Shivnarine Chanderpaul hit a brilliant unbeaten 112 here Sunday as the West Indies overcame a spirited century from England skipper Andrew Strauss to defeat the visitors by 21 runs in the 2nd Digicel One-Day International at the National Stadium at Providence.
Chanderpaul, much honoured since his return to his homeland, got fluent support from fellow Guyanese Ramnaresh Sarwan in front of a flag-waving capacity crowd of 15,000. They inspired the home team to a challenging 264 for eight off 50 overs.
The 34-year-old Chanderpaul, who became the third West Indian (after Brian Lara and Desmond Haynes) to pass 8,000 ODI runs, hit ten fours off 134 balls in his 10th century at this level.
The in-form Sarwan contributed an eye-catching 74 off 89 deliveries. The 28-year-old right-hander lashed four fours and two sixes.
Strauss anchored England’s pursuit with a fine 105 off 129 balls but the West Indies took wickets at regular intervals and England fell short as they were bowled out for 243 off 48.2 overs.
Dimitri Mascarenhas’ 29 was the second top-score as the home team’s medium pacers produced another disciplined performance.
Dwayne Bravo claimed two for 40 off nine overs and fellow Trinidadian Kieron Pollard took the vital wicket of Strauss towards the end on his way to two for 46.
Darren Sammy again contributed an immaculate quota of 10-1-36-1.
The West Indies also produced two run outs that helped seal England’s fate and level the five-match Digicel Series at 1-1 heading to Barbados.
The hosts were rocked early on by pacer James Anderson after Captain Chris Gayle won the toss and batted first for the first time this international season.
Both openers were back in the hut at 24 for two in the sixth over.
Lendl Simmons fell for a duck, opening the face and edging a simple catch to wicket-keeper Matt Prior. Gayle, after looking dangerous in blasting four fours in 20 off 20 balls, reached for a wide delivery and chopped onto his stumps.
Sarwan and Chanderpaul gradually revived the innings in a partnership of 133 in 29.3 overs.
England should have claimed the prize scalp of Chanderpaul on 27 but Prior grassed a catch standing up to Mascaernhas’ medium pace with the total at 80 for two.
Sarwan was the more adventurous as Chanderpaul set anchor.
The 28-year-old right-hander lofted sixes in successive overs off Gareth Batty and Mascarenhas to lift the tempo.
Sarwan’s half century arrived off 58 balls and he seemed to be motoring to yet another century off England when Anderson returned to cut him short in the first over of the Batting Powerplay. Sarwan, trying to clear the off side, miscued a lofted drive to mid-off.
Chanderpaul dominated the rest of the innings but the lower order failed to lend much assistance. He dominated a stand of 49 off 31 balls for the fourth wicket with Kieron Pollard, who made just eight, while Dwayne Bravo (19) helped add 31.
But the West Indies lost crucial wickets in the closing overs and, even with Chanderpaul as the guide, could only muster 57 off the last ten overs.
Anderson took three for 37 while the medium pace of Paul Collingwood (three for 49) and Mascarenhas (two for 53) also proved tricky.
The West Indies bowlers also began strongly as Ravi Bopara and Kevin Pietersen were despatched cheaply at 36 for two.
Bopara was bowled off the inside edge by Lionel Baker while Pietersen fell similarly to Fidel Edwards.
Strauss, dropped twice by Sammy – a difficult second skip chance before he had scored and a more regulation return catch at 28 – restored parity in a fifty stand with Owais Shah.
Once Bravo accounted for Shah, plumb leg before, and Collingwood, bowled by a beauty of an in-swinger, the West Indies had a grip they were never to relinquish.
Sammy further dented visiting hopes as Prior was snared by opposite number Denesh Ramdin at 97 for five in the 23rd over.
The lower order rallied around Strauss but the run out of Mascarenhas, after a diving stop by Gayle, was crucial.
Stuart Broad and Gareth Batty followed soon afterwards and England looked dead and buried at 185-8.
Strauss never gave up and he and Steve Harmison breathed life into the chase by adding 44 for the ninth wicket.
Pollard plucked out Strauss’ leg stump soon after he completed his third ODI century and then finished the match by castling last man James Anderson.