Smith's assault fires West Indies revival and restores faith

England 281-8 West Indies 284-5 W Indies win by five wickets

In a commotion of furious strokeplay, England were presented with a vision of the future. They can be pretty sure that it works, and it may not necessarily be the last time that they wilt at its sight.

In a commotion of furious strokeplay, England were presented with a vision of the future. They can be pretty sure that it works, and it may not necessarily be the last time that they wilt at its sight.

West Indies pummelled their path to victory in the fifth match of the Cable & Wireless one-day series on Saturday with an imaginative assault that seemed to define the idea of going for broke. The home side perhaps had no option, since by this stage of England's tour they had nothing to lose but the match, almost certainly the series and yet more of their supporters' faith.

By the whirlwind end it represented more or a less complete resurrection no matter what happens from here on. Dwayne Smith, a spectacularly uncomplicated novice, provided the main impetus with a surge of attacking play to which there could be no rational response. Smith, 20, had come to the wicket to replace Brian Lara.

There were barely 12 overs left for West Indies to acquire 92 runs. It was not acquisition they had in mind, but annexation. Smith careered to 44 in 28 balls and struck four mighty sixes. With Ramnaresh Sarwan similarly unfettered at the other end - his unbeaten 73 came from 77 balls - they had 12 balls left when they levelled the series at 1-1.

It was exactly what was required after an eternity of waiting for the rain to stop in the Caribbean. In Guyana, in Trinidad and in Grenada it pelted down. It was doing likewise in St Lucia when the sides arrived but it stopped in time not only to get the game on but to show a grand new stadium in all its glory.

England would not agree - and who can blame them - but what was also required was a West Indies win, otherwise a saturated series would have been driven down the plug-hole, sun or no sun.

It was a match that showed how much both teams have to learn. The West Indies were soundly beaten in South Africa earlier in the year, they had lost to England in the abbreviated match in Guyana when they ought to have won.

England probably thought they should not have lost the game. For long enough, they looked to have done enough to win. The fact that Marcus Trescothick scores a century is no longer a pointer to defeat. True, England had lost the first three matches in which he reached three figures but they had won the last three.

His seventh hundred put him on a par with David Gower on the England all-time list and one short of Graham Gooch. It was typically Trescothick, full of bludgeons rather than caresses and none the poorer for that. He and Andrew Flintoff shared a biffing stand of 110. Had either or both stayed in - Flintoff was held on the boundary, Trescothick could not make his ground in trying to imitate what was meant to be a dash for a single - England's score would have gone beyond 300.

Trescothick's 130 spanned 137 balls and included two sixes and 12 fours.

At some 19 short, there was always the prospect of a West Indian win. A couple of smart catches from Paul Collingwood, flying to his left, and Chris Read, scurrying for a top edge, kept them ahead. When Steve Harmison was brought back and nobbled a watchful Lara by taking his outside edge with one that bounced, not for the first time on this tour, the balance appeared to have tilted irrevocably.

So it had. Smith sauntered casually in; the long legs might have been taking him for a stroll on St Lucia's beaches. He had already given notice again that he is a fieldsman to be feared. His throw from deep breaks the sound barrier. But his batting had been in storage since his century in his maiden Test when he unleashed a range of pyrotechnics against South Africa.

England had grievous trouble in fiddling their fifth bowler and it may be somewhat of a luxury to use Rikki Clarke as a specialist No 8. Sarwan took apart the hapless left-arm spin of Ian Blackwell, Smith took on Harmison without compunction. Dwayne Bravo joined in by the end. West Indies will not do this every time, but they will do it again and again.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Bianca Miller in the final of The Apprentice
tvMark Wright and Bianca Miller fight for Lord Sugar's investment
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
News
i100
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
video
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
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

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick