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England’s strong performance, led by Salt, secures a seven-wicket victory against West Indies in the third T20 match.

“There wasn’t really a message at halfway, just go out and play,” said Phil Salt. “We knew what we needed to do, it was pretty simple.” In truth it was anything but, and as they pursued a mighty target of 223 England went into the final few overs of their innings needing a miracle. Fortunately, in Harry Brook they have one.

Brook was able to score 31 runs in the seven balls he faced, causing chaos for the West Indies team. Andre Russell was seen defeated on the ground as Brook hit three consecutive balls out of the stadium in the final over, securing the win. The English bowlers struggled to keep up with the aggressive batting of their opponents, but their own batters stepped up and matched their intensity. The result was a thrilling victory by seven wickets with one ball to spare, giving the visiting team a chance to make a comeback in the series.

Despite being behind 2-1, the team will continue on to Trinidad for their final two white-ball matches of the season. However, this performance has at least delayed any negative evaluations. Although not perfect, this team still has the ability to intimidate their opponents. Salt, who scored an impressive 109 off of 56 balls, stated that this win is a major confidence boost and shows the weight behind their words. No sports team enjoys losing, and although they have faced challenges, their strong performance in this game has left Salt feeling ecstatic.

The chase for England began with a collaboration of 115 runs between Salt and Jos Buttler, with Buttler scoring 51. Despite their determination, the required pace was always intimidating. Salt reached his hundred with the team’s total at 186, but when Livingstone was caught on the next delivery, it seemed as though his innings would only be a minor detail in yet another unlucky outcome. With 37 runs needed off 13 balls, Brook entered the game and chaos ensued.

England have only hit more than 18 sixes in one instance in their history, with half of them being scored by Salt. This was necessary as West Indies also managed to hit 16 sixes themselves, providing England with a valuable lesson on batting and bowling in these conditions. The tourists’ bowling has been relentlessly attacked throughout the series, resulting in a total of 43 sixes conceded in three matches. In their previous tour to the Caribbean, England gave up 51 sixes in five T20s, making it the highest number by any opponent in a single series. This record is likely to be surpassed before the current series ends on Thursday.

The West Indies’ performance in their innings was even more noteworthy because they did not win the coin toss and lost two wickets for only eight runs in the first two overs. However, Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope stabilized the situation with a 54-run partnership in 37 balls. Later on, Rovman Powell joined Pooran and together they continued to rebuild the innings with a partnership of 58 runs in 32 balls. Pooran eventually scored 82 runs off 45 balls before being caught by Livingstone at deep midwicket while attempting a third six in a single over by Adil Rashid.

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Despite starting strongly, their performance was not exceptional. With only four overs left, they were at 143 for four and on track for a mediocre score. The final four overs, bowled by Tymal Mills, Rashid, Sam Curran and Reece Topley, resulted in 25, 15, 21 and 18 runs respectively. England could have used Gus Atkinson as a bowler, but his previous two overs had not been successful and it was best to let him regroup. The bowlers may still be feeling the effects of the match, but they also have newfound confidence.

Source: theguardian.com