Hoggard steals the limelight

MATTHEW HOGGARD upstaged local hero Andrew Flintoff yesterday and re-established England’s superiority over West Indies in the third npower Test.

Hoggard turned the match in England’s direction with three key wickets.

West Indies struggled to 275 for six at the end of a day restricted to only 70.5 overs because of overnight rain and bad light.

Hoggard made the decisive early breakthrough which gave England a flying start after the tourists had decided to bat first, removing Chris Gayle in the 27th delivery of the day when he prodded a simple catch to point.

Following an inevitable golden spell from Flintoff, who removed key pair Ramnaresh Sarwan and Brian Lara within a six-ball period, it was Hoggard who produced the key contribution and ensured England finished the first day on top.

At 108 for four West Indies were by no means certain to bat the day out until Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo teamed up and demonstrated impressive resolve.

Progressing at a steady rate of nearly five an over in the final session, the pair halted England’s momentum.

Despite an unbroken 13-over spell from in-form Giles, England’s attack were struggling to find the breakthrough.

Hoggard was called upon by captain Michael Vaughan and immediately changed the course of the opening day.

Experienced campaigner Chanderpaul guided Bravo to share a 157-run partnership which had frustrated England for 35 overs without either batsmen looking likely to lose concentration.

Just as they both eyed centuries, however, they fell to Hoggard in successive overs. Play was abandoned two overs later when a thunderstorm engulfed Old Trafford.

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