Sam Curran finds form as England bowl out West Indies for 202

Curran took three big scalps days after enduring a tough time in the first ODI.

David Charlesworth
Wednesday 06 December 2023 20:48 GMT
Sam Curran shone with the ball for England (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)
Sam Curran shone with the ball for England (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)

Sam Curran rebounded from his drubbing at the weekend with three wickets as England skittled the West Indies for 202 in 39.4 overs in their must-win second ODI in Antigua.

Three days on from being belted for 98 in 9.5 overs – the most expensive ODI figures by an England bowler – Curran snared top-order trio Brandon King, Keacy Carty and Shimron Hetmyer.

Windies captain Shai Hope did his bit for nominative determinism after his side had slipped to 23 for four, following up his match-winning hundred in the series opener with a crucial 68 at the same venue.

Hope put on 129 in 138 balls with Sherfane Rutherford but Liam Livingstone took out both en route to figures of 6-0-39-3 to make sure Curran’s three for 33 were not wasted on a fresh strip.

The England all-rounders endured a poor World Cup, with Livingstone averaging 10 with the bat while Curran was dropped after three anonymous performances and his woes followed him to the Caribbean.

But England persisted with the pair and named an unchanged side from the one beaten by four wickets on Sunday, and were rewarded as they look to take this series to a decider in Barbados on Saturday.

Curran was driven for fours in each of his first three overs by King but Gus Atkinson made the breakthrough by jagging one back through Alick Athanaze. It appeared the ball missed everything en route to a diving Jos Buttler but England’s review was vindicated by a snick on UltraEdge.

A partnership that put on 104 at the weekend was snuffed out for 15 and it got better for England as Carty aimed a cross-batted shot at Curran only to top-edge through to Zak Crawley at slip.

The duo combined again as Curran gained revenge over King following an indeterminate push while the left-arm seamer had big-hitting left-hander Hetmyer lbw later in the over.

Buttler was persuaded to review by Ben Duckett after Hetmyer was pinned on the back pad by a fuller delivery and HawkEye predicted the ball would have clattered into leg-stump.

Having lost their first four wickets in 20 balls, the Windies relied on skipper Hope and Rutherford, in his second ODI, to rebuild. Hope drove fluently and took three straight fours off Atkinson in the over while his more junior partner was initially content to swim in his captain’s slipstream.

Will Jacks was given his first bowl of the series, having been curiously overlooked on Sunday, but conceded 27 in four innocuous overs while Brydon Carse was belted back over his head for six.

As the smoke from the barbecue vendors beyond the stands drifted across the ground, the partnership had extended well into three figures, with both batters going past 50 before Livingstone, held back until the 26th over, ended the union as Rutherford drove loosely to Phil Salt in the ring.

Yannic Cariah was then castled through the gate by a floaty off-spinner from Livingstone, who produced a precision piece of bowling to leave Hope in two minds as he was beaten through bat and pad.

Livingstone had his figures spoiled slightly as Romario Shepherd took four fours in five balls off the all-rounder before perishing in the deep for 19 after looking to take down Rehan Ahmed.

The Windies got past 200 but they had 10 overs unused as Atkinson bookended the innings, taking a return catch after Alzarri Joseph top-edged straight up in the air.

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