Marcus Trescothick's ambitions to open the batting for England in Test matches took a massive leap forward today after another outstanding performance before a capacity crowd at Riverside.
The young Somerset batsman won his second man of the match award of the NatWest Series for a match-winning 87 against West Indies which earned England a crucial ten wicket victory to boost their chances of making the tournament final against Zimbabwe at Lord's on Saturday.
His unbroken partnership of 171 with England captain Alec Stewart, establishing a new openers record against West Indies in one-day cricket, confirmed his position as the host nation's top scoring batsman in the competition and raised his hopes of securing a Test place when the Cornhill Insurance series resumes in two weeks time.
Tests are my ambition: Trescothick
"I obviously want to break into Test cricket somewhere along the line," he said.
"Hopefully it will happen this year if not I'm pretty sure my time will come.
"I've played just the way I've been playing at Taunton, and coming in to these games hasn't made too much difference.
"I didn't really expect anything from myself. I just thought that if I kept on playing the same way, I was pretty confident I would succeed.
"I feel I've been playing well in all forms of cricket this year and coming into these games with a bit of pressure, it was good to do well. I'm pretty sure if I can start playing Test cricket I can do well at that too."
Stewart: Marcus impressed from the start
His impressive form for both Somerset and England this season has also impressed Stewart, who finished today unbeaten on 74.
"He's got better and better," said the England captain, deputising for the injured Nasser Hussain.
"This fellow has come in, and, from the first ball against Zimbabwe at The Oval last week, he's looked an international class player.
"If he can carry that on in this one-day series, I'm sure the selectors will find it very very difficult not to select him for the Old Trafford Test.
"Marcus has done himself favours in his four innings so far. He's shaped up very well and he's succeeded.
"As for the Test match arena - if and when he gets in there - I'm sure he'll cope.
"He's got a pretty simple technique. He plays straight and what impressed me is that he hits it up and down the wicket. That's the type of style and technique you need to succeed in Test cricket too."
After England's previous performances in this competition, Stewart expressed his delight at his side's improvement. "I criticised the team for the way we played at The Oval last Saturday when we deserved to get beaten.
"Since then we've improved. It was a convincing win today, we've won two on the trot and we'll try and win two more before the final."
Adams: We haven't come to grips with the tournament
For West Indies captain Jimmy Adams, his return to Riverside proved a deeply frustrating affair.
"It's beginning to look as though, as a team, we haven't come to grips with this tournament.
"Whether it is down to the conditions is debatable but the fact of the matter is that as team we have not got stuck into this tournament in any way whatsoever.
"I don't think it is because of what happened in the Lord's Test. There are reasons, but I wouldn't blame that defeat on the way our cricket looks at the moment.
"We still have two one day games to focus on before the switch over to the Tests and I still believe we can win two games.
"We were 40 or 50 runs short"
"I don't think it was a 160-170 wicket. I thought we were 40 or 50 runs short of a competitive total on that surface.
"I don't think any of us in that dressing room is happy with what's happened in the last two games - in fact for the entire tournament really."
But he added, he was hopeful a scan on Courtney Walsh's foot, taken today, would signal a return to action for the experienced fast bowler, after his absence from the one-day tournament.