Monty Panesar has spun the Old Trafford Test Match in England’s favour with a remarkable spell that had turn and bounce. Left arm pacer Ryan Sidebottom did his bit to support Panesar to affect a Calypso Collapso as West Indies from a state of 200 for 4 were in no time bowled out for 229! Both bowlers had taken seven wickets between them. England have ended the second day’s play at 34 for 1 taking their lead to already 175.
When the second day’s play started, West Indies bowlers were supposed to be on a mission to finish the English innings as quickly as possible. But that didn’t happen and instead Ian Bell with the bowlers added 74 precious runs this morning! England stretched its first innings score from an overnight score of 296 for 7 to 370. Bell was unlucky though in missing out on his 7th test hundred by just 3 runs. His was the ninth wicket to go down with Collymore forcing him to edge a magic ball. There was some controversy during the change of innings phase when Steve Harmison and Liam Plunkett were warming up on t he square adjacent to the wicket which is against the rules. According to the law, both bowlers had to be penalized with no bowling for 30 minutes in the match from the time of the offence. But fortunately for England, both the bowlers were let off. And unfortunately for Windies, they lost their skipper Daren Ganga lbw to a sharp incoming delivery from Harmison to go to lunch at 17 for 1 in three overs of play.
Chris Gayle’s bad form continued, this time playing a loose shot off Plunkett to have Windies at 49 for 2. Gayle had stroked his way to 23 with 5 fours before that. Runako Morton coming ahead of Chanderpaul repaired the damage with a nice partnership with the left handed Devon Smith with both batsmen taking the score past three figures. England could get only one more wicket before tea with Morton getting leg before to Harmison having made 35. Devon Smith and Chanderpaul then carried their side to 150 for 3 in just 30 overs at the tea break.
The last session was an eventful one, it was the phase in which West Indies seemed to have lost the grip on the match totally. As many as eight wickets fell in the post tea session! Monty Panesar first removed Devon Smith who couldn’t go beyond 40. Things were back on track with Chanderpaul and Bravo building up a partnership and all of a sudden the tourists were looking into fine shape. It was Ryan Sidebottom coming in for a new spell who had got the much needed break as he got Bravo to edge one behind. Bravo had got 24 in the 59-run stand with Chanderpaul. Ramdin spoilt West Indies’ fight by playing a nonsense pull shot off Sidebottom to have his side at 224 for 6 and debutant Darren Sammy was done in by the sharp turn and bounce from Panesar. A counter attack from Chanderpaul was not going to come as the left hander got caught driving Sidebottom on the up. The left hander made exactly 50 having played only 78 balls with the help of 7 fours. Monty Panesar fittingly ended the innings by removing Collymore which was his fourth wicket. Monty’s figures were outstanding at 16.4-5-50-4. Sidebottom came back strongly in his second spell taking three wickets in four overs! By the close of play, England batted for 6 overs with Andrew Strauss once again falling early and once again an lbw candidate. This time he was dismissed by Fidel Edwards. Cook and Vaughan are looking good having struck a couple of fours each.