Cricket: England suffer final indignity

Fifth one-day international: Hollioake's men end series on dismal note after Lambert and Lara cut loose for West Indies West Indies 302-5 England 245 West Indies win by 57 runs
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The Independent Online
ENGLAND'S reticence to give Mike Atherton a game - he does average 77 against the West Indies after all - is puzzling. Ironically, it is just the kind of intransigence Atherton himself was famous for as captain, though the move does tend to suggest that he is probably not in mind for next month's Texaco internationals against South Africa, let alone the World Cup in 13 months' time.

As it worked out, his successor, Adam Hollioake, could have done with his presence, not as a batsman, but as an experienced shoulder to cry on. He could probably have done with some advice too after Clayton Lambert, with 119, and Brian Lara with 93, had run England ragged in the field. Coming together when the score was 67 for 2, the pair added 185 in 30 overs as a virtually second-choice West Indies side posted the first 300 plus score of the one-day series, and went on to win by 57 runs.

Even those who had arrived fresh here two weeks ago, began to look weary as the ball was manoeuvred, stroked and thrashed to all parts of the ground after a slow start saw the home side 95 for 2 at the half-way stage after winning the toss.

Lara in particular, played some logic defying shots, feathering cuts impossibly fine. At the other end, Lambert, with his usual hulking presence, climbed in with his claymore, and hewed big chunks from England's dwindling spirit.

Breaking point was never far away and coming on after Robert Croft had bowled eight overs for 33, Hollioake senior was hit from the attack, as he conceded 33 runs from just two overs. With England's fielding at its worse for some time - at least three catches were dropped - the captain did not help matters when he conceded four runs after an unnecessary shy at the stumps went well wide of its intended target.

It was probably the first time since taking over the one-day captaincy in December, that Hollioake had been under heavy barrage in the field and mistakes were made, not least the decision to have his deep fielders 10 yards in from the boundary's edge. Another error concerned Croft, one of the most consistent one-day bowlers in this series, who was left with two overs to bowl, after another tidy performance.

Perversely, England had begun well. Bowling tightly, Angus Fraser even managed three maidens, a criterion these days that would have made him an early contender for the man of the match, had the adjudicator been a bowler.

Settling in to a tight line just outside off stump, he and Ben Hollioake kept Lara quiet, a state that altered when the West Indies captain had reached nine, and suddenly called for his sunglasses. After that, no bowler bar Fraser, who had bowled out, was able to rest comfortably.

Even Croft, normally so restrictive, had to bow to Lara's class. One shot, a late cut played off leg-stump was so fine it appeared to defy geometry. Moments later, when Croft had been removed from the attack, Lara and Lambert gave the England bowlers the long handle.

With that brutal assault, the floodgates opened as 182 runs were added in 20 overs and another England bowling plan ended up in the wastebin 10 rows back in the Dos Santos Stand - the same place Lambert deposited Adam Hollioake the ball after Mark Ramprakash had dropped the rampant batsman at deep mid-wicket.

When England batted, Alec Stewart was caught at short mid-wicket to give Carl Tuckett, one of two debutants, his first wicket in international cricket. Not long afterwards, Tuckett added a second, when Graeme Hick was caught at square leg, after badly mistiming his pull.

Following Ben Hollioake to the crease after the youngster had been run out by a direct hit from newcomer Neil McGarrell, Hick never looked at ease, and his dismissal for one wrapped up a disappointing series for him.

As it had done in the first two matches, the broad bat of Nick Knight held England together. Back on a good surface, Knight struck the ball crisply, albeit against a second string attack, as England chased the six runs per over necessary for victory.

Reaching his second half-century of the series, Knight looked favourite to convert it into another three-figure score when he was run out by another smart bit of fielding by McGarrell, after he responded late to Ramprakash's call from the non-striker's end.

Chastened by the experience, Ramprakash stayed in, mixing attack with accumulation, to score 51 as the rising run rate ate into England's resources. Indeed once he was out, caught in the deep off Carl Hooper, England's hopes of ending a disappointing tour on a high note fell rapidly to earth.

Port of Spain scoreboard

West Indies won toss

WEST INDIES

C B Lambert c Stewart b B Hollioake 119

190 min, 124 balls, 17 fours, 1 five, 2 sixes

P A Wallace run out (Brown TV replay) 0

8 min, 2 balls

S C Williams c Stewart b B Hollioake 27

49 min, 40 balls, 4 fours, 1 six

*B C Lara b Brown 93

143 min, 105 balls, 10 fours

C L Hooper not out 35

29 min, 20 balls, 4 fours

L R Williams lbw b Brown 1

3 min, 2 balls

R D Jacobs not out 5

13 min, 7 balls

Extras (b4 lb15 w3) 22

Total (for 5, 220 min, 50 overs) 302

Fall: 1-13 (Wallace) 2-67 (S Williams) 3-252 (Lambert) 4-266 (Lara) 5- 270 (L Williams).

Did not bat: S Chanderpaul, N C McGarrell, C M Tuckett, M V Dillon.

Bowling: Fraser 10-3-28-0 (w1) (one spell); Brown 8-0-49-2 (5-0-28-0, 3-0-21-0); B Hollioake 10-0-43-2 (7-0-22-1 3-0-21-1); Croft 8-1-33-0 (w1) (one spell); Ealham 5-0-41-0 (3-0-18-0, 2-0-23-0); Fleming 7-0-56-0 (w1) (6-0-44-0, 1-0-12-0), A Hollioake 2-0-33-0 (one spell).

Progress: 50: 43 min, 60 balls. 100: 114 min, 158 balls. 150: 146 min, 206 balls. 200: 164 min, 232 balls. 250: 187 min, 260 balls. 300 220 mins, 299 balls.

Lambert's 50: 119 mins, 77 balls, 8 fours. 100: 173 min, 115 balls, 14 fours, 1 five, 1 six. Lara's 50: 95 min, 75 balls, 5 fours.

ENGLAND

N V Knight run out

(McGarrell-L Williams TV replay) 65

92 min, 67 balls, 8 fours

A J Stewart c Hooper b Tuckett 12

33 min, 18 balls, 1 five

B C Hollioake run out (McGarrell) 2

12 min, 5 balls

G A Hick c Chanderpaul b Tuckett 1

16 min, 12 balls

M R Ramprakash c McGarrell b Hooper 51

93 min, 67 balls, 6 fours

*A J Hollioake b McGarrell 2

4 min, 5 balls

M A Ealham c L Williams

b Chanderpaul 26

33 min, 40 balls, 2 fours

D R Brown st Jacobs b Hooper 13

20 min, 19 balls, 2 fours

M V Fleming c L Williams b S Williams 10

9 min, 9 balls, 2 fours

R D B Croft not out 13

22 min, 17 balls, 1 four

A R C Fraser run out (McGarrell) 30

18 min, 17 balls, 4 fours, 1 six

Extras (lb6 w13 nb1) 20

Total (181 min, 45.5 overs) 245

Fall: 1-41 (Stewart) 2-60 (B Hollioake) 3-71 (Hick) 4-109 (Knight) 5- 115 (A Hollioake) 6-161 (Ealham) 7-186 (Brown) 8-196 (Ramprakash) 9-201 (Fleming) 10-245 (Fraser).

Bowling: Dillon 5.5-0-41-0 (w1) (5-0-32-0, 0.5-0-9-0); Tuckett 8-0-41- 2 (nb1 w2); L Williams 8-0-32-0 (w3); McGarrell 10-0-46-1 (w2); Chanderpaul 5-0-23-1 (w3); S Williams 4-0-30-1; Hooper 2-0-6-2 (w1); Lambert 2-0-8- 0; Lara 1-0-12-0 (w1) (one spell each).

Progress: 50: 40 min, 53 balls. 100: 85 min, 113 balls. 150: 126 min, 184 balls. 200: 159 min, 238 balls.

Knight's 50: 66 min, 54 balls, 6 fours. Ramprakash's 50: 91 min, 64 balls, 6 fours.

West Indies won by 57 runs

Umpires: E Nicholls and Z Macuum.

TV Replay Umpire: C E Cumberbatch. Match Referee: R S Madugalle.

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