Phil Salt’s maiden Twenty20 international century and Harry Brook’s nerveless batting at the death have helped England reel in a mammoth 223 as they breathed fresh life into their series against West Indies.
The hosts had put on a six-hitting masterclass as they cleared the rope 16 times and collected 79 runs in the last four overs to amass 6-222, but they were upstaged as Salt underpinned England’s successful chase in Grenada.
On a hot and humid day, Salt belted half of England’s 18 sixes – a ground record in this format – as he recorded 109 not out off 56 deliveries before Brook secured a seven-wicket win with a ball to spare.
Salt’s efforts left England needing 21 off the final over and Brook followed up a four with three sixes in four balls off Andre Russell as the tourists narrowed the deficit to 2-1 in the five-match series.
“Great to keep the series alive, a fantastic win. Any time you chase 220 is a fantastic innings – credit to Phil Salt,” England captain Jos Buttler said.
“(Salt) has such great intent from ball one. It’s something we’ve asked him to do, but for him to go on and stay in the game a bit longer, it can surprise you how much he can do in the end.”
England had the ideal start to the match when Brandon King, West Indies’ hero from the last game, fell for just eight runs while his opening partner Kyle Mayers was dismissed for a duck.
But Nicholas Pooran was in the mood for a big score and the wicketkeeper-batter cleared the ropes six times to go with his half-dozen boundaries, ably supported by skipper Rovman Powell (39) who hit three sixes.
The tourists got off to a fine start in reply, Buttler making 51 in a 115-run opening stand with Salt, who became just the fifth man from his country to record a T20 international hundred.
Liam Livingstone contributed a breezy 30 of 18 balls as England equalled their joint-second-highest chase in this format.
– with Reuters