Clinical England rout West Indies
England beat West Indies by 8 wickets in the 2nd ODI at the Oval in London on Tuesday, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3 ODI series along the way.
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Chris Gayle marked his return to the West Indian side for the first time since 23rd March 2011 in the 2011 ICC World Cup Quarter Final against Pakistan. Even as Jimmy Anderson and Steven Finn began with three maiden overs up front, two of them to Lendl Simmons, all eyes were on Gayle.
The Jamaican broke the shackles in the 6th over, slamming Finn for three consecutive boundaries, taking the fight to Anderson in the 9th and 11th overs and dispatching Tim Bresnan for three sixes, the last of them over the roof of the stadium in the 10th over. From 2 off 10, he sped to 50 off 41b. At the other end Simmons plodded along slowly.
Swann was introduced into the attack and Gayle was careful against him, however a giant forward defensive press saw umpire Tony Hill give him out LBW and the decision was challenged. Front angle replays showed no bat but hotspot showed an inside edge when the bat came ahead. In a contentious decision, Third umpire Kumar Dharamasena gave him out after long deliberation, sending a visibly unhappy Chris Gayle back to the pavilion for 53 (51b, 3x4, 5x6).
The rest of the WI batsmen failed to both score and score quick after Gayle’s dismissal. Dwayne Smith (0 off 9b)nicked a wide delivery before Stuart Broad removed both Simmons (12 off 50b) and Marlon Samuels (12 off 22b) in the 20th over.
Dwayne Bravo (77) added 100 runs with Kieron Pollard (41) for the 5th wicket and 41 with Darren Sammy (21) for the sixth wicket but the regular fall of wickets at the other meant the acceleration could never really come. The English bowlers were persistent and their hard work paid off as they kept a power packed WI line up to 238/9 in 50 overs.
Captain Cook and Ian Bell (53) added 122 for the first wicket in just 21.2 overs in England’s reply, giving them a solid base to build upon. Unfussed by Bell’s dismissal, Cook went on to register 112 (120b, 13x4, 1x6) his 3rd ODI ton in his last six innings and the sixth consecutive ton by an England opener in their last six ODIs.
Cook added 81 for the second wicket with Jonathan Trott (43*) he was caught off West Indian his counterpart Darren Sammy. Ravi Bopara and Trott ticked off the remaining runs effortlessly, England posting 239/2 in just 45 overs to seal the game by 8 wickets and seal the series 2-0 with one game to go.