Salt, Spice and Everything Nice; Brook keeps England cooking with a thrilling 7 wicket win.

1 wndies
Phil Salt scored a ton in England's victory over the West Indies
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By Samuel Peters

Batting sensation Harry Brook took a meagre seven balls to smash a whirlwind 31 runs to help England to a seven-wicket win over West Indies in the third match of the five match T20 series in Grenada.

Needing 21 runs to win from the last over, Brook smashed a heartstopping 24 runs from the first five balls off Andre Russell’s final over leaving fans bemused to surpass the 223 target set by the West Indies. His heroics overshadowed Phil Salt’s 109 who paced the innings brilliantly with the help of skipper Jos Buttler who smashed 51 from 34 balls.

It was a game in which, whether the ball was bowled at pace or spin, fast or slowly, they either went to or over the boundary. A total of 448 runs were scored with the ‘One Run Wonders’ England out-sixing the ‘Sixes Kings’ West Indies, blasting 18 sixes and 10 fours while the Windies had a mere 16 sixes and 14 fours.

The Three Lions started out with a great roar removing the dangerous opening pair of Brandon King and Kyle Mayers within the first two overs, as Moeen Ali and Reece Topley in his first outing of the tour accounted for each in that order. But Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran at 8 for 2, unphased by the fall of wickets, began the onslaught on another hapless English bowling performance.

 In a partnership of 54 that lasted 37 balls, both batters shared the workload before Hope was bowled by Adil Rashid for 26. Captain Rovman Powell then joined the party with Pooran and continued where he left off on Thursday, dominating a 58-run partnership in which he scored 39 from 21 balls. But Sam Curran removed him, getting his revenge back after Powell took 28 runs from one of his overs in the previous game.

Pooran then began flexing his muscles with one of the best shots of the match with a slap over extra cover for six, but he was eventually dismissed by Rashid for 82.

Shurfane Rutherford who replaced Shimron Hetmeyer, batted admirably with some outrageous hitting in a 17-ball knock that valued 29 runs. In the end of the innings Jason Holder and Andre Rusell combined to put on 25 runs in eight balls to give the Windies a defendable 222 for 6. 

The so called ‘One Run Wonders’ got off to the usual flyer yet again, but this time it was sustained throughout the power play with them reaching 73 without loss, as Salt seasoned the dish presented by the lethargic bowling of the West Indies, while Buttler treated fans with a six-and-four show.

The home side struggled to contain the visitors who found the ropes at will until a brilliant catch on the boundary which involved Alzarri Joseph and Akeal Hosein dismissed Buttler with the score at 111 in the 12th over. A pull shot intended to go over the ropes saw Hosein who was stationed at backward square leg run around to take the catch but with his momentum going over the boundary, he quickly threw the ball over to Joseph who was perfectly positioned at the deep fine leg boundary. Will Jacks then came to the crease and struggled painstakingly, as Gudakesh Motie and Russell managed to bowl some tight overs to put the English men under pressure. He was eventually dismissed for one run from six balls as Motie, who had bowled impressively, claimed his wicket.

But England devised a not so new strategy by scoring sixes instead of fours and saw them hitting a total of 13 sixes and one four in the remaining seven overs. Liam Livingstone teamed up with Salt to put on 70 in 34 balls before Holder dismissed him to leave the score at 186 for 3 with 13 balls remaining and 37 runs needed.

In walked Brook who smashed Holder for a six off his first ball to push the score to 192 for the 3 at the end of the 18 overs. Joseph returned to bowl his final and the penultimate over for just ten runs given the circumstances. However, Russell was called upon to deliver the last over to an in-form and eager Brook who finished the game with style and flair, smashing 24 from the over to help England to 226 for 3 and ensured that they would stay alive in the series as both teams head to Trinidad for the final leg of the tour beginning on Wednesday.

West Indies lead the series 2-1.

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