West Indies v England, 3rd T20, Barbados March 13, 2014

Jordan stars on homecoming to lift England


England 165 for 6 (Lumb 63, Hales 38, Jordan 27*) beat West Indies 160 for 7 (Simmons 69, Ramdin 33, Jordan 3-39) by five runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dobell: Jordan made all the difference

The last time Chris Jordan batted at Kensington Oval, the ground was being developed for a Caribbean World Cup and he gazed up at the stands as a teenager with the world before him wondering if he might play one day for the West Indies. This time, he was an adult in an England shirt and when he gazed at the stands it was not in wonder, but because he was looking to see where his next six had landed.

England, clinging to any encouragement they can find, will look at a feverish five-run win in a dead rubber - the series already won by West Indies - and wonder if they have found a World T20 talisman. An unbeaten 27 from only seven balls duly pocketed, Jordan followed up with the wickets of Johnson Charles and Marlon Samuels in his first two overs and then pulled off a wonderful catch at deep square-leg as Dwayne Bravo fell to Ravi Bopara's long hop.

James Tredwell old-manned his way through another parsimonious spell, Bopara conceded only 28 despite spilling 18 from an over, but thanks to another skilful contribution from Lendl Simmons, as ever strong on the cut, when Jordan returned for his final over, the 19th, West Indies were still in touch with 32 needed from two overs and Darren Sammy still lurking in the dugout.

Jordan had shown strength and vitality, now he needed to hold his nerve. Twice, he found his yorker, he conceded a nicked boundary from the next then sent Denesh Ramdin's leg stump flying to end a sixth-wicket stand with Simmons of 73 from 46 balls. But Jordan spilled boundaries from his last two balls. West Indies were still in it: 17 needed off the last over and Jade Dernbach to bowl it.

Sammy's flat-bat six left West Indies seven short with two balls left and set up a memorable conclusion: Sammy firstly beaten by bouncer, Dernbach then bowling a wide to leave Sammy needing six off the last ball to win the match, and then bowling what would have been a wide-and-a-half were it not for the fact that Sammy made the mistake of hitting it. "I think we still had a chance if I hadn't got a bat on that," Sammy grinned.

As the screams subsided at Kensington Oval, Dernbach said: "To be honest, we had a pretty clear plan to Sammy." He looked so boisterous, a much-maligned death bowler who this time had clung on, but it was hard not to laugh. England, regarded as no-hopers three-and-a-half hours earlier, now travel to Bangladesh knowing that with fortune in their favour they can beat the defending champions. Such are the small margins of T20.

It was Jordan's batting cameo that gave England the edge. They entered the last over at 139 for 6, an innings frittered away after Michael Lumb's T20-best 63 had given them a rapid start. They finished it 27 runs to the good as Jordan struck Bravo for four sixes, two over the offside, then two to leg. The hometown boy had come good. For England, it was payback time on an investment. For the West Indies, it was galling, an export they could have done without.

Jordan gained his opportunity when England rested Tim Bresnan and in one over he became a serious contender for his allrounder's place at World Twenty20. Even with his freewheeling finale, England's total was an average one for this ground - nowhere near the 190 they must have felt was in their grasp - but the pitch was the slowest and grippiest of the series and it proved to be competitive.

England's two Powerplays in this series had been atrocious: starts of 36 for 2 and 30 for 3. Lumb surpassed both those scores single-handedly in less than four overs, reaching 38 in only 18 balls. Sunil Narine's unconventional spin had led Ashley Giles, England's coach, to call for a sea change in attitudes across English cricket towards mystery spin, but Lumb recognised no mystery at all as he slog-swept him with abandon.

After six overs, England were 64 without loss: a rare luxury indeed. But England gradually lost momentum. Lumb's escapade ended against Sheldon Cottrell, a mighty skier which Dwayne Bravo claimed at cover. Cottrell marked the catch - and his first T20 wicket on his debut in this format - with a salute to acknowledge his days as a soldier. Cottrell's first cost 17, but he recovered to take the first two wickets, Alex Hales also succumbing, this time to a flat-batted pull. Cottrell saluted again.

England had lost impetus. They responded by promoting their most destructive pairing, first Eoin Morgan, who dragged Narine to deep midwicket, and then Jos Buttler, who launched another clever slower ball skywards, this time against Krishmar Santokie, whereupon Sammy clamped big hands around a swirling catch and fell backwards with the contented air of a man in love with his rum bottle. Santokie, no saluter, as his ear rings and jewellery might have suggested, grinned and blew a kiss instead.

When Ben Stokes fell first ball to Santokie, bowled by another deceptive slower ball which gripped back off the pitch, and Moeen Ali pushed blindly at Narine as if he had never seen anything quite like it, nothing seemed to have changed. Thanks to Lumb, England had bolted, but increasingly they had bolted like lettuce.

When Santokie athletically fielded off his own bowling to run out of Moeen, who would have made his ground if he had dived, it again suggested that England's domestic Twenty20 is not producing ready-made battle-hardened cricketers. Moeen should at least have risen from the earth covered in dust. But the sprinkling of dust belonged to Jordan and you could imagine the flashes of gold in it.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Simon on March 16, 2014, 12:21 GMT

    England need to poach abroad for the following reasons: There is no cricket played in most primary schools, it is largely only played in rural state secondary(comp) schools, it rains constantly, there are no public pitches in cities and towns, you cant use club nets if you are not a member, there are very few public nets none in Bristol and few in London. There is no live cricket on terrestrial Television, cricket highlights on TV is past childrens bed time (after 7pm), no county cricket is shown, cricket kit is expensive, housing and living costs are expensive for most, there are many other sports easier to access and which recieve far more coverage. So you see very few people play cricket and IT IS ONLY DADS, THE PRIVATE SCHOOL SYSTEM AND THE COUNTY YOUTH PROGRAMMES AND ELITE SCHOLARSHIPS TO THE PRIVATE SCHOOLS THAT CLINGS ENGLAND TO THE TOP TABLE OF WORLD CRICKET, PLUS THE POACHING OF OVERSEAS TALENT. As cricket lovers I'm sure you'll agree this is sad.

  • Orlando on March 15, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Does anyone else find it odd that some of our most experienced players make some incredibly poor decisions? Take Bravo's over to Jordan. If that had been Cotterel or some other inexperienced bowler one would have understood - pressure of the moment and all that. But it was the "great" Dwayne Bravo - IPL star and oft spoken of as an outstanding all-rounder. How can someone that experienced not know how to adjust when batsmen attack?!! Rampaul is another who tends to fall apart when batsmen go after him. Problem is that WI have no surprises to take to the WT20 this time (maybe Santokie might be unknown to most). Narine is no longer feared in the same way and they have no genuinely fast bowler of the Edwards / Roach type who make batsmen consider their own safety as well as runs. So much depends on Gayle at the top and Sammy at the bottom of the batting, which is not a bad one by any means but it has to be backed up by some penetrative, smart bowling. Not sure we have enough of that.

  • John on March 14, 2014, 22:28 GMT

    @Charlie101 on (March 14, 2014, 16:11 GMT) Think one of the probs is that we have such a poor reputation that so few of our players would get picked. A number of our players put themselves forward and went unsold. I think KP was the only guy who went and he is no longer an Eng player. I reckon Morgan would have been taken but I reckon he's been all but promised a spot in the test side if he stays in England and Buttler may have gone had he put his name down with a sensible base price. The IPL franchises arent charities and they will only pick players who they think will do a job or pull crowds and we have few they see fit to do either. Sky are covering IPL from next year on so it'll be interesting to see if this means that there will be more Eng players being given a chance out there

  • Charles on March 14, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    We have virtually no chance of winning the T20 WC because we can not slog / hit out against spin whereas the other International top players such as Gayle and AB De Villiers practice in the subcontinent every year at the IPL for 6 weeks. It is time that we let a number of our ODI and T20 team get involved in the IPL so we have a chance to win the world cup.

  • John on March 14, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    @ Ross O'brien on (March 14, 2014, 0:25 GMT) You talk about Sammy , like clearing the ropes (which he would have had to have done) was a gimme.Yes he maybe should have had the wherewithal to leave that ball for a wide but the guy's SR was 250 (which was nearly 100 more than the 2nd best in the WI side and over double the rest of the side) and he got them close.

    @ AJ_Tiger86 on (March 14, 2014, 4:16 GMT) Yeah , I'm not sure what they see in Stokes at the moment in the shorter formats. Someone like Patel would be much better for the balance of the side - better with both bat and ball in these conditions.

    @ JohnYelton on (March 14, 2014, 0:47 GMT) I wouldn't say he fully held his nerve as he bowled a shorter ball which went for 6. If WI needed between 8-10 runs you'd say he did hold his nerve but you'd expect your death bowler to defend 17 runs. I think I'd still generally back Dernbach with the ball over Stokes,Broad and Bres right now

  • David on March 14, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    Well done Jordan. But from an English point of view, how unsatisfactory that a precocious West Indian schoolboy poached by an English public school - Dulwich - wins the game for England. This is nothing for English cricket to shout about. We continue to scrape the barrel for players. the Aussie XI is something an Aussie can be proud of whereas ours is patched together from the English public schools, foreigners, and the occasional Yorkshireman, where cricket is still strong. Okay, that's an oversimplification. But how is it that 12 of the 15 in the last England rugby team were state-educated, but so very few England cricketers (especially batsmen) now are. What can we learn from rugby?

  • sam on March 14, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    @ge123- This win or series-for WI-for that matter don't mean much in larger scheme of things,i.e t20 wc . 1st -the tourney is in BD ,so automatically count Eng out-they can't play spin. WI are made to look better by Eng and this win in totally diff. conds. is mot ideal prep. anyways. Though ,they haye some hitters, spining pitches will find them short as playing big shots is more likely to fail than come off vs the turning ball. WI fielding is also going to be a big letdown. In any case Aus,SL and Pak are the real powerhouses and are well rounded . They are going to be tough to beat for any other team. SA/NZ are an even chance to grab 4th semi/f spot.

  • be on March 14, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    Glad to see,England finally getting some momentum for the t20world cup,as far as West indies is concerned,they do have good chances to win the world cup

  • Mainuddin on March 14, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    How Stokes still gets a game for England is anyone's guess. His last few innings at the international level: 0, 4, 0, 4, 5, 5, 0. That's horrendous. And to make matters worse, his bowling is even more terrible. Completely ordinary and highly overrated cricketer.

  • Vijay P on March 14, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    Another foreign player? Well done England!

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