England fought back well to register an 18-run victory over West Indies in their last league match in Group B. But, not before giving anxious moments to their fans back home. With this victory, England almost destroyed the hopes of minnows Bangladesh of any chance to squeeze in. Yet, it is not all over as Bangladesh, if they stun mighty South Africa in their last league match on Saturday.
Set 243 to win, the West Indies got off to a quick start and seemed to be on the way to chase the less than adequate total. Even after losing quick wickets, West Indies looked confident when Russell joined Sarwan after the departure of Pollard, West Indies seen slowly, but steadily cruising to accomplish their target. But James Tredwell, Graeme Swann and Ravi Bopara struck at regular intervals to restrict the Caribbean team to 225 all out in 44.4 overs.
Earlier, Luke Wright’s 44 on World Cup debut stemmed a middle-order collapse and helped England post a defendable total of 243 in its must-win Group B match against West Indies here at Chepauk in Chennai. Wright hit five fours coming in at No. 7 to save a struggling England after Andrew Strauss had opted to bat first.
With England playing for its World Cup survival, Strauss (31) and Jonathan Trott (47) made a rapid start before a mid-innings slump to 151-6. Andre Russell took 4-49 for West Indies and legspinner Devendra Bishoo 3-34 on his international debut as England’s run rate came crashing down in the middle overs.
But Wright produced a late charge, sharing partnerships of 41 with fellow World Cup rookie James Tredwell (9) and 24 with Tim Bresnan, and England will be hopeful of victory after it successfully defended 171 on the same ground against South Africa. Bresnan hit two boundaries in his unbeaten 20 on a pitch which is again expected to deteriorate and be difficult for the team batting second. Russell’s figures were a career-best in just his second one-day international.