Despite a late surge from the West Indies, England avenged their shock opening T20I defeat by narrowly bouncing back to register victory by one run to level the series in Barbados today (23 January).
England hit a highly competitive 171-8 at the Kensington Oval, and looked to be breezing to a simple success before the West Indies made an incredible fightback to take the result down to the final over.
Akeal Hosein and Romario Shepherd both finished with an outstanding unbeaten knock of 44 as the Windies finished perilously close on 170-8 after 20 overs, which was an incredible total after they had slipped to 65-7. Needing 30 runs in the final over, nerves obviously got to Saqib Mahmood who delivered two wides. And tail-ender Hosein smashed the final three balls for sixes to earn the Windies a slender reversal.
England, who have recently been in disappointing form, made a terrific start with Jason Roy and Tom Banton (25) in the hunt for early runs and a rare win. Their opening wicket partnership was ended by Banton being caught and bowled by slow left-armer Fabian Allen. The Jamaican reacted rapidly to the ball being thumped back towards his midriff.
And in the same over James Vince was clean bowled to breath some much-needed life back into the Windies, as the tourists stood at 40-2 after six overs.
Moeen Ali survived two scares, Darren Bravo beaten by the beaming sunshine to finish two metres short of the telling loose ball and Nicholas Pooran guilty of fluffing a pretty straightforward catch after racing in from the boundary.
With the tourists stuttering with the bat but producing a steady innings, they reached 64-2 after 10 overs to leave the result in the balance.
Roy suddenly upped the ante with a surge of powerful shots to get the runs on the board. His swashbuckling knock was soon ended when he was caught at long on by Kieron Pollard in Romario Shepherd’s first over.
His innings of 45 off 31 deliveries put to bed England’s dismal nine-wicket defeat, when they only scored 103, the previous day.
Pollard then grabbed the wicket of Ali, who sliced the ball to Sheldon Cottrell at short third man to leave the tourists at 114-4.
Cottrell got another catch, this time at short fine leg as Sam Billings made a second successive single-figure score having got his sweep shot all wrong and top-edging the delivery from slow left-armer Hosein.
Jason Holder, one of heroes in the 1st T20I triumph, was involved in three wickets in the final three over of the innings.
The former Test skipper sent a slower ball that confused Eoin Morgan to such an extent that the England captain’s attempt to clear long on fell short and straight into the hands of Brandon King.
Jordan added a rapid-fire 27 from 15 balls as England went hell for leather, but his shot off Cottrell came off the toe of the bat and straight into the safe hands of Holder at long off.
Holder then dismissed Liam Dawson, caught by Allen at deep midwicket, to stifle England and keep the total down.
In response the Windies were soon in trouble after their openers, King and Shai Hope, were both back in the pavilion after 2.3 overs with Reece Topley their tormentor.
Jamaican King, who made an unbeaten half-century in the 1st T20I, was dismissed for a golden duck after being caught leg before by a swinging delivery from Topley following a video review.
Topley made Hope his next victim. The left-arm medium pacer, brought in after England’s previous poor performance, sent down a yorker that Hope drove seeking a swift single. But Topley dived to halt the shot, then caught out the Bajan out with a run out.
Pooran (24) was dropped twice before Vince caught him off Ali’s opening over. Pollard made a brief appearance, caught leg before by Rashid. Despite the ball hitting his back leg, it took a review after the appeal was turned down. Bravo (23) was also sent back leg before by Rashid, again requiring a review.
Ali took two wickets in an over, Holder caught and bowled then Odean Smith caught at long off by Vince, to leave the West Indies in deep trouble at 65-7.
Yet the Windies brilliantly recovered from their ponderous start, although when Allen was caught by Banton off Jordan it looked like curtains at 98-8 off 15.1 overs.
The spirited 72-run stand from Hosein and Shepherd was the highest for the ninth wicket in T20 internationals by a Test-playing nation.
Although the West Indies finished one run short of their target, they will return to venue on Wednesday full of confidence and ready to do battle in the third of five contests.
WI v England 2022
22 January | 1st T20I (Kensington Oval, Barbados)
WI 104-1 (17.1 overs) beat England 103 all out (19.4 overs)
23 January | 2nd T20I (Kensington Oval, Barbados)
England 171-8 (20 overs) beat WI 170-8 (20 overs)
26 January | 3rd T20I WI v England (Kensington Oval, Barbados)
29 January | 4th T20I WI v England (Kensington Oval, Barbados)
30 January | 5th T20I WI v England (Kensington Oval, Barbados)
1-4 March | Warm-up friendly (Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua)
8-12 March | 1st Test WI v England (Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua)
16-20 March | 2nd Test WI v England (Kensington Oval, Barbados)
24-28 March | 3rd Test WI v England (National Cricket Stadium, Grenada)
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