Bridgetown , Barbados (AFP) — England overcame a late-order rally by Romario Shepherd and Akeal Hosein to beat the West Indies by just one run in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) at Bridgetown on Sunday.
The tourists appeared to be cruising to a win that saw them level the five-match series at 1-1 when the West Indies needed 61 runs from the final three overs to reach a target of 172 with only two wickets standing.
But from 111 for eight, Shepherd and Hosein, who both made 44 not out in an unbroken stand of 72, almost saw their side to a sensational win at the Kensington Oval.
Chris Jordan and Saqib Mahmood were repeatedly hit for boundaries, although the recalled Reece Topley conceded just eight runs in the 19th over.
West Indies, who had slumped to 65 for seven, needed 30 to win off the last over, bowled by Mahmood.
The paceman had ensured West Indies could not reach their target without an illegal delivery before Hosein ended the match in spectacular style with three successive sixes.
Hosein faced just 16 balls as he more than played his part in an impressive stand with all-rounder Shepherd.
England Captain Eoin Morgan was pleased by the way a team, without several T20 regulars, clung on to victory.
“I was delighted, and even with the last quarter, with a relatively inexperienced international side, those are the games you want to play in,” he said.
But Pollard was proud of the fight shown by his side.
“I can see the confidence with the guys in the changing room,” he said. “We will have days like this, but my thing is the fight that the guys continue to show.”
Earlier, England spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid shared five wickets after left-arm quick Topley had reduced the West Indies to six for two by having Brandon King lbw for a duck and running out fellow opener Shai Hope.
Jason Roy top-scored with 45 as an improved England batting display took the tourists to 171 for eight.
England were bowled out for just 103 on Saturday as the West Indies cruised to a nine-wicket win.
But it was a different story when the teams returned to the Kensington Oval a day later.
Even so, England — at 64 for two at the 10-over halfway mark — needed some late impetus.
That came mainly from Roy, with Allen — who hit six fours and two sixes.
Moeen made 31 before he was dismissed by Pollard, but Barbados-born all-rounder Jordan's 27 off 14 balls helped England add 107 in the final 10 overs.
J Roy c Pollard b Shepherd 45
T Banton c & b Allen 25
J Vince b Allen 4
Moeen Ali c Cottrell b Pollard 31
+S Billings c Cottrell b Hosein 5
*E Morgan c King b Holder 13
C Jordan c Holder b Cottrell 27
L Dawson c Allen b Holder 4
A Rashid not out 2
Saqib Mahmood not out 7
Extras (w8) 8
TOTAL (8 wkts, 20 overs) 171
Did not bat: R Topley
Fall of wickets: 1-36 (Banton), 2-40 (Vince), 3-101 (Roy), 4-114 (Moeen), 5-116 (Billings), 6-147 (Morgan), 7-162 (Jordan), 8-164 (Dawson)
Bowling: Cottrell 3-0-23-1 (w1), Holder 4-0-25-2 (w2), Hosein 3-0-15-1, Allen 4-0-50-2, Pollard 4-0-32-1 (w4), Shepherd 2-0-16-1 (w1)
B King lbw b Topley 0
+S Hope run out 2
N Pooran c Vince b Ali 24
D Bravo lbw b Rashid 23
*K Pollard lbw b Rashid 1
J Holder c & b Ali 1
R Shepherd not out 44
O Smith c Vince b Ali 7
F Allen c Banton b Jordan 12
A Hosein not out 44
Extras (b4, lb3, w5) 12
TOTAL (8 wkts, 20 overs) 170
Did not bat: S Cottrell
Fall of wickets: 1-3 (King), 2-6 (Hope), 3-47 (Pooran), 4-50 (Pollard), 5-55 (Bravo), 6-57 (Holder), 7-65 (Smith), 8-98 (Allen)
Bowling: Topley 4-0-18-1 (w1), Saqib 4-0-45-0 (w2), Jordan 3-0-39-1 (w1), Rashid 4-1-24-2, Moeen 4-0-24-3, Dawson 1-0-13-0
Result: England won by one run
Series: Five-match series level 1-1
Man-of-the-Match: Moeen Ali
Toss: West Indies
Umpires: Nigel Duguid, Joel Wilson; TV – Gregory Brathwaite