England v West Indies: Hosts wrap up victory to clinch series win
Second Test, Trent Bridge, day four:
England 428 & 111-1 beat West Indies 370 & 165 by nine wickets
England swept to a nine-wicket victory over West Indies in the second Test at Trent Bridge to wrap up the series with a game to spare.
Marlon Samuels added a defiant 76 not out to his first-innings century as West Indies limped from overnight 61-6 to 165 all out, setting England a slender target of 108.
"I don't think England have got out of third gear; I don't think they have been stretched that much. I always think at the end of a Test match how many West Indies players would get into the England side? I'd say probably none."
But under more Nottingham sunshine the England opening pair of Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook first saw off the new ball and then prospered under little pressure from a dispirited opposition.
Strauss perished for 45 with just 19 needed but Cook, who finished 43 not out, and Jonathan Trott eased England home, the winning runs coming half an hour after tea when Trott tickled Samuels fine for four.
The four-day win, allied to the five-wicket victory at Lord's a week ago, means England go to Edgbaston next week with an unassailable lead in the three-match rubber.
It is England's seventh series win on the bounce at home, and their sixth in seven against West Indies.
For the chastened tourists it extends their series winless streak in this country to 24 years, and means they have won just one of their last 25 Tests against England.
Samuels was the lone obstruction to England's seemingly inevitable progress once he had lost overnight partner Darren Sammy for 25, to Tim Bresnan's fourth lbw of the innings.
Kemar Roach went in the same fashion to James Anderson before Samuels launched a late assault on the England bowling.
Graeme Swann had Shane Shillingford caught by Anderson at slip for a 22-ball duck but was then smashed for two mighty straight sixes by the phlegmatic Samuels.
Ravi Rampaul edged to third slip to end the fun and leave Samuels with an aggregate score in the match of 193.
Roach again found real pace in his opening spell as England began their pursuit.
Most prolific Test opening partnerships
- 6,482 runs: Gordon Greenidge & Desmond Haynes (WI), 148 innings
- 5,655: Matthew Hayden & Justin Langer (Aus), 113 innings
- 4,597: Alastair Cook & Andrew Strauss (Eng), 111 innings
But, with the pitch remaining as true as it had been on the first three days, Strauss and Cook chipped away at the modest target in unhurried fashion.
In doing so they became the third most prolific opening pair in Test history after Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, and Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer.
Strauss was clearly irritated to push a gentle loosener from Samuels down Darren Bravo's throat at cover, but he has still been England's best batsman in the series.
The match had been won and lost late on Sunday when Bresnan's spell of 3-10 blew the West Indies' fragile top order apart.
Bresnan finished with 4-37, and there was at last reward for Anderson's excellence with 4-43 from 20 overs.
Sterner tests will come later this summer with the arrival of South Africa and their much-vaunted pace attack.
For now, Strauss and England are successfully putting their difficult winter behind them, their number one world ranking secure for at least another three months.