Thomas helps rampant Windies dismiss England for 113
Gros Islet (Saint Lucia) (AFP)
Oshane Thomas spearheaded a fast bowling rout of England for 113 as the West Indies closed on a series-levelling win in the fifth and final one-day international in St Lucia on Saturday.
Playing just his ninth ODI, the 22-year-old pacer wrecked the visitors' vaunted batting line-up with career-best figures of five for 21 off 5.1 overs.
Carlos Brathwaite and captain Jason Holder took two wickets each in support of the burly fast bowler to fully justify Holder's decision to bowl first on winning the toss.
Needing victory to earn a share of the series after losing a high-scoring fourth match in Grenada three days earlier, the West Indies pace attack exploited a bouncy pitch and exposed the England batters' technical shortcomings in these conditions.
Alex Hales and Jos Buttler top-scored for England, each scoring 23. Captain Eoin Morgan was next best with 18 as the batting folded swiftly in the face of Thomas' assault.
In crashing to their lowest ODI total against the West Indies, England lost their last five wickets for two runs with none of the final four in the line-up managing to get off the mark.
So swift was the tourists' capitulation that the West Indies started their chase for the modest total more than an hour before the scheduled interval between innings.
Though he picked up just one wicket, Sheldon Cottrell got the wicket-taking feast underway for the West Indies when the left-arm seamer, the man-of-the-match in the second ODI in Barbados just over a week earlier, bowled Jonny Bairstow off an inside-edge after an opening partnership of 23 with Hales.
Hales and Morgan featured in the best partnership of the innings -- 39 for the third wicket -- but it was merely a brief respite from the devastation wreaked by a bowling attack which offered very few liberties to the batsmen.
Despite the extent of their dominance, Holder still indulged in four overs of spin via Ashley Nurse, the off-spinner proving the most expensive in conceding 24 runs from four wicketless overs.
West Indies went into the match with an unchanged team, surprisingly choosing to omit all-rounder Andre Russell once again even though he had flown in from the Pakistan Super League in Dubai earlier in the week to be part of the squad for the final two matches.
England were forced to make one change from the win on Wednesday, all-rounder Tom Curran replacing injured seamer Liam Plunkett.
© 2019 AFP