West Indies defeats England in the decisive fifth T20

In Trinidad, England was defeated by four wickets in the fifth and deciding Twenty20 against the West Indies, resulting in a 3-2 series loss.

Following being given the opportunity to bat, England encountered difficulties achieving consistency at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and were dismissed for 132 runs off 19.3 overs. Sam Curran’s brilliant penultimate over cost the hosts an opportunity by resulting in a wicket and two run conceded, leaving them in need of nine from the final over.

With only four balls remaining, Shai Hope secured victory with a formidable six.

Adil Rashid and Reece Topley both contributed to England’s strong ball performance with 2-17 and 2-21, respectively. However, it was Hope’s run-a-ball of 43 not out that decided the game.

The tourists’ timing was disrupted while playing on the same pitch where they set a record 267 runs in the fourth Twenty20. The surface provided more assistance to the spinners, and the West Indies’ attack displayed considerably more consistency.

Although Phil Salt, who was in fine form, scored 38 runs, only Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone, who each scored 23 and 28 runs, respectively, also significantly contributed as England lost their last five wickets for 11 runs.

England’s white-ball teams had a disappointing year-end, which was capped by a 2-1 series loss in the one-day internationals preceding the Twenty20 phase of the tour and an elimination from the group stage of the 50-over World Cup in November.

Following two outstanding batting performances in which they tied the series at 2-0, needing 223 runs in Grenada prior to the onslaught at this venue, England found it exceedingly difficult to achieve a third consecutive victory.

Although the pitch behaved entirely differently than it did on Tuesday, England opener Salt continued to display evidence of dexterity and strength until deft slow left-armer Gudakesh Motie delivered one that ripped through the middle off the leg stump.

England were trailing 60-3 in the seventh over after Salt was dismissed, and they never truly recovered, as numerous left-handed batsmen were dismissed for loose balls.

Earlier, just as Motie appeared to be preparing for a counterattack, Captain Jos Buttler miscued a ramp shot to short fine leg, Harry Brook was caught off a top edge when misting a sweep, and Livingstone lobbed one back to Motie.

Andre Russell demonstrated exceptional death bowling prowess by skillfully combining his variations to restrict England’s faltering lower order and deliver consecutive deliveries that dismissed Chris Woakes and Rehan Ahmed.

Although England’s bowlers also benefited from the surface, the West Indies faced minimal strain due to their awareness of the target. Despite the increasing tension in the nineteenth over, the victory always appeared attainable.

Anchoring the pursuit, Hope maintained composure and elegance before releasing Woakes over cover to conclude the game and the series in grand fashion.

For the 2024 Twenty20 World Cup defence, England will travel to the West Indies and the United States. They won the tournament in Australia in 2022 under the guidance of Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott.

Their World Cup struggles in India were well-documented, but the West Indies’ two series losses has added to their woes. The West Indies are ranked lower than England in the ICC rankings for both white-ball formats.