Jonny Bairstow leads England to four-wicket win after bowlers restrict West Indies

Wed, Mar 6, '19


Windies v England

A quick-fire half-century by Jonny Bairstow led England to a comfortable four-wicket victory against West Indies in the opening game of their three-match T20I series in St Lucia.

After Nicholas Pooran's impressive fifty anchored West Indies' innings in the face of a strong all-round England bowling performance, led by Tom Curran's 4 for 36, Bairstow charged towards the target of 161 from the outset.

West Indies were not helped by some loose bowling and even more costly fielding. They got wickets, too, as Bairstow lost batting partners Alex Hales, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan as well as being dropped twice but he did not even flinch, racing to his fifty off 27 balls and reaching 68 off 40 before lofting Ashley Nurse to Carlos Brathwaite on the midwicket boundary.

While the danger wasn't completely removed for England, Bairstow had set them off to such a strong start that nothing short of a serious collapse would see them beaten.

Kent team-mates Joe Denly and Sam Billings all but completed the job with a 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket so that when Jason Holder had Denly caught by Pooran for 30 off 29 balls, England needed just eight runs to win. But there were nervous moments to come when Billings was dropped on Holder's next ball by Oshane Thomas, whose one-handed attempt at fine leg was a mess. Then Sheldon Cottrell added his third wicket with his first ball back into the attack, bowling Billings for 18.


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