England A win to level series
England A 283 for 9 (Joyce 85, Clarke 58, Solanki 47) beat West Indies A 226 (Joseph 45, Richards 39, Mahmood 4-37, Batty 4-40) by 57 runs
Sajid Mahmood and Gareth Batty grabbed four wickets apiece to bowl England A to a 57-run series-leveling win over West Indies A under the lights at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia on March 11.
Rikki Clarke spurred England with an allround effort: he rattled a breezy 44-ball 58 to lift the visitors to 283 for 9 and then strangled the hosts, after they had run away to 95 for 1 in 15 overs, with a miserly 10-over spell - conceding only 26 runs and picking up Dale Richards's (39) wicket in the bargain. Richards's wicket opened up the gates for Batty and Mahmood to barge through, and the duo kept striking at regular intervals: seven wickets fell for 94 runs as West Indies folded up for 226.
Ed Joyce, who top-scored for the second successive match, and Vikram Solanki, who missed the first game, got the visitors off to a great start, racing away to 97 in only 15.4 overs. However, their march was halted by Ryan Hinds, the left-arm spinner who bowled his 10 overs on a trot, grabbing 4 for 38. Hinds got rid off Solanki in his first over and removed Alex Loudon and Ravi Bopara cheaply before nailing Joyce to leave the visitors at a wobbly 168 for 5.
It was then that Clarke stepped in, counterattacking his way out of trouble. Gavin Tonge came in for special attention from Clarke who hit him for four fours in succession in the 48th over. However, Tonge soon got his revenge, removing Clarke off the last ball of the over.
The battle will now resume in Barbados on Tuesday where the final three matches of the series will be played.