West Indies vs England 1st T20: Bairstow, Curran hand England 1-0 lead

Jonny Bairstow 68 West Indies England 1st T20 St Lucia cricket

Jonny Bairstow scored his third half-century in Twenty20 Internationals

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Jonny Bairstow smashed a career-best 68 and Tom Curran took four wickets as England defeated the West Indies by four wickets in the first Twenty20 International in St Lucia.

Choosing to bowl first, England got a breakthrough on the ninth ball of the match as West Indies opener Shai Hope was caught by Joe Root at midwicket off the bowling of Curran for six runs.

Chris Gayle, who opened the batting with Hope, mustered 15 runs before he was caught by Adil Rashid at short third man off the bowling of Chris Jordan.

Shimron Hetmyer scored 14 runs before he was dismissed by Curran.

Nicholas Pooran and Darren Bravo stabilised the innings with a 64-run partnership before Bravo was brilliantly caught and bowled by Jordan for 28.

The West Indies began to lose wickets at regular intervals after Bravo’s dismissal, but thanks to Pooran’s 37-ball 58, which included three boundaries and four sixes, the hosts finished on 160/8.

Curran was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Jordan snapped up two, and Rashid and Joe Denly chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 161 to win, England lost opener Alex Hales on the sixth ball as he was clean bowled by Sheldon Cottrell for 11.

Root failed to trouble the scorers as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Cottrell for a duck.

Bairstow and captain Eoin Morgan steadied things with a 51-run stand before Morgan was caught by Gayle at midwicket off the bowling of Carlos Brathwaite for eight runs.

Bairstow went on to score 68, which came off 40 balls and included nine boundaries and two sixes, before he was dismissed by Ashley Nurse.

Denly and Sam Billings added 50 runs to the score before Denly was sent packing by West Indies skipper Jason Holder for 30.

Even though Billings was cleaned up by Cottrell for 18, England managed to get across the finish line with seven balls to spare.

Cottrell was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Nurse, Holder and Brathwaite claimed one wicket each.

Bairstow was named Man of the Match.

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