Chris Gayle is a very destructive batsman

Solve the mystery

England were able to pick ‘mystery spinner’ Sunil Narine in the third Test in the summer but on these pitches in the shorter game he is a different proposition. We have noticed that the position of his thumb is different for his off-spinner than the one that turns away from the right-hander and if England can pick that then they can use their feet and get to the pitch of the ball. But if they don’t know which way it is going to turn, the much-maligned sweep could become a valuable asset.

Work it out: Sunil Narine can be a threat with his mystery spin

Work it out: Sunil Narine can be a threat with his mystery spin

Read the conditions

Stuart Broad's side did not read the conditions quite right in Colombo because even though the pitch for the India match was a little drier, they decided not to play a second spinner against India. This time they have to forget about the opposition, look at the surface and if they think it will turn, then bring Samit Patel back. Indications are that the pitches at Pallekele will be true and the ball should come on to the bat which will suit England. Forget India, the tournament starts now for Broad and his men.

Read it right: Stuart Broad needs to understand the conditions

Read it right: Stuart Broad needs to understand the conditions

World Twenty20: England prepare for West Indies test in Super Eights

It's sink or swim: Broad comes out fighting after shaking off pool injury

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UPDATED:

00:09 GMT, 27 September 2012

There are ways of expressing your desire to play but smashing your captain in the face while attempting an expansive backstroke in the hotel pool, as Tim Bresnan did to Stuart Broad here, is surely taking the selectorial nudge a little too far.

The presence of a large watch on Bresnan’s wrist did not exactly soften the blow and Broad was sporting an obvious cut right in the middle of his forehead as he talked of inflicting some damage of his own on West Indies.

‘That was Bressie trying to swim,’ said Broad. ‘He got lost doing backstroke and a big titanium watch hit me on the forehead. It couldn’t be more central.’

Final preparations: England are hoping to win the next five matches to retain their crown

Final preparations: England are hoping to win the next five matches to retain their crown

Stretch it out: Broad is backing his batsmen to hake off the heavy defeat to India

Stretch it out: Broad is backing his batsmen to hake off the heavy defeat to India

The fact that Bresnan’s aim was not quite as true in the thrashing by India means he will probably miss out on the first Super Eight match here at the impressive Pallekele Stadium, rather than through any desire of the captain to get even. Samit Patel is set to replace him in a must-win game.

This is where the World Twenty20 gets serious, the first of three matches which will see England either put one foot in the semi-finals or be left needing to defeat New Zealand and Sri Lanka to keep their title defence alive.

Ready for battle: Stuart Broad shows off his scar from the swimming pool incident with Tim Bresnan

Ready for battle: Stuart Broad shows off his scar from the swimming pool incident with Tim Bresnan

It does not take much to get Darren Sammy to smile, but the West Indies captain was beaming when asked if he had noticed how badly England played spin in that thrashing by India.

‘We will definitely look to bowl spin at them and Sunil Narine is our trump card,’ said Sammy of the young Trinidadian who has made such an impact in Twenty20 cricket without proving himself in Tests. ‘He has done well for us and hopefully he’ll have a big impact against England.’

Chris Gayle will have a role with ball as well as bat and Marlon Samuels may turn his arm over if West Indies decide to throw 12 overs of spin at England.

It is certainly what England expect. ‘We are ready for that,’ said Broad. ‘It’s not as if we found out yesterday that people would bowl spin at us here. Every time an England team comes to the sub-continent the spin question is thrown up. The most important thing is that the guys have their options, a get-off-strike one and a boundary option.

And I know from training that we do. We just didn’t show it the other night.’

If England are to nullify Narine, much may depend on Eoin Morgan overcoming what has been a lean year for him and improving on a 2012 Twenty20 top score of just 27. With Kevin Pietersen elsewhere, Morgan needs to stand up now as England’s best and most experienced short-form batsman.

Big hitter: Chris Gayle is a threat for the West Indies

Big hitter: Chris Gayle is a threat for the West Indies

‘We know what a dangerous player Morgs is,’ said Broad. ‘He brings experience and calmness to our middle order and plays spin very well. He shines when he is under pressure and the team are under pressure now. Every game from now on is must-win.’

Broad believes the loss of early wickets was just as big a factor in the India defeat as seeing spin claim six victims in seven overs. England insist keeping wickets in hand can be just as important in Twenty20 cricket as the 50-over variety.

HOW THEY LINE UP

ENGLAND (probable): Kieswetter (wkt), Hales, Wright, Morgan, Buttler, Bairstow, Patel, Broad (capt), Swann, Finn, Dernbach.

WEST INDIES (probable): Gayle, Charles, Darren Bravo, Samuels, Pollard, Russell, Sammy (capt), Ramdin (wkt), Narine, Rampaul, Edwards.

TIME: 3pm at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele.

TV LIVE: on Sky Sports 1 from 2.30pm.

RADIO: 5 Live Sports Extra from 2.45pm.

PLUS: Sri lanka v new zealand 11am at the PICS, Pallekele.

‘The stats say that if you lose three wickets in the first six overs you basically lose the game,’ said Broad. ‘As a bowling unit we try to take wickets in the first six and as a batting unit you must have that risk-reward. Yes, you want to be scoring 40 plus in those opening overs but you don’t want to be throwing wickets away. Against Afghanistan we valued our wickets and played strong shots. The other day we threw our wickets away.’

Just as integral to the outcome of a game that sees England play outside Kandy for the first time will be how their much-vaunted attack copes against West Indies’ big hitters.

Sammy had a smile on his face again when he took a look at the length of the boundaries at this new stadium which, at 500 metres above sea level, should see the ball fly quickly through the air. ‘The ball seemed to travel watching games on TV,’ said Sammy.

‘It’s a good thing the ground is small. England had the square boundaries very big for us when we played them earlier this year but these seem closer. Hopefully the England bowlers will travel too.’

Ideally those bowlers can be just as destructive as Bresnan attempting his backstroke.

England v West Indies: Day five, third Test, Edgbaston

LIVE: England v West Indies – the action on day five of the third Test at Edgbaston

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UPDATED:

10:32 GMT, 11 June 2012

Stay up to date with all the action on day five of the third Test between England and the West Indies with Sportsmail's
unrivalled team. We'll deliver over-by-over coverage as the action
unfolds at Edgbaston while our brilliant team of writers will update
with their insights from the ground. Email your thoughts to [email protected]

England v West Indies: Essentials

ENGLAND: Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (wk), Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, Graham Onions.

WEST INDIES: Adrian Barath, Kieran Powell, Assad Fudadin, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Narsingh Deonarine, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Tino Best.

Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SL) and Tony Hill (NZ).

First innings: West Indies 426.

Click here for a full scorecard

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START DELAYED BY RAIN: ENGLAND TRAIL BY 205 RUNS WITH FIVE FIRST INNINGS WICKETS REMAINING

11.32pm: The light rain is continuing at Edgbaston. I'll bring you any news as soon as we have it but it looks highly unlikely we'll play before lunch.

11.13am: England name their squad for the three-match ODI series against West Indies today. The big question will be who will replace the retiring Kevin Pietersen at the top of the order There are plenty of candidates within the squad already being mooted, such as Ravi Bopara, Craig Kieswetter and Jonny Bairstow, while countless names have been suggested from the county circuit. Who would you select to open with skipper Alastair Cook Email your thoughts…

10.47am: While we wait for the rain to relent, here is some reading for you to get stuck into as Sportsmail reflects an a brilliant day of cricket yesterday…

Paul Newman reports on what he describes as the best day in the series here.

Lawrence Booth reports on Denesh Ramdin's dig at West Indian legend Sir Viv Richards here.

And former England captain Nasser Hussain writes exclusively for Sportsmail here.

10.38am: The covers are firmly on at Edgbaston, but the rain is only light, which means that when or if it stops, we should be able to come on swiftly. What is for certain is that the start is delayed.

10.30am: Good morning and welcome to the final day of what has been a thoroughly absorbing three-match Test series between England and West Indies. The forecast is pretty dreadful, but we're hoping to get some play in today to end the series on a high note.

Under cover: There was light rain in Birmingham in the morning

Under cover: There was light rain in Birmingham in the morning

Key man: Bell put on 100 with Pietersen on day four

Key man: Bell put on 100 with Pietersen on day four

England v West Indies: Day four, third Test, Edgbaston

LIVE: England v West Indies – the action on day four of the third Test at Edgbaston

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UPDATED:

11:13 GMT, 10 June 2012

Stay up to date with all the action on day four of the third Test between England and the West Indies with Sportsmail's
unrivalled team. We'll deliver over-by-over coverage as the action
unfolds at Edgbaston while our brilliant team of writers will update
with their insights from the ground. Email your thoughts to [email protected]

England v West Indies: Essentials

ENGLAND: Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (wk), Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, Graham Onions.

WEST INDIES: Adrian Barath, Kieran Powell, Assad Fudadin, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Narsingh Deonarine, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Tino Best.

Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SL) and Tony Hill (NZ).

Click here for a full scorecard

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115th over: West Indies 366-9 (Ramdin 83, Best 61)

Bresnan continues his spell and the runs continue to flow. Three from that over.

114th over: West Indies 363-9 (Ramdin 82, Best 60)

Ramdin plays a late cut off Swann down to third man for three, before Best helps himself to a single through the off side. A leg bye is added before Best gets a thick edge past Strauss at slip for two. One to fine leg makes it eight from the over – virtually no turn at all for Swann.

113th over: West Indies 355-9 (Ramdin 79, Best 56)

Three singles come easily off Bresnan. There's absolutely nothing in this pitch for the bowlers. That will be drinks and brings to an end a dire hour for England.

112th over: West Indies 352-9 (Ramdin 77, Best 55)

These two are making this look so easy. Ramdin helps himself to a single off Swann before Best swings and misses as the off spinner comes around the wicket. Best is solid in defence. Just one from the over.

111st over: West Indies 351-9 (Ramdin 76, Best 55)

Ramdin clips a quick two down to fine leg. England, it has to be said, have been very poor this morning. He adds one more to same area. Four! Best attempts another leg side heave and the ball again somehow squirts through the covers.

110th over: West Indies 344-9 (Ramdin 73, Best 51)

Best sweeps Swann to square leg for one, before Ramdin clips a single to the same place. Two from the over.

109th over: West Indies 342-9 (Ramdin 72, Best 50)

Strauss throws the ball to Bresnan. Ramdin clips a single into the leg side. Four! Best heaves one into the leg side past mid on to edge one away from his 50. He's got it! Best becomes the first No 11 to score a 50 against England since 1906! He jumps and punches the air and removes his helmet, you'd think he'd scored a ton! But why not celebrate A fine knock.

108th over: West Indies 336-9 (Ramdin 71, Best 45)

Graeme Swann comes in to try and end what has been an irritating little partnership from their point of view. Ramdin sweeps one to fine leg. Shot! Best is showing the full repertoire here now as Swann goes quick, flat and wide and to allow room for the cut. Shot! That cut is even better as Swann goes short and wide again. Nine from the over.

107th over: West Indies 327-9 (Ramdin 70, Best 37)

Drop! Ramdin flashed the cut straight at Pietersen's head but he would have expected to hold on to that. Frustration growing for England and Finn. One more added from the over.

106th over: West Indies 326-9 (Ramdin 69, Best 37)

Four! Best plays another lovely drive on the up down the ground and this is starting to get a little embarrassing for England. Four! Make that very embarrassing… This time a flash through the covers brings up another boundary. Another expensive over.

105th over: West Indies 318-9 (Ramdin 69, Best 29)

Finn continues. The partnership in now worth 33 and Best has 28 of them! Ramdin clips another through the leg side. He's happy to give Best the strike and why not They scamper a quick single and Best will keep the strike.

Simply the Best: West Indies' No 11 evades a bouncer

Simply the Best: West Indies' No 11 evades a bouncer

104th over: West Indies 316-9 (Ramdin 68, Best 28)

Ramdin adds one more to the total. Close! Best gets an edge that sails right between second slip and gully and runs away for four. Unbelievable! The exact same things happens again and Strauss finally brings in a third slip. Best now has his career best and also has the best score for a No 11 against England. Nine from the over but that doesn't tell the tale, you've got to feel for Onions.

103rd over: West Indies 307-9 (Ramdin 67, Best 20)

Finn has Ramdin on strike. Too full from Finn and Ramdin clips two through midwicket. He'll keep the strike with a single to fine leg.

Three apiece: Finn joined Onions and Bresnan on three wickets

Three apiece: Finn joined Onions and Bresnan on three wickets

102nd over: West Indies 304-9 (Ramdin 64, Best 20)

Shot! Onions offers the drive again and again Best obliges, this time with a sweetly time shot through extra cover. Best is going at more than a run a ball here and the West Indies at six an over off four so far today.

101st over: West Indies 300-9 (Ramdin 64, Best 16)

Shot! Best drives Finn on the up down the ground. He holds the pose for a good 10 seconds, and why not. Four! That one wasn't pretty from Tino – he certainly wasn't aiming to send that leg side heavy through the covers, but they all count. A single to fine leg brings up the 300. Nine from the over.

100th over: West Indies 291-9 (Ramdin 64, Best 7)

There he goes! Best nearly takes off with a huge swing and a miss off Onions, who bowls the second over of the day. That's more like it from Best who times a straight one into the leg side for two. Two more come via a thick edge through gully again. One more is clipped to square leg to make it five from the over.

99th over: West Indies 286-9 (Ramdin 64, Best 2)

Mind the windows, it's Tino Best in next. He gets off the mark with a single into the leg side. Ramdin then flicks one down to fine leg. Best will keep the strike with a thick edge past gully.

Breakthrough: Rampaul heads back to the pavilion

Breakthrough: Rampaul heads back to the pavilion

WICKET! Rampaul c Prior b Finn 2

Got him! What a start… Finn served up a half-volley to Ramdin with his first ball of the day but that one was an absolute peach, angling across the left-handed Rampaul and finding the edge. Prior takes a regulation catch. A top order batsmen would have struggled with that delivery, let alone a rabbit.

99th over: West Indies 283-8 (Ramdin 63, Rampaul 2)

Steven Finn will open the bowling on day four for England and has the half-centurion Ramdin on strike. He drives down the ground for three off the first ball.

10.55am: I'm hearing all sorts of different things regarding the weather and more specifically if, or when, rain will arrive. What is for certain is that we will start on time at 11am.

10.45am: Before we get underway here's a couple of gems for you to get stuck into…

Catching practice: England were poor in the field on day three

Catching practice: England were poor in the field on day three

Peter Hayter's report on day three is here.

And James Anderson talks about being left out of the fourth Test in his exclusive Sportsmail column here.

10.38am: West Indies start the day on 280-8 after making England pay for three dropped catches yesterday. The hosts will be keen to knock over the last two within the first half an hour, with Graham Onions, looking for his fourth wicket, and Steven Finn, looking for his third, both desperate to impress. Tim Bresnan is also looking for his fourth wicket and aiming to keep up his record of winning every Test he has played in so far in his career – he's 13 from 13 at the moment.

10.33am: This one was already a dead rubber before rain washed out the first two days, and with England resting James Anderson and Stuart Broad and Shiv Chanderpaul and Kemar Roach out for the tourists, it felt like that even more so. But on the bright side, both sides have nothing to lose and have free reign to entertain with anything but a draw extremely unlikely.

10.30am: Good morning everyone and welcome to Sportsmail's live coverage of day four (or is it day two) of the third Test between England and West Indies.

Rain rain go away: After two washed out days there was finally a full day of action at Edgbaston

Rain rain go away: After two washed out days there was finally a full day of action at Edgbaston

England v West Indies: Andrew Strauss insists he can keep a grip on team spirit

Strauss insists he can keep a grip on fabled team spirit despite fuss over KP and Jimmy

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UPDATED:

21:16 GMT, 6 June 2012

Good team spirit, it was once said, exists only at times of success. But even on the back of a series triumph over West Indies, England's has been put at risk by a chain of events that has left two senior players decidedly disgruntled.

Since England retained the Wisden Trophy with victory over West Indies at Trent Bridge there has been the saga of Kevin Pietersen’s one-day retirement followed by the resting of Jimmy Anderson from a third Test at Edgbaston that he was desperate to play in.

Add the fact that Andy Flower might risk upsetting the applecart further by telling Stuart Broad that he is also on the sidelines and it will be fascinating to see whether the fabled harmony which has done so much to inspire 'Team England' has been undermined.

Staying strong: England captain Andrew Strauss is not concerned about team spirit

Staying strong: England captain Andrew Strauss is not concerned about team spirit

It is an unexpected twist to an Investec series that was going so well before Pietersen clashed with England over his desire to ditch 50-over but not Twenty20 cricket and a disbelieving Anderson was told he was being saved for tougher challenges ahead.

Even though England’s players appeared to be cheered no end by Pietersen’s defeat on Tuesday at a game of ‘credit card roulette’, which left him having to pay for dinner for half the team, there was a sense of gloom at Edgbaston which was not entirely due to the foul weather.

THIRD TEST ESSENTIALS

LINE-UPS

England (probable): Strauss (capt), Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Prior (wkt), Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Finn.

West Indies (probable): Barath, Powell, Bravo, Samuels, Chanderpaul, Deonarine, Ramdin
(wkt), Sammy (capt), Best, Edwards, Narine.

Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SL) and Tony Hill (NZ).

TV umpire: Aleem Dar (Pak).

Match referee : Roshan Mahanama (SL).

TV AND RADIO

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am. Highlights on Channel 5 from 7pm.
RADIO: Live on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra from 10.45am.

WEATHER

TODAY: Light drizzle with sunny spells later. Max temp: 14C. Gusts of 21mph.

TOMORROW: Wind and rain but brighter and dryer late afternoon. Max temp: 13C. Gusts of 19mph.

SATURDAY: Drier and brighter. Max temp: 16C. Gusts of 13mph.

SUNDAY: Showery, sunny spells. Max temp: 15C. Gusts of 8mph.

MONDAY: Rainy spells. Max temp: 18C. Gusts of 15mph.

Who better, then, than Andrew Strauss to bring some perspective to the situation ahead of a Test that, for the first time this summer, appears certain to be seriously affected by rain. If forecasters are to be believed then England will need to win the final Test in something like three days of playing time to complete a 3-0 clean sweep.

‘I’m not worried about our harmony,’ insisted the England captain, who knows in Steven Finn and Graham Onions he has two high-quality options to come in for Anderson and, possibly, Broad.
‘I think in some ways Kevin is relieved it’s all done and dusted and from a team point of view we’re all keen to move forward.

‘The rotation policy is a bit of a tricky subject but we know that, with the current demands on our bowlers, they cannot play in every game. This is probably the best opportunity we will get all summer to rest someone and if we are able to manage our resources better than other teams that will give us an advantage.’

This then will be Pietersen’s last game for England until mid-July but Strauss does not expect any lessening of his star batsman’s commitment.

‘I’m sure that one of the reasons Kevin made this decision is that he feels it will prolong his Test career and I still feel he’s got a hell of a lot more cricket left in him for England.’

Anderson, too, may be disappointed but he understands the decision, according to Strauss. ‘I don’t think anyone disputes there’s a need for rotation but it’s always tricky when you’re the one left out,’ he said. ‘It’s understandable players want to play in every game but you can’t have both sides of the coin. You can’t play every game yet still be at your highest capacity and avoid injury.’

How West Indies would love the luxury of resting a world-class bowler, but at least they are set to unleash one who could soon be talked of in such exalted terms.

In line: Steven Finn is the favourite to replace the rested Jimmy Anderson in the bowling attack

In line: Steven Finn is the favourite to replace the rested Jimmy Anderson in the bowling attack

Sunil Narine, the sensation of the Indian Premier League, makes his Test debut having been rushed into the squad after an injury to Kemar Roach. And, if the hype is to be believed, we will be witnessing the birth of a superstar.

The mystery spinner, whose knuckle ball moves away from right-handers without any discernible change of action, has 34 first-class wickets at 11 apiece in just six games and he bamboozled Australia in a one-day series so well that the Kolkata Knight Riders paid $700,000 for him.

England had plenty of problems dealing with Saeed Ajmal during the winter and now we will see whether Narine, 24, can be similarly effective.

Mystery spinner: West Indies could be set to unleash Sunil Narine (right) on England's batsmen

Mystery spinner: West Indies could be set to unleash Sunil Narine (right) on England's batsmen

‘This is a difficult place for a spinner to make his debut but he has a lot up his sleeve and we’re backing him to make an impact,’ said West Indies captain Darren Sammy.

The indications were that Broad would play, leaving Finn the favourite to replace Anderson, while Matt Prior was expected to recover from an eye infection that saw Steve Davies called up as cover.

It has been a rocky week or so for England but they should have enough to end it on another winning note, rain or no rain.

Chris Gayle recalled by West Indies

Gayle back from the wilderness after Windies recall batsman for England one-dayers

|

UPDATED:

06:32 GMT, 5 June 2012

The West Indies have recalled former
captain Chris Gayle after a 14-month absence to take part in the one-day
series against England later this month.

Gayle has returned to the squad after
his dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board led to the 32-year-old
opener missing over a year of international cricket.

Back in the fold: West Indies batsman Chris Gayle

Back in the fold: West Indies batsman Chris Gayle

He returns for the three-match series with England which begins on June 16 and is line to play his first game for his country since they lost to Pakistan in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in March 2011.

WEST INDIES SQUAD

Darren Sammy
(captain)
Dwayne Bravo (vice-captain)
Tino Best
Darren Bravo
Johnson
Charles
Fidel Edwards
Chris Gayle
Sunil Narine
Kieron Pollard
Denesh Ramdin (wicketkeeper), Ravi Rampaul
Andre Russell
Marlon
Samuels
Lendl Simmons
Dwayne Smith.

Gayle criticised the board and current coach Ottis Gibson after being left out of a one-day series against Pakistan a month later.

But meetings between Gayle and the WICB earlier this year have smoothed the path for his return.

Clyde Butts, chairman of the selection panel, said: 'Chris is a player of proven quality and we are looking forward to him adding this dimension to the side and his contributions as a senior member of the squad.'

Gayle joins a squad captained by Test skipper Darren Sammy who has Dwayne Bravo as his vice-captain.

Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Dwayne Smith are also named in the squad and opener Lendl Simmons is included.

There is also a place for spinner Sunil Narine who made a major impression during the recent Indian Premier League.

Openers Adrian Barath and Kieron Powell, who have struggled in the
first two Tests in the series against England, have been left out.

Test wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin comes in to replace Carlton Baugh.

Talks: coach Ottis Gibson

Talks: coach Ottis Gibson

Butts added: 'We are now beginning to move into the next phase of the development of the team as we continue to build our ODI side as we continue to plan for the 2015 World Cup.

'A number of players who we have been exposed to international cricket and who, by their recent performances, have shown that they can play roles in the team have been retained.

'There is, what we believe, is a balanced combination of young rising players like Sunil Narine in the bowling department and Johnson Charles in the top order of the batting in addition to the well known seasoned internationals.'

Michael Holding: West Indies must sort their act out

EXCLUSIVE: No Holding back – West Indies coach and board must sort their act out

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 23 May 2012

It takes a lot to rile Michael Holding. But you’ll know when he’s riled. In 1976, he responded to England captain Tony Greig’s promise to make the West Indies ‘grovel’ with a quietly furious fast-bowling performance to rank with any.

Four years later, he kicked over two stumps – elegantly, of course – in Dunedin out of frustration at some shameless home-town umpiring against New Zealand.

More than three decades on, when we meet in Newmarket – his home for half the year while he indulges his love of Flat racing – to discuss the plight of the current West Indies team, it is clear the fire has not left him.

Winning smile: Michael Holding has a home near the gallops at Newmarket to indulge his love of Flat racing

Winning smile: Michael Holding has a home near the gallops at Newmarket to indulge his love of Flat racing

Legend: Holding was a mainstay of arguably the greatest Test team ever

Legend: Holding was a mainstay of arguably the greatest Test team ever

He smoulders. And Michael Holding could smoulder for Jamaica.

West Indies, a team which in Holding’s day went 15 years following that unhappy trip to New Zealand without losing a single series, can now barely win a single Test. And Holding’s sights are trained unerringly on the West Indian administrators and coach Ottis Gibson.

‘We have a chief executive, Ernest Hilaire, who thinks he owns West Indies cricket,’ he tells Sportsmail. ‘He has the wrong attitude. He’s very arrogant. He thinks he is always right and he doesn’t listen to anyone.

‘Ottis Gibson needs to understand that the West Indies cricket team is not a boot camp. He needs to learn how to man-manage.’

This last issue is at the heart of Holding’s beef. Few press conferences on this tour have passed without Gibson or captain Darren Sammy being asked about the players who are not in England. The list is heartbreaking: Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine, Jerome Taylor.

For some of them, the lure of the IPL dollar has proved too great, and Holding says there’s little the West Indies Cricket Board can do – although he would like to see more players make compromises, as Marlon Samuels has done by giving up half his contract with Pune Warriors to play in the Tests.

Time for change: West Indies' board and coach have hindered their progress

Time for change: West Indies' board and coach have hindered their progress

THE 5 MISSING

Chris Gayle
Age: 32 Tests: 91
Runs: 6,373 at 41
Wickets: 72 at 41

Destructive opener regarded by the board as a destructive presence in the dressing room. Hopes to play in the one-day matches which follow the three Tests.

IPL deal: 357,000 with Royal Challengers Bangalore

Ramnaresh Sarwan
Age: 31
Tests: 87
Runs: 5,842 at 40
Wickets: 23 at 50

Former captain made the scapegoat for last year’s World Cup failure. Says Ottis Gibson’s coaching left him not knowing ‘which was my back foot and which was my front foot’.

County deal: believed to be on a six-figure salary at Leicestershire

Dwayne Bravo
Age: 28
Tests: 40
Runs: 2,200 at 31
Wickets: 86 at 39

All-rounder who wants to play Tests, but can’t make the team because of Darren Sammy. Now an IPL regular.

IPL deal: 128,000 with Chennai Super Kings

Jerome Taylor
Age: 27
Tests: 29
Runs: 629 at 15
Wickets: 82 at 35

West Indies’ most promising fast bowler since the glory days has been sidelined by management. Destroyed England in Kingston in 2009 but hasn’t played any senior cricket in over a year.

Sunil Narine
Age: 23
Tests: 0

Mystery off-spinner who recently bamboozled Australia in a one-day series, but couldn’t afford to turn down a lucrative deal to play in India.

IPL deal: 446,000 with Kolkata Knight Riders

But it is the ongoing failure of the administrators to make peace with their star players, whom they view as troublemakers, and what Holding regards as the dictatorial methods of Gibson, that have persuaded him to speak out.

‘A lot of the senior players who should be playing in England have a very bad relationship with the board,’ he says. ‘They are unhappy with the treatment that has been meted out to them. It’s about time the board realised that the people they are dealing with are human beings – they are not commodities. They need respect. They need to be treated properly.’

Gayle, the most talented of the absentees, remains hopeful of playing in the one-day series that follows the Tests. It would be the first time he has represented West Indies since March 2011, when he upset the board with some critical remarks in a radio interview.

Since then, he has been a Twenty20 bat for hire – and it needed the intervention of the Prime Ministers of St Vincent and Antigua to get the board and Gayle talking again.

‘Chris Gayle has to know there are repercussions if you’re critical of the board in public,’ says Holding. ‘But the board have behaved like schoolboys. Instead of sitting down with him and trying to sort things out, they keep condemning the man and asking him to apologise.’

Gayle, Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were all implicitly criticised by Gibson following West Indies’ disappointing exit from the World Cup last year. ‘The fact is,’ said Gibson, ‘the senior players haven’t performed.’

Sarwan is now playing for Leicestershire, where he has made some caustic remarks about Gibson’s coaching methods.

And Holding says Chanderpaul, the world’s No 1 batsman and scorer of 87 not out and 91 during the five-wicket defeat in the first Test at Lord’s, only ensured the continuation of his international career by threatening to sue the board after demanding an explanation for disparaging remarks made by Hilaire about the senior players.

‘I have no issue with Ottis trying to get discipline back into the team,’ says Holding. ‘But it is the way he has done it. As soon as someone says anything he doesn’t particularly like, he doesn’t want them around.’

Holding applauds Gibson’s harmonious relationship with Sammy but, like many in the Caribbean, questions the captain’s place in the team.

‘They want Sammy as captain, irrespective of whether it’s good for the team balance or not,’ he says. ‘West Indies cannot afford to carry anyone while they are struggling in Test matches.’

But he reserves some of his most scathing criticism for the treatment of Jerome Taylor, the fast bowler who took five for 11 to help dismiss England for 51 on his home island of Jamaica three years ago, but has not played for West Indies for nearly two years.

Holding believes Taylor was unfairly branded as a troublemaker who failed to stay fit, prompting the board to issue a press release in May 2011 stating that Taylor had to complete a full season of domestic cricket before he could be reconsidered for international honours.

Looking up: Holding (right, with Lawrence Booth) hopes West Indies can progress

Looking up: Holding (right, with Lawrence Booth) hopes West Indies can progress

Looking up: Holding (right, with Lawrence Booth) hopes West Indies can progress

76,000

The basic annual salary for a top, contracted West Indies player. They receive an additional 5,000 (approx) per Test and 3,000 per ODI, plus bonuses. Their English counterparts are on 450,000 a year plus 5,000 to 10,000 per Test match.

‘That is the bad handling I’m talking about. Instead of that press release, why not just say, “Jerome, we’re not satisfied with your fitness levels. You will not be selected to play for West Indies until you have proved you are fully fit”.

‘Don’t give the man a time span that is going to ruin him. They want to get rid of him, because that is their foolish way.’

If, as expected, West Indies lose the second Test in Nottingham, and with it the series, they can’t say they haven’t been warned.

West Indies weakened by wealth of IPL: Nasser Hussain

Sadly, the West Indies have been weakened by wealth of IPL

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UPDATED:

21:58 GMT, 16 May 2012

You've got to feel a bit sorry for West Indies. When the first Test starts at Lord's today against an England side in their own conditions and ranked No 1 in the world, they'll be doing so with one hand tied behind their back.

Several guys who could be here – the likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell – are all busy in the Indian Premier League, while Ramnaresh Sarwan appears to have fallen out with the West Indian board.

That's four or five players who could make a serious difference.

Hamstrung: Sammy has his work cut out if he is to win the series

Hamstrung: Sammy has his work cut out if he is to win the series

I appreciate that captain Darren Sammy and coach Ottis Gibson are making the most out of limited resources. But the fact that the West Indies Cricket Board are struggling financially means they are always going to lose players to the IPL.

It's sad for them and it's sad for the world game. As a captain, though, I wonder how much sympathy you'd have for guys who are happy to cash in elsewhere rather than play Test cricket.

Sure, you can't necessarily blame the likes of Gayle and Kieron Pollard for going to the IPL. But if you're looking to build a side who are willing to do the hard yards, you're looking for guys who put West Indies cricket first and buy into what the coach and captain are trying to do.

If they refuse to buy into that, then they're clearly not the sort of characters you want. But if they're willing to listen, then it comes down to a question of man-management. And that's what worries me slightly.

Missing in action: Bravo (left) and Gayle (right) are playing IPL cricket

Missing in action: Bravo (left) and Gayle (right) are playing IPL cricket

Missing in action: Bravo (left) and Gayle (right) are playing IPL cricket

There's talk of a breakdown in relations between Gibson and some of the players who aren't in this squad. But, for me, part of the art of being a captain or a coach is to accommodate as much talent as you can, regardless of whether they are difficult customers.

People have been talking about a revival, but let's be honest here. Two wins in 30 Tests since they skittled England in Jamaica three years ago is a very limited sort of revival.

It's true that, in the right conditions, their bowling attack can be handy. But with their batsmen, you always feel a collapse is just round the corner. And that's why England are red-hot favourites.

Andrew Strauss will be saying to his team that a breakthrough is never far away. And he'll point out that West Indies rarely manage to string two substantial innings together in the same game.

There is some serious talent in this West Indies squad. Shivnarine Chanderpaul will bat all day, and Darren Bravo has got all the shots. But they've got to learn how to string it all together over five days of a Test. If they don't, England will be licking their lips.

Final preparations: The Windies squad were at Lord's on Wednesday

Final preparations: The Windies squad were at Lord's on Wednesday