By Rob Barnett
Stuart Broad has challenged England to again be miserly with the ball when they go in search of series victory over West Indies on Wednesday.
The tourists’ four seamers and as many spinners combined today to limit the Windies to 159 in a three-wicket win at Antigua’s Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Left-arm slow bowler Stephen Parry was man of the match on his international debut with 3-32 from 10 overs while there were two scalps each for spinners Joe Root and James Tredwell.
England’s success levels the one-day rubber and makes the third and final game, at the same venue, a winner-takes-all affair.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, a thrilled Broad said: “Confidence will be high, momentum obviously with us and if we do what we did with the ball today we’ll stand a fantastic chance because we looked really hard to score off and we squeezed them.
“We’ll have a meeting and clear up where we want to improve, but we did a lot of good things today and I’d like us all to focus on them.”
England’s impressive play was not limited to the ball or their excellent fielding - a highlight of which was Tredwell’s stunning one-handed slip catch to snare Kirk Edwards.
Michael Lumb, a centurion on one-day international debut in Friday’s defeat, made 39 from the top of the order and Ravi Bopara’s unbeaten 38 steered the tourists to victory.
Broad, who successfully reviewed a caught-behind verdict and was twice dropped during an unbroken fifty partnership with Bopara, described himself as “delighted to have got over the line with Ravi towards the end”.
He added: “First of all, the first half of the game we were awesome, absolutely perfect I’d say bowling the West Indies out for 160.
“We had a bit of a wobble with the bat, but at the end of the day we’ve got over the line and we’ve shown some character towards the end to do that.
“That’s why Ravi’s batting seven, to steer us home in those positions. We’ve had a few failures in that over the last six months, but to get over the line - you can see the smile on the boys’ faces - it’s an awesome feeling.”
Lumb being plumb lbw to Nikita Miller sparked a collapse that saw the tourists slip from 79 for two to 89 for six in four overs.
Broad, who will lead England in three Twenty20 internationals with West Indies followed by at the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, was delighted with the way he and Bopara responded to that slide and then Tim Bresnan’s run-out.
“Winning close games gives the guys confidence and belief,” he reflected. “We’ve lacked that and I think that showed in the middle overs where we lost those four quick wickets. But we should take a lot from winning this game.
“We’re going to have close games in the next five, six weeks; there’s no doubt about that. And it’s a much better feeling winning than losing so we’ve got to keep working hard to make sure we get these more often.”
Broad reserved special praise for Parry, a limited-overs specialist who was a surprise selection in the squad.
The 28-year-old crucially ousted Lendl Simmons for 70 before adding the dangerous Darren Sammy, who hit a 36-ball 61 on Friday, and tailender Sunil Narine.
“(He’s) a great guy, really clear on what he wants to do, which is always important. He bowled at some difficult times. To get three wickets (and) man of the match on debut, (is an) awesome effort,” Broad enthused.
“The guys are delighted for him. When I told him he was playing this morning, the smile on his face, how proud he was and excited about representing his country is what you want to see from players.
“You want to see guys who are desperate to put on an England shirt and he’s certainly one of those. He showed some great skill out there as well.”