England Set West Indies 173 To Win Series
England 172-5 (Pietersen 48, Benn 2-23) v
Fifth One Day International, St. Lucia
By Graham Wilson
England reached 172 for five in 29 overs in the rain-reduced decisive fifth One Day International against the West Indies at Gros Islet, St. Lucia.
Kevin Pietersen (48) and Ravi Bopara (44) top scored while an unbroken half-century partnership between Paul Collingwood and Matthew Prior, including 23 runs from two batting Power Play overs, helped the tourists put a competitive total on the board.
Rain prevented the match starting on time and after England were put into bat, they lost captain Andrew Strauss early when he was caught at square leg by Dwayne Bravo trying to pull Ravi Rampaul for three.
Fortunately for England, Bopara and Pietersen were not about to throw their wickets away and they added 80 with some sumptuous strokes, Bopara hitting two sixes and Pietersen one. Pietersen was dismissed when he cut Sulieman Benn to Darren Sammy, who at first glance appeared to have taken a sharp catch but replays suggested that he dived over the ball as it bounced, surfacing, so to speak, with it in his hands.
Bopara was then caught by Denesh Ramdin when he tried to slog Kieron Pollard and his departure was the catalyst for a mini-collapse as Owais Shah (6) and Andrew Flintoff (3) fell in quick succession as with pace taken off the ball, England lost four wickets for 24 runs.
Collingwood, unbeaten on 35 and Prior, not out on 25, rescued them with some hard hitting at the death, Collingwood clubbing two fours and a six.
Pollard closed with two for 31, Benn with two for 23, also picking up his 50th wicket in One Day cricket when he had Shah caught by Lendl Simmons at long-on.
© Cricket World 2009