England have kept themselves in the Cricket World Cup today, beating the West Indies by 18 runs in their group B clash. Needing to win to retain their place in the competition, the English side defended a total of 243 to put one foot in the quarter finals.
Andrew Strauss won the toss for his side this morning electing to bat first. Strauss and Wicket Keeper Prior got England off to a steady start taking the score to 49, before Prior was dismissed for 21 off of as many balls.
Strauss (31) was dismissed as Trott rocketed away, scoring a quickfire 47 from 38 balls. When Trott was out off of the debutant Bishoo, England’s batting collapse begann losing four wickets for thirty runs.
Luke Wright and James Tredwell steadied the ship with a thirty nine run partnership, taking England close to the 200 mark, before Tredwell was run out by W’Indies superstar Kieron Pollard. Wright scored 44 before he was caught with the score on 216.
The tail wagged for England with Tim Bresnan adding an extremely useful 20 not out to help England struggle to a total of 243 all out, once again not batting out the entire 50 overs. Russell starred with the ball for the W’Indies taking 4 for 49, including the wickets of both openers.
Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith got the chase off to a flying start, taking the score to 50 for 0 off of just 5 overs, before James Tredwell (on World Cup debut) removed the dangerous Gayle for 43, who was scoring at over 2 runs per ball.
Tredwell then dismissed Smith and Bravo, leaving the W’Indies 3 down for 91 runs. Captain Sammy settled the ship slightly, scoring a quick fire 41 from less that 30 balls. Ravi Bopara took the wicket of Sammy and Thomas, bringing the danger man Pollard to the crease.
Pollard caused little damaged before Swann trapped him LBW, leaving the chase at 150 for 5, with England in the box seat.
However, Russell and veteran Ramnaresh Sarwan took their side to 20 runs behind without the loss of a wicket. With victory within their grasp, Russell fell LBW to man of the match Tredwell (4 for 480) sparking a batting collapse.
The West Indies lost their last four wickets for three runs, giving England an eighteen run victory.
Victory ensures that England remain in the competition for now but they still require either South Africa to beat Bangladesh or India to beat Bangladesh to ensure their qualification to the quarter finals, with likely opposition being England’s old enemy Australia.
It looks as if England have snuck through the group stages… but there will be little expectation for them to reach much further in the competition. Inconsistent performances against the lesser teams has almost made them look foolish.
However, It seems as though England have pulled out their best performances against the bigger sides. If they continue this form… Anything is possible.