England v West Indies, 1st Twenty20, The Oval September 23, 2011

Bopara stars as England cruise to victory


England 128 for 0 (Hales 62*, Kieswetter 58*) beat West Indies 125 (Bopara 4-10) by ten wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ravi Bopara produced England's best Twenty20 figures of 4 for 10 in 3.4 overs, before Craig Kieswetter and Alex Hales eased along to a chanceless partnership of 128 in 15.4 overs, as West Indies crashed and burned after a flying start to their two-match stop-over series at The Oval, and ended up being routed by ten wickets - an exact reversal of the scoreline in Allen Stanford's US$20million shootout in Antigua three years ago.

The prize on this occasion is somewhat less remarkable, but with the defence of England's World Twenty20 crown now less than a year away, England's youth-orientated team outclassed their transient opponents and confirmed the impression laid out by their stand-in captain, Graeme Swann, that many of these same names are likely to be in the starting line-up in Sri Lanka next September.

England were made to battle for control of this contest, but not for very long. In front of a raucous crowd of 17,417, the West Indies openers Dwayne Smith and Johnson Charles battered 42 runs in the first four overs, including 22 from a startled Tim Bresnan, who could find no response as Smith cleared his front leg for a series of baseball mows over deep midwicket.

However, Swann's response was to take the pace off the ball against an agricultural line-up that possessed plenty men capable of clearing the ropes, but few who were quite as adept at working the gaps. Samit Patel produced a ripper to clip the top of Smith's off stump, before Marlon Samuels - the recognised class act in their batting line-up - was bowled through the gate by a beauty from Swann.

Thereafter, West Indies' innings lacked direction. Charles battered Patel for one more six over long-on but then perished to his very next ball as he miscued an identical swipe to Steven Finn, and the only other man to reach double figures was Hyatt, who ruined Swann's excellent figures by slapping his final over for 17, but was seventh out for 28, as Bopara produced an excellent change-up in pace to bowl him neck and crop.

Jade Dernbach's variations impressed at the death, as he conceded 20 runs in four overs of typically inventive slower balls and yorkers, but it was Bopara's wicket-to-wicket discipline that really scuppered the innings. West Indies lost two wickets in two balls in back-to-back Bopara overs, as his stump-rattling line and length was allied to two sharp pieces of fielding - first when Christopher Barnwell was brilliantly snaffled by Kieswetter, one-handed to his right, and then when Andre Russell was run out by a flat throw from the boundary from Ben Stokes.

Devendra Bishoo was also run out, in his case for a first-ball duck as Jos Buttler pinged down his stumps from gully, moments after Dernbach had nailed the keeper Dervin Christian with a perfectly directed yorker. But fittingly, it was Bopara who wrapped up the innings with two balls left unused, as West Indies' captain Darren Sammy attempted a mow over midwicket and picked out Jonny Bairstow with a top-edge.

In the field, Sammy was uninspired, with his first ball of the innings a gimme that Hales carved through point for four, and his team was largely insipid. Bishoo let an early boundary roll through his hands at extra cover, and England were able to bash along to 52 for 0 in the six-over Powerplay without even a hint of spin in the offing.

Bishoo, the ICC Emerging Player of the Year, finally emerged in the eighth over, when England were already halfway to their target, but his tidy spell of 0 for 28 in four overs could not transform a one-sided canter. Hales brought up his first fifty for England from an impressive 36 balls, including one monstered six over backward square leg off Russell, while Kieswetter was scarcely any more tardy in taking 43 balls for his own milestone.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rohit on September 26, 2011, 1:27 GMT

    In the limited over matches played this summer, England game plan was simple: win the toss and field. Let the rain arrive when they bat, so that the ball softens, and the opposition bowlers become irrelevant. This plan, though brilliant in its simplicity, has two drawbacks: (a) what if you lose the toss, or (b) what if the rain doesn't arrive? Although, England's luck with the toss continued in this T20 also, but the part (b) of the plan simply didn't happen, and the results are there for everyone to see. When batting second becomes part of a team's winning strategy, then I would say that their coaching has become very mono-dimensional.

  • David on September 25, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    @rajesh.kumar: 'The most mysterious thing here is how come England has won the toss six times in a row. All the laws of probability are being violated here.'

    You obviously know nothing about mathematical probability. Try reading this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler's_fallacy

  • Martin on September 25, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    I see the trolls are out and about again....@Rajesh.Kumar; "I am sure that India would have won those games quite comfortably...." fact is - they didn't though did they. Please give it a rest with these ridiculous comments.

  • Ahmad on September 24, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    next match Results West Indies beaten by 30 Run OR west Indies beaten by 9 Wkts. This is a VERY poor West Indies Side facing a very Powerful England team. Well Good Luck West Indies you will need it de most.

  • Darren on September 24, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Rajesh, if England was playing india c, who are the members of india b and why didn't they play and try to avoid the whitewash?

  • Rohit on September 24, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    It will be very interesting to see how England fair in the limited over matches in their own country, if they bat first. So, for a change, they should bat first upon winning the toss next, because they seem to have a huge amount of luck with the toss, and are going to set some kind of a world record on that front.. Nevertheless, winning the toss should not be part of their strategy, because one day their luck with the toss will surely run out. As far as India matches are concerned, England won all their matches batting second, and won them by D/L method after the ball had been softened by the rain. Even then the Indian C team, which was missing 7 players from its WC final, gave them a tough time. And, I am sure that India would have won those games quite comfortably if they had batted second. Batting becomes quite easy when the opposition bowls at you with a wet ball, because then the ball just travels straight, without any swing, seam, or spin.

  • Peter on September 24, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    Agree with Nutcutlet. As England get better, so the matches have become far less competitive. Who would have thought the time would come when we could easily lend one each of our Test bowlers to S Africa, Australia, SL and India and still comfortably beat all comers with what we have left? As India free-fall down the rankings in the next few months & SL continue to experience serious problems (and sadly so) we'll see Australia move up gradually, but only on the strength of poor opposition, such as in their forthcoming series v India. They may get to 3rd place, but there is now an even bigger gulf (not just a gap) between ENG & OZ than there was during the recent Ashes. SA can still offer a challenge, but only Steyn really threatens, & batting replacements will soon be needed. Tiime for an ENG 2nd XI to enter the rankings, if only to provide some decent competition for England 1sts. Don't think it'll be long before ENG are top of the ODI tree, to go with their Test & T20 positions.

  • Syed on September 24, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    @ Rajesh.Kumar. Budddy, please stop making this type of funny comments (or should I say excuses?). The law of probability itself relies on probability, and reality may easily beat probability any time. And while it may be advantageous to bat first or second, you have to adjust your play according to the conditions. That's what a professional cricket team would do. The problem begins when we start idolizing some players and treat them like God and let them play when other young players are left frustrated and not groomed properly. It's time to wake up!

  • Dummy4 on September 24, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    der shud gayle in WI.....without him they are no match to england

  • Cricinfouser on September 24, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    Little suggestion: Indians who want to seek out some kind of mystical conspiracy theory behind the success of England in the last couple of years - please, just go away. If you want to comment on this article or this game, welcome! Back to the game: it will be interesting to see what Swann does if he wins the toss tomorrow. I would want to see some of these young guys bat: it's been a curious side-effect of England's recent success that batting opportunities are few and far between - think of the many innings victories in the tests! And there's no reason why that should diminish England's chances of winning: most of England's victories recently have relied on heavy batting followed by demolishing the opposition - only in the last few ODIs have they had a run of successful chases.

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