JPN: What a turn around, what a thrilling game of cricket. West Indies were cruising at one stage but one Graeme Swann over turned it England's way bagging two crucial wickets.


Tweaker James Tredwell showed tremendous poise to keep England in contention of a quarter final berth as they beat West Indies by 18 runs in their final group B league encounter of the World Cup here on Thursday.

Defending a competitive total of 243 on a slow Chepauk track, Tredwell (4/48) and Swann (3/35) bowled superbly to take three of the last four wickets giving away only one run as West Indies were all—out for 225 in 44.4 overs.

Andre Russell who had a extraordinary match (49, 46 balls, 2x4, 3x6 and four for 49) added 72 runs for the seventh wicket with Ramnaresh Sarwan (31) raising visions of victory after WI were tottering at 150 for six.

However, Tredwell (4/49) playing his first match of the World Cup came on for his final and the 42nd over, West Indies needed only 22 with four wickets but he trapped Russel leg before.

Swann who bowled the 44th over then removed set Sarwan and Kemar Roach (0) in his first and third deliveries before Suleiman Benn was run-out in the next over going for an impossible second run to keep England in the hunt for a last eight berth.

The group B is now open with hosts India needing a win to ensure safe passage into the last eight while West Indies will hoping that South Africa comprehensively beat Bangladesh in order to ensure their entry into last eight.

It was match where all West Indian batsmen got starts but were dismissed after getting set. Save Sarwan everyone played their share of big shots before perishing due to the slow and turning nature of pitch.

Chris Gayle started in whirlwind fashion smacking anything that was in his zone. In Chris Tremlett’s first over he hit the lanky fast bowler for three boundaries and a six.

Even Tim Bresnan who hasn’t been easy to get away got a hammering from Gayle as the Jamaican raced his way to 43 off only 21 balls with the help of eight fours and a six.

Along with Devon Smith (10, 27 balls), he added 58 runs in only 6.4 overs before he padded a straighter one from off-break bowler James Tredwell and was adjudged leg before.

The West Indies skipper was finally played on when he tried a cut shot with very little room. An identical delivery got Bopara his second wicket when gloves man Devon Thomas (10) was played on. At 118 for five, West Indies were staring down the barrel when Kieron Pollard (24, 27 balls, 1x4, 2x6) and Sarwan got together.

Earlier, useful knocks from Jonathan Trott (47) and Luke Wright (44) helped England post a competitive total of 243 in 48.4 overs.

Trott’s solidity and Wright’s rearguard action helped England set a target which the Caribbean batsmen might find difficult to chase on a slow track.

Speedster Russell (4-49) was the pick of the bowlers and was well supported by debutant leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo (3-34) while pace spearhead Kemar Roach (2-34) chipped in with a couple of scalps.

Even though England made a positive start in their must-win match to give themselves a chance of qualifying for the knockout stage, they lost the track during the middle-overs when the Caribbean bowlers started calling shots.

England skipper Andrew Strauss won the toss and chose to bat first in a do-or die match against West Indies in Chennai.

England squad

AJ Strauss*, JM Anderson, IR Bell, RS Bopara, TT Bresnan, PD Collingwood, EJG Morgan, MJ Prior†, A Shahzad, GP Swann, JC Tredwell, CT Tremlett, IJL Trott, LJ Wright, MH Yardy

West Indies squad

DJG Sammy*, SJ Benn, D Bishoo, DM Bravo, S Chanderpaul, KA Edwards, CH Gayle, NO Miller, KA Pollard, R Rampaul, KAJ Roach, AD Russell, RR Sarwan, DS Smith, DC Thomas†