Middle order batsman Owais Shah played one of his best international innings for England to guide them home to a series leveling win at The Oval. England won the 2nd Twenty20 game by 5 wickets with just three balls to spare. Chasing a relatively lower target of 170 compared to yesterday’s 200 plus one, England were steered out of a troublesome situation of 68 for 4 to victory by Owais Shah. The right hander stayed right till the end scoring 55 from 35 balls with 7 fours and interestingly no sixes at all!
The West Indies took it easy in this game giving breaks to yesterday’s performers – Devon Smith and Shivnarine Chanderpaul to give opportunities for other players. And that is where the Chris Gayle led side lost a bit of initiative with England sticking with the same side. Gayle took it on his shoulders to get Windies off to a good start having won the toss and electing to bat first. Ryan Sidebottom came up with a far better bowling show today and Jimmy Anderson kept it tight yet again. The slightly slow start from the likes of Lendl Simmons and Austin Richards didn’t help Windies to blaze through. Gayle and Samuels came up with an important partnership of 44 that got their side on a good track.
Gayle made a 37-ball 61 with 8 fours and a six taking Windies past the hundred. Samuels chipped in with 42 from 20 with 3 fours and 3 sixes but fell with 34 more balls left in the innings. Windies lost a bit of momentum to end up at 169 for 7. Sidebottom bowled well for his 2 for 25 in 4 overs and Anderson conceded 27 in his 4 overs along with a wicket.
A blistering start from England was spoilt by three wickets with Ravi Rampaul taking two and Daren Powell taking the important one of Cook. England from 43 for 3 were down to 68 for 4 when Pietersen failed yet again, this time making 19 from 15. Then the rescue act came from the skipper Paul Collingwood, continuing from where he had left yesterday along with Owais Shah. Collingwood got out making 27 from 24 leaving another 66 to win from just 39 balls! That equation was taken care by the unbeaten sixth wicket partnership between Owais Shah and Dimitri Mascarenhas who made 18 from 16. Owais Shah got a flurry of boundaries that eventually got England to an easy six to get from six and those runs were knocked off in the three balls of the final over from Gayle.