England beat Windies to stay afloat in Cup

Friday, 18 March 2011 09:16 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

CHENNAI (Reuters) - England pipped West Indies by 18 runs in a thrilling Group B match on Thursday to stay in the hunt for a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

 Defending a 243-run total, James Tredwell (4-48), Ravi Bopara (2-22) and Graeme Swann (3-36) came out with a lion-hearted effort to bowl out West Indies for 225 in 44.4 overs.

 For the Caribbean team, Chris Gayle (43), Darren Sammy (41) and Andre Russell (49) shone with the bat but it was not enough in the end.  Earlier, the English top order was guilty of squandering promising starts and not a single batsman scored a half-century against a West Indies attack, spearheaded by pace bowler Russell (4-49) and debutant leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo (3-34), which bowled them out in 48.4 overs.

 Andrew Strauss (31) and Matt Prior (21) fell before their opening stand could really blossom and even though Jonathan Trott (47) and Luke Wright (44) down the order got the starts, none could hang around until the final overs.

 England, however, would require outcome of other Group B matches to go their way before they can make it to the last eight stage.

 Opting to bat first, England's decision to persist with Prior as opener nearly paid off but Russell removed both the openers in quick succession to peg them back.

 Trott looked in sublime touch, hitting three boundaries off the first five balls he faced from Russell but Bishoo could not be denied a memorable debut in one-day internationals.