The second test of England’s three test series with the West Indies begins at Trent Bridge on Friday
England’s five wicket victory over the Windies in the first test flattered the home side. They had to fight for this one, despite little optimism from the visitors. The West indies are not what they were. Past legends Michael Holding and Viv Richards have been all over the media this week in a stinging reminder of the Caribbean's glorious cricketing past.
England had a first inning lead of 155 and were the overwhelming favourites to quickly dispatch the visitors. It didn’t happen that way. West Indies batsmen fought back in their second inning, under the leadership of Shivnarine Chanderpaul. They got themselves into a solid, if unspectacular, rhythm that brought the test to an unexpected fifth day.
Along with Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels and Kemar Roach also caught the eye in a plucky display from the visitors. Plucky, but they still lost. So England go into the second test, with captain Andrew Strauss newly invigorated with his first century in 18 months, knowing that a win will give them an unassailable lead. And another vital victory in their mission to remain the top test side in the World.
However England fare in the second test, the challenge the Windies offered will serve them well in the tougher tests to come.
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