England stun Windies to stay in WC
England kept their World Cup hopes alive as they claimed the last four wickets for just three runs to secure a thrilling, 18-run win over West Indies in a pulsating match in Chennai on Monday.
Needing to win to have any chance of going through to the last eight, England left it very late, as the West Indies found themselves at 222 for 6 after 41 overs, with Andre Russell (49) and Ramnaresh Sarwan having added 72 for the sixth wicket.
But England dug considerably deep to claim the last four wickets for just three runs, with spinners Graeme Swann and James Tredwell eventually sharing seven wickets.
“We've pulled out results when we've needed them. We are still waiting on other results, but hopefully we've done enough to go through,” a relieved Andrew Strauss said. “ It shows the spirit in the side, great credit to James Tredwell and Luke Wright who have been waiting in the wings. We have to be more clinical, but for the time being tonight we'll enjoy this victory."
Man of the match Tredwell trapped Russell leg-before from around the wicket, before Swann disposed of Sarwan and Kemar Roach in the next over. The final wicket saw Sulieman Benn run out, as the West Indies cracked under the considerable pressure England put on them.
Earlier, England had won the toss and elected to bat, keen to put a formidable score on the board in the must-win clash. Skipper Andrew Strauss and Matt Prior gave them a solid start, adding 48 for the first wicket in nine overs, before Prior was bowled by an in-swinger from Russell.
Strauss fell soon after, as he top-edged an attempted pull off Russell, and the fit-again Chris Gayle took a fine, running catch at mid-wicket to reduce England to 79 for 2.
Jonathan Trott blazed 22 runs off his first eight balls, as the West Indian bowlers fluffed their lines to him.
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, who was on debut, immediately settled into a tidy spell when he came on in the 16th over.
He claimed the big wicket of Trott, hit him straight to mid-wicket to depart for 47 off 38 balls.
From there, the English innings disintegrated, as Ian Bell was bowled by the slippery Kemar Roach, and Eoin Morgan played an ill-judged reverse-sweep off Bishoo, only to glove it through to the keeper.
Ravi Bopara tried to cut Russell and played on, leaving the English 151 for 6. It was left to Luke Wright to provide a fighting knock, clubbing 44 off 57 balls, as he tried to keep the innings together.
Tredwell was run out whilst ball-watching, and Wright became Bishoo’s third victim, as he was caught on the deep mid-wicket fence, with the debutant finishing with excellent figures of 3 for 34 in his full quota.
“One of the guys who made a start needed to take us through,” lamented Sammy after the match. “We have a few positives to take, Bishoo bowled well, but at the end of the day we lost. I was happy chasing 244 after the start they had."
England’s 243 all out looked competitive, until Gayle got stuck into their bowlers. He clubbed 18 off Tim Bresnan’s over, and then repeated the feat off Chris Tremlett’s over, as the Windies sped to 50 inside five overs.
But Tredwell then came on and dismissed the big-hitting leftie, as he trapped him in front for 43 off 27 balls.
The West Indies moved skipper Darren Sammy up the order, and he duly obliged by bludgeoning 41 off 29 balls.
But the Windies kept on losing wickets, with Tredwell having opener Devon Smith stumped fortunately by Prior, before the in-form Darren Bravo was well held at slip by Strauss.
Ravi Bopara then came on and bowled both Sammy and keeper Devon Thomas, to reduce the Windies to 118 for 5.
WHIRLWIND FINAL OVERS
Kingpin Kieron Pollard came in and smashed a breezy 24, as the West Indies stayed well ahead of the run-rate. It looked as if it would be their day, when Bopara dropped a gettable chance off Pollard, as the big man miscued a shot off the impressive Swann.
But England didn’t have to wait too much longer, as Swann got enough purchase to get through Pollard’s defences, and reduce the Windies to 150 for 6.
Russell came and swung heartily from the start, smashing three sixes and two fours to demoralize the English.
As the match entered the final , decisive moments, the Windies looked home and hosed as a claimed catch by Trott on the boundary was overturned to a six, as the England fielder had grazed the boundary in taking the catch.
But just as England looked dead and buried, Swann and Tredwell spun their web one last time to keep their dramatic campaign alive.
"To get the nod was great and it was unbelievable,” Tredwell said. “Hopefully when you get a chance you take and I did that today."
England: Andrew Strauss (capt), Matt Prior (wk), Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Luke Wright, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell and Chris Tremlett.
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Devon Smith, Darren Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Kieron Pollard, Devon Thomas (wk), Darren Sammy (capt), Andre Russell, Sulieman Benn,Devendra Bishoo and Kemar Roach.