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England sink to 25-year low as fallen World Cup champions lose series to team that didn't even qualify

10th December, 2023
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10th December, 2023
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Keacy Carty has hit a half-century and Matthew Forde took three wickets as West Indies claimed a four-wicket win to clinch their first home one-day international series victory over England since 1998.

In the space of two months, England have gone from defending World Cup champions to series losers against a team that didn’t even qualify for the tournament.

Chasing a Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) reduced score of 188 in 34 overs at a rain-lashed Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, West Indies appeared to have got off to the perfect start as Carty (50) combined with Alick Athanaze (45) for a 76-run partnership, but spinner Will Jacks tore through their middle order.

Jacks (3-22) picked up three key wickets as West Indies slumped from 1-78 to 6-135.

With his side reeling, Romario Shepherd hit a crucial 41 to push them over the finish line with 14 balls to spare, though the allrounder benefited from a massive slice of luck when he was dropped on 18 by Liam Livingstone on the boundary rope.

West Indies won the series 2-1.

Earlier on Saturday, Forde (3-29) took the wickets of Phil Salt (four), Will Jacks (17) and Zak Crawley (zero) to leave England on 3-45 in an excellent spell on his ODI debut.

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“Getting a victory is a dream come true on my debut,” Forde said.

“It was special for me. I am 21 and I am living my dream. I thank all the guys for making it possible. They have welcomed me with open arms and it has been an easy camp so far.”

The tourists’ innings was rescued by Ben Duckett, who plundered 71 off 73 balls, while Liam Livingstone was able to shrug off his recent struggles with the bat to contribute 45 runs as the visitors posted a total of 206 in a rain-reduced 40 overs.

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - DECEMBER 09: Harry Brook of England is run-out by Alzarri Joseph of West Indies during the third CG United One Day International match between West Indies and England at Kensington Oval on December 09, 2023 in Bridgetown, Barbados. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Harry Brook is run out by Alzarri Joseph at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Shepherd removed Duckett and Livingstone in back-to-back overs to stymie England’s progress, with the visitors posting a total of 206 in 40 overs at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

The series victory, West Indies’ first over England since 2007, will give the hosts a massive boost after they failed to qualify for the recent 50-over World Cup.

For England, however, it will raise even more questions about the future of their ODI team, coming off the back of a disappointing World Cup exit.

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“This is the start of a long journey for this side,” England skipper Jos Buttler said. “There are some young guys who have got their first taste of ODI cricket and have hopefully learned lot and can go on and we can build something for the future.”

The two sides will now face each other in a five-match Twenty20 series, with the first game to be played at the same venue on Tuesday.

Matthew Mott feels that a switch from ODIs to T20s and a shift to the top of the order can get Buttler firing on all cylinders again for England.

Buttler’s World Cup hangover has seemingly followed him to the Caribbean with two single-figure scores either side of a sparkling unbeaten fifty in a new-look England side’s 2-1 ODI series defeat by the West Indies.

The skipper was out for a golden duck in Saturday’s decider in Barbados, caught at fine-leg after an imprudent hook, bringing the England captain’s average down to a modest 18.09 in his last dozen innings.

With ODIs on the back-burner until September, England can focus on building towards the T20 World Cup in June with a five-match series against the co-hosts, in which Buttler will be in his usual opening role.

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“It’s always good when you lose a series to change the format, you move on pretty quickly,” Australian Mott said ahead of the T20 series opener on Tuesday at the Kensington Oval.

“Jos showed his class the other day and he may well, at the top of the order, come out and take the bowling on as he has done for for a number of years.”

© AAP

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