England found wanting as West Indies show Twenty20 class again
Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis scored 91 boundary-laden runs between.
West Indies continued their Twenty20 stranglehold over England, defying distinctly un-Caribbean conditions to seal a 21-run win at Chester-le-Street.
The Windies may have lost a compelling Test series but their short-form specialists continued a proud record over England, winning 11 of 15 contests, including last year’s unforgettable World T20 final in Kolkata.
Chris Gayle (40) and Evin Lewis (51) – a well-known tormentor and his heir apparent – scored 91 boundary-laden runs between them in just 49 deliveries to set the foundation for a winning score of 176 for nine.
What they said
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Stoking the fires
Much has been made of the decision to rest Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes on his home ground, with the county’s chief executive David Harker declaring himself “very disappointed” at the selection and similar views not hard to find across the north east. Awkward timing, then, for the prominent adverts for next year’s ODI against Australia to be paraded around the ground featuring none other than Stokes as the poster boy.
Fight or flight
West Indian trio Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard are not involved in the 50-over series, meaning a round trip of around 8,000 miles each to take part in this match.
Misfields are rarely worthy of the spotlight but Narine produced one of the most unusual attempts to intercept a ball ever seen at this level. Attempting to cut off an Alex Hales drive he withdrew both arms and performed a knee slide – beloved of 80s rock stars and children at weddings, though rarely international cricketers. In any event he failed to make contact and the stroke raced for four.
Dawid Malan is widely believed to have earned his call-up to the England Test team on the back of an eye-catching 78 on his T20 debut against South Africa. But a modest return in the longer format this summer appears to have had the reverse effect, with the Middlesex man losing his place in the line-up here despite top-scoring last time out.
September 19: England v West Indies, 1st one-day international at Old Trafford.
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