England avoid T20 series whitewash

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Football News

Chris Jordan was the hero as England avoided a T20 series whitewash against West Indies with a thrilling five-run win that went right down to very last ball at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

The Sussex paceman, born in Barbados, was a replacement for Tim Bresnan and hit an astonishing 26 runs off his side's final over in the first innings and took three West Indian wickets.

Jade Dernbach also kept his cool in the final over of the contest as the hosts couldn't manage the 17 runs they needed. The Windies' captain Darren Sammy required six off the final ball but he couldn't see his side over the line with a single.

England's score of 165-6 proved to be just enough to defend.

The three-match series had already been lost from England's point of view but this win will give them confidence going into the upcoming World T20 tournament.

Coach Ashley Giles made another change to the side that lost the second T20, and with it the series, as Ben Stokes replaced Luke Wright.

The West Indies made three changes themselves: the injured superstar Chris Gayle, Ravi Rampaul and Samuel Badree made way for Johnson Charles, Sheldon Cotterrell and Sunil Narine.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, it was the tourists who made a rapid start.

Michael Lumb dominated the early stages of an opening partnership with Alex Hales. The 34-year-old pounced upon some poor early bowling from Krishmar Santokie and Cotterrell.

After just four overs England's danger-man had accounted for 42 runs of the 52 total and it only took another three overs before he reached his half-century off just 27 balls.

Lumb was eventually dismissed in the 11th over for his highest international T20 score, 63 off 40 balls, when he skied Cotterrell to Dwayne Bravo.

Hales had played a watchful innings, 38 off 31 balls, but he gifted Cotterrell a second wicket soon after by holing out to mid-on.

The wickets cooled Giles' side's momentum as the Windies bowlers kept the new pair at the crease - skipper Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler - under wraps by clever variations and changes of speed.

Having dominated early-on, England lost four wickets in four overs to complete a dramatic change in fortunes.

Spinner Narine had Morgan caught in the deep for 18. The impressive Santokie then sent Jos Buttler (3) back to the hut, caught nicely by captain Sammy, and bowled Ben Stokes for a golden duck before running out Moeen Ali (3).

However Jordan expertly fired England to a respectable score in the last over. The fast bowler, batting at number eight, hit Bravo for an incredible 26 runs which included four maximums.

Despite Jordan's onslaught, the visitors would've hoped for a total above the 165-6 they eventually reached. At the halfway stage, Lumb and Hales set the platform for a score of over 200.

The West Indies, however, deserved credit for their recovery with the ball.

It was England who deserved credit for the way they started the defence of their target though.

Jordan's late blast gave the visitors belief and Jade Dernbach capitalised to take the wicket of Dwayne Smith with the very first ball of the innings before Jordan himself dismissed Smith's opening partner Johnson Charles (4) with a return catch in the next over.

It turned out to be a bad opening power-play period for the hosts, Marlon Samuels was bowled for 15 by Jordan. Dwayne Bravo and Lendl Simmons then limped to 35-3 after six overs.

At the halfway point the West Indies were behind the run-rate; James Tredwell and Stephen Parry kept Bravo and Simmons in check with accurate spin bowling.

It got better for even better for England shortly afterwards.

Ravi Bopara, in his first over, had Bravo (16), caught beautifully by Jordan in the deep, and Andre Russell (0) dismissed by Morgan's safe hands.

However the Windies were keen to show why they are the reigning world T20 champions as Simmons and Denesh Ramdin set about staging a recovery.

From a seemingly desperate position of 67-5 the pair hauled their side back into contention with a great partnership. Simmons picked up a half century off 43 balls along the way.

With 12 deliveries to go the victory target had been cut to just 32.

The superb Jordan thought he'd won it for his side when he bowled Ramdin for 33.

Windies skipper Sammy had other ideas, he hit Jordan's last two deliveries for four.

That left 17 to win off the final over. Dernbach bowled two great balls before Simmons' (69) resistance was finished with a frenetic run-out. Sammy kept his side alive with a maximum the following ball.

With seven needed off the final two balls Dernbach bowled a dot ball and it looked as though the tourists were home and dry but a wide in the last delivery left Sammy needing a six to win, he could only manage a single, though, as England finally recorded a T20 win after what has been a difficult winter.

Giles will be hoping to keep this form going into the World T20 opener in Bangladesh against New Zealand on the 22nd March.

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T20 World Cup
England cricket
West Indies cricket

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