Bopara rescues England

Bopara rescues England

Edwards rattles hosts with a three-wicket burst


West Indies' fast bowler Fidel Edwards produced a spell of high pace and late swing to scythe through the England middle order on the opening day of the first Test at Lord's on Wednesday.

Edwards single-handedly vindicated captain Chris Gayle's decision to ask England to bat by taking three for nine from 22 balls from the Nursery End in the afternoon session.

At tea England had reached 182 for four thanks mainly to Ravi Bopara who, batting at number three for the first time in a Test match, played with a sensible blend of caution and aggression to reach 72 not out at the interval.

Just a day ago England’s coaching director Andy Flower had said the English players who played in IPL --- Bopara, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood and Andrew Flintoff -- were not ready for the rigours of the Test cricket.

Both Pietersen and Collingwood did looked rusty as long as they managed to remain at the crease.

But Bopara played with wonderful timing and displayed a tendency to hang on survive the burst from Edwards.

Rest of the England batsmen were guilty of showing impatience against a bowler bowling in good rhythm and with good pace.

Edwards began by bowling Alastair Cook for 35 when the England opener dragged a full-length ball on to his stumps, then dismissed Kevin Pietersen with his next delivery.

Pietersen, shaping to play the ball to leg, just managed to get his bat to an outswinger and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin took a splendid one-handed catch. Paul Collingwood followed for eight with the total on 109, edging Edwards to Devon Smith at second slip.

Wicketkeeper Matt Prior, promoted to number six in the order in the absence of injured all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, again looked a thoroughly competent batsman, passing 1,000 test runs on his way to 42 not out at the break.

SCORE BOARD

ENGLAND:
Strauss c Ramdin b Taylor  16
Cook b Edwards  35
Bopara (batting)  72
Pietersen c Ramdin b Edwards  0
Collingwood c Smith b Edwards  8
Prior (batting)  42
Extras (B-1, W-3, NB-5) 9.     

Total (for 4 wkts, 58 overs) 182.

Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-92, 3-92, 4-109.

Bowling: Taylor 13-2-45-1, Edwards 10-2-33-3, Baker 11-4-27-0, Benn 17-2-57-0, Nash 2-1-2-0, Simmons 3-1- -12-0, Gayle 2-0-5-0.

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