West Indies looking to bounce back after narrow loss

WI vs ENG, 3rd T20I, Preview

Hit For Six!

After a narrow one-run loss against England in the second T20I, West Indies will be looking to bounce back as they take on the visitors in the third T20I of the five-match series in Barbados.


West Indies vs England, third T20I
Kensington Oval, Barbados
January 26, 4:00 PM local

West Indies made a strong start in the series with a nine-wicket victory in the first T20I but fell short by just a solitary run while chasing a high total in the second match. Even though the top and middle-order failed badly, the performance of the lower-order came out as a huge positive for the hosts as they took the chase so close from a losing position. Their new-ball bowlers have also been at the top of their game in this series. The only things they would want to improve going into this match are their death bowling and returns from their top-order batters, who haven’t been able to get them off to quick starts in both matches so far.

England, on the other hand, have struggled with their bowling in both matches so far. Their bowling looked toothless while defending a low total in the first T20I and they almost failed to defend a total of 171 in the last match even after dominating for the first 15 overs of the innings. Their performance shows that there is still plenty of work to be done in terms of death bowling in particular. There might be some changes to the line-up too, with players like Saqib Mahmood and Liam Dawson failing to impress in the first two matches. The success of the English top-order will be key to their chances of a win in this match again but it isn’t going to be easy against a side like West Indies, who have been superb with the new ball so far.

Remember the last time

An all-round batting effort got England to a good total of 171/8 in the second T20I. While Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali played excellent knocks of 45 and 31 at the top of the order respectively, Chris Jordan’s 15-ball cameo of 27 gave impetus a much-needed impetus late in the innings. 

In response, West Indies needed to get off to a good start but they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and a loss looked inevitable when they lost their eighth wicket with just 98 runs on the board in the 16th over of the innings. But Romario Shepherd and Akeal Hosein revived their hopes again and took the game right down to the wire.

A win still looked unlikely with West Indies needing 30 runs to win in the final over. But Hosein unleashed an exceptional range of shots to hit two fours and three consecutive sixes off the last three deliveries of the over. Mahmood bowled two wides in the over too and West Indies’ chances of winning kept increasing with every ball and every hit in that over. However, as it turned out, the hosts still fell a run short and that allowed England to level the series.

What they said

Kieron Pollard: "If you lose early wickets, you tend to struggle. But the way the guys fought at the end, tremendous. Akeal batted really well at the end, spare a word for Shepherd. He's really taken some responsibility. It has (being unable to negate spinners) but we will find a way. We will have games like this but the guys will get through. Yeah, those (dropped catches) really count, we lost by one run today, so yeah, those do cost. But having said that, we finished well. It was a good game of cricket and hopefully, the fans enjoyed it."

Eoin Morgan: "Delighted! Even in the last quarter of the game, with an inexperienced international bowler, I thought we did well. With experience, he (Mahmood) will get better. I thought we adapted better to the conditions today. The tracks here aren't those where you can get a fluid tempo to the innings. It was a conscious idea (for the batters to spend some time in the middle). Every team in the world is trying to get better at it (death bowling). It's the hardest job in world cricket. At the end, the ball did skid on. We need to find better ways to execute. Majority of our plans today were to bowl yorkers, we just got it wrong."

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