Windies crush England by innings and 23 runs

Published: Sunday, February 8, 2009, 10:54 [IST]
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Windies thrash sorry England

Kingston: West Indies bowled England for 51 to sweep to an incredible win by an innings and 23 runs just before tea on the fourth day Saturday of the opening cricket Test.

Fast bowler Jerome Taylor claimed a career-best 5-11 on a lifeless pitch in helping to dismiss England for its third lowest total in 132 years of Tests.

Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn snared 4-31 as England was crushed in front of an ecstatic and stunned 10,000-strong crowd that included Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, who celebrated with the players on Sabina Park.

West Indies completed its first innings only in the morning at 392 for a 74-run lead. Then the unexpected dramatic ending began as West Indies sent the England batsmen back to the pavilion almost as soon as they walked out.

Andrew Flintoff was the only player to score more than 10, with 24.

"We were entirely outplayed by a very good West Indies side over these four days," said England captain Andrew Strauss, who made 9.

"We batted very, very poorly today and we paid the price.

"All credit to Jerome Taylor, he bowled very straight and fast and put us under pressure but we didn't react well.

"The reality is, if you want to win matches, you have to absorb that sort of pressure and come out the other side and we didn't do that today."

Counterpart Chris Gayle, on the losing team here five years ago when England skittled West Indies for 47, was naturally delighted to end a 16-Test winless streak against England since 2000. England had 13 wins in that streak.

"It was a brilliant day. I can't complain about the effort the guys put in today," Gayle said. "This day actually brought back a lot of memories. It's the different way around now so I'm happy for that.

"It's good to see our all-round cricket come together in this Test match as well."

Taylor, named man of the match, said he just stuck to a simple plan.

"I knew it wouldn't be beyond my control to go out and get the ball in the right area," he said. "The wicket was playing up and down, it was a flat track, so we wanted to go out and bowl straight and let the ball do whatever it wanted to do."

England scored 318 and 51, and West Indies wrapped up its first innings with Brendan Nash completing a half century before being dismissed for 55. Stuart Broad took 5-85, his first five-wicket haul in his 11th Test.

West Indies' battery made early inroads before lunch as Taylor removed Alastair Cook for a duck and Benn dismissed Ian Bell for 4.

Cook snicked to second slip where Devon Smith held a juggled catch while Bell chased a wide one and edged to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.

Taylor continued his destruction after the break as he bowled champion batsman Kevin Pietersen with a stunning, outswinging yorker for 1.

"To get Kevin Pietersen on a flat deck like this without getting much runs was a key wicket for us," Taylor said.

He added the wickets of Strauss (9), Paul Collingwood (1) and Matt Prior (0) to leave England at 23-6 in 19 overs and notch his third five-wicket haul in Tests. Strauss feathered to Ramdin, Collingwood chopped onto his stumps, and Prior was bowled through the gate.

Despite collecting career-best figures, Taylor didn't think it was the best he has bowled in his 23 Tests.

"I wouldn't say yes. I think I bowled more brilliantly than this before. I knew I had it in me to go out and really exploit whatever conditions are there and put the ball in the right area and upset any team on any given day.

Strauss said: "We didn't play him in the right sort of way. Mentally, we weren't quite as sharp as we should have been."

Benn reduced England to 26-7 when Broad nudged to short leg for a duck in the next over.

Flintoff added 24 with Ryan Sidebottom for the eighth wicket but they were delaying the inevitable.

Benn broke the stand when Sidebottom was leg before wicket on 6 despite a TV review, as the last three wickets were collected for one run.

Flintoff swung wildly and was bowled by Fidel Edwards, while Steve Harmison was bowled behind his back sweeping at Benn for the fourth duck of the innings.

In less than 34 overs, it added up to England's worst total in 15 years, after being bowled for 46 in Trinidad.

"(The dressing room's) a pretty disconsolate place at the moment," Strauss said. "I don't think anyone likes to see an England team go down in that fashion.

"I'm pretty disappointed and disconsolate myself. At the same time, I do recognize that out of these sorts of pretty tough times, good things can happen.

"Players are all hurting pretty badly. But the reality is moving forward. If we can use that as motivation or inspiration to play better and to dig deeper, then we'll come out of it a better side."

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