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Report on West Indies v England, Test 5 Day 5
3.52pm (1952 GMT) Match abandoned as a draw

Heavy rain ruins the Final Day

written by William Turrell (

West Indies made the best start possible to their 2nd innings on day four but both sides suffered frustration on Monday as rain made it impossible to achieve a result. The home side go into the final Test at Antigua on Friday still leading 2-1; England now can't win the series from this position.

Play eventually began three hours late at 1pm local time (1700 GMT) following early morning showers at the Kensington Oval.

The disruption forced the players inside for an early tea after West Indies had reached 112 for 2; England getting two breakthroughs in the play that had been possible.

Five minutes after play began, Dean Headley took a brilliant catch running to his left at mid-on to dismiss Lambert for 29, whilst Wallace was trapped lbw by Caddick 14 overs later. The home side would have needed 263 more runs to win had the rain stopped; England requiring eight further wickets for victory.

The umpires tried to get a restart at 3pm but just as the last of the covers had been removed and the batsmen were walking onto the pitch to umbrellas went up again. After 90 minutes of waiting the game was called off off at five to four.

Click here for the final scorecard

Day 4 Evening Session:

When Hussain and Thorpe came out to bat after tea yesterday they made their purpose quite clear; to score as many runs as possible in a short space of time, giving the English bowlers to opportunity to get some early West Indian wickets before the close of play.

England added 38 runs in 19 minutes with Ambrose going for 16 off his 12th over; bowling 3 no-balls which were dispatched straight to the boundary by Thorpe. He scored a further boundary before Andrew Caddick brought out drinks along with instructions to declare. This they did at 233 for 3; setting the West Indies 375 for victory.

Despite a slight delay as the players appeared on the pitch and had to wait five minutes for the pitch to be rolled, the West Indies opening pair wasted no time at all. Wallace struck two fours off the opening over from Caddick, as he and Lambert proceeded to dispatch the English bowling to all parts of the ground.

The pressure on the English players showed as they began to make mistakes and the fielding became progressively sloppier. The worst piece of luck came in the 14th over; Lambert ran a quick single and there was a direct hit at the stumps. The replay clearly showed that although the bat was over the line, it was not grounded, but for some reason the third-umpire activated the green light and gave Wallace not out. In some ways it restored the balance for Angus Fraser's catch in the 1st innings to dismiss Chanderpaul which appeared to have hit the ground first.

Then just two balls later, Headley allowed the ball to come to him by the boundary and proceeded to drop a very straightforward catch, letting it reach him at ankle height.

England gained some composure towards the close; three of the last four overs were maidens. However they will need at least one early breakthrough on Monday morning if they are to have any chance of winning this match.

Day 4 Afternoon Session:

Twenty minutes after lunch, the West Indies achieved the breakthrough they needed when Alec Stewart got an inside edge on a ball from Ian Bishop and Lara took a diving catch well to his left. The opening partnership of 101 between him and Atherton had lasted over 38 overs, their 6th of over 100 and the 4th against the West Indies.

It was 128 for 2 when Atherton was caught behind off Bishop when trying to run a ball down to third-man one hour before tea. His innings of 64 was an achievement both at a personal level (his first Test 50 since Lord's last year, 16 innings ago) and more importantly helped to advance England to a potentially match winning total.

Atherton's most vital decision this evening will be when to declare - perhaps an hour or so before the close once England have a lead of 350 or so. That target is 36 runs away from them at the moment, they went to tea on 173 for 4 (Hussain 26 not out); Butcher was caught by Lambert of Ambrose, diving low to his left at cover-point off the final ball of the session.

Day 4 Morning Session:

England were able to add a further 85 runs without losing a wicket in the morning session, as they set about the task of setting a substantial target for the West Indian batsmen to get in the last innings of this match.

Going to lunch on 87 without loss, they led by 228 runs, Mike Atherton 40* and Alec Stewart 43*. Walsh and Ambrose bowled unchanged for the first hour of the morning, the former suffering an onslaught by Stewart in his third over of the day, when the England opener struck three fours off successive deliveries.

Despite this however, the West Indies bowlers managed to slow the scoring rate down; whilst wanting to build on what is already a big partnership, England must try not to leave a declaration too late and ensure they give themselves enough time today and tomorrow to bowl out the home side.

Day 3 Close of Play Report

England ended the day with an overall lead of 143 after surviving an over apiece of Walsh and Ambrose at the close. This followed the dismissal of the home side for 262, Dean Headley taking 3 for 64.

The West Indies batsmen were restricted during the day due to the tactics of captain Mike Atherton, who provoked a certain amount of controversy in the UK media after he was supposedly seen making a V-sign at West Indies players. However neither the match referees or either of the two teams felt the accusation deserved the press attention that it received.

Spinners Tufnell and Ramprakash ensured that opener Lambert could score only 12 runs in the opening session. Wickets fell quickly from then on, but several useful contributions from Wallace (45), Chanderpaul (45) and Lara (31) ensured that the England fielders (particularly Jack Russell) would rue 4 dropped catches.

But he had plenty to celebrate after stumping Curtly Ambrose; the ninth wicket to go down; West Indies losing their tenth at 262 three overs later.

Day 2 Close of Play Report

The West Indies will resume the third morning of this Test 84 for 1 in reply to England's 403 all out. The second day was dominated by Mark Ramprakash, who scored his maiden Test century and went on to make 154 from 388 balls (including 20 boundaries).

Graham Thorpe was the other significant contributor, his 103 formed part of a 205 run 6th wicket record-partnership with Ramprakash. It was left to Carl Hooper of Guyana to wrap up the remaining wickets; he finished with figures of 5 for 78 (dismissing the final three England batsmen in the space of two overs).

The new opening pair of Wallace and Lambert gave the West Indies' reply a flying start. Dean Headley conceded 19 runs in his first two overs; it was in the twentieth over that the Kent player got his revenge, trapping Wallace lbw for 45 (those runs coming from just 50 balls and including nine boundaries).

Ian Bishop came out as night-watchmen, and bad light ended play just moments later, with the home side 84 for 1 in the 22nd over.

Date-stamped : 17 Mar1998 - 14:25