Windies beat England by 21 runs

(BBC) England’s batting crumbled as they were bowled out for 155 to lose to West Indies by 21 runs in their Twenty20 international at Chester-le-Street.

Chasing 177, England twice looked well set at 64-1 and 118-4 but lost wickets at key times.

They required 26 from the final over but Liam Plunkett was bowled by Carlos Brathwaite with three balls remaining.

The hosts’ bowlers had pegged West Indies back from 106-1 after 10 overs with Adil Rashid taking 3-25.

Relive West Indies’ win as it happened
That gave England the edge at the halfway stage and their hopes improved further when opener Alex Hales began the reply with a blistering 17-ball 43.

But captain Brathwaite bowled Hales at the end of the sixth over as he took 3-20 to inspire his side’s victory.

It was the first T20 meeting between the sides since a Brathwaite-inspired West Indies won the World Twenty20 final in 2016.

The match is the sole T20 before a five-match one-day international series beginning on Tuesday.

It is 531 days since Carlos Brathwaite hit four consecutive sixes in the final over to win the World T20, and again he played a key role in the West Indies win on a cold, damp night.

After losing his opening partner Jason Roy from the first ball of England’s reply, Alex Hales hit eight fours and a six in an innings that looked like it could take the game away from the tourists.

But the opener tried to attack once too often as Brathwaite sent his off stump cartwheeling back before England lost Joe Root (17) and captain Eoin Morgan (2) within the next 11 balls.

From there, England recovered through Jos Buttler (30) and Jonny Bairstow (27) as the pair put on a 50-run stand until Buttler holed out in the deep off Kesrick Williams who took an impressive but expensive 3-35.

Sunil Narine was also effective with his slow bowling as the ball skidded on off the pitch while the fielders also struggled to keep their footing on the greasy surface.

With Bairstow at the crease England still had hope but Brathwaite returned again to dismiss the Yorkshireman with a slower ball caught at deep square leg, leaving the hosts 129-8 and all-but ending their hopes.

The 29-year-old West Indian skipper delivered the final over and was fittingly the man to take the final wicket.

During the England innings, a section of a stand was evacuated at Emirates Riverside after it partially collapsed.

Throughout the recent Test series between these sides, much of the talk of the tourists had been about the players missing from their line-up.

But with a change of format, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite and Sunil Narine all returned.

Gayle was his typical big-hitting self – hitting four sixes in his 21-ball 40 before he was run-out in lackadaisical fashion.

The 37-year-old pushed the ball to Jason Roy at backward point, made a pedestrian effort to reach the non-strikers’ end and was surprised when the ball came to the bowler Plunkett who took off the bails with Gayle a yard short.

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