West Indies v England, 2nd T20, Barbados March 11, 2014

Sammy seals series for West Indies


West Indies 155 for 5 beat England 152 for 7 (Buttler 67, Hales 40, Santokie 4-21) by five wickets
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Croft: Superlative hitting by Sammy

West Indies outmuscled England to win the T20 series 2-0 with one to play courtesy of a five-wicket win with seven balls to spare at Kensington Oval. England worked hard to hang in the game, especially with the ball, but West Indies struck 11 sixes to England's six and ultimately their extra power proved impossible to contain.

The big beast, Chris Gayle, who only a few days ago had been wondering about the state of his glutes, commandeered West Indies' innings with five gluteus maximuses, three of them flying onto the roof of the stands and out of the ground. James Tredwell risked a cricked neck as he watched three sail skywards, but still only conceded 27: the West Indies, did not bother themselves with too many singles.

But Ravi Bopara, at his most sagacious with the ball, turned in a commendable spell, 10 runs conceded from four overs of devil's confetti to equal England's most economical full spell in T20. He had Gayle outwitted, chopping on for 36 from 30 balls. West Indies, having patted Bopara back with no sense of urgency, had seven wickets intact and 37 to get from four overs, but the immensity of the task suddenly dawned on them when Tim Bresnan dismissed Marlon Samuels and Andre Russell to leg-side catches in successive balls.

The final fusillade came from Darren Sammy, an unbeaten 30 from only nine balls with the rope cleared three times: so much for a tricky target of 31 from the last three overs. "Good momentum… we're looking good," said Sammy. Nobody could question that. He mullered some attempted yorkers from Jade Dernbach and Bresnan over the ropes and he will go to Bangladesh as a captain content about his own game.

The statistical advantage of batting first in T20Is at this ground - 11 wins from 14 before now - is not quite as daunting as it was. England's recognisably dud start - 26 for 3 in five overs - had much to do with that.

This match, well contested unlike West Indies' 27-run victory two days earlier, probably illustrated what awaits these sides in World T20 in Bangladesh. West Indies, the defending champions, will produce most of the crowd-pleasing moments; England, champions before them, will sneak little advantages where they can, and hope to win matches on the blindside.

Without West Indies-style power at their disposal, England have little to be relaxed about, but there is always the Jos stick to turn to. Jos Buttler hit out with good effect, replacing the stench of another top-order collapse with something more appealingly scented. His 67 from 43 balls was his best in T20Is and such is his growing importance to this England side, it was surprising to reflect that this was only his second T20 half-century, his speciality until recently being limited to violent forays down the order.

It is a fair assumption that as England have agonised about how to gather themselves ahead of World T20, Krishmar Santokie, a 29-year-old Jamaican, has not occupied their thoughts. But it was Santokie who returned 4 for 21 in only his fourth T20 and who collected the Man-of-the-Match award while much of the crowd chatted about the six-hitting exploits of Gayle and Sammy.

Santokie was the none-too-tall left-arm seamer who had replaced Sunil Narine, West Indies' star bowling asset for the World T20, but rested after he had tested his strained knee gingerly alongside the physio in a manner that will have done nothing to calm West Indies' fears about his fitness, even if Sammy optimistically predicted that he might be back for the final match on Thursday.

But Santokie proved to be a wily old bird. First there was the devilish low full toss which Michael Lumb played all around to be lbw (there were theories he might have got a nick but he should have middled it). Then Moeen Ali played so far outside a slower offcutter he was not in the same parish. He returned late in the innings with two more body blows, not just adding Buttler but also dismissing Bopara, who miscued to long-off.

Moeen was one of two England debutants as they rebalanced their seam-dominated side in the opening match - Lancashire's left-arm spinner Stephen Parry was the other - but England's stand-in captain Eoin Morgan, in charge in place of Stuart Broad, who has tendonitis in his knee, rejected suggestions that England had particular problems against spin, suggesting that they have struggled at the top of the innings "regardless of what we have faced." Morgan did fall to spin, his top-edged sweep against Samuel Badree plopping to deep square leg.

There was much desperate thrashing by Buttler and Alex Hales before it got better, most comically when Ramdin dropped Hales on 15 when he called for a skier heading down to third man and failed to lay a glove on the ball. Hales and Buttler eventually found a release, extending their stand to 76 in nine overs - Sammy's solitary over, which cost 17, their major solace.

Hales fell in the deep for 40, a nodding acquaintance with his best form, no more than that, and a prolonged shower disrupted England's innings with Buttler in full swing. Even though they scrambled 43 from the last 33 deliveries a workaday total proved to be within West Indies' range.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Srinivas on March 13, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    England is in deep trouble, most likely India too, with the world cup right around the corner. Congratulations to West Indies on their series victory.

  • John on March 12, 2014, 21:19 GMT

    @Patchmaster on (March 11, 2014, 21:27 GMT) - Have to say as a big Ravi critic myself - I dont think he did that much wrong. He played out few dots and was rotating the strike well. Buttler was the only player who went at considerably better than a run a ball. Hales went slightly more than a run a ball and if memory serves me correct he was under a run a ball for quite a while. And I think 4 overs for 10 runs including picking up Gayle and dragging the game back for England should be good enough to keep him in any side. If it was just his batting I'd not have him in the side but his bowling in the shorter formats seem to be his stronger suit and we need anyone who can bowl a number of economical overs in our side right now

  • John on March 12, 2014, 21:10 GMT

    @Maxyboy_123 on (March 11, 2014, 22:38 GMT) I think Sidebottom has retired from international cricket What I dont get is that the shorter length bowling seems to be a plan and when it so seldom works.It's ok to use it as a surprise ball once in a while but some of our bowlers seem to use it as a stock ball. The other evening vs WI when WI were 8 or 9 down Bres got clobbered ball after ball and then he bowled a yorker and it was game over.

  • John on March 12, 2014, 21:05 GMT

    Few positives to take from this as an England fan.Dernbach started to forget to bowl full again and I thought Bres was woeful - his 2 wickets in 2 balls flattered him. Tredwell comes out with credit again. To be whacked out the ground on several occasions and return the figures he did is testament to him. What happened to our successful policy of opening with spin in the ODIs (at least at one end?) Surely Bell needs to be given a go at 3 (unless Lumb is injured)

    Finally I dont understand the logic of Wright at 7. We are in danger of having a number player who doesnt face a ball with the bat and doesnt bowl an over which is what eventually happened to him 1st time round

    Credit Sammy once more. Still feel he is one of the most underappreciated cricketers in cricket today.

  • Dummy on March 12, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    I don't think so they will be successful on Bangladesh tracks:@

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    while it was a win, West Indies need to develop the skill to take singles, its not always the big hitting. There will be times on a slow track when it will require someone to work the ball. six runs in an over is six runs in an over whether its six singles a six or a boundary and a two. To me this is a gap that currently exists. WI don't have a batsman that can work the ball. Simmons tries but gets out too easily at times. I also believe England played right into the trap by bringing Bresnan back on. Yes he got 2 wickets in his second spell but bowled repeatedly in the V range. A similar lenght/line that got Russell out may have done it.

  • Asad on March 12, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    WOW. Well Done WI !!!

    It seems the World cup prep is in progress.

  • Ian on March 12, 2014, 16:21 GMT

    What about the rarity of a WI series win?? Lots of talk bout England. Way to go WI keep this up.

  • M. on March 12, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    @Twinkie - no excuses here, I said that the Windies were always likely winners. However T20 does have elements of luck which you wouldn't see in Test cricket. If you are batting into a stiff breeze and looking to hit high sixes then it is palpable that this is a much riskier operation than when there is no wind. A couple more sixes would have made a big difference for England - even the Cricinfo commentary mentioned the changing weather.

  • Donna on March 12, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    Mr. Hatter, please stop with the excuses! We've had many a match when conditions favoured England. Unless there is something extraordinary it's not cricket to even mention it. Mr. Adjodha, we have some key players missing as well, so that's no excuse. West Indies beat England, everybody! Deal with it!

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