Jos Buttler’s half-century gives England’s new era lift off in win over West Indies

Jos Buttler hits a six - Jos Buttler’s half-century gives England’s new era lift off in win over West Indies
Jos Buttler bashed 58 off 45 balls to lead England to victory - Getty Images/Randy Brooks

Jos Buttler launched Oshane Thomas down the ground, and then thrashed the next ball through midwicket for four to level the scores. Finally, here was a little of England’s misplaced swagger.

As Harry Brook swept the match-winning four in the following over at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, the applause from England’s travelling contingent was infused with relief more than exuberance. England’s recent travails means that any victory seems fraught. Yet as Brook and Buttler embraced undemonstratively, England had secured an emphatic win: by six wickets, with 103 balls to spare.

Around an hour earlier, it had not seemed so simple. Buttler walked out with England 116 for four in pursuit of 203, and tetchy on a wicket assisting spin. When Buttler was promptly beaten in consecutive deliveries by Yannic Cariah, the prospect of England hurtling to a series defeat fleetingly seemed all too real. The captain’s consecutive sixes over long on from the leg-spinner, both whipped with the nimble wrists that are his trademark, took the target below 50.

Perhaps these shots will come to seem like the moment that probably England’s greatest white-ball batsman escaped the most prolonged slump of his career – an average of 14.1 since the start of the World Cup. As Buttler’s timing returned, so did the debilitating impact he can have on opponents, who have long learnt how infinitesimal the margins of error are when he is near his best. For all Buttler’s wondrous white-ball innings, this unbeaten 58, from 45 balls – which also took him above 5,000 one-day international runs – might be among his most satisfying.

Jos Buttler saw England to victory with a cathartic unbeaten 58
Jos Buttler saw England to victory with a cathartic unbeaten 58 - Ashley Allen/Getty Images

With Buttler supported by Will Jacks’ imperious start and two hefty blows from Brook, mixed among his steady accumulation, England scored nine sixes to West Indies’ two. So this was not merely a win; it was secured playing the white-ball cricket that England strive for.

Yet, for all Buttler’s satisfaction, Sam Curran might have felt entitled to feel even more pleasure about this six-wicket victory. Three days after nursing England’s most expensive figures in ODI history, Curran’s three for 33 was the latest testament to his combativeness and strength of character.

“Big, big messaging from this group was, ‘You’ve got to learn from those situations’, and I feel like I’m a very strong character in that regard,” Curran said. “I don’t feel like that’s going to affect me at all. Hopefully I just bounce back stronger and learn from those days you have that are tough.

“There was always going to be a lot of noise that I was the most expensive but I’m not really going to look into that massively. I feel like I haven’t played a huge amount over the last couple of months. Like any player it’s a bit of rhythm and confidence and fingers crossed we can keep looking forwards.

“I haven’t played a massive amount of 50-over cricket. I feel like a senior player in this group and have played a bit more than others but it’s a format that is totally different to other formats. I’ll keep trying to learn on the job.”

When Buttler won his ninth consecutive toss, a fresh pitch offered the prospect of new-ball movement. Curran exploited it, bowling an immaculate length and finding an alluring cocktail of swing through the air and seam off the pitch. For a left-arm swing bowler, their angle can make deliveries that do not swing back into right-handers as lethal as those that do: Keacy Carty and Brandon King were both reminded of this truth as they edged to Zak Crawley at slip. Left-hander Shimron Hetmyer then missed a full delivery, with Curran successfully convincing Buttler to review.

Sam Curran implores the umpire to give Shimron Hetmyer out LBW
Sam Curran implores the umpire to give Shimron Hetmyer out LBW. The not-out decision was successfully reviewed by England - Ashley Allen/Getty Images

And so, from nought for 98 on Sunday, Curran now had three wickets within his opening four overs. The upshot was that West Indies were 23 for four, a position from which England’s series-levelling win seemed assured.

Yet it was a testament to West Indies that England’s path to victory was altogether more rickety than supporters might have envisaged.

At number four, Shai Hope continued his regal form by making 68 at a run a ball. The purity of his shot-making – particularly his nonchalant straight drives – reflected the qualities of a batsman with 16 ODI centuries and an average of 51.7. It also highlighted the mystery of why Hope’s Test average is a meagre 25.01 – a discrepancy partly explained by his marked preference for spin bowling over pace, but which remains bewildering. Aged 30, there remains time for Hope to close the gap; his assurance at the crease this series has been such that he is likely to win a Twenty20 recall for next week’s series.

Even after a West Indies collapse against England’s leg-spin twins – Liam Livingstone’s leg-break to clean bowl Hope befitted the quality of the batsman he dismissed – there were some nervous moments during the chase of 203. As Gudakesh Motie deceived Crawley and Ben Duckett to dismiss the pair for three runs apiece – Crawley dragging on a tempting wide delivery, Duckett gloving a sweep, succumbing to his favoured shot for the second game in a row – England had to scrap once more.

England were under pressure when Gudakesh Motie took two quick wickets
England were under pressure when Gudakesh Motie took two quick wickets - Ashley Allen/Getty Images

Yet, however welcome the returns to form from Buttler and Curran, Jacks might have been the most significant performance for England’s ODI future. An upper-cut for six over backward point from Thomas indicated a rare talent. While he raced along at over a run a ball, Jacks never looked rushed, and settled into a gentler tempo after the Powerplay. After adding 77 in 8.2 overs on Sunday, Jacks and Phil Salt put on 50 in 5.5 overs here. England leave Antigua not just with a win but also, perhaps, their long-term opening partnership.

Crisis, what crisis? So James Callaghan said – though not in these exact words – after a trip to Guadeloupe in 1979. Sixty miles away across the Caribbean Sea, England’s cricketers might have been tempted to issue the same response.


West Indies vs England: As it happened ...


11:30 PM GMT

Jos Buttler: I was getting fed up with my form

I’ve been searching for some form so it’s great to spend some time in the middle - there’s no substitute for that.

I was getting fed up with it. It was time to put in a performance and get back to the player I know I am.

[Sam Curran] is a brilliant character. He had a tough day on Sunday but he’s always up for the challenge, he never shies away and he led from the front today. It was just what we needed.

It was a must-win game today and we put in a brilliant performance. We’re looking forward to getting to Barbados for the decider.


11:26 PM GMT

The West Indies captain Shai Hope speaks

We didn’t start as well as we should’ve done with the bat and that put us under pressure. Sherfane Rutherford played a really good innings to get us back in it but then we didn’t finish well. He’s matured a lot as a batter and I’m sure there’s a lot more to come from him.

Any time you bowl here under lights it’s challenging for the spinners - there’s a bit of dew and it’s difficult to grip the ball. They tried their best and I must commend their efforts. We didn’t have many runs on the board so it was tough for them.

We’ve got to be ready for the next game. It’s obvious: we have to win it to win the series.


11:23 PM GMT

The player of the match is Sam Curran

I’m really pleased. It was a tough day on Sunday but you’ve got to move forward and try to bounce back – we did that today so we’re really pleased.

The new ball didn’t swing much, so I just tried to change the angle and luckily a couple found the edge. It’s a really good win for us.


11:11 PM GMT

England win by six wickets

The ODI series is now all square and they go to Barbados on Saturday for the decider.

Jos Buttler’s smile is something to behold after the furrowed brow and gritted teeth of the last two months.

Jos Buttler and Harry Brook share a joke during their match-winning partnership
Jos Buttler and Harry Brook share a joke during their match-winning partnership. - Ashley Allen/Getty Images

11:09 PM GMT

OVER 33: ENG 202/4 (Brook 43, Buttler 58)

Motie resumes with four dot balls as Brook drives calmly straight to the fielders. So he decides that straight is not great and sweeps the next ball for four to win the match.

England win by six wickets with 103 balls to spare.


11:07 PM GMT

OVER 32: ENG 202/4 (Brook 39, Buttler 58)

Buttler has a big wipe and the ball flies off the edge for four between keeper and third. The outside edge earns him two more when he is done by the leg-cutter sticking in the pitch. He takes two and then smashes the next length ball over long off for six to make his first half-century in 15 innings.

A midwicket flick gleans four and levels the scores.


11:05 PM GMT

OVER 31: ENG 186/4 (Brook 39, Buttler 42)

Shepherd gives Brook some width and Brook gives Shepherd the desire to kick the turf in exasperation when he flashes at it and the all sails down fine of third man for four. Just the two singles complete the order as David Ivon Gower and Sir Curtly Elconn Lynwall Ambrose have a nice chinwag about Curtly’s five for 17 at the MCG in 1988 and five for 26 at the same ground a year later, both of which he claims not to remember.


11:00 PM GMT

OVER 30: ENG 180/4 (Brook 34, Buttler 41)

Buttler and Brook are doing it in apocryphal Hirst-Rhodes style this last couple of overs until Brook walks across his stumps to whisk two through midwicket. He drops the next ball at his feet and hares a single, Buttler walks down to pull another fine and, after Brook flicks one to make it five off four balls, Buttler collars a short ball and pulls it. Cariah’s bold dive deserved to save it but his hand grazed the rope when he clawed it back.

Buttler, like the centre-forward after a drought who scores one off his tuchas, has a spring in his step and is coming back to life before our eyes.


10:54 PM GMT

OVER 29: ENG 171/4 (Brook 30, Buttler 36)

Buttler steals a Red Bull single to mid-off with a tip and run that takes him to 5,000 ODI runs, joining Messrs Morgan, Root, Bell and Collingwood on 5k or more. Either side of that Brook took a pair of singles into the offside, one off a dab to third man, the other eased through cover.

England need 32 from 126 balls.


10:51 PM GMT

OVER 28: ENG 167/4 (Brook 28, Buttler 35)

Rutherford is brought back, seemingly too late. Again the ball sticks in the pitch for the right-arm dobber and the two right-handers exchange streaky looking singles as the ball pops high off their bats. Buttler’s inside edge earns him a single down to fine leg when he was trying to stroke the ball through cover and Brook brings up the fifty partnership with a measured dive down to long on. It took 48 balls but has righted a listing ship.

Hope calls up Shepherd as time and his chances are running out.


10:46 PM GMT

OVER 27: ENG 162/4 (Brook 26, Buttler 32)

Another over for Yannic Cariah and his loopy leg-breaks. Brook belted the last ball of his previous over for six and now Buttler trumps him by swiping the second and third balls of his fifth over for monstrous sixes after he is given some appetising width. Each is sent soaring into the stands, the second of them going 94m before falling to Earth.

Cariah tries to adjust by going shorter and, after Buttler flat bats a single down the ground, he beats Brook on the cut, the ball whistling under the bat. He could easily have nicked that but it looks like being England’s day.


10:41 PM GMT

OVER 26: ENG 148/4 (Brook 25, Buttler 19)

The left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie comes on for Joseph, but it might be too late for West Indies. He almost skids one through Buttler, who is happy to continue playing low-risk cricket against the slow bowlers. He has 19 from 25 balls, Brook 25 from 28.


10:39 PM GMT

OVER 25: ENG 146/4 (Brook 24, Buttler 18)

West Indies may have erred in not bowling their spinners in tandem when they had England on the ropes. Cariah continues but Brook and Buttler are starting to milk him with greater ease; with the required rate barely 2.5 an over, that’s all they need to do.

But that’s not all Brook want to do. He asserts his dominance by charging Cariah’s last ball to crash a flat six down the ground. The boy might actually be a genius.


10:34 PM GMT

OVER 24: ENG 135/4 (Brook 16, Buttler 15)

A short ball from Joseph is lashed to the midwicket boundary by Buttler, who moves into double figures. Bar the occasional surprise delivery, that really isn’t the length to bowl on this pitch. I’m sure Joseph is the right pace for this pitch either - England milk five more runs to make it nine from the over. They’ve calmed things down, for now.


10:30 PM GMT

OVER 23: ENG 126/4 (Brook 13, Buttler 9)

Five runs from Cariah’s over. He has bowled three and Motie six; they feel like the dangermen for England.

Harry Brook started watchfully in difficult circumstances
Harry Brook started watchfully in difficult circumstances. - Ashley Allen/Getty Images

10:26 PM GMT

OVER 22: ENG 121/4 (Brook 12, Buttler 5)

This is an interesting gamble from Shai Hope, the West Indies captain. Alzarri Joseph, whose first three overs went for 38, replaces Rutherford. He actually bowled pretty well with the new ball, despite those figures, and in theory his extra pace will make him even more dangerous bowling wicket to wicket.

He starts well, nailing an awkward length and ensuring England have to play at everything. Just one from the over. This is a fascinating struggle, reminiscent of the World Cup semi-final between Australia and South Africa last month.


10:21 PM GMT

OVER 21: ENG 120/4 (Brook 12, Buttler 4)

The legspinner Cariah beats Buttler with successive deliveries, both jaffas. Buttler drives crisply for three and then Brook misses a very wide delivery that should probably have been called, well, wide. England need 83 from 29 overs.


10:17 PM GMT

OVER 20: ENG 117/4 (Brook 11, Buttler 1)

Jacks played some ferocious strokes, hitting four sixes and five fours in his 72-ball 73. If England win this game, he should be the player of the match.

Will Jacks lashes out during his excellent 73
Will Jacks lashes out during his excellent 73. - Ashley Allen/Getty Images

10:16 PM GMT

Wicket!

Jacks LBW b Rutherford 73 More wicket-to-wicket hustle from Rutherford. Usually in ODIs a bowler is happy not to hear bat on ball - but in this situation, which is more like a Test match on a fifth-day pitch, it’s essential to make the batsmen play.

That’s why: if they miss, Rutherford will hit! Jacks plays across a delivery that keeps slightly low and thumps into the pad. He’s plumb LBW and doesn’t even stop to discuss a review. England are in a bit of bother here. FOW: 116/4

Will Jacks is trapped LBW by Sherfane Rutherford
Will Jacks is trapped LBW by Sherfane Rutherford. - Randy Brooks/AFP

10:11 PM GMT

OVER 19: ENG 114/3 (Jacks 73, Brook 11)

The legspinner Yannic Cariah comes into the attack and makes an instant impression. His first ball beats Jacks and almost bowls him; his second is a vile long hop that Jacks pulls for six; his third skids on and very nearly traps Jacks LBW; and his fifth goes past the edge again.

England will be very glad they’re not chasing 250.


10:07 PM GMT

OVER 18: ENG 108/3 (Jacks 67, Brook 11)

This is a surprise: the part-timer Sherfane Rutherford is coming on, maybe to bowl a few cutters on what should be a responsive pitch. Whatever he does, the key is to bowl straight because the bounce is increasingly uneven.

After a promising start, including another grubber to Jacks, Rutherford drifts outside leg stump and is put away for four. That was a freebie at a time when Jacks, increasingly suspicious of the pitch, had become almost strokeless.


10:00 PM GMT

OVER 17: ENG 101/3 (Jacks 61, Brook 10)

Brook spoke before this game about how much he had to learn about batting in 50-over cricket, and this is another valuable lesson. After a watchful start, 4 from 10 balls, he reaches outside off stump to slog-sweep Motie for six. A nice way to bring up the England hundred, and to take us to drinks.


09:58 PM GMT

OVER 16: ENG 92/3 (Jacks 59, Brook 3)

A good delivery from Thomas kicks to hit Brook in the stomach. The scoreboard has ground to a halt since the Powerplay but that’s okay for England. At the moment it’s far more important they don’t lose a fourth wicket.


09:54 PM GMT

OVER 15: ENG 89/3 (Jacks 58, Brook 1)

Motie increases the pressure with another tight over. This is such an important passage of play - if West Indies get another wicket now they will arguably become favourites.


09:51 PM GMT

OVER 14: ENG 87/3 (Jacks 57, Brook 0)

It is with great surprise that I must inform you: England are in a game here. Jacks looks suspiciously at the pitch after repelling another delivery from Thomas that keeps low, then digs out a yorker. Since the powerplay England have scored 13/2 in four overs.


09:47 PM GMT

OVER 13: ENG 85/3 (Jacks 55, Brook 0)

Harry Brook edges his first ball this far short of King at slip. It was another lovely delivery that turned off the straight. This runchase is becoming far too interesting for England’s taste.


09:45 PM GMT

Wicket!

Duckett c Hope b Motie 3 Jacks aborts his planned attacking stroke at a ball from Motie that turns and bounces grotesquely outside off stump.

The one good thing for England is that the ball is turning slowly. But things are getting hairy because Duckett has just fallen. He is usually such a good player of spin, but he mistimed a sweep and gloved the ball gently up in the air. Shai Hope did the rest. FOW 85/3

Shai Hope catches Ben Duckett for 3
Shai Hope catches Ben Duckett for 3. - Randy Brooks/AFP

09:42 PM GMT

OVER 12: ENG 78/2 (Jacks 50, Duckett 1)

Jacks inside-edges a grubber from Thomas for a single to bring up a virile half-century from 43 balls. He gets lucky next ball when, after being sent back by Duckett, he inadvertently blocks a throw towards the non-striker’s end. That could easily have been a run-out.


09:37 PM GMT

OVER 11: ENG 75/2 (Jacks 48, Duckett 0)

This pitch definitely seems to be getting more two-paced. England should be fine, given the small target, but another quick wicket would induce a few heebie-jeebies.


09:35 PM GMT

Wicket!

Crawley b Motie 3 Zak Crawley won’t be adjusting to the surface after all. He tried to sweep Motie and dragged the ball back onto the stumps to end a short nine-ball stay. England are two down. FOW: 75/2

Zak Crawley reacts after being bowled for 3
Zak Crawley reacts after being bowled for 3. - Randy Brooks/AFP

09:31 PM GMT

OVER 10: ENG 74/1 (Jacks 47, Crawley 3)

The speedy Oshane Thomas comes on for Shepherd, who bowled an accurate spell of 4-0-18-1. Jacks misses a lusty slap outside off stump - but he connects next ball and slices over backward point for his third six. It’s still hard to fathom that England gave out 29 central contracts and Jacks wasn’t on the list. No matter: he surely will be next year, and in the meantime he’ll get a fair few match fees to top up the old franchise pension.

Will Jacks' big hitting got England off to a flyer
Will Jacks' big hitting got England off to a flyer. - Randy Brooks/AFP

09:27 PM GMT

OVER 9: ENG 67/1 (Jacks 40, Crawley 3)

Jacks pushes around a delivery from Modie that hits him on the pad. West Indies go up for LBW but it probably didn’t straighten enough. Might have been bouncing over the top as well.

There’s a soupcon of turn for Modie, but the match situation means Crawley can take a bit of time to adjust to the surface. Three from the over.


09:24 PM GMT

OVER 8: ENG 64/1 (Jacks 38, Crawley 2)

Yeah, don’t bowl short to Will Jacks on this pitch. Shepherd tries it and is hooked round the corner for six more. England are cruising to victory.


09:20 PM GMT

OVER 7: ENG 57/1 (Jacks 31, Crawley 2)

The left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie replaces Alzarri Joseph, who somehow ended a hostile first spell with figures of 3-0-38-0. Motie’s fourth ball is a wide long hop that Jacks cuts for four with relish. After a nervous start, he is playing nicely and has hit 22 from his last 10 balls.


09:17 PM GMT

OVER 6: ENG 51/1 (Jacks 26, Crawley 1)

Zak Crawley is the new batsman. England need 152 from 44 overs.

Romario Shepherd is congratulated after dismissing Phil Salt
Romario Shepherd is congratulated after dismissing Phil Salt. - Randy Brooks/AFP

09:16 PM GMT

Wicket!

Salt b Shepherd 21 A typical Phil Salt cameo (21 from 15 balls) comes to an end when he whips across a straight one from Romario Shepherd that pegs back the off stump. West Indies both needed and deserve that. FOW: 50/1


09:12 PM GMT

OVER 5: ENG 44/0 (Salt 16, Jacks 25)

My word. A scorching lifter from Joseph brushes Jacks’ glove and loops over Hope for four.

With that, Jacks decides he’s had enough of being a punchbag. He charges the next ball and whirls it over long leg for six, then plays a stylish back-foot square drive for four. England are off to another flyer, even if they have had to ride their luck.


09:06 PM GMT

OVER 4: ENG 27/0 (Salt 15, Jacks 9)

Jacks tries to hook Shepherd and is beaten. Then, after clipping two through midwicket, he gets a leading edge that lands safely on the off side.

England’s openers have mistimed a few strokes, so maybe the pitch is more awkward than we thought. I’ll tell you in two hours’ time.


09:03 PM GMT

OVER 3: ENG 25/0 (Salt 15, Jacks 7)

Now it’s Jacks who has a moment of fortune, edging Joseph wide of slip at catchable height for four. West Indies know they need early wickets; with a bit more luck they could have picked up both openers in the first three overs.

Salt lands a solid blow off the final ball, cutting Joseph vigorously over backward point for four. His strike rate of 135 is the highest of anybody who has made at least 500 ODI runs. It’s a small sample size, I know, but it speaks to his uniquely aggressive approach. Maybe that’s why Liam Livingstone said he’d tell us in two hours’ time whether England were chasing a gettable target.


08:58 PM GMT

OVER 2: ENG 15/0 (Salt 11, Jacks 2)

Romario Shepherd starts well, with a hint of outswing to the right-handers. A couple of very optimistic LBW appeals against Salt are turned down on height.


08:54 PM GMT

OVER 1: ENG 12/0 (Salt 10, Jacks 1)

Whatever the target, you know Phil Salt will go off like a pacemaker. He slaps Joseph’s first ball for a couple - it was almost a chance to backward point - and cuffs his third between midwicket and mid-on for four. An edge next ball flashes over slip for four more.


08:50 PM GMT

The players are back on the field

And Alzarri Joseph will bowl the first ball to Phil Salt.


08:29 PM GMT

Liam Livingstone's verdict

It was quite a nice wicket to bowl on. We got a bit of help and it was nice to take a few wickets and keep them to a pretty decent total. Shai Hope is their big wicket – he played wonderfully well the other day and it was nice to get him out.

[Rehan Ahmed] is an unbelievable talent and [Will Jacks] is a very capable bowler. It’s great that we’ve got options and it’s nice for Jos.

I’m happy for Sam [Curran]. Last time he was bowling the tough overs, with the wind, and it can happen [that you go for plenty]. He bowled really nicely in the Powerplay and set us up.

[203, that’s gettable isn’t it?] I’ll tell you in about two hours’ time.

Two hours’ time? They do realise a 50-over innings takes three and a half hours, right.


08:24 PM GMT

England need 203 to win

Mott in! That was a fine effort from England, who should - should - win comfortably on a perfectly good pitch. Sam Curran’s three early wickets reduced West Indies to 23/4; then, after a level-headed partnership between Shai Hope (68) and Sherfane Rutherford (63) brought West Indies back in the game, Liam Livingstone sparked a collapse of six for 50 by rifling through the lower middle-order.

Rehan Ahmed and Gus Atkinson also took two wickets apiece, with Rehan again catching the eye. All in all, a job well done.


08:21 PM GMT

Wicket!

Joseph ct and b Atkinson 14 Joseph launches Atkinson a million miles in the air. Buttler charges back towards the boundary and just fails to take a very difficult diving chance.

No matter: he does it again later in the over and this time Atkinson steads himself to take the catch. West Indies have been bowled out with more than 10 overs remaining. FOW: 202 all out


08:18 PM GMT

OVER 39: WI 200/9 (Joseph 12, Thomas 0)

The No11 Oshane Thomas somehow survives after playing and missing at successive googlies. He thumps the last ball to deep square, but Joseph turns down the single as he wants the strike.

That means Rehan finishes with a wicket maiden and figures of 10-0-40-2, the same as on Sunday. That’s just about the only repetitive thing about his bowling. He has so many variations and such understanding of when to use them that it’s hard to believe he’s still a teenager.


08:15 PM GMT

Wicket!

Motie c Curran b Ahmed 6 Rehan Ahmed, who took 2/40 on Sunday, has the same figures today after Motie slices a googly high in the air to backward point. Rehan was bowling a language he didn’t understand. FOW: 200/9


08:13 PM GMT

OVER 38: WI 200/8 (Joseph 12, Motie 6)

England’s fastest bowler Gus Atkinson is brought back with a view to cleaning up the tail. Instead he is pulled over midwicket for four by Joseph, a shot that brings up the West Indies 200.

Joseph is pretty talented for a No9, as he demonstrates with a sweet straight drive later in the over that is well stopped by Atkinson.


08:09 PM GMT

OVER 37: WI 195/8 (Joseph 8, Motie 6)

The new batsman Gudakesh Motie survives a couple of wild strokes off Rehan but then calmly sweeps past short fine leg for four.


08:06 PM GMT

Wicket!

Shepherd c Crawley b Rehan 19 After all that good work in the previous over, Shepherd holes out to long on to give Rehan Ahmed his first wicket. England will have to work extremely hard to lose from here. FOW: 189/8

Rehan Ahmed and Ben Duckett celebrate the wicket of Romario Shepherd
Rehan Ahmed and Ben Duckett celebrate the wicket of Romario Shepherd. - Randy Brooks/AFP

08:05 PM GMT

OVER 36: WI 189/7 (Shepherd 19, Joseph 7)

Superb batting from Shepherd, who hits Livingstone for four boundaries in five balls - and it would have been five in a row but for a fine stop from Rehan Ahmed. The first two were paddled fine, the third biffed through the covers and the fourth swept to the left of Rehan at short fine leg.


08:01 PM GMT

OVER 35: WI 172/7 (Shepherd 3, Joseph 7)

Joseph smears Rehan to long on, where Crawley takes the ball two-handed as he is about to fall over the rope. He can’t pull off a relay catch but does get rid of the ball in time, which means it’s two runs rather than six.


07:57 PM GMT

OVER 34: WI 165/7 (Shepherd 2, Joseph 1)

Livingstone almost gets his fourth wicket, beating Romario Shepherd with a classic legbreak. He and Sam Curran, heavily criticised in recent weeks, have combined figures of 6/56 from 12 overs.

Liam Livingstone roars with delight after bowling Shai Hope
Liam Livingstone roars with delight after bowling Shai Hope. - Ashley Allen/Getty Images

07:55 PM GMT

Wicket!

Hope b Livingstone 68 Liam Livingstone has taken the big wicket! Shai Hope goes back to cut a legbreak that skids on to hit the top of the stumps. Hope swishes his bat in frustration: he goes for a run-a-ball 68, and West Indies’ hopes of victory are probably going with him. FOW: 163/7


07:52 PM GMT

WATCH: England take four early wickets


07:49 PM GMT

OVER 33: WI 163/6 (Hope 68, Shepherd 1)

Jos Buttler goes in for the kill, bringing Rehan Ahmed back into the attack. He beats Shepherd, then induces a rare false stroke from Hope that dribbles into the leg side for a single. Very good again from Rehan, who has impressive figures of 7-0-26-0. That’s drinks.


07:45 PM GMT

OVER 32: WI 160/6 (Hope 66, Shepherd 0)

The new batsman is Romario Shepherd, whose lusty hitting helped West Indies to victory on Sunday.


07:45 PM GMT

Wicket!

Cariah b Livingstone 5 Another wicket for England’s mystery spinner. Cariah pushes outside the line of a flighted delivery that goes straight on to hit the outside of off stump. It was an odd-looking shot, not that Livingstone will care. He has quietly developed into a white-ball bowler. FOW: 160/6

England celebrate the wicket of Yannic Cariah
England celebrate the wicket of Yannic Cariah. - Ashley Allen/Getty Images

07:41 PM GMT

OVER 31: WI 157/5 (Hope 64, Cariah 4)

Cariah is turned round by a good delivery from Curran that kicks to hit him high on the pad. A promising over - one from the first five balls - ends badly with a slower bouncer that Cariah helps round the corner for four.


07:38 PM GMT

OVER 30: WI 152/5 (Hope 63, Cariah 0)

Yannic Cariah is the new batter, a kind of deathwatchman for the dangerous Romario Shepherd.


07:35 PM GMT

Wicket!

Rutherford c Salt b Livingstone 63 That’s a really important wicket for England. Rutherford slaps Livingstone inside out towards short extra cover, where Salt swoops to his left to take a smart catch. Whatever his struggles with the bat, Livingstone continues to impress with the ball. FOW: 152/5


07:32 PM GMT

OVER 29: WI 148/4 (Hope 62, Rutherford 60)

Sam Curran replaces Rehan Ahmed, who bowled a mischievous spell of 6-0-23-0. He starts with a no-ball but makes amends by turning the free hit into a free miss with a yorker outside leg stump that goes between Rutherford’s bat and pad.

Hope times another beautiful straight drive for four, his fifth of the day I think, and a handful of singles make it nine from the over. West Indies could yet make 300 here.


07:26 PM GMT

OVER 28: WI 139/4 (Hope 56, Rutherford 58)

Rutherford crashes a full ball from Livingstone through extra cover for four more. He’s a dangerous player who is starting to open his shoulders, and moments later he blazes Livingstone down the ground for another boundary.

England could do with a wicket here.


07:24 PM GMT

OVER 27: WI 130/4 (Hope 55, Rutherford 50)

Rutherford launches into a teasing legbreak from Rehan and drags the ball not far wide of leg stump; then he fails to connect properly with a roundarm googly from wide on the crease.

After five dot balls, Rehan drops short and is pulled easily for six by Rutherford. That brings up a mature half-century, his first in ODIs, from 71 balls.

Sherfane Rutherford made an impressive maiden ODI half-century
Sherfane Rutherford made an impressive maiden ODI half-century. - Ashley Allen/Getty Images

07:20 PM GMT

OVER 26: WI 124/4 (Hope 54, Rutherford 44)

Liam Livingstone comes on for Brydon Carse and is milked for five runs. West Indies are trying to take the innings as deep as possible, knowing the damage they could do with a decent platform. That’s precisely what they are building: a misfield brings up the hundred partnership from 116 balls.


07:17 PM GMT

OVER 25: WI 119/4 (Hope 54, Rutherford 40)

Rehan’s fifth over is milked for four singles. England will take that all day/night on a pitch where 300 feels like the bare minimum.


07:13 PM GMT

OVER 24: WI 115/4 (Hope 52, Rutherford 38)

Hope forces Carse for two to bring up the usual half-century, this time from 44 balls. It’s been a superb innings, rich in style and authority. England should get rid of him at their earliest convenience.

Meanwhile, Carse’s day has been a tale of two spells: 3-0-24-0 and now 3-0-10-0.

Shai Hope salutes the crowd after making another high-class fifty
Shai Hope salutes the crowd after making another high-class fifty. - Randy Brooks/AFP

07:09 PM GMT

OVER 23: WI 110/4 (Hope 48, Rutherford 37)

Rutherford glides/edges wide of Buttler for four, the first boundary off Rehan Ahmed today. It’s another fine over from Rehan, though, ending with a quicker googly that beats Rutherford’s attempted violence over midwicket.


07:05 PM GMT

OVER 22: WI 105/4 (Hope 47, Rutherford 33)

Rutherford slaps Carse towards backward point, where Salt saves three runs (probably) with a diving stop. West Indies haven’t scored a boundary since the 18th over so this is a decent test of their patience. You’d expect Hope to be fine; Rutherford is playing only his second ODI so his brain will be more restless. He tries to take a dodgy single off Carse - whose second spell has been good - and is wisely sent back.


07:00 PM GMT

OVER 21: WI 102/4 (Hope 46, Rutherford 32)

Rutherford feels for a legbreak from Rehan and is beaten. Buttler goes up for caught behind but nobody else is interested.

Later in the over Rutherford scuffs a drive wide of leg stump. It feels like he is starting to lose patience against Rehan, having scored only four off 12 deliveries so far.


06:57 PM GMT

OVER 20: WI 100/4 (Hope 45, Rutherford 31)

Carse replaces Jacks, whose four overs went for 27. A middle-overs wickettaker feels more important than ever, given the oldfangled trend for keeping wickets in hand so that you can explode at the death. Carse hasn’t looked particularly likely so far, though the pitch is extremely flat. A single brings up the West Indies hundred, which constitutes a pretty good recover from 23/4 after seven overs.


06:53 PM GMT

OVER 19: WI 98/4 (Hope 44, Rutherford 30)

Rehan is mixing it up, particularly to the left-handed Rutherford. One leg-break turns sharply and almost surprises Rutherford, and there are four singles from the over.


06:50 PM GMT

OVER 18: WI 94/4 (Hope 42, Rutherford 28)

A loose ball from Jacks is flicked past short fine leg for four by Hope, who is going at more than a run a ball without breaking sweat. He has 42 from 35, Rutherford 28 from 35. It’s been an impressive demonstration of how to regroup at a good rate without taking significant risks.

Sherfane Rutherford and Shai Hope led West Indies' recovery after the loss of four early wickets
Sherfane Rutherford and Shai Hope led West Indies' recovery after the loss of four early wickets. - Ashley Allen/Getty Images

06:47 PM GMT

OVER 17: WI 85/4 (Hope 35, Rutherford 26)

Right, sit up straight: Rehan Ahmed is coming on to bowl. He bowled beautifully on Sunday, taking 2/40, and his first over today is played with noticeable respect. Just two runs from it.


06:41 PM GMT

OVER 16: WI 83/4 (Hope 34, Rutherford 25)

On a flat pitch, those new-ball wickets look more valuable with every over. Rutherford pulls Jacks over short midwicket for four to bring up a calm fifty partnership, then makes it back-to-back boundaries by dragging a full toss round the corner. Really good batting.

West Indies have scored 34 from the last four overs, and it’s time for drinks.


06:38 PM GMT

OVER 15: WI 72/4 (Hope 33, Rutherford 15)

Brydon Carse is fairly new to international cricket, so it’s easy to forget he’s already 28. He still has time on his side, though - Liam Plunkett, the man England would love him to belatedly replace, only became a regular in his thirties.

A length ball from Carse is clouted over mid-on for six by Hope, who looks in serious nick. That shot unsettles Carse, who bowls a no-ball and then a wide, though he does well to restrict Hope to a single from the free hit.

Shai Hope launches Brydon Carse for six
Shai Hope launches Brydon Carse for six. - Randy Brooks/AFP

06:32 PM GMT

OVER 14: WI 60/4 (Hope 25, Rutherford 13)

Hope cuffs one back towards Jacks, who dives to his right to make a good stop and probably save four runs.

That aside it’s a quiet over of dot balls and low-risk accumulation. West Indies have recovered well from 23/4, aided by a slightly defensive approach from England.


06:28 PM GMT

OVER 13: WI 56/4 (Hope 22, Rutherford 13)

Hope drags a short ball from Carse to backward square leg, where Jacks scampers round the boundary to keep him to a single.

Later in the over Hope plays another stylish drive through mid-on for four. Livingstone made the ground up but then dived over the ball; he’s angry with himself.


06:24 PM GMT

OVER 12: WI 49/4 (Hope 16, Rutherford 11)

Will Jacks, who was surprisingly ignored on Sunday, comes on to bowl some offspin. A tidy first over ends with Hope getting a leading edge into the covers for a couple of runs.


06:21 PM GMT

OVER 11: WI 45/4 (Hope 13, Rutherford 10)

Brydon Carse replaces Sam Curran, who will feel infinitely better about life and 50-over cricket. His first over is a mixed bag: two half-volleys, one of which is clipped for four by Rutherford, and a cracking yorker that Rutherford digs out. Mind you, Ian Bishop and Curtly Ambrose, commentating on TNT Sports, are discussing whether the yorker was deliberate or he just missed his length.


06:16 PM GMT

OVER 10: WI 41/4 (Hope 13, Rutherford 6)

Rutherford edges Atkinson fractionally short of Crawley at first slip, and the ball bounces through for four runs. Atkinson has bowled forensically to the left-handers; figures of 5-0-21-1 are a little unflattering.


06:13 PM GMT

OVER 9: WI 36/4 (Hope 13, Rutherford 1)

Curran teases the new batsman Sherfane Rutherford with a couple of wide slower balls. Rutherford politely declines the invitation. Eventually he cuts the last ball for a single to get off the mark. Curran has restorative figures of 5-0-19-3, including a spell of 3/2 in 14 balls.


06:09 PM GMT

OVER 8: WI 35/4 (Hope 13, Rutherford 0)

Shai Hope shows his class with two beautiful push-drives for four off Atkinson, both down the ground. He got West Indies out of a hole on Sunday; they’re in an even bigger one now.

A thumping cover drive from Hope is superbly stopped by Jacks, diving to his right. That’s the third boundary-saving stop already in this innings.

And that’s the third boundary of the over, another classy push-drive from Hope. Curran at mid-on got a hand on this onet but could only help it on its way.


06:06 PM GMT

OVER 7: WI 23/4 (Hope 1, Rutherford 0)

It’s probably time to add “Never write Sam Curran off” to the huge book of cricket cliches. He is such an admirable cricketer: resourceful, resilient, intelligent and with an unashamed addiction to competitive conflict.


06:01 PM GMT

Wicket!

Hetmyer LBW c Curran 0

Curran may have a third wicket here - Jos Buttler has reviewed an LBW appeal against Shimron Hetmyer. It looks close, probably umpire’s call and therefore not out.

Oh no it’s not: Hetmyer is out! He walked across, missed a flick to leg and was hit on the pad in front of leg stump. I thought the ball would go with the angle but there was enough shape for it to hit leg stump on the full. Sam Curran has taken three wickets in eight balls! FOW: 23/4

Sam Curran is about to get some good news: Shimron Hetmyer is out
Sam Curran is about to get some good news: Shimron Hetmyer is out. - Randy Brooks/AFP

05:59 PM GMT

Wicket!

King c Crawley b Curran 17 Sam Curran roars with his delight after taking his second wicket. It was a really good delivery, which zipped across King from just back of a length. He edged it towards slip and Crawley, the safest pair of hands England have had for a long time, did the rest. FOW: 23/3. 

Sam Curran reacts after dismissing Brandon King
Sam Curran reacts after dismissing Brandon King. - Randy Brooks/AFP

05:57 PM GMT

OVER 6: WI 22/2 (King 17, Hope 0)

Atkinson has a really nice rhythm. Another challenging over ends with an inducker that almost gets through King. He has the welcome figures of 3-0-4-1.


05:53 PM GMT

OVER 5: WI 20/2 (King 16, Hope 0)

That was Curran’s first ODI wicket in 16.4 overs, from which he conceded a startling 161 runs.


05:51 PM GMT

Wicket!

Carty c Crawley b Curran 0

A much-needed wicket for Sam Curran. Carty threw his hands outside off and edged to slip, where the immaculate Zak Crawley took a very sharp two-handed catch above his head. Carty goes for a second-ball duck. FOW: 20/2


05:48 PM GMT

OVER 4: WI 15/1 (King 11, Carty 0)

Keacy Carty is the new batsman.


05:46 PM GMT

Wicket!

Athanaze c Buttler b Atkinson 3

Gus Atkinson strikes with a vicious nipbacker. Athanaze shaped to cut, but the ball roared back at him and ended up in the hands of Buttler. He went up for caught behind and then doubled down by reviewing.

It was a good decision: there was a clear spike - not sure whether it was bottom edge or glove, though I don’t suppose it matters - and Athanaze goes for a 14-ball 4. Larry David would have enjoyed that. FOW: 15/1

Gus Atkinson celebrates the wicket of Alick Athanaze
Gus Atkinson celebrates the wicket of Alick Athanaze. - Randy Brooks/AFP

05:41 PM GMT

OVER 3: WI 13/0 (Athanaze 3, King 10)

Athanaze’s back cut is superbly stopped by the diving Salt, who will thus start his moral innings on 4 not out.

Curran continues to pitch it up - “that is the swinger’s length, if you’ll pardon the expression,” says David Gower - and King thumps a no-nonsense drive to the left of mid-off for four more. Adam Ant would have approved.


05:37 PM GMT

OVER 2: WI 6/0 (Athanaze 2, King 4)

Gus Atkinson’s first ball is a snorter that lifts and seams to beat the left-handed Alick Athanaze. A couple of thumping drives go straight to fielders and there’s just one run from the over.


05:34 PM GMT

OVER 1: WI 5/0 (Athanaze 1, King 4)

Curran pitches the ball up in pursuit of swing. He gets some encouraging movement, but Brandon King’s first ball goes gunbarrel straight and is lashed to the cover boundary.


05:30 PM GMT

Time for business

Sam Curran, straight back on the horse, will bowl the first over of the innings. If he is to crack ODI cricket, he needs to become a David Willey-sized new-ball threat.

Jos Buttler leads England onto the field
Jos Buttler leads England onto the field. - Randy Brooks/AFP

05:18 PM GMT

Tim Wigmore at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium

Good afternoon from Antigua. England are unchanged, which is in keeping with Jos Buttler’s mood after the defeat in the opening game. It’s a fresh pitch; the last one took us all by surprise, when we had envisaged a scrappy 250-par type game. England choose to chase, which they have struggled with lately.


05:16 PM GMT

The precocious Rehan Ahmed speaks to TNT Sports

It came out nicely [on Sunday]. I could bowl not as well and get more wickets; I was quite happy with the way I bowled. I’ve been working on my legspinner quite a bit – I only bowled five or six googlies in the last game which is unlike me. There’s a little bit of sidespin now so hopefully I can keep going with that.

I’m very proud [of his 15-year-old brother Farhan, who has just been picked in England’s Under-19s World Cup squad], we all are. He doesn’t hit sixes yet though, he’s a bit boring.


05:07 PM GMT

Team news: no changes on either side

West Indies Athanaze, King, Carty, Hope (c/wk), Hetmyer, Rutherford, Shepherd, Joseph, Cariah, Motie, Thomas.

England Salt, Jacks, Crawley, Duckett, Brook, Buttler (c/wk), Livingstone, Curran, Carse, Ahmed, Atkinson.


05:04 PM GMT

England win the toss and bowl

“It looks a good pitch,” says Jos Buttler, “and we fancy a chase today.”

Shai Hope says he would have bowled as well: “The pitch isn’t going to change much.”


04:29 PM GMT

Preview: A winter's stale

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live, over-by-over coverage of the second ODI between West Indies and England in Antigua. Technically this is a must-win game for England, who are 1-0 down with two to play in the series. But like Mark Renton’s final hits, there are must-win games and must-win games. Sri Lanka in Bengaluru in October was a true MWG, and we know what happened then.

This series is more about the future than the present. England would love to win, especially as it would quieten the noise around Matthew Mott, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. Even in Sunday’s frustrating defeat there were actual positives to take in the performances of Phil Salt, Harry Brook and especially Rehan Ahmed.

Brook, who made 71 from 72 balls, is still learning how to play 50-over cricket. “I’ve struggled a little bit in this format at the start of my ODI career,” said Brook yesterday. “I haven’t quite found the tempo of how I wanted to play. I feel like I’ve got some things I need to work on.”

England’s focus on this tour is the next generation – and yet, paradoxically, the top item on their wishlist today is probably a return to form for a 33-year-old. The captain Jos Buttler is having his leanest spell in over a decade: 13 ODI innings without a half-century, and an average of 14 since the start of the World Cup.

There’s surely nothing to worry about in the medium-term, but a return to form will allow the young batsmen to express themselves even more, safe in the knowledge England’s greatest white-ball batter is still to come. It’s been a desperate winter for Buttler, the toughest of his career. When he does find a bit of rhythm, some innocent bowlers are going to suffer.

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