England beat Windies
BIRMINGHAM: Matt Prior’s one-day international best of 87 set up England’s 58-run win in the third and final match of their series against the West Indies at Edgbaston here on Tuesday.
Victory saw England win the series 2-0 after a six-wicket win in Bristol on Sunday following Thursday’s washout at Headingley. Wicket-keeper Prior’s innings was the centrepiece of England’s 328-7. That was their ODI highest against the West Indies, surpassing the 306-5 they made in 1995.
West Indies, chasing 329 to win, finished well short on 270 all out. Prior has not been selected for next month’s World Twenty20 in England, with James Foster the hosts’ specialist wicket-keeper. Defeat completed a miserable tour for the West Indies, who suffered a pair of heavy losses in their preceding 2-0 Test series. They only arrived in the early part of an English season after Sri Lanka, the scheduled tourists, had pulled out due to their players’ commitments in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
West Indies captain Chris Gayle did not look especially enthusiastic about having to cut short his time in the IPL to come on this tour. Asked if this was one of his worst experiences as West Indies captain, Gayle replied: “It is. It wasn’t the best but I have to give credit where it is due, England set the game up in the batting department.”
Prior put on 149 for the third wicket with Owais Shah (75). Prior, batting at No 3 in place of the injured Kevin Pietersen, saw his innings better the 52 he made against the West Indies at Edgbaston in 2007. Miscast as a ‘pinch hitter’ early in his career, Prior was happy to be batting at first-wicket down.