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07-Dec-2023 02:17:00 GMT
West Indies vs England - 2nd ODI, Antigua

England bounce back to beat West Indies, level series

England 206 for 4 (Jacks 73, Buttler 58*) beat West Indies 202 (Hope 68, Rutherford 63, Curran 3-33, Livingstone 3-39, Rehan 2-40) by six wickets

Antigua: Will Jacks made 73 and Sam Curran took 3-33 as England beat West Indies by six wickets in the second one-day international in Antigua to level the three-match series.

Shai Hope's run-a-ball 68 helped West Indies recover from 23-4 to 152 before Liam Livingstone (3-39) and Rehan Ahmed (2-40) saw the hosts dismissed for 202.

Jacks led England's response with a mature knock before Harry Brook (43*) and Jos Buttler (58*) ensured England got over the line with more than 17 overs to spare.

The third and deciding ODI will be played in Bridgetown, Barbados on Saturday.

In the first match of this tour, Curran's figures of 0-98 were England's most expensive ever in a men's ODI as Buttler's side were unable to defend 325.

After a disappointing World Cup - two wickets for 140 runs with an economy of 8.07 from 17.2 overs, and 35 runs in three innings at 11.66 with the bat - it has prompted scrutiny of his apparent fall from grace over the past 12 months.

Curran, the star of England's 2022 T20 World Cup triumph, had seemingly gone from the Indian Premier League's most expensive player - after signing a £1.85m-a-season deal with Punjab Kings - to broader question marks over his place and role in the England team.

In days gone by, even during a phase of rebuilding, there might have been a temptation to bow to outside pressure and drop Curran.

However, England coach Matthew Mott, together with Buttler, decided to stick with the 25-year-old for the second match at North Sound and their faith was rewarded.

Curran's first wicket owed much to batter error as Keacy Carty wafted at a wide one and edged to Zak Crawley.

The confidence boost that first wicket gave him, after such a chastening previous outing, was clear and he quickly had two more in the bag.

Brandon King initially had the better of his opening salvos with Curran, but a delivery which just moved a fraction was edged to Crawley.

Shimron Hetmyer was then pinned lbw on review, Curran having the confidence to persuade a dubious Buttler into sending it upstairs.

West Indies looked on the brink of collapse - and Buttler must have been tempted to bowl Curran through after the left-armer took 3-19 off five overs during the powerplay.

It would be pushing it to say Curran is 'back' on this showing, but an analysis of 7-0-33-3 in this match certainly makes for encouraging reading.

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