England couldn’t resist Rovman Powell as his six-packed, muscular century carried the West Indies to a 20-run victory and 2-1 lead in the five-match Twenty20 series in Barbados.
Powell, hired by Odean Smith, hit 10 of the Windies’ 16 sixes en route to a tremendous 53-ball 107 in an inning that formed the backbone of his side’s 224 of five, with Nicholas Pooran hitting 70 of 43. deliveries.
Tom Banton gave a much-changed England hope of achieving their third-highest chase with a 39-ball 73, but his sacking left the Tourists needing 96 from 45 deliveries before Phil Salt kept their hopes alive.
Salt, one of three T20 debutants alongside George Garton and Harry Brook, cut the equation down to 36 in one over, skinning the first two deliveries for six en route to 22 balls from fifty before being thrown around his legs.
England, captained by Moeen Ali on Wednesday night due to a slight strain on Eoin Morgan’s quad, now need to win the remaining two matches to prevail in the series after top-31s on a tough night for bowlers.
Garton claimed a wicket in his international arc but the southpaw, one of three in England’s XI alongside Reece Topley and Tymal Mills, leaked 57 of his four overs. Mills was also expensive, giving up 52 of his allowance.
After Moeen elected to bat first following a slight rain delay, the Windies went to 15 for one in three overs, with Garton’s eventful introduction at international level starting with four before cleaning off Brandon King as he formed. to get the ball to third. man.
However, Garton discovered the harsher side of life at the top level with Pooran, whose top edge of his second ball landed right in front of the short, thin leg, pulling twice on the rope, then repeating Tymal’s dose. Mills.
Shai Hope set off when he made a sweeping attempt at the bottom edge of his bag, but England got an early indication of things to come when Powell swept powerfully over the deep fence from half-wicket.
Livingstone and then Moeen, in their only over, craned their necks skyward as Powell skinned high and straight. Even though Moeen was weighing her options, the boundaries kept flowing and only Adil Rashid was able to submit the pair.
After Pooran and Powell hit 50, the latter fueled the innings by beating Livingstone with two straight sixes in an over that yielded 26, including wide fives that barely landed on the cut strip.
Rashid ended a standing 122 runs – a Windies record for third wicket in the format – when Pooran holed out too much, but there was no respite for England as Powell reached his first international T20 hundred on just 51 balls and then celebrated . pulling Reece Topley off the ground.
Trying to repeat, he got stuck deep inside Topley. Three late wickets failed to stem the tide as the hosts added 110 in the final seven overs, with concerns over England’s bowling of death.
After England failed to find the limit in the first 11 balls of the reply, Banton charged Jason Holder over his head for six, while Jason Roy did the same to Sheldon Cottrell.
Roy and then James Vince contributed cameos before departing as teenagers, while Moeen made her second duck in three games. But Banton floored Akeal Hosein, crushing him with sixes over midwicket in each of the slow left-arm’s first two overs and went 50-for-29 shortly before England hit 100 in the 11th over.
Livingstone finished toe-to-toe in a brief stay in which he needed treatment after appearing under the weather on his return from esophagitis and, at this stage, England’s hopes seemed to rest on Banton’s shoulders.
He dispatched Romario Shepherd with straight sixes while Kieron Pollard was driven the distance before Banton pinned the Windies captain wide, throwing his head back in desperation as Holder completed the catch.
That seemed to be the final nail in England’s coffin, but Salt slammed sixes against Hosein, Shepherd and then Cottrell in the arc between deep and long square leg before another pair of straight leg-side fours against Holder.
Brook, Garton and Rashid went back and forth and although 38 of the last six balls were needed, Shepherd delivered a couple of wide balls before Salt hammered the first two deliveries of the over for six. However, Salt wiped his legs going 57-for-24 from the ball to end England’s challenge.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.