Editorial Staff
2 months ago

Editorial Staff
2 months ago

West Indies win the fifth T20 international against England to take the series

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by Mick the Ram

The West Indies won the fifth and final match of the T20 international series against England in Trinidad, to take the series 3-2.

England had pulled level two days prior to this encounter with a dominant batting display on the very same pitch, so they would have been quietly confident heading into this contest.

However, they could not reach the same heights this time around and were all out within their allotted 20 overs for just 132, which looked well short of a challenging total.

The home side were made to battle for the runs, but always seemed in control until a wobble at the back end left them needing 9 off the last over, but Shai Hope showed his class and ended any anxiety by lifting the second ball into the crowd to clinch victory, with 4 balls to spare.

England had the momentum

The West Indies won the crucial toss and as expected they invited England to bat first. However, that was also the scenario in the game played on the same Brian Lara Cricket Academy ground just 48 hours earlier, and on that occasion they posted a mammoth 267 runs, which proved insurmountable.

Crucial wicket

Phil Salt and Jos Buttler had been getting England off to flying starts – with Salt going on to complete two successive centuries in the last two fixtures – so when Buttler was out in just the fourth over, and followed almost immediately by Will Jacks, the West Indies were obviously elated.

The English 50 came up in the 6th over, but the turning point came when Gudakesh Motie bowled possibly the delivery of the series, to beat Salt all ends up and clip his off stump. That removed the main danger man for a modest 38 and the home team were visibly lifted.

Sticky pitch proving difficult

At half way the visitors had 77 on the board for the loss of four wickets and it was obvious that the pitch was not allowing batting to be as easy as two days prior. Some lofty blows from Moheen Ali took England past 100 in the 13th, but he fell to a “teamwork” catch on the boundary, and with that the side lost any sort of momentum.

Motie had bowled exceptionally well and finished his spell with impressive figures of 3-24. Going into the last over 129-8 looked well below par, but there would have been hope that some big hitting might have got the total up to near 150, but 2 wickets fell in 3 balls and England were all out for a very disappointing 132 – less than half their 20 over score from only 2 days before.

 

Runs hard to come by

Johnson Charles had been drafted in to open the West Indies innings, but he watched on from the other end as 2 quick wickets went down and at 39-2 at the end of the power play, there was still some hard work to do. The new boy had battled well to 27, before he was out very softly in Adil Rashid’s first over.

At 80-3 it was still the home side’s match to lose, but some tight bowling saw them head into the last 5 overs still 38 runs short. The final 2 overs arrived with 11 needed, but Sam Curran bowled a fantastic over, conceding just 2 runs and claiming the important wicket of the dangerous Andre Russell.

Hope to the rescue

So to the last over and the West Indies could have been forgiven for thinking they might just have thrown the series away, with nine runs still needed to achieve what appeared at the start to be a relatively easy chase. Jason Holder managed to squeeze a lucky 3 off the first ball bowled by Chris Woakes and get himself to the non-strikers end.

That brought Shai Hope to the other end and that was crucial. The classy batter had watched on as wickets tumbled and had played a perfect knock, anchoring the innings. He smashed the second ball of the over into the crowd to get the six runs required and clinch the victory and the series.

Deserved victory in both match and series

Gudakesh Motie was given the Player of the Match award and the Player of the Series went to Phil Salt. It had been a really good 5-match contest, with the initiative switching one way and then other.

In the end, West Indies just about deserved to claim the series and will have gained confidence against one of the stronger nations, ahead of next year’s World Cup.

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