WI bowlers lead the way in 21-run T20 win
CHESTER-LE-STREET, England (CMC):
West Indies bowlers - led by their captain Carlos Brathwaite, the irrepressible Kesrick Williams and the clever Sunil Narine - defied cold, wet conditions and proved their adaptability to usher their side to a 21-run victory over England in their Twenty20 International yesterday.
Brathwaite snared three for 20 from 3.3 overs; Williams took three for 35 from his allotted four overs and Narine, later named Player of the Match, grabbed two for 15 from his four overs, as England were dismissed for 155 in pursuit of a victory target of 177 in the weather-affected match at the Riverside Stadium.
The Windies overcame a slippery outfield that almost forced umpires Martin Gough and Tim Robinson to abandon the England chase in the fifth over, an Alex Hales 39-ball blitz for a top score of 43, and a rearguard from Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow to clinch their 11th victory over England in 15 matches in this format.
Using a number of variations in the second half of the chase, the visitors made it difficult for the home team to lift the tempo late in the chase, as the last six wickets fell for 37 in the space of 36 balls.
The embattled Brathwaite formalised the result with three balls remaining when he went past Liam Plunkett's ugly swipe and bowled the England fast bowler to cap one of his better bowling performances in maroon since he was controversially elevated to captain last year.
West Indies had failed to build upon a typically explosive start from Chris Gayle and fellow opener Evin Lewis, and were restricted to 176 for nine from their allocation of 20 overs, after they were sent in to bat under cloudy skies.
Lewis led the way with 51 off 28 balls that included six fours and three sixes, and Gayle smote three fours and four sixes in 40 from 21 balls in an opening stand of 77.
West Indies reached 106 for one at the halfway stage, but Plunkett and leg-spinner Adil Rashid grabbed three wickets apiece to undermine their batting in the second half of the innings.
Jerome Taylor then gave West Indies the perfect start and silenced the capacity crowd, when he had Roy caught at backward point with the first ball of the chase.