Windies defy the odds

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Last pair Daren Powell and Fidel Edwards batted out 10 overs as the West Indies earn a huge draw against England in the third Digicel Test match at the Antigua Recreation Ground last week.

In front a crowd of close to 5000, the two fast bowlers defied all England could throw at them as the Windies maintained the 1-0 lead with two matches left to be played.

The West Indies ended on 370-9 – some distance from the target of 503 – but more importantly batted 128 overs to keep the visitors at bay. Powell batted for over an hour to make 22 not out. In the first innings he went in as nightwatchman and made a patient 22 which took over two hours.

‘I said to the guys after the game that this match was a test of character. We came here and toiled in the sun as England made more than 500 and we only got 200-odd.

‘When you look at the way Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul batted, it was left to everyone who came after them not to let them down, we had to go out and play straight and draw the game,’ said the 30-year-old Powell.

‘Sarwan played a brilliant innings, and for us to back it up, we needed to draw this Test match. We won the Test in Jamaica with a day to spare.

‘This result has proven to us that if we go out there and fight every day, we can do the job.’

Earlier in the day, Sarwan continued the fight with a brilliant 106 to follow up his 94 in the first innings, which earned him the Man-of-the-Match award. He made 107 in the first Digicel Test.

On Thursday Sarwan added 148 for the fourth wicket with Chanderpaul, who made 55. There were also excellent contributions down the order as everyone contributed to the cause.

‘I have said over the past couple of weeks that we are going to beat England 3-0 and this has been the driving force out there for me,’ Powell said. ‘If we were the fielding team, I would think I would win the game looking at me and Fidel there batting.

‘We batted brilliantly and saved the game. It is one more spike to gear us up for the next game in Barbados.’

The scoreboard at the end of the third Digicel Test between West Indies and England at the Antigua Recreation Ground, St John’s read as follows:

England first innings 566-9 declared (A. Strauss 169, P. Collingwood 113)

West Indies first innings 285 (R. Sarwan 94, G. Swann 5-57)

England second innings 221-8 declared

West Indies second innings:
C. Gayle lbw b Swann 46
D. Smith lbw b Harmison 21
R. Sarwan (Man of the match) b Broad 106
R. Hinds c Shah b Broad 6
S. Chanderpaul c Prior b Broad 55
B. Nash lbw b Swann 23
D. Ramdin b Anderson 21
J. Taylor c sub (Bell) b Anderson 11
S. Benn lbw b Swann 21
D. Powell not out 22
F. Edwards not out 5
Extras (b21, lb7, w1, nb4) 33
Total (9 wickets; 128 overs) 370

Fall of wickets 1-59, 2-81, 3-96, 4-244, 5-261, 6-287, 7-313, 8-322, 9-353

Bowling: Anderson 25-6-68-2 (nb1), Broad 21-3-69-3 (w1), Swann 39-12-92-3, Harmison 22-3-54-1, Flintoff 15-5-32-0 (nb2), Pietersen 3-0-15-0, Shah 3-0-12-0 (nb1)

Result: Match drawn and WI lead the five-match Digicel Series 1-0