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England win series after scare

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 06-03-2017 skysports.com

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Joe Root's 90 not out guided England to a series win over the West Indies despite a scare in the second one-day international in Antigua. 

England, chasing 226 to win, fell apart to spin, again, midway through their run-chase, losing four wickets for just 16 runs to slip from 108-2 to 124-6.

But Root, superbly supported by Chris Woakes, who contributed an unbeaten 68 in a century stand, helped England to a four-wicket win which sees them take an unassailable 2-0 series lead into Thursday's final ODI in Barbados.

Earlier, after winning the toss and batting first, the West Indies were bowled out for 225 inside 47.5 overs, with Steven Finn taking 2-38 to become the third-quickest England bowler to 100 ODI wickets, while Liam Plunkett also impressed with 3-32.

The most impressive piece of work from England in the field though came courtesy of a sensational combination catch between Jason Roy and Sam Billings on the deep-midwicket boundary to dismiss Carlos Brathwaite.

In reply, spinners Ashley Nurse (3-34) and Devendra Bishoo (2-43) did the damage for the West Indies, but once they were bowled out - and with seamer Shannon Gabriel unable to bowl more than three overs due to a side strain - England managed to fight back for a series-clinching victory.

It was Finn who provided the early breakthroughs for England with the ball, getting Evin Lewis (8) caught at cover off a leading edge, and then picking up Kieran Powell (9) caught and bowled off a top-edged hook to reach his hundred mark in ODIs.

Then, Ben Stokes - who surprisingly didn't bowl during the opening ODI of the series - struck in just his second over, claiming the wicket of Shai Hope (16), caught behind, to reduce the hosts to 46-3.

Leading the West Indies recovery, Jason Mohammed (50) notched a second straight fifty in the series, after very nearly falling fourth ball, his outside edge off Plunkett just evading Buttler's diving effort behind the stumps.

Kraigg Brathwaite (42), who shared in a 72-run stand with Mohammed for the fourth wicket, too benefited from his own spot of good fortunate early in his innings - Eoin Morgan dropping the opener at mid-on when he was on three, although it was an admittedly difficult diving chance.

Brathwaite was then put down a second time on 41, an easier chance shelled by Stokes this time, but was out the very next over, stumped when looking to advance down the pitch to Moeen Ali (1-44).

Mohammed shared in another fifty partnership, with Jonathan Carter (39) for the fifth wicket, and brought up his own half century in fine style when smashing Stokes for a huge six over midwicket.

But he was gone a couple of overs later without adding further to his score, lifting a leading edge off Plunkett to mid-on, while Carter similarly perished soon after a big six of his own of Ali, again Plunkett the benefactor.

Adil Rashid (2-53) then took wickets in consecutive overs as England began to run through the tail - the first coming courtesy of a fine catch off his own bowling, Jason Holder (15) slogging one high up in the air, while Roy and Billings' terrific effort on the boundary did for Brathwaite (23).

Plunkett bowled Ashley Nurse (13), before the innings was then ended three balls later as Buttler threw down the stumps to run out Gabriel.

England's reply got off to the worst possible start as Gabriel - so impressive in his opening spell in the first ODI - picked up Billing for a first-ball duck, caught at first slip after being parried by second.

But despite the early setback, England - and Jason Roy, in particular - were not perturbed, with Roy (52) racing through to a 45-ball fifty, though he was perhaps a little fortunate to survive a caught behind review when on only one.

The bowler, Holder, and the catchers behind the stumps were convinced, but without the use of Snicko in the series, the third umpire didn't have enough evidence to overturn the decision.

Roy made the most of the life, smashing seven fours and a six in a typically counter-attacking knock, but holed out at deep midwicket later in the same Nurse over in which he reached his half century.

Root and Morgan seemed to be rebuilding nicely, but then England were rocked by a middle-order collapse, with the skipper the first to fall, lbw to Nurse for seven, confirmed on review.

At the other end, Root reached his 20th ODI fifty, but later in the over Bishoo had Stokes caught behind when attempting to cut the legspinner close to his stumps.

England were in a mess all of a sudden and Buttler - who was very nearly run out an over earlier - swiftly departed for a duck, edging Bishoo behind, with Hope clinging on at the second attempt.

A beautiful bit of bowling by Nurse then accounted for Ali, with the left-handed batsman playing for the turn that had been there the ball before, only to be bowled on his inside edge for three.

But Root, unfazed, and Woakes saw off the spinners and shared in a superb century stand - although the latter was dropped twice on 42 and 58 - to guide England to victory with 10 balls to spare.

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