England win the ODI series against the West Indies
YOU HAVE got to feel for Evin Lewis. The West Indies opener hit a career-best 176 before being forced to retire hurt following a freak injury and then saw his team denied victory in improbable circumstances thanks to the Duckworth-Lewis calculations.
Lewis had treated England’s bowling with disdain in this fourth ODI as he blazed his way through a 130-ball innings that included 17 fours and seven sixes.
But after deflecting a delivery from Jake Ball onto his ankle during the 47th over, the 25-yearold left-hander received lengthy treatment before he was stretchered off to rapturous applause from an appreciative capacity crowd at the Oval.
He will now miss today’s final match of the series in Southampton after X-rays revealed a hairline fracture.
No batsman has ever retired hurt on a higher score in international cricket. But despite missing out on becoming the first player to hit an ODI double hundred in this country, Lewis’ knock helped West Indies set England an imposing target of 357.
No side has chased down more in an ODI on this ground. Indeed, it would have been the thirdhighest successful chase in the history of one-day international cricket.
Yet England somehow ended up winning this match to take an unassailable 3-0 series lead despite a career-best five-wicket haul from 20-year-old seamer Alzarri Joseph that left them reeling on 181-5 in the 28th over, despite a return to form for Jason Roy, who struck 84 from 66 balls on replacing Alex Hales at the top of the order.
At that stage, with rain forecast imminently, Eoin Morgan’s side – also missing Ben Stokes after his brush with the law in Bristol – were 51 runs behind the DL par score.
However, another virtuoso batting display from Moeen Ali, four days after his 53-ball century in the third ODI, turned this contest around to ensure that when the rain did start falling after 35.1 overs England were six runs ahead of the required DL target.
Moeen struck 48 from 25 balls during a brilliant stand of 77 in eight overs alongside Jos Buttler to sneak the hosts home.
It was tough on West Indies, who had the game’s two most outstanding performers and might have gone on to win if they had been able to prise apart England’s sixth-wicket pair.
The tourists will also be without captain Jason Holder for the final ODI after returning home to Barbados to attend the funeral of his uncle.
“It’s really hard to take,” Holder said afterwards. “Had the rain not come, we were backing ourselves to win it. It’s hard when a guy scores 170 and another guy takes five wickets, and you end up losing the game.”
EVIN LEWIS – West Indies: Even though he finished on the losing side, the Windies opener batted supremely before retiring hurt
Up and over: West Indies opener Evin Lewis smashes one of seven sixes on his way to 176
Fine fifty: Jason Roy