Man-of-the-Match Shimron Hetmyer slammed his fourth one-day hundred but it was left-arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell’s fiery five-wicket haul, along with captain Jason Holder’s late burst, which dismantled world number one England and propelled underdogs West Indies to a dramatic 26-run victory in the second One-Day International here Friday.
Asked to chase 290 for a 2-0 lead in the five-match series after winning Wednesday’s opener, England appeared poised for a comfortable victory at 228 for four at the end of the 40th over, thanks to half-centuries from Ben Stokes (79) and captain Eoin Morgan (70).
But Cottrell, who finished with five for 46 to record the best figures by a West Indian in ODIs at Kensington Oval, and Holder, three for 53, obliterated England’s middle and lower order as the visitors lost their last six wickets for 35 runs in the space of 46 deliveries, to fold for 263 in the 48th over in a stunning collapse.
The result left the five-match series tied at 1-1 heading into Monday’s third match in Grenada.
Hetmyer had earlier rushed to his side’s rescue with a superb unbeaten 104 off 83 balls with seven fours and four sixes as West Indies, sent in, rallied to 289 for six off their 50 overs.
Veteran opener Chris Gayle followed up his hundred on Wednesday with exactly 50 while Shai Hope chipped in with 33 and Darren Bravo, 24.
However, it was Hetmyer’s innings which proved crucial after West Indies lost wickets at critical stages, and were in danger of going nowhere at 207 for five in the 39th over.
The Windies started slowly but soundly, with Gayle posting 61 for the first wicket with John Campbell who made 23 before gifting his wicket in the 13th over, lifting a catch low to mid-on off seamer Liam Plunkett.
Left-hander Gayle, who faced 63 deliveries and struck one four and four sixes, added a further 37 for the second wicket with Hope before missing a heave at leg-spinner Adil Rashid and going bowled in the 21st over.
Hope again looked in good touch with a four and two sixes in his 45-ball stay but he too gifted his wicket when he picked out Jonny Bairstow on the mid-wicket boundary off seamer Ben Stokes at 121 for three in the 26th over.
Hetmyer arrived to repair the innings, first in a 76-run fourth wicket stand with Bravo and then in an unbroken seventh wicket stand of 52 with Ashley Nurse (13 not out).
The left-handed Hetmyer managed just eight of his first 16 balls but then sped to his half-century off 47 balls and triple figures off the penultimate ball of the innings when he drilled Stokes to the straight boundary.
Cottrell, overlooked for the first match, then gave the Windies a sensational start when he knocked over both openers cheaply in successive overs to leave England on 10 for two in the third over.
First, he trapped Bairstow lbw to the second ball of the innings without scoring, with a single run on the board and then claimed first match century-maker Jason Roy playing on for two.
Morgan stemmed the flow of wickets by putting on 50 for the third wicket with Joe Root who made 36 from 40 balls.
The left-handed Morgan benefited from chances on 42 and 51 to face 83 balls and stroke five fours and three sixes while Root counted six fours before nicking a long hop from speedster Oshane Thomas behind.
Stokes entered to belt seven fours and two sixes off 85 balls and anchor two critical stands – 99 for the fourth wicket with Morgan and a further 69 for the fifth with Jos Buttler (34).
Cottrell eventually returned to claim Morgan holing out to Hetmyer at deep square leg in the 31st over but even when Holder had Stokes caught at the wicket at the end of the 40th, England still remained favourites for the win.
But Holder turned the game on its head in the next over, removing Buttler to a catch at short over by Hetmyer and then gaining a fortunate lbw verdict against Tom Curran off the very next ball, to reduce England to 233 for seven.
Adil Rashid (15), dropped at short cover by Holder before he had scored, threatened to take England over the line in a 27-run, eighth partnership with Moeen Ali (12).
But Cottrell intervened once again, however, removing both batsmen in the 47th over to put Windies on the verge of the win and seamer Carlos Brathwaite had Plunkett (2) holing out to Holder on the ropes at long off in the next over, to seal the massive result.
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