Samuels, Ramdin hold West Indies together

June 10th, 2012 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Birmingham, June 10 (IANS/CMC) In-form batsman Marlon Samuels stroked his third half-century in as many innings while the struggling Denesh Ramdin hit his first in three years to break a prolonged slump, as West Indies rode their luck on the third day of the final Test here Saturday.

In the first taste of action after persistent rain forced the abandonment of the first two days without a ball bowled, the West Indies rallied to 280 for eight at the close to keep England in the field all day, after they were sent in at Edgbaston.

They found impetus from Samuels, who scored a high class 76, and Ramdin, who was unbeaten on 60 at the end, Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) reported.

Opener Adrian Barath got a start with 41 but failed to carry on while debutant Assad Fudadin with 28 and opener Kieran Powell, 24, also shaped up well before perishing.

England’s new-look seam attack was led by Graham Onions (3-56) and Tim Bresnan (3-74) who claimed three wickets apiece while lanky pacer Steven Finn finished with two for 65.

West Indies coasted to 90 for one after lunch but lost four wickets for 62 runs to stumble to 152 for five, before they were once again bailed out by the lower order.

Samuels and Ramdin put on an invaluable 56 for the sixth wicket before captain Darren Sammy (16) added a further 33 for the seventh wicket with Ramdin.

Debutant Sunil Narine (11) ensured the tail wagged, posting 26 with Ramdin for the eighth wicket and Ravi Rampaul sensibly saw out the last 17 minutes of play to be unbeaten on two at the close.

Samuels struck 10 fours and a six off 114 balls in just over two-and-a-half hours at the crease while Ramdin has also lasted a similar amount of time, facing 108 balls and counting seven fours.

After rainy skies finally gave way to more agreeable weather, Barath and Powell gave the Windies an enterprising start of 49.

The right-handed Barath stroked four fours and a six in an innings that required 106 balls and 135 minutes while Powell, a left-hander, faced 43 balls in 79 minutes at the crease, with two fours.

Barath enjoyed two huge slices of luck when he was twice dropped by Ian Bell at third slip - on four off Onions in the fifth over of the morning at 14 without loss and on 40 off Finn in the second over after lunch with the score on 85 for one.

Powell was not so fortunate, however, becoming the only casualty of the morning session when he edged Bresnan to Graeme Swann at second slip, 40 minutes before lunch.

Barath and Fudadin added 41 for the second wicket, a partnership that saw West Indies to the interval at 85 for one before it all fell apart.

On resumption, Barath added just one before he was lbw to Onions in the third over after the break at 90 for two, with a subsequent review showing the delivery barely clipping leg-stump.

With just nine runs added, Darren Bravo’s miserable run continued when he tapped an easy return catch back to Finn for six.

Samuels and Fudadin, one of four changes to the team from the last Test, then put on 29 for the fourth wicket before being separated.

The left-handed Fudadin stroked four fours off 110 balls in 138 minutes at the crease before parrying a short ball from Bresnan to third slip where Bell took the lob comfortably at 128 for four.

Narsingh Deonarine, like Fudadin, in for his first match of the series, spent 42 minutes over seven but then edged Onions to captain Andrew Strauss at first slip, 11 minutes before tea to leave the Windies in a spot of bother at 152 for five.

Samuels, however, displaying the same composure and maturity that brought him a century and an unbeaten half-century in the last Test at Trent Bridge, held the innings together with another classy knock.

He punched off-spinner Swann to the cover boundary off the back foot to get going and then unfurled an array of sweetly timed off-side drives to move into high gear.

He reached his half-century in style in the penultimate over before tea, launching Swann over long on for six and following up with another exquisite cover-driven boundary.

After the break, Samuels appeared in superb touch until he missed one from Bresnan - in the second over of a new spell - and was lbw at 208 for six.

Ramdin, meanwhile, struggled over his first 13 runs before releasing the shackles by lifting Swann over the top for four.

He too rode his luck with a several streaky shots for boundaries through the slip cordon before bringing up his fifty, 10 minutes before the close.

Sammy, dropped on 16 by Strauss at first slip off Finn, departed an over later via the same combination and Narine made merry before playing on to Onions late in the evening.

–IANS/CMC
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