x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Collingwood ton drives England on

Paul Collingwood hit an eighth Test hundred to set up England's series-levelling bid at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

Paul Collingwood hit an eighth Test hundred to set up England's series-levelling bid at the Antigua Recreation Ground. Collingwood's gritty effort of 113 meant the tourists posted 566 for nine declared, a total sizeable enough to pressurise the West Indies despite the good batting surface presented before them in this hastily-arranged match. His Durham colleague Steve Harmison then celebrated England's strengthened position when Chris Gayle's counter-attack culminated in a loose drive to cover. Having been hooked for six and pulled for four earlier in the over, his first, Harmison's fuller delivery resulted in a smeared drive well held by James Anderson above his head. It was the solitary success for Andrew Strauss' team in the 13 overs possible before the close as the West Indies progressed to 55-1. It was the nightwatchman Anderson's departure in just the second over of the morning, after he nicked behind off Fidel Edwards, which brought Collingwood to the crease. Collingwood reached 50 in the final over before lunch, however, after surviving a spell of increased hostility from the West Indies attack, and Edwards in particular. Kevin Pietersen's innings of 51 came to its conclusion moments after he had brought up yet another half-century, this one from 130 deliveries. Having survived one chance on 25 when Edwards failed to grab a jabbed full toss in his follow-through, Pietersen played back to Jerome Taylor with fatal consequences, as an inside-edge crashed into the stumps. England's innings was in need of restoration just two balls later as Andrew Flintoff (0) succumbed for only getting half-forward to a delivery which kept low, snuck under a defensive prod and cartwheeled off and hit middle-stumps. Having seen the pacemen off, Matt Prior (39) in particular got stuck into the spinners but his adventure got the better of him when he got under a Brendan Nash delivery and skied straight to deep mid-off. But the left-hander Stuart Broad (44) accompanied Collingwood to his latest three-figure contribution, which arrived shortly after tea when he was gifted a single off his pads off Ryan Hinds. Broad, whose clean-hitting included a straight six off fast bowler Daren Powell's slower ball, perished later in the same over via a wild drive outside off-stump. But England ploughed on towards 600 with Graeme Swann hitting an unbeaten 22 and Collingwood reverse-sweeping giant spinner Sulieman Benn for his 14th and final boundary, before his dismissal signalled the declaration.

*PA Sport