Big-up to Siddo

A big-up (hyphen, Jenny?) to Siddo, who – being the shameless globetrotter that he is – has flown in from the Caribbean where he was pretending to cover the West Indies against India. Well done that man. Always good to put a face to a name on messenger. He’s off to watch Sachin bat at The Oval this evening. He really can’t get enough.

West Indies v India, 4th Test, 3rd day

Fascinating Test match at Kingston. West Indies wrapped things up pretty quickly to dismiss India for 171. That left Windies 269 but they’ve already lost four – including Brian Lara and Shiv Chanderpaul.

Sreesanth celebrates a wicket
Copyright Associated Press

All is not lost, as Ramnaresh Sarwan – the guts of the side, as far as I’m concerned; the real bare-knuckled streetfighter – is still there on 43, and they need another 164 to win. One thing’s certain: it won’t be a draw.

Money’s on India, but COME ON Windies! Live scorecard.

Update: bugger. Sarwan gone for 51.

West Indies are all over India

Title says it all. In the 38 overs bowled so far in the fourth Test, India are 56 for 3. That’s under two runs-per-over! Rahul Dravid (inevitably) and Yuvraj Singh have put on 22 for the fourth wicket to steady proceedings, but it’s a cracking start to the Test. Check out the live scorecard.

Update: 91 for 5 from 50 overs

Update: 91 for 6. Read my colleage Jamie’s comments in the ball-by-ball coverage at Cricinfo:

Collymore to Dhoni, OUT, GONE! Short ball on off, Dhoni goes for his favorite cut shot but can only hit it to Dwayne Bravo in the slips, what a good catch, made it look so simple, another Indian falls prey to this disciplined bowling attack, they’re in tatters here at Sabina Park, what a batting display, check one more for the Windies

Yes, he did say disciplined! What a first day West Indies are having.

The limiting factor for West Indies

When the captain of your country (countries) turns up to lead you in a Test match, you have every right to feel confident in his ability. Confident that the selectors chose a born leader of men; someone with whom to go into battle. As captain, you also might expect to have a degree of confidence in the men you have chosen. WRONG. If you’re a West Indian captain, you have no say in such matters – pah! The very thought! – which, as Brian Lara is finding out, is a bit of a problem. Yes, the pitch can often be a lottery…but in “home Tests,” generally speaking, the home side holds the aces. They have a whole nation of cricketers to choose from. Not West Indies! Ohh no.

“My only concern is the combination for the final Test,” he said while analysing his team’s performance. “We played an extra batsman here but if you want to get 20 wickets, we need to put players there to get us those wickets. It’s left upto the selectors, let’s see what happens … Guys who’ve been here have done a tremendous job throughout this series, performing on surfaces that really haven’t helped them. Two days rest between Tests and to go back to the reserves and pick fast bowlers would be showing a weakness. Very confident with the likes of Corey Collymore, [Pedro] Collins, [Jerome] Taylor – coming into his own – and Bradshaw has been good. Maybe an addition would be a good choice and we will have the final decision a day before the match.”

The selectors must be loving it, rolling on the floor watching Collins, Taylor and co. all struggle to take the wickets. “If only they had another bowler, eh? Moohhahahahaha” they chortle from the hideaway selectors’ mansion, hidden inside a cave under the sea.

West Indies set India 392 to win

Cracking Test at Basseterre, where India have been set 392 to win (final day). Come on Windies – this could be the start of something reeeeet special.

Live scorecard

West Indies v India, 3rd Test

Now then, now then, now then. The West Indies are racing along in the third Test, which has been good to watch. After Daren Ganga and Ramnaresh Sarwan both brought up their hundreds, India struck back to reduce the West Indies from 346 for 1 to 420 for 5. Regardless, a fairly splendid effort from West Indies (who we like, lots, here down the Corridor. Get down with the Corridor, in fact).

The series is level at 0-0 with one further Test to play after this one, which looks like rain could force a premature end.

West Indies and India draw first Test

The West Indies wobbled and stumbled but their last-wicket pair, Fidel Edwards and Corey Collymore, staved off the threat of Anil Kumble and Sreesanth to snatch (??) a draw. Good effort, and I’m rather chuffed – and not just because I can smirk at my Indian colleagues on messenger at work tomorrow. This could be a turning point for the West Indies; even a year ago, you wouldn’t have imagined them lasting 3 or 4 overs to save a Test. But they did it, and they should be bloody proud.

Of course, they let India back into the game thanks to Wasim Jaffer’s double hundred. But there is a new-found bite about West Indies, and I’m liking it.

Ever the optimist…

West Indies v India, 1st Test, Antigua, 4th day

Posted in advance – West Indies v India, 1st Test, Antigua, 4th day.

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West Indies v India, 1st Test, Antigua, 3rd day

Posted in advance – West Indies v India, 1st Test, Antigua, 3rd day.

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West Indies v India, 1st Test, Antigua, 2nd day

Posted in advance – West Indies v India, 1st Test, Antigua, 2nd day.

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