West Indies claimed a four-wicket win at Barbados to clinch their first ODI series victory over England since 1998.
A dream debut by Matthew Forde and a Keacy Carty half-century helped guide the West Indies to a series-clinching four-wicket win over England in the final match of their one-day international (ODI) series.
In a rain-affected encounter, the 21-year-old Barbadian Forde delighted the few home supporters among a majority English audience with figures of three wickets for 29 runs as the tourists were restricted to 206 for nine off 40 overs at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday.
Then, with the West Indies stuttering at 135 for six in pursuit of a revised target of 188 off 34 overs, Forde (13 not out) joined Romario Shepherd (41 not out) in an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 56 to take the Caribbean team to their first ODI series triumph over England for 16 years and their first at home against these opponents for 25 years.
“This is a dream come true,” said an overwhelmed Forde, who was named player of the match, in reflecting on his contribution.
“The wicket was a bit tacky so it was just about bowling the right line and length. And when I came in to bat, it was just about turning over the strike and getting Sheppy on strike as often as possible.”
Brought into the team in place of Oshane Thomas and given use of the new ball, the hometown boy claimed wickets in his first two overs and added a third in his fifth to put England immediately on the back foot.
Ben Duckett offered the only substantial resistance with a pugnacious innings of 71, getting meaningful support from Liam Livingstone (45) in a stand of 88 for the sixth wicket after they had slumped to 49 for five in the 10th over.
Forde removed Phil Salt to a low catch at mid-off and then had Zak Crawley taken at second slip. He added the wicket of the other opener, Phil Jacks, two overs later via a wicketkeeper’s catch.
West Indies appeared to have gotten off to the perfect start as Carty (50) combined with Alick Athanaze (45) for a 76-run partnership, but spinner Will Jacks tore through their middle order.
However Jacks and the other slow bowling options Rehan Ahmed and Liam Livingstone could not separate the pair of Shepherd and Forde and when 24 runs were smashed off returning seamer Gus Atkinson in the 30th over, the result was effectively sealed.
“We were a few short with the bat,” said England captain Jos Buttler in reflecting on the loss. “We fought hard with the ball but it just wasn’t enough. This is the start of a long journey for this side. Hopefully, we can build something for the future.”
For West Indies captain Shai Hope, who took the Man of the Series award with a tally of 192 runs at an average of 96 across the three matches, both the result and the contributions of younger players were encouraging.
“It’s great to see these other guys chipping in with the bat and as long as we continue in this vein it can develop into a very good batting group,” he said.
The two sides next face each other in a five-match Twenty20 series. The first game of the series will be played at the same venue on Tuesday.