Solanki helps England A level series
England A 269 for 9 (Solanki 92, Dalrymple 62) beat West Indies A 179 for 9 by 90 runs
Vikram Solanki spanked 92 as England A cruised to a series-levelling 90-run triumph over West Indies A in their fourth one-day cricket international at Windward Cricket Club. The five-match rubber stands at 2-2 with the decider at the same venue on March 18.
Solanki, the Worcestershire right-hander, cracked nine fours off 121 balls to lead England A to a formidable 269 for 9 off 50 overs. West Indies A limped to 179 for 9 in pursuit. Sajid Mahmood, the fast bowler, engineered a top-order slide, claiming 3 for 33, while Gareth Batty, the offspinner, finished with 3 for 26. Ryan Hinds top-scored for West Indies with a laboured 32 off 70 balls.
England A, batting first after winning the toss, stumbled early on as West Indies' new ball pair of Andrew Richardson and Tino Best reduced them to 15 for 2 in the fifth over. But Solanki and Jamie Dalrymple added 132 for the third wicket to tilt the balance back to their side. Dalrymple cracked four fours and three sixes in 62 off 75 balls before he was stumped trying to hit out at Omari Banks, the offspinner.
Ravi Bopara fell cheaply but Rikki Clarke provided Solanki with level-headed support in a stand of 50 for the fifth wicket. Clarke notched 47 off 61 balls while Kabir Ali propped up the lower order with a run-a-ball 32 not out.
Mahmood dented the home team's run chase by removing Dale Richards, Lendl Simmons and Sylvester Joseph in his first spell. Richards edged a drive, Simmons lofted to mid-on, and Joseph swatted to cover. In between, Luke Wright claimed Marlon Samuels for a duck. Samuels, a century-maker in the last match, nicked a flat-footed drive to wicketkeeper Steven Davies. At 35 for 4, the innings was in need of repair.
Hinds and fellow left-hander Narsingh Deonarine added 33 for the fifth wicket but Batty soon sliced through the middle order to seal the deal. Deonarine was bowled off the edge, Hinds sliced a big swing to short third man, and Carlton Baugh was caught deep on the leg side. Last pair Best (14 not out) and Richardson (23 not out) reduced the margin of defeat in an unbroken stand of 44, the highest of the innings.