West Indies beat England by 20 runs to win third T20 – as it happened

The Guardian
The Guardian

12.45am GMT

Read Simon Burnton's match report from Barbados

Related: Powell and Pooran blast West Indies to 20-run victory over England in third T20

Updated at 12.52am GMT

12.23am GMT

Kieron Pollard is wearing shorts and a big smile. “It was a complete performance,” he says. “The versatility in our team sometimes takes the ego out of it, so kudos to the players.” I suspect he’s referring to Pooran, who got off to a fast start but then pulled over into the slow lane to let Powell put his foot down, with spectacular results.

And that is that. West Indies lead 2-1 with two to play. The underdogs are now the favourites, and the world’s No 1 team (allegedly) are in a hole. I’ll be back on Saturday to see if West Indies can wrap it up with a game to spare. Thanks for your company, your correspondence and your Swedish accents. It’s been a blast.

12.17am GMT

Moeen is dignified in defeat. He calls the Pooran-Powell partnership “fantastic”, and he is blunt about the impact of England’s many changes. “We were done a little bit by Morgs’ injury and [having] the three debutants.” Then he adds: “But they played really well.” And he has some high praise for Salt and Banton.

12.13am GMT

The player of the match is ... Rovman Powell. After dealing with everything England’s lefties hurled at him, he faces a quiz from Mark Butcher. “You’re the third man to make a T20 hundred for West Indies. Do you know who the other two are?”

“I do!” Powell says. “The Universe Boss himself, Chris Gayle, and Evin Lewis.” Never mind the Universe Boss, put this man on University Challenge.

12.10am GMT

And the cricket goes on. While all those sixes were raining down on Bridgetown (final score: West Indies 16, England 15), an Ashes Test was getting underway in Canberra. And England have started brightly – click here to follow our OBO with Geoff Lemon.

12.07am GMT

“Sobering,” says the subject field of an email from Colum Fordham. “Was really struck by seeing Sir Garfield Sobers the other day, in a pale blue shirt, watching his side succumb by one run, all guns blazing. I hope the living legend appreciated Philip Salt’s fine knock with plenty of big six-hitting, a very positive note for England, albeit in an ultimately futile effort. Banton’s innings bodes well too.”

12.05am GMT

For England, the consolation prize is that two young players batted extremely well. Tom Banton made a cultured 73 off 39 balls at the top of the order, and Phil Salt a phenomenal 57 off 24 at the death. England kept the crowd interested and played their part in the highest-scoring T20 international ever staged in the Caribbean. But the die was cast by the scintillating partnership between Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell. In a T20, you’re not supposed to put on 122.

12.00am GMT

West Indies win by 20 runs! And a country mile

20th over: England 204-9 (Mills 1, Topley 2) Shepherd holds his nerve, nails his yorkers, and sees West Indies to a famous victory. The match belongs to Rovman Powell. You know when you’ve been Rovmanned.

Updated at 12.03am GMT

11.58pm GMT

Wicket! Salt b Shepherd 57 (England 201-9)

And another six! England just need four more and they’re there... but Salt is bowled! Round his legs. Well bowled.

11.55pm GMT

Fifty to Salt!

He’s not giving up! Salt reaches his fifty in style, with a straight six. What a debut this is.
Phil Salt of England thwacks a six. Photograph: Randy Brooks/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 12.15am GMT

11.54pm GMT

19th over: England 187-8 (Salt 45, Mills 0) So England need 38 off the last over. And they also need to be facing themselves.

11.54pm GMT

Wicket! Rashid run out 0 (England 187-8)

Rashid goes for a run, Salt doesn’t, and Cottrell has so much time to break the wicket that he coolly flicks the bail up and catches it. Harsh.
Sheldon Cottrell of West Indies takes the wicket of Adil Rashid of England. Photograph: Randy Brooks/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 12.11am GMT

11.52pm GMT

Wicket! Garton b Cottrell 2 (England 186-7)

Salt, a caption reveals, has faced 20 balls and only one of them has been a dot. But he’s on his own. Cottrell hurries one through Garton, unsettling him, and then he bowls him. No blame at all, for either Garton or Brook.

Updated at 11.52pm GMT

11.49pm GMT

18th over: England 184-6 (Salt 44, Garton 1) Yet another debutant comes in, but Salt is at the wheel. He whips Holder for four, forcing him to go round the wicket, then hooks him for four more. Garton manages a drive for a single off his first ball in international cricket. England need 41 off 12 balls.

11.46pm GMT

Wicket! Brook c Powell b Holder 10 (England 174-6)

It’s time to hit out or get out, and Brook perishes to a top-edged slog off a slower ball.

Updated at 11.46pm GMT

11.44pm GMT

17th over: England 174-5 (Salt 35, Brook 10) Salt thinks he’s got another six, off the returning Cottrell, but the TV umpire rules that it’s a four, prompting boos from the England fans. Brook plays and misses, twice, before going for his first big hit – not middled, just a single. And then Salt nails it! Six more, cracked over midwicket, just eluding Fabian Allen. His 35 has come off just 15 balls. A star is born.

11.40pm GMT

16th over: England 162-5 (Salt 24, Brook 9) Brook is hitting singles, handing the strike back to Salt, which would be the right thing to do if they needed ten an over. As it’s 15, they’ve both got to go hell for leather. But Salt, who did some of his growing up in Barbados, is very much at home. He lifts Shepherd back over his head for six . That’s the 12th six from England tonight, to go with 16 from West Indies.

11.35pm GMT

15th over: England 151-5 (Salt 15, Brook 7) Time for Salt to go big. And he does! Facing Hosein, he slog-sweeps with quick hands and hits his first six in this format. The cameras find Eoin Morgan on the England balcony, radiating calm, half-sphinx, half-Brearley. England need 74 at just under 15 an over. “Not impossible,” says Ian Bishop. Is he sure?

11.31pm GMT

14th over: England 140-5 (Salt 6, Brook 5) So Kieron Pollard finishes with 2-31 off his four overs, after bowling them straight through. Maybe captains should try that more often. Now Salt gets his chance, and takes it – mowing for two to open his T20i account, then hitting a straight drive so hard that Jason Holder, trying to catch it, may have a broken hand. That’s another two. And then Salt is dropped by Hosein at cover, a tough chance. At this stage, West Indies had 140 too – for two. It’s a measure of the carnage at the death that England need another 85 off six overs .

“We are watching the game here in Sweden,” says Julian Menz, “with some Indian friends and a Swede (no tuber vegetable jokes please). We are doing our best to spread the cricket gospel, yet the Swedish gentleman’s most telling comment was that if you put a couple of dots above the ‘o’ in Rovman, it would mean ‘arseman’ in Swedish. I fear we have a way to go yet.”

11.25pm GMT

13th over: England 132-5 (Salt 0, Brook 3) Two batters on 0, both debutants: I’m not sure England have got the batting order right. But Harry Brook shows some gumption, dabbing for two to get off the mark in international cricket, then tipping and running a single to keep the strike. England need 93 off seven overs at a rate of 13 or so.

Updated at 11.25pm GMT

11.22pm GMT

Wicket!! Banton c Holder b Pollard 73 (England 129-5)

Got him! A slower ball lures Banton into a rare false shot. That’s the end of a fine defiant knock, and the game is surely up.
Kieron Pollard (third left) of West Indies celebrates the dismissal of Tom Banton of England. Photograph: Randy Brooks/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 12.13am GMT

11.21pm GMT

12th over: England 123-4 (Banton 67, Salt 0) England could do with an old salt here, but they’ve got a new one: Phil Salt, who has never come in below No 5 before in a T20. Whether he can handle it, we don’t yet know, as he hasn’t faced a ball. Banton, seeing the need to take charge, hist Shepherd for six ! And six more. That’s 17 off the over, and it’s still mission implausible.

11.16pm GMT

Wicket! Livingstone c Hosein b Shepherd 11 (England 107-4)

Livingstone goes inside-out and gets a steepling top-edge, which is well held by Akeal Hosein on the edge of the circle. At least Livingstone can get some medical attention.
Akeal Hosein of West Indies takes the catch to dismiss Liam Livingstone. Photograph: Randy Brooks/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 12.12am GMT

11.13pm GMT

11th over: England 106-3 (Banton 52, Livingstone 11) Pollard gives himself a third successive over and almost defeats Livingstone, mistiming a hook. England need a huge over, and poor Livingstone doesn’t look well enough to deliver it, for all his gifts.

11.09pm GMT

Fifty to Banton!

10th over: England 99-3 (Banton 50, Livingstone 7) He’s well enough to stay out there, but Livingstone looks decidedly peaky. He’s been suffering from oesophagitis. Rovman Powell is bowling, as if he hadn’t already grabbed the man-of-the-match award. Banton takes a single to reach a fine fifty off 29 balls. And Livingstone gathers himself to wallop a six over midwicket! At the halfway stage, England need 126. It’s perfectly possible on paper.

Updated at 11.10pm GMT

11.05pm GMT

There’s a delay. It looks as if Livingstone doesn’t feel well.

Time for an email that halfway to an essay. “I wish I was called Rovman,” says Robert Wilson. “I think I’ve always felt like a Rovman.

“Rashid, Rashid, my lost diamond Adil across the sea. More and more it’s a heartbreak that he doesn’t pan out in Tests. He has everything necessary. I wondered for a while if he wasn’t wily or clever enough, but if noted blockhead Shane Warne can be epochal at it, it’s not a question of intellect. Maybe it’s just the nowness of it all. After all, his main adversary tonight, Powell, has only played a dozen first class games in his career .

“You guys need to stop whingeing about tax returns. There’s worse. I just got back from a meeting of anti-vax protestors and I am absolutely covered in stupid. You wanna hear about the 20 million secret Jews in Wuhan? There are 20 million of them. And they’re secret .”

11.01pm GMT

9th over: England 90-3 (Banton 48, Livingstone 0) Banton is still going smoothly, cutting for four, brushing for two into the space on the leg side. This is already the highest score by an Englishman in the series – and it looks puny next to Rovman Powell’s hundred.

Updated at 11.01pm GMT

10.58pm GMT

Wicket! Moeen c b Pollard 0 (England 87-3)

Noooo!!! Mo!!!! He chases a wide slower ball and can only chip it to backward point. Game off, unless Liam Livingstone can go ballistic.
Kieron Pollard of West Indies celebrates taking the wicket of Moeen Ali of England. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Updated at 11.23pm GMT

10.55pm GMT

8th over: England 79-2 (Banton 38, Moeen 0) Banton isn’t bothered about the rate. He goes deep in the crease and swishes Hosein over midwicket for six with good fast hands. Vince sees that and raises him that upper cut for six more . “They might run out of sanitiser,” says Steve Harmison. But Vince, as so often, has only a cameo for us, and now Moeen has a hell of a job on his hands. What does a captain’s innings look like here?
Akeal Hosein (right) of West Indies express disappointment after being hit for six. Photograph: Randy Brooks/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 12.16am GMT

10.53pm GMT

Wicket! Vince c Pollard b Hosein 16 (England 79-2)

Six and out! Vince plays a stroke of genius, cutting over extra-cover, but then slaps a long hop in the same direction and hands Pollard a dolly.

10.49pm GMT

7th over: England 65-1 (Banton 31, Vince 9) Pollard brings himself on for some military medium, which does the trick: just four singles. Banton goes for a reverse flick and misses. The required rate creeps above 12.

10.45pm GMT

6th over: England 61-1 (Banton 29, Vince 7) Kieron Pollard tries some spin in the PowerPlay, in the form of Akeal Hosein’s slow left-arm. Banton’s eyes light up: the first ball goes for a straight four that almost takes Hosein’s head off, the second for six from an easy swing. The England supporters help themselves to a chorus of Sweet Caroline. Pollard holds a conference in mid-over, and whatever is said has some effect: dot, dot, dot... one. So the PowerPlay ends with England going great guns, and still only scraping a 16pc chance of a win on CricViz. As much as that?
Tom Banton of England plays a shot. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Updated at 10.56pm GMT

10.39pm GMT

5th over: England 50-1 (Banton 18, Vince 7) Holder, changing ends, replaces Cottrell. Banton spots a slower ball and plays a hockey shot for four, whipped past backward square. He’s got something. And England have fifty already, but the required run-rate has begun its ascent – it’s already 11.66. Two a ball!

10.35pm GMT

4th over: England 41-1 (Banton 9, Vince 7) Hang on, says James Vince, what about me? He’s had a quiet series but he times his first ball beautifully through the covers – the cut that got the cream.

At this stage, West Indies were 34-1, but it’s hard to see England staying ahead for long.

10.31pm GMT

Wicket! Roy c Holder b Shepherd 19 (England 33-1)

Nooo!!! Roy groans as he realises the bat has spun in his hand, giving Holder a simple catch at long-on. Well bowled Romario Shepherd: he’s got rid of England’s best hope.
Romario Shepherd of West Indies celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Jason Roy. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Updated at 11.17pm GMT

10.29pm GMT

3rd over: England 27-0 (Roy 13, Banton 8) Cottrell is bowling off cutters, tucking Roy up – but still concedes a six as Roy gets hold of the first ball of this over.

The good news for England fans is that they have chased a target like this before – 230 against South Africa at Centurion in 2016. The bad news is that the highest successful chase on this ground, by anyone, is 155.

10.24pm GMT

2nd over: England 19-0 (Roy 6, Banton 8) England need a bit of help and they get it as Jason Holder starts with a wide that goes for five. He recovers to beat Roy with a superb slow bouncer, a leg-cutter at 105kmph, and then beats him again for good measure. But then Tom Banton comes to the party, picking a slower ball and dumping it over long-on for England’s first six of other night. Game on?

“This is going about as well as my self-assessment tax return,” said Guy Hornsby on Twitter, half an hour ago. “In that it’s much more painful than I thought it’d be, and I could spend much of the evening with my brain melted by big numbers.” Join the club!

Updated at 10.24pm GMT

10.17pm GMT

1st over: England 5-0 (Roy 4, Banton 1) It’s Sheldon Cottrell to open the bowling – yet another left-armer. And Roy is missed in the deep! By Rovman Powell! Roy pulled, hard, and Powell was a touch slow out of the blocks at deep square, presumably because he was resting on his laurels.
Jason Roy gives the ball a good thwack. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Updated at 10.40pm GMT

10.10pm GMT

West Indies finish with 224!!

20th over: West Indies 224-5 (Shepherd 11, Pollard 9) Kieron Pollard finally gives himself a go and races to nine off four balls. And that is that. What a performance from the West Indians. Nicholas Pooran set the tone: Rovman Powell called the tune. It’s as if the batters were inspired by the way the bowlers batted the other night. The total is West Indies’ third highest in 155 T20 internationals, and their very highest against England.

Of the bowlers, Topley and Rashid were cool under fire, but Mills, Moeen, Livingstone and Garton all went for 13-14 an over. There are probably only two ways England can make a game of it: if Jason Roy or Liam Livingstone goes bananas. See you shortly!

Updated at 10.46pm GMT

10.00pm GMT

Wicket! Allen c Banton b Mills 0 (West Indies 210-5)

A slower ball from Tymal Mills baffles Fabian Allen, who gives a simple catch off the top edge. The collapse is on.

Updated at 10.02pm GMT

9.59pm GMT

Powell goes! c Livingstone b Topley 107 (West Indies 201-4)

19th over: West Indies 210-4 (Shepherd 10) Reece Topley had returned bearing dots – two of them, as he rapped Powell on the hand. But then Powell found a two and a single to reach his ton. He just had to celebrate with a six , but fancied another and lofted a mis-hit to long-off, where Liam Livingstone took a phenomenal diving catch. It’s ALL happening.
The England fans cheer Rovman Powell of West Indies as he walks off the field after losing his wicket. Photograph: Randy Brooks/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 11.20pm GMT

9.56pm GMT

Hundred to Rovman Powell!

Only two West Indians have ever made a T20 century... make that three! A clip to leg off Topley, and Powell goes to 101 off 51 balls with four fours and NINE sixes. He’s been immense. Lucky they didn’t pick him for the first two games.
Rovman Powell of West Indies celebrates his century, Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Updated at 10.01pm GMT

9.53pm GMT

18th over: West Indies 199-3 (R Powell 97, Shepherd 10) Will Powell now play second fiddle? He will not. Facing Garton, he upper-cuts for four, belts a pull for six and drives a full toss inside-out for six more ! West Indies are having a party, and England are just there to make the cocktails.

9.48pm GMT

17th over: West Indies 180-3 (R Powell 78, Shepherd 10) Kieron Pollard decides to promote Romario Shepherd, the last-gasp master blaster from the other night. And he takes up where he left off, tucking his first ball for two and lofting his second for six . Eleven off the over, so Rash finishes with figures of 4-0-25-1. He’s so classy.

Updated at 10.03pm GMT

9.45pm GMT

Wicket! Pooran c Livingstone b Rashid 70 (West Indies 170-3)

It was going to take something special to separate these two, and Liam Livingstone provides it? By somehow holding on to a bullet at long-on. Well bowled Adil Rashid, and very well batted Nicholas Pooran.
Rovman Powell of West Indies pats team mate Nicholas Pooran on the back after he was dismissed. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Updated at 9.59pm GMT

9.43pm GMT

16th over: West Indies 169-2 (Pooran 70, R Powell 77) And now here we are at the death, which is England’s Achilles heel. A caption shows that of the big 12 nations, they have been the worst death-bowling team since January last year, conceding 12 an over. West Indies are second (to India) on something beginning with 8. Tymal Mills rather proves the point by returning and going for six, six, four. Where’s Rash?

9.39pm GMT

Hundred partnership!!

15th over: West Indies 153-2 (Pooran 59, R Powell 72) Only one of England’s three left-arm seamers has gone for less than two runs per ball – Topley – so Moeen summons him to restore order. Phil Salt helps him out with a fine stop in the deep, giving Ian Bishop the chance to point out that Salt spent part of his childhood and learnt some of his cricket in Barbados. There’s another good stop from Garton, but in between Powell thumps another six . And somewhere in there the hundred partnership came up. Off nine overs! Epic stuff.

“I like the musical terms there,” says John Starbuck, “but is there anyone ready to pound out a symphony?” Ha.

9.32pm GMT

26 off an over!

14th over: West Indies 140-2 (Pooran 55, R Powell 63) Back comes Livingstone, to be greeted by a reverse sweep from Pooran, who’s suddenly making some noise again. Livingstone then bowls a leg-break to the right-handed Powell which lands wide, goes wider, is called wide and goes for five wides. You have to laugh, so Livingstone does. The free hit goes for an inside-out six , bringing up Rovman Powell’s fifty off 31 balls. He celebrates with another six , over mid-on, and a four, dabbed past third man. That’s 26 off the over and all Rashid’s good work its undone.

9.26pm GMT

Fifty to Pooran!

13th over: West Indies 114-2 (Pooran 50, R Powell 47) Pooran, facing Rashid, finally reaches his fifty with a clip to long-on. It’s been a knock of two halves, first a heavy-metal guitar solo, then a wily second fiddle. And that’s another fine over from Rashid, costing only three.

9.23pm GMT

12th over: West Indies 111-2 (Pooran 48, R Powell 46) Moeen, who’s quite prepared to take off the armbands and chuck his debutants in at the deep end, brings back George Garton. Pooran – remember him? – sees something short and swivels for six . But Garton repays Mo’s faith with a dot, of all things, and three singles. He now has 3-0-38-1.

9.18pm GMT

11th over: West Indies 101-2 (Pooran 40, R Powell 44) As Adil Rashid returns, Powell puts away his bludgeon and picks up a delicate paddle. He gets three to bring up the fifty partnership – 51 off just 30 balls, match-winning stuff – but this over is a tiny triumph for Rash, with only five off it. Against the spinners, Powell hasn’t made a single run on the off side, so Mo may as well shift all his fielders to the leg.

“Just got back from therapy,” says Peter Gibbs, “and it seems I needed more cuddles as a kid.” Ha. “What else have I missed. This hour? This year? It’s been a bloody awful 12 months but I’m so happy to be back. Pass the Pina Colada, I haven’t been to a match in Bridgetown since the 4th Test in April 1994 so I expect more of the same in this format.” Is that the one England went and won, straight after being bowled out for 46?

9.11pm GMT

10th over: West Indies 96-2 (Pooran 39, R Powell 40) Back comes Mills and this doesn’t go well either. He starts with a beamer, which brings a no-ball, a warning and a free hit. Powell is not a man you want to hand a freebie to: Mills tries a length ball and gets not so much pulled as pummelled for a straight six . “That one, I’m told,” says Butcher, “went 108 metres.” Mills keeps calm and goes round the wicket, bringing a defensive shot out of Powell, possibly his first. At the halfway stage , West Indies are enjoying themselves a lot more than England.

Updated at 9.11pm GMT

9.05pm GMT

9th over: West Indies 84-2 (Pooran 36, R Powell 32) Moeen brings himself on and possibly regrets it. Powell thwacks him down the ground for six and then pulls for four, despite overbalancing in the process. Maybe it’s empathetic leadership from Mo: he now has an economy rate of 14, the same as Garton and Mills. This, Butcher mentions, is the first time England have ever fielded three left-arm seamers in the same XI – in T20, presumably.

“Just saw Sky’s graphics for the WI team,” says Brendan Large on Twitter. “They have Hosein as ‘just’ a bowler. Surely after Sunday he should get a little bat next to his name.” Yes!

8.59pm GMT

8th over: West Indies 70-2 (Pooran 35, R Powell 19) Powell survives an appeal for caught behind and an over-excited review , and celebrates by drop-kicking Livingstone for six . He then miscues a slog-sweep but gets away with it as the ball drops short of the cover sweeper. Powell is doing to Pooran what Pooran did to Hope: barely letting him get a stroke in edgeways.

“Enjoying the coverage as always,” says Charlie Jeffery, generously. “I’d love to see Moeen captain more often. I reckon a few years ago an enlightened choice for Test captain would have been mighty Mo.” Maybe he could still be persuaded.

8.54pm GMT

7th over: West Indies 60-2 (Pooran 33, R Powell 11) As the fielders scatter, Mo brings on his main man and great mate, Adil Rashid. It’s a good contest with Powell, who thinks about a hop, a skip and a jump but settles for a ramp, a lap and a sweep, taking two, two and one.

“I know speed isn’t everything,” says Tom van der Gucht, “but I’m intrigued to know what sort of pace the England bowlers are generating on the tour. I heard Garton was once rumoured to be quick, but now is classed as slippery / waspish in the same bracket as Mahmood - high 80’s. Mills seemed to generate more heat during the WC, but mixes it up a lot bringing his average speed down. Whilst I saw Topley as a mid to low 80’s merchant.” My inexpert impression is that Topley has been quicker than that.

8.49pm GMT

6th over: West Indies 54-2 (Pooran 32, R Powell 6) Rovman Powell takes one ball to play himself in, then slog-sweeps Livingstone into the crowd. But that’s a mainly good over from England’s Mr Allsorts, and a highly successful ploy from Moeen, who went for the least obvious of the three spin options on his plate. The PowerPlay ends with honours even and plenty happening.

Updated at 8.50pm GMT

8.47pm GMT

Wicket! Hope c Banton b Livingstone 4 (West Indies 48-2)

Mo switches to spin and it pays off! Liam Livingstone’s second ball is a leg-break that pops up to short point as Hope edges a sweepThere’s no fielder there, but Tom Banton nips round from behind the stumps to take a smart catch.
Liam Livingston of England celebrates the wicket of Shai Hope with team-mates Phil Salt and Tom Banton. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Updated at 9.24pm GMT

8.45pm GMT

5th over: West Indies 48-1 (Hope 4, Pooran 32) Moeen Ali makes his first bowling change, replacing Topley with England’s third leftie, Tymal Mills. Pooran doesn’t care who the bowler is: he cracks a square drive for four and swings a pull for six . If you’re wondering what Shai Hope is up to, he’s faced four balls and hit them all for a single. Pooran has hogged the strike and helped himself to 32 off 17 balls.

8.40pm GMT

4th over: West Indies 34-1 (Hope 2, Pooran 21) Garton blots his copybook with a no-ball, but then emulates Topley by beating Pooran. And Pooran retorts with a six ! Garton bowls something resembling a long hop and Pooran smokes it over midwicket. Then Garton tries for a yorker and Pooran drives for four. And another six ! As Pooran lofts a leg-stump freebie into the stand. Garton bounces back again, beating the bat with a slower ball, but his second over has gone for 19 and his figures are 2-0-28-1. Ebb and flow!

More team news, sorry: Liam Livingstone is playing, in place of Liam Dawson. Which is tough on Dawson but good news for the spectators. As Livingstone has just observed in an interview, “there are more English than locals”.

Updated at 8.43pm GMT

8.34pm GMT

3rd over: West Indies 15-1 (Hope 2, Pooran 3) Moeen sticks with Topley, who beats Pooran twice, first by finding some spectacular bounce, then by the more orthodox method of passing the outside edge. There’s another sharp bit of fielding in the ring from Phil Salt – who is not, as some idiot suggested, keeping wicket. That’s Tom Banton’s job.

8.30pm GMT

2nd over: West Indies 12-1 (Hope 1, Pooran 1) Nicholas Pooran takes a single first ball, with a push back past the bowler, so Garton’s first over in international cricket ends up with a little bit of everything: a single, two fours and, most importantly, a wicket.

Updated at 8.31pm GMT

8.29pm GMT

Wicket! King b Garton 10 (West Indies 11-1)

Bowled him! Top of off, as King steps away to late-cut. A great riposte from England’s newest fast bowler. “Beautiful ball there,” says Steve Harmison.
George Garton of England celebrates taking the wicket of Brandon King of West Indies. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Updated at 8.39pm GMT

8.27pm GMT

Mid-2nd over: West Indies 7-0 (King 6, Hope 1) And now it’s George Garton, so Moeen opens with two left-armers. Garton goes full with his first ball, and swings it, but Brandon King is waiting with a warm welcome – a straight push for four. Another four follows, off a cut, but then...

Updated at 8.29pm GMT

8.24pm GMT

1st over: West Indies 3-0 (King 2, Hope 1) It’s Reece Topley, who suddenly finds himself the senior new-ball bowler. He keeps it tight, conceding just three singles, and Harry Brook manages to distinguish himself with his first touches of the ball in international cricket, swooping from cover and hitting the stumps with an under-arm shy. Nerves, shmerves.

Updated at 8.25pm GMT

8.20pm GMT

The players are out there and both sides are taking a knee.

8.13pm GMT

Those England debutants in full

Harry Brook , the Yorkshire batter, takes Morgan’s place in the middle order. Phil Salt , the Sussex dasher, takes the wicketkeeping gloves as Sam Billings’ globetrotting seems to have caught up with him. And George Garton , the left-arm quick, also from Sussex, comes in for Chris Jordan. That could be the end of an era – or just a case of giving a beleaguered bowler a break.
England debutants (left to right) Harry Brook, Phil Salt and George Garton pose for a photo after being presented with their caps. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Updated at 8.16pm GMT

8.10pm GMT

West Indies: one change

Moeen seemed to be in a hurry and didn’t leave us 100pc the wiser, so I’m just waiting for confirmation of the England team. Kieron Pollard is crystal-clear about his XI. He’s bringing in Rovman Powell, with his clean hitting, to replace Odean Smith.

Updated at 10.37pm GMT

8.04pm GMT

Toss: Mo wins and bowls first

Moeen says Morgan felt something in the warm-up. And he reveals that England are fielding not one debutant, not two, but three.
Kieron Pollard of West Indies flips the coin as Moeen Ali of England looks on. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Updated at 8.35pm GMT

8.03pm GMT

Pre-toss: yes, it's Mo

Morgan is rested, so Moeen captains England.

7.57pm GMT

Another good line from Topley. “Someone said to me, ‘The best bowlers in T20 are the ones with the shortest memories.’ ”

“Reece The Goldfish Topley,” says Butcher with a chuckle.

7.56pm GMT

Reece Topley is on the screen, being interviewed by Butcher. “Red-ball ambitions?” Butcher says, tentatively. “I played a lot of Championship games for Surrey last year,” Topley replies, “because I really want to play Test cricket. Obviously it’s the pinnacle still for me.” Interesting.

7.51pm GMT

Moeen for Eoin?

One of the correspondents in Bridgetown, Richard Gibson of the Mail, has tweeted some unconfirmed news. “Sounds like no Eoin Morgan for England today,” he says. “Moeen Ali captain. Morgan was doing some fitness drills with Rob Ahmun on the edge of the square just before the huddle.”

7.37pm GMT

Toss delayed, but not for long

The rain has shown up, though it seems to be clearing already. The OBO’s favourite commentator, Mark Butcher, has been studying the pitch. “It’s not a belter,” he reports, “but it’s not a shocker.” He reckons a par score tonight will be 150-155.

Updated at 7.38pm GMT

7.33pm GMT


Evening everyone and welcome to the third set in this five-setter. It’s perfectly poised at 1-1, but West Indies have been the better team, winning the first set 6-0 and only losing the second 7-6, after being 5-0 down. That’s enough of that analogy – anyone for cricket?

It’s been absorbing stuff, with West Indies shaping up suspiciously well for the world’s tenth-ranked team and England struggling with their death bowling, just as they did in the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. In fact England have a wider problem: their right-arm seam bowling as a whole.

Over the past year in T20 internationals, England’s spinners have averaged 17 runs per wicket and their left-arm seamers 19, while the right-arm seamers have only managed 31. It’s much the same story with economy rates: spinners 6.64 runs per over, lefties 6.78, righties 8.23. (With thanks, as so often, to Stats Guru.) The individual figures suggest that England are missing Jofra Archer, as you’d expect, but they’re also missing Sam Curran, whose average, economy and strike rate over the past year are all better than Archer’s.

The seamer struggling the most is the one Eoin Morgan uses the most – Chris Jordan. A pillar of this team, he’s suddenly doing better as a batter than a bowler. Morgan’s dilemma tonight is whether to persist with Jordan, hoping he finds his mojo and his yorker, or to send for another leftie to team up with Reece Topley, whose comeback on Sunday night, after a long and winding lay-off, was a triumph. Morgan has three other lefties up his sleeve – Tymal Mills, the master of the slower ball, who played in the first match of this series; George Garton, who is quick and can bat as well; and David Payne, who would be a seasoned novice in the Scott Boland mould.

Morgan doesn’t tend to make many changes, though, and he may have a different one in mind – one Liam in lieu of another. Liam Livingstone, who has been out with oesophagitis (a pain in the throat), is thought to be fit again and could replace Liam Dawson as the third spinner, as well as sparking up England’s big-hitting. West Indies, meanwhile, are expected to stick with an almost-winning team.

The venue, as for the whole series, is Bridgetown, Barbados. There’s some rain forecast but only for the first hour, which shouldn’t mess things up. Play starts at 8pm GMT (3pm local time), so do drop back around 7.35pm for news of the toss, the teams and the tally of lefties.

Updated at 7.38pm GMT

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