England wrap up series win
England’s cricketers strolled to an easy win against the West Indies to claim an unassailable 2-0 series lead.
The English batsmen have done all the damage so far in the ODI series, but give some credit to the bowlers who have been sharing around the wickets to make an all-round fine team display.
After some rain delays in the first game, England won by 114 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method – a recalculated score taking into account run rate, wickets and overs, to come up with what seems like a random total to be achieved in fewer overs.
Ian Bell was obviously the stand-out batsmen for England, scoring 126 from just 117 balls before being caught by Ramdin off Dwayne Bravo’s bowling.
But the runs kept on coming, with good contributions from everyone who batted apart from Cook (0) and Bopara (8)
It seemed like the West Indian batsmen didn’t like the rain, and they fell quite cheaply, quite quickly, with the only saving grace being Smith’s 56 runs from 44 balls.
It was quite obvious to me that they lacked the leadership in the first game that Gayle can provide, and they showed that with a better, albeit still not good enough, performance in the second game.
In that game the Windies could only manage a below par score of 238-9, led by the ever explosive captain Chris Gayle (53) and Dwayne Bravo (77).
The plaudits once again go to an England opener. This time it was Cook’s turn to score a century, managing 112 before falling to the bowling of Sammy.
That century broke a world record in ODI’s, making it the first time ever that an international team has had six consecutive innings where an opener has scored 100+ runs. And long may that streak continue.
This opening partnership off Cook and Bell seems to solve the problem England have had of finding a good opening combination. The last good pairing I can think of is Trescothic and Vaughan.
England reached their target of 239 at a saunter. With five overs to spare and only losing two wickets. A marvelous performance which was probably determined, literally, at the toss of a coin. Because I genuinely think that the pitch played into the hands of England, as they knew it was going to become slower and flatter as the day wore on, making it difficult for any West Indian bowler to knock over the 10 wickets to ensure a win.
The final ODI on Friday will hopefully see England subject another series defeat on the Windies.
A perfect start for the series starting against Australia in July.