England crush West Indies on the way to Lord's
Trescothick - find of the competition
Photo © CricInfo
Riverside, close of play: West Indies (169/8 off 50 overs) lost to England (171 for no wicket off 35.2 overs) by ten wickets.
England made their place in the Lord's final against Zimbabwe next Saturday likely with a convincing ten-wicket victory over the West Indies at the Riverside Ground at Chester-le-Street today. First of all, as in their win over Zimbabwe, a fine disciplined bowling performance gave the tourists no opportunity to take control, restricting them to 169 for eight. Alan Mullally, with three wickets for 27, was again England's best bowler, but all did their part.
Then Marcus Trescothick (87 not out), who finished the match with a six, and Alec Stewart (74 not out) made victory certain with an untroubled and unbeaten opening partnership of 171. This was England's first-ever one-day victory by such a margin. Trescothick, England's new batting discovery, was deservedly named Man of the Match.
Stewart - the first wicket partnership England have been seeking
Photo © CricInfo
Trescothick - impressive
Stewart - promise into substance
Trescothick and Stewart, under little pressure of run rate, made a cautious start against the bowling of King and McLean, although that did not prevent them from being beaten on a couple of occasions. Trescothick again impressed greatly, building a firm foundation and then playing his strokes, especially off-side drives and the pull. The fifty came up in the 12th over.
Stewart for the first time in the series turned promise into substance, with the pull to the short ball his most profitable stroke, but he was generally content to play second fiddle of Trescothick, who reached a sound fifty off 66 balls. Both earned a few gratuitous runs due to misfielding, but England themselves had not been blameless in the field. The 100 came up in the 23rd over, Stewart reached his fifty off 80 balls, and England looked as good as home already against an uninspired West Indian team.
There were no fireworks as the target approached until Trescothick opened his shoulders to Gayle, bowling the 36th over, and swung him high over midwicket for six to give England their first-ever victory by ten wickets in one-day cricket.