West Indies vs England T20I series, 2nd match: Shepherd, Hosein put up fight but England records one-run win
By Brandon Corlette in Barbados
Akeal Hosein and Romario Shepherd displayed great fight and determination at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, but England rebounded with a one-run win of the second match in the T20I series on Sunday night.
In a match that produced 18 sixes, England scored 171-8 in 20 overs, while West Indies reached 170-8 in 20 overs, with Hosein slamming three sixes off the final three balls, as he and Shepherd shared a top-score of 44 not out.
West Indies began their chase of 172 wobbling after the loss of Shai Hope and Brandon King. Reece Topley, who was the lone change in this match, made an immediate impact as he removed King, trapped at the crease for a golden duck.
Hope then ran himself out at 6-2, but Pooran and Darren Bravo joined forces. Pooran lived a charmed life early, when he was dropped on six and eight respectively by Dawson, then Morgan. The southpaw Pooran slammed three fours and one mighty six before his promising knock of 24 ended from 22 balls.
After that 41-run partnership, Pollard partnered young Bravo at 47-3 inside eight overs. West Indies then slipped further when Pollard was trapped cheaply by Adil Rashid at 50-4 in 8.3 overs.
Bravo was the next man dismissed at 55-5, as his innings of 23 from 20 lacked intent. England continued to chip away with wickets, with Holder and Odean Smith removed in the same over by Ali.
Shepherd, Hosein six-party
At 65-7, the Party Stand, which is dominated by English fans, kept dancing to the tunes. Shepherd got the handful of Guyanese present at the Oval in the groove by slamming mighty sixes to all parts.
Shepherd slammed five sixes and one four in his 28-ball unbeaten 44. His partner Hosein faced only 16 balls for his 44, which had four sixes and three fours. The duo featured in a record-breaking 72-run partnership, the second highest ninth-wicket partnership in T20 cricket.
While the second ball of the final over looked like a wide, the bowler got the benefit of the doubt. Saqib Mahmood yielded 27 runs in the final over, but England still ended on the winning side. Player of the match Ali was the pick of the English bowlers with 3-24 in four top overs.
England’s improved batting
England had a sober start in the second T20, with Tom Banton and Jason Roy adding 36 runs together in 5.2 overs. The duo displayed some innovation, especially against Fabian Allen, who was struck for three reverse sweeps. Allen rebounded with finesse, taking a sharp return catch to see the back of Banton, who made 25 from 18 balls.
His innings got the dominant English spectators on their feet when he struck three fours and one six.
James Vince came and played a delightful cut-shot, but was then squared-up and bowled in the same eventful over by Allen. At 40-2 after the powerplay, West Indies were looking to make further inroads and take the pace off the ball.
In the middle phase of the England innings, the West Indies were a bit more relaxed in the field, with Darren Bravo misjudging a high-ball and Pooran dropping a sitter, with Moeen Ali on 13 off Pollard, leaving England on 64-2 after 10 overs.
Roy, who had a scratchy start, took Allen to the cleaners in a 24-run over after the drinks break. The pugnacious Roy, who warmed up before this series with a blazing century at the Oval, struck a 95-metre six off Allen, who ended with figures of 2-50 from four overs.
Ali and Roy hit overdrive and got the 50-run partnership in 36 balls. Romario Shepherd was belatedly introduced into the attack, and after a streaky boundary, he removed Roy with a slower ball which found Pollard at long-on. The dangerous Roy made 45 from 31 balls, missing out on his eighth fifty.
At 101-3 in 12.2 overs, Billings joined Ali, but the latter continued the England series trend of hitting a six and then being dismissed. Ali sliced one to short third-man off the tricky Pollard for a 24-ball 31 which included three fours and one six.
As the sun set at the beautiful Kensington Oval, Sam Billings was undone by the impressive Hosein as he attempted to sweep, and Eoin Morgan found King in the deep off Holder at 146-7.
It was again hometown boy Chris Jordan who with the bat put on another show for his family in the stands.
His brave innings concluded when he found Holder at long-off for a 15-ball 27, which had two fours and one six.
England’s performance has improved in this second match, their innings ending on 171-8 in 20 overs. Holder ended with 2-25 from four overs, once again being the pick of the bowlers, while Odean Smith did not bowl a ball in this match.
The third T20I bowls off at the same venue on Wednesday, January 26, from 16:00h Eastern Caribbean time.