Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Opening Shots Leave England Struggling

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Opening Shots Leave England Struggling

Article excerpt


MARCUS TRESCOTHICK failed for a second time at Old Trafford to keep the third npower Test on a knife-edge.

England had high hopes of achieving a sixth consecutive win this summer - and sealing their third series of the year - when they set off in pursuit of a victory target of 231 this morning.

But the loss of senior opener Trescothick for just 12 knocked them back.

Then, with the total on 27, Andrew Strauss followed his partner back to the pavilion for the same score.

England vice-captain Trescothick fell for a second ball duck on Saturday.

This time, he was undone by a fine delivery from Corey Collymore that nipped back to find a gap between bat and pad and hit his off stump.

It all added up to a heavy return to earth for Trescothick, who scored a century in each innings at Edgbaston a fortnight ago.

Although England's target on a pitch still playing reasonably did not look too daunting, history suggested it was a tall order.

The highest successful fourth innings run chase in more than a hundred years of Test cricket at Old Trafford stands at 145.

Still, England have been in the mood to create records this year. Their chances of adding another here looked less rosy, however, when Strauss aimed an ugly pull at a ball from Pedro Collins that was way wide off off stump - and miscued horribly.

The end result was an easy catch to Shivnarine Chanderpaul at mid-on.

England reached 42 for two with Robert Key on 13 and Michael Vaughan on two, and time was not a problem with a minimum of 101 overs available.

But a weather forecast predicting showers threatened to complicate the equation a little.

Spectators were still queuing to get into the ground when Steve Harmison gave England a near perfect start to the final morning. …

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