2nd Test: Anderson puts England in command

James Anderson ripped out the West Indies' top order, reducing the tourists to 94-3 on day three of the second Test in reply to England's 569-6 declared.

updated: May 17, 2009 07:22 IST
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James Anderson ripped out the West Indies' top order on Saturday, reducing the tourists to 94-3 on day three of the second Test in reply to England's formidable 569 for six declared.

The paceman, who also contributed to a stand of 44 in England's long innings, bowled Devon Smith for seven. But with the West Indies on 34-1, play was suspended for bad light and then rain, and most of the spectators left presuming the day's play to be over.

But conditions improved dramatically, allowing play to go well beyond 7 p.m., during which time Anderson trapped Chris Gayle leg before wicket for 19 and had Lendl Simmons caught at first leg by Andrew Strauss for eight.

Anderson's performance almost certainly ensured England will regain the Wisden Trophy they lost in the Caribbean earlier this year and, just as importantly, maintained their momentum in the build-up to the Ashes series against Australia.

When the umpires again offered the West Indies batsmen the light, ending the day's play, Ramnaresh Sarwan had reached 41 and Shivnarine Chanderpaul three.

Earlier, Alistair Cook reached a career-best 160 and Matt Prior hit a speedy 63 before England declared at 569 for six at tea.

Paul Collingwood was unbeaten on 60 and Kevin Pietersen contributed 49 included nine fours to put England, already 1-0 up in the series, in a strong position to at least draw the match as the West Indies finally get to bat in the final session of the third day.

Play resumed after rain had washed out Friday's action without a ball being bowled and, despite the threat of more bad weather, England made quick progress before a near sellout crowd at the Riverside ground after the poorly attended first two days.

James Anderson, a tailender who was promoted in the order late Thursday when England lost the wicket of Ravi Bopara for 108, helped Cook put on 44 for the third wicket. But he was given a rough time by the short bowling of Edwards, who had several eyeball-to-eyeball confrontations with the England paceman.

Anderson survived when wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin dropped a routine catch down the leg side off Edwards. But the bowler finally dismissed Anderson who was bowled off his pads for 14 with England on 326.

Pietersen arrived with rain in the air and was greeted by another Edwards bouncer. But the tall righthander struck three fours in one over off Jerome Taylor who also conceded four byes.

Cook reached 150 for the first time with a single off leftarm spinner Sulieman Benn and Pietersen sent England past 400 with two fours in a row off Edwards.

After hitting 17 fours, Cook was finally out with England on 410 when he pushed at a ball from Benn and lobbed an easy catch to Chris Gayle at mid-off.

Pietersen batted aggressively and was one short of his half-century when he went for a big hit off Benn and scooped an easy catch to Lendl Simmons at point.

Prior joined Paul Collingwood and continued to attack the West Indies bowling, hitting seven boundaries in his 83-ball innings before he lofted a ball from Simmons to Benn at long on and was out for an entertaining 63.

Stuart Broad heaved a ball from Benn over long on for a six and Collingwood took a single off Simmons to reach his 13th Test half-century. Broad was unbeaten on 28 when England declared at the tea interval.