Moeen Ali stars as England cling on to level T20 series with one-run win over West Indies
England beat West Indies by one run in second T20 international to level the five-match series at 1-1; Jason Roy (45) and Moeen Ali (31) help tourists post 171-8; Moeen (3-24) and Adil Rashid (2-24) rip through West Indies top and middle-order before late onslaught lifts hosts to 170-8
By Sam Drury
Last Updated: 24/01/22 8:51am
Moeen Ali impressed with bat and ball as England levelled the T20 series despite being made to sweat by a blistering late onslaught from the West Indies lower order.
The tourists were cruising to victory as the game entered its final stages but some remarkable hitting late on, including three sixes from the last three balls for Akeal Hosein, in a 72-run stand with Romario Shepherd, meant Eoin Morgan's side got home by just one run.
Jason Roy had top-scored with 45 from 31 balls as England, having been rolled for 103 in Saturday's series opener, put in a far stronger effort to post 171-8 in Barbados.
That looked to be more than enough as West Indies slipped to 65-7 with Moeen (3-24) and Adil Rashid (2-24) excelling through the middle overs.
Second T20I - West Indies vs England
- England win by one run to level series at 1-1
- Jason Roy (45) top-scores as tourists post 170-8
- West Indies slipped to 65-7 in the chase
- Moeen Ali (3-24), Adil Rashid (2-24)
- Unbroken 72-run stand for ninth wicket makes game close
- Romario Shepherd (44no), Akeal Hosein (44no)
However, from 98-8, Shepherd (44no from 28) and Hosein (44no from 16) went from giving the score a more respectable look to making England fret as Saqib Mahmood (0-45) went the distance in the final over.
Given how the first game had gone, it was no surprise when Kieron Pollard asked England to bat first again when he won the toss, and that collapse was clearly in the minds of Roy and Tom Banton as they made a more circumspect start to the innings.
Banton was soon into his stride though, enjoying Pollard's decision to bring the spinners on early as helped himself to boundaries with a mixture of sweeps and reverse-sweeps before thumping a straight drive back at Fabian Allen, who took a superb return catch in the last over of the powerplay.
The left-arm spinner struck again before the over was out, bowling James Vince (4) with a delivery that straightened and just clipped the off bail.
Roy and Moeen stayed together until the drinks break after 10 overs, although the latter required some good fortune to get there as he was dropped by Nicholas Pooran off Pollard on 13 having already benefitted by a misjudgement from Darren Bravo off Allen, the fielder not even getting a hand to the ball.
Roy burst into action in the 11th over, taking 24 from Allen's over, including back-to-back sixes, the second of which flew out of the ground and the fifty partnership came up in the next over with a boundary from Moeen (31 from 24).
Both men fell in the next two overs as West Indies were able to drag things back, Sam Billings' dismissal in the 15th making it three wickets in as many overs.
England did find some late momentum courtesy of Chris Jordan's cameo, the bowling all-rounder hitting two fours and a six in a breezy 27 from 15 balls to lift the visitors to a match-winning total.
England made to sweat after brilliant start
West Indies quickly found themselves in trouble in the chase as Reece Topley, playing his first T20I since 2016, trapped Brandon King (0) lbw with his third ball and then brilliantly ran out Shai Hope (2) in his next, diving to flick the ball onto the stumps.
Pooran (24) and Bravo (23) helped the home side to recover from 6-2 before the former holed out in Moeen's first over, triggering a collapse from 47-2 to 65-7 with Moeen and Rashid bowling brilliantly in tandem.
Pollard (1) and Bravo fell lbw to Rashid after two good England reviews, while Moeen also accounted for Jason Holder (1) and Odean Smith (7) before Jordan ousted Allen (12).
That appeared to be that with West Indies needing 74 from 29 balls to win. It proved to be beyond them but also just as Shepherd and Hosein shared the highest ninth-wicket stand in a T20I by a full member nation.
Jordan went for 24 in an 18th over which also saw Morgan drop Hosein before Topley's (1-18) tidy 19th left 30 needed from the last. A wide to start from Mahmood was followed by another very similar delivery that the umpire let go before Hosein thumped consecutive fours.
Extras were already required and Mahmood gave them one with another wide, meaning there was no margin for error, but even with Hosein nailing the last three balls over the ropes, England clung on to make it 1-1 with three matches left in the series.
Morgan: Experience of tight games will help England
England captain Eoin Morgan: "Delighted and even with the last quarter of the game, with a relatively inexperienced international line-up, they're games that you want to play in. Looking back at the World Cup, we didn't play in many tight games to work on our death hitting and death bowling.
"Today is a good example of that and hopefully the more experience, the better we'll get at executing. But for the majority of today, I thought we were brilliant. I thought we adapted to conditions after being stuck in, it wasn't that easy but we managed to build partnerships."
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard: "The way the guys fought at the back end, we knew what they could do. These guys can hit the ball a long way. The faith and the confidence Akeal has is tremendous, he has been working on his batting. But spare a word for Shepherd as well, the way that he batted, put up his hand and showed responsibility."
England all-rounder Moeen Ali: "I thought me and Rash bowled quite nicely in that middle period. We've played quite a bit together now and I thought he read the surface really well. The way he was spinning the ball, he makes it easier for me actually because then guys come after be and when they do that's when you can get wickets."
England and West Indies face off again in the third T20 international from 8pm on January 26 with matches on 29 and 30 January completing the five-match series.
Meanwhile, Heather Knight's England side will aim to take the lead in the Women's Ashes as they take on Australia in the solitary Test match from Thursday. Australia lead the multi-format series 4-2 after the T20s.