Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

England beat West Indies by one run after thrilling finish in Barbados

Reece Topley marked his return to the England T20 side with a wicket and a run-out

By Stephan Shemilt, Jan 24: England dominated the majority of the second T20 against West Indies but ultimately won by just one run after some astonishing late hitting.

West Indies needed a seemingly hopeless 30 from the final over, only for Akeal Hosein to take Saqib Mahmood for 28, including three sixes off the last three balls.

England earlier bounced back from being bowled out for 103 in the first T20 to post 171-8 on a similarly challenging pitch.

They were propelled by Jason Roy taking 24 off Fabian Allen's 11th over, as 107 runs came in the second half of the innings.

Roy made 45, adding 61 with Moeen Ali, who contributed 31, while Chris Jordan once again shone on the island of his birth with a cameo of 27.

Left-arm seamer Reece Topley, playing his first T20 international for nearly six years, trapped Brandon King lbw and athletically ran out Shai Hope to leave West Indies reeling on 6-2.

With the excessive turn on offer, spinners Moeen and Adil Rashid mesmerised the hosts in the middle overs, sharing five wickets.

But Romario Shepherd blasted five sixes in his 44 not out, while Hosein's unbeaten 44 came from only 16 balls to make England's margin of victory so much tighter than it should have been.

The five-match series is level at 1-1. The third game is on Wednesday.


Roy ignites England improvement

Given the fright they were given at the end of the match, England were indebted to a batting display vastly improved from Saturday's collapse.

Whereas the tourists struggled to adapt to the conditions in the series opener, on Sunday they were more willing to be patient before unleashing the batting aggression that is their trademark

Roy typified this approach. He lacked fluency as opening partner Tom Banton swept and reverse-swept 25 off 18 balls only to hammer a return catch to left-arm spinner Allen, who then disturbed James Vince's off stump.

Roy had 17 from 23 balls at the halfway stage but exploded into life with three fours and two sixes in the first over of the second half. One of the maximums, a slog sweep, went out of the ground.

When he fell in the next over, caught at long-on from the bowling of Shepherd, Roy had taken 28 runs off his seven previous deliveries.

Moeen was missed twice - the second a bad drop by Odean Smith - as West Indies failed to match the fielding standards of the previous evening. However, when Moeen and Sam Billings were dismissed in consecutive overs, there was an opening for the hosts.

It was snuffed out by Jordan and captain Eoin Morgan adding 31 at 10 runs an over. It turned out to be just enough.


Windies surge after Topley shines

Topley last played the shortest format for England during their run to the 2016 World Cup final, with a career-threatening back injury then preventing him from featuring in international cricket for four years.

In replacing Tymal Mills he was England's sole change from Saturday and he took only two legal deliveries to make an impact, pinning King with a hooping inswinger.

The run-out of Hope was more spectacular. Parrying a stop in his follow-through, Topley chased the rebound, dived and flicked the ball onto the non-striker's stumps.

He would have had another wicket had Liam Dawson held onto a skier from Nicholas Pooran at mid-wicket.

Still, Moeen and Rashid took control, bowling in tandem for six overs that brought five wickets for 32 runs.

Masterful leg-spinner Rashid had Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo both lbw on review, while off-spinner Moeen continued his fine all-round display by having Pooran and Odean Smith hole out either side of snaffling a sharp caught and bowled off Jason Holder - 3-24 represented his career-best figures.

From an almost hopeless position - 61 were needed from the final three overs with only two wickets in hand - Shepherd chanced his arm.

He hit Jordan for three sixes in the 18th over, but after Topley was tight in the 19th, the result was barely in doubt going into Mahmood's final set.

Still, Hosein's assault of two fours and three sixes was extraordinary and, although the one-run margin does not tell the story of England's superiority, they were extremely ragged at the death.

It might have been worse for the tourists had Mahmood not got away with a marginal wide decision from the first legal delivery of the over, much to the frustration of Hosein, who ended with the highest score by a number 10 in T20 internationals.


'I thought we were brilliant'

England captain Eoin Morgan: "I was delighted and even with the last quarter, with a relatively inexperienced international side, those are the games you want to play in. For the majority of today, I thought we were brilliant."

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard: "I can see the confidence with the guys in the changing room. We will have days like this but my thing is the fight that the guys continue to show."

Player of the match Moeen Ali: "We thought we'd got a really good score but they played well. We paced it better today and each batter gave themselves five or six balls. Chris Jordan played a great knock at the end with the bat."