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
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
Couch Talk: Nicola Browne shares what being a professional cricketer taught her
Switch Hit: The team's thoughts on Peter Moores' future, and Jonathan Trott's England retirement
Ask Steven: Also: players dismissed on the same score in both innings, oldest T20 players, and longest unbroken spells
The Cricket Monthly: Only 20 and yet to make his India debut, Sanju Samson is already a poster boy for the IPL generation. By Karthik Krishnaswamy
TCM May issue
Tour diary: Another eventful stint in the province
Stats highlights from the fourth day of the Khulna Test between Bangladesh and Pakistan