On Saturday at Kensington Oval in Barbados, Matthew Forde’s spectacular debut helped the West Indies to a series-clinching four-wicket victory over England in the third and final match of their One-Day International series.
The 21-year-old Barbadian bowled three for 29 as the tourists were reduced to 206 for nine after 40 overs in a rain-affected contest.
The West Indies were 135 for six in pursuit of a revised target of 188 off 34 overs when Forde (13 not out) joined Romario Shepherd (41) in an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 56 to lead the Caribbean team to its first ODI series victory over England in 16 years and its first at home against these opponents in 25 years.
“This is a dream come true,” Forde, who was named Man of the Match, exclaimed after his performance. “Because the wicket was a little tacky, it was just a matter of bowling the right line and length.” “When I came in to bat, it was just a matter of flipping over the strike and getting Sheppy on strike as often as possible.”
Taking over for Oshane Thomas and given the new ball, the hometown boy took two wickets in his first two overs and added a third in his fifth to put England on the back foot from the start.
Ben Duckett’s 71-run innings provided the only meaningful resistance, getting critical support from Liam Livingstone (45) in an 88-run sixth-wicket stand after they had crumbled to 49 for five in the tenth over.
After removing Phil Salt to a low catch at mid-off, Forde had Zak Crawley caught at second slip. With a wicketkeeper’s catch two overs later, he added the wicket of the other opener, Phil Jacks.
Jacks was almost the unlikely hero for England with the ball, taking three wickets for 22 runs, including topscorer Keacy Carty for 50, to appear to tilt the balance of the match in his team’s favor.
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a few brief thoughts
However, Jacks and the other slow bowling options, Rehan Ahmed and Liam Livingstone, were unable to separate Shepherd and Forde, and the win was sealed in the 30th over when 24 runs were hammered off returning seamer Gus Atkinson.
“We were a few short with the bat,” England captain Jos Buttler admitted after the loss. “We battled hard with the ball, but it wasn’t enough.” This is just the start of a long road for this team. We’re hoping to be able to build something for the future.”
West Indies captain Shai Hope was named Man of the Series after making 192 runs at an average of 96 across three matches.
“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 in a press conference.