Nicholas Pooran chose the biggest stage to strike his maiden ODI fifty but West Indies' big guns failed to fire as England pacers bounced out the Caribbeans for a paltry 212 in their World Cup match, here Friday. Young pacer Jofra Archer (3/30) had the West Indies batsmen dancing on the pitch, troubling them with the steep bounce after home skipper Eoin Morgan opted to field.
The England pace battery, including Archer, Mark Wood (3/18), Chris Woakes (1/16), Liam Plunkett (1/30) delivered the goods for the home favourites, taking just 44.4 overs to bowl out the Caribbeans. Extravagance, when the situation demanded patience, resulted in Chris Gayle (36) and Andre Russell (21) throwing away their wickets.
Had it not been for some sensible batting by young Pooran (63) and Shimron Hetmyer (39), who added 89 runs for the fourth wicket, the West Indies would have struggled to cross the 200-run mark. The ball was hurrying on to the batsmen and whether it was a Shai Hope (11) or big-hitting Gayle, the Caribbeans found the going tough as timing the ball was a challenge. They had already lost Evin Lewis (0), bowled by Woakes off a yorker.
Gayle, out of frustration, pulled one from Woakes, just managed an edge but escaped as Wood grassed a sitter. The marauding batter did hit a few big shots, including a massive straight six off Woakes, but did not last long, edging one straight to Jonny Bairstow off Plunkett. Hope's torturous stay was ended by Wood when he had him trapped after reviewing the umpire's not out decision.
Pooran and Hetmyer then chose to restrain over flamboyance, steading the innings. The duo did all the hard work, working the ball around to keep the scoreboard going in their partnership, which got broken when Joe Root had Hetmyer caught off his own bowling.
The part-time off-spinner struck in his next over too, dismissing the rival captain Jason Holder (9) in a similar fashion. In came Russell and the ball was soon flying into the stands. He twice dispatched leg-spinner Adil Rashid into the crowd after being dropped but was dismissed, attempting another big shot off Wood.
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