England produced a clinical performance with bat and ball to beat West Indies in the opening game of the T20I series played in St Lucia. The bowlers produced a splendid effort to restrict West Indies to 160 runs from 20 overs. In reply, Jonny Bairstow smashed 68 runs to see England complete the chase in the 18th over of the innings. With this result, England have taken 1-0 lead in three-match T20I series.
Alex Hales and Joe Root perished for low scores in the chase but Bairstow remained unfazed to keep the scoreboard ticking along nicely. He added 51 runs with Captain Eoin Morgan to rebuild the innings after the loss of early wickets.
Medium-pacer Carlos Brathwaite picked up crucial wicket of Morgan to keep West Indies in the hunt to win the game. Bairstow scored 68 runs off 40 balls with the help of nine fours and two sixes. Joe Denly also produced a decent score for the side in this game. He scored 30 off 29 balls with the help of four boundaries. Sam Billings also chipped in with crucial score runs with the bat.
For West Indies, left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets to his name. Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite and Jason Holder also picked up one wicket apiece.
Tom Curran and Jonny Bairstow delivered crucial performances to help England beat West Indies in the opening T2oI game played in St Lucia
Earlier in the game, England won the toss and opted to bowl first. Tom Curran and Chris Jordan made early inroads with the new-ball to see West Indies lose Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetymer for low scores. Shai Hope also was dismissed for just 6 runs.
Darren Bravo came to the crease and formed 64-run partnership with Nicholas Pooran to rebuild the innings for West Indies. Bravo played well and scored 28 off 30 balls with the help of two sixes. Pooran played well and anchored West Indies’ innings in this game. He scored 58 off 37 balls with the help of three fours and four sixes. It was due to Pooran’s innings that West Indies managed to post 160 for 8 in their 20 overs. Ashley Nurse also smashed two big sixes at the back end of the innings to take see hosts put up a competitive score on the board.
For England, pace bowler Tom Curran was the star of the show as he finished with four wickets to his name. Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid bowled immaculate lengths and conceded less than six runs an over and did not allow West Indies to get away with easy runs.
Opener Jonny Bairstow was adjudged player of the match for his splendid 68 runs for England. The second game of the T20I series will be played at Warner Park, St Kitts on Saturday.