ENGLAND SLIP TO ODI SERIES DEFEAT IN WEST INDIES AFTER GRIPPING DECIDER

England suffered a first one-day international series defeat to West Indies in 16 years as Romario Shepherd powered the hosts to a four-wicket victory on DLS in a gripping, rain-affected Barbados decider.

England had appeared favourites when West Indies slumped from 78-1 to 135-6 in a revised chase of 188 from 34 overs as off-spinner Will Jacks (3-22) shredded the home side's middle order, including Keacy Carty (50), during a wobble of 5-57.

However, with 33 runs required from 24 balls, Shepherd (41no off 28) and debutant Matthew Forde (13no) took Gus Atkinson's 31st over for a whopping 24 as Shepherd pounded two full tosses for six and each batter slammed a four apiece off the England quick.

Scorecard: West Indies vs England, third ODISeries decider in Barbados - as it happened

Victory was completed in the following over as West Indies triumphed with 14 balls to spare, securing a first ODI series success over England since 2007 and first at home since a 4-1 win in 1998.

England had earlier plummeted to 49-5 inside 10 overs of the weather-shortened affair as 21-year-old fast bowler Forde (3-29) razed their top three and skipper Jos Buttler fell for a golden duck.

Ben Duckett (71) and Liam Livingstone (45) shared a stand of 88 from that point as England posted 206-9 from 40 overs, with an unbroken 10th-wicket partnership of 35 between Atkinson (20no) and Matthew Potts (15no) also key, but their efforts came in vain.

The sides will now meet in a five-match T20 international series, starting in Barbados on Tuesday (10pm UK), with England not playing another ODI until they face Australia in September 2024.

A five-Test series against India takes place across January, February and March before attention turns to the T20 World Cup in West Indies and the USA in June, a tournament at which England will be defending champions having won the previous version in 2022.

England were also defending champions for the recently concluded ODI World Cup in India but saw their hopes of back-to-back titles in the 50-over format end with a limp group-stage exit.

Batting collapses were a staple as they lost six of their first seven matches in the subcontinent and they suffered another in Bridgetown on Saturday thanks to Forde and Alzarri Joseph (3-61) once play started two hours late following drizzle.

Buttler out first ball before Duckett, Livingstone arrest collapse

Buttler was fifth to fall, top-edging a Joseph bouncer to fine leg, with the captain unable to build on his unbeaten 58 in England's six-wicket win in the second ODI on Wednesday and now having passed fifty just once in his last 15 ODI knocks.

Harry Brook (1) had been run out two balls earlier after attempting a brisk single, Joseph swooping off his own bowling to shoot down the non-striker's stumps once Brook clipped leg-side and set off.

The initial damage, though, had been done by Forde, who clinched a triple strike inside his first five overs by accounting for Phil Salt (4), Zak Crawley (0) and Jacks (17).

Salt, who had thumped the second ball of the game for four over point, chipped to mid-off at the end of the first over, where Joseph took an excellent low catch lunging forward.

Crawley fell in Forde's second over, ballooning a delivery that nipped in and reared up at him to slip as he attempted to leave, while Jacks snicked the same bowler behind at the start of the ninth over as his 37-run stand with Duckett for England's third wicket came to an end.

Brook and Buttler's dismissals left England in disarray before Duckett and Livingstone rallied - Duckett notching his third ODI fifty from 56 balls and striking three fours in one Shepherd over.

Both batters were then guilty of soft dismissals in quick succession - Duckett spooning to midwicket, Livingstone clothing to mid-on - and after more rain came and went and trimmed the match from 43 overs a side to 40, England sunk to 171-9 as Joseph bounced out Rehan Ahmed (15) and removed Sam Curran (12) with a slower ball.

Atkinson and Potts fired late on - Atkinson smoking Joseph for six over backward square - as they took England past 200, with Forde denied a four-for when Carty dropped Potts in the covers.

After further rain arrived during the interval and led to more overs being lost, Atkinson (2-58) gave England an early lift with the ball as Brandon King (1) sliced his first delivery to cover, only for Alick Athanaze (45) and Carty to add 76 from 2-1.

A big wobble followed once Atkinson trapped Athanaze leg before, with Shai Hope (15) clipping a Rehan googly to midwicket one ball after slamming him for six and Jacks catching Carty off his own bowling one delivery after the right-hander clinched fifty.

As batters came and went and the required rate crept up England's belief rose but Atkinson's over was then pummelled to swing the game back West Indies' way.

Buttler: Start of a new journey

England captain Jos Buttler:

"There's been some good performances throughout the way. We're obviously disappointed to lose the series. The guys will be better for this one.

"The series is the start of a new journey for this team. You can't get experience if you don't give people experience to play and be in those situations.

"It's a very young side barring myself in terms of experience in the number of caps, so guys will have taken a lot from this and learned a lot. We have given them exposure and given them opportunity.

"There is a hell of a lot of talent and depth and guys will get better and better. I'm looking forward. Times change, things move on and it's very important to look forward."

What's next?

The five-match T20 international series begins in Barbados on Tuesday (10pm UK) before the sides then head to Grenada for games two and three (Thursday and Saturday, both at 5.30pm).

They then move to Trinidad and Tobago for the final two fixtures (Tuesday December 19 and Thursday December 21, both at 10pm).

England welcome back senior players Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes after they were omitted from the ODI series, while West Indies have picked Andre Russell with the swashbuckling all-rounder now in line for his first international appearance since the 2021 T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

England squad for T20I series: Jos Buttler (captain), Rehan Ahmed, Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Will Jacks, Liam Livingstone, Tymal Mills, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, John Turner, Chris Woakes

West Indies squad for T20I series: Rovman Powell (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd

2023-12-10T02:41:38Z dg43tfdfdgfd