Anderson sets England target

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Published: Sunday 3rd May 2015 by The News Editor

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James Anderson accepts England failed to deal with the pressure late on a crazy day in Barbados but believes a lead of 200 could be enough to secure victory over the West Indies.

A record 18 wickets fell on day two of the third Test, the most in a single’s day’s play at the Kensington Oval, as ball dominated bat throughout.

The hosts were dismissed for 189 in just under 50 overs as Anderson excelled with six for 42, his best figures overseas.

But although that ensured a first-innings lead of 68, England failed to apply a steadying hand in the evening session as they stumbled to 39 for five.

That left the tourists 107 ahead, but Anderson would not feel safe with less than double that.

“This evening we weren’t able to soak up the pressure,” was Anderson’s verdict.

“They put pressure on us and bowled well but we weren’t able to soak it up. Tomorrow, our aim is to soak it up and put it back on them.

“I thought we bowled really well after being on the back foot this morning, we managed to get a lead which is obviously what we wanted, then it was a bit of a disappointing evening session for us.

“We’ve got to try and believe that we can get two guys in and get a partnership, and get a big lead.

“Getting over 200 I think will be a big psychological boost for us and maybe put in the back of their mind a bit of pressure, with them not having got 200 in the first innings.

“A lead of 200 gives you a bit of a cushion but obviously we’d love 250, 300.”

With England 1-0 ahead going into this deciding Test, the outcome of the series will be up for grabs on day three but for Anderson it is already a personal triumph.

Having passed Sir Ian Botham and become England’s leading Test wicket-taker in Antigua and produced an inspirational performance to lead the team to victory in Grenada, he was again to the fore.

He struck three times with the new ball and three more with the old, earning a 17th five-wicket haul at this level.

“I felt in good rhythm this morning…the ball swung a bit, and it was probably one of my best opening spells,” he said.

“I’m obviously really pleased getting my best figures overseas but I would prefer it if the team was in a slightly better position.

“It was special having the majority of the crowd here being English, a really good noise coming off and certainly a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my career. Life, even.”

Jermaine Blackwood, whose swashbuckling 85 bucked the trend in thrilling fashion, sees the game on a knife edge.

Despite hitting 11 fours and four sixes in his knock, he realises a big chase will be tough given conditions.

“We’re confident but there’s a fair few to get so we’re going to come tomorrow and try to get five wickets as fast as possible and try to reduce them to (a lead of) under 200.

“We have to come and get those five wickets as quick as possible then hope the batters can come and do the job.

“It’s playing a little low and the ball’s spinning a lot but once you get in it’s a good wicket to bat on.

“(The pitch is deteriorating) very quickly, the spinners are going to be a handful on that track.”

Published: Sunday 3rd May 2015 by The News Editor

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