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News Americas, PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Weds. Dec. 20, 2023: It’s D-Day tomorrow for the West Indies and England as the two sides clash at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Trinidad.

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Reece Topley of England shakes hands with Gudakesh Motie of West Indies after the 4th T20 International match between West Indies and England at Brian Lara Cricket Academy on December 19, 2023 in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

England on Tuesday night leveled the series after the Windies men had held a 2-0 lead. Once again, England’s opening batsman, Phil Salt, delivered a remarkable performance in the fourth T20 International at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy on Tuesday night, contributing significantly to the visitors’ victory. Pursuing a challenging target of 268, Salt, displaying his right-handed prowess, produced an astonishing innings of 119 runs off just 57 balls.

Phil Salt of England plays an attacking shot into the on-side as Nicholas Pooran of West Indies looks on during the 4th T20 International match between West Indies and England at Brian Lara Cricket Academy on December 19, 2023 in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

The West Indies, in response, fell short and were dismissed for a total of 192 in the 16th over.

England secured a convincing 75-run win, leveling the series at 2-2. As a result, the fifth and final match on Thursday, to be held at the same venue, will serve as the series decider, with the victor claiming the trophy. The first ball is scheduled for 4 p.m. (3 pm Jamaica Time).

Nicholas Pooran of the West Indies walks off the field dismissed by Sam Curran of England during the 4th T20I between the West Indies and England at Brian Lara Cricket Academy Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, on December 19, 2023. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

England’s innings got off to a flying start Tuesday as Salt hammered seven fours and ten sixes, laying the foundation for their record-breaking total of 267-3. He formed a formidable opening partnership of 117 runs with captain Jos Buttler, who contributed 55 runs off 29 balls, including six fours and three sixes. This partnership marked their second consecutive century stand.

Salt continued to shine, adding 56 runs for the second wicket with Will Jacks (24) and then 73 runs for the third wicket with Liam Livingstone. Livingstone remained unbeaten on 54 runs, which came off just 21 balls and featured four fours and four sixes.

When it was West Indies’ turn to bat, Nicholas Pooran scored 39 runs, and Sherfane Rutherford contributed 36, displaying explosive hitting but failing to carry on. In the latter stages of the innings, the experienced all-rounder, Andre Russell, made a quickfire 51 runs off 25 balls, including five towering sixes.

West Indies captain Rovman Powell acknowledged the exceptional performance of Salt and Buttler, stating, “Credit has to be given where credit is due. I think Phil Salt and Jos (Buttler) batted really well upfront. Having said that, we didn’t hit our plans but those things do happen. Thursday gives us an opportunity to come and do better. The boys like a final, it seems. We’ll come Thursday with brand-new ideas, brand-new plans, and see how best we can entertain our fans at home.”

Nicholas Pooran of West Indies batting during the 4th T20 International match between West Indies and England at Brian Lara Cricket Academy on December 19, 2023 in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

HISTORIC SERIES

Meanwhile, the ongoing T20 International Series between West Indies and England has evolved into a spectacular showcase of six-hitting prowess, captivating cricket enthusiasts worldwide. In the four completed matches thus far, both teams have unleashed a barrage of sixes, tallying an astounding 108 sixes in total. This remarkable feat sets a new record for the highest number of sixes in any bilateral series between two full-member nations, surpassing the previous record of 96.

Within this series, West Indies have thundered their way to 57 sixes, while England has launched an impressive 51 sixes—mind you, with one match still to be played! It promises to be a breathtaking spectacle as we eagerly anticipate how many more sixes will soar into the stands at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, and perhaps even breach the confines of the stadium during the grand finale on Thursday evening.

The explosive six-hitting extravaganza commenced with West Indies hitting 14 sixes in their opening victory at Kensington Oval in Barbados while chasing down a target of 171, securing a thrilling four-wicket win. This display of power hitting continued in the second match at Grenada National Stadium, where they recorded another 13 sixes on their way to a 10-run victory.

The third match, also in Grenada, witnessed the home team unleashing a staggering 16 maximums, despite narrowly losing in a cliffhanger. Then, in the fourth match at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy on Tuesday, West Indies hammered another 14 sixes, even though they ended up on the losing side.

But there’s more to the story of six-hitting prowess. This year alone, West Indies have launched an impressive 150 sixes in 12 completed matches. Their most prolific performance came when they scored a remarkable 258-5 against South Africa at Centurion in March, amassing a colossal 22 sixes. During that epic showdown, Johnson Charles stole the spotlight with 11 sixes while top-scoring with 118 runs off just 46 balls.

With an average of 12.5 sixes per match, West Indies leads the charge, boasting the highest average of any full-member nation in any year. To put it into perspective, the next highest average is Australia, with 9.4 sixes per match. The West Indies’ remarkable six-hitting prowess is setting new standards and thrilling fans with each boundary-clearing strike.

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