West Indies vs England 4th T20 preview: Can England force a series-decider on Sunday after hosts' batting brilliance?

How to watch every ball live on BT Sport as England look to bounce back from defeat in the fourth T20 international as they look to level the series at 2-1 down.

By George Mills Published: 28 January 2022 - 7.58am

"We said from the start it would be a brilliant series.”

Those were the words of stand-in skipper Moeen Ali on Wednesday night after his England side were beaten by a monumental batting performance from the West Indies in the third T20.

Now trailing 2-1, it certainly looks set to be a grandstand finish to the five-game series with all results still on the table before this weekend’s double-header from the Kensington Oval.

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One of the all-time great T20 batting partnerships took the game away from England on Wednesday night as Rovman Powell and Nicholas Pooran combined for an eye-watering third-wicket stand of 122, with the former going on to score a magnificent century.

But despite England falling 20 runs short in the chase, there were many positives for the much-changed visitors to pick out ahead of the final two games in the series.

T20 debutant Phil Salt, whose only other appearances in an England shirt have come in the ODI side, staked his claim for a place in the fourth T20 with a brilliantly brutal 57 off 24 balls, while opener Tom Banton continued his growth in the series.

The highly-rated 23-year-old, who scored a solid 25 last time out, mullered his way to 73 off 39 – his highest T20 international score.

However, the improved performance with the bat this time around did little to camouflage growing concerns over England’s bowling in the Caribbean as they were punished once again for failing to trouble their big-hitting hosts.

“We said from the start it would be a brilliant series”
- Moeen Ali

Debutant George Garton made the dream start to his night by picking up a wicket in his first over but ended up going for an innings-high 57 off his four overs, while Tymal Mills’ figures of 52-1 did little to help the cause either.

Reflecting on a testing evening for his side, temporary skipper Moeen Ali said he was proud of the way his side fought back despite being set such a daunting chase.

"We were done a little bit with Morgs going down and playing three debutants but they played really well,” the 34-year-old said.

“A fantastic partnership took the game away from us but I'm proud of the way the boys batted. We've got guys putting their hands up - Bants [Banton] was outstanding, which is great for his confidence going forward."

Captain Eoin Morgan, who missed out on the third T20 through injury, made five changes to the team for the game on Wednesday night and may shuffle the pack once again ahead of Saturday.

Gloucestershire bowler David Payne, who is yet to feature in the series, could be handed his international debut while Sam Billings, absent on Wednesday through illness, looks likely to be recalled for his place behind the stumps.

England’s T20 stalwart Chris Jordan, who has struggled with the ball so far this series and was rested on Wednesday night, could also come back into the side, while strike bowler Saqib Mahmood will also be hopeful of a recall.

Mahmood enjoyed a breakout season in the Australian Big Bash T20 competition over the festive period, including a blistering spell for the Sydney Thunder in which he took four wickets in 11 balls.

2-1
West Indies lead the five-game series

Posting on Twitter at the time, cricket writer Ben Jones said: “Saqib Mahmood is the first player in #BBL history to take four wickets inside the first three overs of an innings. He's only the 10th player to do it any T20.”

The 24-year-old, who has already featured for the one day side, is a tremendously talented prospect and has been earmarked as a potential future test bowler.

But after an understated start to the series, Mahmood will be keen to remind the world why he is so highly rated with an explosive performance in the fourth T20 this Saturday.

As for the hosts, it’s a case of whether they stick or twist after such a stunning performance midweek.

As for the hosts, it’s a case of whether they stick or twist after such a stunning performance midweek.

“Our bowling line-up is a bit inexperienced and that has meant more overs for me, which is something I’m willing to do for the team,” West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said on Wednesday night.

“The challenge for us is to replicate this performance in the next game, the good thing is we can celebrate this win for a longer time.

“England are making changes, so we will have to come back and do exactly the same thing on Saturday.”

Can England roar back into the series and claim a vital victory – or will the West Indies wrap it up with another batting masterclass at the Kensington Oval.

Tune in to BT Sport 1 HD from 7.30pm on Saturday 29 January for all the action.