Jos Buttler's Caribbean cameo cannot hide World Twenty20 worries

West Indies 155-5 England 152-7 (WI win by 5 wickets to take series)

kensington oval

With the World Twenty20 a mere three days away, England produced yet another uncertain performance of the shortest form's arts. They went down by five wickets to the West Indies in this second game, and lose the three-match series.

What perhaps mattered more than the defeat, with one match to go on Thursday, was the evidence that England are still casting around for a workable method for the tournament in Bangladesh starting on Sunday. They were better but not that much better. The feeling is that time may already have run out.

From 26 for 3 in the fifth over, England effected a recovery through the charmingly blazing bat of Jos Buttler. But West Indies came out slugging at the start of their response and after that it was a case simply of seeing it through. They, too, had their moments of doubt as England refused to disappear without trace, as they had in last Sunday's defeat, but there was enough fuel in the tank and shots in the locker to see them through with seven balls to spare.

On this occasion England appeared to have judged the pitch correctly by including two mores spinners, Stephen Parry and Moeen Ali, one of whom did not bowl. But that does not mean they picked the most efficient team with a major tournament looming so quickly.

Buttler is never dull. Were he to pursue a career to match his name, he would come into the drawing room to serve his lordship a gin and tonic on a silver platter, perform a double backward somersault with pike and not spill a drop.

He is supposed to be the finisher in this form of the game but on this occasion he had to be the start, the middle and almost the end. He did not quite complete the third act.

There were three sixes and three fours in his 67 from 43 balls and it is at least arguable that he was forced into deceleration by the rain delay of 45 minutes just as he was entering into full stride.

Together with Alex Hales, who was altogether much less convincing, he rescued an innings that was again heading for disaster.

In wisdom which can probably be considered less than infinite, England chose to go into the match without Ian Bell, who has replaced the injured Joe Root in their squad for this series and the World Twenty20. To have Bell, one of the world's leading batsmen, around to carry drinks almost amounts to disrespect.

Although he has not played a T20 match for three years (in which case, why have him around?) Bell is presumably a smarter bet than the present top three. Michael Lumb and the new cap Ali failed. Hales was a qualified success but could have been out three times.

The captain Eoin Morgan, standing in for the injured Stuart Broad, was perhaps most culpable, essaying a pick up shot into the wind. Buttler's glamorous innings – there was a scoop for six included – gave England a chance, but West Indies liked the pace on the ball from the start.

Effective middle overs of spin put England back into the match but their opponents' captain, Darren Sammy, plundered in style to secure victory.

News
US comedian Bill Mahr
people
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Sport
football
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Life and Style
Models – and musicians – on the catwalk in Dior Homme for the men’s 2015/16 fashion show in Paris
fashionAt this season's Paris shows, various labels played with the city boys' favourite
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us