sport

Buttler gives England hope

Jos Buttler's career-best 67 helped England overcome a sticky start to post 152 for seven in the second T20 international against West Indies.

Buttler hit his second half-century in this format, and shared a fourth-wicket stand of 76 with Alex Hales after England chose to bat first in this must-win match.

As in Sunday's fixture at the same venue, when they fell short in a run chase, England lost early wickets - this time to Krishmar Santokie who finished with four for 21.

But Buttler responded with a 33-ball fifty, full of his trademark clean hitting and inventive placement - hitting five fours and three sixes in all.

Santokie, called up here in place of the injured Sunil Narine, had put England on the back foot.

He saw off both Michael Lumb and Moeen Ali lbw, the opener going across his stumps and missing a full-toss and his fellow left-hander bamboozled by a clever slower ball.

When captain Eoin Morgan then mistimed a sweep at Samuel Badree straight to deep square-leg, England were a hapless 26 for three after five overs.

In the first seven overs, there were only two boundaries, and from the penultimate delivery of the 10th an overdue six - Hales hoisting Marlon Samuels over long on.

By then, Hales had escaped a very good Samuel Badree lbw appeal on 10 and been dropped by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin when he mishit a swirling chance high to short third man on 15.

Hales also gave a half-chance to a diving Chris Gayle off Darren Sammy at point on 29, and Buttler escaped on 45 when Dwayne Bravo could not hold a skier as the bowler himself chased another mistimed shot into the off-side.

But between the mishits, there were an increasing number of very well-struck shots - especially from Buttler - as he and Hales piled on 33 in two overs, from Sammy and Ravi Rampaul.

Hales' luck finally ran out when, like Morgan before him, he hit into the wind and was held on the midwicket boundary off Bravo.

A 45-minute break for rain interrupted England after 14.3 overs, but Buttler returned to complete his half-century before he and Ravi Bopara holed out in Santokie's remaining over to give the left-armer his best figures in only his fourth international match.