Standing Cricket Player | Cricket Today

The West Indies clinched their first one-day international series victory over England since 2007, triumphing 2-1 with a win in the final ODI match in Barbados. This marked a significant turnaround for the West Indies team, which had been unable to qualify for the ICC ODI World Cup in India, and had not won a bilateral series against a major cricketing nation in over two and a half years.

Weather Disruptions

The match was marred by weather disruptions, including a two-hour delay at the start and further interruptions during England’s innings. Initially set as a 43-over game, it was later reduced to 40 overs due to the delays. England struggled, managing only 206 runs for 9 wickets before play was halted again. The revised target for the West Indies cricket team became 188 runs from 34 overs, a goal they reached with over two overs to spare.

The West Indies’ victory was ignited by an impressive debut from Matthew Forde, who took three wickets for just 29 runs, crippling England’s batting early on. Keacy Carty also shone with his batting prowess, scoring a commendable half-century following modest performances in the earlier matches of the series. Romario Shepherd continued his impactful performances with an unbeaten 41 runs, reminiscent of his previous game in Antigua.

For England and their captain Jos Buttler, the loss added to a series of disappointments in their one-day international setup. Despite being in a strong position towards the end, thanks to Will Jacks’ excellent bowling spell of 3 wickets for 22 runs, they couldn’t capitalise on it. Jacks, who had shined in the second ODI, was again a key player, but his efforts were not enough to secure a win for England.

Both teams entered the Barbados match with the series tied, each having won a game in Antigua. The match also saw a single change in each team’s lineup due to illness and tactical decisions.

Matthew Forde, a 21-year-old playing in just his 13th List A match, made a memorable debut by claiming his first three wickets in just 25 deliveries. He exploited the moist conditions and lively pitch to deliver a day he’d long remember. His early breakthroughs set the tone for the West Indies’ historic victory.

England’s Stop-Start Innings

Salt began assertively, striking the second ball for a boundary over point, but faltered with a mistimed drive caught by Alzarri Joseph at mid-off. The umpires confirmed the legitimacy of the catch after reviewing it for clarity. Following this, Zak Crawley fell victim to an unexpected bounce while trying to leave a ball outside the off stump, only for it to graze his glove and offer an easy catch to Alick Athanaze at second slip.

Forde’s standout moment came with the dismissal of Jacks. He delivered a ball that subtly maintained its line after pitching, catching the edge of Jacks’ bat and sending him back with the score at 45 for 3 in the ninth over, concluding the first powerplay under the revised conditions.

England’s situation deteriorated in the subsequent over. Joseph, entering the attack in the 10th over, swiftly fielded a ball to the leg side and brilliantly hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end, catching Harry Brook short after an overly ambitious single. Shortly after, Buttler departed for a golden duck, misjudging a short ball from Joseph and sending it to Gudakesh Motie at fine leg.

The England cricket team faced a familiar feeling of unease, mirroring their struggles in the 2023 World Cup, despite the inclusion of new players in the team.

Ben Duckett, one of the new additions, stepped up to stabilise the innings. Entering in the third over, he showcased his skill even as wickets fell around him. He and Liam Livingstone managed to navigate the bowling, particularly capitalising against spinners Motie and Yannic Cariah. Duckett reached his fourth ODI fifty in 56 balls, skillfully manoeuvring the ball.

The duo hit back-to-back sixes in the 22nd over bowled by Joseph, with Duckett clearing fine leg and Livingstone powering over midwicket. The momentum seemed to shift, especially when Livingstone was dropped by Carty at deep square leg. However, he was later dismissed for 45 in an attempt to clear the boundary, a lapse in judgement soon after Duckett’s departure, which ended their 88-run partnership.

Sam Curran and Rehan Ahmed pushed the score to 161 for 7 in 33 overs before rain cut the innings short again. Joseph capitalised on this, taking two quick wickets. However, Atkinson and Potts managed to add an unbroken 35 runs, bringing England’s total to 206. They narrowly avoided being restricted to 190, thanks to Carty’s second dropped catch of the innings off Potts.

West Indies Chase

Atkinson seamlessly transitioned his form from batting to bowling, making an immediate impact. His second ball saw Brandon King driving forcefully but directly to Jacks at cover. Following this, Athanaze and Carty developed a brisk partnership of 76 runs, effectively easing the pressure of the chase.

Athanaze, recalling his elegant 66 in the first ODI, drove confidently, finding gaps and scoring boundaries on the leg side with style. A moment of fortune came when a googly from Rehan narrowly missed causing his dismissal, raising hopes that he might stay until the end.

However, his innings ended at 44, bowled by Atkinson, leading to a slide where four wickets fell for just 44 runs. Hope, the standout centurion of the series, was dismissed for 15, caught by Potts off Rehan’s bowling. Hetmyer’s innings ended with a cut straight to point off Jacks, who also claimed Rutherford’s wicket at long-on.

As the required run rate crept over six per over, the spotlight turned to Shepherd, newly at the crease. Initially playing a supporting role to Carty, who reached his fifty in 56 balls, Shepherd’s importance grew when Carty was caught and bowled by Jacks for his third wicket.

Shepherd then took control, launching his first six off Rehan just over Crawley at long-on. His next two sixes came from consecutive balls in Atkinson’s over, which turned out to be the most costly of the match. Forde contributed with a boundary, and Shepherd sealed the win with a decisive straight drive, reducing the required runs to nine from the last 18 balls.

The victory was clinched in the next over, aided by Livingstone’s five wides. Shepherd triumphantly swept the winning boundary, capping off his standout performance and securing a memorable victory for his team.

What’s Next For The West Indies?

For the West Indies, there is a 5 match T20 series versus England starting on December 12th. The West Indies test cricket team travel to Australia in January to take on the Australia cricket team who are the current holders of the ICC World Test Championship. The test series is then followed by 3 ODIs and 3 T20s also against Australia.

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