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England returned to the series against the West Indies

Taking only 2 wickets in the World Cup, England all-rounder Sam Curran spent 8.07 overs per wicket. With such a performance, the Caribbean Islands were hopeful at the start of the new series against West Indies. However, in the first One Day International (ODI) match against West Indies, he conceded 98 runs in 9.5 overs, which became the most expensive spell for England in ODIs.

Even after that performance, the captain Jos Buttler and coach Matthew Mayhew had faith in the 25-year-old all-rounder. In the second ODI against West Indies, he justified that trust. He took 3 wickets for 33 runs and became the match’s best player. England also won by 6 wickets.

With this win, the 3-match series is now level at 1-1. The deciding third match of the series is on December 9 at Bridgetown. After steering England to victory, the hero of the day Curran said, ‘Yesterday was tough. But we need to move forward from there, turn it around. We did a lot of things right in the first match. The coach and captain’s messages were like that. We need to come back, do things right, and that’s what we did.’

After losing the toss in Antigua and batting first, West Indies managed only 202 runs. This small total saw England chasing down with 6 wickets and 103 balls to spare. Openers Will Jacks and captain Jos Buttler led the way. Alongside his batting, Curran also took 3 wickets in hand, along with Liam Livingstone grabbing 3 wickets alongside him. Both young bowlers, Chris Jordan and Rehan Ahmed, took 2 wickets each.

Responding to the 202 runs, Phil Salt and Will Jacks formed a partnership of 50 runs in 35 balls, propelling England ahead in the match. Although Salt got out after scoring 21 runs off 15 balls, Jacks played an innings of 73 runs off 72 balls. Jacks and Crawley didn’t score, but their lack of runs didn’t hinder England’s victory. Harry Brook and captain Buttler averaged 90 runs off 78 balls. Brook remained unbeaten on 49 runs, while Buttler remained unbeaten on 58 runs off 45 balls. With this innings, Buttler joined the 5000-run club in ODIs as England’s fifth batsman.

West Indies’ total of 202 could have been more significant. They recovered after a poor start. England’s pacers, led by Shaheen Afridi, took 4 wickets for 23 runs, and captain Hop Sharaford formed a partnership of 129 runs. However, after breaking this partnership, West Indies’ batting lineup collapsed. They lost the last 6 wickets for just 50 runs.

Captain Buttler was naturally pleased with the achievement of 5000 runs. He said, ‘Extremely happy! I’ve been playing for a long time. When you hit a milestone after playing for a long time, it feels great! Recently, it has been a frustrating time.

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