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England seals three-day win

ENGLAND completed a 10-wicket victory over the West Indies in the first test within three days on Friday after the visitors had finally shown some fighting spirit with the bat.

It was the first time in four years and 14 attempts that England won the first match of a series and ended a sequence of six drawn tests at Lord's in London.

England reached the winning target of 32 after tea, having bowled out the West Indies for 152 and 256 after its first innings of 377.

The match seemed destined for an even earlier finish when three West Indies wickets fell in 12 balls shortly before lunch after 55 minutes' play had been lost to rain.

Australian-born Brendan Nash and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin then discovered the pitch and the bowling held few terrors as the sun shone and their 143-run partnership for the sixth wicket was the first century stand of the match.

Ramdin, who scored his maiden test century against England in the Caribbean this year, played pleasantly off the back foot through the covers and the gritty Nash drove and pulled productively.

The pair reached their half-centuries in consecutive overs before Stuart Broad squeezed a delivery past Ramdin's bat on to the stumps. Ramdin's 61 came from 98 balls.

Wickets tumbled after tea, with three falling in 18 balls, although Nash continued to stand firm before he was caught off Broad for 81.

Broad and off-spinner Graeme Swann were the pick of the bowlers, finishing with three for 64 and 3-39, respectively. Swann was named man-of-the-match after taking six wickets and scoring 63 not out.

England captain Andrew Strauss said his team had played excellent cricket throughout and praised his bowlers, particularly paceman Graham Onions who took 5-38 on his debut in the West Indies' first innings. "The bowlers all got stuck in and they worked hard all the way through," he told Skysports.

West Indies' skipper Chris Gayle said the six catches his team had dropped in the final session last Wednesday had cost his team dearly. "In that session after tea we crumbled," he said.

West Indies must now win the second test starting at Chester-le-Street on Thursday to retain the Wisden Trophy they regained from England in the Caribbean this year.

They were the third choice team to visit England at the start of a packed summer which includes the Twenty20 World Cup and the Ashes series against Australia.

The British government refused to issue visas for a Zimbabwe team and its initial replacement Sri Lanka had too many players committed to the Indian Premier League to be able to field a competitive side.


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