England get to 243 in must-win game against West Indies

Devendra Bishoo celebrate fall of England wicket

By Suneer Chowdhary

Chennai: Mar 17, 2011

England knew that they had to win this game to remain in the competition. A loss would have given them a one-way ticket back to their country. They would have had a fair idea about the way the track at Chepauk in Chennai would behave given their previous game against South Africa and one would have thought that they would have batted more smartly.

Instead, after a bright start provided by Andrew Strauss and Jonathon Trott, the middle order collapsed in a heap before some late resurrection ensured that they got to a 200-plus score. At 151 for six, a quick finish to the innings seemed like a possibility.

The English skipper Strauss was visibly happy to have won the toss and promptly batted. For a game that was as vital as this for both the sides, there was a sea of changes. England went with Luke Wright, James Tredwell and Chris Tremlett in place of Paul Collingwood, Ajmal Shahzad and James Anderson while West Indies gave a first cap to Devendra Bishoo instead of Nikita Miller while getting back the injured Chris Gayle but dropping the experienced Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

After a maiden over to start with, it was Matt Prior who began the proceedings with a boundary off Sulieman Benn and each of the overs from the fourth till the fall of Prior s wicket to Andre Russell in the tenth had a boundary taken off it. After nine overs, England were 48 for one and West Indies would have thought that the wicket would bring them respite.

On the contrary, Jonathon Trott wasted no time in getting his skating shoes on. He smashed six boundaries off the first nine deliveries that he faced and despite Andrew Strauss (31) dismissal at 79, the English were in command.

Consolidation was the need of the hour and that is exactly what they got from Ian Bell and Trott. Where they were pegged back was that the new-comer leg-spinner Bishoo made it difficult for them and Kieron Pollard pegged the scoring as well.

Yet, at 121 for 2 in the 22nd over, the pitch seemed to have buried the ghosts of the South Africa game. It was here that the collapse began, with the dismissal of Trott, who had, thus far looked like he was in the touch of his career. Trying to play Bishoo on to the leg-side, he got a leading edge to Gayle at short mid-wicket.

Three more wickets went down for the addition of 30 runs and soon at 151 for six, the visions of the South Africa match looked to be coming back for them. Wright stemmed the fall of wickets fall with some sensible batting that the top-order had lacked. He was quite slow to start off, getting to seven off the first 22 before hitting his first boundary, a cut off Russell. The four seemed to have lifted his confidence and he went on to get to 44.

At the other end though, Tredwell was sent back off a run-out and soon after, the English looked like they were in trouble when Wright s attempt to clear the fence on the leg-side resulted in a simple catch for Russell. Despite the poor timing of the stroke, Wright s 57-ball 44 had done enough to propel the side to a decent total.

There was a few hits to the fence from Bresnan but Russell and Roach returned back to bowl the side out for 243. Russell ended with a four-wicket haul while Bishoo grabbed three on debut.

Brief scores: England 243 all out in 48.4 overs (Jonathon Trott 47, Luke Wright 44; Andre Russell 4 for 49, Devendra Bishoo 3 for 34) vs West Indies

(Suneer is a Mumbai-based cricket writer and can be contacted at suneerchowdhary@gmail.com and Tweets here @suneerchowdhary)

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