England beat West Indies by eight wickets at The Oval

 

England cruised to an
eight-wicket win over West Indies at The Oval, on the back of a century
from Alastair Cook, to wrap up the NatWest Series a match early.

Cook (112) shared a century opening stand with Ian Bell (53) and then put on 81 for the second wicket with Jonathan Trott as England raced past West Indies' patchy 238 for nine with five overs to spare to establish an unassailable 2-0 lead.

The hard work was done, though, when Cook's bowling attack withstood an early barrage from Chris Gayle (53) and restricted the Windies to an under-par total despite a worthy 77 from Dwayne Bravo.

On a typically reliable batting surface of even pace and bounce, Cook and Bell then duly put England's achievable target into context.

There was barely a false shot from either as Cook won the race to 50, until Bell forewent the chance of his own second successive hundred by loosely pushing a change of pace from Darren Sammy straight into the hands of cover.

Cook made no mistake, until he lobbed a cutter from Sammy over the bowler to be caught by mid-on, as he extended an enviable sequence of six centuries from an England opener in consecutive one-day internationals - a series the captain himself began with back-to-back hundreds against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Unsurprisingly, six victories have resulted, Cook underpinning the latest with his fifth hundred at this level - containing 12 fours in 114 balls.

The ease of England's victory, and West Indies' continuing blank on this tour, was hardly in the offing when Gayle was demonstrating his renowned raw power with five sixes and three fours clattered to all parts in a 41-ball 50 at the top of the order.

Cook must have been wondering what he had done while Gayle was in full flow after the Windies were put in on a sunny morning.

But twice two wickets, starting with Gayle's, fell on the same score as the Windies stumbled to 79 for four.

A sombre atmosphere, following the death yesterday of Tom Maynard, prevailed at the Surrey batsman's home ground - where a minute's silence in his memory preceded start of play, flags remained at half-mast and both teams wore black armbands.

Once under way, the hope was that cricket might be allowed to lift spirits or at least divert the senses - and Gayle did not disappoint.

James Anderson and Steve Finn bowled three maidens in the first four overs. But once Gayle had deposited Anderson for his first six, sent thudding into the electronic scoreboard with a pull high over midwicket, four more followed in 10 balls.

He greeted first-change Tim Bresnan with three sixes in his first over, the last on to the roof of the Bedser Stand at wide long-on.

His last maximum, off Anderson, brought a brief lull while England summoned help to retrieve the ball from a trough underneath the press box.

When Gayle reached his 50, with an incongruous nudge to midwicket for a single off Bresnan, his near silent opening partner Lendl Simmons was still in single-figures.

A shock absentee in West Indies' defeat in the opening match of this series because of a shin injury, Gayle was playing in his first international fixture since last year's World Cup following a dispute with his employers.

He seemed to be on the fast track to marking the occasion with a 20th one-day international hundred too, until Graeme Swann won the tightest of lbw decisions against the left-hander.

Gayle went without hesitation to DRS after Tony Hill gave him out, but third umpire Kumar Dharmasena upheld his colleague's decision as replays showed contact with bat and pad was simultaneous.

Gayle slowly trudged off in disbelief - and everything changed.

Dwayne Smith went for a duck, swishing at only the second delivery from Stuart Broad and edging behind.

Simmons eventually fell to a direct hit from Cook at mid-off, ending a 50-ball innings which produced only 12 runs - and when Marlon Samuels miscued a pull at Broad straight to deep midwicket, West Indies had two new men at the crease on nought.

Kieron Pollard escaped an obvious stumping opportunity off Swann on 28, and Bravo's mishit at the off-spinner on 18 just spilled out of Eoin Morgan's hands running in and diving from long-off.

But between them, until Pollard holed out in the leg-side deep off Bresnan, the fifth-wicket pair did admirably in a stand of 100 to keep West Indies in position to attack the last 10 overs.

Bravo's deserved share amounted to eight fours and two sixes from 82 balls, before he skied Anderson and was well-held by Ravi Bopara in the penultimate over.

But the suspicion already was already he had merely managed to delay an inevitable home win - and so it proved.

PA

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn