Strauss helps England to level the series
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:West Indies v England
Player:CH Gayle, DJ Bravo, AJ Strauss, AD Mascarenhas
Event:England in West Indies 2008/09

DateLine: 30th March 2009


Andrew Strauss gathered 79 from 61 balls to lead England to a nine-wicket victory under the Duckworth-Lewis method over West Indies in the rain-affected fourth One-Day International at Kensington Oval on Sunday. Fortune and the D/L method again smiled on England, following a two-hour long delay for rain which left the tourists with a victory target of 135 from 20 overs. They got over the line with nine balls to spare, when Strauss guided Dwayne Bravo to third man for his ninth four.


The result means the series is now tied 2-2 and sets up a thrilling conclusion on Friday at the Beausejour Cricket Ground in St. Lucia, if the West Indies players back down from their threat to strike in protest to outstanding issues with the West Indies Cricket Board. The rain started during the interval between innings, after England sent West Indies in to bat and the home team made 239 for nine from 50 overs.


When play resumed, England were given a solid base of 108 off 87 balls from their captain Strauss and fellow opener Ravi Bopara. Strauss reached his 50 from 41 balls, when he chipped Kieron Pollard into square leg for a single.


Once he and Bopara set things up with a volley of handsome strokes and nimble running between the wickets, the rest was academic, although they lost Bopara for 35 skying a catch to deep fine leg off Pollard, when 27 were needed from 33 balls. Earlier, England had been upstaged when Bravo gathered 69 from 72 balls to give a late boost to the West Indies total. England had recovered from another hammering from Chris Gayle and looked in control when West Indies slumped to 145 for six in the 35th over.


But the tourists were again put on the defensive, when Bravo boosted the West Indies total with an innings that included seven fours and two sixes. Had Andrew Flintoff held a sharp return chance, when Bravo was on 32 in the 42nd over the script could have been slightly different. England paid for Flintoff's miss in the late over, when Bravo smote James Anderson over mid-wicket for four to reach his 50 from 61 balls and then struck the next ball in the same direction for a six before Stuart Broad skied Stuart Broad to deep mid-wicket in the 48th over.


England's bowlers had again been savaged early, when Gayle raced to 46 from 39 balls in an opening stand of 72 before Broad made the breakthrough in the 13th over, having caught by 'keeper Matt Prior. England then reduced West Indies slipped to 83 for three in 16th over, and then Dimitri Mascarenhas claimed Denesh Ramdin for 26, Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 27, and Kieron Pollard for a duck to leave the innings in tatters.


But England failed to get on top of Bravo, and the runs flowed towards the end for the West Indies innings, but fortunately for England, so too did the rain. Mascarenhas was England's most successful bowler with three for 26 from 10 overs, and Stuart Broad took three for 62 from 10 overs.