Eoin Morgan admitted England squandered a commanding position as Sheldon Cottrell bowled the West Indies to a series levelling 26-run win in the second one-day international.

Fresh from completing a record chase of 361 at the same Kensington Oval ground, England fell well short of a gentler target 48 hours later, dismissed for 263.

With top-scorer Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler going well at 228 for four in the 40th over things appeared to be set fair but the wheels fell off in dramatic fashion, with six wickets tumbling for 35.

Morgan (70) and Stokes (79) will both feel they had chances to kill off the resistance but the match-winning honours ended up split between Shimron Hetmyer, for an unbeaten 104, and left-arm paceman Cottrell.

He finished with glowing figures of five for 46, marking each success by marching into a military salute – a theatrical nod to his time in the Jamaican Defence Force – to complete the turnaround.

“I wouldn’t say we expected to win, there’s no sense of entitlement at all, but we were certainly in control,” said Morgan.

“We were probably in a better position than we were in the first game. But a game is never won right until the end. We just left a little bit too much to do.

“It’s international cricket, you’ve got to hurt sides when you get on top. We didn’t and they came back and took wickets consistently. We turn up trying our hardest to win every game – it doesn’t happen every time.”

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With the series poised at 1-1 heading to another double header in Grenada, Morgan wants to see lessons sinking in after slipping up.

“We were beaten by the better side but learning from that isn’t a bad thing,” he said.

“We’ll see in the next games whether we do learn from it or not.”

Hetmyer beat Cottrell to the man-of-the-match award, a fitting honour for a measured 82-ball century, and was beaming after his decisive contribution.

“I wanted to get a hundred here in the Test series, in front the wonderful Barbadian crowd, but I got it today in front of the crowd and in front of my girlfriend. It’s a special feeling,” he said.

“Sheldon had a great day too. He’s a fantastic player too, a swing bowler and a death bowler. It was great for him.”

Barbados England West Indies CricketWest Indies’ Chris Gayle is bowing out (AP/Ricardo Mazalan)

Reflecting on the next generation of West Indian match-winners, who for once took the spotlight from Chris Gayle, Morgan added: “I played the Caribbean Premier League last year and there is a lot of talent around these islands.”

Fast bowler Mark Wood was the Englishman who did most to advance his cause, stepping up to lead the attack with Chris Woakes rested and returning one for 38 with probing spells up front and at the death.