England smashed a record T20I total against the West Indies as Phil Salt’s second successive century set up a series-levelling 75-run victory in Trinidad.
Salt, whose ton on Saturday had kept England in the series, hit 119 from 57 balls as the visitors reached 267-3 to set the second highest T20 international total recorded by a full ICC member nation.
West Indies made a rapid start to their run-chase but the regular loss of wickets saw England cruise to victory as the hosts were all out for 192 in the 16th over.
The series, in which England have come from 2-0 down to level at 2-2, will be decided at the same ground in Thursday’s fifth and final contest between the teams.
Salt shared a 117-run opening stand with England captain Jos Buttler (55) as the tourists got off to a flyer, before Liam Livingstone (54 not out) ensured there was no let up in the closing stages of the innings.
Attempting to pull off what would have been the highest chase in T20I history, the hosts entertained by racing beyond 100 within seven overs, largely thanks to cameos from Nicholas Pooran (39) and Sherfane Rutherford (35).
However, with four wickets already lost by that point, England spinner Adil Rashid (1-35) then came on and took the game away from the West Indies by exerting more control than any other bowler had managed throughout the game.
Reece Topley (3-37) eventually took the final two West Indian wickets to end the match, with Andre Russell (51) the last player out as the home side were left to regret having been perhaps too aggressive in their batting approach.
Salt, England break records in thrilling hitting display
After his spectacular unbeaten 109 had helped England chase down 223 to win in Grenada on Saturday, Salt picked up exactly where he left off, hitting debutant fast bowler Matthew Forde for a six and a four in the opening over.
Buttler, who had also chipped in with a half century last time out, took slightly longer to get going, taking nine deliveries to score his first boundary before a sweetly-timed reverse sweep for six signalled he had found his groove.
The pair continued to enjoy themselves, with Salt hitting two more sixes from a 22-run Forde over as England reached 68-0 at the end of the six-over power play, perhaps leaving West Indies skipper Rovman Powell questioning his decision to put the tourists in to bat after winning the toss.
Salt brought up his half-century from 23 balls in the eighth over, before Buttler reached the landmark two overs later from 26 deliveries.
The hosts finally broke through when Jason Holder had Buttler caught at long on by Powell, but with England on 117-1 inside 10 overs, a perfect platform had been set.
Salt quickly dispelled any thought that the wicket might slow England down by hitting each of the first three balls of the next over, bowled by Rutherford, for six.
Will Jacks (24) joined in the fun, hitting two maximums of his own before being given out lbw to Akeal Hosein.
Salt appeared to be in with a chance of beating his new batting partner Livingstone’s England record 42-ball T20I hundred, but slowed slightly before a single eventually brought up the milestone from 48 deliveries.
The 27-year-old’s final score of 119 was the highest by an England men’s batter in a T20 international, while he also became just the second full-member nation player to score centuries in successive T20I contests.
By the time Salt was bowled by a Russell yorker in the penultimate over, Livingstone had begun to accelerate, and added three boundaries from the final over to bring up his own half century from just 20 balls.
The only full ICC member nation to better the final total of 267-3 was Afghanistan when they hit 278-3 against Ireland in 2019, while the innings comfortably eclipsed England’s previous best of 241-3 against New Zealand in 2019.
More to follow…