England smashed a record T20I total against the West Indies as Phil Salt’s second successive century set up a series-levelling 75-run victory in Trinidad.

Salt, whose ton on Saturday had kept England in the series, hit 119 from 57 balls as the visitors reached 267-3 to set the second highest T20 international total recorded by a full ICC member nation.

West Indies made a rapid start to their run-chase but the regular loss of wickets saw England cruise to victory as the hosts were all out for 192 in the 16th over.

The series, in which England have come from 2-0 down to level at 2-2, will be decided at the same ground in Thursday’s fifth and final contest between the teams.

Salt shared a 117-run opening stand with England captain Jos Buttler (55) as the tourists got off to a flyer, before Liam Livingstone (54 not out) ensured there was no let up in the closing stages of the innings.

England's wicket keeper Phil Salt..celebrates the dismissal of West Indies' captain Rovman Powell during the fourth T20 cricket match at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
England celebrate the dismissal of West Indies captain Rovman Powell

Attempting to pull off what would have been the highest chase in T20I history, the hosts entertained by racing beyond 100 within seven overs, largely thanks to cameos from Nicholas Pooran (39) and Sherfane Rutherford (35).

However, with four wickets already lost by that point, England spinner Adil Rashid (1-35) then came on and took the game away from the West Indies by exerting more control than any other bowler had managed throughout the game.

Reece Topley (3-37) eventually took the final two West Indian wickets to end the match, with Andre Russell (51) the last player out as the home side were left to regret having been perhaps too aggressive in their batting approach.

Salt, England break records in thrilling hitting display

After his spectacular unbeaten 109 had helped England chase down 223 to win in Grenada on Saturday, Salt picked up exactly where he left off, hitting debutant fast bowler Matthew Forde for a six and a four in the opening over.

Buttler, who had also chipped in with a half century last time out, took slightly longer to get going, taking nine deliveries to score his first boundary before a sweetly-timed reverse sweep for six signalled he had found his groove.

England's Phil Salt..plays a shot for four runs against West Indies during the fourth T20 cricket match at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Salt struck 119 from 57 balls

The pair continued to enjoy themselves, with Salt hitting two more sixes from a 22-run Forde over as England reached 68-0 at the end of the six-over power play, perhaps leaving West Indies skipper Rovman Powell questioning his decision to put the tourists in to bat after winning the toss.

Salt brought up his half-century from 23 balls in the eighth over, before Buttler reached the landmark two overs later from 26 deliveries.

The hosts finally broke through when Jason Holder had Buttler caught at long on by Powell, but with England on 117-1 inside 10 overs, a perfect platform had been set.

Salt quickly dispelled any thought that the wicket might slow England down by hitting each of the first three balls of the next over, bowled by Rutherford, for six.

England's captain Jos Buttlerp lays a shot against West Indies during the fourth T20 cricket match at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
England captain Jos Buttler hit 55 in a 117-run opening stand with Salt

Will Jacks (24) joined in the fun, hitting two maximums of his own before being given out lbw to Akeal Hosein.

Salt appeared to be in with a chance of beating his new batting partner Livingstone’s England record 42-ball T20I hundred, but slowed slightly before a single eventually brought up the milestone from 48 deliveries.

The 27-year-old’s final score of 119 was the highest by an England men’s batter in a T20 international, while he also became just the second full-member nation player to score centuries in successive T20I contests.

By the time Salt was bowled by a Russell yorker in the penultimate over, Livingstone had begun to accelerate, and added three boundaries from the final over to bring up his own half century from just 20 balls.

The only full ICC member nation to better the final total of 267-3 was Afghanistan when they hit 278-3 against Ireland in 2019, while the innings comfortably eclipsed England’s previous best of 241-3 against New Zealand in 2019.

West Indies fall short after thrilling start to chase

Any hopes the West Indies had of pulling off an unlikely chase took an immediate blow, as Moeen Ali had Brandon King caught by Reece Topley from the first ball of the innings.

However, Pooran then hit two fours followed by two sixes to end the over, delighting the crowd and setting what was a thrilling tempo for the early stages of the chase.

England's Moeen Ali..celebrates the dismissal on first ball of West Indies' Brandon King..during the fourth T20 cricket match at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Moeen Ali took a wicket with the first ball of the West Indies’ innings

The runs kept coming as Topley went for a four and a six in his first over, but so did the wickets, as Kyle Mayers was caught – after a juggle – by Chris Woakes.

The score had reached 58-2 by the end of the fourth over, but Sam Curran (2-25) dismissed Pooran after a brilliant diving catch by Harry Brook to once more check the hosts’ momentum.

Woakes struck in the sixth over with the dismissal of Shai Hope after a top edge to Salt, who was behind the stumps instead of Buttler for England, but the West Indies were still ahead of the asking rate when they reached 102-4 at the end of the seventh over.

Teammates congratulate England's Harry Brook for taking the catch to dismiss West Indies' Nicholas Pooran..during the fourth T20 cricket match at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Harry Brook is congratulated by his team-mates for taking a catch during the West Indies’ innings

Then came the introduction of Rashid, whose first over resulted in Powell being bowled and just four runs being conceded, putting the West Indies in a hole they never appeared likely to be able to recover from.

Two wickets in two balls from England’s other spinner Rehan Ahmed in the next over reduced the West Indies to 120-7.

Russell did his best to counter, but England remained patient until Curran had Hosein caught in the 13th over, before Topley closed the show by removing Forde and Russell.

Salt ‘seeing rewards’ for tweaks to mental approach

England batter Phil Salt:

“I’m definitely enjoying it. It’s a cool place to come and tour and play cricket. The boys have produced goods in the last couple of games and obviously we’ve got decider now to look forward to.

“It’s very satisfying. Obviously, the tweaks that I’ve made to my game in the last sort of six months have more been mental approach, point of view, more than anything else. So it’s good that I’m seeing the rewards now.”

England captain Jos Buttler:

“It was a fantastic win. You don’t play in too many of those games. It was like being at the Hong Kong Sixes, wasn’t it?

“We showed so much character. Phil Salt again, to back it up, two hundreds in a row is a phenomenal effort.

“Really proud of the group. To go 2-0 down and show the reaction we have, play with the bravery and the courage that we have, and ultimately the skill level as well to be able to execute it.

“So yeah, I’m delighted for the guys and it’s a really confident changing room.”

West Indies captain Rovman Powell:

“Credit has to be given where credit is due. I think Phil Salt and Jos batted really well up front. We didn’t hit our plans, but those things will happen. Thursday gives us an opportunity to come and do better.

“It’s a very thin line. We’re playing against world class players and once you don’t execute properly, then they’re gonna put you under pressure.

“That has been the case for the series. When England bowlers haven’t executed, we put them under pressure and now it’s our time to feel some of that pressure.”

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