PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – West Indies suffered a setback, after making a bright start in their reply to England’s big first innings total in the fifth and final Test on Saturday.
They lost opener Devon Smith for 28, following an entertaining opening stand with his captain Chris Gayle which helped the home team finish on 92 for one, replying to England’s first innings total of 546 for six declared at the close on the second day at Queen’s Park Oval.
Gayle was not out on 49 and night-watchman Daren Powell was not out on zero, as West Indies who spent most of the day in the field watching Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior complete a record breaking fifth wicket stand, eye a target of 347 in their first innings to avoid the follow-on.
The Regional side were made to toil, as Collingwood notched his second hundred in the series161, while Prior posted a career-best, undefeated 131.
After Fidel Edwards bowled England captain Andrew Strauss for 142 and Owais Shah was run out for 33, West Indies were put on the back-foot, as Collingwood and Prior established a new England record, scoring 218 for the fifth wicket in Tests against West Indies.
The home team saw Collingwood reach his ninth Test hundred from 206 balls in the over before lunch, when he paddled Brendan Nash to deep fine leg for a single, then saw Prior reach his second Test hundred from 156 balls in the last hour before tea, when he cut Ryan Hinds through backward point for two.
Lionel Baker, playing in only his second Test, ended the stand when he removed Collingwood before tea, and scalped Stuart Broad for 19 after the break to be the most successful West Indies bowler with two wickets for 77 runs from 23 overs.
West Indies need only a draw to secure a series victory over the visiting Englishmen for the first time in 11 years, as they lead the five-Test series 1-0, following an innings and 23-run victory in the opening Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica, where they bowled England out for their third-lowest total in Tests of 51.
This was followed by the aborted second Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua, and drawn Tests at the Antigua Recreation Ground and Kensington Oval.