Mon | Mar 4, 2024

West Indies brought to earth with six-wicket defeat

Published:Thursday | December 7, 2023 | 12:11 AM
England batsman Will Jacks raises his bat after scoring a half-century against the West Indies at the Vivian Richards Stadium in the second One-Day International of a three-game series yesterday. Jacks scored 73.
England batsman Will Jacks raises his bat after scoring a half-century against the West Indies at the Vivian Richards Stadium in the second One-Day International of a three-game series yesterday. Jacks scored 73.

NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC):

ENIGMATIC WEST Indies produced an underwhelming performance to go under by six wickets to England in the second One-Day International yesterday, leaving Saturday’s finale in Barbados as the all-important series decider.

Four days after chasing down 326 to pull off a shock win in the opener at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, West Indies could only muster 202 all out in the 40th over, after being asked to bat first in the day-night contest at the same venue.

Captain Shai Hope followed up his unbeaten hundred with a top score of 68 at a run-a-ball while left-hander Sherfane Rutherford stroked a responsible 63 off 80 deliveries to post his maiden ODI 50 in his second game.

Left-arm seamer Sam Curran, who leaked 98 runs in the opener, returned with three for 33 to wreck the top order in an incisive new-ball spell and earn Man-of-the-Match honours while off-spinner Liam Livingtone (3-39) also chipped in with three wickets, West Indies plunging to 23 for four in the seventh over before recovering.

In reply, England survived a minor stumble to comfortably chase down their target in the 33rd over, captain Jos Buttler returning to form with an unbeaten 58 off 45 deliveries and starring in an unbroken 90-run, fifth-wicket partnership with Harry Brook, who made 43 not out off 49 balls.

However, it was opener Will Jacks who laid the foundation for the successful run chase, the 25-year-old right-hander lashing 73 off 72 deliveries.

Left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie (2-34) struck twice in successive overs to inject some hope into the West Indies victory bid before that fizzled out.

“As we all can see, we didn’t start as well as we should’ve with the bat. We put ourselves under a bit of pressure there,” Hope said afterwards.

“But I must also take the positive from the game: Sherfane played a really good innings there to get us out of a hole but again, we also didn’t finish as well as we could’ve.

“We didn’t play the situations smart enough and I think that’s what caused that downfall in the back end.”

He added: “We have to win the game [at Kensington Oval] to win the series and everything we need to do, whether it is from more planning [or] more preparation, we’ve got to be ready for the next game coming.”

Alick Athanaze (4) perished to a catch at the wicket courtesy of DRS after seamer Gus Atkinson (2-28) brought one back to cramp the left-hander for room in the fourth over, and Keacy Carty (0) and Brandon King (17) both fell to catches at first slip by Zak Crawley as Curran struck in successive overs.

When Curran also gained an lbw verdict against Shimron Hetmyer via DRS at the end of the seventh over before the left-hander had scored, West Indies were in strife.

The dependable Hope then combined with Rutherford in a 129-run, fifth-wicket stand, which repaired the damage and set the tone for a possible charge at the back end.

While Hope counted a half-dozen fours and a six, Rutherford punched seven fours and a six in a controlled knock, the pair guiding the hosts to 119 for four at the halfway stage.

Once Rutherford drove Livingstone into Phil Salt’s lap at cover in the 30th over, however, West Indies crumbled, the last six wickets going down for just 50 runs.

Hope was seventh out in the 34th over, bowled playing back to Livingstone following a misjudgement of length.

In reply, Jacks gave England the ideal start, blasting a half-dozen fours and four sixes as he put on exactly 50 off 35 balls with Salt (21) for the first wicket, 25 for the second with Crawley (3), and a further 31 for the fourth with Brook.

Motie eventually got Crawley to drag on a slow sweep in the 11th over and then induced left-hander Ben Duckett into gloving a sweep to wicketkeeper Hope in the 13th over.

And when Rutherford trapped Jacks lbw in the 20th over with his unpractised medium pace, England were stumbling at 116 for four but Buttler, and Brook quickly ended any hope of a come-from-behind win for the hosts.