England v West Indies, 2nd ODI, The Oval June 19, 2012

Cook hundred seals series for England


England 239 for 2 (Cook 112, Bell 53) beat West Indies 238 for 9 (Dwayne Bravo 77, Gayle 53) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

So much for West Indies providing tougher opposition in the one-day format. Even with Chris Gayle back in the side, and in the runs, England cantered to victory by eight wickets at The Oval to seal the series. Alastair Cook struck his third ODI hundred in six matches, adding 122 for the first wicket with Ian Bell, after another collective bowling effort kept the lid on West Indies after a brief onslaught by Gayle.

On a day overshadowed by the death of Surrey batsman Tom Maynard on Monday it was a largely subdued affair. The match was preceded by a minute's silence and the players wore black armbands while a book of condolence was opened in the pavilion. England had wanted to secure victory in memory of Maynard - a player tipped to graduate to the top level - and once they had ended Gayle's innings the home side never lost control despite a hundred stand between Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard.

Cook's hundred - his fourth as captain - was a superbly controlled innings and came off 114 balls to continue the prolific run of England openers in the one-day game. This innings takes it to six on the trot which is new record for any team in ODIs. Cook's full range of shots were on display and not just the cut, drive and pull that prove so prolific in Tests. He brought out the slog-sweep against Sunil Narine, upper-cut Darren Sammy down to third man and, with the target closing in, pulled a six over long-on off the front foot before top edging a slower ball next delivery.

The West Indies bowling attack offered barely any concerns for them. The recalled Tino Best was quick but erratic as he conceded 31 in his opening four overs while Narine still could not trouble England as he has other opposition.

Bell drove elegantly off the back foot through the off side while Cook picked off his favourite cut shot while also driving through cover and past mid-off - a sign that his game is in good work working order. Narine was introduced straight after the first set of fielding restrictions but England were already well ahead of the rate and only needed to milk him. Not that they spurned boundary opportunities, though, with Cook collecting consecutive fours.

Bell's fifty came off 60 deliveries as he continued his resurgent return to the one-day team following the hundred he made in the opening match of the series. However, he could not close in on back-to-back hundreds (to follow the feats of Cook and Kevin Pietersen against Pakistan) as he pushed firmly at a Sammy delivery which he indicated stopped in the surface.

West Indies had threatened a more daunting target when Gayle peppered the stands during a 41-ball fifty with five sixes in 11 deliveries including three in a row in Tim Bresnan's first over after the innings had made a sedate start. An emerging trait of this England one-day team, though, is that they do not panic under pressure and Cook was rewarded for some smart captaincy when he introduced Graeme Swann ahead of Stuart Broad.

Swann's first over cost three, then, with the third ball of his second, he won an lbw decision from Tony Hill who ruled the ball had struck pad fractionally before the inside edge. Gayle reviewed the decision immediately and third umpire, Kumar Dharmasena, had a long look before ruling that there was not sufficient evidence to overturn the decision, much to Gayle's frustration as he lingered at the crease.

Despite Gayle's innings the scoring rate had not escaped from England, largely because they had kept Lendl Simmons very quiet at the other end. It was a painful innings from Simmons who struggled for timing as he laboured for 50 deliveries before chancing a single to mid-off where he was beaten by a direct hit from Cook.

Either side of that West Indies had lost two of their in-form batsmen. Dwayne Smith, who opened in the first match in Gayle's absence and this time was at No. 3 in place of the injured Darren Bravo, flashed at a wide delivery in Broad's first over. It was crucial Marlon Samuels steadied the innings but four balls after Simmons' run out he lazily picked out deep midwicket with a top-edged pull.

The visitors were threatening to completely lose their way but Bravo, with a display of class strokeplay, and Pollard, with a little more brute strength, played sensibly to at least ensure the total passed 200, as West Indies faded again at the end. A rare mistake from England came when Pollard was given a life on 28 with Craig Kieswetter missing a stumping chance the ball before the batting Powerplay was taken, and the fielding restrictions brought 47 runs - only for the final five overs of the innings to bring just 19. The momentum was England's and it never left them.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on June 22, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    Good luck with the BCCI, Yorkshirepudding! Especially given the recent ICC decision that the top 4 sides should play each other much more and the weaker sides much less.

  • Jason on June 22, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer, I would agree that there should be a weighting for home and away conditions, I'd also like to see teams credited with bonuses for winning by Innings run. Though I do stop short at Bowling/Batting bonus points. I also agree that series should be standardised, and would start by removing 2 test series from the equation which are at best pointless. As for being selective the ICC needs to take a stance and insist that all teams play each other home and away in an FTP cycle, if they dont then the board/country that is blocking the series is punished by having points from thier best 2 results over the previous 3 years period removed, unless there is a just reason behind the decision.

  • Mark on June 22, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Yes, Yorkshirepudding, it was the original system that saw England ranked bottom in 1999. Part of the problem was that, initially, not all teams wanted to play Bangladesh at all. Australia, for example, took a long time to stage a series against them. India has never hosted a tour. Similarly, Zimbabwe were only playing certain sides and not all home and away. South Africa, in contrast, picked up 8 easy points by staging a bilateral 2-Test series against both Zim and Ban and claimed the #1 ranking when it was recognised that Australia was far, far ahead of anyone else. That is what prompted the ICC to make the change because it was just ludicrous how state of the table depended on how you loaded your fixture list. The 3 point system also runs into problems with short series against longer ones. It only really works if everyone DOES play home and away, which they do not (and I would also give 3pts for an away series win and 2 for a home win) and all series are a standard format.

  • Jason on June 22, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer, I didnt realise it had been used before, and yes it was open to abuse as all systems are, but a simple solution would be to say only the first Home and Away series in an FTP cycle counted and only if they are a minimum of 3 test series, it would help if the FTP cycle was agreed that each team played the other 8 (9 when zimbabwe finally come back), through an entire cycle, with only the first home and away series between the two counting in each cycle.

  • Mark on June 22, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    @karthik_raja, having a totally fair system is almost impossible. The FTP works on a 5 year cycle, but a team rarely stays the same for 5 years. England's side now has few players in common with the 2007 team, so the points system works over only 3 years, which is about fair in terms of changes of form (England's turnaround came in 2009, so the ratings are now working exclusively on England's good years). Any period shorter than 3 years looks too little (how many Tests do New Zealand or Bangladesh play in 2 years?) I don't think 4 or 5 years would work well (does India really want those 8 consecutive defeats used in its ranking for 5 years?) One change that I would make is to reward away wins more than home wins - it has been a persistent suggestion - but that does lead to other complications (most notably that India refuse to play some sides in India and Pakistan does not play at home). If you have any ideas, then I am all ears (or, on here, "eyes" at least).

  • Mark on June 22, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    Yorkshirepudding, that was the points system that the ICC used originally. It was open to abuse (rack up points playing weaker sides, 2-Test series give the same points as 5-Test series, etc) and led to South Africa becoming #1 on the basis of wins against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh before losing 5-1 to Australia. Because of this the system was changed to the present one that recognises that 2-0 v Bangladesh does not have the same value as 3-1 v Australia. Please, no going back!

  • Martin on June 22, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    @landl47. The wombats are in fine fettle except that our burrows are flooded!

  • Jason on June 22, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    @karthik_raja,It can be frustrating when CI dont publish comments. However, I still maintain the ranking system needs overhauling, and simplifying, but which ever method is chosen would be critisied by some fans. Personally I dont see why you cant have 3 points for a series win, 1 for a draw, with bonus points for Innings wins and the winning margin.

  • John on June 22, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    Oh, and I should add that R_U_4_REAL_NICK would be making witty remarks that are nothing more than hilarious facts/observations delivered with impeccable timing, with a few big words mixed in to try and sound as sophisticated as possible. @5wombats: thanks for the welcome back. I trust the wombats are well?

  • narsimha on June 22, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    A VACANT SLIP-I never mentioned in my any of erlier posts on our 83 wc , i just marly said it in response to a critics coments that we won nothing in ENG, I do agree that our ENG, AUS tours were just nightmares but u r assertion that INDIA won nothing in the last 15 years out side IND is not at all in confirmity with the facts ,appears like double comedy , during this period , in erlier tours to ENG we won series, t-20 wc in SA ,NZ, WI , drawing in SA, AuS , CB SERIE,S even though we were defeated very badly in those 2 series it doesnt mean we are worth less as few are out here to prove always reminding us of those 2 tours .in fact it is during the last decade our away performance was impressive .

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