London (AFP) – Evin Lewis made a stunning 176 before having to retire hurt in bizarre fashion during the fourth one-day international against England at The Oval on Wednesday.
Lewis’s highest ODI score, surpassing his previous hundred at this level of 148 against Sri Lanka in Bulawayo in November last year, was the cornerstone of the tourists’ 356 for five as they fought to square this five-match series at 2-0 down with two still to play.
Having been dropped on 122, Lewis was on course for a double century until, in the 47th over, he deflected a delivery from paceman Jake Ball into his ankle and collapsed to the turf.
Writhing in agony, the 25-year-old Trinidad left-handed opener required prolonged on-field treatment before being wheeled off on a stretcher to sympathetic applause from a capacity crowd.
He was later taken to hospital for an X-ray.
Lewis remained unbeaten, having faced 130 balls including 17 fours and seven sixes.
Together with West Indies captain Jason Holder (77) he shared a stand of 168, with Lewis having previously added 117 in 22 overs in the company of Jason Mohammed (46).
Defeat in the series opener meant World Twenty20 champions West Indies could no longer qualify for the 2019 World Cup in Britain and coach Stuart Law said before this fixture he wanted to see ‘set’ batsmen go on deep into the innings.
Lewis and Holder did just that amid a blizzard of boundaries.
West Indies had been 33 for three after Chris Woakes’s early treble strike that included the fourth ball dismissal of dangerman Chris Gayle, caught in the slips following his dashing 94 in Bristol.
But even Warwickshire all-rounder Woakes’s figures suffered as he finished with three for 71 in 10 overs.
Both Mohammed and Holder benefitted from dropped catches by England captain Eoin Morgan, although neither chance was easy.
This match took place against the backdrop of England unveiling their Ashes squad announcement at The Oval a couple of hours before the toss.
England already knew they would be without Ben Stokes — included in the Ashes party and retained as Test vice-captain — after the star all-rounder was dropped following his arrest in Bristol on suspicion of actual bodily harm in the early hours of Monday morning.
The 26-year-old remains under investigation after being released without charge.
Trinidad left-handed opener Lewis was quickly into his stride and completed a chanceless century, off 94 balls, when he pulled Woakes for his 13th boundary.
Often billed as Gayle’s heir apparent, Lewis — a far shorter and less muscular batsman — then hit two sixes in as many balls off fast bowler Liam Plunkett, the second a magnificent straight drive.
Lewis was missed on 122 when Jason Roy, running back from cover, dropped a chance off Rashid.
He slog-swept Moeen Ali for six to go to 150, with Holder also hitting a six off the spinner to complete a 47-ball fifty.