England triumph as Windies crash to second lowest T20 total

Saturday, March 09, 2019

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Basseterre , Saint Kitts and Nevis (AFP) — West Indies were dismissed for the second-lowest ever T20 international total of just 45 as England swept to a 137-win yesterday.

Chasing 183 to win, world champion West Indies just avoided the lowest ever total of 39 made by non-Test Netherlands against Sri Lanka in 2014.

Chris Jordan wrecked the West Indies top-order batting as England completed a crushing, series-clinching victory at Warner Park.

After Sam Billings engineered an excellent recovery with 87 to lift the tourists to 182 for six, Jordan was almost unplayable in taking four wickets for six runs off three overs, with the home side crashing in just 11.5 overs.

For England this was their largest margin of victory, in terms of runs, in T20s and gives them the series 2-0. This the final match of the tour coming up on Sunday at the same venue.

David Willey, who partnered the rampant Billings in adding 68 runs for the sixth wicket after England were put in, started the rout of the Caribbean team with the critical wicket of Chris Gayle before adding opening partner Shai Hope two balls later.

Jordan then accelerated the slide in disposing of Darren Bravo and captain Jason Holder off successive deliveries before adding the scalps of Nicholas Pooran and Fabien Allen.

He was however deprived of the chance of a five-wicket haul as his skipper, Eoin Morgan, allowed Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett to finish off the match, the leg-spinner and fast-medium bowler taking two wickets each.

Earlier, Billings made the most of being dropped on 14 by debutant pacer Obed McCoy on the long-on boundary in finishing with a T20I career-best of 87 off 47 balls, with three sixes and 10 fours to take the man of the match award.

“It was a nice situation where I could give myself some time, then cash in at the end,” he said in describing the innings and the situation he and Joe Root found themselves with the early loss of wickets.

“There's been lots to play for as a team and as individuals going into a World Cup year.”

Billings put on 82 for the fifth wicket with Root (55), after the visitors had slipped to 32 for four in the sixth over following the decision by Holder to put them in.

“We've got to get ourselves attuned to the T20 game,” said Holder in acknowledging that the squad selected for these matches was retained from the ODI series which finished 2-2 a week earlier.

“There's still pride to play for. The purpose of keeping the squad together was to build towards the World Cup.”

Left-arm spinner Allen snared the wickets of Alex Hales and Joe Denly to finish with the best figures of two for 29. He also effected the run-out of Root just as the partnership with Billings was threatening to accelerate.

Billings fell to the last ball of the innings, caught behind off McCoy, but not before he had taken 22 runs off the first five deliveries of the over.

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