Harry Brook hopes thrilling win over West Indies sets tone for T20 World Cup

The Yorkshireman brutally finished off a chase set up by Phil Salt’s century on Saturday.

David Charlesworth
Sunday 17 December 2023 18:00 GMT
England halved the deficit in their T20 series against the West Indies (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)
England halved the deficit in their T20 series against the West Indies (Ricardo Mazalan/AP) (AP)

Harry Brook insisted England can still salvage something from a chastening winter ahead of two crunch T20s against the West Indies.

England’s woeful group-stage exit at the World Cup was followed by an ODI reset getting off to a false start with a 2-1 defeat in the Caribbean, while they then lost T20s in Barbados and Grenada.

But Phil Salt’s maiden T20 hundred and Brook’s 31 not out off seven deliveries – thumping 24 off the final over – saw England chase down 223 on Saturday.

The tourists arrived in Trinidad on Sunday with hope renewed and Brook believes a pair of wins this week could do wonders for them a few months out from the T20 World Cup in the region.

Brook likened England’s predicament to last year’s series in Pakistan, where they came from behind to win 4-3 before sealing T20 World Cup glory.

“We’re a fair way away from the World Cup but these two games can make a big difference, especially getting the experience of these pitches and these crowds,” Brook said.

“We had it against Pakistan before the last T20 World Cup where we needed to win the last two games and we just tried to play them all like finals. We’ve got to do that for the rest of this series.

“We can take a lot of confidence from that win. You’ve got so much clarity chasing a big score like that, you know you’ve got to get out the blocks quickly.”

  • 1st T20 in Barbados: West Indies won by four wickets
  • 2nd T20 in Grenada: West Indies won by 10 runs
  • 3rd T20 in Grenada: England won by seven wickets

England were behind the eight ball at the start of the 20th over with the Windies calling upon Andre Russell, who has been confronted with this situation many times.

Requiring 21 to avoid losing the series and with Salt on 109 at the other end, Brook, on seven off two balls at the time, whipped the all-rounder fine for four.

Russell overcompensated by bowling too wide, allowing Brook to free his arms for a six over extra cover, before a full toss was larruped over the rope to leave England needing five off three balls.

The Yorkshireman clipped to midwicket for a couple before taking England to a seven-wicket victory in style by carving another wider delivery over backward point.

“I’m just trying to be as cool as I can be,” Brook said. “I’m trying to be free-flowing – as soon as I get tensed up in any format, I’m never as good.

“It was really nice to go out there and finish it off. Hopefully I can do it plenty more times in my career.”

Brook has been conspicuously bowling a lot in net sessions, most notably attempting to improve his off-spin.

He memorably snared New Zealand captain Kane Williamson in Wellington earlier this year – so far his only Test wicket – but as a military medium-pacer.

We’re a fair way away from the World Cup, but these two games can make a big difference

Harry Brook

While adding extra depth to England’s bowling is still a way off, Brook is optimistic of being able to turn his arm over in The Hundred for Northern Superchargers next year.

“It was jokey at the start but then I’ve actually started to get pretty good at it,” Brook added. “I’m just trying to work on it and see what can happen.

“The seamers are still there for Test cricket. But I am trying to look towards The Hundred. I might not bowl but it’s a little target I’ve got.”

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