West Indies v England, 1st T20, Barbados March 9, 2014

Samuels and Badree overpower limp England


West Indies 170 for 3 (Samuels 69*, Gayle 43, Bopara 2-23) beat England 143 for 9 (Bopara 42, Bresnan 38*, Badree 3-17, Samuels 2-21) by 27 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dobell: England selection was unsuitable for conditions

As forecast, a West Indies comeback gave England nightmares at Kensington Oval, but the much-heralded return of Chris Gayle was overshadowed by Marlon Samuels. Samuels is the Yohan Blake to Gayle's Usain Bolt, the silver-medallist support act, but his unbeaten 69 from 46 balls was a reminder ahead of the World T20 that both batsmen possess a considerable threat.

Samuels, a vital component of West Indies World T20 victory in Sri Lanka 18 months ago, spoke at the interval of getting fit in the gym, and with lots of running. As ever with Gayle, his expression hidden behind shades, one imagined that his fitness levels had been explored more languidly. It was no surprise that their joint presence persuaded West Indies' captain Darren Sammy to announce that their bid to retain their World T20 crown in Bangladesh started here.

If it did start here then England are in a considerable mess. They made much play of picking a side to win in Barbados, and letting Bangladesh take care of itself. But Kensington Oval encouraged spin bowling, just as Chittagong - where England are based - can be expected to and their reliance on a quartet of pace bowlers put them up against it from the outset.

England conceded 170, the highest score ever made in T20 at Kensington Oval, on a good batting surface with decent pace. Then, before a sizeable contingent of English holidaymakers, they stumbled to 70 for 6 in return against West Indies' spinners, who gleefully accepted a bounty of 6 for 46 in 10 overs. The target had been challenging, but not impossible. An eventual defeat by 27 runs was a merciful release.

To make matters worse for England, the captain, Stuart Broad, is suffering from tendonitis, an ailment bad enough to restrict him to two overs and then see him run out, limping, by the West Indies wicketkeeper Dinesh Ramdin. Another cortisone injection looks bound to follow. West Indies also have injury concerns over Sunil Narine, who was heading for a scan on a knee which he jarred attempting a stop on the boundary.

England's state of mind at present against spin bowling is dreadful. They improved as the ODI series in Antigua went on, but here their befuddlement returned. Samuel Badree rolled out his legspinners to such good effect that he dismissed the top three for only 17 runs - Alex Hales and Luke Wright stumped in successive balls. If Hales' demise spoke of his weakness against slow bowling, Badree easily spotting his ineffectual advance down the wicket, Wright's wind-up, first ball, was staggeringly misconceived as he missed by distance, held the pose, and was adjudged by the TV umpire to be out of his ground. It was not all good news for Badree, though: on a night when the physios were never far from the action, Badree also damaged a finger near the end of his spell.

The only West Indies slow bowler to be briefly unhinged - injuries apart - was Samuels and even that was due to a tart comment from Ravi Bopara in mid-pitch. As it followed Samuels' contentious quicker ball, one can only guess the legitimacy of his action might have got a mention. Both umpires and the West Indies captain Darren Sammy were involved before a truce was negotiated.

Bopara, employed as low as No 6, moves around this England order like a Traveller in permanent threat of eviction from another patch of waste ground. He put up a respectable fist of things with 42, but Samuels also took two top-order wickets, having Eoin Morgan well caught at deep midwicket by Johnson Charles and engineering a third stumping, that of Ben Stokes, who has yet to gain the same cachet in his T20 career as in his first year in Test cricket.

If West Indies wanted to provide a message at the start of this three-match warm-up for Bangladesh, Dwayne Smith offered it from the first ball: a one-legged pull for six over deep square-leg. By the end of Broad's opening over, there had not as much been a message as an entire speech - 19 runs in all.

Gayle is rarely perturbed about being overshadowed at the start of an innings. He often absorbs the early deliveries like blotting paper soaking up ink splatters (ask your Dad) and those ink splatters, suitably, were propelled by Dernbach, who was not just inked up in terms of body art but inked in on the team sheet, preferred no less to Chris Jordan, who had been hoping to represent England for the first time in his native island.

He managed only three singles from his first 11 balls. Three boundaries in four balls against Tim Bresnan suggested his glutes, as he had indicated, were in decent order. After spotting nothing untoward in Stokes' first ball, he ambled down the pitch to put him in the stands.

Bopara's solid night began with figures of 2 for 23. His nip-backer, second ball up, to bowl Smith caused the batsman to look back in consternation on his return to the pavilion as if he could not quite believe what he had witnessed. In his final over, Lendl Simmons hauled a shortish ball to Michael Lumb at long on.

Tredwell's figures were even better - 16 conceded in four overs, with 15 dot balls. Considering that Gayle lackadaisically propelled one out of the ground, the ball bouncing off the corrugated iron roof, it was quite an achievement. There was the crowning achievement, too, in the wicket of Gayle, who swung and missed at one that turned then next ball was lbw against one that slid on.

Tredwell's contribution was less impressive when he dropped Samuels, on 43, at cover, with three overs remaining. Samuels, so reprieved, took 20 off the over but even allowing for that Dernbach, the unfortunate bowler, had one of his better nights. Not that it was much consolation for England.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Clifford on March 10, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    I hate to feel this way but as a KP fan, can you imagine the squirming going on at the ECB? Cricket admin is similar to a company's board. Unless the right chaps are in situ, all decisions will be wrong and so will the ensuing results. Giles, what a laugh? For me, it's far more interesting wondering, who was smoking what, when that board was assembled? You have a Gooch, a Nasser Hussein, an Alec Stewart and Jeremey Paxman laying about, doing bugger all and we have to put up with these gormless fellows. Harness 1/10 of the brains and abilities of the mentioned chappies and we will be world beaters. What would Alf Garnett say, huh? It's facts, innit?

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2014, 15:11 GMT

    @9ST9 every team needs a slogger. England just make sure by having three in the top three!

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    Who was England's best player of spin in the last t20 and also offers a spin option as well. Clue: he eats what he likes... he eats what he liiayayikes...

  • Srinivas on March 10, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    I thought that the Kiwi Ben Stokes will save England. But not to be. Well bowled Badree. Just tell the English players that you are a spinner and see them fall like a pack of cards.

  • Jon on March 10, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    @cpt.meanster, India have no bowling in any formats so just concentrate on that first. I would agree with you about SL and Pakistan as they are very tough to beat. Look at this team selection and I just can't fathom how we expect to beat anyone with guys like Wright or Dernbach in this side?

  • Mark on March 10, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    Giles was a spinner (Ok, slow bowler - he did turn the ball once during 2005 and that was a good 'un) so he should have a sense of how to read a pitch, coach players and pick a side to play spin. But no. It was obvious to me sitting hundreds of miles away before a ball was bowled that something was wrong before the match started, just from the WIndies team selection. I can't understand why they play Luke Wright and now bowl him. He's a specialist fielder at the moment, and cannot be worth picking ahead of Bell. Stokes does not look well suited to 20:20. Bopara clearly needs time to get in and would be better up at 3 when he can do so properly. Moeen may be a decent spin option and has batter well but does not look good against spin himself. Still, can't do any worse than to add him. Big changes needed - and probably Morgan as captain too, if Broad is crocked. England will do well if they make it past the first stage of the tournament.

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2014, 11:51 GMT

    England were rattled by spin bowlers? What else is new?

  • xxxxxxxx on March 10, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    @Jared Hansen re your question about Dernbach. The answer is: he is great in the dressing room, he gets along wth the captain and coach, he does not rock the boat, he is very polite, he is not outrageously talented. In other words, he is not KP.

  • John on March 10, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 9, 2014, 22:45 GMT) Actually Dernbach bowled much better than his figures suggest - most of his balls were near Yorker length. If he bowled consistently this way then he's probably be my 1st pace bowler in our SF side - not that it says much

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    Why not Moeen Ali???he bowls tidy spin,plays elegent and proper cricketing shots,and can play spin better that Luke Wright!!!How many more chances is Wright going to get???

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