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 remarkable format-best return of four for seven as England were dismissed for just 103.
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, now without veteran opener Chris Gayle after a T20 World Cup where they just one of their five matches.
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 will have little time to ponder their defeat, with the second match of the series on Sunday.