By BV Swagath
England cruised to an 8-wicket win at The Oval to win the NatWest Series 2-0 with one more match to come. Skipper Alastair Cook scored his 12th ODI century to ease England to victory with five overs to spare in a run chase of 239.
The pitch just didn’t provide any lateral movement for the West Indian new ball bowlers. The English openers Alastair Cook and Ian Bell had an easy outing stroking the ball sweetly and powerfully to keep the scoreboard ticking. The openers carried the hosts to 122 before Ian Bell (53 from 64 balls with 7 fours) drove early to a nagging off cutter from Darren Sammy to spoon a catch to covers in the 22nd over.
England’s no.3 Jonathan Trott helped Cook to put up another solid stand to bat West Indies out of the contest. Cook stroked his way to a century and got out attempting a slog sweep off a slower one from Sammy but not before putting England on the brink of a victory. Cook scored 112 from 120 balls with 13 fours and a six before he got dismissed with England in a strong position at 203 for 2.
The rest of the formalities were completed by Jonathan Trott (43* from 68 balls with 3 fours) and Ravi Bopara (19* from 19 balls) with the match getting wrapped up by the end of the 45th over.
Bravo rescues West Indies to 238/9
West Indies posted a modest total of 238 for 9 in the Second ODI at The Oval on what looks like a perfect batting strip. The visitors would settle for that total after slipping to a disastrous looking 79 for 4 in 21 overs. Dwayne Bravo rescued the West Indies from getting bundled out for a low total with his wonderful knock of 77.
It was a good start otherwise for the West Indies as Chris Gayle after watching out for few balls went berserk. Playing his comeback international match after a long gap, Gayle went onto smash five sixes and three fours to score 53 from 51 balls. It was a controversial lbw decision which robbed Gayle of a longer innings. The left hander was given out lbw to a drifter from Graeme Swann. Gayle asked for a review and was still given out lbw despite replays not clear whether it was bat first or the pad first.
The visitors from a strong position of 63 for no loss slipped to 79 for 4 within no time once England saw the back of Gayle. A 100-run stand between Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard repaired that damage and set West Indies towards a fine total. It was in the 40th over that England broke this 5th wicket stand when Kieron Pollard (41 from 52 balls with 3 fours and a six) was bounced out by Tim Bresnan with the former’s pull shot getting caught at deep mid wicket.
Skipper Darren Sammy chipped in with a useful 21 (from 20 balls) to take West Indies past 200 along with Bravo. The visitors were once again pegged back by wickets, this time in the final overs. Bravo’s knock came to an end in the 49th over when he miscued a big shot to be caught at extra covers. The T&T all-rounder scored 77 which came in 82 balls with 8 fours and 2 sixes.
For England, James Anderson bowled well for his 2 for 38 in 10 overs. Stuart Broad claimed two important wickets at the top while giving away only 43 off his 9 overs.
Toss and Teams: England have won the toss and asked West Indies to bat first in the Second NatWest ODI at The Oval in London. The conditions are bright and sunny at The Oval for what is a must win match for the West Indies after trailing 0-1 in the 3-ODI Series.
Chris Gayle returns back to the West Indies playing XI after a long gap. He comes in for the inured Darren Bravo. Tino Best also comes into the XI in the place of Andre Russell. England are playing with the same team that crushed the Windies in the opening match.
England: Alastair Cook (Captain), Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Steven Finn
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (Wicket Keeper), Darren Sammy (Captain), Tino Best, Ravi Rampaul and Sunil Narine