King puts carrying bat through innings on “low and slow” pitch in second England T20I down to luck; praises Powell, Motie for standout performances

By Sports Desk December 15, 2023
Brandon King made 82* for the West Indies in the second T20I on Thursday. Brandon King made 82* for the West Indies in the second T20I on Thursday.

Opening batsman Brandon King played a crucial role in allowing the West Indies to take a 2-0 lead over England in their five-match T20I series at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada on Thursday.

The 28-year-old batted through the West Indian innings to help them post a formidable 176-7 from their 20 overs on a St. George’s pitch that offered a lot to the bowlers.

“We found it a bit difficult to start. It’s a low and slow pitch. Not what we’re used to here, we usually get a good batting wicket, so, we had to assess very quickly,” said King in a post-match interview.

“We lost some early wickets so we had to try and decide how to go about it in a smart way,” he added.

Individually, King made 82* off 52 balls, his eighth fifty in T20 Internationals, hitting eight fours and five sixes. His first run of the innings was also his 1000th in T20Is.

“I think there’s always some level of luck involved as well,” King said about being able to bat through the innings on that pitch.

“I was the one that got the start in the powerplay. It was difficult for new batters to come in and get going, especially against the spinners. We lost some early wickets so, given that I got the start, I tried to take it as deep as possible,” he added.

The hosts lost the wickets of Kyle Mayers (17), Nicholas Pooran (5), Shai Hope (1) and Shimron Hetmyer (2) all within the first 10 overs of their innings before King and skipper Rovman Powell combined to put on 80 for the fifth wicket.

“Extremely crucial,” was how King described Powell’s innings of 50 from 28 balls including a 30-run 16th over off Sam Curran.

“A fantastic innings from him. He eased the pressure off me a little bit as well. Nobody has the power that he has. There are some shots only he can play so it was very important at that stage of the innings that he got those quick runs,” King added.

Powell’s heroics were needed after England’s spin duo of Adil Rashid and Rehan Ahmed accounted for the wickets of Pooran, Hope and Hetmyer.

“The spinners. You could see from early they were getting some purchase from the wicket with the new ball. Adil Rashid is obviously a very experienced bowler who knows how to bowl around the world. He bowled an excellent spell. It was important to us to not give him too many wickets and take the majority of the runs off the pace bowlers,” King said.

On the bowling side for the West Indies, King said his teammates did well to follow the game plan and use information from their own innings.

“Taking the information from the first innings, we knew what lengths were difficult. We went out and tried to apply that in the field. The guys fielded well as well so we’re very happy with that,” he said.

He also singled out Gudakesh Motie for conceding just nine runs in his spell.

“Excellent spell from him. To bowl four overs for nine runs in a T20 game is amazing. A good call from the skipper and the coach to bring him in for this game. Obviously, they read the pitch very well so he was crucial for us today,” he said.

The West indies will have a chance to clinch the series with on Saturday in the third T20I beginning at 12:30pm Jamaica Time (1:30pm ECT) at the same venue.

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