A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

England vs. West Indies, Second Test: Day Four Review

Posted on May 28, 2012 by in Tests

West Indies 370ao & 165ao (Samuels 76*, Bresnan 4/37, Anderson 4/43)

England 428ao & 111/1 (Strauss 45, Cook 43*)

England won by 9 wickets

In a word


In a sentence

Although Marlon Samuels again hung around long enough to be a nuisance, England strolled to an inevitable victory.

Player of the day

After such a chequered career, Samuels has been a revelation in this series. He has batted with maturity as well as showcasing his selection of attacking shots. Both were evident today – in the face of relentless seam and reverse swing bowling he hung around with support from Darren Sammy (25) and Kemar Roach (14), before bludgeoning Graeme Swann for a brace of sixes over mid-wicket as he ran out of partners. When England got to bat – later than most had expected – it was his timid off-breaks that somehow took the sole wicket to fall. The offical Man of the Match award went to Tim Bresnan, but there were certainly some passengers on the 51allout charabanc that thought Samuels’s resistance was more deserving.

Moment of the day

Having shown just how damn alternative we are by opting for Samuels over Bresnan, we ought to nominate one of those sixes for moment of the day – perhaps the one that struck a watching lady on the wrist, much to the ambivalence of her gentleman-friend. We might also mention the ball from James Anderson that removed Kemar Roach LBW, despite Asad Rauf continuing to have a bit of a poor game by initially ruling it was not out, when in fact it would have demolished the leg stump. Or even the heavy-handed way in which a paying punter in a horse mask was escorted out of the ground with one run to get. But instead we’re going to be all aloof and leftfield and say the final two wickets of the West Indian innings were cumulatively the moment of the day. Both were slip catches and both were barely any harder than standard. But Shane Shillingford was caught by Anderson off Swann and Ravi Rampaul caught by Tim Bresnan off Anderson. That two hard-working quick bowlers field so commendably at slip, even after lengthy spells of bowling in the heat, is another small but significant factor in England’s rise to the top of rankings. Credit must go not just to Bresnan and Anderson, but also the coaching and support team. You certainly wouldn’t see Peter Siddle, Zaheer Khan or Vernon Philander pocketing catches at slip.

Outlook for Edgbaston

The series now pauses until a week on Thursday. West Indies head to Leicestershire and face the intriguing prospect of playing against Ramnaresh Sarwan. Quite how their team will look in the third Test is unclear: they’re not scoring enough runs at the top of the order (understatement of the day) and with Darren Sammy as a fourth bowler they don’t look capable of taking 20 wickets. Perhaps Shiv Chanderpaul and Samuels can move up to add some experience to the youthful top order, though what combination of bowlers they choose remains to be seen.

As for England? They will be satisfied to lead the three-match series 2-0, despite not having been at the top of their game. We don’t expect to see any changes to the batting (though we do think the bowling machine at Loughborough will be set to ‘short and fast’ for Jonny Bairstow), but there is a case to be made to rest at least one of the seamers. Stuart Broad may be most likely to drop out given he certainly will play the T20s and ODIs; Anderson may be less likely to feature in the limited over matches but does constantly look bloody tired – even when taking those slip catches. With Graeme Onions and Steve Finn waiting in the wings, if there are any changes they are unlikely to be detrimental to England’s chances of completing a series whitewash.


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James Knight

29 May 2012 10:38

Doing some dedicated research at the ground yesterday it seems this isn’t a new problem, certainly. He’s struggled at county level against the short ball.

As for a replacement..Ravi?

*Runs off giggling*


Richard Clemerson

28 May 2012 23:09

The only change I would make is send back to his county / The Lions & ask him to learn how to play short pitched bowling.

There have been rumours around for a while at he is weak in this area and if this is the case I genuinely fear for him if exposed to the Saffer attack.

Goodness knows who to replace him with – perhaps Compton, he is in decent nick ATM