|Twenty20 international, Chester-le-Street:|
|West Indies 176 (20 overs): Lewis 51; Rashid 3-25|
|England 155 (19.3 overs): Hales 43; Brathwaite 3-20|
|West Indies won by 21 runs|
England’s batting crumbled as they were bowled out for 155 to lose to West Indies by 21 runs in their Twenty20 international at Chester-le-Street.
Chasing 177, England looked well set at 64-1 and 118-4 but lost wickets at key times as captain Carlos Brathwaite claimed 3-20.
Chris Gayle made 40 off 21 balls and Evin Lewis 51 off 28 for West Indies, sharing a rapid opening stand of 77.
England pegged West Indies back from 106-1, with Adil Rashid taking 3-25.
That gave England the edge at the halfway stage and their hopes improved further when opener Alex Hales began the reply with a blistering 17-ball 43.
But captain Brathwaite bowled Hales at the end of the sixth over on the way to figures of 3-20.
It was the first T20 meeting between the sides since a Brathwaite-inspired West Indies won the World Twenty20 final in 2016.
The match is the sole T20 before a five-match one-day series begins at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Brathwaite haunts England again
It is 531 days since Brathwaite hit Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes in the final over to win the World T20, and again he played a key role on a cold, damp night in Durham.
After losing opening partner Jason Roy from the first ball of England’s reply, Hales hit eight fours and a six in an innings that looked like it could take the game away from the tourists.
But the opener had his off stump uprooted as he tried to drive Brathwaite, and England lost Joe Root (17) and captain Eoin Morgan (2) within the next 11 balls.
From there, England recovered through Jos Buttler (30) and Jonny Bairstow (27), who shared a 50-run stand before Buttler holed out at deep mid-wicket off Kesrick Williams, one of his three wickets at a cost of 35.
Sunil Narine was also effective with his slow bowling as the ball skidded on off the pitch, while the fielders also struggled to keep their footing on the greasy surface.
With Bairstow at the crease, England still had hope, but Brathwaite returned to have the Yorkshireman caught at deep square leg off a slower ball, leaving the hosts 129-8.
Brathwaite delivered the last over and was fittingly the man to take the final wicket.
England bowlers fight back after Windies flier
Throughout the recent Test series between these sides, much of the talk of the tourists had been about the players missing from their line-up.
But with a change of format, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard, Brathwaite and Narine all returned.
Gayle hit four sixes in his 21-ball 40 before he was run out in lackadaisical fashion, jogging a single and beaten by Jason Roy’s throw to the non-striker’s end.
Gayle’s opening partner Evin Lewis, who made a 28-ball 51, became the first of Plunkett’s three victims when he chipped to mid-on.
Plunkett was the pick of the England seamers, removing Marlon Samuels, who hit 85 not out in the World T20 final, and Kieron Pollard.
Rashid then blew through the tourists’ middle order with his leg-spin.
‘It was a total team effort’ – what they said
England captain Eoin Morgan, speaking on Test Match Special: “Given we were chasing 170-odd on a wicket that was coming on nicely, we let ourselves down with the bat.
“It’s disappointing because we have the capabilities of chasing down a score like that.
“Plunkett and Rashid were outstanding; it was an amazing effort to get us back in the game.”
England bowler Liam Plunkett, who took 3-27: “You have to be on your game against the likes of Lewis and Gayle but even sometimes that doesn’t work out.
“We are disappointed, we lost wickets in the middle that we will look at but the game was there to win, we felt like we could win it. Even in the last four or five overs.”
Man-of-the-match Sunil Narine, who took 2-15: “It’s a total team effort. We were probably 15 runs short so I must give credit to the bowlers.
“It was tough, we are from the warm islands but at the end of the day you’re an international cricketer and you have to cope with it.”
West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite on Sky Sports: “This was probably the more challenging of our recent wins. Conditions were soft and slippery, the umpires were close to calling it off.”
Former England batsman James Taylor on BBC Test Match Special: “Brathwaite chopped and changed his bowlers really well. Their skills were far superior to England and they won the big moments.”
The stats you may have missed
- In hitting the first of his four sixes, Chris Gayle became the first player to reach 100 sixes in T20 internationals
- Buttler became only the fourth England player to reach 1,000 T20 runs, after Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales
- West Indies have won 11 of their past 15 T20s against England
- In the past seven T20s in England, the team losing the toss has won the game
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