Centuries by Collingwood, Prior put England on top

Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior compiled centuries as England racked up 546-6 declared against West Indies on Day 2 of the fifth Test at Queen's Park Oval.

updated: March 08, 2009 11:56 IST
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Port-of-Spain, Trinidad:

Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior compiled centuries as England racked up 546-6 declared against West Indies on day two of the fifth Test at Queen's Park Oval.

West Indies, on the back of captain Chris Gayle's forthright, unbeaten 49, replied rousingly in posting 92-1 off 19 overs by the close on Saturday.

Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar gave England a late lift with the wicket of Devon Smith for 28. Nightwatchman Daren Powell survived without scoring with West Indies trailing by 454 runs.

Earlier, Collingwood stretched his ninth Test century to 161, which included 12 fours off 288 balls in five hours, 41 minutes.

Prior, who missed the previous Test to spend time with his wife and newborn son JJ, cracked an undefeated 131 off 198 deliveries. His second Test century was spiced with 12 boundaries in 258 minutes.

Collingwood and Prior shared a record fifth-wicket stand of 218 that dominated a listless West Indies attack.

Collingwood admitted England will have a lot of hard work to do to secure a victory to level the five-match series 1-1 and keep the Wisden Trophy.

"It's still a pretty good pitch. It hasn't got much pace in it to be honest with you," he said.

"The last two pitches that we've played on haven't deteriorated too much. This one seems to be a lot drier, a lot more cracks around and hopefully it will deteriorate a lot.

"We got the runs on the board today which is what we spoke about and hopefully we'll have a good day tomorrow."

Captain Andrew Strauss, whose first-day century set the platform for the visitors, departed for 142 early in the day and Owais Shah followed soon afterward for 33 as England slipped to 268-4.

Fidel Edwards, armed with the second new ball, broke through in the day's third over when he plucked out Strauss' leg stump as the England skipper came too far across his stumps. Strauss, who posted his 17th Test century on day one, hit 11 fours off 271 balls in just over six hours.

Shah, resuming after retiring hurt on Friday, ran himself out for 33 as substitute Dwayne Bravo's direct hit from midwicket caught him inches (centimeters) short.

But Collingwood and Prior quickly dulled the home team as they took control with an enterprising approach.

Collingwood passed three figures for the second time in the series just before England took lunch at 372-4.

The pair accelerated after the interval as Gayle again opted to use mainly part-time bowlers on a featherbed of a pitch.

Prior, who was dropped at slip by Shivnarine Chanderpaul off Ryan Hinds when on 76, posted his century off 156 balls with a trademark square cut. He celebrated by rocking his bat in tribute to his family.

"It was just a bit of fun. I knew my wife would be watching and it was just a little bit for her," he said.

Lionel Baker claimed his first Test wickets in removing Collingwood and Stuart Broad for 19 either side of tea before Strauss declared half an hour into the final session.

Collingwood was plainly leg before even though it took a West Indian referral to make umpire Russell Tiffin overturn his not out verdict. Broad lofted a catch to long-off.

Gayle and Smith unleashed a volley of sweet strokes to launch West Indies in thrilling style.

England twice tried to separate the left-handed pair by using the TV referral system but both times it was unsuccessful.

It eventually reaped success just before the close when Smith played inside the line of a Panesar delivery and was bowled to take the shine off the home team's reply.

Gayle lashed six fours and two sixes as he closed in on a half-century.