Antigua and Barbuda: A stroke-filled maiden century by Denesh Ramdin just wasn't enough as England held on to defeat the West Indies by 25 runs in the deciding third and final one-day international on Wednesday.
Ramdin's 128, the first ODI hundred by a West Indies wicketkeeper, lifted the home side from 43 for four in pursuit of a daunting target of 304 when he was last out with the total on 278, bowled by Tim Bresnan having taken 14 runs off the first three deliveries of the 48th over.
Earlier, Joe Root battled through the considerable pain of a sore right thumb -- the result of a blow inflicted by fast-medium bowler Ravi Rampaul at the start of his innings -- to stroke his first hundred in this form of the game while Jos Buttler fell one run short of his own first ODI century to take England to 303 for six.
Joe Root after his century. Pic/ AFP
Root, who was named man of the match, and Buttler put on 175 for the fifth wicket after the innings was at a crossroads when Sunil Narine bowled the experienced Eoin Morgan to reduce England to 116 for four in the 24th over.
The spinner came in for some rare punishment later in the innings, conceding 21 runs off his ninth over.
"It was good to watch what our boys did with the bat over the final ten overs, given what happened to us in the first match," said England skipper Stuart Broad.
"The overall effort is encouraging looking ahead to the World Twenty (in Bangladesh later this month)."
West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo finished with three wickets, including two off consecutive deliveries but Moeen Ali's 55 at the top of the order was necessary to avoid a complete collapse before Root and Buttler took over.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler was left to rue an attempt to sneak his 100th run in the final over as he only succeeded in spooning a catch back to the bowler Rampaul.
"England batted well and this was a much better wicket," said a rueful Bravo.
"But we can't blame the bowlers. It's our batsmen who have to take the blame for this loss."
As in the previous two matches, the West Indies top-order batting again failed to fire and not even the inclusion of the experienced Marlon Samuels seemed capable of halting the slide.
However Ramdin played the limited-over innings of his life, dominating half-century partnerships with Bravo and Darren Sammy before taking on the improbable task virtually on his own.
Two sixes in one over off James Tredwell took him to the century-mark, yet just when it seemed England were poised to self-destruct under the pressure, Bresnan produced the perfect yorker to end Ramdin's effort and seal victory in the match and the series.