Nottinghamshire's Michael Lumb hit a career-best 63, while Outlaws teammate Alex Hales scored 38 to help England to victory in the third International T20 against the West Indies in Barbados.
Lumb and Hales smashed their way to 64 runs in the batting powerplay. Impressive in itself, even more so considering England’s previous opening six overs had ended 30-3 and 36-2. While Lumb scored quickest, Hales had the pick of the shots, spotting a shorter delivery from Sunil Narine and pulling it onto the roof of the Greenidge-Haynes stand.
Lumb’s 27-ball fifty followed shortly after, an effortless knock which boasted eight fours and two sixes. Most encouragingly for England, though, was the way he dismissed Narine, picking him with apparent ease.
His innings ended on 63, a career-best T20 international score, skying Sheldon Cottrell to the waiting hands of Dwayne Bravo. Hales continued to 38 alongside captain Eoin Morgan, before becoming Cottrell’s second victim.
From there, the innings slowed, Morgan the only other batsman to reach double figures. Buttler, Stokes and Moeen Ali all departed for a combined 12 runs, and where 190 had looked reachable for England, they had faltered to 138-6.
One thing the West Indies wouldn’t have taken into account, though, was Barbados born Chris Jordan. Starting the final over on strike with one run to his name, Bravo would surely have sensed blood. Six balls later, the picture was very different, Jordan launching him for four maximums. There was even a dot ball in between Jordan’s exhibition style batting. Two flew over the ropes on the leg side, and a pair on the off. 27 from nine balls for Jordan, then, and a total of 165-7.
Jade Dernbach continued England’s improving performance with his first delivery, finding Daywne Smith’s bottom edge, the ball careering into the stumps. Jordan struck in the next, catching Johnson Charles after finding a healthy leading edge. The same man accounted for Marlon Samuels, another batsman guilty of chopping onto his stumps.
By the end of the powerplay, England had restricted the West Indies to 35-3. A familiar score in the circumstances, but not for the hosts. Bravo became Jordan’s third victim, taking an excellent catch off Bopara. Simmons, however, proved resilient, thumping his way to 69 while losing partners regularly.
A cameo from Dinesh Ramdin left the West Indies in contention, before Jade Dernbach was tasked with delivering the contest’s final over. A six from the fourth, followed by a fifth-ball dot left the hosts needing seven off the last ball. Dernbach duly kept hearts in mouths, sending one outside off which was met with the umpires’ outstretched arms. His extra ball was wider still, but Sammy’s swing connected, the ball sliding down to third man to offer England a five-run victory.
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