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Chanderpaul restores pride; 105 from Strauss not enough to rescue England.

SHIVNARINE Chanderpaul returned to his Guyanese home and delivered a brilliant century to ensure West Indies made amends for their embarrassing opening defeat in the one-day series.

Ever since coach John Dyson called in his batsmen for bad light on Friday evening, wrongly believing his side were ahead on the Duckworth Lewis tables, West Indies cricket has struggled to cope with the humiliation of such a blunder.

But Chanderpaul made the most of a reprieve on 27 to hit a brilliant 112 off 126 balls and restore West Indies' pride by securing an emphatic 21-run victory which levelled the five-match series at 1-1 with three to play.

Chanderpaul even battled with cramp during the latter stages of his innings, which forced him to bat with a runner and miss the start of England's reply, but did not prevent him audaciously reversesweeping two of his 10 boundaries.

His masterful display allowed West Indies to recover from losing two wickets inside the first six overs to post a competitive 264-8 and England were dismissed for 242 in reply despite Andrew Strauss's 105 off 129 balls, his first one-day international hundred in three years.

Just two days earlier Chanderpaul had hit 26 off one over from Steve Harmison, but this was a more measured innings where he was content to allow Ramnaresh Sarwan to play the more aggressive role for a large part of their 133- run partnership. West Indies' most experienced pair had come together after Jimmy Anderson had removed openers Lendl Simmons and Chris Gayle during a superb opening spell of 6-1-15-2 which left West Indies struggling on 24-2.

The pair progressed steadily until they reached the turning point of the match on 80-2 when wicketkeeper Matt Prior, standing up to the stumps to prevent Chanderpaul coming down the pitch to the medium pace of Dimitri Mascarenhas, dropped a thin edge at around knee height. It was the moment which effectively cost England the match with Chanderpaul and Sarwan using all their vast experience to put West Indies into a position where they should have posted an even more challenging total.

Their stand was broken when Sarwan chipped the fourth ball of the batting power play from Anderson to Paul Collingwood at mid-off, but England knew Chanderpaul was the key wicket and frustrations almost boiled over four overs later.

Desperate to end Chanderpaul's resistance, seamer Stuart Broad must have come close to disciplinary action from match referee Javagal Srinath for constantly questioning umpire Aleem Dar during a 10-ball over including four wides.

Strauss, called over by the umpire, wisely sent Broad out to the boundary to cool down and three late wickets from Collingwood's medium pace prevented West Indies powering to an even bigger score and limiting them to 57 runs from the final 10 overs.

England's reply mirrored the start to West Indies' innings with Ravi Bopara and Kevin Pietersen falling inside the first eight overs, both playing on trying expansive shots during the first 10 overs of fielding restrictions. Strauss, overlooked for one-day cricket by England's selectors for two years, patiently attempted to rebuild the innings and added 50 runs with Owais Shah in a similar manner to Sarwan and Chanderpaul. But no-one from England's top six could keep him company long enough to build any momentum and the rest failed to reach past 22, leaving Strauss and the middle order with too big a retrieval task.

Any hopes England had of securing another surprise victory were effectively ended when Strauss inadvertently ran out Mascarenhas with 15 overs remaining, leaving the England captain needing to marshal the lower order and also weigh up when best to take the batting power play.

He took the power play with six overs remaining and reached his third one-day international century but had his legstump removed by Kieron Pollard with England still needing 36 from 20 balls.

Pollard also bowled last man Anderson with 10 deliveries remaining, but it was local hero Chanderpaul - and the tourists' failure to take a vital catch - that turned the momentum back in West Indies' favour.


HIT 105 England captain Andrew Strauss is bowled by West Indies' Kieron Pollard.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 23, 2009
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