England beat the West Indies by 18 runs to retain a chance of reaching the Cricket World Cup quarterfinals.
England appeared close to defeat, which would have knocked it out of the tournament, as Andre Russell and Ramnaresh Sarwan put on 72 runs for the 7th wicket. Russell fell for 49 and England took the remaining three wickets for three runs to end the West Indies innings for 225. England had earlier scored 243 runs after 48.4 overs in Chennai, India.
“I gave that one up for dead,” England bowler Graeme Swann told Sky Sports. “All of a sudden, we’re still there.”
England will make the quarterfinals if South Africa, which is leading Group B, defeats Bangladesh in two days, or second place India beats the West Indies a day later. The Caribbean team may qualify even if it is defeated and other results go its way.
“We’ve been inconsistent, no doubt,” England captain Andrew Strauss said in the post-game ceremony. “We have pulled out results when needed, but now we must wait on other results. Hopefully we have done enough to progress.”
England won the toss and batted first, but failed to build on its early momentum. Jonathan Trott looked well set on 47 from 43 balls when he was caught by Chris Gayle off to the leg spin of Davendra Bishoo. England then slipped to 151-6 from 121-3.
Earlier, openers Strauss and Matt Prior scored 31 and 21 respectively before falling to Andre Russell, who finished with 4-49. Luke Wright gave England a late boost with 44 before becoming Bishoo’s third victim.
Gayle and Darren Sammy gave West Indies a flying start. Gayle got 43 off 21, including four fours in Tim Bresnan’s second over, before falling leg-before-wicket to James Tredwell. His replacement Sammy hit 41 in 29 balls as the West Indies appeared to be heading for victory.
The charge was hit when Sammy was bowled by Ravi Bopara, and further wickets left West Indies rocking at 118-5 as the advantage shifted. Kieron Pollard hit 24 before Russell and Sarwan looked to take the game away from England once more. Tredwell, making his first appearance in the tournament, finished 4-48 to lead England’s bowlers, while Swann chipped in with 3-36.
South Africa leads the group with eight points after five matches, while India has seven. England finishes with seven points after its six games, while the West Indies and Bangladesh each have six points heading to their final games. The top four teams in each of the two groups will qualify for the quarterfinals. The event ends April 2.