England 303-6 (Root 107, Buttler 99) beat
West Indies 278 (Ramdin 128) by 25 runs
Third One-Day International, Antigua
Denesh Ramdin gave them a fright but England prevailed over the West Indies in a markedly more high-scoring third One-Day International in Antigua and secured the series 2-1.
Jos Buttler and Joe Root had combined to add 175 for the fifth-wicket as England racked up 303 for six after being asked to bat by West Indies skipper Dwayne Bravo. The hosts then lost regular wickets in the first half of their run chase, slipping to 80 for five in the 20th over, before Ramdin became the first West Indian wicket-keeper to hit an ODI century.
He kept the home side just about in the hunt in the final 20 overs of their chase as the required run rate hovered between 10 and 12 an over. Three boundaries came off the first three balls of the 48th over bowled by Tim Bresnan to leave 26 needed off 15, but Bresnan found the block-hole and Ramdin’s excellent innings was brought to an end at 128 and the West Indies’ at 278.
West Indies had suffered a twin setback early in their pursuit of their target of 304. Joe Root got the wicket of Kieran Powell in his first over before leaving the field after bowling three overs due to a thumb injury sustained during his excellent 107. Stuart Broad then had Dwayne Smith caught on the boundary with his very first delivery to leave the score on 10 for two.
Darren Bravo and Lendl Simmons advanced the total to 42 but they too fell in quick succession as Moeen Ali struck to remove the former for 16 and Simmons dragged on off Broad for the same score. Marlon Samuels then handed Stephen Parry (1-60) another international wicket when he edged a catch through to Buttler when on 23. He reviewed the decision but, without HotSpot and Snicko, the replays were inconclusive and he was sent on his way.
Ramdin then began the fightback, firstly alongside Dwayne Bravo, who made 27 of a sixth-wicket partnership of 51 before being claimed by Ravi Bopara, the eighth bowler called upon by England. Darren Sammy played his part in adding a further 71 but was well caught off a Bresnan short ball by Ben Stokes on the leg-side boundary.
Ramdin reached his maiden ODI century off 99 balls with a six, with substitute fielder Chris Jordan having a hand in the dismissals of his latter partners; Nikita Miller (10) and Sunil Narine (10). Of England’s bowlers, besides the likes of Bresnan (3-45) and Broad (2-58) an honourable mention must also got to James Tredwell, who delivered 10 tidy overs of off-spin for figures of none for 38.
Earlier, there was a maiden ODI century for Root, while Buttler fell narrowly short of his as England fared better with the bat than they had in the first two games. They did suffer from a Dwayne Bravo double-strike early on. Michael Lumb was caught for 20, with Stokes then dismissed first ball via a catch at square-leg to make it 37 for two.
Moeen Ali, though, recorded a maiden half-century during another pleasing innings at the top of the order and added 78 with Root before being caught and bowled by Miller (1-48). Eoin Morgan didn’t last long on his comeback from injury and was bowled by Narine (1-52) for one before Buttler and Root began their epic partnership.
Root was first to fifty, off 68 balls, with Buttler following suit not long after off 56. Root then brought up three figures off 112 deliveries but would be dismissed for 107 playing an audacious reverse ramp shot off Dwayne Bravo (3-60). Buttler was to be denied his century in the final over when he got a leading edge back to Ravi Rampaul (1-55) to depart for 99. He and Root, though - England’s future it must be remembered - had done enough to set up their side’s win.
© Cricket World 2014