Bresnan and Anderson swing through Windies
May 18, 2009
England 569 for 6 dec (Cook 160, Bopara 108) beat West Indies 310 (Sarwan 100, Anderson 5-87) and 176 (Chanderpaul 47, Anderson 4-38) by an innings and 83 runs
James Anderson completed the superb match figures of 9 for 125, and Tim Bresnan finally picked up his maiden Test wickets, as West Indies were hustled to defeat by an innings and 83 runs shortly after lunch on the final day at Chester-le-Street. After resuming on 115 for 3 in the follow-on, West Indies found no way to deal with perfect swinging conditions on a showery day, and the only man who showed any real resistance was Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who endured in typical fashion for 47 from 82 balls.
In the end, however, Chanderpaul's efforts were emphatically trumped by Anderson and Bresnan, who bowled clean through the day's play, booming the ball both ways at will, as the Wisden Trophy was reclaimed after just a two-month hiatus. Bresnan, who had begun to believe he would never claim that memorable first scalp, eventually returned the creditable figures of 3 for 45 in 14 overs, while Anderson once again showed how he has matured as a cricketer in recent months, as he located a full length, zipped the ball off the seam and through the air, and ripped West Indies to shreds in a final-day spell of 11-3-18-4.
England began the day with high expectations, but at first they were thwarted by a combination of Chanderpaul, Lendl Simmons and the skittish Durham weather, which forced two brief breaks in play inside the first hour. They took the field as they had left it the previous evening, without the services of Matt Prior who had injured his ring finger and was rested on medical advice, and Paul Collingwood deputised ably as wicketkeeper, as England strove for the breakthrough.
Understandably enough, Strauss opened with his main man, Anderson, but at the other end he sprung a surprise by calling upon the hitherto anonymous Bresnan, who had been overshadowed by his fellow newcomer, Graham Onions, both here and at Lord's, and must have wondered if his chance to impress had been and gone.
Bresnan began with a tidy but unthreatening line outside off stump, but it was in the second hour of the session, after the second of two 15-minute showers had freshened up the pitch that he and Anderson really began to make the ball talk. Anderson was the first to strike, when Simmons once again gave his innings away when well set, as he hung his bat out to a wide long-hop, and patted a tame chance to the substitute fielder, Scott Borthwick at point.
Then, at last, it was over to Bresnan. In an excellent over, he deceived Brendan Nash with a series of outswingers before flipping the shiny side around, bending a big inducker into his pads, and Borthwick once again was on hand at midwicket to complete a very memorable moment. The breakthrough came with the final ball of Bresnan's 25th over in Test cricket, but it must have felt like a lot, lot longer than that.
He didn't have to wait quite so long for his next intercession, however. Denesh Ramdin had batted with great stoicism for his 55 in the first innings, but Bresnan nailed him only two deliveries later, as he flirted outside off at a booming outswinger, and edged low to Anderson at second slip. Anderson then detonated Jerome Taylor's off stump with a superb late inswinger, and then - with the very last ball of the morning session - produced a similar trick from round the wicket to the left-handed Sulieman Benn.
At 167 for 8 at lunch, there was little prospect of West Indies extending the game deep into the second session, although while Chanderpaul remained, England could not celebrate too soon. In the course of his innings, he put daylight between himself and Sir Vivian Richards in second place on the list of West Indies' all-time runscorers, but he was able to extend that lead by a single run after the break, as Anderson located a perfect length, again from round the wicket, nicked the edge of Chanderpaul's bat, and Collingwood capped his brief stint with the gloves with a very coolly taken catch.The final catch of the innings was also claimed by a deputy, this time the Durham youngster, Karl Turner, who steadied himself impressively under a swirler at fine leg, as Fidel Edwards slapped Bresnan high and hard but straight up in the air. West Indies' last seven wickets had tumbled inside 14 overs, a sad but apt conclusion. They simply have not been at the races in this series, as England set their sights on stiffer challenges later in the summer.