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West Indies v England day four as it happened

Fourth Test, Barbados (day three, stumps):
West Indies 749-9 dec v England 600-6 dec, 6-0

Ramnaresh Sarwan hit a brilliant 291 and Denesh Ramdin 166 as West Indies declared on a massive 749-9 on day four of the fourth Test against England.

Sarwan shared a sixth-wicket stand of 261 with wicketkeeper Ramdin before being bowled by Ryan Sidebottom.

Ramdin's maiden ton helped the hosts to a 149-run lead and they declared when he was bowled by Graeme Swann (5-165).

It was the second highest score conceded by England in Tests and the tourists finished the day on 6-0.


By Pranav Soneji


e-mail (with 'For Pranav Soneji' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)

2130: Hats off to Ramnaresh Sarwan and Denesh Ramdin, England have not toiled like that in the field since the days of the 2006 Ashes series. Extra kudos for Ramdin for his first ever Test ton. I'm guessing you'll tune in tomorrow for a second successive draw, albeit slightly less exciting than the fare on offer in Antigua, but I guess you can never write England off from snatching defeat from the jaws of a draw. Tom Fordyce will be your shepherd tomorrow, I will be avidly watching the denouement of the South Africa v Australia match from the comfort of my sofa. Adios one and all.


2126: England 6-0
Daren Powell, not Jerome Taylor, is given the responsibility from the Joel Garner End, but Strauss easily paddles two around the corner before punching a couple more down the track. Strauss firmly drives the final ball of the day to mid-off and a tricky two-over tester ends without too many issues.

2121: England 2-0
Fidel Edwards sends down a brute of a first delivery - easily the fastest of the day at 89mph - which Ramdin collects way above his head. Fidel licks his lips like a cheeky toddler eyeing a doughnut on the kitchen table. A no-ball gives England their first run of their second innings, which Strauss doubles with a flick off the pad. James Anderson, the poor lad, after sending down 37 overs for little reward, has his pads on should he be required to bat this evening. Alastair Cook's first ball is far from convincing, although he does well to keep out a ball which keeps low from castling his stumps.

2113: Out come Strauss and Cook, who punch gloves as they look to negotiate two potentially tricky overs in the fading Bridgetown light, although the light roller is still flattening the flattest pitch ever seen in the history of flat pitches.

2108: So! Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, whose brains must be close to mush and squirting out of their ears after almost two days of abuse on the pitch, will have to fend off two or three testing overs from fast bowlers fresh from a two-day rest. Awesome batting from the Windies, who now have a comfortable 149-run cushion to play with. But on this track, even Johann Sebastian Strauss and Kathy Cook could get Test tons.


Wicket falls


: West Indies 749-9 dec Wicket Ramdin bowled Swann 166
Two runs short of their second highest ever Test score, Chris Gayle finally ends England's 194-over misery when Denesh Ramdin misses a standard Graeme Swann off-break which crashes into his stumps. The dismissal, Swann's fifth of the innings, ends a superb innings from the wicketkeeper, his deft late cuts one of the highlights of the series so far.

2102: West Indies 747-8
With little else to cheer for, apart from the golden sand, skin-burning sunshine and ice-laden cold drinks, the salmon-coloured tourists launch into a rousing chorus of "Barmy Army". Ramdin checks a drive off Paul Collingwood which loops in the air, but safely past the bowler up towards long on.

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"Are the players even enjoying this? What is the point? I love cricket but this is just stupid, contest between bat AND ball please." Seb
Seb {Napier not out Runs 152 Balls 58}on 606

2057: West Indies 744-8
Ramdin attempts to play the reverse sweep with the back of his bat off Swann, only succeeding in sending the ball towards square leg, odd.

2054: West Indies 741-8
Ramdin opens the face of his bat and glides two James Anderson deliveries down to third man to collect three runs, taking this ninth-wicket stand to 40.

2050: West Indies 737-8
Poor old Graeme Swann. The off-spinner sees a pad-glove catch off Daren Powell loop into the hands of Alastair Cook at short leg, only for umpire Russell Tiffin to shake his head. The replay confirms contact with the glove, the ideal scenario for the referral, only England have none to call on. Swann looks like a man sucking a lemon moments later when Powell and Ambrose are beaten by a beauty of an off-break, which rolls away for four byes.

2046: West Indies 732-8
Another crunching square cut from Ramdin crashes into the hoardings at deep backward point off Anderson, taking the Trinidad stumper to 157, the second highest ever Test score by a West Indian wicketkeeper at the Kensington Oval.

He's reached 150


: West Indies 725-8
Denesh Ramdin brings up his 150 with a flurry of boundaries - two over mid-off along with a hoik over midwicket. The latter should have been caught by Ryan Sidebottom on the boundary, but the curly-haired seamer, only recently back on the pitch after a lengthy rest, completely misses the flight of the ball, which lands two feet to his left before trickling over the infield. Graeme Swann is fuming - expletives pollute the air towards Sidey's direction. Sid is a bowler who gives plenty of grief if fielders haven't made enough of an effort, so a bit of karma there methinks. He could use the sun as an excuse, but his sunglasses wouldn't exactly help him justify his mistake.

2038: West Indies 713-8
Anderson, a man with lungs the size of a giraffe's, chugs in for another energy-sapping over, which goes for three.

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"Highest score in first innings by a team that ended up losing is 586 by Australia in 1894 against England, who won following on. The Adelaide result is third on that list."
Ben Wood in Prestonvia Text 81111

2034: West Indies 710-8
Swanny beats the outside edge of Daren Powell's bat, along with the gloves of Tim Ambrose as the ball rolls away for four byes. Ramdin moves to 138 with a cheeky chip down on one knee to square leg for another single. It's as painful as watching back-to-back series of Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps right now.

"Re Nick Osborne, England's 551-6 declared against the aussies at Adelaide in 2006 has to be right up there!"
Andy Mitchelmore

Wicket falls


: West Indies 701-8 Wicket Benn ct Ambrose b Anderson 14
James Anderson deservedly collects his third wicket with a short delivery which Benn attempts to pull, but the spinner is too late with his stroke and feathers a nick through to Tim Ambrose, who takes the catch high over his head. Out comes the hero of the ARG, Daren Powell, who gets off the mark with a tidy flick off his toes. You probably won't be surprised to hear this is the highest ever total at the Kensington Oval. WI 704-8

2024: West Indies 700-7
Ramdin thumps a well-flighted delivery from Swann straight back down the pitch for a single to long off to bring up the mammoth 700. Flags of a gamut of Caribbean islands are waved in celebration with Benn and his wicketkeeper putting on a stand of 28 in no time. A man is fed coconut water while buried in sand. I bet a few England players would love to swap places with him.

"What is the highest score recorded by a team batting first in a Test match who went on to lose? Call me a pessimist, but I have been watching England for a long time."
Nick Osborne, Twickenham

2019: West Indies 692-7
Benn plants a huge front foot down the track and launches Graeme Swann high between midwicket and mid-on for four before a cut deflection off his pads for another boundary. The off-spinner beats the left-hander from around the wicket with a classy delivery, although the batsman will probably be happier with that ball than his England contemporary.

"Does anyone else think that South Africa will beat Australia but that England wont be able to bat out the day?"

2012: West Indies 683-7
Denny Ramdin collects two more fours, both from late cuts, although the second is a lot classier than the first, which only just evaded the left hand of Andrew Strauss at slip off the bowling of the returning Paul Collingwood. The second boundary also sees him surpass his highest ever first-class score of 131.

Wicket falls
That's 50


: West Indies 672-7 Taylor bowled Swann 53
Another saucy cut, this time from Jerome Taylor off the returning Swann, rolls away to the third man boundary for Taylor's sixth four, bringing up a lively and thoroughly entertaining 50, definitely woken me from my stupor. However, he is back in the pavilion seconds later when he elects to go back to a full-length delivery which spins off the pitch and castling his stumps. Suliemann Benn is the new man and the Bajan deftly adds a couple with a delicate dab. WI 674-7

"In an attempt to stave off terminal boredom, I've been inspecting 'my Frindalls'. It appears that the record innings total in a WIndies-England Test was 849 - piled up by England, in April 1930. The match went on for 11 days (two of 'em rained-off). It ended (by grace of God) with the Windies on 408-5 in the fourth innings of the game. Shall we get remission from this match for good conduct - or anything?"
David White

2001: West Indies 668-6
Wallop! Jerome Taylor plants his front foot down the pitch and bashes Ravi Bopara back over his head, over the ropes for a bad-boy six before a single sees him move to within one run of his first half century. Denesh Ramdin then guides yet another pinpoint late cut past second slip and gully for his 14th boundary. No wonder Straussy is rubbing his eyes dreaming of better times.

1957: West Indies 654-6
Taylor launches into a short Broad delivery with another vicious pull for his fifth boundary of his innings, taking him to 42, his second highest ever Test score. Fidel Edwards is gently swaying to reggae rhythms in the dressing room. Happy days for a fast bowler - two days of sitting doing nothing.

1953: West Indies 650-6
With Ryan Sidebottom's creaky joints most probably submerged in an ice bath, Andrew Strauss turns to Ravi Bopara for...for what? Wickets? Salvation? Forgiveness? None of those come as Taylor brings up the 650. So prediction time - is there still life in this match? Or should we start looking towards Trinidad and England's prospects of levelling this series?

1948: West Indies 647-6
These England bowlers look as if they've run out of puff, Stu Broad ambles in at a pedestrian (for him) 77mph, turning off a short run for one delivery which catches everyone - including Jerome Taylor - off guard. Singles galore as the Windies duo bring up their 50-run partnership.

"The last Test showed that Test cricket can be the most exciting form of the game. This Test shows it can also be the most boring." Il_pirata on 606
Soaphead on 606

1942: West Indies 644-6
Almost a run out as Jerome Taylor remains rooted to his crease after fending off a short Sidebottom delivery, only to see his partner belting it down the pitch at top speed. taylor eventually leaves his blocks, but Tim Ambrose chooses to throw at the striker's end, where Ramdin had made his ground, when the non-striker's end would have probably found Taylor out of his ground. Nevertheless, both men continue without further alarm, taking their seventh-wicket partnership to 49. Sidey limps off the park, the boy looks thoroughly knackered.

1936: West Indies 639-6
Taylor jumps up on his toes and punches an aerial back-foot drive off Broady just short of Ravi Bopara at point. Russell Tiffin is still not happy with the bowler's follow through as Broady drops a horrible long-hop wide outside off stump which Ramdin spanks to the third man boundary for four.

1932: West Indies 633-6
Ramdin drops a Sidebottom deliveries about six inches from his toes and steals a single. Sidebottom raps Taylor on the pad, but the ball would have clearly missed off stump and umpire wistfully Dar shakes his head.

1928: West Indies 632-6
Stu Broad sends down a flurry of short deliveries, which Taylor ducks under, followed up with a steely stare of his azul eyes. However, Russell Tiffin is not happy with Broad's follow through and he is issued with a warning for encroaching onto the danger area down the middle of the pitch. Maybe it's a ruse to stop him from bowling any further overs in this match.

1923: West Indies 632-6
Extraordinary from Taylor, who checks a drive off Sidebottom, possibly because he was too early on the shot, only to see the ball timed to perfection to the long-off boundary for four as the ball looped high over the bowler's head. Taylor's sponsorless bat marmalises a swats a short delivery over the deep midwicket boundary for a second maximum before sending a rank full-toss down to deep point for four. That boundary takes Taylor to 30 off as many balls.

1918: West Indies 617-6
Sidebottom makes an agile stop down at fine leg as Jerome Taylor launches into another powerful pull shot off Stuart Broad for a single. Ramdin moves to 106 with a push off his back foot.

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"Anyone else notice the uncanny and perhaps disturbing resemblance between KP, what with the shades and the perfectly chiselled facial hair, and one George Michael?"
Anon, Text 81111

1913: West Indies 615-6
Jerome Taylor flails a lovely back-foot punch through the covers from Sidebottom. Poor delivery though, allowing the Jamaican to free his arms and hit through the line of the ball. The next delivery sees the former Yorkshire tyro tighten his line and pitch the ball further up the track as Taylor plays and misses, to o-shaped mouths from Sidey and his colleagues.

"You can't really blame the Windies, they haven't won a series practically for ever. They hold the advantage and England aren't good enough to do anything about it. England have no chance in the Ashes."
Soaphead on 606

1908: West Indies 611-6
Spanking shot from Denesh Ramdin, who stands on his back toes and punches a drive in front of square for four, definitely up there with Taylor's pulled six for the shot of the day. Broad has two slips and a gully, but is not pitching the ball up to bring those fielders into play. Ramdin ducks under an innocuous bouncer to bring the over to an end.

1903: The players wander out after a sandwich and fruit punch (possibly) with Andrew Strauss going through the motions of bowling - surely not? Evidently not with an eight-over old ball, which finds its way to Stuart Broad.

"Classy move by Sidebottom and the rest of the England squad to shake Ronnie's hand after his innings."
Doug Bethune in Newmarket, Ontario Canada


1844: West Indies 607-6
Good lord - Jerome Taylor has just hit a pull shot you would expect Sir Viv Richards to play, rocking on to his back foot and dispatching Ryan Sidebottom with utter disdain into the Greenidge and Haynes stand for six, taking the Windies into the lead for the first time in the match. He follows that up with a similar shot, only - he says - this time for four. A beetroot-faced Sidey gives some eyeballs, which suddenly sends his crowd into delight as umpire Dar calls for tea.

1841: West Indies 596-6
Good over from James Anderson, but equally well played by Jerome Taylor, who plays a pugnacious forward defence with a pencil-straight bat. Curiously, Jerome doesn't have a bat sponsor's logo on his blade.

"Re 1815: Utterly reliable source tells me that the piece of paper Ramdin raised said thanks to Ian Bishop, David Williams (West Indies assistant coach) and Ramnaresh Sarwan."
Mohammed, London

Wicket falls


: West Indies 595-6 Wicket Sarwan bowled Sidebottom 291
Just when he was destined for triple ton greatness, Sarwan inside edges a Sidebottom delivery onto his stumps, uprooting his off stump out of the ground. There's a massive roar around the ground, but the first thing Sidey does is shake Ronnie's hand, while all the England fielders do likewise. A tumultuous reception awaits Sarwan as he walks off the Kensington Oval, with his bat proudly raised to all parts of the ground, ending a 261-run sixth-wicket partnership. Well played that man. That was also Sidebottom's first wicket of the series. Jerome Taylor, scorer of a recent Test century in New Zealand, is the new man at the crease and he gets off the mark with a single down to fine leg.

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"How much money should I put on Sarwan holding the highest ever Test score record this time tomorrow?"
Sparkle on 606

1825: West Indies 595-5
Another gorgeous front-foot cover drive from Ronnie Sarwan off Sidey beats a rather lazy dive from Kevin Pietersen for four, a boundary which takes their partnership to 257, the highest sixth-wicket partnership at the Kensington Oval. Ronnie follows that up with a similar shot, although slightly cruder and more uppish, but with the same result. The Windies are now five runs short of England's first-innings total. So what's Chris Gayle's gameplan here? Bat until lunchtime tomorrow and throw all sorts of missles and bombs at England for a sweaty final 40 overs?

"Precedent has previously been set with a Test match being abandoned due to a dangerous pitch. Surely it is time for a precedent to be set for having a match abandoned due to a ridiculously safe, humdrum, boring wicket on which a result would never be achieved even for Australia v my local Brownies team."
Matt, very bored in Looe

1820: West Indies 587-5
Dreamy leg glance from Ronnie, who leans towards leg stump and guides an inswinger through midwicket for his 28th boundary of his innings. He collects another single to move within 17 of a triple ton. Anyone not seen Slumdog Millionaire?

He's reached 100


: West Indies 582-5
Sidebottom collects his ton in his third column when Sarwan turns a glance to midwicket, presenting Ramdin, the only Test wicketkeeper in world cricket without scoring an international century, the opportunity to rub the noses of various stattos into the dirt. And a glance down to fine leg sees the Trinidadian go absolutely berserk as he scores his maiden Test ton. He unfurls a piece of paper from his pocket and lofts it high, although not too sure what that's about. Well played that man.

1810: West Indies 579-5
Some sort of salvation for England, the new ball (the third - wonder how many times he has done that in his Test career?) is due and Jimmy Anderson duly takes the new cherry, only to see Ronnie splay a thick outside edge high over the head of third slip down to the vacant third man boundary for four. Nice shape from Anderson, who sends four balls away before curling one back to Sarwan, who is rapt on his pads. A desperate appeal rings out, but the ball would probably miss an extra set of stumps.

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"How fickle of England fans to call this boring!! At the Oval drinking rum and coke watching Ronnie dominate! English fans weren't complaining when they racked up 600. Long live the Windies!"
Sars fan via Text 81111

1806: West Indies 574-5
Ramdin moves to within a run of his ton with a scampered single off Pietersen, who bowls a delivery with a suspicious action, wonder whether his elbow flexed beyond the 15 degree level of leniency.

1803: West Indies 568-5
England might as well give Ottis Gibson or Andy Flower a bowl right now as Pietersen twirls down six very non-descript deliveries, with four runs conceded. The next over from Swann sees Ramdin go a bit doolally as he attempts to skip down the track and hit the Notts spinner to Aruba, but only squirting the ball down to fine leg for a streaky single. Ronnie has a quiet word with Rammers, who is five runs short of a deserved ton.

1757: West Indies 559-5
Lord this is dull. Swann concedes three runs of his over, although there is a moment of panic as Sarwan is sent back to the non-striker's end after pelting it down the track in search of a quick single, but just makes his ground as the throw comes in from point.

"After seeing Broad practice his golf swing and the third umpire taking an age to decide for me, the beach wins out. Keep up the superb commentary in case I need to rush back to see Shah rip through the Windies. Expect a crowd of 3 for the last day at this rate."
Tom, slightly perkier after some local bajan beer, at the Oval

1754: West Indies 556-5
Sarwan scores his Test best score by thumping a Shah full toss through extra cover for four, while Denesh Ramdin moves to within 11 runs of a maiden Test ton with a delicate sweep past fine leg for a boundary.

1751: West Indies 546-5
This is like playing with your old man in the back garden, every ball is worth a run or two, tip-and-run if you will. Swanny concedes seven, all from unmemorable shots, which tells you something about how easy things are right now. How I yearn for a Cow Corner moo to mix things up. Apologies for getting the wickets wrong at the top of the page.

1749: West Indies 539-5
Only four West Indians have scored triple tons in Test history - Lawrence Rowe, Sir Garfield Sobers, Brian Lara (x2) and Chris Gayle. Sarwan moves to within 44 runs of that landmark with four simple runs off Owais Shah, probably the only batsman to miss out on serious runs on this Valhalla of a batting track. I've almost forgotten what happens when a wicket falls.

1743: West Indies 532-5
Swanny comes on, although probably not of his volition. Ramdin greets his arrival with a hop and a skip and an almighty larrup straight back over his head for a one-bounce four. Reckon Swanny would rather be cooking with polenta than bowling here. Drinks.

"Polenta is very handy for sealing window frames on a cold, wet and stormy winter evening."
Stephen Cook

He's reached 200


: West Indies 526-5
Tim Ambrose is standing back to Collingwood, who digs a very slower bouncer in to Sarwan, who has more time than a watchmaker to rock back and pull the ball for two runs, a stroke which brings up his 250, a graphic which we have yet to make yet. He is now 11 runs short of his Test best mark, a 261 against Bangladesh. Is that the cricket equivalent of a 9-0 win over San Marino?

1735: West Indies 523-5
With holes the size of galaxies across the Kensington Oval, Sarwan and Ramdin cash in on singles galore off the Bopster.

"Polenta is excellent with mixed with hummous. Very tasty. Unlike the cricket."
Richard from Oxford

"This has to one of the dullest sessions of Test cricket I have seen in a while. Should I head to the beach or stick it out on principle?"
Tom, slowly drifting off at the Oval

Tom, I'm going to refer this to the third umpire - you lot - although I know what my answer would be.

1731: West Indies 519-5
"Oooh! Very fine from Sarwan, who opens the face of the bat to guide a Colly off-cutter down to third man for a couple, deliberate, albeit a tad risky."

1727: West Indies 517-5
Wonder what's going on in the head of next man Jerome Taylor, he's probably lost six litres of fluid sweating in his pads. A leg-bye and a single to Ramdin. Since the cricket is as dull as an Ikea assembly manual, anyone got any good suggestions for polenta? Try as I might, I just can't make it taste of anything other than cardboard.

"'Potterquitter' (13) - someone who's so bored with the cricket, they've decided to read Harry Potter instead."
TrickieDickie, Hollywood

1723: West Indies 515-5
Denny Rammers trots through a single past point for his highest ever Test score at 72, while Sarwan moves to 245 with a straight drive down to long on off Colly.

1719: West Indies 513-5
Ramdin soon moves to one run of that personal landmark with a cracking front-foot drive through extra cover for four off the Bopster. Perfect shot, foot right to the pitch of the ball, high hands, head perfectly still. This feels like the last days of a 14-year-old faithful old English sheepdog on his way to the vets for the final time...

1712: West Indies 508-5
Ramdin tucks into a juicy long-hop from Collingwood, pulling the ball down past fine leg for a boundary with Andrew Strauss taking evasive action at leg slip. The four takes Ramdin to 65, six runs short of his career-best 71 scored against Australia in Hobart in 2005.

"Sat in Oval with 18 friends, four didn't bother coming at all today! Stands emptying all around us. Call it a draw now and give us a one-dayer tomorrow!"
Tracy, Barbados

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"Teetertotter is twelve letters. I guess that word is OK for Americans. Apparently you can spell 1187 words on the top row!" Anon on Text 81111

1706: West Indies 503-5
Ravi Bopara - or the Bopster as my esteemed editor has just called him to alleviate his boredom right now - comes on for his first joust of the day - and his first delivery is flogged between midwicket and mid-on by Sarwan, who moves into the 240s as well as bringing up the Windies' 500. Ambrose opts to stand up to the wicket but can do nothing about a shoddy bit of fielding at mid-on from Stuart Broad, who is nutmegged attempting to collect the ball as Ronnie completes a bonus run.

1706: West Indies 497-5
You could hear a mosquito break wind at the Kensington Oval right now, absolutely dead air everywhere, which goes some way to explain the action right now. A Colly slower ball fools Ramdin, who attempts another expansive cut shot but completely misses the ball as Tim Ambrose looks to the heavens for inspiration or intervention. Either one will do for England right now.

"I think we need an Alistair Cook hat-trick now."
NotoriousMattyP on 606

1702: West Indies 497-5
Stone the crows - Ronnie Sarwan has just wafted at thin air from a James Anderson delivery outside off stump. He cuts over the penultimate ball of the over, which bounces twice before thudding into the mitts of Tim Ambrose. Kept a touch low again, but still no sign of a wicket.

"The OED doesn't think "preprototype" is a word."

1658: West Indies 497-5
Ronnie plonks his front foot down the track and lofts Paul Collingwood over mid-on towards the Three Ws stand and the Sir Garfield Sobers pavilion for a one-bounce four. The next delivery is all bottom hand as Sarwan whips the ball off his pads, who is looking like a man has just undone his belt by one notch to accommodate a long stay at a Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet.

1654: West Indies 492-5
Bit of low bounce from that Anderson over, although nothing too alarming. Still, maybe some signs of fifth-day pitch gremlins perhaps?

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"I love cricket. But this is just so boring!!! First time ever I have switched off coverage."
nbakewell on 606

1650: West Indies 491-5
Collingwood continues with his melange of cutters, seamers and slower balls, although slightly different scenario to a one-dayer. The Windies duo collect more well-run singles to take their sixth-wicket partnership to 157 runs. Simple this batting lark.

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"Preprototype, which i am lead to believe is a valid word, is 12 letters and is from the top row of my keyboard, but that's the best I've got so far."
Tom Bastin via Text 81111

1646: West Indies 488-5
Ramdin absolutely hammers a loose long-hop from James Anderson outside off stump to the deep point boundary for a savage four, very much in the manner of one of Barbados' most celebrated sons, Cuthbert Gordon Greenidge. I was once told how Gordon and Barry Richards, during their pomp at Hampshire in the 1970s, would have competitions about who could square cut the hardest. Baggsy not fielding at point.

1640: Out wander Sarwan and Ramdin, with James Anderson set to resume bowling duties.

"Wikipedia is your friend. Rupturewort is the longest word from the top row (11 letters), however if you allow hyphenated words, teeter-totter wins at 12 (+ hyphen). "
Oliver via the TMS inbox

"Did you know that Strauss has the wickets of Kevin Pietersen and Stephen Fleming, both lbw, so do not underrate him." Shim

"Well I know stewardesses is the longest word with just the left hand on a keyboard..."

"Could you correct my message - I wrote proprietory not proprietary - otherwise zillions of people are going to get cross with me!"
John Potts again

1607: Time to sandwich, as a British Olympian might say. See you in 30ish minutes.

"Re the discussion about the longest word that can be formed from the top line of a typewriter. Quote: Romilly has suggested 'perpetuity' as the longest word on the top line of a typewriter. Erm, that's the same number of letters (10) as typewriter (see the original poster). Try proprietary with 11. Any advance on 11?"
John Potts


1602: West Indies 483-5
Daniel Haslam tells us Andrew Strauss has two first-class wickets at an average of 39.5 - "he MUST be the answer". Sophie thinks the captain should be accompanied by his batting partner Alastair Cook with the ball. Strauss unleashes a wild throw from first slip, which allows Sarwan to sneak a single off Paul Collingwood, who is mixing up his dibblies with cutters and all sorts. Ramdin plays a text-book forward defence shot and the morning session comes to an end, with 85 runs scored in the two-hour session, 117 runs behind the tourists.

1556: West Indies 481-5
Swann is finally allowed permission to bowl in what probably will be the last over of the morning session. Jonathan Agnew is talking about the prospects of Andrew Strauss bowling, what Kevin Pietersen would describe as "filth". Might as well give himself a bowl, probably has as much chance as anyone as Ramdin collects his sixth boundary with a well-struck cut to the point boundary. Swann rattles through the over and we'll have one more before the break. What do I know?

That's 50


: West Indies 475-5
Sarwan's 227 is the third highest Test score at the Kensington Oval, the second highest ever by a West Indian, just behind Lawrence Rowe. Paul Collingwood contrives to dig one in short, although he probably forgot to signal his intention to keeper Ambrose, who sees the ball sail high over his outstretched right hand for four byes. Ramdin duly brings up his sixth Test 50 with a delicate late dab down to third man for two.

1552: West Indies 469-5
The singles are flowing as sweetly as Willy Wonka's chocolate river right now, neither of these two batsmen will ever have a better chance of scoring their highest Test scores on a bowlers' graveyard. Five runs from that Pietersen over as Ramdin moves to 48, two runs short of his sixth Test half-century.

1549: West Indies 464-5
Colly has a leg slip and short leg, can't say Strauss isn't trying. Alastair Cook at short leg nearly gets his load knocked off as Sarwan launches into a short delivery for a single to deep midwicket, while two further runs are added with easy singles.

1545: West Indies 461-5
Strauss turns to Kevin Pietersen as Graeme Swann is not permitted to bowl having spent a bit off the pitch. Ramdin procures a double with an attractive shot off the back foot for two before sweeping a straight ball down fine for another double. Amazingly, England have a leg-slip in place. For what? Keeping Tim Ambrose updated with the SA-Aus score?

1542: West Indies 456-5
A rotund patron at the Kensington Oval is taking advantage of the staid action on the field with a well-deserved slumber under a stand as Paul Collingwood concedes three runs from his third over, including a late cute of diamond-cutting finesse from Sarwan.

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"Now is Ramdin's opportunity to finally get a Test century under his belt."
Shivfan on 606

1537: West Indies 453-5
Stu Broad opts to go around the wicket to Sarwan, but has about as much success as trying to play the drum solo in Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick" with three saucepans and a wooden spoon. Hard work.

1533: West Indies 453-5
A huge appeal from a helmeted Tim Ambrose, standing up to the stumps to Paul Collingwood, for a caught behind appeal for a catch down the leg side against Denesh Ramdin. Umpire Dar is not having any of it, although the replays suggest there could have been willow involved, but England spurned their remaining referral at the start of the day. Smart take from the Warwickshire stumper though. And Ramdin rubs sea salt into the wounds with a nice-looking cut down to third man, all soft hands and deft placement, a shot which takes him to 36.

"Re: Panini stickers - I could never get number 525, Frank McGarvey of St. Mirren."
Philip Anderson (still playing fm live, kids gluing stuff on the kitchen table and wife asleep)

1529: West Indies 448-5
Sarwan flicks a Broad delivery off his pads for a single, the only mark from Broad's over. Ronnie moves to 222, feet up David Shepherd.

Get involved on 606

"There's nowt fair about this for the bowlers vs batsmen, what is the point of Test cricket if there isn't a result to be gained at the end of it all?" Kooliomix3 on 606

1523: West Indies 447-5
Andrew Strauss summons Paul Collingwood for his first bowl of the innings. His last delivery keeps a touch low as Ramdin jabs his bat down to prevent his stumps from being rattled. The Sunderland fan mixes up his deliveries with offies and seamies, but can't prevent two runs from being added to the Windies total. Romilly has suggested 'perpetuity' as the longest word on the top line of a typewriter.

"I suspect that, when you wrote, 'James Anderson - best England fast bowling fielder ever?' you'd probably forgotten all about 'Sir' Fred Trueman. He was one of of the most fearless and able close leg-side fielders in the history of cricket, catching chances that many leg-trap experts wouldn't even have attempted. And, when, either the mood took him or the state of the game decreed it, Fiery Fred would patrol the boundary, usually on the leg side. In the deep, he would cut off apparently certain boundary and could throw the ball into the keeper's gloves with either arm - with the stumper standing over the wicket. That's I call 'best fast bowling fielder ever' - from any Test nation."
David White via the TMS inbox

1518: West Indies 445-5
Nice fielding from substitute fielder Ian Bell (remember him?), whose full-length diving underarm throw breaks the stumps from a Sarwan push to mid-on, but Denesh Ramdin was well within his ground. Maiden over from Broady.

"Great one Pranav, Smith's out now!!"
Ben from Swindon

Cue Harold Bishop-style mumblings...

1514: West Indies 445-5
Majestic from Ronnie S, who presents a beautifully straight bat to a ball which zooms past non-striker Ramdin for four to the long-on boundary before he collects two more singles with consummate ease.

"Re: 1437 and the typewriter comment. That is not totally coincidental. One of the reasons the letters QWERTY were chosen on the top row was so that the salesman on the first typewriters could "amaze" potential customers with how fast they could type 'typewriter'. Putting all the letters on the top row helped achieve this." Lee via the TMS inbox

1509: West Indies 438-5
Broady thumps in a bouncer, which sails over Sarwan's head, a delivery which is called a wide, although the Notts seamer is less than impressed. Ronnie collects another run with his go-to stroke, the cut down to third man.

"West Brom have many defensive frailties, but they never played fast bowlers at left-back (see 1453). I think you mean Derek Statham…Are you a Baggie?"
Kimpton Baggie via the TMS inbox

Kimpton, my team are currently about to get thoroughly whipped at Wembley by a rampant Manchester United side, a match you can follow with the delightful Caroline Cheese:

Meanwhile, in Jo'burg, Graeme Smith is going great guns and runs, ably assisted by Hashim Amla:

1501: West Indies 436-5
Just seen Joel "Big Bird" Garner in the grounds, what a legend. He formed possibly the biggest opening bowling partnerships ever seen at Taunton with the legendary Colin Dredge, one of my prized possessions from my World of Cricket '83 sticker book. Former Windies batsman Cammie Smith is another enjoying the baking Bajan sun. As for the cricket, not much of note, another maiden as Ramdin, perched happily on 30, defends Sidey's six offerings. Time for drinks.

"This has been an excellent partnership for the Windies, I can seriously see the Windies knocking up 600."
Eirebilly on 606

1457: West Indies 436-5
Sarwan absolutely laces a front-foot drive through extra cover for four off Stuart Broad's first over of the day. Shot of the day by a distance.

1453: West Indies 432-5
Sidey trundles in, hair swinging wildly in the sea breeze, as Sarwan works a single square from his fourth delivery, the only run from the over. The word "soporific" has been muttered by my editor.

"Wonder what Swanny's prized Panini sticker might have been (see 1417)? Being a Northampton lad maybe Brian Kilcline from Coventry? Fantastic hair. Or maybe Andy Dibble from Luton? Wonder what he's doing now?
Damian Fleming from Nottingham via the TMS inbox

Mine was Lee Chapman during his Sheffield Wednesday days. And West Brom's Brian Statham, although I had far too many shinies, especially the Aston Villa badge.

1448: West Indies 431-5
Bananaman, Spiderman, Buzz Lightyear and Batman are among a group of superheroes laying prone on sundecks at the Kensington Oval watching James Anderson rain down six very good deliveries to Denesh Ramdin. The Burnley Express will probably need to borrow one of their costumes to get a wicket on his deck, absolutely no reward for his endeavour.

Referral - not out


: West Indies 431-5
Ryan Sidebottom traps Sarwan on the pads around off stump, but umpire Aleem Dar looks about as interested as a toddler reading Tolstoy. However, Andrew Strauss motions the "T" and good morning to you Daryl Harper. However, his advice is made a darn sight more easier as the ball clearly pitches outside leg stump and soon after the replay umpire Dar walks back to his spot behind the stumps and play continues. I think the England players knew that was not out, which seems slightly pointless using it up in that fashion. Although, after the debacle of yesterday, anything is possible. Maiden over from Sidey.

1437: West Indies 431-5
James Anderson has a heart the size of an elephant's, he steams in, wobbling the ball in the most seam-unfriendly conditions ever in Test cricket.

"Did you know, that the longest word that can be written on the top row (see 1407) of a typewriter is in fact, typewriter, amazing eh??" Steve, Mirfield via the TMS inbox

1433: West Indies 431-5
Ryan Sidebottom is introduced into the mixer for a joust and sees his third delivery turned fine for four by the imperious Sarwan, who rocks on to his back foot to glean three with a pull shot to the deep midwicket boundary, where the agile James Anderson dives full-length to prevent the ball from crossing the ropes. James Anderson - best England fast-bowling fielder ever? I say yes.

"Couldn't you handle Oz-SA at the same time, Pranav? Certainly more interesting than this and the Saffers should by no means be discounted - they don't even know what "world record" means. Only 120 overs and 360 runs to go..."
Stephen Cook via the TMS inbox

Would love to Stephen, but my brain would officially explode from information overload attempting to explain the antics in Barbados and Johannesburg.

1428: West Indies 423-5
James Anderson manages to get the ball to wobble in the air, with one inswinging delivery striking Denesh Ramdin on leg stump, although a the lbw is somewhat subdued from bowler and fielders. Hawk-eye suggests the ball would have clipped leg. I bet third umpire Daryl Harper wants nothing more than to stick a copy of the Daily Telegraph over his head and head down to the beach to baste right now. Maiden over. Apologies for the broken 606 link, that has been rectified.

1424: West Indies 423-5
How the selectors would love to have selected two spinners now. Alas, Graeme Swann toils away with little help from a surface which Sarwan will probably want to roll up and sleep with for the rest of his life.

Apologies for the slow updates, a man is being flogged as we speak to rectify his mistake. That man is actually me...

He's reached 200


: West Indies 421-5
It's possibly his worst shot of his brilliant innings so far, but Ramnaresh Sarwan brings up a thoroughly deserved double ton with an thick outside edge which flies high over Andrew Strauss' head at first slip for four off James Anderson. His second Test double ton has come from 297 balls, featuring 21 fours and two sixes.

1417: West Indies 416-5
The most exciting thing that happened that over was Denesh Ramdin blindly colliding into Graeme Swann after prodding a quick single into the covers. Swanny looks as if someone has used his prized Panini Football '85 sticker as a coaster, but it all ends amicably. More singles sees the total propped up by three.

1414: West Indies 413-5
Sarwan moves into the 190s with yet another flashing cut down to the third man boundary for four off Anderson, which also brings up his 500th run in the series. How Andrew Strauss must have been muttering his namesake Flintoff under his breath yesterday. Got a flat pitch? Runs coming to easy? Then you need a spell from SuperFred? Errr, not if his hip is about as creaky as a rusty barn door.

1407: West Indies 408-5
Sarwan turns two more runs off his hip, although his running between the wickets is showing signs of suicidal tendencies. Still, nothing to alarm him or partner Ramdin from that particular Swanny over.

"I think we have to be realistic, in the context of the games current explicit and hidden power structures, about the relative impossibility of the referral system now being set aside in the short term.

"In the same way that the QWERTY typewriter/keyboard took hold, because of social and economic processes of path dependency related to early typewriter design and the consequent institutional weight of the US companies producing them and just as Betamax videos lost out to poorer designs because the US market had already 'chosen' its design, so is the referral system set to establish itself in cricket wholly in line with mid-range social scientific models of 'path dependency', whereby initial technological process, however faulty in (never neutral) scientific terms, becomes established through processes of institutional irreversibility, notwithstanding the ever-present potential for either exogenic or social movement-based shock factors bringing revolutionary change. Myself, I predict a riot, but not yet.
Paul in Lancs

1407: West Indies 405-5
Ramnaresh Sarwan pulls a short James Anderson ball down to fine leg, running off like Asafa Powell for two, but Ramdin ambles down like Peter Powell, serenely content for the single. A mix-up ensues, but both men make their ground with despairing dives despite Tim Ambrose's shy to the non-striker's end. The two runs bring up the 400, with the follow-on averted when the ball brushes Sarwan's thigh pad to trickle down fine for four leg-byes.

1402: West Indies 398-5
A very sedate start to the day as Denesh Ramdin turns six deliveries from Swann into the leg side, all to close fielders without any chance of adding to the overnight score. Interesting to note the "Aussie mafia" in place at the Kensington Oval - West Indies coach John Dyson, match referee Alan Hurst and third umpire Daryl Harper. Wonder if they've discussed their country's prospects of victory at the Wanderers?

1359: The teams are out and Graeme Swann will amble in for the first over of the day.

1355: It seems the referral system has caused all sorts of bother in the first Test between South Africa and Australia. There have been some absolutely sensational catches by the home side in the second innings as they dismissed the tourists for 207. And openers Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie are going great guns right now. Shades of Perth from last November? Surely not twice, non?

1351: My esteemed editor - who is my right-hand man today - has just plopped a double-page spread of the crocked Anderw Flintoff wearing what can only be described as the leftovers from the costume department from Brideshead Revisited. An enamel-white blazer and trouser combo over a crisp-white office shirt. As for the shoes...

Text in your views on 81111

"We all know the referral system is a joke until they decide to use proper technology, not just another human with a replay. I don't think Hawk-eye is going to increase england's ability to dismiss Sarwan though..."
Will, Herts via Text 81111

"I referred my divorce petition to the county court and they upheld it, bless their souls. Admittedly Daryl Harper wasn't in attendance but still, it's a system you can trust."
Steve, Germany via the TMS inbox

1345: Poor old Ronnie Sarwan, smashes a quite brilliant 184 and finds his beautifully constructed classical opus overshadowed by a reverb-heavy racquet coming from the third umpire's room. But with the pitch as flat as a Belgian road, the Guyanese shotmaker has a brilliant opportunity to bat for a triple ton. Depends on who can hang about with him. Denesh Ramdin looked better than he has all series during his 35-ball 25.

1340: BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew has written an excellent piece about his thoughts on the referral system:

1335: Hello you, I'm thinking about introducing the referral system in my everyday life. Porridge or cereal? Up goes the "T" and Daryl Harper will advise me that oats will release energy slowly through the day, while Sugar Puffs will have me bouncing off the ceiling and leave me shivering in a sugar cold turkey minutes later. Naturally I would completely ignore the correct option, a bit like what happened yesterday at the Kensington Oval.

I'm still perplexed about this whole referral saga - as it seems are the players too. A bit like watching a David Lynch film, it seems to make less sense the more the plot is explained to you. Let me have your thoughts about the day's prospects, suggestions for everyday life referrals and why Kevin Pietersen should never wear his Elton John-style sunglasses ever again. Ping me via the TMS inbox, 606 or Text 81111

see also
W Indies-England day 3 as it happened
28 Feb 09 |  England
England in West Indies 2009
29 Dec 08 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
West Indies legends video archive
14 May 07 |  West Indies

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