|First Twenty20 international, Barbados:|
|England 103 (19.4 overs): Holder 4-7, Jordan 28|
|West Indies 104-1 (17.1 overs): King 52*|
|West Indies won by nine wickets|
England’s batting woes crossed formats and continents as they were routed by West Indies in the first T20 international in Barbados.
Six days on and 10,000 miles away from the conclusion of a dismal Ashes series in Australia, an almost entirely different set of players found themselves 49-7 after being put in on a two-paced pitch.
England’s T20 record low score of 80 was in danger, only for 28 from Barbados-born Chris Jordan and 22 by Adil Rashid, two of just four players to reach double figures, to spare them from that indignity.
The tourists were ultimately bowled out for 103, with the superb Jason Holder twice taking two wickets in two balls in figures of 4-7.
Brandon King’s unbeaten 55 led the home side to their meagre target with 17 balls to spare, a nine-wicket margin of victory that matched West Indies’ biggest win and England’s largest defeat in T20s.
The second game in the five-match series, all of which is being played in Barbados, is on Sunday.
Different format, same story
English cricket will have expected a different format and opponent to bring a change in fortune. Instead, the kind of helter-skelter batting implosion that was commonplace during the Ashes was repeated.
Only Sam Billings, who made the journey to Barbados from Hobart after being drafted in for the fifth Test, is part of both squads, meaning England had five survivors from the team that was beaten in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in November. Liam Livingstone was ruled out through illness and sorely missed.
With another World Cup just nine months away, the fringe players missed the opportunity to push their claim to be part of the tournament in Australia.
England were 10-3 after two overs and never recovered. Overall, four wickets fell one ball after a visiting batter hit a boundary.
Jason Roy charged past a Sheldon Cottrell full toss, Tom Banton edged Holder to a wide slip and Moeen Ali loosely drove his first ball to point.
James Vince slapped a Cottrell long hop to cover, Billings was stumped off spinner Akeal Hosein and out-of-sorts captain Eoin Morgan took 29 balls over 17, during which time he overturned being given caught behind and saw Liam Dawson calamitously run out.
Jordan smeared three sixes, adding 36 with Rashid, who scraped England past 100 before he and Saqib Mahmood fell in the final over.
In meant England had been bowled out for 124 in the last Ashes Test and 103 in a T20 in the same week, 20 wickets for 227 runs overall.
New Windies exact revenge
West Indies put up a limp defence of their world title, exiting in the group stage, and have since moved on from white-ball mainstays like Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo. Even then, they lost a one-day series to Ireland earlier this month.
However, this was a magnificent performance, exacting a measure of revenge from an England team that bowled them out for 55 at the World Cup.
It was led by former captain Holder, who swung the new ball and often befuddled the England batters by first extracting steepling bounce, then using his slower deliveries. He started by removing Banton and Moeen in successive balls and finished by doing the same to Rashid and Mahmood.
There was no let-up from the rest of the attack, expertly marshalled by experienced skipper Kieron Pollard, while everything catchable was taken.
Openers King and Shai Hope ensured there was no way back for England, mastering the tricky conditions with a stand of 52.
Hope was stumped off a ripping leg-break from Rashid for 20, but King was joined by Nicholas Pooran to complete a ruthless West Indies chase.
‘We didn’t adapt well enough’
England captain Eoin Morgan: “We didn’t seem to adapt well enough. We’ll have to come back tomorrow with a fresh gameplan because conditions are likely to be similar. Trying to get the mindset around risk and reward we found a challenge today.”
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard: “When it comes to Kensington Oval and Jason Holder, he steps it up. He was phenomenal for us. We backed it up in the field and the guys really put on a show today.”