England narrowly won the second T20I against West Indies by one run on Sunday, but the match could have gone against them if not for a few close calls.
Chasing 172 for a win, the West Indies were in a spot of bother at 98-8, needing another 74 runs to go 2-0 up in the series, with 4.5 overs remaining. However, some brilliant batting from Romario Shepherd and Akeal Hosein gave the hosts a chance of an improbable win, but they were left disappointed as West Indies eventually went on to lose the match by one run. The result, though, could have been different had a single been taken in the 17th over of the innings, or a wide been called in the 20th over.
On the second ball of the 17th over, Saqib Mahmood sent down a length ball to Shepherd who heaved it towards long-on. With Hosein new to the crease, on three off three balls at the time, the striker refused to take what would have been an easy single. Shepherd had faced 19 balls by then and wanted to shield Hosein, who had a high score of 6* prior to the innings in T20Is. Hosein, however, displayed his big-hitting skills in the match, ending on 44 off 16 balls, and, in hindsight, Shepherd’s decision to not take the single arguably proved costly for the side.
That was not the only incident from the match that proved decisive. The first ball of the 20th over by Mahmood was called a wide after the bowler lost his line while bowling to left-handed Hosein. However, some felt the re-bowled delivery should have been called wide as well after Mahmood sent down a shortish delivery that was well outside the off-stump. The on-field umpire though did not signal an extra run, much to the dismay of the batters. Hosein smashed the next two deliveries for two successive fours before Mahmood sent down another wide to bring down the equation to 20 needed off three. Hosein went on to smash the last three balls for three sixes, but West Indies agonisingly fell short by one run as the series was levelled 1-1 with three matches to go.
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