England benefit from confusion over cricket laws

ENGLAND profited from a mix-up over cricket’s laws to claim a stranglehold on the third Test and move closer to a series victory over West Indies at Old Trafford.

Having been dismissed for 370 shortly before lunch, fast bowler Steve Harmison warmed up between innings on the edge of the square — a breach of Law 17.1 which states no practice adjacent to the pitch.

Harmison should have been removed from the attack for at least half an hour, but instead England were warned by fourth umpire Rob Bailey and Harmison opened the attack.

Inevitably Harmison took a wicket, with his fourth ball, as West Indies plunged to 229 all out to earn England a 141-run first-innings lead.

England extended their lead to 175 after reaching 34 for one by the close, after the Windies lost six wickets for 13 runs in only 44 balls.

Earlier Windies had progressed to 216 for four as Shivnarine Chanderpaul led the fight. Chris Gayle hammered 23 off 34 balls before driving Liam Plunkett low to gully, but that just teamed up Devon Smith with Runako Morton and they raced to a 50 partnership off 39 balls.

Harmison made the breakthrough with a short delivery fended off by Morton to Andrew Strauss at first slip.

With Monty Panesar removing Smith, England were in control at 157 for four. Left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom tempted Bravo into pushing at a wide delivery which was caught by wicket-keeper Matt Prior.

Sidebottom followed that four overs later by inducing Denesh Ramdin into a miscued pull to mid-wicket.

Panesar moved in for the kill by claiming the wickets of Darren Sammy and Jerome Taylor in four balls. Chanderpaul’s half-century was ended by Sidebottom, who finished with three for 45, before Panesar ended the innings by having Corey Collymore to slip to claim four for 50.

When England returned to bat, there was time for Fidel Edwards to trap Strauss lbw for a duck.

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