Eighth Match

England v West Indies

Richard Hobson

At Lord's, July 6. West Indies won by seven wickets. West Indies 5 pts, England 1 pt. Toss: West Indies.

The close encounter that the competition desperately needed was graced by four wonderful innings, including a second hundred in three days by Flintoff and a match-winning 132 by Gayle. Despite the result, Flintoff 's brutal display will be longer remembered. His 123 came from 104 balls with seven sixes, the most in a one-day innings by an England batsman, and eight fours. His 226-run partnership with Strauss, in 30 overs, was an all-wicket England record. Strauss completed a maiden one-day international hundred in 115 balls, his second fifty spanning 31. The last ten overs brought 121 runs, 72 of them in four overs starting with the 45th; it was like listening to 20 minutes of crashing cymbals. But England's best batting of the tournament was not enough to keep them in it. They were jittery in the field and missed several possible chances as Gayle and the impish Sarwan put on 187, West Indies' all-wicket best against England. The loss of Lara in the 42nd over with 68 still required gave England hope. But Gayle accelerated after completing his ninth one-day international hundred from 141 balls, and when 16 came from the 47th over, bowled by Gough, West Indies were ahead of the game.

Man of the Match: C. H. Gayle. Attendance: 27,829; receipts £825,719.

© John Wisden & Co