Russell Guides West Indies to Dominant Victory Against England in T20 Opener.

Russell Guides West Indies to Dominant Victory Against England in T20 Opener.

Russell Guides West Indies to Dominant Victory Against England in T20 Opener. -The West Indies now lead the five-match series 1-0 thanks to leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who became the first player from England to collect 100 wickets in the IT20 format. Games in Grenada are scheduled for Thursday and Saturday, both of which start at 5.30 p.m. GMT.

In the opening T20 match of the series in Bridgetown, Andre Russell grabbed three wickets and shared an unbroken stand with skipper Rovman Powell to help the West Indies defeat England by four wickets.

After losing the toss and being ordered to bat first, Phil Salt (40) gave England a great start with a 77-run partnership with Jos Buttler (39), but the West Indies struck back, bowling the visitors out for 171 in 19.3 overs.

After a brief weather delay, Rehan Ahmed (3-39) got two wickets in a row to leave the West Indies floundering at 123-6 in reply. Adil Rashid (2-14) also impressed, becoming the first England men’s player to reach 100 T20I wickets on his 100th T20I appearance.

The West Indies took the lead in the five-match series as Powell and Russell (29no) put on an unbeaten 49-run seventh-wicket stand from just 21 balls. With 11 balls remaining, they managed to reach their victory target.

West Indies win first game of the series

During his innings, Salt hit six boundaries and one six, but England was unable to build on their quick start, losing at 112-2 halfway through their innings. Shimron Hetmyer’s stunning diving catch at deep midwicket also saw captain Buttler caught at cow corner.

Alzarri Joseph (3-54) removed Will Jacks (17) after he hit two sixes in his fast-paced innings. Joseph gave up 25 runs in his first over, the most expensive of his career, but he was able to finish with more respectable totals after mopping up the tail.

The crowd at Kensington Oval cheered when Joseph made a fantastic leaping catch at long off, but Romario Shepherd (2-22) ended Ben Duckett’s (14) cameo in the 14th over with a slower ball that was ramped to third. He struck again in the 18th over to dismiss Sam Curran (13).

Liam Livingstone (27), playing in his first international since the 2021 T20 World Cup, chopped an off-cutter from Russell (3-19) on to his stumps after Brook (one) edged behind to Pooran. Four balls later, Russell struck again, this time getting Ahmed (one) caught at long-off by Powell.

Following a strong finish, Joseph removed Rashid (0) from the game in the final over. Tymal Mills (0) was then caught behind the next ball, leaving England all out for 171.

After a solid 32-run partnership between Brandon King (22) and Kyle Mayers (35), the latter struck Duckett with a short ball, which resulted in an incredible leaping catch, as the West Indies tallied 78 runs in the first six overs.

Just before a 40-minute rain delay, Rashid claimed his historic wicket in the next over when he had Hetmyer (one) caught at mid-wicket by Duckett. Ahmed (3-39) had Nicholas Pooran (13) out caught and bowled to turn the tide of the match back towards England.

Russell Guides West Indies to Dominant Victory Against England in T20 Opener

The hosts still needed 49 after Ahmed dismissed Shai Hope (36), caught at long-on, and used the slip that Butter had offered him to dismiss Shepherd (0) for a golden duck. However, the West Indies added 32 runs in two overs thanks to costly overs from Livingstone and Mills, which turned the tide back in their favour.

Russell took Rashid for a six and then four to reduce the number of runs needed to four. He then carved Sam Curran (0-23) to the backward point boundary to finish the series with a winning start.

Buttler: “We want to continue pushing the envelope.”

Jos Buttler, the captain of England:

“The way the pitch played, it was always going to get harder. I believed that the West Indies had adjusted by slowing down the pace of the ball, but given our current situation, we were aiming for a score of 200.

We want to continue pushing the envelope and doing our best to stay optimistic. But the key is to figure out how to continue scoring in that manner.

“Today, finding techniques to reduce dot balls and pick off specific places has become more and more difficult. We can consider and do well in that area as well as getting those extra 20, 25, and runs in an unconventional manner.”

What comes next?

Now, on Thursday and Saturday, the five-match T20 international series will go to Grenada for back-to-back games that will begin at 5.30 p.m. GMT. The final two matches, which begin at 10 p.m. on December 19 and December 21, will subsequently be played in Trinidad and Tobago.

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