West Indies vs England: Visitor Won the T20 Match by 4 Wicket
England rested four of their first-choice side after the drawn ODI series – Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali all watching from home – but Bairstow plugged a big gap in the batting line-up with a career-best 68 from 40 balls.
They threatened to do so with a certain swagger too, until losing both set batsmen in four balls when on the brink of victory. But this was a position from which even England could not collapse and they reached their target of 161 with four wickets and seven balls to spare.
Joe Denly and Sam Billings both fell with the end line in sight but Curran reappeared to hit the winning boundary with seven balls remaining.
Curran made short work of Shai Hope with the new ball but the real priority was seeing off Chris Gayle. Man-of-the-series in the ODIs, clubbing 39 sixes along the way, he soaked up five dot balls off David Willey before clearing the ropes at third man and wide long-on. That was the height of his success this time, though.
After crashing three consecutive fours in the second over – Oshane Thomas the latest to learn of the pitfalls of straying onto his pads – Bairstow produced a sumptuous, clinical display of hitting to cruise to his highest T20 score. The only shame, given how well that Bairstow was timing the ball, was that he slog-swept Ashley Nurse to long on to succumb for 68, with England yet to finish the job.
For all that this is a T20 series, it also has a secondary purpose as a way of England clarifying their thinking for the World Cup. If that is the case it may yet bode well for Chris Jordan.
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