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BAN v SL (1)
SLCD-XI in ENG (1)
County DIV1 (4)
County DIV2 (4)
West Indies 224 for 5 (Powell 107, Pooran 70) beat England 204 for 9 (Banton 73, Salt 57, Shepherd 3-59, Pollard 2-31) by 20 runs
A brutal 51-ball century from Rovman Powell blasted West Indies to a 20-run victory over England and a 2-1 lead in their five-match T20I series in Barbados.
Powell muscled the hosts to 224 for 5 with an astonishing 107 off just 53 deliveries amid a 122-run stand for the third wicket with Nicholas Pooran, who was the perfect cornerman to Powell's heavyweight destroyer with a sublimely crafted 70 off 43.
In response, England's inexperienced team - which had undergone no less than five changes through illness, injury and rotation - were left punch drunk until Tom Banton's gallant half-century and an assured 57 from Phil Salt on his T20I debut kept them in the fight. But ultimately, the tourists had been left with too much to do.
Making his first appearance of the series after being called up to bolster West Indies' batting in place of allrounder Odean Smith, Powell did exactly what his side asked of him. Their line-up was hardly tested in pursuit of a paltry 104 in Saturday's nine-wicket victory but stumbled badly on Sunday when they were forced to rely on ninth-wicket stand of 72 between Romario Shepherd and Akeal Hosein to get within two runs of victory. On this occasion, Powell and Pooran got the hosts firing.
Powell's 10 sixes were breath-taking as he clubbed England's bowlers into the stands time and again, particularly down the ground with one of his efforts being measured at more than 100 metres. He brought up his fifty with a crunching effort off Liam Livingstone over deep extra cover and his only nervous moments appeared as his century came within reach of just one more hammer blow during a tight start to Reece Topley's final over. But, having brought up his hundred with a two-run punch to square leg, he freed his arms once more to pump the ball back over the bowler's head and clear the ropes for the tenth time.
Powell fell two balls later, picking out Livingstone as he ran in from long-off but by that stage, he'd done irrevocable damage. Earlier, Pooran had chimed in with five sixes and four fours of his own and it wasn't until the 17th over that Adil Rashid made the breakthrough that removed him, caught by Livingstone at long-on. When Pooran fell, he and Powell had lifted West Indies from 48 for 2 to 170 for 3.
Moeen Ali, standing in as captain for Eoin Morgan who was suffering from quadriceps soreness, won a rain-delayed toss and barely managed to recite the ins and outs for his team, which handed international debuts to George Garton and Harry Brook and a maiden T20I cap to Salt, who was part of the hastily assembled ODI squad that beat Pakistan 3-0 after a Covid outbreak in July.
Also sitting out for England was an unwell Sam Billings, with Banton taking the wicketkeeping gloves, and Liam Dawson, who made way after Livingstone recovered sufficiently from the acid reflux problem which had kept him out of the first two games. Chris Jordan and Saqib Mahmood were left out as Tymal Mills returned to the attack.
Livingstone bowled a particularly expensive over, which went for 26 as he mixed up his legspin and offspin to the right-hand/left-hand combination of Powell and Pooran. But he had Shai Hope caught behind and took both catches to dismiss Pooran and Powell, the latter almost slipping through his fingers as he went to ground running in from long-off.
Garton had contributed to a bright start for England, having bowled Brandon King with a beauty on the top of off stump in the second over of the match in an excellent response to being struck for two boundaries within his first four balls. But then the Powell-Pooran main event began.
Banton, Salt step up
Jason Roy threatened at the start of England's chase but when he, James Vince and Moeen all succumbed to some disciplined bowling and an improved performance in the field by West Indies, Banton stepped up to score a career-best 73 in his 12th T20I.
Banton played a superb knock, setting the scene with a six off the second ball he faced - the sixth of the innings - and facing 39 deliveries all told. But he fell victim to West Indies captain Kieron Pollard, who had already removed Moeen for a duck in an excellent spell, when he was caught by Jason Holder.
That was shortly after Livingstone, who appeared to be suffering some after-effects of his illness during his innings, fell to a sharp catch by Hosein backpedalling to extra cover and managing to hold on as he landed on his back. Hosein almost took a screamer at point that would have had Salt out for a duck, but the ball spilled as his arm hit the ground after a valiant leap.
Playing on the island where had lived for six years as a youngster, Salt made the most of his chance, racing to his score off just 24 deliveries, including five sixes on a night when 31 in all were struck. With England needing 36 off the last six balls, Salt brought up his fifty with the first of back-to-back sixes off Shepherd, but he fell next ball, bowled round his legs and it was game over for England.
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