ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

England v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, Chennai

Celebrations and uncharacteristic starts

Plays of the day from England's thriller against West Indies in Chennai

Siddarth Ravindran at the Chidambaram Stadium

March 17, 2011

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Andre Russell leaps in delight after bowling Matt Prior for 21, England v West Indies, World Cup, Group B, March 17, 2011
Andre Russell does his thing after getting rid of Matt Prior © Getty Images
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The celebration - 1
England's openers were getting into top gear, with Andrew Strauss launching the first six of the day in the ninth over. Andre Russell though provided more ammunition to those critical of the decision to open with Matt Prior, by dislodging him for 21 with a length ball that took the inside-edge and cannoned into middle stump. Russell sprinted in jubilation before leaping and clicking his heels, savouring the wicket which came immediately after a loose first over.

The uncharacteristic start - Part 1
There have been plenty of questions about the pace of Jonathan Trott's one-day batting, with not everyone convinced that a mid-50s average makes up for a mid-70s strike-rate. There could be no questions about the pace of his batting today, however, as he began with a flurry of effortless boundaries. Six of his first nine deliveries reached the ropes, not one of them muscled or hit in the air, as he sped to 26 off 9 - an unimpeachable strike-rate of 289.

The uncharacteristic start - Part 2
Ravi Bopara is rarely more than a sixth-choice bowler. Kieron Pollard is one of the most brutal hitters in the world. Bring them face-to-face, that too in a Powerplay, and you'd expect the ball to be sailing into the crowd frequently. Instead, Pollard watchfully played out eight consecutive deliveries off the part-timer. A maiden to Pollard in the Powerplay? Put that down in your CV, Bopara.

The drop
Perhaps in return for the respect shown by Pollard to his bowling, Bopara gave the batsman a reprieve in the 25th over. There had been more ups and downs than in a dirt-biking circuit, but the game remained even at that stage with Pollard threatening to be the difference. Two balls after a murderous hit over the official scorers' box, Pollard miscued one towards point; Bopara sprinted from covers and positioned himself under the ball, with his back to the pitch, but couldn't latch on, to the joy of Bangladesh fans everywhere.

The where-does-one-bowl over
Chris Tremlett was one of three England players making their World Cup debut, and his first over couldn't have been worse. The two deliveries that weren't scored off were a leg-stump ball that Chris Gayle couldn't get past short fine leg and a full toss that wasn't swatted away. In between, Gayle hammered four balls that were short of length for 4, 6, 4 and 4.

The pose
Russell had enjoyed himself in the morning with four wickets - three of which send stumps cartwheeling - and he continued to have fun with the bat. He announced his batting skills with a baseballer's blast over long-on which made the crowd sit up, but the shot he enjoyed the most was a lofted drive in the next over which flew wide of mid-off and went for four - he admired the stroke and held the follow-through for ages to make sure the cameras got a good shot.

The catch?
Russell and Ramnaresh Sarwan were wrenching the game West Indies' way with a big stand, when Russell swiped a delivery from Swann towards long-on in the 38th over. Trott back-pedalled towards the rope, and took a catch tumbling backwards, seemingly inches within the rope. He signalled that he hadn't touched the boundary, but the TV umpire was called for. An agonising number of replays couldn't determine whether his floppy hat had brushed the rope, and Russell survived. And to make it worse for England, West Indies got six vital runs as well.

The celebration - 2
Trott had a fielding moment to remember soon after though, when Sulieman Benn got the ball towards him at fine leg. He collected and fired in the throw to the keeper, who took off the bails before Benn could make it back for an ill-advised second run. The last wicket was gone, and an ecstatic England team converged towards him to form a delirious huddle. England's thrill-ride in the World Cup continues.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 13 
Posted by   on (March 18, 2011, 0:34 GMT)

@backyardcricket: No doubt England have been very entertaining to watch and, ultimately, good for the World Cup. But calling them the team of the tournament is going a bit far.

Posted by Aussie-07 on (March 17, 2011, 21:08 GMT)

Sarwan was indeed responsible for the West Indies defeat. How can it be that the top order batman stood there and occupied the criss and failing to score. he managed 31 of 60 plus balls and when the Windies needed just 22 runs to win, he thought to himself it's time for me to get out.

Posted by xylo on (March 17, 2011, 20:15 GMT)

I heard the commentator mention that Windies have not beaten one among the top 8 rated teams in an ODI since sometime in 2009! That got to hurt them!!

Posted by BackyardCricket on (March 17, 2011, 19:47 GMT)

Amazing games. England, the team of the tournament. English will be more mentally strong because of all these close games they were involved. If I were England selecter I would bring Alister Cook to strengthern the batting. If Trot scores run a ball then why not Cook?

Posted by   on (March 17, 2011, 19:36 GMT)

three cheers to england!!!!!

Posted by Harmony111 on (March 17, 2011, 19:28 GMT)

Australia will be wary of two teams in the Q/F. India and England. Australia know West Indies are easily beatable and SA tamable. But India and England are the two teams that have troubled Australia the most in the recent past, the 6-1 scoreline notwithstanding vis-a vis England. At the moment, it looks like they will run into one of them. With the crests and troughs of England, I think they are now going to have a long crest and perhaps a maxima in the Finals. England should win the WC. Its their turn now, its their time now. No one would grudge that.

Posted by GuruofCricket on (March 17, 2011, 19:03 GMT)

England's riding luck very hard....hope they don't run out in quarter final!!!!!!!! But as of now they must celebrate it whole night......

Posted by baja_jnandu on (March 17, 2011, 18:38 GMT)

I would like to see WI in the quarters rather than Bangladesh. WI are unpredictable. India is more or less sure to sail through now with a good runrate. SA please beat Bangladesh (sorry for this BD's though you are a co-host). Lets make this tourney abig success. Two unpredictable sides..rather 3 I would say..England, WI and Pakistan.

Posted by   on (March 17, 2011, 18:29 GMT)

U obviously have not do the permutations India beat West Indies and they still go through unless Bangladesh beat South Africa and that not gonna happen

Posted by   on (March 17, 2011, 18:26 GMT)

what would we have done without england in this world cup?

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