A splendid cameo from Romario Shepherd helped West Indies seal a memorable series against England in Barbados. In a rain-curtailed game, West Indies were well placed in the run chase at one point, needing 72 from 78 with seven wickets in hand. However, against all odds, Will Jacks came up with a spell that saw him fetch three quick wickets to turn the game around.
Jacks picked up the wickets of Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford and the well-set Keacy Carty in three successive overs that saw West Indies slip to 135/6 in the run chase of 188. The home side could have been put under more pressure had they placed a slip fielder when Shepherd was batting on 4.
With the West Indies needing 43 off 33, the allrounder broke free with a six off Rehan Ahmed before unleashing on Gus Atkinson. The pacer bowled a couple of full toss deliveries and Shepherd took full toll of it by slamming them for sixes. That one poor over cost England big time as they leaked 24 runs off it that eased the pressure on the hosts as they eventually got the job done in the very next over.
Prior to that drama, England struck early with Atkinson removing Brandon King in just the second over of the chase. Carty though, took little time to get going as he picked up some vital boundaries alongside Alick Athanaze to give West Indies a great start. Athanaze looked in ominous touch when he fetched consecutive boundaries off Matthew Potts but Atkinson returned for his second spell to trap him lbw for 45. Skipper Shai Hope then departed in tame fashion just after smashing Rehan for a six to give England a sniff, which they almost made good use of.
Earlier in the day, rain forced the game into a 43-overs per side contest and West Indies understandably wanted to bowl first. Debutant Forde then made a delightful start as he picked up a wicket in his very first over in international cricket before striking in his second as well to get rid of Zak Crawley. Ben Duckett broke the shackles with a hat-trick of boundaries but it was Forde who was making headlines at the other end as he got one to nip away slightly to take the outside edge of Jacks to leave England reeling at 45/3.
The procession continued as 45/3 soon became 49/5 in a shocking collapse. A bit of hesitation cost Harry Brook his wicket as he got run out and just two balls later, Jos Buttler was sent packing for a first-ball duck. Duckett then forged a very important partnership alongside Liam Livingstone to bail England out of trouble. After a few quiet overs, Duckett brought up his half-century and was the key for England in order to post a substantial total.
The left-hander looked in glorious touch when he smashed Alzarri Joseph for a six and a four and in the same over, Livingstone broke free with a six as well to give England momentum. Livingstone was then handed a reprieve by Cary which he made good use of by fetching another six in the following over but England's hopes crashing down immediately when Shepherd returned to remove both the set batters in successive overs. England's lower order dragged them past 200 but it wasn't enough to prevent them from going down in the series.
Brief scores: England 206/9 in 40 overs (Ben Duckett 71, Liam Livingstone 45; Matthew Forde 3/29) lost to West Indies 191/6 in 31.4 overs (Keacy Carty 50, Alick Athanaze 45; Will Jacks 3/22) by 4 wickets (DLS method)