Cricket: England pull it out of the fire
England kept their World Cup dreams alive yesterday with another performance from the realms of fantasy.
Just when it seemed certain they were going out of the competition to the West Indies, they somehow found inspiration by taking the last four wickets for only three runs.
West Indies, who had been cantering to victory and qualification for the quarter-finals, were all out for 225 and lost by 18 runs. Only victory gave England a chance of progressing and, while they must wait for other results in Group B to be sure, they deserve their place.
England have played a series of breathtaking matches in the competition so far, with each one outdoing its predecessor for twists, turns and turbulence.
"It was another very tough game to play in," said England's captain, Andrew Strauss. "We were probably 20 or 30 runs light. There was a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the bowlers to pull us over the line. Clearly we were desperate to win and weren't going to leave anything behind."
The Windies had a blazing start in pursuit of 244 to win, but England pegged them back thanks to three wickets in four overs from James Tredwell -- one of three changes in the team. He was man of the match after finishing with 4-48.
Although Chris Tremlett's return was not an outrageous success with the ball, he took a crucial catch at the end and Luke Wright prevented England's innings from collapse with a calm 44.
After initial pyrotechnics, England reduced West Indies to 150 for six but, as in previous matches, they faced an unsung batsman determined to make a name for himself, this time 22-year-old Jamaican Andre Russell.
When he was spared on 39 after Jonathan Trott was adjudged to have grazed the boundary rope after catching the ball, it seemed England's last chance had gone. But Tredwell had Russell lbw, Graeme Swann struck twice in three balls, removing the dogged Ramnaresh Sarwan, and the last wicket fell to a run-out. (© Independent News Service)