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England v West Indies 2nd Twenty20

Second Twenty20 International, The Oval: England 173-5 (19.3 ovs) bt West Indies 169-7 by 5 wkts

By Jamie Lillywhite

Owais Shah
Shah brought England back into the match after wickets had tumbled
England drew the Twenty20 series with West Indies after sealing a five-wicket win in the second match at The Oval.

Owais Shah hit an unbeaten 55 to clinch victory as England reached their target of 170 with three balls remaining.

Captain Paul Collingwood made 27 and Dimitri Mascarenhas shared an unbroken 69 in 36 balls with Shah after England had lost three wickets in 14 balls.

Chris Gayle fired 61 from 37 balls and Marlon Samuels hit three big sixes but England limited the Windies valiantly.

The match was played on the same strip as used for Thursday's clash and Gayle hoped his batsmen would use it with similarly good effect when he won the toss again.

Gayle himself played a curious innings in the first match, opting to leave the first three balls, and sat in disbelief with his pads on when he was out.

But he was a different man a day later, driving the opening ball of the match from Ryan Sidebottom through the covers for four and sending the next ball to a similar area for three more.

He had scored 33 after four overs by which time partner Lendl Simmons had yet to get off the mark.

Chris Gayle
Gayle adopted a bold approach after choosing to bat first

Simmons and debutant Austin Richards came into the side as Devon Smith and Shiv Chanderpaul, who scored 102 between them on Thursday, were rested.

The newcomers let the innings stall somewhat, and it needed some typically robust hitting from Samuels to revive it.

Although he failed to launch the ball out of the ground this time, there were still some memorable moments, even though he might have gone caught behind for single figures when only bowler Stuart Broad made a tentative appeal.

One hit disappeared into the second tier behind the bowler and another was so straight it ricocheted off the top of the sightscreen.

But England's performance in the field was a notable improvement on the first match, fuller length and variations of pace from the bowlers backed up by sharp out cricket and safe catching.

After Gayle top-edged to short fine-leg off Collingwood's fourth ball, the England captain made another important breakthrough in his next over when Samuels was well taken by Mascarenhas on the long-on fence.

The Windies were 144-4 after 16 overs when Sidebottom came back into the attack to take wickets in consecutive overs.

Alastair Cook took advantage of some width from Dwayne Smith in the first over of the England innings, striking two off-side boundaries.

Partner Matt Prior also cracked two fours in Ravi Rampaul's first over before Daren Powell was introduced and uprooted Cook's stumps with his fourth delivery, the first of three wickets to fall in 14 balls.


Powell, cranking up to 90mph, had a confrontation with Kevin Pietersen, who could probably have an argument on his own and needed no second invitation when the paceman placed the ball menacingly towards his own head, indicating what he intended to bowl.

Sure enough the next ball was short and Pietersen swiped at it, a thick edge just clearing the fielder at mid-wicket.

But Pietersen made only 19 before he was deceived by Darren Sammy and chipped a simple return catch.

Shah, employing a range of improvised strokes against the slower bowlers, including a sweep somehow angled over his left shoulder, took 16 in an over from Samuels to reduce to deficit to 40 from 24 balls.

Two more bold strokes brought two more boundaries in the next over and Shah's adventurous approach with the impressive Mascarenhas whittled the margin down to six from six.

Gayle again sprang a surprise by bringing himself on for the final over, having not bowled at all previously in the series.

He was unable to prevent England from victory as a wide delivery fired down the leg-side provided the winning runs.

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