West Indies: Rovman Powell fireworks leaves England chasing a daunting 225 in third T20
England were set a huge 225 to take the lead in their Twenty20 series against the West Indies after coming under some sustained punishment from Rovman Powell’s titanic 107 from 53 balls.
Moeen Ali came in as captain in the absence of Eoin Morgan, who suffered a quad niggle in the warm-up, while the tourists handed T20 debuts to Phil Salt, Harry Brook and George Garton for this third T20 in Barbados.
Garton took his maiden international wicket in his first over but the left-armer, one of three in England’s XI alongside Reece Topley and the returning Tymal Mills, was not alone in coming under some pressure.
The West Indies hammered 16 sixes in their 224 for five, with 10 of them coming from the blade of Powell – introduced at the expense of Odean Smith – while Nicholas Pooran overcame a rocky start to score 70 off 43 deliveries.
Topley and Adil Rashid were tidy, conceding a combined 55 in their four-over allotments and taking a wicket apiece, but Garton and Mills conceded more than 50 each, with Liam Livingstone also expensive on his comeback.
Garton made an eventful start to life for England after they elected to bowl first. His first ball, a low full toss, was drilled back past him while Brandon King added another four before being bowled, beaten for pace while seeking to guide the ball down to third.
Topley gave Pooran a bit of a working over but the West Indies batter found Garton more to his liking, twice clearing the leg-side fence either side of driving a slower ball through the covers for four in an over that yielded 19.
Mills also came in for some punishment from Pooran, with a shorter delivery effortlessly pulled over long leg for six but the mix-and-match spin of Livingstone put the brakes on, with Shai Hope’s sweep taking a bottom edge on to his pad, leaving wicketkeeper Tom Banton to take a looping catch.
Powell swiped his second ball for six as the Windies ended the powerplay on 54 for two.
Both Livingstone and Moeen then felt the wrath of Powell, who cleared the straight boundaries off both bowlers before getting a four off an ungainly pull from England’s stand-in skipper.
The returning Mills followed up a no-ball waist-high full toss with a delivery straight in Powell’s arc, the Jamaican taking full advantage and clearing the long-on rope by some distance with the free hit.
Pooran and Powell were showing some restraint against Rashid but there was no such luck for Garton when he came back in the 12th over, with Pooran once again hitting high over midwicket as the Windies reached 111 for two.
The Windies pair both passed their fifties before Powell muscled Livingstone twice over the rope, the England bowler throwing in five wides with a delivery that barely landed on the cut strip as he conceded 26 in the over.
Rashid ended a 122-run stand – a Windies record for the third wicket in the format – when Pooran holed out to long-on there was no let-up for England as Romario Shepherd clobbered his second ball for six.
Powell reached his first T20 international hundred off only 51 balls then celebrated by heaving Topley out the ground. Attempting to repeat he merely picked out long-off, but only after the Windies had passed 200.
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