Salt century adds flavour as England beat West Indies to keep series alive

The visitors pull off their third-highest T20 international chase as they ease to a seven wickets victory in the third T20 in Grenada

By Reuters

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England's Phil Salt celebrates after he scored a century against the West Indiesduring the third T20 at the National Cricket Stadium in Saint George's, Grenada, on Saturday. - AP
England's Phil Salt celebrates after he scored a century against the West Indiesduring the third T20 at the National Cricket Stadium in Saint George's, Grenada, on Saturday. - AP

Published: Sun 17 Dec 2023, 11:17 AM

Last updated: Sun 17 Dec 2023, 4:51 PM

England kept their five-match Twenty20 series in the West Indies alive after winning the third game by seven wickets with a ball to spare thanks to Phil Salt's unbeaten 109 in a mammoth run chase in St George's, Grenada, on Saturday.

Put in to bat by England skipper Jos Buttler, the home side posted 222-6 on the back of Nicholas Pooran's 82 off 45 deliveries.

Chasing a record T20I score at the National Cricket Stadium, Salt went all guns blazing with nine sixes and four boundaries, building a 115-run opening stand with Buttler (51) before Harry Brook (31 off seven) finished things off in style with a six.

West Indies are now 2-1 up in the series with two matches left to play.

"Great to keep the series alive, a fantastic win. Any time you chase 220 is a fantastic innings - credit to Phil Salt," Buttler said.

"Phil Salt has such great intent from ball one. It's something we've asked him to do, but for him to go on and stay in the game a bit longer, it can surprise you how much he can do in the end."

The opening pair had looked well set to guide England home before Buttler was caught in the deep soon after he had brought up his half-century, thanks to some brilliant team work for a relay catch.

Akeal Hosein caught Buttler's top edge off Andre Russell near the rope and just as his momentum threatened to take him over, he tossed the ball to Alzarri Joseph who completed the catch.

Will Jacks returned to the pavilion without troubling the scorers while Gudakesh Motie once again put the brakes on England's scoring rate with 1-30 in four overs, leaving the tourists to chase 83 in the final five overs.

But Liam Livingstone provided some impetus with fireworks of his own while Salt brought up his century in 51 balls -- becoming only the fifth Englishman to score a T20 international ton -- to give England hope.

When Livingstone (30 off 18) departed, Harry Brook came in and smashed four sixes, which included three in the final over from Andre Russell when they needed 21 to win.

Earlier in the first innings, England had the ideal start when Brandon King, the Caribbean side's hero from the last game, fell for just eight runs while his opening partner Kyle Mayers was dismissed for a duck.

But Pooran was in the mood for a big score and the wicketkeeper-batter cleared the ropes six times to go with his six boundaries, ably supported by skipper Rovman Powell (39) who hit three sixes.

Brief scores

Third T20, Grenada

West Indies 222-6 (20 overs): Pooran 82 (45), Powell 39 (21); Rashid 2-32

England 226-3 (19.5 overs): Salt 109* (56), Buttler 51 (34), Brook 31* (7)

England won by seven wickets


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