Gayle to give Chanderpaul final push
West Indies captain Chris Gayle will be happy for Shivnarine Chanderpaul to bat on one leg in Friday's decisive one-day international against England after his latest hundred this tour gave the side a shot at winning the series but also saw him injured.
Chanderpaul's ideally-paced 116 not out at Edgbaston was the centrepiece of West Indies' 278 for five.
In reply, England were bowled out for 217, fast bowler Ravi Rampaul taking four for 41, as West Indies won by 61 runs to level the three-match series at 1-1 on Wednesday.
During his innings, 32-year-old Guyanese left-hander Chanderpaul strained a right ankle ligament and didn't field.
A West Indies team spokesman said his fitness would be re-assessed on the morning of Saturday's match at Trent Bridge.
"I will push him out there, even if on one leg," Gayle jokingly told reporters after Wednesday's victory, achieved with four overs to spare.
West Indies decided to move Chanderpaul up the order from No. 5, where he top scored for his team with 53 not out in their 79-run series-opening defeat at Lord's on Sunday, to No. 3.
It was a move he vindicated in style during a 122-ball knock featuring three sixes and 10 fours.
He was also well-supported by Marlon Samuels (77) during a third-wicket stand of 175."I thought it paid off, moving him up the order," said Gayle, who lost the toss in overcast, bowler-friendly, conditions. "He was tremendous. That partnership between him and Marlon really put us back in the game.
Chanderpaul has been one of the few successes for West Indies during a generally lacklustre trip and his hundred on Wednesday was fresh proof of his ability to bat in attacking, as well as defensive, fashion.
During the four-Test series, which England won 3-0, he batted for over 24 hours while averaging 148.66.
"Shiv can destroy any attack when he wants, he can step it up whenever he needs to," said Gayle.
"He's been very hard to dislodge all the way through this trip," added England one-day captain Paul Collingwood. "He reads the game very well. He knows when to go, when to play himself in."
"He's looking very calm at the crease at the moment but, hopefully come Saturday, we can have that little bit of luck or magic ball that gets him out early. He's been exceptional, he doesn't give his wicket away easily."
There were a couple of on-field flashpoints yesterday, notably when England quick James Anderson appeared to shoulder-barge Runako Morton as he walked back to his mark.
But Gayle said "there was nothing personal" while Collingwood was equally relaxed. "I don't mind the boys getting stuck in if they need to get stuck in."
Looking, ahead opening batsman Gayle said, "We are aggressive people. In cricket we need to be more determined. I am confident in the guys.
Meanwhile England, who like hosts West Indies failed to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, were left searching for an ideal formula in the absence of injured all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who last month underwent a third operation on his left ankle.
At Edgbaston, they omitted specialist spinner Monty Panesar who, even in unhelpful conditions in the past, has been both a wicket-taker and an economical bowler.
In his absence, West Indies didn't lose a wicket in the middle of their innings and then scored 102 runs in the last 10 overs.
"It's hard to get the balance right," said Collingwood. "With Freddie (Flintoff) not around, you haven't got that strike bowler there."
"But you have to give a lot of credit to the West Indies. The way they kept wickets in hand for the last 10 overs when they scored a lot of runs, they played it perfectly."
"I've always said Monty Panesar is going to be a big one-day player for us. But when it comes down to conditions, we assess on the day, see what the wicket is like and go from there."
"We are a young side and we are all still on a learning curve," added the 31-year-old Collingwood.