England’s Twenty20 trip to Barbados started to fail before West Indies were tied for 103 with nine wickets and 17 balls spare.
England’s Ashes batting woes shifted to the Caribbean at the start of this five-game series after being asked to bat first with an inconsistent rebound on a tricky pitch, 10 from three and then seven 49.
Lower-level batsmen Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid avoided England’s blush as they avoided a new record T20 total, but the pair’s efforts barely covered the cracks, with the Windies in their chase Rarely encountered trouble.
Jordan has the highest score for England with 28 on 23 and is one of only four batsmen.
Sam Billings, one of only five survivors of November’s T20 World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand, flew from Hobart to Bridgetown, where he made his debut a few days ago.
England’s bowlers are efficient without threat – Brandon King is unbeaten on 52 of 49 overs, breaking the chase’s backfield – but after a poor start from their batsmen , they have almost nothing to work with.
Jason Roy, who had just weighed in at 36 balls from England’s only warm-up, rolled over the middle wicket but then missed a wild swing and was completely uprooted in the middle Facing the customary salute of Sheldon Cottrell after the stump.
Jason Holder used the rebound provided by his 6-foot-7 body to induce Tom Banton’s outside edge, juggling Nicholas Pullen kept the slip, and Moen Ali loosely dropped the next ball down to the back spot.
Two teenage girls in a row followed, including a top edge of six, as Cottrell erred on his length before James Vince threatened to counter with a 14-point lead on five balls. But the southpaw had the last laugh when England’s No. 3 meekly played a long, dive-in cover.
England dealt only with boundaries in the first five rounds, often struggling to hit the ball on the pitch, showing signs of variable rebound, but Billings had his hands full when he arrived. However, his enthusiasm prevailed and he was stumped as he danced down the track, walked right past a bat that beat him.
Twenty-nine out of five, England were mired in a quagmire and their situation worsened when Liam Dawson made his first international appearance since October 2018, he was sacked after starting a single game sent back, and Eoin Morgan, who was trying to keep the two innings together, was ill-timed and a slower ball could cover 17 of 29 balls.
After their Ashes of disgrace, with not even 50 on the board, England with seven wickets, they are in danger of setting more unpopular benchmarks, their lowest aggregate score against India in the 2012 World Twenty Twenty 80 points is a long way off, but Jordan and Rasheed keep the visitors afloat on a 36-run track.
Jordan had three energetic sixes before he holed, and Rashid’s deft hits put England above triple figures. They didn’t go any further, however, with Holder again scoring two wickets in two balls – Rashid’s last 22 – to finish with the best numbers in a 7-4 format, Because England were all out with a score of 19.4.
The Windies were without a threatening presence from top-ranked Chris Gayle, one of several casualties after they won just one of five games at the T20 World Cup, but with King and Shai Hope settling in immediately Down, he barely missed.
In stark contrast to England’s early boom-or-bust approach, the Windies pair were largely content with rotation strikes, the only angry shot in the opening tie for 52 when King swept Rashid past midwicket. Rashid ensured England wouldn’t suffer a first 10-wicket T20 defeat as he lured hope out of his crease.
Hope was beaten by some lavish turns and 20 runs, but Dawson was particularly stingy to concede 12 in four overs as England’s bowlers worked hard and they lacked a lead in the floodlights, even though The crowd that is Covid-reduced also feels that there will be no collapse from the host.
King took little risk, hitting a patient 47-ball 50 shortly before bat, and Pooran also took the sensible way to finish with 27 overs from 29 overs.
England will have little time to heal their wounds with the next game on Sunday.