Cricket-Curran, Buttler back in form as England beat Windies to level series

  • Cricket
  • Thursday, 07 Dec 2023

Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 - England Practice Session - Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow, India - October 28, 2023 England's Sam Curran during practice REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File photo

(Reuters) - Sam Curran took three wickets and Jos Buttler scored a half-century to help England claim a six-wicket victory over West Indies in the second one-day international on Wednesday, levelling the three-match series at 1-1.

Set a target of 203 for victory in North Sound, Antigua, England romped home in less than 33 overs to set up a series finale in Barbados on Saturday.

Opener Will Jacks scored an assured 73 off 72 balls before being trapped lbw by Sherfane Rutherford, while Buttler made 58 not out in a 90-run partnership with Harry Brook (43) to get the tourists over the finish line.

Captain Buttler's knock made him the fifth England batter to cross the 5,000-run mark in ODI cricket. The half-century was his first since September, prior to England's disappointing exit from the World Cup.

"Really pleasing," said Buttler, who scored just three runs in England's four-wicket defeat in the series opener.

"I've been playing for a while now so it's great when you get to those milestones after playing for a long period of time. It's been a frustrating time recently."

Gudakesh Motie was the pick of West Indies' bowlers, picking up the wickets of Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett in back-to-back overs.

Earlier, Curran (3-33) decimated the hosts' top order in a devastating spell, claiming the wickets of Brandon King, Keacy Carty and Shimron Hetmyer.

Curran's haul was a measure of redemption for his performance in the first ODI, in which he was hit for 98 runs in 9.5 overs without picking up a single wicket, the worst-ever figures for an England bowler.

"It was a tough day the other day, but you need to keep moving forward and bounce back," Curran said.

"We did so many things right in that first game. The messages from the coaches and captain was just that. We had to come back today and put things right, which we did."

West Indies lost wickets cheaply early on in their innings and were left reeling on 23-4, but captain Shai Hope (68) and Rutherford (63) put together a partnership of 129 runs to help them to a respectable total.

Spinner Liam Livingstone took the wickets of both Hope and Rutherford to take the wind out of West Indies' sails, while Gus Atkinson and Rehan Ahmed picked up two wickets apiece.

The third and final ODI will be played at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday, before the two sides face each other in a five-match Twenty20 series.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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