Once again, England crumbles and falls behind 2-0 in the T20 series against West Indies.
England had planned to use this tour as preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup, but instead they are struggling. While there have been some positive moments and standout performances, the team’s main skill seems to be losing. In Grenada, on a lovely afternoon, they suffered their fourth defeat in five games. With the ODI series already lost, they are now two down in the T20s with three left to play.
In this cricket game, the outcome of 40 overs was heavily influenced by one over, where Sam Curran allowed 30 runs that boosted the West Indies’ score to a level that the visiting team was unable to surpass. Despite the conflicting performance of Curran, who both gave the most runs and top-scored with 50 after being moved up to No 4 in the batting order, England was never in a position to beat West Indies’ total of 176. The final over saw England scoring 17 runs, which made their 10-run loss look less significant.
Once again, spinners were the standout players in the game. Adil Rashid was the most impressive bowler for England, while Gudakesh Motie, who replaced the injured Romario Shepherd as West Indies’ only change, only gave up nine runs in his four overs. As Motie continued to bowl, the pressure and frustration mounted. Finally, a batter took the risk and tried to hit him, but Liam Livingstone’s shot was caught by a fielder. This game and the series in general have been characterized by this type of performance from England.
After being asked to bat, West Indies smoothly scored 37 runs in the first five overs. However, they lost a wicket in each of the following four overs, with Chris Woakes, Rashid and Rehan Ahmed contributing to the run. They only managed to score 24 more runs between the seventh and twelfth over.
However, when Rovman Powell faced off against Curran, it marked the end of England’s dominance. Powell began the 16th over with a lackluster score of 22 runs off 22 balls, but by the end, he was heading back to the dressing room with a half-century. Although his first shot was a bit lucky, resulting in a four due to an edge, he had no trouble hitting the middle of the bat for the following four deliveries. Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler both came over for a chat before Powell’s dismissal on Curran’s second attempt. As Brandon King, who finished with an impressive score of 82 runs off 52 balls, hit three fours and a six in the next over bowled by Ahmed, West Indies quickly fell behind in the game.
The beginning of England’s reaction followed the usual pattern of Buttler being removed from the game with a score in the single digits – his fifth time in eight innings, including a score of zero. Phil Salt also left the game shortly after the powerplay ended, prompting England to use their wildcard.
One thing that has stood out during England’s training sessions on this tour is the impressive strength and precise timing displayed by Curran’s batting in the nets. In practice sessions focused on hitting long shots, he consistently outperforms his teammates, but during actual matches, he often seems content with scoring singles and doubles. This match presented him with the opportunity to come in at number four, spend some time at the crease, show off his power, and make up for any previous mistakes. While there were glimpses of his destructive batting abilities – including a massive six hit off Alzarri Joseph and another off Andre Russell – it was too late to make a significant impact.