LONDON, (Reuters) – Shivnarine Chanderpaul defied England with a typically tenacious unbeaten 87 to lead West Indies to 243 for nine on the first day of the opening test at Lord’s today.
The obdurate left-hander, reprieved on 15 after reviewing an lbw decision, frustrated the hosts with his awkward crab-like stance and intense concentration to keep his team in the game after England had won the toss in favourable bowling conditions.
Stuart Broad completed superb figures of six for 72 and James Anderson claimed two early wickets but the two fast bowlers could not find a way through Chanderpaul’s masterful defence.
“Shiv’s played very well against us again today,” Broad told a news conference. “He plays it so late in the swinging conditions and he’s quite hard to draw into a false shot.
“To get nine wickets on the first day of a test you’ve got to be pleased. I didn’t start as well as I should have done but I was able to drag my length back and that was pleasing.”
England thought they had dismissed Chanderpaul when he shouldered arms to a full-length ball from Anderson and umpire Marais Erasmus raised his finger but a review showed the ball would have missed off stump and the batsman survived.
The world’s top-ranked test batsman occasionally came out of his shell with crisp attacking strokes, punching the ball through the covers or sweeping powerfully on the leg side.
He reached his 60th test fifty with a firm push for two off Anderson and looked in complete control on his sixth tour of England.
Chanderpaul, 37, added 81 for the fifth wicket with Marlon Samuels who batted with commendable restraint to reach 31 before he drove airily at Broad and gave debutant Jonny Bairstow a sharp high catch at cover point.
Broad had Denesh Ramdin caught at first slip by captain Andrew Strauss for six but Chanderpaul received sensible support from skipper Darren Sammy who made a patient 17 before falling to Broad with the second new ball, caught by Tim Bresnan in the gully.
Kemar Roach became Broad’s fifth victim when he spooned the ball back to the tall bowler who dived to his left and held a fine low catch to complete his fifth five-wicket haul in tests.
Chanderpaul pulled Broad for successive fours just before the close to edge towards his 26th test century but Fidel Edward’s was brilliantly caught one-handed by diving wicketkeeper Matt Prior off Broad in the day’s final over.
Strauss had won the toss under grey skies and Anderson took two early wickets to reduce the touring side to 32 for two.
Anderson ended Kieran Powell’s nervous 29-ball innings of five with a fine delivery which nipped back to clip the left-hander’s off stump as he tried to leave it.
Kirk Edwards also struggled in the unfamiliar conditions and he was trapped lbw for one playing across the line but Adrian Barath and Darren Bravo took West Indies to 83 for two at lunch.
Opener Barath fell early in the afternoon session for 42, driving loosely at a wide ball from Broad and giving Anderson a high catch in the gully which he grabbed at the second attempt.
The diminutive Barath had batted through the morning with a mixture of watchful defence and nine crisp boundaries through the covers and straight down the ground.
“Shiv showed the patience you need to bat in these conditions and it was a fabulous knock,” the 22-year-old Barath said. “The mental side of his game is so important.
“It was a special occasion for me to play at Lord’s but I was disappointed not to make a big score after batting through the morning.”
Bravo was badly dropped by Graeme Swann at second slip off Anderson but he failed to take advantage of the lifeline and was needlessly run out for 29 in the next over.
Bravo recklessly charged through for a quick single and with Chanderpaul staying firmly in his crease both batsmen ended up stranded at one end.
Although Prior threw the ball wildly back to the bowler, Swann dived to gather it and break the stumps, reducing West Indies to 100 for four.