Ali, Buttler cameo seal series victory for England

An unbeaten 77-run sixth wicket partnership off just eight overs between all-rounder Moeen Ali and wicketkeeper batsman Jos Buttler hand England series victory against West Indies in London on Wednesday.

Leading 2-0 going into the fourth match of the series, it was England captain Eoin Morgan who won the toss and opted to bowl first on a great batting surface.

His decision proved a wrong one as visitors post mammoth 356 for the loss of five wickets in their allotted 50 overs, courtesy breathtaking 176 off 130 balls from opener Evin Lewis. The left-handed came into the game with a string of low scores and really showed it destructive capabilities with the bat in hand.

The 25-year-old retired hurt after an innings which consisted of 17 fours and seven sixes. He was well supported by West Indies captain Jason Holder, who produced a brilliant cameo lower down the order and scored 77 off 62 balls with the help of four fours and four sixes. Woakes initially made early inroads to see West Indies reeling at 33 for 3 after 6.1 overs with Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels dismissed for low scores.

For England, pacer Chris Woakes was the pick of the bowlers while the rest of the bowling lineup conceded a lot of runs to see West Indies post a daunting total on the board. Jason Roy replaced Alex Hales at the top of the order after the altercation involving the latter saw him being suspended for the remaining games of the one-day series.

Chasing 357 to seal the series, hosts had an outstanding opening partnership of 124 between Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow.

But once Roy departed in the 18th over, the home side started losing wickets regularly and went from 124 for one in the 18th over to 181 for five in the 28th over. It seemed that West Indies might finally get their consolation victory but England’s batting depth once again came to rescue as Ali and Buttler led the way.

At that stage, with rain clouds coming near to the stadium, Ali and Buttler produced a match-winning partnership and took hosts to 258 in 35.1 overs when the rain interrupted the play for the final time. West Indies bowling was disappointing especially Jason Holder who did not do much with the ball. Young promising pacer Alzarri Joseph was by far the best bowler for the visitors, as he claimed all five wickets.

At that point, England were six runs ahead and after waiting for a long time, umpires decided to call off the play and declared hosts winner of the contest. Moeen Ali once again delivered with the bat as he scored unbeaten 48 runs off 25 balls. He struck six fours and two sixes in his innings. He put unbeaten 77 run partnership with Jos Buttler to see England sneak a close win against West Indies. Buttler also looked in good form as he scored an unbeaten 43 runs off 35 balls to help England seal the five-match one day series.

Whereas for England, Roy finished with the top score of 84 off 66 balls with the help of 11 fours and two maximums.

For his brilliant batting performance even in the losing cause,Evin Lewis was awarded man of the match.

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