Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cork Inspires England to Level Series

MANCHESTER, England -- England's irrepressible all-rounder Dominic Cork set up a splendid victory for the home team over West Indies in the fourth test with a hat-trick in the opening over of the fourth day.

Despite a marvelous century from Brian Lara, who single-handedly kept his team afloat Sunday, West Indies' eventual total of 314 left England needing only 94 to win, a target it reached with six wickets in hand after weathering some ferocious fast bowling.

The six-match series is now tied 2-2 with the fifth test opening at Trent Bridge on Aug. 10.

Cork captured the vital wicket of Richie Richardson with his fourth ball when the West Indies' captain was bowled with a delivery which came off pad and then bat.

Junior Murray and Carl Hooper then both shuffled indeterminately across their stumps to the next two deliveries and were out lbw to Cork for the 22nd hat-trick in test history.

Cork has now taken 20 wickets in his first three tests and was understandably elated after he was named man-of-the-match for the second time this series.

"Everything seems to be working for me at the moment," he said. "I'm getting the luck and breaks a bowler needs.

"Richie was a bit unlucky. I think he was looking to leave it but I got a good bounce. The other two were good, straight balls which had a bit of reverse. To me, both were plumb lbw."

Lara played with consummate skill and concentration, shepherding the tail-enders cleverly and defending obdurately. He swept majestically to his century off 151 balls with 12 fours and was eventually out for 145 scored in 281 minutes from 216 balls with 16 boundaries.

England appeared to be cruising to victory at 39 without loss when captain Mike Atherton was needlessly run out for 22.

A further three wickets then fell for only nine runs and Robin Smith was forced to leave the field when he sustained a nasty blow to his left cheekbone to leave England tottering at 48 for four.

Wicketkeeper Jack Russell, recalled to the side after Alec Stewart was injured, added an unbeaten 31 to his first innings 35 run out as England weathered the storm with John Crawley finishing unbeaten on 15.

Atherton admitted he had been a "little bit tense, a little bit nervy" when the wickets began to fall. "Jack Russell and John Crawley played well and saw us through," he said.

"This is an evenly matched contest," he said. "The games on decent surfaces have been close games."

Richardson conceded that his team's batting had let them down again and added a target of 150 could have been enough. "Even with 94 we thought we could do it," he said. "We have got to start all over again. We keep getting a lead and then letting them catch up."