Andre Russell marked his return to international cricket with a throwback allround performance, as West Indies drew first blood in their five-match T20I series against England in Barbados.

Despite a flying start from England in the powerplay, courtesy of Phil Salt's 40 from 20 balls, Russell's canny three-wicket display put the brakes on their attacking intent, before he and Rovman Powell pounded their side past a victory target of 172 with a typically hard-hitting seventh-wicket stand of 49 in 21 balls.

Victory was duly sealed by Russell's powerful cut for four off Sam Curran at the start of the 19th over, as West Indies romped to the highest run-chase in T20Is in Barbados. Despite the defeat, there were some encouraging signs for England - particularly the successful pairing of Adil Rashid and his heir apparent, Rehan Ahmed, who claimed five wickets between them. And yet, in the wake of last week's ODI series loss, it was another setback in their bid to re-establish their white-ball aura ahead of next year's T20 World Cup defence.

Windies hit the roof in run-chase

Chasing 172, West Indies charged out of the starting blocks, with Brandon King mashing 16 runs off Sam Curran's opening over, including two leg-side pick-ups for six, before Kyle Mayers launched two vast hits onto the roof of the stand at deep midwicket - the first off Will Jacks, and the second an astonishing 103-metre dispatching of a Tymal Mills short ball.

Ben Duckett extracted King with a brilliant grab at point to hand Chris Woakes a wicket with his fourth ball, but the in-form Shai Hope continued West Indies' surge by bopping a Woakes slower ball over long-on for the fifth six in as many overs. Their powerplay total of 59 for 1 wasn't quite a match for England's 77 for 0 - the third-highest of their T20I history - but given how comprehensively that performance had fallen away, it seemed more than enough to set up the chase.

Master and apprentice

With his precocious combination of penetration and control, Rehan had been England's outstanding bowler in last week's ODI series, and so his inclusion for this match was entirely on merit, in spite of the presence of the returning Adil Rashid.

Rehan's first over of the night, however, was not an auspicious one. With the ball seemingly tough to grip in the mounting dew, he was spanked for three sixes - two more for Mayers as he twice picked the googly, and a second for Hope, who stepped into a length ball to drill it over long-off.

Enter Rashid, to show immediately how it should be done. Prior to the match, he'd been presented with a special cap to mark his 100th T20I, and now he struck with his first ball of the night, as Mayers misread the slider out of the front of the hand, and was rushed into a pull to Jacks at long-on.

Quite apart from his talent, however, Rehan's temperament is every bit as much of an asset. His return to the attack was a triumph of character, as Nicholas Pooran lobbed an attempted pull back down the pitch to be sent on his way for 13 as Rehan leapt high to his left to intercept.

He conceded just two runs in the over too, which doubtless helped Rashid to spring the trap on Shimron Hetmyer in his next over, as Duckett at deep midwicket reached high to intercept a flat slog across the line. It was Rashid's 100th T20I wicket, the first England bowler and the tenth overall to reach the mark.


Rain can't derail West Indies

A half-hour rain delay appeared to have arrived at an opportune moment for West Indies - they led by six runs on DLS at the break, whereupon Hope put a further dent into Rehan's figures with an emphatic sweep for six. But once again, Rehan's response was wise beyond his years. He offered Hope another tempter, but slid his line a fraction wider, and Brook at wide long-on did the rest. In came a slip to greet the new man, and Romario Shepherd duly spooned the biggest legbreak of Rehan's spell straight into his hands.

Russell and Powell, however, weren't about to be fazed by an asking-rate pushing ten an over. Powell took a chunk out of that requirement with back-to-back sixes off Liam Livingstone, before Russell joined the onslaught with a top-edged pull off Mills that sailed over fine leg. Rashid's final over was make-or-break for England, but Russell picked the googly to hoist him high over deep midwicket, and the end came quickly.

Full-frontal as-Salt

Carefree brutality had been the order of the day as Phil Salt strode out to face the first over of the match. It's a commodity that had been in scant supply throughout England's dismal 50-over World Cup, when a succession of batters allowed themselves to be paralysed by the responsibility of living up to their lofty white-ball reputations.

Salt, by contrast, is never afraid to hang the consequences and give it some welly, and England's demeanour was all the better for his bravado. The first of his seven boundaries came from the second of the 20 balls that he faced … via a fat edge past slip as he flung the bat at the left-arm spinner Akeal Hosain. Three balls later, he'd thumped two more fours through square leg and point respectively, and the tone for the powerplay had been set.

His influence soon rubbed off on Buttler, whose form has been so visibly bereft in recent weeks. A brace of thumping drives off Jason Holder and Hosain respectively gave way to a rare sighting of Buttler's trademark ramp for six, albeit it took two goes for him to nail the shot off Andre Russell, who sent the first attempt upstairs in a failed review for caught behind.

But it was Salt who finished the powerplay in style by launching the wayward Alzarri Joseph for 26 runs in a nine-ball first over, including a savage uppercut for six over point, and a comedy five wides as Nicholas Pooran was nutmegged on the second bounce. And though he then fell to the very next ball of the innings, courtesy of an outstanding boundary grab from the sure-footed Shimron Hetmyer to give Russell a comeback wicket, his 40 from 20 balls had seemingly set the tone for a 200-plus innings.


Mid-innings wobbles

Will Jacks at No.3 ensured there would be no immediate let-up in intent - as the hapless Joseph discovered after a switch of ends resulted in a brace of wild sixes from his next two deliveries, the second of which was top-edged over the keeper's head off a front-foot no-ball. But, after holding his nerve for the resulting free hit, Joseph lured Jacks into a skied slog to mid-off, and at 98 for 2 in the ninth over, their bowling effort had a toe-hold.

Buttler brought up the 100 with a cut for four through deep third, but before he could kick into top gear, Hosain lured him into a top-edged pull to deep midwicket for 39, whereupon Harry Brook snicked his second legitimate delivery through to the keeper as Holder took the pace off a length ball. And Ben Duckett made it three wickets in 15 balls when, in search of England's first boundary for four overs, he got too funky with his footwork and ramped Romario Shepherd to short third.

England tail falls in a heap

At 129 for 5 in the 14th over, England's momentum had been ransacked, and they could never entirely recover their poise, notwithstanding a stand of 36 in four overs between Sam Curran and Liam Livingstone, whose back-to-back sixes off Holder's final two balls were a timely reminder of the power that lurks in his game.

Pace off the ball was the key for West Indies' seamers, however, and not for the first time, Livingstone's desire to belt the cover off the ball proved his undoing. He wound into an almighty hack at Russell and under-edged into his stumps, via his back leg, for 27 from 19. With him went any hope of the flying finish that these conditions demanded.

Curran, by this stage, had holed out to a leaping Joseph at long-off for 14, and the tail came meekly - five wickets for six runs in 15 balls all told, with Russell capping his comeback with the outstanding figures of 3 for 19, including three for nine in his final three overs. His day's work was far from done, but after two years on the international sidelines, he'd quickly reaffirmed his mastery of this format.

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