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WIndies Regain Wisden Trophy After Clinging On To Draw

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The West Indies gave their fans some nail-biting moments here Tuesday but escaped with a tense draw in the final Digicel Test against England to seal a 1-0 series win and reclaim the Wisden Trophy for the first time since 2000.

Vice-captain Denesh Ramdin defied for 87 balls in an unbeaten 17 as the home team, offered a target of 240 off 66 overs, endured some jitters on the way to closing on 114 for eight.

The series victory was the West Indies’ first against any opponent since June 2004 when they defeated Bangladesh at home.

Left-hander Ryan Hinds also helped defy England in 20 off 94 deliveries.

England threw everything they could at the West Indies with off-spinner Graeme Swann, three for 13, and fast bowler James Anderson, three for 24, particularly impressive.

Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, almost back to his leaping, animated best, claimed two for 34.

Earlier, Kevin Pietersen’s 16th Test century, a brilliant 102 off 92 balls, and Matt Prior’s boisterous 61 off 49 deliveries enabled England, 80 for three overnight, to score freely and declare at lunch on 237 for six.

Lionel Baker took two for 39 and Hinds grabbed two for 57.

If the West Indies were interested in chasing victory at a run rate of 3.64, that thought soon evaporated with the departure of both openers inside the first ten overs.

Lendl Simmons, thrust into the opening position because of captain Chris Gayle hamstring injury, edged Anderson to second slip where Paul Collingwood snared a remarkable one-handed catch low to his right.

Devon Smith looked steady and assured for 42 deliveries as he compiled 17. But, once again, the Grenadian left-hander threw his hand away, swinging across the line at Swann and plainly LBW.

When Digicel Man of the Series Ramnaresh Sarwan was undone by Swann and edged a low catch to Collingwood at slip, the West Indies were 58-3 and in trouble.

Swann almost claimed the other prize scalp next ball as Shivnarine Chanderpaul nervously edged his first delivery but it just failed to carry to Collingwood at slip.

Left-handers Hinds and Chanderpaul took tea nervously at 78-3 but England continued to peg away in the final session.

Swann eventually got rid of Chanderpaul, who stonewalled for six off 51 balls before he was trapped LBW on the back foot. Chanderpaul, like Smith before him, used a TV referral but was proved wrong.

When Anderson removed Brendan Nash (1) and Panesar got rid of Hinds (20) the West Indies dipped further to 90-6 with 23 overs remaining.

Nash was another plainly LBW victim but Hinds seemed unlucky to be given out to a first slip catch off bat and pad. Unfortunately, Chanderpaul and Smith had already wasted the home team’s quota of TV referrals.

Ramdin and the battling Gayle defied for 81 balls in a seventh wicket stand of 17 before Panesar got another LBW verdict against Gayle with 9.2 overs remaining.

Anderson produced a wicked inswinging yorker to castle Daren Powell (0) to keep England in the hunt.

But Ramdin and Fidel Edwards, as he had done in the third test in Antigua two weeks ago, batted out the final 19 deliveries with a few alarms to secure the draw and the Digicel Series 2009 win.

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Written by jamarch