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Windies humiliate dismal England

Third one-day international, Barbados: West Indies 117-2 (14.4 overs) beat England 117 (41.3 overs) by eight wickets
Match reduced to 44 overs per side, West Indies target adjusted to 117

By Oliver Brett

West Indies celebrate as Stuart Broad departs
West Indies celebrate as Stuart Broad departs - England were 68-8

England produced a pitiful batting performance to crash to a humiliating eight-wicket defeat by West Indies.

Batting first, they were bowled out for 117 on a good wicket, albeit with pace and bounce, making their lowest score against West Indies since 1986.

Windies skipper Chris Gayle then put the pitch into perspective by smashing eight sixes in a stunning display.

His 80 from 43 balls helped get his team home in just 14.4 overs for a 2-1 lead in the series with two to play.

Gayle, given the perfect match situation to display his effortless shot-making, hit his first maximum in the first over and then took Stuart Broad for two fours and a six.

But against Mascarenhas Gayle was even more vicious - hitting the Hampshire all-rounder for 24 runs in a single over, with three more sixes.

The Jamaican left-hander looked all set for one of the fastest centuries ever - and nobody had hit that many sixes in one innings against England - until he was bowled by James Anderson.

But the wicket was barely celebrated - Andrew Strauss's men had lost the game long before Gayle had begun his astonishing onslaught.

Even though he was bizarrely overlooked for man of the match - the award went to Dwayne Bravo (4-19) - Gayle will ensure this game is remembered for all the right reasons as far as West Indies cricket is concerned.

It was a very bad day for English cricket, however, and it began with Kevin Pietersen - who has made 29 in his last three innings - telling a national newspaper he couldn't "wait to get home".

Losing his job as England captain, and coping with the subsequent spotlight, had left him feeling mentally drained, he added.

"I'm at the end of my tether now," Pietersen told the Daily Mail. But England's battle-hardened travelling supporters have more reason to feel that way.

606: DEBATE
Sporting-Allrounder

England were thumped 5-0 in the one-dayers in India, and then lost the Tests 1-0. They lost the Test series in West Indies by the same margin and the Twenty20 international in Trinidad too.

A bizarre miscalculation by Windies coach John Dyson helped get England off the mark at the start of the one-day series.

But a dispiriting defeat in the second match in Guyana, and now this, has put a big dampener on English hopes ahead of a massive summer in which they host the ICC World Twenty20 before attempting to win back The Ashes.

England lost the toss and were inserted by Gayle. Two heavy showers struck so the tourists had to wait 90 minutes before beginning their innings, now reduced to 45 overs.

Strauss swished away unconvincingly for 18 balls, an innings ended when he top-edged a pull to Gayle running back from slip.

Two balls later, Ravi Bopara also mistimed his pull - and the disease spread to Pietersen too. Both men gave easy catches and England were already in big trouble at 41-3.

But big trouble soon became total calamity. Owais Shah speared a catch to point and yet another pull shot, this time from Andrew Flintoff, picked out the man at fine-leg with unerring accuracy.

Andrew Flintoff
Andrew Flintoff's comeback could not stem England's embarrassment

Even the umpires were against England, Steve Bucknor erroneously giving Paul Collingwood out lbw. But Matt Prior had only himself to blame when hitting a short, wide ball straight to point.

When Broad made Keiron Pollard's off-cutter look like something sent down by legendary bowler Sydney Barnes England were 68-8, and in serious danger of posting their worst ever score in this format.

Another rain break - reducing the match by a further over per side - finally saw some element of sobriety return to the game.

Dimitri Mascarenhas (36) and Gareth Batty (17) put on 48, but when they finally pressed the accelerator, two more gentle catches were lobbed into the safe mitts of the fielders.

Amid the wreckage there were some very tasty bowling figures for the Windies seamers. Fidel Edwards was again the pick of them. He unnerved England with his early pace and collected 3-28.

Bravo did not bowl anywhere near as well but cashed in with his four wickets and Lionel Baker sent down five maidens.

A win at the same ground in Barbados on Sunday and another in the finale in St Lucia would still give England their first one-day series success in the Caribbean. But it would take only a fool or an eternal optimist to bet on such an outcome.



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see also
Pietersen reveals mental fatigue
28 Mar 09 |  England
Flintoff fit for third one-dayer
24 Mar 09 |  England
West Indies legends video archive
14 May 07 |  West Indies
England in West Indies 2009
29 Mar 09 |  England


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