Jason Holder did the bulk of the damage as England’s latest batting collapse paved the way for West Indies’ nine-wicket win in the first Twenty20 international in Bridgetown on Saturday.
Towering paceman Holder twice struck with successive deliveries on his Kensington Oval home ground during a format-best return of four for seven as England were dismissed for just 103 following their Ashes woes.
West Indies then cruised to a target of 104 with 17 balls to spare, opener Brandon King finishing on 52 not out as the hosts went 1-0 up in this five-match series.
It was a heartening result for the West Indies, fresh from a 2-1 one-day international (ODI) series loss at home to Ireland, and now without veteran opener Chris Gayle after a T20 World Cup where they just one of their five matches.
“When it comes to Kensington Oval and Jason Holder, he steps it up,” said West Indies captain Kieron Pollard at the presentation ceremony. “He was phenomenal for us.
“We backed it up in the field and the guys really put on a show today.”
West Indies faced plenty of criticism after the Ireland series but Pollard added: “Tough times don’t last, tough people do .. . We’re sticking together in the dressing room.”
England will have little time to ponder their defeat ahead of Sunday’s second match, with captain Eoin Morgan admitting: “We didn’t seem to adapt well enough. We’ll have to come back tomorrow with a fresh game plan because conditions are likely to be similar.
“Trying to get the mindset around risk and reward, we found a challenge today.”
For all that Holder was aided by a pitch offering inconsistent bounce and that this was a different format, Saturday’s slump was all too reminiscent of the batting collapses that blighted England’s recent 4-0 Ashes series loss in Australia.
After Sheldon Cottrell removed opener Jason Roy, who made a hundred in England’s lone warm-up match, fellow paceman Holder struck twice in two balls to dismiss Tom Banton and Moeen Ali.
Holder ensured England were bowled out in 19.4 overs as he removed Saqib Mahmood and Adil Rashid in successive deliveries.
England surpassed their record low T20 total of 80 thanks mainly to an eighth-wicket stand of 36 between Chris Jordan (28) and Rashid (22).
England were without T20 regulars Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes after their Ashes exertions as they fielded a much-changed side.
Sam Billings was one of only five survivors from the XI that lost to New Zealand in the T20 World Cup semi-finals in November, making the long journey from Australia to Barbados just days after his Test debut.
As happened in that match, England’s bowlers were again let down by their batsmen, with King hitting four fours and a six in his 49-ball innings under the floodlights.
England 103, 19.4 overs (Jason Holder 4-7)
West Indies 104-1, 17.1 overs (Brandon King 52 no)
Result: West Indies won by nine wickets
Series: West Indies lead five-match series 1-0.