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West Indies vs. England - Day 2
Date: Saturday 7th March 2009
Venue: Queen's Park Oval, Port-Of-Spain. Trinidad

Promoters: Digicel
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Collingwood, Prior Crack Centuries To Pressure Windies

Saturday, March 7 – Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad: Runs flowed again for England here Saturday as Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior completed un-fussed centuries to set up a big first innings total of 546 for six declared on day two of the 5th and final Digicel Test against the West Indies at the Queen’s Park Oval.

West Indies skipper Chris Gayle cracked a typically robust, unbeaten 49 as the home team replied strongly to reach 92 for one at the close, but still 454 runs in arrears.

The tourists wobbled very briefly in the morning as they resumed on 258 for two but Collingwood’s magnificent 161 and Prior’s equally imposing 131 not out dominated the rest of the day.

The pair shared a record stand of 218 that spanned most of the first two sessions. Their partnership beat the previous best fifth wicket stand for England against the West Indies of 150 between Alec Stewart and Graham Thorpe at Bridgetown in 1994.

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Photos By Yohann G.
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Collingwood’s ninth test century, and his second of the Digicel Series 2009, occupied 288 balls and 341 minutes and was decorated with 12 fours.

Prior, whose first test innings was a century against the West Indies at Lord’s in 2007, also blasted 12 fours in his second three figure score. His innings spanned 198 balls and 258 minutes.

Earlier, Fidel Edwards steamed in with the second new ball and gave the West Indies an early fillip when he ripped out the leg stump of England captain Andrew Strauss after he added just three runs to his overnight 139.

When substitute Dwayne Bravo reminded everyone what this team is missing with a dynamic run out of the returning Owais Shah for 33, England had dipped to 268 for four.

But the West Indies mood, so buoyant for the first 45 minutes, was quickly sapped by the enterprising approach from Prior and Collingwood.

Prior, back in the Caribbean after spending a week in England with his wife Emily and their new-born son, J.J., imposed himself early by taking Edwards for three boundaries in one over.

He raced to his fifty, off 52 balls, and Collingwood joined in the fun by completing his century just before England lunched at 372 for four.

It was more of the same after the break as the pair was rarely tested against mainly part-time bowlers that included Devon Smith’s innocuous off-spin and Lendl Simmons’ medium pace.

The West Indies did have a chance to remove Prior at 76 but the hobbling Shivnarine Chanderpaul, nursing a strained groin, grassed a slip catch off Ryan Hinds’ left-arm spin.

Prior continued to play with enterprise and reached three figures off 156 balls, celebrating by gently rocking his bat as a tribute to his wife and son back in the United Kingdom.

Lionel Baker claimed his first wickets in tests late in the innings, removing Collingwood and Stuart Broad (19) either side of tea before Strauss declared half hour into the final session.

Collingwood was plumb LBW but Baker was forced to wait through a TV referral before umpire Russell Tiffin was forced to overturn his original not out verdict.

Broad then lofted a catch to long-off just before the innings was terminated.

Gayle and Smith unleashed a volley of sweet strokes to launch the West Indies in thrilling style.

England twice tried to separate the left-handed pair by using the TV referral system but both times they were unsuccessful.

The tourists eventually reaped success just before the close when Smith played inside the line of a Panesar delivery and was bowled to take the shine off the home team’s reply.

Gayle lashed six fours and two sixes as he closed in on a half century. Night-watchman Daren Powell survived five deliveries before stumps.

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