The psychological state of the English was to be tested today in the 2nd Natwest ODI which was happening just a day after the shocking death of Tom Maynard, the 23-year old future International. And, this was his home ground. At the end, England showed lots of character to fetch a comprehensive win as well as secure the series..
The scoresWest Indies 238 for 9 wkts in 50 ovs.
England made 239 for 2 wkts in 45 ovs.
Full scorecard : 2nd ODI, 19 June 2012.
England had dominated first ODI, beating the West Indies by 114 runs. The visitors had, since then, hoped to get back to the track and with the return of Chris Gayle, things were looking brighter. But then again, they had lost Darren Bravo and Andre Russell, an integral part of the bowling line-up, after the last match. So it was almost safe to say that there were dark times ahead.
After England won the toss and elected to field at the Oval, Chris Gayle, in his first ODI since returning from exile, showed why he is a feared man. He went on attack mode straight away, hitting 3 fours and 5 sixes on the way to a half century. He had played some interesting defense as well and was looking good, but upon reaching there, the seemingly ‘lost’ English bowlers suddenly came to, taking two quick wickets.
Middle order batsmen Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard also put in good performances, scoring 77 and 41 runs respectively. It wasn’t so great for everyone else, but they somehow managed to hang till the end of the innings, making 238 with 9 down. It wasn’t a shabby score, but now, defending it was going to be difficult because of the loss of key players to injuries in the previous match.
When England came on to bat, nobody thought they would be this calculative and dominant. Building up a solid 122-run partnership, openers Ian Bell and skipper Alastair Cook didn’t look like they could be stopped on this day, until the West Indies captain struck. Bell had already made a half century though, and in a way, had done his job. Cook however, would go on to score a magnificent 112, hitting 13 fours and a six while getting there. Sammy recollected himself somehow and got the skipper out before it was too late. But the damage had been done. Sammy was the only person to get the two wickets in the entire match. From then on, it was easy pickings for Trott and Bopara, who finished the game off with 5 overs remaining. England won by 8 wickets.
It was a dominating game again by the English on a day when the West Indies bowling was dismal. The captain had managed a couple of wickets, but that was about it. Even Chris Gayle’s half century in his returning match wasn’t good enough. England had decimated them in every way in these two matches and have won the series 2-0. It was an emotional victory as well, considering the atmosphere in the stadium throughout the match.
The last ODI will be played on Friday at Leeds, so there is some time for the Windies to recuperate and finally add some magic to their side, but with every passing moment, the boys from the Caribbean seem to fade away even more. Will they go for one final push on the 22nd? Watch and find out.