BIRMINGHAM — West Indies pace bowler Tino Best smashed 95 on Sunday to record the highest score by a No. 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.
England, which has already won the series 2-0, trails by 205 runs and needs a further 56 to avoid the reduced follow-on target. It was 221-5 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 added the wicket of Jonny Bairstow late on, bowling him off his pads for 18, to have 2 for 37. 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. 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 No. 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.
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. — Reuters