Salt blasts century to lead England to record-breaking win

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Salt blasts century to lead England to record-breaking win

Phil Salt produced another epic century hours after his Indian Premier League snub as England racked up their highest-ever T20 score to send their series against the West Indies to a decider.

Overlooked at Tuesday’s IPL auction in Dubai and three days on from his match-winning 109 not out in Grenada, Salt’s form transferred to Trinidad as he amassed a buccaneering 119 off just 57 balls.

The innings underpinned England’s gargantuan 267 for three, which was 26 more than their previous T20 best against New Zealand in Napier in November 2019, and proved enough to secure a thumping 75-run win.

Having been set a daunting target, which if achieved would have been a world record chase, the Windies went out all guns blazing but were all out for 192 in 15.3 overs.

Reece Topley finished with three for 37, Sam Curran and Rehan Ahmed each took a couple of wickets while there was one each for Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid.

Salt set a new benchmark for the highest T20 score by an Englishman while he is the first male from his country with two three-figure scores in the format.

From the moment he danced down the track to his third ball and dispatched a sweetly-timed drive off T20 debutant Matthew Forde for the first of his 10 sixes, Salt barely looked back.

England captain Jos Buttler registered his second successive half-century, thumping three sixes before holing out going for a fourth after contributing 55 to an opening stand worth 117 in 9.5 overs.

The wicket did not bring a halt to the onslaught as the Windies may have hoped as the first three balls of the next over from Sherfane Rutherford were hit over the leg-side rope by a free-flowing Salt.

Will Jacks chipped in 24 off eight balls as Salt inched towards a 48-ball ton.

He and Livingstone quickly got back to piling on runs in a boundary-laden 73-run union off 29 deliveries.

Livingstone briefly threatened six sixes in an over after the wayward Forde, who conceded 54 in 18 deliveries, saw his first three balls travel the distance before he finally got one in the blockhole.

England equalled their record for the most sixes in a T20 with 20 before Salt departed in the penultimate over.

He got himself in a tangle against Andre Russell and saw the ball sail between his legs before castling him, although Livingstone finished on 54 not out off 21 balls after taking three fours off Jason Holder.

Both Holder and Gudakesh Motie conceded 55 while Akeal Hosein was the only member of the Windies side who bowled more than one over and kept their economy rate under 10.

The Windies have enviable firepower of their own but Moeen gave England the best possible start in the second innings.

His first ball took Brandon King’s top edge and looped to Reece Topley, who took a fine leaping catch at short third.

Boundaries were not hard to come by in the chase as the Windies collected 14 sixes of their own and all of England’s bowlers came in for punishment, but they kept making breakthroughs in the batting.

Pooran (39) and Rutherford (36) threatened briefly while Russell clattered 51 off 25 balls before he was last batter out, attempting to take down Topley but caught by Brook running in from long-off.