'Ruthless' England crush West Indies

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Michael Vaughan last night described the England team who crushed West Indies, despite a heavy rainstorm and a hail shower, as "ruthless" and then demanded: "We must now go out at Old Trafford next week and put on a repeat performance".

Not only had England thrashed a dispirited and demoralised West Indies team by an innings and 283 runs, the biggest defeat in their Test history stretching back to 1928, but Vaughan had equalled Peter May's record of 20 victories.

He has led England in just 34 Tests to reach that target, compared with May, who in the 1950s and 1960s needed 41 matches.

advertisementVaughan shrugged off this achievement, but there is no question that May had bigger guns in his armoury.

Fred Trueman, Brian Statham, Tony Lock and Jim Laker are still regarded as cricketing giants and capable of better performances than the quartet of Steve Harmison, Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom and Monty Panesar, who shot out the hapless Windies for 146 and 141 in the second Test.

The tourists, without Brian Lara for the first time since 1989, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and their captain, Ramnaresh Sarwan, collapsed in 42.2 overs.

Vaughan said: "We showed a ruthless streak and now we must go to Old Trafford for the third Test a week on Thursday and do it all over again."

In fact, there is little doubt that, miracles apart, Vaughan is set to mark his comeback with a series win against a team who are eighth out of 10 in the world rankings and whose management can't even make up their minds who will replace Sarwan on his first tour as captain.

They seem to have only one guideline. That replacement must not be Lara. "He has retired," said David Moore, their coach, repeatedly.

England have problems they can ignore. Andrew Flintoff and Matthew Hoggard are injured but the Windies are so weak that the England selectors can still afford to experiment, as they did with Ryan Sidebottom, who grabbed eight wickets in this match.

The bowlers needed only 79 overs to bowl out West Indies twice. In other words, they would not have reached the new-ball stage of 80 overs, and that is a condemnation of any Test side on a wicket which allowed Kevin Pietersen, the man-of-the-match, to make his highest Test score of 226.

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