Cricket-King puts England to the sword as West Indies take 2-0 lead in T20 series

(Reuters) – West Indies took a 2-0 lead over England in their five-match Twenty20 series after winning the second game by 10 runs on Thursday on the back of Brandon King’s sublime knock of 82 in St George’s, Grenada.

Having lost the first game after batting first, England skipper Jos Buttler won the toss and opted to field but his bowlers had no answer to the power of opener King who stayed unbeaten on 82 off 52 deliveries.

In response, Sam Curran (50) was the only England batter to build on his start while Alzarri Joseph picked up three top-order wickets as the tourists were restricted to 166-7 in 20 overs.

King smashed five sixes and eight boundaries at the top of the order but Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer fell cheaply as the West Indies found themselves reeling at 54-4.

Captain Rovman Powell walked into the crease and did not hold back, hitting four sixes and a boundary in one Curran over to bring up his fifty in 22 balls before falling to the all-rounder, caught while trying to clear the boundary.

Andre Russell also smashed two sixes at the death as the West Indies piled on 72 runs in the last five overs to wrap up their innings at 176-7.

The home side had the perfect start in the second innings when Buttler fell early to Akeal Hosein (2-24) while fellow spinner Gudakesh Motie throttled England’s run rate, conceding just nine runs in four overs.

But Joseph was the pick of the bowlers after he removed Phil Salt, Will Jacks and Curran, who smashed a quick-fire, maiden half-century to make up for his disastrous bowling figures of 1-38 in two overs.

The match marked the first time a female umpire from the West Indies, Jacqueline Williams, had stood in a men’s T20 international between two full-member teams.

The next match will also be played in St George’s, on Saturday.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)