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Perfect Dress Rehearsal For World Cup: Buttler on Close Finish

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: February 28, 2019, 12:11 PM IST
Perfect Dress Rehearsal For World Cup: Buttler on Close Finish

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Jos Buttler’s 150 from 77 balls overshadowed Chris Gayle’s 162 as England defeated West Indies in the fourth ODI at Grenada by 29 runs. After the match, Buttler said that the game was a perfect dress rehearsal for the World Cup as England were challenged till the very last moment.

"It was hectic," Buttler told Sky Sports after the match. "I'm trying to catch my breath. It was an unbelievable game of cricket. I think as a side, being put under a huge amount of pressure in a game like that, we showed a huge amount of character to come through it."

"It's a great dress rehearsal, with lots of pressure," he said. "But it just goes to show, no matter who's favourites, on any given day there will be unbelievable games of cricket, and if Chris Gayle is in the opposition, you can lose those games. I've probably never seen anyone hit sixes as easy as he can. He's a legend of the game."

Once again Adil Rashid and Mark Wood shone with the ball for the visitors with the former picking a fifer. In fact, after being clobbered for runs initially, Rashid made a remarkable comeback to pick four wickets in the 48th over.

"Mark Wood was outstanding again," Buttler said. "He bowled fantastically, with a lot of confidence, charging in and bowling fast. A fit and firing Wood has got that X-factor.

"And I like the way that Adil wants the ball in those situations. Being able to spin the ball both ways, he's tough to get after. We juggled the bowlers well, and for Adil to bowl an over like that at that time was special. We were put under great pressure and did well to stand up to it."

But in the end it was Buttler’s effort that counted the most, and he was adjudged Player-of-the-Match. In his innings of 150, England vice-captain smashed 12 fours and 13 sixes.

"It was special," he said. "I enjoyed it, because when you get into that zone, to continue it is pleasing. Range hitting is fun, I enjoy practising it in the nets, with no consequences, just learning to have fun, improvise and improve.

"I had a chat with Joe Root [when I came to the crease], he said we needed north of 350, so knowing that was at the back of my mind. With 12-13 overs left, we were well set so it was time to kick on.

"That's one of the strengths of the team," he added. "There are no egos, we have a lots of guys willing to bat in a multitude of positions, with no set batting order."
First Published: February 28, 2019, 9:05 AM IST
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