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Ton-up Gayle hobbles off as Windies battle

cricket Updated: Mar 09, 2009 01:10 IST

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England tried with limited success to tighten their grip on the fifth and final Test against West Indies before tea on Sunday, after Chris Gayle retired hurt following his 10th Test hundred.

West Indies were 251 for four, replying to England's first innings total of 546 for six declared, at the break on the third day at Queen's Park Oval.

Their total was helped by a huge 49 extras sent down by the English bowlers.

England found Gayle difficult to dislodge, but the West Indies captain pulled up with a strained hamstring, after taking the run that took him to his second hundred of the series.

After receiving medical attention on the field, he eventually hobbled away leaving his side to carry on the fight without him.

A West Indies spokesman confirmed the injury and indicated that Gayle would have a medical scan early on Monday, and will only take part in the game further, if required.

England fortified their position when spinner Monty Panesar had Lendl Simmons adjudged lbw for 24 - a decision which the batsman challenged and lost on referral to the video umpire.

The visitors' grip might have been tighter had one or two of the handful of lbw appeals they made against left-handers Brendan Nash and Shivnarine Chanderpaul gained the approval of one of the umpires.

England also had a chance to remove Nash just before the break, but Alastair Cook failed to hold onto a sharp bat-pad catch off Panesar, who has been England's most effective bowler with two wickets for 50 runs from 20 overs.

Before lunch, England kept a tight rein on the West Indies' batsmen and managed to prise Ramnaresh Sarwan out before he did too much damage to their bid for a series-levelling victory.

Test newcomer Amjad Khan collected the prized scalp of Sarwan for his first wicket in Tests, as West Indies reached 176 for three at lunch.

Khan trapped Sarwan lbw for 14 in his first over of the day, when the West Indies batsman played across the line of a well-pitched delivery that straightened on him.

It was a fortunate break for England, after slip fielder Paul Collingwood had dropped Sarwan on 12 in the previous over off Panesar.

But England were frustrated in the final hour before the interval, when Gayle and Test newcomer Simmons settled their team's nerves.

Stuart Broad had earlier scalped Daren Powell for a duck, when the West Indies night-watchman fended an awkwardly lifting delivery and was caught at gully.

In the previous over from Swann, Gayle had reached his 50 from 76 balls, when he drove the off-spinner to long-off for a single.

England trail in the five-Test series 1-0, following an innings and 23-run defeat in the opening Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica, where they were dismissed for their third-lowest total of 51 in the second innings.

The second Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua was abandoned because of an unsuitable outfield, while the third Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground and the fourth Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados both ended in draws.

England need a victory to share the series and retain the Wisden Trophy, symbol of Test supremacy between the two sides.