England resisted a late West Indies surge and held on for a consolation five-run victory in the third and final Twenty20 international at the Kensington Oval on Thursday.
Despite surrendering the series to the home side 2-1, the match was a personal triumph for Chris Jordan.
The Barbados-born all-rounder smashed Dwayne Bravo for four sixes off the final over of the England innings to lift his team to 165 for six after they had lost six wickets for 40 runs following an opening stand of 98 between Michael Lumb (63) and Alex Hales (38).
He then claimed three for 39 and took an outstanding catch on the boundary to dismiss Bravo, a magnificent effort that was enough to earn him the man-of-the-match award in very familiar surroundings as the West Indies were restricted to 160 for seven.
“I’m just happy to have made the most of the opportunity,” Jordan said in reflecting on his performance. “I just wanted to get into the game, and did that with the bat, then it rolled over into my bowling.”
The West Indies were indebted to Lendl Simmons (69) and Denesh Ramdin (33) in getting them back into the match after they had slumped to 67 for five in pursuit of that target of 166.
Jade Dernbach started the rout with the wicket of Dwayne Smith off the first ball of the innings, while Jordan removed Johnson Charles and Marlon Samuels.
They put on 73 for the sixth wicket before Jordan returned to get rid of Ramdin in the penultimate over. West Indies skipper Darren Sammy came to the crease with every expectation that he would have still been able to pull off a minor miracle with the bat, as he did in the series-clinching win two days earlier.
He struck two fours and a six almost immediately, but needing 17 off the final over bowled by Dernbach, the run out of Simmons along with the bowler’s tactic of bowling wide of off-stump proved critical in the end.
“Credit to the guys for taking it down to the final over,” Sammy said. “We’ve seen what some of the guys have to offer so it gives the selectors a real headache when we get to Bangladesh [for the Twenty20].”
The West Indies had rested big-hitter Chris Gayle and specialist bowlers Ravi Rampaul and Samuel Badree for the match with the series already in the bag.
It took nothing away from England’s delight on finishing off the short campaign with a victory after having already taken the one-day series 2-1.
“This was a tremendous result and Chris’ performance shows that we have some strength in depth going into the World Cup,” England stand-in captain Eoin Morgan said. “Defeating a good West Indies like this gives us a lot of confidence moving forward.”