Windies settle for share of series (2nd Twenty20)

LONDON, England – A lukewarm performance let West Indies down, and handed England a five-wicket win in the second Twenty20 International on Friday at the Oval.

West Indies failed to defend a target of 170, as England hit the jackpot with three balls to spare, when West Indies captain Chris Gayle speared a delivery to Owais Shah down the leg-side for four wides.

The victory earned England a share of the two-match series, after West Indies won the opening Twenty20 International on Thursday at the same venue.

Ravi Rampaul took two wickets for 39 runs from his four overs to be the most successful West Indies bowler, but Owais Shah led England with an undefeated 55 from 35 balls and added 69 – unbroken – for the sixth wicket with Dmitri Mascarenhas.

Earlier, West Indies captain Chris Gayle hit the top score of 61 from 37 balls to lead the visitors to 169 for seven from their allocation of 50 overs.

West Indies were hamstrung by the loss of left-handers Devon Smith and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, their heroes from the first Twenty20 match, and never matched the scoring rate.

Paul Collingwood and Ryan Sidebottom snared two wickets apiece.

West Indies appeared to be in control of the match, when they restricted England to 104 for five.

But Shah came to the wicket and revived England with purposeful batting. He swung the tide decisively the home team’s way, when he collected three of his seven fours in the 16th over bowled by Marlon Samuels.

Shah struck two more boundaries off Dwayne Smith next over leaving England with the simple task of gathering 15 from the last two overs.

Earlier, the Windies had a sound base of 49 inside the first six overs from Gayle and Lendl Simmons, but wickets at regular intervals, and England’s steady bowling never allowed them to reach the tempo they had set the previous day.

Marlon Samuels with 42 from 20 balls was the only other West Indies batsman who score more than 20.

The teams play the first in a three-match series of One-day Internationals at Lord’s on Sunday.

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