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England vs West Indies: Jos Buttler admits 'it's been a while since I played well' after opening ODI defeat

Shai Hope and Romario Shepherd powered the West Indies to a four-wicket victory in the series-opening ODI; Hosts successfully chased down 326 with seven balls to spare to move 1-0 up in the series; Jos Buttler only scored three in England's innings

England's captain Jos Buttler..talks to teammates during the first ODI cricket match against West I dies at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Image: Jos Buttler scored just three in England's opening ODI defeat to West Indies

Jos Buttler's poor form continued as England were beaten by four wickets in the first match of their ODI series against the West Indies.

The England skipper failed to make it into double figures after he was dismissed tamely by spinner Gudakesh Motie (2-49).

His outing lasted 13 deliveries as he scored the lowest total of any England batter, with everyone except Gus Atkinson (four) making it into double figures as the tourists posted 325.

It was not enough for victory, though, thanks to a stunning Shai Hope century which saw the West Indies home with seven balls to spare.

"You always want to play well and it's been a little while since I've played well,” Buttler said in the post-match interview.

“I just need to work hard and trust that it will come back.”

Buttler attempted to reverse sweep spinner Motie but instead gloved the ball to slip. The ball was taken by Alick Athanaze on the second attempt after he knocked it into the air.

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During England’s humbling World Cup campaign, Buttler failed to make a single half-century and averaged 15.33 in the nine group-stage matches.

England’s openers Phil Salt (45) and Will Jacks (26) fared better than Buttler in Antigua as they raced to 76-0 by the ninth over.

England's captain Jos Buttler..ant teammates walk off the field after losing against West Indies by four wicket their first ODI cricket match at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Image: Buttler came into the series off the back of a poor World Cup

Reflecting on this effort, Buttler said: "I thought it was a fantastic batting effort by us. They [Salt and Jacks] set the tone at the top. The West Indies pegged us back a bit in the middle phase but it was fantastic effort to get to that score and it needed a fantastic innings to chase it down.

"Fantastic game of cricket. A lot of credit goes to Shai Hope and his team-mates. They played really well at the back end to chase those runs down.

"Credit to Shai and Romario (Shepherd). It was some fantastic hitting. We will learn a lot from that.”

Despite their defeat, Buttler remained positive about the overall performance of the team.

England’s leg-spin bowler Rehan Ahmed (2-40) was the pick of the attack after he took important wickets at key points in the game, trapping Athanaze (66) lbw and having Sherfane Rutherford (six) caught at deep midwicket.

"There was a fantastic effort and credit to Hope and Shepherd with the sixes. I thought Rehan Ahmed was fantastic with his leg spin-bowling.

"A lot of good stuff in the game, we did things well and we can do things better."

Hope: I always back myself to win from any position

West Indies skipper Hope struck a magical 109 not out to put his side 1-0 up in the three-match series.

"It was for a winning cause and that's all we play for. My aim is to win games and I always back myself to win from any position," Hope said, speaking to TNT Sports.

"Shepherd was amazing, he always is. He's one of those guys you can depend on and great at this level.

"We're starting the series on a high. The aim is to repeat this in the next match."

Hope reached his 16th ODI hundred, his first against England, and hit four boundaries and seven sixes during his outing.

"I thought England's openers played well, every time we would play off the line they would hit the ball away to the boundary. The faster we learn, the faster we will improve," Hope added.

"There were a few dropped catches too so if we want to be the best team in the world, we have to play our best. I'm happy with the win and with the team.

"It's nice to see Alick Athanaze getting runs too. We want consistency, not just a one off.

"I'm happy with the guys and hopefully we can continue this."

What's next?

The series stays in Antigua for the second ODI, taking place on Wednesday at the same venue (5.30pm start), before the third and final ODI is played in Barbados on Saturday (5.30pm start).

A five-match T20 series then begins in Barbados on December 12, with two games in Grenada (December 14 and 16) and two more in Trinidad and Tobago (December 19 and 21). Watch all the best live sport and more with NOW.

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