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West Indies vs England: The hosts won the fifth T20 to secure a 3-2 series win

West Indies vs England: The hosts won the fifth T20 to secure a 3-2 series win

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Shai Hope hit a crucial 43 not out to ensure West Indies beat England in the two white-ball series on this tour

England 132 (19.3 overs): salt 38 (22); Movement 3-24

West Indies 133-6 (19.2 overs): Hope 43* (43); Topli 2-17, Rashid 2-21

West Indies won by four wickets and won the series 3-2

England lost the fifth over and clinched the T20 against the West Indies by four wickets in Trinidad to suffer a 3-2 series defeat.

After being put in to bat, England struggled for fluency at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and were bowled out for 132 from 19.3 overs.

Sam Curran gave England a chance with a brilliant penultimate goal, taking a wicket and conceding two runs, leaving the hosts needing nine from the last.

But Shai Hope's powerful six sealed victory by four balls to spare.

England batted well with the ball, Reece Topley impressed with 2-17 and Adil Rashid took 2-21, but Hope's crucial 43-ball knock did not prove the difference.

Playing on the same pitch on which they scored a record 267 in the fourth T20, the tourists' timing was taken away, with the surface offering more to the bowlers and the West Indies attack showing much greater consistency.

The in-form Phil Salt reached 38 but only Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali, with 28 and 23 respectively, also made significant contributions as England lost their last five wickets for just 11 runs.

The defeat completes a disappointing end to the year for England's white-ball side following a 2-1 defeat in the one-day internationals that preceded the T20 match of the tour, and a group stage exit for the 50-over World Cup. In November.

England's batting faltered in the decider

After two impressive performances to level the series by 2-0 – chasing 223 in Grenada before attacking at the same venue – a third successive win proved a challenge too far for England.

The pitch played very differently than it did on Tuesday, although Salt in England's opener still showed signs of his touch and power before slow left-arm spinner Gudakesh Moti got one off the ball on his leg stump and tore through the middle.

Salt's dismissal left England 60-3 down in the seventh inning and they never recovered, with several left-handed batters left blowing up some loose dismissals.

Captain Jos Buttler had earlier miscued a slope shot to short fine leg, Harry Brook was caught off the top edge as he made a sweep and Livingstone returned a single to Motte just as he appeared to be setting himself up for a counter-attack.

Andre Russell harkened back to years gone by in a masterful bowling display, expertly mixing his variations to restrict England's struggling lower order and removing Chris Woakes and Rehan Ahmed with successive deliveries.

While England's bowlers also benefited from the surface, West Indies were under little pressure with the luxury of knowing their target, and even as tension mounted in the 19th over, victory never felt out of reach.

Hope exuded class and calm throughout to anchor the chase, before Woakes was unleashed on the cover to end the game and the series in style.

Questions remain for England's defense at the World Cup

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England opener Phil Salt was named the standout player of the series for 331 runs in five matches

England will return to the West Indies and the United States in 2024 to defend their T20 World Cup title, which they won in Australia in 2022 under Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott.

Since then, England's white-ball fortunes have been mixed, with the final three months of 2023 particularly disappointing.

Their World Cup struggles in India have been well documented, but back-to-back defeats to the West Indies – below England in the ICC rankings for both white-ball formats – have heightened the concern.

Fatigue is likely to be a factor after a hectic 2023 that included the Ashes and the World Cup, but with his next T20 assignment not until May against Pakistan, Mott wanted to end the year with more clarity.

Salt secured his place after hitting 331 runs and two centuries in the series, while left-arm seamer Topley and experienced leg-spinner Rashid were in top form.

The likes of Curran, Brook, Livingstone and Wheeljack showed glimpses of their quality without ever starring, while Ahmed remained a prodigious but raw talent, and seamer John Turner spent the entire tour carrying drinks.

Several England players will get more T20 exposure in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but Motte's task in naming his strongest XI remains a tough one, while he will also have to wait to see if all-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Jofra Archer are available yet. injury.

“We will be better off with this experience” – reaction

West Indies captain Rofman Powell on TNT Sports: “We are still a good bowling unit but in the last two games the bowlers just didn't deliver. It was closer than we thought in the end.”

“We kept losing key wickets but we always knew Shai Hope would be the important man on this pitch.”

England Captain Jos Buttler: “The conditions were different to a few days ago as the wicket was being used. We probably couldn't adapt quickly enough.

“I thought 160 would be a good score to defend. It was a great bowling effort and we needed the wicket to try and win the match.”

Player of the series, England opener, Phil Salt: “It's disappointing to come out on the wrong side of it. It was another good game of cricket and we took it as far as we could.

“Shai Hope played a really good knock and we will be in a better position in the coming months because of this experience.”

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