Jimmy Adams
Worried Adams does not know which way his team is going
Photo © CricInfo

England carried their magnificent form from Old Trafford to the picturesque Riverside ground in Durham and virtually ended West Indies' hopes of a passage to the final of the NatWest Series next Saturday.

NatWest Series

For the second successive match, England produced a highly commendable performance that brought them victory by a most comfortable margin of ten wickets, the first time that they have achieved it on such a scale in 314 one-day international matches that they have played since the first one in Melbourne nearly thirty years ago.

Capacity crowd

It was a display that would have brought some warmth to England's supporters among the crowd which filled the ground to capacity on a bitterly cold morning. Ironically, by the time the game ended, the ground was bathed in sunshine.

It was England's day from the start, having put the opposition in to bat, England's bowlers remained on top throughout the innings, apart from the period when Brian Lara and Chris Gayle were putting on a 61 run stand, having got together on 43 for three. Needless to say there were no individual scores of any significance barring Lara's half-century in West Indies' total of 169.

Worry for West Indies

For West Indies, the decline in both the major areas of their game since the win in the first Test match at Edgbaston, a month ago, must now be a source of considerable worry. It's true that their veteran and leading fast bowlers Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh are currently missing from the attack, and that must surely take some pressure off England's batsmen, but their batting - even allowing for the absence of the injured Shivnarine Chanderpaul - shows obvious lack of depth and application.

It has undoubtedly put pressure on Lara who contributes substantially, by comparison to others, but does not come up with the big scores that he is so capable of and, indeed, is expected to.

It now calls for an allmighty effort from the Windies in their remaining two games in this series to have a chance to reach the final. They will have to win their match against Zimbabwe tomorrow and against England next Thursday, by considerable margins, and then, too, they must hope for Zimbabwe to defeat England on Tuesday, to entertain any hopes for a Lord's final. That is the, almost unrealistic, formula that they hope will apply.

West Indies attack dominated

England's innings today saw a total domination of the West Indies attack. Marcus Trescothick, with 87 not out, showed he is going from strength to strength in these limited-over matches, and as he says, he now hopes to find a place in the England Test side. Captain Alec Stewart, who formed such an effective opening partnership with him, hitting an unbeaten 74, said:" Its been two great performances on the trot. We carried on from where we left off at Old Trafford. They produced a very good wicket here and all credit to Durham for it and all the facilities."