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Knight's heroics not enough to stop West Indies.

Adam Hollioake's magical spell of victories as England's one-day captain was finally broken in Barbados last night but his team grew in stature in defeat.

The West Indies won the second one-day international by one wicket, with just one ball to spare, to level the five-match series 1-1.

But those bare details conceal an England fightback in the field of almost miraculous proportions.

If a couple of halhances had been taken in a dramatic finale, then Hollioake would have been able to celebrate stretching his previous 100 per cent record into a ninth match.

Hollioake himself and Kent alounder Matthew Fleming were at the heart of England's magnificent attempt to win a game they had no right to take.

At 211 for three in the 39th over, West Indies were cruising along in reply to England's 266.

They had had by far the best of the conditions and both Stuart Williams and Carl Hooper seemed in complete command. Yet, on the same score, Williams was out for 68 and Hooper 66.

Fleming struck the first blow, having Hooper caught at short mid-wicket. Then, in the next over, Fleming flew to his left in a similar position to grab a lifted drive by Williams off skipper Hollioake.

Suddenly the West Indies were 211 for five and when two more wickets fell in the very next over, bowled by Fleming, England were right in the game again.

Fleming's heroics stretched to a direct hit to run out Rawl Lewis and when he had Franklyn Rose held by Hollioake for three, the West Indies were 236 for eight.

They now needed 31 runs from five overs, but, unfortunately, England could not quite pull off the miracle.

Curtly Ambrose survived a very hard caught and bowled chance to Hollioake, and then the skipper saw Ridley Jacobs dropped by wicketkeeper Alec Stewart.

When Jacobs hit Hollioake for six off the last ball of the 48th over, he seemed to have delivered the decisive blow especially when Ambrose then sliced Fleming for four to a vacant third-man boundary.

Just two were needed from the final over, but Hollioake grabbed a lofted drive by Ambrose from the first ball of the last over and it seemed there could be a real twist in the tail.

But singles from Courtney Walsh and Jacobs, who finished 28 not out in his fourth one-day international, denied England.

England's 266 had been built on a fine 90 from Nick Knight, who is in prime form following his century on Sunday, and a gallant late-order charge led by Mark Ealham's 45.

The West Indies' reply was led by a rash of strokeplay by Clayton Lambert, Philo Wallace and Brian Lara.

After 15 overs West Indies were 106 for three. By contrast, earlier, England were just 28 for one.

That was a measure of how one-sided a contest this should have been.
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Author:Cricket, From MARK BALDWIN
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 2, 1998
Words:479
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