Cricket: Local hero Adams has it figured: West Indies raise the stakes as England attempt to overcome the misfortune of Malcolm's injury

Click to follow
The Independent Online
ENGLAND, desperately needing to win this match in order to take their minds off the depressing news of Devon Malcolm's knee injury, were thwarted by a determined West Indian batting display.

With Richie Richardson winning the toss and inserting England on a pitch allowing some movement off the seam, their eventual total of 253, after a century opening partnership, never seemed safe. The man of the match, Jimmy Adams, hit an unbeaten 52, and powered the West Indies to their rain- reduced target of 238 with seven balls of their 47 overs spare.

It was never going to be a walk-over, especially when Brian Lara was lbw attempting to whip away Steve Watkin to leg after the West Indies had got off to a slow start at just under two an over. They did not have to wait long for a change. With Chris Lewis coming on at the southern end, vice-like containment suddenly became the open hand of charity as both he and Angus Fraser were attacked.

Perhaps realising the potential expense of a lengthy encounter between Phil Tufnell and Desmond Haynes, Mike Atherton quickly brought on Graeme Hick. The gamble seemed to work. Haynes having been at mid-wicket, clearly felt it was to be his day when he smashed the next ball back at Hick, who, risking amputation, stuck out a hand and clung on to a remarkable catch.

Phil Simmons then dragged Fraser on to his stumps to restore England's momentum. Keith Arthurton, who had used his feet beautifully during the Test, danced too far once too often and was neatly stumped by Stewart. With the local hero, Adams, to keep him company, Richardson then embarked on a period of consolidation. As rain fell with 14 overs left, all thoughts of ticking the score over were banished, when a revised total of 238 off 47 overs was computed.

With this pair putting on 52 for the fifth wicket, the West Indies began to look winners. The losses of Richardson, Roger Harper and Andy Cummins made little difference with Adams at the crease. England failed to put any kind of pressure on him, and Sabina Park erupted when he reached 50. It was left to Winston Benjamin to score the winning runs, though, and England trudged off to the roar of the crowd.

Earlier, Atherton was content to scratch out a tune on second fiddle to Alec Stewart's stroke-play, but contributed to his downfall when he called his partner for a quick single, failing to notice that Stewart was still down on one knee having swept Harper. A snappy return to the bowler's end by Lara found him yards short.

Perhaps blaming himself for his partner's downfall, Atherton allowed the incident to affect him as he too fell to an unnecessary piece of cricket three overs later, when he tried to chip Harper over the infield, only to find Arthurton.

Hick and Robin Smith kept things moving with a stand of 81 but England were thwarted as Cummins and Kenny Benjamin homed in on the stumps with deadly accuracy. In a near-comical combination of hopping and swishing, England lost four wickets for two runs, eventually finishing on 253.

Once again the epic and the farcical were close companions, as one-day cricket revealed unlikely heroes and villains. With Malcolm back in Blighty, England have a convenient break in which he can recover before the next Test on 17 March.

On the other hand, if the diagnosis, which will be known tomorrow, is bleak, England will have to call up a replacement - Mark Ilott or Martin McCague. Ilott was outstanding on the England A tour to South Africa, but if Atherton has to suffer the loss of his 'cannon' in Malcolm, he may prefer the power of McCague.

(West Indies won toss)

ENGLAND

* M A Atherton c Arthurton b Harper. . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 A J Stewart run out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66 R A Smith c Harper b K Benjamin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 G A Hick c Cummins b Arthurton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 M P Maynard b Cummins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 N Hussain c Richardson b Cummins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 C C Lewis b K Benjamin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0 S L Watkin b K Benjamin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 A P Igglesden not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 P C R Tufnell not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Extras (lb9 w7 nb2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Total (for 8, 50 overs). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253

Fall: 1-112 2-128 3-209 4-214 5-247 6-248 7-248 8-249.

Did not bat: A R C Fraser.

Bowling: Walsh 5-1-26-0; K Benjamin 10-1-44- 3; Cummins 8-1-42-2; W Benjamin 8-0-33-0; Harper 8-0-45-1; Simmons 7-0-32-0; Arthurton 4-0-22-1.

WEST INDIES

D L Haynes c and b Hick. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 B C Lara lbw b Watkin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 P V Simmons b Fraser. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 K L T Arthurton st Stewart b Hick. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 * R B Richardson c Fraser b Watkin. . . . . . . . . . . . .32 J C Adams not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 R A Harper lbw b Watkin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0 A C Cummins c Smith b Watkin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 W K M Benjamin not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Extras (b3 lb7 w6 nb3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Total (for 7, 45.5 overs). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .240

Fall: 1-13 2-111 3-128 4-130 5-186 6-186 7-223.

Did not bat: K C G Benjamin, C A Walsh.

Bowling: Igglesden 7-1-29-0; Watkin 9.5-1-49- 4; Fraser 9-0-50-1; Lewis 9-0-48-0; Tufnell 4-0- 22-0; Hick 7-0-32-2.

Umpires: S Bucknor and L Barker.

WEST INDIES WIN BY THREE WICKETS

(Target reduced by rain to 238 from 47

overs. Best-of-five series level at 1-1)

Comments