Phil Salt smashed a brilliant unbeaten century as England beat the West Indies by seven wickets to keep their Twenty20 international series alive in Grenada on Sunday (AEDT).
Salt led an unimaginable English fightback with 109 not out while middle-order batsman Harry Brook also emerged as a hero with an unbeaten 31 as England finished on 226- 3 with one ball to spare to eclipse West Indies’ mammoth total of 222-6.
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Brook’s late knock included 24 in the final over, the 24-year-old Yorkshireman sealing a remarkable victory with a six from West Indies batsman Andre Russell at third man.
The win keeps the best-of-five series in tact, as West Indies lead 2-1 with two matches remaining.
Salt’s century from 56 balls included four fours and nine sixes, while Brook’s unbeaten 31 came off just seven balls and included four sixes.
Set a target of 223 for victory, England made a flying start to their chase, with Salt supporting 51 from captain Jos Buttler.
But a tight bowling spell from the West Indies and Buttler’s dismissal stemmed the flow of English runs and the hosts appeared to be on course for victory as the run rate rose higher than ever.
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England regained the initiative in spectacular fashion, however, with Liam Livingstone hitting 30 off 18 balls before Brook’s remarkable late cameo dragged the tourists over the line.
“It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve played for England,” Salt said of his century. “It’s really special to be doing that today with the online series. Brooky came in and played a takedown at the end.” Earlier, West Indies looked set to take the series after Nicholas Pooran smashed 82 off 45 balls, following a shaky start from the hosts.
The West Indian keeper’s stunning knock came after England left the hosts reeling 8-2 with the early dismissal of Brandon King and Kyle Mayers.
Pooran’s knock was at the heart of a sustained middle-order onslaught with Rovman Powell adding 39, Sherfane Rutherford 29 and Shai Hope 26.
The hosts devoured England’s bowling, displaying a spectacular display of power hitting that yielded more sixes (16) than boundaries (14).
England made two changes to the side beaten by 10 runs in the second T20 on Thursday, bringing in Reece Topley and Gus Atkinson for Rehan Ahmed and Chris Woakes.
But both Topley and Atkinson struggled to make much of an impression with their passing. Topley made the early breakthrough to dismiss Mayers for a duck but conceded 32 runs from his four overs for eight over. Meanwhile, Atkinson was bowled out for 33 runs off two overs.
The fourth match of the series takes place in Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday.