Windies coach puts his trust in gritty Chanderpaul

Published: Monday, June 11, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Manchester:Shivnarine Chanderpaul may be 'underestimated and underrated' according to West Indies coach David Moore but there is no one the Australian would rather have at the crease as his side look to make Test match history.

West Indies will start Monday's final day of the third Test against England here at Old Trafford on 301 for five, needing a further 154 runs in a minimum of 90 overs - a run-rate of under two an over - to reach what would be a new record fourth innings victory target of 455.

Chanderpaul, who in May 2003 made 104 when West Indies scored the current fourth innings Test record of 418 for seven against Australia in Antigua, will resume on 81 not out, nearing what would be a 15th century in his 103rd Test.

Although sometimes overshadowed by more eye-catching players when it comes to a discussion of the world's leading batsmen, Moore was in no doubt about the worth of the 32-year-old Guyanese left-hander.

"Chanderpaul is under-estimated and under-rated. He's a world-class cricketer," Moore told reporters after Sunday's close as West Indies contemplated a win that would level the four-match series at 1-1.

"You look at his average of 44 and where he's batted for a living and compare it to some other guys who play on roads (batsmen-friendly pitches) every year they play Test cricket and I don't think you can get away from a man who has those sorts of numbers while playing on the wickets he plays on.

"Teams under-estimate Chanderpaul at their own peril because he's a tremendous cricketer."

Well though Chanderpaul batted, he was given a huge let-off when dropped on 18 by Monty Panesar at mid-on off fast bowler Stephen Harmison.

Chanderpaul, who returned after a knee injury meant he missed West Indies record-breaking innings and 283 run defeat in the second Test at Headingley with 50 in the first innings of this match, made England pay.

He has now been batting for more than four hours, having faced 176 balls with 12 fours, having received good support from Runako Morton (54), all-rounder Dwayne Bravo (49) and wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin, 26 not out.

England fast bowler Stephen Harmison, whose side are looking to go an unbeatable 2-0 up, said the hosts were well aware of the obstacle Chanderpaul presented to their ambitions.

"Chanderpaul - you feel as though he's not going to take the game away from you, but all of a sudden he's got himself to 30," said Harmison. "He's a difficult customer to bowl to."

However, Harmison said left-arm spinner Panesar could be the man to dislodge West Indies' middle-order cornerstone.

"Monty looks very dangerous to him, he's not playing a shot a hell of a lot, so he must be dicing with death with the umpires over lbw.

"But he is a good player, with nearly 7,000 Test runs. He's no mug, he's shown that. They missed him the other week at Headingley."


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