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Windies tailenders bring home Wisden Trophy

WEST Indies hung on dramatically with just two wickets left for a series winning draw against England that secured the Wisden Trophy for the first time since 1998.

England did all it could on the final day to try and force a win that would have ensured it kept hold of the trophy ?? batting positively and then bowling and fielding with intensity.

West Indies, who win the series 1-0, were 90 for six before skipper Chris Gayle, batting with a hamstring injury, survived 13 overs along with wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.

Gayle went lbw to spinner Monty Panesar, leaving Ramdin with tailender Daren Powell who survived until 13 minutes of play remained when he was bowled by James Anderson. Fidel Edwards held on with Ramdin to ensure West Indies ended on 114 for eight and frustrated a spirited England bowling attack.

"I'm pretty dejected really, more than anything because of the way we played today, which was outstanding," a dejected England captain Andrew Strauss said.

James Anderson and Graeme Swann were the pick of the England bowlers claiming three wickets each while Panesar's left-arm spin was a constant threat.

"To get them eight down on a very flat wicket was an outstanding effort from our bowlers, who were tired at the end of a long series," Strauss said. "I am very proud of the way the team played today, just dejected that we were not able to force a result."

The tourists rattled up 237 for six declared by lunch thanks to a rapid 102 in 92 balls from Kevin Pietersen and a lively 61 from wicketkeeper Matt Prior. Even then it was clear it required a mammoth effort to bowl out West Indies in 66 overs on a surface that had produced 500 plus runs from both the teams.

England needed early breakthroughs and it came with the openers Devon Smith and Lendl Simmons dismissed before tea along with Ramnaresh Sarwan, a triple centurion in this series. Even so, when West Indies went in at 78 for three at tea, they would have been confident of defending seven wickets in the final session.

It quickly became clear the host's were in deep trouble when Shivnarine Chanderpaul was trapped leg before by off-spinner Swann - the left-hander using up his team's last referral in vain on what was a tight call. Australian-born Brendan Nash, who like Chanderpaul had made a century in the first innings, was trapped leg before to Anderson and then Ryan Hinds was adjudged to have been caught by Collingwood off Panesar.

England was buzzing and sensing an upset but the West Indians showed some character as they battled back with resistance led by Ramdin, who survived 87 balls, making just 17 runs to occupy precious time at the crease on his home ground.

"I had a lot of confidence in the guys but it was pretty tense. Batting in those situations is never easy, we had a bit of a scare, but we had a capable batsman in Denesh Ramdin and we know Fidel has been in this situation before," said Gayle.

The series win was based on a win over England at Kingston, when the tourists were dismissed for just 51.


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