KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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England narrowly kept their ICC World Cup dream alive in another rollercoaster match as they snuck past the West Indies by 18 runs.
A 72-run ninth wicket partnership between Andre Russell and Ramnaresh Sarwan seemed to have saved the West Indies.
But the final four wickets fell for just three runs as England sealed yet another almost impossibly dramatic result in Chennai.
England will now have to wait and hope one of the West Indies and Bangladesh slip up in their final group matches to be sure of a place in the quarter-finals.
England, as they often have in the competition, made a good start after Andrew Strauss won the toss and elected to bat.
In an effort to freshen the side up Luke Wright, James Tredwell and Chris Tremlett all came into the side.
Strauss himself looked in imperious form, cracking Darren Sammy for a huge six over mid-wicket off the West Indies’ skipper’s second delivery.
Matt Prior played his part in a quick opening stand of 48 from 9.1 overs before his stumps were rearranged by Russell.
Jonathan Trott hit six of his first nine balls for four in a whirlwind start but England lost wickets regularly as they fought to build a platform on a flat, slow pitch.
Strauss was cramped up playing a pull off Roach and caught for 31 and Trott fell victim to impressive debutant leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo three short of his half century.
Bishoo bowled beautifully, combining flight with turn to take 3-34 in his ten over spell with Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright his other victims.
Wright made a crucial 44 to get England up to a reasonably competitive total of 244 but it left them in a vulnerable position.
Russell, who took 4-49 in eight expensive but incisive overs was ably supported by both Bishoo and express paceman Kemar Roach who finished the innings with figures of 9.4-2-34-2.
West Indies implode
Chris Gayle, as expected, went for the England bowling from the first ball, smashing 18 from the third over of the innings off Tim Bresnan.
He and Devon Smith raced to 58-0 by the seventh over when Tredwell, who bowled marvelously for his 4-48, had Gayle trapped LBW after a review.
Sammy, a former MCC Young Cricketer, promoted himself up the order and slogged 41 from just 29 balls, including three massive sixes.
Tredwell though accounted for both Smith and Darren Bravo and when Sammy dragged Ravi Bopara onto his own stumps, the West Indies were reeling on 113-4.
That became 118-5 shortly afterwards and then 150-6 after the dangerman Keiron Pollard was trapped LBW by Graeme Swann’s off-breaks for 24.
But the tinkering of the West Indies’ order - wicket-keeper Devon Thomas was also promoted, to number five - left Sarwan at number six and he began to rebuild with Russell.
After lower-order partnerships had featured crucially in the losses to Bangladesh and Ireland, it looked once again like England would be undone late in the innings.
Russell looked the more assured batsman, taking his chances in a 46 ball 49 which included three sixes.
Sarwan at the other end took the anchor role as they brought the chase to within 22-runs of ending England’s tournament.
But Russell was given out LBW to a Tredwell delivery from round the wicket to turn the match on its head.
With the breakthrough made, Strauss - who captained brilliantly - ingeniously kept a short-leg for Sarwan and the batsman obliged, inside edging Swann straight into the hands of Ian Bell.
With the tail exposed, England swooped. Roach was wonderfully caught at mid-off by Tremlett and before Benn ran himself out returning for a risky second - Trott’s pinpoint throw sealing England’s victory.