Posted by Gareth Parry Added on: June 20 2012
England 239 for 2 (Cook 112, Bell 53) beat West Indies 238 for 9 (Dwayne Bravo 77, Gayle 53) by eight wickets
The West Indies welcomed Chris Gayle back into their starting XI for the second ODI of the series in England. After a convincing win in the first ODI England were looking for another victory to wrap up a series win.
The England captain, Alastair Cook, won the toss and elected to field first in the hopes of using the overcast early morning conditions to make inroads into the West Indies top order. Darren Sammy, the West Indian captain, suggested that he would have batted first had he won the toss making the result almost irrelevant.
With Chris Gayle opening the innings the West Indian side were looking to make an aggressive start. They were restricted by an excellent opening spell from Anderson whose first two overs were maidens. In combination with Steve Finn the England opening bowlers restricted the West Indies to just 8 runs after 5 overs.
Gayle is rarely one to allow himself to be tied down and with the first bowling change took the attack to the home side. He took 18 runs from the 10th over of the innings which came from three monstrous 6's including a huge hit onto the roof of the stand. He reached 50 in just the 12th over and looked set to dominate the stage.
However Gayle, who finished with 53, was the victim of a controversial decision. He was adjudged lbw, off the bowling of Graeme Swann, by the on field umpire and referred the decision to the third umpire. The replays were inconclusive as to whether the ball had struck Gayle's pad before hitting his bat. The result was that the on-field umpires decision was upheld as there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the original decision. Many felt the the outcome was the correct one in that the DRS should only overturn obviously wrong decisions but that the original decision was a poor one from the on field umpire as he was at best guessing as to whether the ball struck the pad first and that an lbw should only be given if the umpire is certain.
Gayle's wicket was the catalyst for the England bowling attack to take control of the game. They picked up three more wickets in the next six overs to leave the West Indies struggling at 79 for 4. Even a century stand from Bravo and Pollard couldn't bring the West Indies back into contention as the England bowling attack maintained a disciplined line and kept tight control on the scoring rate on a flat surface.
Had Pollard and Bravo batted deep into the final ten overs the outcome may have been different but when Pollard fell in the 40th over England were set to restrict the visitors to a below par score. The West Indies lost 5 wickets in the final ten overs which took all of the momentum out of their batting with only Bravo, who top scored with 77 from 82 ball, looking dangerous. The visitors finished with 238 on the board which was well below a competitive score.
The English bowling attack should take much of the credit with all the bowlers performing exceptionally. The discipline that has characterised their rise in the test rankings was evident in their display as they consistently hit the areas they were aiming for and restricted the scoring opportunities for the batsmen.
It was little surprise when England made serene progress to their target of 239, scoring the runs in 45 overs for the loss of just two wickets in a controlled display. The victory secured a series win for the home side and made a mockery of the suggestion that they were second favourites by some.
Cook was the mainstay of the innings, scoring his third century in the last 6 ODI's he has played. He scored 112 from 120 balls which included thirteen 4's and one 6. His hundred also brought another record for the England side; they became the first side in ODI history to have an opening batsman score a century in 6 consecutive matches.
Ian Bell continued his good form with 53 as he continued to show there is life after Pietersen for the England ODI side. He and Cook took the home side most of the way to the target before Trott and Bopara finished the innings, reaching the target in the 45th over.
The West Indian bowling found no assistance from the surface and, unlike the England attack, did not have the disciple to focus on restricting the scoring rate as it quickly became evident that the match was unlikely to be a close contest.