England v West Indies ODIs

England seal series in rain-hit thriller

Lewis' brilliant 170 not enough as Moeen and Buttler expertly chase down revised target to take unassailable 3-0 lead


28 September 2017, 07:13 AM

England claim series in rain-soaked thriller

Moeen Ali again proved England's saviour with the bat as they beat West Indies by six runs in a rain-marred fourth one-day international at The Oval to go an unbeatable 3-0 up with one to play in the series.

England, without Ben Stokes after he was dropped following his arrest, looked set for defeat at 5-181 chasing 357 to win.

But Moeen, fresh from his match-winning century in the third ODI at Bristol on Sunday, made an unbeaten 48 and together with Jos Buttler (43 not out) added 77 in eight overs.

By the time rain stopped play, with England 5-258 from 35.1 overs, they were six runs ahead of the revised DLS target. 

Yet the match might have been beyond them had Evin Lewis, who made a stunning 176, not retired hurt in the 47th over after deflecting a Jake Ball delivery onto his right ankle.

It was later announced that Lewis, who had to be wheeled off the field on a stretcher and went to hospital without fielding, had suffered a hairline fracture that will sideline him for at least two weeks.

Defeat was also tough on West Indies paceman Alzarri Joseph, who took all of England's wickets during an ODI-best haul of 5-56 after coming in for dropped leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.

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Lewis' innings, which surpassed his previous ODI hundred of 148 against Sri Lanka in Bulawayo in November last year, was the cornerstone of West Indies' 5-356.

Having been dropped on 122, he was eyeing a double century until his freak injury left him writhing in agony.

The 25-year-old Trinidad left-hander remained unbeaten, having faced 130 balls and hitting 17 fours and seven sixes.

His innings was the fourth highest in ODIs by a West Indies batsman.

West Indies had been 3-33 after Chris Woakes' early treble strike that included the fourth ball dismissal of dangerman Chris Gayle following his dashing 94 in Bristol.

But Lewis, assisted by Jason Mohammed (46) and captain Jason Holder (77), turned the tide.

The big-hitting opener completed a chanceless century, off 94 balls, when he pulled Woakes for his 13th boundary.

Often billed as Gayle's heir apparent, Lewis – a far shorter and less muscular batsman – hit two sixes in as many balls off fast bowler Liam Plunkett, the second a magnificent straight drive.

He was missed when Jason Roy, running back from cover, dropped a tough chance.

Roy, only recalled after fellow opener Alex Hales was dropped together with Stokes after the pair were out late prior to the allrounder's arrest, seized his chance by making 84 on his Surrey home ground.

His 66-ball innings ended when he was caught by wicketkeeper Shai Hope to end an opening stand of 126 with Jonny Bairstow (39), who fell in similar fashion.

Substitute fielder Kyle Hope, Shai's older brother, held a brilliant leaping catch at long leg to grab England captain Eoin Morgan's fierce hook.

Joseph, whose previous ODI best was 4-76 against England at Bridgetown in March, then had his fifth wicket thanks to a diving slips catch by Gayle that dismissed Sam Billings.

But Moeen and Buttler, together with the London weather, combined to give England a 15th win in their past 16 completed ODIs against West Indies.