x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Marlon Samuels to the rescue for West Indies

Centurion's unbroken 168-run stand with captain Darren Sammy takes West Indies total past 300 on first day of second Test against England.

Marlon Samuels, the West Indies batsman, scored his third Test hundred yesterday. Gareth Copley / Getty Images
Marlon Samuels, the West Indies batsman, scored his third Test hundred yesterday. Gareth Copley / Getty Images

NOTTINGHAM // Marlon Samuels's unbeaten hundred and a Test-best score from West Indies captain Darren Sammy rescued the tourists from a dire position on the first day of the second Test against England at Trent Bridge today.

West Indies, who had collapsed to 63 for four when Samuels came in, were 304 for six at stumps.

Samuels was 107 not out – only his third hundred in 39 Tests and first since his previous best of 105 against South Africa in Durban in January 2008.

Meanwhile Sammy, whose place in the team had been called into question by West Indies great Michael Holding, was 88 not out at stumps having surpassed his previous Test best of 61 against Australia at Roseau last month, and justified his decision to bat first after winning the toss.

The pair have so far added an unbroken 168 for the seventh wicket. Samuels walked out with West Indies in a desperate position and they were still in trouble at 136 for six when he was joined by Sammy.

But, against an older ball and on a true pitch, the pair rebuilt the innings with sound and stylish shotmaking.

And when England took the new ball as soon as they could, with West Indies 260 for six off 80 overs, the duo saw out the day's final 10 overs.

A few overs ago Samuels would have been dismissed for one after being given out lbw to Tim Bresnan but he successfully reviewed umpire Asad Rauf's decision.

West Indies' top order had failed repeatedly during a run of just two wins in 31 Tests coming into this game. Yet such were the ideal sunny batting conditions, it would almost have been an admission of weakness had Sammy fielded first after winning the toss.

But their struggles against the new ball continued yesterday as James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who took a Test-best seven for 72 in England's five-wicket win in the first Test that gave the world's No 1-ranked side a 1-0 lead in this three-match series, shared four wickets between them before lunch.

Opener Adrian Barath was out for nought when he edged a rising ball from Broad, on his Nottinghamshire home ground, and third slip Anderson held a brilliant, left-handed, head-high catch.

New batsman Kirk Edwards then fell for seven when Anderson's superb off-cutter beat his defensive shot. Much has been made of the absence of batsmen Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan after their respective disputes with the West Indies Cricket Board.

But they too might have struggled to keep out such a delivery and could hardly have improved on the performance of Samuels and Sammy later in the day.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who walked in awkward situations in both innings of the first game at Lord's, entered at 42 for three with another huge repair job on his hands. The world's No 1 batsman was lucky when he edged Anderson between second and third slips on four.

Chanderpaul was looking set for another marathon innings when off-spinner Graeme Swann, had him lbw for the second time in as many innings. Rauf rejected England's appeal but England captain Andrew Strauss called for a review and left-hander Chanderpaul was given out for 46.

Tim Bresnan removed Denesh Ramdin but Sammy drove him on the up for four and Samuels hooked him for a boundary.

Sammy did not middle an inside-out drive off Swann but the ball still sailed over long-off for six.

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