The way this series is going is exactly what you don’t expect from a normal team and is also exactly what you expect from a West Indies team.
“One minute down, next minute up” is how former England captain Nasser Hussain once famously described Pakistan as but the same also holds true about their distant cousins from the Caribbean.
Having been humiliated by Ireland at home recently albeit, in a different format, the Windies were expected to cave against the far more talented England. But two matches into the five-game series and they have won once and almost won the second one.
After brushing aside England in the opener, the home side were down and out in the second T20I, struggling at 98 for 8 in pursuit of 172 but then Romario Shepherd (44*) and number ten batter Akeal Hosein (also 44*) formed an astonishing 72-run partnership that produced a flurry of boundaries at the end and saw the hosts fall just one-run short of England’s total.
A warning has been fired towards England again: this West Indies side is inconsistent but it can come alive at any given moment.
England recovered well from the debacle of the series opener by posting 171-8 in their innings. The start to their innings was cautious, which is what you’d expect from a side that was bundled out for 103 in the previous game.
But runs were eventually found and they finished with a decent, if not massive, total. The bowlers, too, generally did well, with Reece Topley having a hand in the dismissal of both Windies openers.
All was going swimmingly until the death overs arrived where England’s weakness was exposed again as Shepherd and Hosein went to work.
Saqib Mehmood was bled for 28 runs in the final over alone, which was the fourth most expensive over bowled in men’s T20I matches. Even Chris Jordan, normally a death-over specialist, was taken for runs. With Windies batting running deep, English bowlers could have this problem for the entirety of this series.