Collingwood ton helps England stretch lead

Paul Collingwood hit a fine 113 on Monday as England maintained its domination of the West Indies on day two of the third Test.

updated: February 17, 2009 08:46 IST
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St. John's, Antigua:

Paul Collingwood hit a fine 113 on Monday as England maintained its domination of the West Indies on day two of the third Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

Collingwood's eighth Test century helped England stretch its overnight lead of 301-3 to 566-9 declared.

Steve Harmison then grabbed the key wicket of West Indies captain Chris Gayle to limit the home team to 55-1 in reply at the close.

The 32-year-old Collingwood was the backbone of the visitors' effort, striking 14 fours off 202 balls in five hours.

Kevin Pietersen (51), Matt Prior (39) and Stuart Broad (44) all shared half century stands with Collingwood to keep the pressure on the home team.

Fidel Edwards (2-75) and Jerome Taylor (2-73) were the best of the West Indian bowlers.

Edwards jolted England in the day's second over when he removed nightwatchman James Anderson (4) in the course of a fine spell.

Collingwood and Pietersen were Tested by some hostile bowling but survived to add 94 for the fifth wicket.

Collingwood outscored Pietersen, who played with unusual restraint to reach his half century off 130 balls.

Taylor lifted the home team's mood 20 minutes after lunch when he ripped out the stumps of Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff in the same over.

Pietersen dragged on while Flintoff was defeated by a ball that kept low and lost his off and middle stumps as England slipped to 405-6.

But Collingwood continued to score freely and Prior shared a partnership that added 62.

Prior struck six fours off 61 balls before he provided left-arm medium pacer Brendan Nash with his maiden Test wicket, the right-hander lofting a catch to deepish mid-off just before tea.

Collingwood reached three figures after the break, his eighth Test hundred spanning 186 deliveries.

Stuart Broad, who lashed six fours and a six off 55 balls fell soon after, nicking an attempted drive against left-arm spinner Ryan Hinds.

Hinds (2-86) also accounted for Collingwood, who holed out to deep midwicket to bring about the declaration with an hour remaining.

The West Indies' reply was led by Gayle's counter-attack. But after hitting five fours and a six in 30 off 32 balls, Harmison claimed the crucial breakthrough.

Gayle slapped an off drive straight to mid-off where Anderson grabbed a head-high catch.

Devon Smith (10 not out) and nightwatchman Daren Powell (2 not out) survived until stumps.