There was HIGH drama on the 4th day of the 3rd C&W test at the Queen's Park
Oval in Trinidad with the day dominated by two performances, one by 19 yr old
Shivnarine Chanderpaul with the bat and the other (MORE ***) by Curtley
Ambrose with the ball.
The day began with the WI reeling at 143 for 5 (in effect
67 for 5) and the balance of the game swinging FIRMLY in England's favour. In
fact for the previous 2 and 1/2 days England were in command and it was clear
that, as this 4th day started, the WI HOPES rested squarely on the
very SLENDER shoulders of Chanderpaul, playing in only his 2nd test.
Well, the young man DID NOT disappoint. Putting his head down, he played the
sheet anchor role as he lead a WI late order revival. He and Junior
Murray played watchfully, pushing for singles and two with the odd boundary
coming few and far in between. Chanderpaul, when on 4, had a HUGE slice of
luck as Hick put down a relatively easy catch at slip off Lewis bowling from
over the wicket. In fact, Chanderpaul looked uncomfortable in this entire Lewis
over. But he stuck it out and his confidence seem to grow with every ball.
He lost Murray(14) with the score on 167, fishing outside the offstump to a
Caddick delivery. WBenjamin came in and, mixing defence with his patented
brand of aggression, he and Chanderpaul batted thru to lunch without being
separated. At lunch, WI were 221 for 6 with Chanderpaul on 25 and WBenjamin
on 33. Even Mike Holding could afford a smile at this stage.
Play was held up for 1 1/2 hrs due to rain and it looked at that stage that
the weather was about to save the WI. However, after an early tea, play resumed
at about 2.35 PM. After the resumption, neither Chanderpaul nor WBenjamin looked
settled and it was no surprise when Benjamin, in trying to play an on drive off
Lewis, lobbed a catch to Fraser at midon who took it well. Benjamin had made
35 and he and Chanderpaul had added 60 VERY VALUABLE runs to the WI cause.
Ambrose joined Chanderpaul, who on 29 had given another easy chance to
Hick off Caddick, and with Ambrose hitting some LUSTY blows while Chanderpaul
played resolutely, they took the score to 247 when Ambrose attempted a HUGE
swing at Caddick and was bowled. As Ambrose turned to walk, it appeared that
Caddick gave him a send off by rolling his hands one over the other. This is
NOT the type of thing you do to the Big Man. Kenny
Benjamin joined Chanderpaul and (probably on instructions) Chanderpaul began
playing a few more shots. He reached his 50 with an elegant cover drive for
4. Another left hander in the commentary box (Gower) could find no fault with
that shot. It was, as Holding put it, the classic left hander's offdrive.
This was an innnings of sheer determination and this young man demonstrated
MATURITY well BEYOND his years. He fell going for a hook off Caddick, did not
middle it and the ball lobbed to Fraser at long leg, who took a well judged catch.
It was a fine innings by young Chanderpaul. It RESTORED the balance in
the game and gave the WI a fighting chance. KBenjamin and Walsh added 2 runs
before Walsh was lbw to Lewis for 1, with the WI all out for 269 giving
England a reasonable target of 194 to win.
From the "WI's Youngest Gun", the baton (or was it the ball?) was passed to
the "WI's Fastest Gun" and, boy, what a show the Big Man put on!! He had
Atherton plumb lbw FIRST BALL. Atherton was beaten for both pace and movement
In came Ramprakash and he flicked Ambrose to fine leg. It looked like
2 all the way but in a horrendous mixup, Ramprakash (1) was runout.
When was the last time you saw the #4 batsman coming in and the 1st over is
STILL NOT FINISHED? Smith (0) was comprehensively bowled leg stump by Ambrose,
the ball passing between bat
and pad. Hick came in to face his OLD NEMESIS and there was almost ANOTHER
runout as Hick tried to get away from Ambrose. Only thing is Arthurton failed
to gather the ball. Well, Hick could run but could not hide from Ambrose -
that's Dr. Ambrose for he certainly HAS the MEDICATION for Hick and probably
all the England batsmen. Hick got one from the "Doctor" that left him and could
only touch it to Murray. He made 6. Thorpe joined Stewart and it was not
long before Stewart was bowled by the Big Man for 18. In a somewhat surprising
move, Salisbury came in but he did not last long, snicking one from Walsh to
Lara at first slip. Russell joined Thorpe and he was struck a painful blow
on the wrist by a wicked delivery from Ambrose. It was one of fearsome pace
and it lifted sharply and before Russell could get out of the way he was hit.
He was out NEXT BALL caught by Simmons (fielding sub for Haynes) off Ambrose.
Russell made 4. Lewis came in and it looked like England would end the day
at 40 for 7 but Ambrose had other ideas. He bowled Thorpe with the 5th ball
of the over knocking back his off stump. So England, who started the day with
hopes VERY HIGH, ended the day with their innings IN RUINS as Ambrose RIPPED
THE HEART OUT the England batting. They finished the day on 40 for 8 (no, that's
not a typo!!) and 194 looks JUST TOO FAR OFF.
Ambrose finished with the figures of 7.5 overs, 1 maiden, 22 runs and 6
As an English friend of mine said, England's lowest score of 45 is IN DANGER!!!
But it's NOT OVER YET. There are 2 wickets to fall and tomorrow is ANOTHER