Salt’s second T20 hundred levels series for England in Caribbean

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England’s Phil Salt celebrates with Liam Livingstone scoring a century against West Indies during the fourth T20 cricket match at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. (AP )

SAN FERNANDO, Trinidad, Dec 20 (AP): World champion England set up a Twenty20 series-deciding match with the West Indies after crushing the fourth game by 75 runs . A second consecutive century by opener Phil Salt from a flying start with captain Jos Buttler set up England’s highest T20 score of 267-3.
The West Indies stayed with the run rate required but couldn’t stop leaking wickets and was all out for 192 in the 16th over.

“A fantastic win,” Buttler said. “You don’t play in too many of those games. It was like being at the Hong Kong Sixes. Great to be going into the last game of the tour at 2-2.” The fifth and final match is on Thursday at the same Brian Lara Stadium. Salt and Buttler racked up 117 runs in 9.5 overs. Buttler was caught on the boundary for a 29-ball 55. Salt was on 61 and accelerated even more, reaching a 48-ball hundred, and becoming the first Englishman to score two T20 centuries.

He was out for 119, the highest T20 score by an Englishman, when he was bowled by an Andre Russell yorker. Salt’s second ton in three days featured 10 sixes and seven boundaries. But England was still shredding the West Indies bowlers; Will Jacks made 24 off nine deliveries and Liam Livingstone blasted an unbeaten 54 off 21, including four sixes and four boundaries. Their 267-3 was the fifth highest score in men’s T20 history.

Kyle Mayers was the only bowler to concede less than nine per over, and he bowled only one over.
The West Indies started with a golden duck for Brandon King, who top-edged Moeen Ali straight to Reece Topley. Nicholas Pooran scored 20 by the end of the first over and Ali didn’t bowl again as the West Indies was forced to go hard.

But no home batter could match Salt or even Buttler. When Pooran was out for 39 off 15 in the fifth over, West Indies was already three down for 58 runs. It was four down when it reached 100 runs in the seventh over. But by the end of the ninth, the home side had also lost Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford and Jason Holder. Russell was the last man out for a team-high 51 off 25 balls, giving Topley a leading three wickets. The wickets were shared around with Sam Curran and Rehan Ahmed taking two each.

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