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England Storms Home Despite Nash, Ramdin Resistance

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Brendan Nash and Denesh Ramdin stroked attractive half centuries in a boundary-studded 143-run partnership, but England still stormed to a ten-wicket victory over the Digicel-sponsored West Indies inside three days of the opening Test at Lords on Friday.

The visitors, staring down the barrel at 39 for two when play resumed an hour late due to rain, were eventually bowled out for 256 an hour after tea.

England captain Andrew Strauss hit the winning runs as the hosts coasted to their target at 32 without loss and taking a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

The West Indies were seven Tests without defeat before this reversal.

The West Indies resistance was led by Nash, who survived an early chance to crack 14 fours in a top score of 81. The 31-year-old left-hander was last out trying to accelerate to an improbable century after facing 139 deliveries.

Ramdin proved an adept ally for Nash as the pair prospered in the sunshine in the second session. The wicket-keeper also benefited from a let-off to blast 13 fours in 61 off 98 balls.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann, who has plagued the West Indies since he came into the England side during the Digicel Series in the Caribbean, claimed three for 39 including the cheap dismissal of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the second time in the match.

His match return of six for 55 and a career-best 63 not out, earned him the Man of the Match award.

Fast bowler Stuart Broad took three for 64, while first innings destroyer, Graham Onions, grabbed two for 64.

Opener, Devon Smith, and Lendl Simmons gave the West Indies a positive start on day three as they stretched their third wicket stand to 48.

But just as lunch loomed, England struck a triple blow to deflate a promising 70 for two, to 80 for five at the break.

Simmons (21) clipped two of his four fours through square leg but perished to the same stroke as he picked out Alastair Cook to give Onions his first second innings wicket.

Chanderpaul, out for a first ball duck in the first innings, fell again to a rampant Swann as he inside-edged onto his pad and arm for a silly point catch.

Onions completed the pre-lunch misery when he uprooted Smith’s middle stump with a full length inswinger. Smith, as he did in the first innings and has done throughout his under-achieving career, fell when he looked well set on 41.

It should have got worse for the West Indies immediately after the break, but Swann had a rare lapse when Nash’s sliced edge off James Anderson before he scored, was floored at third slip.

Ramdin clobbered two pulled fours off Onions to carry his team past three figures with the partnership blooming after that.

The right-hander was severe on the debutante pacer and his century stand with Nash arrived with a straight drive and a square cut for boundaries.

Ramdin, then 46, gave a chance next delivery as Onions failed to grasp a one-handed return chance on his follow through.

Ramdin’s fifty arrived with his 11th boundary, a purposeful upper cut off Onions, and Nash soon joined him with his 10th four – a glorious cover drive in Swann’s next over.

The boundaries continued to flow before Broad returned to prise out Ramdin ten minutes before tea, rocking back his off stump with an in-dipper.

Jerome Taylor survived a blow to the helmet to blast 15 off 13 balls, but he never suggested permanency.

He missed a sweep to be LBW to Swann and the last four wickets tumbled for 13 runs.

Sulieman Benn (0) left a gap the space of the Caribbean Sea as he drove at Swann and was bowled, while Edwards (2) fended a brutish Broad bouncer to gully.

Nash was on 76 when joined by last man Lionel Baker, but only added five before he picked out deep backward point off Broad.

The West Indies team now has six days to reflect on this defeat and come back strong for the second and final match at Chester-le-Street on Friday.

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Written by jamarch