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West Indies beat England to clinch ODI series win

Cricket 2023-12-10, 5:49pm

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West Indies got over the line in a nervy chase to beat England by four wickets on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in a rain-shortened third one-day international in Barbados.

When play began two hours later than scheduled, seamer Matthew Forde quickly took three wickets on his international debut as England collapsed to 49-5.

Ben Duckett made 71 to help England recover and post 206-9 from 40 overs after another rain delay.

A further downpour left West Indies with a revised target of 188 from 34 overs and they looked on course for a comfortable victory thanks to a composed half-century from Keacy Carty.

However, England hit back to set up a tense finale with Will Jacks taking 3-22 as the spinners did the damage.

The game looked to be going down to the wire but one expensive over from the previously impressive Gus Atkinson swung the game decisively in West Indies' favour and Romario Shepherd, who finished unbeaten on 41 from 28 balls, sealed the win with 14 balls to spare.

West Indies took the ODI series 2-1 and can celebrate a first home series win over England in the format since 1998.

The two sides will now prepare for the five-match T20 series that begins on Tuesday, also in Barbados.

England went into this series with a much-changed side following their World Cup disappointment and with Jos Buttler's team not scheduled to play another 50-over match until September 2024, this was the last chance for many of the new-look team to impress for quite some time.

But while the rest of the top order came unstuck as West Indies made the most of friendly bowling conditions early on, Duckett made his pitch for a regular berth in the one-day team.

The left-hander gritted it out early on as the wickets fell around him, seeing off Forde and co with the new ball before going about building a much-needed partnership with Liam Livingstone.

Duckett got his tempo just right, even holding back on playing his favoured sweep shots against the spinners to eliminate as much risk as possible with England in a precarious position.

When the ball was there to be hit, he did so, and the only frustration was that having done all the hard work, he fell in relatively tame fashion just when he might have hoped to kick on.

A series defeat is not the way England wanted to start their new era in ODI cricket and they still have plenty of work to do to get back to the heights of 2019, but in Duckett they have a player capable of moving them in the right direction again.