Once again Duckworth/Lewis came to England’s rescue on Sunday as their revised target of 135 off 20 overs was met with relative ease. Their original target of 240 was still gettable but the rain delay did perhaps work in England’s favour, with captain Andrew Strauss leading from the front with a defiant 79 not out.
To be fair, England were perhaps due an upturn in fortunes after a winter which has lurched from one crisis to another.
It is hard to speculate on the rumours about unrest in the camp but Kevin Pietersen’s admission that he is jaded and wants to return home is not a good sign. Open wounds and deep divisions were seemingly created when Pietersen’s stormy relationship with former head coach Peter Moores and the ECB came to a head. Those wounds don’t seem to have healed yet and now Strauss has a big job on his hands if he is to reunite his dressing room.
One thing’s for sure though: results have not been forthcoming throughout the whole tour. In fact, Sunday’s win was only England’s second of the whole winter, and even their first came courtesy of a mathematical mix-up by West Indies coach John Dyson in the opening one-day international.
As one TV pundit pointed out, dressing room politics is no excuse for getting skittled out for 117 through a series of ill-advised, poorly timed shots like they were in Barbados last Friday.
It was time for the players to look at their own form and not hide behind the recent turmoil. To give them credit, the players who took to the field in Bridgetown, just two days after the massacre on the same ground, set about their work in determined fashion. They looked busy in the field, reasonably tight with the ball, and lost just one wicket when chasing down their target.
Things always seem better when you are winning. I can’t blame some players for feeling homesick when they are suffering defeats every week (although they are in the beautiful West Indies so my sympathy is limited). But Sunday’s victory could hopefully signify an upturn in fortunes for England, boost morale and hopefully bring about more victories.
With The Ashes just around the corner it can’t come soon enough.