Samuels again leads West Indies resistance

Samuels’ reputation, though, has grown throughout the series. He looked as if he had the capacity to bat through the innings, barring something special from an England bowler, but his choice was to seek miracles, farming the strike and attempting a counterattack, or to play with sensible enterprise and provide his team-mates with a pointed batting lesson.

England removed Darren Sammy and Kemar Roach in the morning session, a wicket apiece for Tim Bresnan and James Anderson, as they brought the number of lbws to five in succession and six in all. The pitch remained sound for batting, but there was a little swing and seam about, the bounce was relatively low and West Indies had a tendency of wandering self-destructively across their stumps.

Sammy and Samuels represented West Indies’ last hope at start of play. Their first-innings partnership dragged West Indies from 136 for 6 with a stand of 204 and the situation was even worse second time around as they emerged from the venerable Trent Bridge pavilion with the scoreboard at the Radcliffe Road end of the ground, soon to be demolished, showing 61 for 6.

West Indies were, in effect, 3 for 6, and required another double-century stand to shift assumptions that they were out of the match. The pitch was still good for batting, whatever the scoreboard might have suggested, and England had to work hard, with Andrew Strauss switching ends for his fast bowlers more than once, to achieve a breakthrough.

Sammy and Samuels have offered a wonderful contrast in this Test. Samuels has been lithe and perfectly poised, not moving around the crease much but doing so as if on casters; he bats with the serenity of a man lolling under a tree. Sammy has had none of his nimbleness, but his footwork has been determined, if cumbersome, as he has tried to avoid the errors of several of his team-mates in getting stuck on the crease; he swings his bat with the power of the lumberjack who has come to chop Samuels’ tree down.

They built resistance in their own ways, Samuels inviting reveries by driving Stuart Broad dreamily through extra cover, Sammy intruding on any dreamlike state as he clunked Bresnan through point.

The partnership survived until the first over after drinks, adding 49, at which point Bresnan, targeting the stumps insistently, gained his fourth successive lbw decision when Sammy was struck on the back leg. It was tight, but Sammy’s review did not save him.

Roach was England’s second wicket of the morning, lbw to Anderson as he shuffled across his stumps and the ball brushed his back leg. An England review overturned umpire Asad Rauf’s decision.

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