England survive Ramdin's century to clinch series
Posted on Mar 06 2014 | IANS
North Stand (Antigua), March 6 : England have survived a threatening century from Denish Ramdin to beat West Indies by 25 runs and clinch the three-match One-Day series two-one at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here.
Ramdin inspired a fantastic lower order fightback after a typical top-order batting collapse with a career-best 128 that almost denied England of series victory.
The Trinidadian wicketkeeper was running out of partners but kept the match alive with his superb batting before being the last man to get out leaving the hosts 278 all out after England posted a defendable 303 for six.
Joe Root struck his first ODI hundred to anchor the England innings while Jos Buttler got out a run short of his maiden century after West Indies won the toss and asked the Englishmen to bat first.
Root endured the pain from an early blow on his thumb to score 107 and was involved in a 175-run fifth-wicket partnership with Buttler while Moeen Ali contributed 55 to help England secured their first limited-overs series triumph since February 2013.
Root, who hit seven fours, had started his innings facing a hat-trick delivery from Dwayne Bravo after the West Indies captain had removed Michael Lumb and Ben Stokes.
Bravo topped the bowling with three for 60 while there was a wicket each for Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine and Nikita Miller.
A fashionable collapse of the West Indies top order threw the run chase in disarray as the Caribbean side was left reeling at 43 for four.
Kieran Powell missed a sweep and was bowled by Root for one in the first over while Dwayne Smith picked out deep square-leg off Stuart Broad's first delivery and was caught for nine in the second over with only ten runs on the board.
A 32-run stand for the third wicket between Darren Bravo and Lendl Simmons did little to bring the home side back on course.
Bravo and Simmons scored 16 runs each before Ramdin arrived to play a starring role in a vain bid to save the day.
He smashed the ball around the grounds accounting for 12 fours and five sixes and shared in several crucial partnerships in tense closing moments and scary periods for England.
Ramdin, scored the first hundred by a West Indies keeper in one-day cricket, threatening with a 71-run stand with Darren Sammy, then a 51-run tie-up with Dwayne Bravo, and inching closer to the target with an eighth-wicket partnership with Nikita Miller that yielded 44 runs.
Bravo scored 27, Samuels 23, while Sammy chipped in with 24.
Tim Bresnan was the best English bowler with three for 45 while Stuart Broad picked up two for 58.
Root, who scored a century and took the first wicket to trigger the top order batting slide, was named man-of the match.
England 303 for six in 50 overs (Joe Root 107, Jos Buttler 99, Moeen Ali 55, Dwayne Bravo 3/60)
West Indies: 278 in 47.4 overs (Denish Ramdin 128, Marlon Samuels 23, Dwayne Bravo 27, Darren Sammy 24, Tim Bresnan 3/45, Stuart Broad 2/58)