Best serves up record score

World Cricket

Birmingham - West Indies pace bowler Tino Best smashed 95 on Sunday to record the highest score by a number 11 batsmen in the history of Test cricket on the fourth day of the third and final Test against England at Edgbaston.

Best added 143 for the final wicket with wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, who completed his second Test hundred to remain 107 not out in a West Indies first innings total of 426 in the rain-interrupted match.

Share this story
West Indies' batsman Tino Best leaves the field after being dismissed for 95 runs during the third Test match against England at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham.

England, who have already won the series 2-0, trail by 205 runs and need a further 56 to avoid the reduced follow-on target. They were 221 for five at close of play, as Kevin Pietersen stroked 78 from 81 balls and Ian Bell was 76 not out.

After his batting display, Best continued to impress with the ball.

He dismissed England captain Andrew Strauss (17), caught at first slip, after Ravi Rampaul trapped Alastair Cook (4) lbw and Darren Sammy forced Jonathan Trott to play on for 17.

Best, frequently clocking 145km/h, added the wicket of Jonny Bairstow late on, bowling him off his pads for 18, to have two for 37.

Bell enjoyed his most fluent period after lunch when he crashed five boundaries in 10 balls against Rampaul. Several delays for bad light upset his rhythm after tea but he survived, with night-watchman Steven Finn yet to score.

Pietersen looked set for his 21st Test century before he edged off-spinner Marlon Samuels to Sammy at slip.

Best, playing his first test for three years, was earlier the last man out when he skied an attempted slog to Strauss running back from slip off Graham Onions. He hung his head briefly in disappointment.

The Barbadian had, though, bettered the 75 that India's Zaheer Khan scored as last man in the order in Dhaka in 2004.

He also registered the first half-century against England by a number 11 in 106 years. Only Australian Fred Spofforth (1885) and South African Bert Vogler (1906) had previously managed a half-century in the final batting position.

England struggled for a breakthrough without their two leading fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who were rested.

Ramdin was solid but outshone by the flamboyance of Best. He had contributed just eight runs when the 50 stand was registered and 32 for the 100 partnership, which came in 117 deliveries.

When Ramdin reached three figures with a single off Tim Bresnan to fine leg, he took a handwritten note out of his pocket and showed it to the commentary box. It read “Yeah Viv Talk Nah” in an apparent reference to criticism from former West Indies captain Viv Richards who is commentating for BBC Radio.

Ramdin was dropped on 69 by Pietersen when the score was 326 for nine, though it was a difficult chance at gully from a firm cut shot. He had resumed on 60 and saw Rampaul out to the third ball of the day, caught behind off Steven Finn, to bring in Best.

Best then thrilled a sparse crowd as he savaged England's bowling attack with a series of textbook shots all around the ground.

He hit 14 fours and a straight six off Bresnan after he had raised the team's 350 with a lofted drive for four over extra-cover.

He reached his fifty with a single to extra cover off Bresnan, when he then engaged in some wild celebrations and kissed the badge of his maroon helmet.

The first two days of the match were completely washed out by rain. - Reuters

Share this story