Phil Salt and Harry Brook blast England to stunning T20 victory

By Sports Desk December 16, 2023

Phil Salt’s maiden T20 century and Harry Brook’s nerveless batting at the death helped England reel in a mammoth 223, as they breathed fresh life into their five-match series against West Indies.

The hosts put on a six-hitting masterclass, as they cleared the rope 16 times and collected 79 runs in the last four overs, but they were upstaged as Salt underpinned England’s successful chase in Grenada.

On a hot and humid day, Salt belted half of England’s 18 sixes – a ground record in this format – as he recorded 109 not out off 56 deliveries, before Brook completed the seven-wicket win with a ball to spare.

Salt’s efforts left England needing 21 off the final over, and Brook followed up a four with three sixes in four balls off Andre Russell as the tourists narrowed the deficit to 2-1 in the five-match series.

Jos Buttler made 51 in a 115-run opening stand with Salt, who became just the fifth male from his country to record a T20 international hundred, while Liam Livingstone contributed a breezy 30 as England equalled their joint second highest chase in this format.

Scores: West Indies 222-6 (20 overs); England 226-3 (19.5 overs)

Earlier, Nicholas Pooran cracked six sixes and as many fours in a brilliant 82 off 45 balls to lead West Indies to what initially seemed a daunting total.

Holding a 2-0 lead at that point, the Windies were full of confidence and cleared the rope on 16 occasions, taking their tally across the three matches to 43 sixes.

Captain Rovman Powell belted 39 off 21 deliveries, while Sherfane Rutherford marked his first appearance of the series with 29 off 17.

Not even Adil Rashid was exempt from the carnage as he leaked 15 in his final offering, albeit having Pooran caught in the deep to finish with two for 32.

Reece Topley was magnificent up top in his first match back since a broken finger ended his World Cup early, taking one for 14 in three overs in the powerplay but he conceded 18 after being given the 20th.

Topley and Gus Atkinson were given their first outings as England shuffled their bowlers, with Chris Woakes and Rehan Ahmed left out, but it was a mixed bag from the tourists after winning the toss.

Rashid, Topley and Moeen Ali escaped most of the damage, but Tymal Mills went for 25 in the 17th over and Sam Curran 21 in the 19th – although he did claim a couple of wickets two days on from being belted for 30 in five legal deliveries.

Pooran steadied the Windies, after they lost both openers by the second over, then upped the ante after reaching a 37-ball fifty, taking 29 off his next eight deliveries before holing out off Rashid.

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