England slump to second consecutive T20 defeat by West Indies

England slump to second T20 defeat by West Indies despite Sam Curran half century – as Brandon King produces a remarkable 82 runs from 52 balls

  • England suffered a four-wicket defeat by West Indies in first game of T20 series
  • Captain Jos Buttler was dismissed cheaply for five after he opened the batting 

Sam Curran could not salvage the damage inflicted upon his bowling as England’s lack of long game thrust them to another defeat against West Indies.

The Surrey all-rounder sent down the second costliest over by an Englishman in Twenty20 history in conceding 30 in the 16th of the Windies’ 176 for six and although he fought back with a rapid half-century, the tourists’ inferior firepower with bat in hand told once again in a 10-run loss.

England were simply out-muscled in the opening match in Barbados, losing the six count 14-6, and reacted by recalling Moeen Ali, happier to take the aerial route than Ben Duckett, and rejigging their batting line-up.

Curran was promoted to number four partly for his ability to take down the spinners, but also because he has been the England’s biggest hitter in the nets.

That accolade has in the past belonged to Jos Buttler but the captain looked a pale imitation of the man who struck a rambunctious 150 from 77 balls on his previous visit to St George’s four years ago, in a match featuring a record 46 sixes.

Jos Buttler was dismissed cheaply for five as he opened the batting for England today

Sam Curran could not salvage the damage inflicted upon his bowling against the West Indies

This time, he poked meekly to extra cover off Akeal Hosein as England struggled to keep up with the nine-an-over asking rate on a slow surface.

Curran cleared the top three times in a 31-ball 50, and Moeen struck a couple, the second of which came with 28 required off the final over, but by then the damage had been done by West Indies’ miserly slow left-armers Hosein and Gudakesh Motie, who conceded just 33 between them.

West Indies were asked to make the running as the series moved to the spice isle and were held together by opener Brandon King, overcoming a pedestrian start and the disruption of losing a wicket in each of the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth overs, with an unbeaten 82 that guided his team to 176 for seven.

It was an innings which incorporated contrasting displays from Curran and Adil Rashid, a bowler who turns West Indies’ maroon marauders into shrinking violets every time the ball is thrown to him.

Rashid has an incredible body of work in Twenty20 internationals out here in the Caribbean and plunged his economy rate in 10 appearances to a preposterously low 5.29 with another masterful display of leg-spin bowling.

Entering the attack upon the conclusion of the power play, he followed Chris Woakes’ removal of Kyle Mayers the previous over by enticing Nicholas Pooran into another skier straight down the ground and then built on fellow leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed castling Shai Hope with a devilish googly when he took the edge of Shimron Hetmyer’s bat.

West Indies were held together by opener Brandon King, who scored 82 runs from 52 balls

England’s inferior firepower when it comes to the bat in hand told once again in a 10-run loss

England know in the 35-year-old Rashid they possess a bowler to build an attack around when they return for the World Cup in June, but the problem is backing him up.

Here, with the applause still rippling amongst the 2,000 travelling supporters for his latest boundary-less figures of 4-0-11-2, West Indies captain Rovman Powell launched into left-armer Curran at the other end.

Opening the over with a four, Powell then struck the next four legitimate deliveries for six and Curran was under threat of matching the 36 runs Stuart Broad conceded to India’s Yuvraj Singh in the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup when he was called for a second wide of the over by Jacqueline Williams – the first female umpire to officiate in an England men’s international.

Having conceded 30, however, Curran was provided with respite when, immediately after registering a 27-ball 50, Powell was caught in front of the rope at long-on by a sprawling Harry Brook.

King then took 18 off the next over from Leicestershire teenager Ahmed, as the Windies plundered 72 runs from the final five.

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