Powell powers 10 mighty sixes as West Indies win in style
3rd Betway T20 International
Venue: Kensington Oval, Barbados
Toss: England won the toss and bowled
Result: West Indies won by 20 runs
Player-of-the-Match: Rovman Powell
The Betway T20I Series reached fever pitch on Wednesday night as Rovman Powell’s sensation century gave West Indies an amazing victory over England. It was remarkable way to mark his maiden century in this format, and watched by a colorful crowd, Powell inspired the home side to a 20-run win and a pivotal 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
In a blockbuster of a contest on a belter of a pitch, the right-handed Powell made 107 off 53 balls as West Indies piled up 224-5 off 20 overs, their highest-ever total against England, third highest total overall and highest in seven years. Left-hander Nicholas Pooran smashed 70 off 43 deliveries, combining with Powell to post an exhilarating 122 in a new West Indies record for the third wicket.
Confronted with the challenge of their second highest successful run chase, England got a scintillating 39-ball 73 from Tom Banton and a 24-ball 57 from Phil Salt – one of three debutants and five changes for the match – but fell short at 204-9. Fast bowler Romario Shepherd continued his good allround showing and claimed 3-59 and bowled a crucial 16th over which cost only 11 runs and pushed England’s required run rate past 15.
The 428 runs scored were the most scored in a T20I in the West Indies while the finally match tally of 31 sixes was the most ever struck in a T20I in the West Indies and the second most in a T20I overall.
“Overall, it was a very, very good game of cricket. Obviously we had to bat first and I think we batted and batted well. Kudos to Rovman. I think he came in and took his chance. He didn’t play the first couple games and getting the opportunity now, he grasped it,” said West Indies captain Kieron Pollard.
Powell arrived at the crease at 48-2 in the sixth over after Pooran had put on 37 for the second wicket with Shai Hope (4), following the second over loss of Brandon King for ten. He immediately took the attack to England’s bowlers, depositing the second ball he faced from spinner Liam Livingstone over the ropes at deep square, and proceeding to belt four fours and ten sixes.
The Jamaican raced to his half century off 31 balls, reaching the landmark with a six over cover off Livingstone in the 14th over which leaked 26 runs, before reaching his hundred off another 20 deliveries in the penultimate over, with a couple behind square.
He motored into the 90s by taking 19 runs off debutant left-arm seamer George Garton in the 18th over before joining Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis as West Indies players with a T20I century.
“It’s a proud moment. It’s a very proud moment. For the last five six months I’ve been working hard and when you work hard, it’s good to see it pay off,” Powell said. “Coming in for my first game of the season I felt confident and it was important that I got a solid start. It was simple planning with Pooran when I went in, I just wanted to a get a start and then look to express myself from there. We still have two matches to play and the series is on the line, so we can’t be too satisfied with what we have achieved so far we have to look to win the next match and take the series.
Pooran punched four fours and five sixes before perishing in the deep in the 17th over and Powell put on a further 40 with Shepherd (11 not out) before also holing out in the deep at the end of the 19th over, as West Indies gathered 71 runs from the last five overs.
In reply, Banton hit three fours and half-dozen sixes, putting on 33 for the first wicket with Jason Roy (19) and a further 46 for the second wicket with James Vince (16). Pollard (2-31) made key strikes with his slow medium as England lost four wickets for 50 runs to slump to 129 for five in the 13th over, but Salt unleashed a late salvo lashing three fours and five sixes in a 45-run, sixth wicket stand with Harry Brook (10), to rally the run chase.
However, another clatter of wickets left West Indies with the advantage and despite a couple of sixes at the start of the final over from Shepherd, the 38 required was always a mountain too high to climb.
The final two matches are on Saturday and Sunday, also at Kensington Oval. First ball is 4pm (3pm Jamaica/8pm UK).