World T20 champions West Indies gains momentum ahead of the defence of its title in Bangladesh
West Indies secured a series-clinching five-wicket victory over England after recovering from a middle-order wobble in the second Twenty20 International of the three-match series at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Tuesday (March 11).
A career-best 67 from Jos Buttler took England to 152 for 7 after batting first, but Krishmar Santokie, the left-arm seamer who replaced the injured Sunil Narine, grabbed 4 for 21 to justify his inclusion.
West Indies was 111 for 2 in the 15th over in reply, but lost three wickets for five runs before Darren Sammy bludgeoned 30 off just nine deliveries to take the team to 155 for 5 with seven balls to spare.
England was without Stuart Broad due to injury, but proved far more competitive than in the first match on Sunday, although their poor start with the bat and inability to sustain the effort in the field proved to be its downfall.
After Morgan opted to bat, England was tottering at 26 for 3 in the fifth over before Buttler joined Alex Hales and added 76 for the fourth wicket. Buttler struck five fours and three sixes off 43 balls and England appeared to be in a good position to post a competitive total.
However, Hales's dismissal for 40 just before a rain interruption kept England in check, and Santokie's variations in his final two overs proved key.
In striking contrast, Dwayne Smith (30) and Chris Gayle (36) gave West Indies a rapid start, reducing the burden on the batsmen who followed.
Ravi Bopara's medium pace – he conceded just ten runs from four overs for Gayle's wicket – and James Tredwell's right-arm spin helped England claw back in to the game, while Tim Bresnan's double-strike in removing Marlon Samuels and Andre Russell off successive balls in the 17th over kept West Indies on its toes.
It wasn't enough in the end as Sammy, in partnership with Dwayne Bravo, steered West Indies to a rousing the series victory. With a 2-0 lead going into the final match on Thursday at the same venue, it is looking for a strong finish before heading off to Bangladesh for the defence of its World T20 title.