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Windies recover but England eyes victory

WEST Indies finally displayed some fight and application in the first test against England at Lord's in London yesterday in a match which had looked destined to end early on the third day.

At tea West Indies were 225 for six in their second innings, leaving the scores level, with Brendan Nash on 67.

After West Indies had taken lunch at 80 for five in their second innings, still 145 runs in arrears, Nash and Denesh Ramdin stopped the rot with a battling 143-run partnership, the first century stand of the match.

Ramdin was finally bowled by Stuart Broad 10 minutes before tea for 61, compiled from 98 balls with 13 fours. He had been given a life on 46 when paceman Graham Onions dropped a straightforward caught-and-bowled chance to his right hand.

Wicketkeeper Ramdin, who scored his maiden test century against England in the Caribbean this year, brought up his half-century from 85 balls with his 11th boundary through the covers off Onions.

Nash reached his fifty in the next over from 93 balls with 10 boundaries with a cover-driven four against off-spinner Graeme Swann.

England took three wickets in 12 balls shortly before lunch after West Indies had resumed on 39 for two, with Onions capturing two in consecutive overs. Onions took five for 38 in the first innings on his test debut.

On Thursday, the medium-fast bowler credited quality time in the gym last year while recovering from injury for his five-wicket haul.

The 26-year-old, chosen ahead of Durham teammate Steve Harmison who has been in steady decline since the 2005 Ashes series, became the first England player since James Anderson in 2003 to take five wickets on his test debut at Lord's.

His performance on the second day of the first test against West Indies justified the selectors' decision to look to county cricket for some new blood two months before the start of the Ashes series.


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