Shah leads England to victory

London, June 30:

Owais Shah scored 55 off 35 balls to guide England to a five wicket win over the West Indies in a Twenty20 international at The Oval on Friday.

Shah lifted England from a struggling 68-4 in the ninth over with an innings full of improvised shots and seven boundaries. England reached a victory target of 173 with five wickets and three balls to spare.

The victory for Paul Collingwood’s team tied the two-game series 1-1. West Indies won by 15 runs at the same venue on Thursday.

Chris Gayle made 61 off 37 balls and Marlon Samuels 42 off 20 in West Indies’ 169-7. West Indies moved sedately to 71-2 by the 10th over when Gayle reached his 50 by pulling Dimitri Mascarenhas for six. Next ball, Samuels lofted a ball from Stuart Broad into the second tier of the stand behind square leg.

With Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Devon Smith missing through injury, the rest of West Indies failed to keep the tempo going, however, and England was happy to chase a target of 8.5 an over.

The top order batsmen were put under pressure by the lively West Indies bowlers with Kevin Pietersen scoring only 19 to be fourth out at 68 in the ninth over. Collingwood (27) hit Samuels over long on for six to push the score past 100 in the 14th. But the England captain departed next ball when the spinner drew him forward and he was stumped by Denesh Ramdin. That left England needing 66 off 39 balls.

But Shah took 16 off Samuels’ next over and another 16 came off Dwayne Smith’s to leave England needing only 24 runs off 18. Shah and Mascarenhas (18 off 16 balls) shared an unbroken partnership of 69 off 36 balls to steer England to victory.