England draw level with the Windies after dominant six wicket win.

England celebrate the fall of another Windies wicket
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By Samuel Peters

England have levelled the three-match ODI series one-all after a dominant six-wicket win against the West Indies in the second ODI match at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

The home side got off to quite a horrid start as Sam Curran bounced back amazingly after a forgettable performance in the first match of the series on Sunday.

The opening batters were also pegged down by some consistent bowling from Gus Atkinson whose first three overs of his opening spell cost a meagre four runs.

From the score of 15 without loss, the Windies capitulated to 23 for four in seven overs with Curran being the main wicket snapping up three.

It meant that Skipper Shai Hope had to perform another repair job to get his team to a respectable total, taking little time to get going as he laid into Atkinson fourth over smashing him for three fours. Shurfane Rutherford who smashed a six off his first ball in ODI cricket on Sunday, was a bit more watchful as he played an uncharacteristic but mature innings to rebuild the innings with Hope.

A partnership of 129 resulted from the heroics of the pair before Liam Livingstone intervened, removing both batters.

Rutherford was the first to go caught for 63 in the 30th over while Hope, who made 68, was flummoxed by a sharp leg break that went straight through the gates in the 34th.

With both batters in the hut, the lower order failed to capitalise on the remaining 16 overs after the foundation was set.

Romario Shepherd continued from where he left off on Sunday blasting four fours but was dismissed by the teenaged leg spinner Rehan Ahmed who has impressed with his control. The hosts were eventually bowled out for 202 with Curran picking up three for 33, Livingstone three for 39 whereas Atkinson and Ahmed had two each.

England, having been set a modest 203 to win, got off to another trailblazing start, taking apart the Windies spearhead of the attack, Alzarri Joseph, yet again.

Though he bowled with pace and bounce, the English batters were equal to the task of fighting fire with fire.

His opening spell gave the visitors the platform needed to comfortably chase the target.

Will Jacks and Phil Salt brought up another 50 partnership, this time in less than six overs but thanks to Romario Shepherd they were able to get a breakthrough, as he sent Salt back bowled for 21.

The introduction of Gudakesh Motie saw the rate of runs stymied and with Zak Crawley playing on, there seemed to be some hope on the horizon for the home side.

He then removed Ben Duckett for three runs two overs later to leave the game 85 for 3.

Harry Brook, who top-scored in the first game, came to the crease and batted unaffected by all the events that transpired around him and played with relative ease throughout his stay at the crease.

But as the fourth wicket stand started to look threatening, Rutherford removed the in-form Jacks LBW for 73.

Under pressure, Jos Buttler swaggered his way to the middle with the score at 116 for four and started circumspectly but an authoritative pull shot off Joseph boosted confidence.

He especially took a liking to Yannic Cariah — smashing him for two massive sixes, bringing up an unbeaten half century of 58 after some 13 matches.

In the end, the visitors reached the target 206 with over 17 overs to spare as Harry Brook was left not out on 43, giving them a six-wicket win.

England 206 for 6 (Jacks 73, Motie 2-30) beat West Indies 202 All Out (Hope 68, Rutherford 63, Curran 3-33) by six wickets

Motie was again the best bowler for the Windies with figures of two for 34.

The series decider will be played in Barbados at the Kensington Oval on Saturday in a day and night fixture starting at 1:30 pm.

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