England 328-7 (Prior 87, Shah 75, Strauss 52, Taylor 3-59) v
Third One Day International, Edgbaston, Birmingham
Matthew Prior and Owais Shah shared a 149-run stand in 122 balls for the third wicket to propel England to a score of 328 for eight after they were put into bat by the West Indies in the final One Day International at Edgbaston. The total is their highest ODI total against the West Indies and will take some chasing if the tourists are to tie the series.
West Indian captain Chris Gayle must have been regretting his decision even before Shah and Prior came to the crease as Ravi Bopara (49) and Andrew Strauss (52) added 81 in 15 overs, taking full advantage of the West Indian bowlers banging the ball in too short. The pitch allowed the ball to sit up and both men helped themselves to cuts, pulls and drives to get the home side off to a brilliant start.
Ravi Rampaul bowled four overs for 29 runs with the new ball and was not invited to improve on those figures. After Strauss was dropped by Keiron Pollard off Fidel Edwards, playing in his 50th ODI, the West Indies' luck finally turned when Bopara was bowled via an inside edge, Dwayne Bravo the man picking up the wicket.
Strauss reached his 16th half-century but went little further, overbalancing as he missed an attempted drive against Sulieman Benn and failing to get his foot back behind the crease when the bails were whipped off by an ever-alert Denesh Ramdin.
That set the stage for Prior and Shah to run the West Indian ragged. Prior scored just five boundaries in his run-a-ball 87, taking the fight to his opponents with clever deflections and superb running between the wickets.
Shah was the more aggressive of the pair, thumping two big sixes and four fours with some of his punch drives of especially high quality, both the power generated and the precision placement impressing.
One ball after he had lofted a Jerome Taylor free hit into the stands he was caught by Runako Morton attempting a repeat and his dismissal, for 75, was swiftly followed by those of Prior and Dimitri Mascarenhas, who chipped a return catch to Pollard for a golden duck.
Paul Collingwood, man of the match at Bristol, where England went 1-0 up, ensured that there was no loss of momentum, steering them past the 300 mark before he was bowled by Taylor (3-59) for 23 in 14 balls.
Tim Bresnan (9) also perished in the hunt for quick runs, leaving Eoin Morgan (6) and Stuart Broad (6) unbeaten as England passed the ground record ODI score as well.
England named an unchanged side while the West Indies replaced Lendl Simmons with Morton and Edwards was preferred to Darren Sammy.
England: Andrew Strauss (captain), Ravi Bopara, Matthew Prior, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Runako Morton, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Keiron Pollard, Jerome Taylor, Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul, Sulieman Benn
© Cricket World 2009