/ 2 March 2009

Magnificent Windies turn tables on England

England face a quest for survival after the West Indies made 749-9 declared on Sunday thanks to a masterful 261-run partnership between double centurion Ramnaresh Sarwan and Denesh Ramdin.

The tourists, who survived two overs at the end of the fourth day of the fourth Test to close on six without loss, trail by 143 runs and now have virtually no chance of winning the series, which West Indies lead 1-0 with one match remaining.

Sarwan fell just nine runs short of a triple century, after batting from the evening of the second day, while wicketkeeper Ramdin made 166 before being bowled by five-wicket Graeme Swann.

The West Indies score, the ninth highest innings total in a Test match, sets up an unexpectedly tricky final day for Andrew Strauss’s side after they made 600-6 declared in their first innings.

No team has ever lost a Test match after making such a big first-innings total but the West Indies will take heart from the first Test when they bowled a panicking England out for 51.

That, however, was on a very different wicket than the placid surface at the Kensington Oval and a draw still remains the most likely outcome. That would leave England needing to win in next week’s test in Trinidad to tie the series. — Reuters