England levelled the three-match ODI series against the West Indies with an emphatic six-wicket victory in Antigua. Will Jacks’ 73 and Sam Curran’s 3-33 were instrumental in securing the win, setting the stage for a decider in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Shai Hope’s resilient 68 guided the West Indies to a recovery from 23-4 to a total of 152. However, Liam Livingstone (3-39) and Rehan Ahmed (2-40) restricted the hosts to 202. Jacks then spearheaded England’s response with a mature innings, well-supported by Harry Brook (43*) and Jos Buttler (58*), as they comfortably chased down the target with over 17 overs to spare.
The victory marked a turnaround for Curran, who faced scrutiny after a disappointing World Cup performance. Despite initial doubts over his place in the team, both coach Matthew Mott and captain Buttler showed confidence in Curran for the second match. The decision paid off, with Curran delivering a crucial spell of 3-33.
The left-armer’s first wicket capitalised on a batter error, while subsequent breakthroughs demonstrated his regained confidence. The West Indies, at one point, seemed on the verge of collapse, and Curran’s impressive figures of 3-33 in this match highlighted a positive step in his comeback.
Jacks’ innings, showcasing both flamboyant strokes and mature shot selection, played a pivotal role in England’s victory. His partnership with Phil Salt laid a strong foundation for the chase. Buttler’s contribution, marked by two effortless sixes off Yannic Cariah, showcased his finishing prowess.
While the win is a significant positive for England, both Curran and Buttler will be aware of the importance of consistency and backing up their performances, especially in pressure situations. The focus now shifts to the decisive third ODI in Bridgetown, where England aims to clinch the series.