England fall short as West Indies level ODI series with overdue victory in Bridgetown

England allowed victory to slip from their grasp as five wickets from flamboyant West Indian paceman Sheldon Cottrell consigned the tourists to a 26-run run defeat in the second one-day international in Bridgetown.

Friday, 22nd February 2019, 11:30 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd February 2019, 11:47 pm
West Indies' Shimron Hetmyer celebrates after he scored a century against England at the Kensington Oval. Picture: AP/Ricardo Mazalan

Forty-eight hours after chasing down a record 361 at the Kensington Oval, England collapsed to 263 all out, with the left-armer Cottrell sending off each of his victims in memorable fashion with a military march and salute.

England seemed well set for victory at 228 for four but crumpled in a heap as they lost their next six wickets for 35. Ben Stokes made 79 and Eoin Morgan 70 but neither saw the job through in the manner of Shimron Hetmyer, who set up the game with an unbeaten 104.

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West Indies' Chris Gayle hits a six off the bowling of England's Moeen Ali at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown. Picture: AP/Ricardo Mazalan

Cottrell made a mockery of his omission from the series opener, removing both openers with the new ball, dismissing Morgan and finishing with two more at the death.

Victory was also a feather in the cap of captain Jason Holder, who swung the momentum by removing Stokes, Jos Buttler and Tom Curran in the space of five balls.

England relied on their openers for a flying start last time out but lost both inside three overs as they replied to 289 for six. Cottrell was their downfall, with Jonny Bairstow lbw for a golden duck and Roy bowled via a hearty inside edge.

On both occasions the bowler unveiled his favourite theatrical celebration, one which would get three more outings before the close. Oshane Thomas bagged the prize wicket of Joe Root, fresh from Test and ODI tons in his last two knocks, for 36 - a flashy cut feathered through to the wicketkeeper.

England's Ben Stokes impressed during England's chase, which ultimately fell short. Picture: AP/Ricardo Mazalan

England reclaimed the initiative with a stand of 99 between Morgan and Stokes, thanks to careful placement, eager running and the occasional blast of power.

Morgan got full value when he did commit, depositing Ashley Nurse, Thomas and the occasional off-spin of Chris Gayle over the ropes. When Stokes followed suit he did so handsomely, launching a huge slog-six over the roof of the stand.

The West Indies spilled Morgan on 41 and 51 but his luck eventually expired. The returning Cottrell did the business again, though Morgan’s half-hit lob to deep midwicket will go down as batsman error. Buttler briefly looked to have the winning formula at his fingertips, timing the ball effortlessly and scattering bodies on the team balcony as he launched one of his two sixes into the pavilion.

With the result slipping, Holder dug deep and changed the game. Stokes was the first to fall, unable to see the job through after nicking to Hope and senselessly burning a DRS review on his way. Buttler (34) was close behind, outsmarted by a slower ball that he could only chip to cover, and Holder made it two in two when Curran was given lbw.

Replays showed it to be a rotten decision but Stokes had removed the safety net. Holder’s aura slipped when he dropped a sitter from Rashid on nought but England’s tail never regained the upper hand and Liam Plunkett was last man out with 14 balls to spare.

England had gone in without opening bowler Chris Woakes, rested for Curran with an eye on his ongoing knee issues. In his absence Mark Wood thrived, a polished new-ball spell costing only 13 runs.

Plunkett grabbed the first wicket, John Campbell picking out mid-on, but the game came alive with the early introduction of Moeen Ali. Gayle’s eyes lit up, heaving sixes in each of the spinner’s first three overs, but the 39-year-old never got ahead of the game.

He backed up Wednesday’s 135 with 50 here but chewed up 37 dot balls and ran poorly before Adil Rashid rocked off stump with a leg-break. With Stokes seeing off Shai Hope it was left to Hetmyer to steer the ship and he did so with panache.

Hetmyer’s easy strokeplay needed a foil but England summoned a pair of run outs in 10 balls, Darren Bravo wiped out by Rashid at short third man and Roy swooping brilliantly from point to send Holder back.

Hetmyer had to hurry to reach three figures, getting there by smashing the penultimate ball of the innings for four back over Stokes’ head.