ST KITTS – David Willey made an emphatic point while Mark Wood didn’t miss a beat as West Indies were bowled out for an abysmal 71 and England cruised to an eight-wicket win in St Kitts to sweep their T20I series 3-0.
Willey claimed 4 for 7 and Wood 3 for 9 in a staggering West Indies innings lasting just 13 overs in which four players reached double figures but none of them passed 11 runs.
Chasing just 72 to win, Alex Hales signalled his intent when he smashed Sheldon Cottrell for 16 runs in the first over of England’s innings and the tourists reached the target for the loss of just two wickets with 57 balls to spare, England’s largest T20I victory in terms of balls remaining.
West Indies’ paltry total was their third-lowest in T20Is and only marginally better than their 45 in the second match against England at the same ground on Friday night.
David Willey’s 4/7 helps England bowl out Windies for 71
Playing on the same pitch which, by all accounts, appeared tacky, West Indies made the surprising decision to bat first upon winning the toss. Sure enough, Willey struck with the first delivery of the match, a fuller-length ball that dug into the surface slightly and, as he pressed forward uncertainly, Shai Hope spooned a simple catch to Hales at short cover. In his next over, a Willey slower ball tempted Shimron Hetmyer into a loose shot that sailed straight to mid-off where star fielder Chris Jordan took an easy catch.
Man of the Match Willey, who before the final fixture had questioned the noise surrounding Jofra Archer’s potential World Cup selection, did his best to press his own claims for inclusion when, in his next over, he claimed two wickets in three balls, dismissing debutant John Campbell, who skied a catch to Joe Denly in the covers, and Darren Bravo, caught behind.
Wood, who was rested for the first two T20 games, picked up where he left off after an impressive showing in the third Test and the ODI series, after replacing Liam Plunkett for the tour finale.
Wood had Jason Holder put down off his second ball in a rare fielding mistake by Joe Root but, after Denly’s part-time spin dismissed Holder next ball, easily caught by Jordan, Wood had Nicholas Pooran out to an athletic catch by Player of the Series Jordan running round to his right at mid-wicket. With West Indies in disarray at 48 for 6, Wood and Adil Rashid cleaned up the tail and left England’s batsmen to chalk off the run-chase with minimum fuss.
Hales made a sharp 20 off 13, while Bairstow, dropped by Hetmyer off Holder’s bowling when he was on 19, went on to reach 37 off 31 before he was bowled by Devendra Bishoo. At that point, England needed just 12 more runs for victory and Eoin Morgan saw his team over the line with a six and a four in consecutive balls off Bishoo.