THE WEST Indies will be hoping to pull off another feat of craftsmanship after Saturday’s nine-wicket win over England in the opening T20 International game at the Kensington Oval and take a 2-0 lead today.
Jason Holder and Brandon King were the stars of Saturday’s show, with the former enjoying a four-wicket pull from Holder that helped sack England for 103. King then batted an unbeaten half-century which helped the West Indies improve to 104 for a 17.1 overs.
It was new ball pairing Sheldon Cottrell and Holder that established the home team’s dominance and justified the decision to bowl first.
In fact, the pair outplayed the visitors at sea with 29 for five in just the seventh.
Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid needed some late strikes to improve the English score, with Jordan hitting 28 from 23 balls and Rashid 22 from 18 to take the three Lions to 103 in 19.4 overs.
Player of the match Holder took the final two wickets in the final, finishing with four wickets for just seven runs in 3.4 overs, while Cottrell finished with two wickets for 30.
It was a near-perfect performance on the field for the Windies, and that momentum seemed to carry over to the batsmen, with Shai Hope and King playing positives in a 52-run opening streak.
Hope eventually fell to Adil for 20, but King continued to hit free, and he and Nicholas Pooran saw the hosts home after another 52-run partnership with 17 balls remaining.
The right-handed Jamaican king finished on 52 not from 49 balls with four fours and a six, while Pooran went unbeaten on 27 of 29 balls.
Victorious captain Kieron Pollard was happy with the effort and pushed for replays for the remainder of the series.
“That’s the blueprint we’re asking the guys to do. I’m really happy for the lads in that dressing room because winning matches is a rarity at the time and coming out and winning a cricket match wasn’t easy. To see the youngsters come out and understand the situation, finish the game and not come out was fantastic,” Pollard said.
The teams will face off again this afternoon at 3:00pm Jamaican time in the second game at the same venue.