If yesterday was warm and cloudy, today the players walked out to a chilly sunday morning at Lord's. West Indies ended yesterday at 120/4. England still had a lead of 35 runs and they had just 6 more West Indian wickets to pick. The only problem being, one of those 6 wickets would be of a certain Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Currently the best test match cricket batsman, Chanderpaul is no stranger to pressure situations, getting his team out of a rut and not throwing his wicket away at any cost. West Indies were hoping for another one of his specials and that is exactly what he did. He scored 91 (after his first innings' 87 not out) and put together a 5th wicket partnership of 157 runs with Marlon Samuels (who scored 86) to frustrate the mickey out of the English bowling attack. Dinesh Ramdin and skipper Darren Sammy pitched in with 43 and 37 respectively to take the score to 345, giving England a target of 191 to chase with one day to go.
Earlier in the day, English cricketer of the year James Anderson started off with a maiden over, finding Marlon Samuels' outside edge, but the ball fell short of Tim Bresnan in the slips. Anderson's last delivery of the over was a sharp inswinger that drew out a few calls of despair and screams of "so close," from the crowd and the English fielders. West Indies' first inning's arch nemesis Stuart Broad (who picked 4 wickets in this innings to get a 10 wicket haul) too started with a maiden, but didn't really trouble Chanderpaul, who was pretty content leaving the deliveries alone. The delivery that had to be played, was blocked with a very straight bat.
More close calls with Broad getting Samuels outside edge, again falling short of slips, followed by a close run out chance missed by Pietersen. Broad also managed to get a bouncer to hit the side of Samuel's helmet. That only made Samuels resolve stronger and the next short one he got, was powerfully hooked for four. As Samuels and Chanderpaul made their half-centuries, both batsmen began to look completely in control.
At lunch, the Windies were 212/4, with a lead of 57 runs. They had put 92 runs on the board in the first session, without losing a wicket. This seemed like an indication that both men were resolute and had a game plan in mind. However, taking the new ball worked and Broad managed to get Samuels' outside edge, neatly picked up by Swann in the slips. Ramdin was rapped on the pads but umpire Marais Erasmus declined it. It seemed that England wanted to go for a review but eventually decided against it. There were words spoken and quite a few menacing glares exchanged - Anderson even displaying some hostility towards Ramdin by almost throwing the ball at his face.
It rattled the Windies somehow and the next bowling change came with the fall of Chanderpaul's wicket. A missed sweep shot by Chanderpaul was given out by the umpire. Chanderpaul didn't want to go and even asked for a review, but the decision from upstairs was the same. Skipper Darren Sammy fell next after a breezy innings. He edged a bouncer by Broad to the keeper. The rest of the innings didn't last too long after that and West Indies were polished off for 345.
Things weren't peachy for England. Previous innings' century maker, captain Strauss fell to Kemar Roach in the second over itself, followed by night watchman James Anderson who fell to Roach in the fourth over. Roach got the ball to lift a bit and got Anderson's glove. while on its way to Ramdin's safe keeper gloves.
At stumps, England walked back in at 10/2, needing another 181 runs to win. West Indies will feel a lot more confident. Their batsmen did a decent job and their bowlers (especially Kemar Roach) bent their backs to get them in a good position. Now, it remains to be seen who will come up trumps on day 5.