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Barbadian And Guyanese In As Openers

The Nation

Tuesday March 10 1998

THE West Indies yesterday changed their opening pair for the tenth time in seven years ahead of the fourth cricket Test against England starting Thursday at Kensington Oval.

The selectors reinstated Philo Wallace, whose one Test was against Pakistan at Rawalpindi last December, and recalled 36-year-old left-hander Clayton Lambert, more than six years after he played his only Test against England at London's Kennington Oval in August, 1991.

Lambert and Wallace replaced Stuart Williams and Sherwin Campbell in the 13 from whom the final 11 will be named. There were no other changes to the squad that won the fourth Test in Georgetown last week by 242 runs.

Campbell and Williams played the last 14 Tests but have only raised three partnerships over 50. Their best in six innings in the current series is 36 and both have struggled for runs.

Selectors' policy

``Our policy is to try men who are in form and scoring runs. No one can deny that Wallace and Lambert have been getting runs consistently,'' chairman of selectors Wes Hall said yesterday.

``We would like to get a good start and we are trying with this new opening pair to see what will happen.''

Lambert will be the oldest player on either side.

He owes selection to his consistency for Guyana in regional tournaments and the difficulties the West Indies have had in finding a reliable opening pair since the breakup of the long-standing Gordon Greenidge-Desmond Haynes partnership upon Greenidge's exit in 1991.

Last week in the President's Cup, Lambert scored his 14th century at regional level, surpassing the record previously held by Jamaican Maurice Foster.

Wallace, tall and heavy-set, is regarded as one of the hardest hitters in the West Indies. He was first chosen in One-Day internationals in 1992 but had to wait until the Pakistan tour for his Test debut. He was dropped after failing with scores of five and eight.

This year, he has curbed his natural instincts and adopted a more measured and seemingly successful approach at the crease.

Hall said the omission of Campbell and Williams did not mean they would not be considered for the rest of the Cable and Wireless Test and One-Day series.

The West Indies lead the six-Test series 2-1. The sixth and final Test is at the Antigua Recreation Ground March 20-24.

The West Indies squad is: Brian Lara (captain), Philo Wallace, Clayton Lambert, Carl Hooper, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jimmy Adams, Roland Holder, David Williams, Ian Bishop, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Nixon McLean and Dinanath Ramnarine.

Source: The Barbados Nation
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Date-stamped : 11 Mar1998 - 14:22