Bad weather forced a draw in the first Test at Lord’s. West Indies batsmen were complemented by rain and bad light to spoil England’s chances of winning the opening test match. Required to take 10 wickets on the final day, the English bowlers could get just the 20 overs to bowl. Windies ended the test match with a promising start in their second innings at 89 for no loss. It was a return of form for Chris Gayle as he got an unbeaten 47, his opening partner Daren Ganga got 31.
The Test Match got to a dull start with the rain threat always there. England under their make shift captain Andrew Strauss won the toss and batted first. They were given the start by a century by Alastair Cook, who brought up his fifth hundred. The first day saw England dominating a short day at 200/3 in just the 56 overs bowled. The next day saw the runs being piled up with England ending up at 553 for 5 after almost getting a full day’s play. Three more batsmen got centuries apart from Cook (105). Paul Collingwood (111), Ian Bell (109*) and Debutant wicket keeper Matt Prior (126* from 128 with 19 fours) were the other centurions.
With not much time left in the match, England declared their first innings at the overnight score on the third day’s play. Windies lost Chris Gayle relatively early but there was always pocket size resistance that was coming from the visitors. England had unfortunately lost the services of Matthew Hoggard due to a thigh injury, it was later known that Hoggard would be missing the rest of the test match. The rescue act came from Monty Panesar otherwise the English attack including their strike bowler Steve Harmison struggled on the flat deck. The problem for West Indies was that none of the batsmen were going on to get three figures which always kept them under pressure. At the close of the third day’s play, it was Shiv Chanderpaul with a dogged 63, who was carrying the fight to the next day with West Indies hanging in there at 363 for 7 in a full day’s play. Useful half centuries were registered by Dwayne Bravo (56 from 59 with 8 fours and a six) and Denesh Ramdin (60). Like Chanderpaul, opener Ganga was responsible in killing out plenty of time by scoring his 49 runs in 131 balls having survived nearly 45 overs.
The fourth day saw West Indies stretch their first innings to another 26.1 overs and score 437 on the board with a deficit of 116 runs. Chanderpaul could make only 74 but it was Daren Powell with 36 and Jerome Taylor with 21, who could add up some valuable runs. For Monty Panesar, it was a career best figures of 6 for 129 in 36.1 overs. Harmison and Plunkett were also taken for centuries by the West Indian batsmen.
In their second innings, England batted for almost 67 overs to set a target of 401 for West Indies. Kevin Pietersen led the way with a brisk hundred, 109 from 138 balls with 12 fours. Alastair Cook got amongst the runs once again, getting 65 but taking 125 balls for his efforts. For comeback man Owais Shah, it was a double failure as he got scores of 6 and 4. Matt Prior came up with a cameo of 21 from just the 9 balls with two fours and two sixes as England showed urgency to have the opposition in for a few overs before close. England in their second essay declared their innings at 284 for 8. The opening pair of Gayle and Ganga negotiated the two overs before stumps. Due to bad weather and stubborn resistance from the West Indian batsman, England couldn’t push on for a victory. The Man of the Match was given to Alastair Cook. The second Test Match of the four-match series starts from the 25th at Leeds.