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Saturday, April 04, 2009

England Clinched the ODI Series 3-2 against West Indies

After losing the test series and the only twenty20 international to West Indies, England has now clinched the ODI series by 3-2 margin thanks to their 26-run victory in the last one-day match. The match reduced to 29 overs for each side due to bad weather. Winning the toss West Indies skipper Chris Gayle sent England to bat first and England scored a challenging total of 172 for 5 in 29 overs. Chasing the target, West Indies got all out for 146 with six balls left in hand. Andrew Flintoff was the man behind England’s victory as the all rounder picked up 5 wickets with a hat-trick.

England did not have a good start to their innings as they lost in-form opener Andrew Strauss for 3 in the second over. Then Ravi Bopara and Kevin Pietersen shared an 88-run partnership for the second wicket before losing 4 wickets pretty much quickly in the middle of the innings. England score turned from 88 for 1 to 112 for 5. Then Collingwood and Matt Prior added 60 runs for the fifth wicket guiding England towards an imposing total of 172. Kieron Pollard and Sulieman Benn picked up 2 wickets each, while Ravi Rampaul got the wicket of Strauss.

West Indies did not have a goods start too as they lost opener Chris Gayle in the first over of their innings. Simmons and Sarwan tried to build up a partnership, but their 39-run stand came to an end when Sarwan nicked Flintoff to Prior for 23, then Simmons also got out off Flintoff for 17 and Collingwood picked up the important wicket of Chanderpaul, putting West Indies under huge pressure. At one stage, West Indies were struggling at 69 for 4. Hosts came out of the pressure thanks to 55-run fifth wicket stand between Bravo and Pollard. Bravo scored 33 runs off 46 balls, while Pollard got out on 30. After their dismissals came the hat-trick of Flintoff in the 27th over when West Indies score turned from 140 for 6 to 140 for 9 in the space of three balls. Alongside Flintoff’s five wickets, James Anderson picked up 2 wickets and Stuart Broad and Paul Collingwood got a wicket each.

Andrew Flintoff was awarded the man of the match award for his excellent bowling performance. England captain Andrew Strauss got the man of the series award for his consistent performance throughout the ODI series.

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