ODI: Hetmyer’s ton, Cottrell’s five-for draw Windies level
(Reporting and Photography by Akeem Greene in Barbados, compliments of News Room and E-Networks)
SUMMARY: West Indies 289 for 6 (Hetmyer 104*, Gayle 50) beat England 263 (Stokes 79, Morgan 70, Cottrell 5-46, Holder 3-43) by 26 runs
Shimron Hetmyer’s fourth One-Day International century and Sheldon Cottrell’s best ODI figures powered Windies to an emphatic 26-run victory to level the five-match series on Friday at Kensington Oval, Barbados.
Surprisingly, the pitch was not a belter as the one two nights ago which yielded 724 runs. England were asked to chase 290, but benchwarmer in the first match Cottrell had other ideas and snared 5-46, which saw England lose their last four wickets for 30 runs.
Half-centuries from Ben Stokes and Captain Eoin Morgan initially provided the main resistance, but when Morgan fell for 70- his second successive half-century- and Stokes for 79, Windies upped the pressure. The two left-handers added 99 in 16 overs.
22 year-old Hetmyer was the initial star with a brazen 83-ball 104 which bailed Windies out of serious to a score of respectability after the ‘Gayle Storm’ failed to blossom and the rest of the batters operated at a Category One state.
Cottrell rocked England’s start with his beaming left-arm swing.
Jonny Bairstow went second ball of the match, then the in-form Jason Roy dragged on; it became 10-2 in 2.1 overs.
Joe Root and Morgan did some consolidation with a stand of 50 from 65 balls, but that was checked when Root flayed a short-ball from Oshane Thomas.
Jos Buttler made a high-tempo 34 before he was completely deceived by a Jason Holder slower ball and he struck next ball with a contentious leg before dismissal of Tom Curran.
That double-wicket jolted England and it was too much pressure for the lower-order to handle.
Windies had another steady start with Chris Gayle and John Campbell adding 61 in 12 overs.
The hallmark of this partnership was Gayle’s increased fluency.
Campbell’s knack of not converting starts continued; he pulled without conviction – and was taken at mid-on for 23.
Gayle’s 50th half-century was quicker than the gambit on Wednesday.
It came off 61 balls and had four maximums. It looked destined towards another big score but was undone by the guile of Adil Rashid.
The previous ball was a googly but the dismissal was well-flighted leggie which the left-hander wanted to blast out of the park but turned just enough to clip off-stump.
Shai Hope’s confidence in white-ball cricket continues to be exuberant with his first attacking shot being a clip to mid-wicket to be tipped-over the bar by Tom Curran.
If he not was picking gaps, he was picking fielders and he picked out an unmoved deep square leg when Stokes tested the middle.
From 207-5 with the dismissal of Holder via a needless runout, Hetmyer shepherd the strike and played an innings of great maturity.
He did the bulk of the consolidation work with Carlos Brathwaite who seems to still be blunted for the heroics of the 2016 World T20 – he struggled for 13 off 22 balls with one six of Stokes.
Hetmyer, in his 22nd ODI,then added 52 in 5.3 overs for the eight-wicket with an unusually sedate Nurse.
Hetmyer, who entered in the 26th over with the score 121-3, took 47 balls for his half-century, and 36 balls to gather his next 50 runs.
He targeted his favoured mid-wicket area, sitting deep in the crease and putting them in the stands.
Conscious he was the last main batsman, he calculated his boundary hitting shots. The masterful ton was achieved with the penultimate ball of the innings when he drilled Stokes straight back for four to erupt a jubilant celebration.
The third and fourth ODIs will be played in Grenada from February 25.