Chris Gayle set the agenda with a traditionally six-laden cameo, while his heir apparent, Evin Lewis, lived up to his lofty billing with 51 from 28 balls, as West Indies withstood a chilly autumnal evening, and a spirited England fightback with the ball, to seal victory by 21 runs in the one-off T20 at Chester-Le-Street.
On a night that could not have been further removed from the balmy, barmy circumstances of their previous T20 encounter, in the World T20 final in Kolkata 18 months ago, West Indies choked England’s ambitions, first through the spin twins of Sunil Narine and Ashley Nurse, and then through a canny spell of pace-off-the-ball from Kieron Pollard, Kesrick Williams and Carlos Brathwaite, at precisely the moment when it seemed their own resolve was about to crack in the inhospitable conditions.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, West Indies served up the definitive innings of two halves. At the halfway mark they had rampaged to 106 for 1, with Gayle and Lewis crunching seven sixes between them in a freewheeling partnership, but they were restricted to 70 for 8 thereafter, as Liam Plunkett’s deck-hitting aggression, allied to another wily spell of leg spin from Adil Rashid, looked to have kept their target well within manageable proportions.
Summarized scores: West Indies 176 for 9 (Lewis 51, Gayle 40, Rashid 3-25, Plunkett 3-27) beat England 155 (Hales 43, Brathwaite 3-20, Williams 3-35) by 21 runs