England in West Indies: Jos Buttler's 150 inspires tourists to thrilling win
|Fourth one-day international, National Cricket Stadium, Grenada|
|England 418-6 (50 overs): Buttler 150, Morgan 103, Hales 82|
|West Indies 389 (48 overs): Gayle 162, Rashid 5-85, Wood 4-60|
|England win by 29 runs|
Jos Buttler smashed a brilliant century as England edged a thrilling fourth one-day international against West Indies in Grenada despite Chris Gayle's breathtaking 162.
The hosts almost chased down England's 418-6 - Buttler hitting 150 off just 77 balls - but the tourists held their nerve for a 29-run win as leg-spinner Adil Rashid took four wickets in the 48th over.
For large parts of West Indies' astonishing chase, it appeared Gayle would see them home - the opener hammering 14 sixes in a memorable knock.
Hopes of a historic home win were dented when Ben Stokes dismissed Gayle with 16 overs remaining - the left-hander bowled attempting one big shot too many - but Carlos Brathwaite and Ashley Nurse continued the onslaught with an entertaining partnership of 88.
West Indies needed 32 runs from 18 balls at the start of 48th over but Rashid dismissed both Brathwaite (50 off 36) and Nurse (43 of 41) before taking the final two wickets.
Buttler had earlier hit his highest ODI score with 12 sixes and 13 fours while captain Eoin Morgan also made 103.
The pair shared a brutal partnership of 204 from 124 deliveries which took England to their third-highest ODI total - 154 runs coming in the final 10 overs alone.
The victory puts England 2-1 up in the five-match series with one game remaining, in St Lucia on Saturday (15:00 GMT).
The stats behind an incredible game
- 46 sixes were hit in the match, the most in an ODI.
- England hit a record 24 maximums in their innings before West Indies almost bettered the effort with 22 in their reply.
- 807 runs were scored in the match; the third-highest aggregate total in ODI history.
- Buttler scored the most sixes in an ODI innings for England with 12.
- Buttler went from 51 to his hundred in 15 balls.
- He took 31 balls to move from his half century to 150. The fastest ODI hundred was made by South Africa's AB de Villiers from 31 balls.
- Gayle scored his hundred from 51 balls, his fastest ODI century.
- Morgan became the first England batsman to pass 6,000 one-day runs.
- Gayle became the second West Indian to score 10,000 ODI runs during his knock, following Brian Lara.
England somehow hold on in thriller
England were clear favourites at the halfway stage - West Indies needed to make their highest ODI total to win - but few would have predicted what was to come.
The momentum swung throughout the hosts' chase but, for large parts, they looked to have the upper hand.
After Mark Wood had dismissed both John Campbell and Shai Hope within the first six overs, Gayle took charge and bludgeoned the England attack.
The opener was criticised for batting too slowly for his century in the first match of the series but here on a small ground he was aggressive from the start, reaching his 50 from 32 balls.
His second 50 runs were even quicker as he brought up three figures from 55 deliveries with all of the England bowlers, other than Wood, seemingly unable to prevent him from clearing the rope.
Gayle scored 105 runs in a 176-run stand with Darren Bravo, who made 61, and with those two at the crease West Indies were well ahead of the rate, reaching 220-2 from just 23 overs.
Wood returned to dismiss Bravo who miscued a pull shot and had Shimron Hetmyer caught in the deep two balls later, but Gayle continued his charge before eventually falling to Stokes.
At that stage England became clear favourites with lower-order batsmen Brathwaite, who famously scored four sixes to beat England in the 2016 World Twenty20 final, and Nurse at the crease, but after uncertain starts they continued Gayle's powerful hitting and took their side to the brink of victory.
England's performance in the field continued to be ragged with 11 wides bowled, overthrows conceded and Stokes dropping a difficult chance in the deep.
Rashid had been as guilty as anyone - his first nine overs costing 83 runs - but Morgan kept faith with his leg-spinner at the death and he responded by removing the lower order with a mix of leg-spinners and googlies.
England now head to St Lucia knowing they cannot lose their final series before they name their squad for this summer's World Cup on home soil.
Buttler stars in another eye-catching display
The fact West Indies, ranked ninth in the world, were able to get so close to England's total will raise questions about their bowling going into the World Cup but their batting in Grenada proved why they will remain as favourites.
Buttler was at his brutal best with his 12 sixes - the most by an England batsman in ODI cricket - many of them full deliveries or low full tosses that were smashed down the ground.
The wicketkeeper-batsman came to the crease at 165-3 and batted in a relatively reserved manner at first before exploding at the end of the innings alongside Morgan.
The pair added 80 runs between overs 41 and 44, with Buttler going from his half-century to 150 in just 31 deliveries.
His knock overshadowed that of his captain but Morgan was also impressive, continuing his fine form by bringing up his century from 86 balls with a huge hit over mid-wicket.
Morgan's ton followed half-centuries in the first two matches of the series and he now averages 108.25 this winter.
Credit must also go to England's openers - Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales - whose rapid century opening partnership allowed Morgan and Buttler to be patient earlier in their innings.
Hales opened in place of Jason Roy, who had a minor hamstring injury, and showed his ability, and England's batting depth, with a 73-ball 82.
He and Bairstow scored 89 from the first 10 overs before being dismissed as West Indies slowed the scoring rate in the second powerplay.
Bairstow played on to Oshane Thomas for 56 while Hales was caught on the boundary by Hetmyer running round from long-on off off-spinner Nurse.
|England's highest one-day totals|
|481-6||Australia||Trent Bridge, Nottingham||2018|
|444-3||Pakistan||Trent Bridge, Nottingham||2016|
|418-6||West Indies||St George's, Grenada||2019|
|408-9||New Zealand||Edgbaston, Birmingham||2015|
Rashid has final say in high-octane match dominated by the bat - analysis
by Simon Mann, BBC Radio 5 live in Grenada
We've become used to high-octane one-day matches involving England but this was on another level.
Yes, the bowlers were thrashed to all parts and it can often feel like an unequal contest, but that didn't stop the match being captivating throughout.
The players were emotionally and physically drained afterwards. I'm sure the party-loving crowd were too.
The game will probably be remembered most for the stunning hitting of Buttler and Gayle - they struck 26 sixes between them - but the most fascinating moment came after 47 overs of the West Indies' innings.
West Indies needed 32 to win with four wickets left.
Who should bowl the 48th over? Ben Stokes and Liam Plunkett both had two overs. Rashid had one. Rashid had gone for 83 from his previous nine overs.
Morgan knew Rashid could disappear for a couple of sixes. He chose Rashid though because he backs Rashid's wicket-taking ability. Six balls later, a dramatic game was over.
Of course, it won't always work out like that, but Rashid is vital to England's World Cup hopes because he offers the captain wickets.
In a match dominated by breathtaking batting, it was a bowler who ultimately decided it.