[QODLink]
Sport
West Indies survive to win series
England fall two wickets short of unlikely win and lose Wisden Trophy to Windies.
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2009 23:51 GMT

West Indies captain Chris Gayle celebrates an unexpected series win [AFP]
The West Indies endured nervous moments to cling on for a series-clinching draw against England with eight wickets down on the last day of the fifth and final Test at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad.

The home team, set a target of 240 to win off 66 overs, preferred to defend and just avoided defeat at 114-8.

The West Indies won the five-match series 1-0 and regained the Wisden Trophy for the first time since 2000.

The series victory was the West Indies' first against any opponent since June 2004 when they defeated Bangladesh at home.

Nail-biting finish

Defying England at the end were vice captain Denesh Ramdin with an unbeaten 17 off 87 deliveries in two hours, and Fidel Edwards, who helped save the third Test in Antigua with a similar last-gasp effort.

He was 1 not out off eight balls.

The West Indies captain Chris Gayle admitted there were some tense moments in the dressing room during the closing overs on Tuesday.

"We were definitely nervous. Everyone was biting their fingernails,'' Gayle said.

"But we've been in this situation before. Fidel Edwards was in this situation before and he brought us home.

"We worked really hard for this. It means a lot to us, not only to the players but also the fans.''

Offspinner Graeme Swann took 3-13 while fast bowler James Anderson (3-24) and left-arm spinner Monty Panesar (2-34) were also impressive for England.

In a thrilling finale featuring seven centuries, England declared twice at 546-6 and 237-6, while the West Indies finished with 544 and 114-8.

Thrilling finish

England lost the first Test in Jamaica by an innings but were one wicket away from victory in the third Test in Antigua and, again here, were just two wickets away.

England captain Andrew Strauss complimented his team despite failing at the final hurdle for the second time in the series.

"It was a really tough day. We gave it everything we possibly could,'' Strauss said.

"The way we stuck at it in the field was exceptional. All credit to the bowlers.

"To get so close was very frustrating and quite heart-wrenching really.

"There will be questions that are asked but I think the way we responded after Jamaica was outstanding. We put the West Indies under a lot of pressure in the course of the series and they withstood that pressure.''

Kevin Pietersen's magnificent 102 off 92 balls for his 16th Test century stretched England's overnight score from 80-3 to 237-6 before the declaration on the stroke of lunch.

Matt Prior contributed 61 off 49 deliveries in a quickfire fifth-wicket stand with Pietersen of 106 off 88 deliveries.

England players can hardly contain their disappointment [GALLO/GETTY]
Positive start

The visitors' quest for an unlikely win began positively as Anderson claimed Lendl Simmons for 8 with brilliant assistance from Paul Collingwood, who made a magnificent diving catch at second slip.

Swann soon removed other opener Devon Smith as he was lbw swinging across the line on 17.

Swann claimed Ramnaresh Sarwan for 14 at 58-3 as England sniffed a chance.

Sarwan edged a low catch to slip where Collingwood again grabbed a tough chance.

Collingwood and Swann almost made it two wickets in two balls when Shivnarine Chanderpaul nervously edged his first delivery but it just failed to carry to slip.

Left-handers Ryan Hinds and Chanderpaul took tea nervously at 78-3 but England pegged away in the final session.

Swann claimed the prize wicket of Chanderpaul for 6, while Anderson removed Brendan Nash on 1 and Panesar got rid of Hinds for 20 as the West Indies slipped to 90-6 with 23 overs remaining.

Chanderpaul and Nash were plainly leg before wicket while Hinds seemed unlucky to be given out to a first-slip catch off bat and pad.

Ramdin and injured captain Gayle, using a runner, defied England for 81 balls in a seventh-wicket stand of 17 before Panesar got another lbw verdict against Gayle with 9.2 overs remaining.

Anderson produced a wicked inswinging yorker to castle Daren Powell for a duck to keep England in the hunt.

But Ramdin and Edwards batted out the final 19 deliveries with a few alarms to secure the draw and the series win.

The teams next play a one-off Twenty20 match on Sunday on the same field.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.