T20: Root 55, West Indies 45
SUMMARY: England 182-6 (Billings 87, Root 55) beat West Indies 45 (Jordan 4-6) by 137 runs
Sam Billings rescued England before Chris Jordan‘s four-wicket haul demolished West Indies for a paltry 45, handing the tourists a 137-run victory in the second T20I and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
Man-of-the-Match Billings’ career-best knock of 87 off 47 balls and a return to T20I form for Joe Root, who made 55 off 40, resurrected England’s innings from a dire 32-4 after 5.2 overs.
Then Jordan’s remarkable 4-6 off two overs meant West Indies were never in the contest and they fell for the second-lowest T20I total, behind Netherlands’ 39 against Sri Lanka at the World T20 in 2014. It was the lowest total by a Full-Member nation, worse than the 60 posted by New Zealand against Sri Lanka at the same tournament and West Indies’ 60 against Pakistan in Karachi last year.
With the top order tumbling around him, Root produced a composed innings, sharing an 82-run partnership with Billings to reach his half-century. It was the first time Root had reached double figures in four T20I innings and his tenth knock since he last reached fifty, in the 2016 World T20 final won by West Indies in Kolkata.
When Root was run-out, scrambling to the danger end for a second with the fleet-footed Billings as Fabian Allen threw the ball in to wicketkeeper Shai Hope, the rescue mission fell to Billings and he chose to accept it willingly. Billings racked up 17 runs in one Sheldon Cottrell over, including a six to bring up his 50.
Carlos Brathwaite had been economical through his first three overs, claiming 1 for 11, but he conceded 22 off his last over, including three fours to Billings and a six to David Willey. The pair put on a 68-run stand for the sixth wicket, before Billings was dismissed on the last ball of the innings, but not before he had scored 22 off the over, bowled by debutant quick Obed McCoy.
Billings was dropped by Shimron Hetmyer on the third ball of the over and then picked up six thanks to a fumble by Brathwaite, who was trying to palm the ball back into play. Billings punished the next one for four before attempting another big hit and edging to the keeper.
By then, he had led England to a respectable total, especially given their early position. West Indies had won the toss and sent England in on a pitch that was expected to improve as the match went on. Unfortunately for them, they were not in long enough for that to play out.
Willey, who had questioned the noise around Jofra Archer’s World Cup prospects in the lead-up to the match, continued to press his own claims for a berth when he snared the wicket of Chris Gayle for just 5, caught simply by Root at mid-on. Willey had West Indies’ other opener, Hope, out cheaply too with Eoin Morgan holding the catch despite colliding heavily with Tom Curran as he took the ball.
Then Jordan went on the rampage. He claimed the wickets of Darren Bravo, one of only two West Indies batsmen to reach double-figures, and Jason Holder with consecutive balls, and then dismissed Nicholas Pooran and Allen in his second over.
The damage done, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett cleaned up the West Indies tail, with England’s largest T20I victory secured inside 12 overs. (ESPNCricinfo)