Chris Jordan marked his return to the Kensington Oval by excelling with bat and ball to help England somehow end their losing run in the nick of time before the ICC World Twenty20.
After Barbados-born Jordan hit Dwayne Bravo for four sixes in the final over of England's 165 for six in this last match of a series already lost to West Indies, he then took two early wickets and a telling late one as the home reply fell five runs short.
Michael Lumb's career-best 63 was a second significant contribution, in a patchy England performance overall.
It proved to be just enough, thanks to Jordan (three for 39) and despite Lendl Simmons' skilful 69 in a sixth-wicket stand of 73 with Denesh Ramdin.
England did not get the job done without plenty of drama, though, especially in the nerviest of last overs from Jade Dernbach as Simmons was run out and then Darren Sammy had the chance to punish the tourists again only to reach out and hit a final delivery which would have been called a second successive wide had he stayed still.
After five successive Twenty20 defeats, to Australia and then the Windies here, England were in dire need of consolation and some renewed confidence on the road to Chittagong.
Lumb appeared to give them a decent shot at both, clubbing nine fours and two sixes in an opening stand of 98 with Alex Hales.
Then Jordan, at the ground where he watched and played so much cricket growing up, gave England's par total a telling late push.
Between those highlights, however, the wheels came off as five wickets fell for 32 runs just when their power-hitting middle order was supposed to move into overdrive.
Lumb found initial pace on the ball much more to his liking than the spin England experienced from the outset here in their two defeats this week.
The relevance of his performance, in mind of conditions anticipated for the impending global tournament on the sub-continent, was a moot point.
But England's openers could only deal with what presented itself here, and did so especially well - their 64 after six overs not quite an England powerplay record but nonetheless making a mockery of previous struggles against the new ball.
Lumb gave West Indies two chances, when Johnson Charles could have run him out with a direct hit on 42 and Darren Sammy was unable to hold on to a fearsomely-struck return chance on 51.
By then, the left-hander had raced past his 50 from just 27 balls - having been set up by a wayward first over from left-arm pace debutant Sheldon Cottrell, which cost 17 runs.
With those profitable sighters under his belt, Lumb then also tucked into Sunil Narine's mystery off-spin.
When Cottrell returned, however, he got his revenge - Lumb mistiming a skier into the off-side and Hales hitting him into the hands of long on.
Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler still had the perfect platform for the final seven overs b ut neither could not cash in, Morgan pulling Narine to deep midwicket and Buttler skying Krishmar Santokie to cover.
Thereafter, no England batsman could take charge of the situation until Jordan made sure the innings did not end in a whimper after all.
West Indies' response misfired immediately, Dwayne Smith chopping the first ball of the innings on to his stumps to preface a wicket-maiden from Dernbach.
Jordan gleefully accepted a leading edge in his follow-through to see off Charles and make it four for two, and then had the dangerous Marlon Samuels playing on as well.
A fightback followed. But Jordan, it transpired, could do little wrong and duly expanded his all-round repertoire with a stunning catch on the deep square-leg boundary, Bravo's the first of two wickets to fall in the same Ravi Bopara over.
Simmons was nonetheless in determined mood and kept the outcome in doubt with a 43-ball 50, which he completed with a deft shot off Jordan to fine-leg for his sixth four.
Jordan's final over, the penultimate of the innings, cost 16 runs but contained the wicket of Ramdin - and after he was yorked, not even Simmons or the big-hitting Sammy could hurt England this time.