England v West Indies, 2nd Twenty20, The Oval September 24, 2011

England aim for perfect finish


Match Facts

September 25, The Oval
Start time: 6.30pm (1730GMT)

Big Picture

It was easy for England on Friday evening as they cantered to their first 10-wicket victory in a Twenty20 international and their momentum showed no signs of abating as the season comes to an end. The match was a contest for 10 overs, but from 97 for 2 West Indies subsided in dismal fashion against a combination of Ravi Bopara, Jade Dernbach and England's outstanding fielding.

Graeme Swann had to do some thinking as Dwayne Smith cut loose in the Powerplay but he remained calm and produced a number of clever bowling changes, including using Samit Patel early then entrusting Bopara with the death overs. No wonder he was in a chipper mood after the match. Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad won't hear the end of Swann's time as captain.

For a while West Indies suggested they would present a challenge, but the batsmen struggled against spin as inexperience shone through. However, everyone knew this was a raw side coming over, and deficiencies in batting and bowling can almost be accepted. The shocking standard of fielding, though, was really embarrassing. No matter how inexperienced a team is, they should be able to compete with commitment through diving, catching and throwing.

It was West Indies' first game after their off-season, so some rustiness was to be expected, but the squad had spent time at a camp in Barbados before this trip. Ottis Gibson, the coach, must be exasperated by what he was watching. It's hard to see much changing with one day between games, but West Indies will cling to the hope that one performance can win a Twenty20 match. In truth, though, it will take more much to stop England.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
England WWLLW
West Indies LLWLL


Craig Kieswetter and Alex Hales both played superbly to knock off the target in the first match, but the 10-wicket margin meant there wasn't a chance to see England's exciting middle-order in action. Jos Buttler, the Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman, has played two Twenty20 internationals and still hasn't got to the middle. Although a keeper by trade he has shown some brilliance in the outfield and produced a direct hit to run out Devendra Bishoo on Friday. Straight after this series is finished he is heading off to join Somerset at the Champions League Twenty20.

Marlon Samuels is an experienced player amid a host of new faces for West Indies but he struggled for 4 off 7 balls before being cleaned up by Swann. He'd come in after a flying start provided by Dwayne Smith and it was disappointing that he couldn't consolidate. It's difficult to come in and fire straight away against quality bowlers, but Samuels could have given himself a little more time. West Indies need him to perform.

Team news

There was plenty of assistance for England's spinners in the opening game so there will be a temptation to play either Scott Borthwick, the Durham legspinner, or Hampshire left-arm spinner Danny Briggs, although it's hard to see how they would fit in. One option would be to leave out Steven Finn, but that would mean using Dernbach earlier in the innings.

England (possible): 1 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 2 Alex Hales, 3 Ravi Bopara, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann (capt), 10 Steven Finn, 11 Jade Dernbach

It's hard to know what West Indies can do, but they can't lose anything by making a few changes. Nkruma Bonner looked out of his depth with bat and ball so Miles Bascombe may get a game, while the left-arm spin of Garey Mathurin could be used on a worn surface.

West Indies (possible): 1 Dwayne Smith, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Danza Hyatt, 5 Miles Bascombe, 6 Derwin Christian (wk), 7 Darren Sammy (capt), 8 Andre Russell, 9 Garey Mathurin, 10 Devendra Bishoo, 11 Fidel Edwards

Pitch and conditions

The same pitch will be used on Sunday so expect more assistance for the spinners. Bopara also showed the value of taking the pace off the ball and bowling straight. The weather is also set fair with the UK enjoying some belated summer weather as the season draws to a close.

Stats and trivia

  • Ravi Bopara's 4 for 10 were the best figures by an England player bowling in Twenty20 internationals, beating the previous record of 4 for 22 held by Jade Dernbach and Paul Collingwood.
  • England haven't lost a match since July 3 when they were beaten by Sri Lanka in the third one-day international at Lord's.


"I'll take that, it was a dream start as captain. I asked the boys to give everything and they did that, I was delighted with the way everybody performed."
Graeme Swann enjoyed his captaincy debut

"When you get a good start you have to capitalise. The batsmen coming in have to be more responsible.
Darren Sammy wants more from his middle order

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on September 25, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    Well, I thought we'd heard every possible excuse for the one-sided international cricket we've seen this summer - I really did. Not one of these excuses even begins to hold water, given the huge disparity between the two sides in all three versions of the game. But now? It's the toss! England have won because they have been lucky with the toss! So, yet another "unlucky" factor for India, apparently, who would otherwise somehow have overturned the huge margins of ENG's victories which arrived with monotonous regularity week after week. So it wasn't a catalogue of "unfortunate" injuries, ridiculous selections, poor player preparation, English pitches, English weather, English conditions, lack of fitness, comical fielding, weak bowling, rotten batting, bad umpiring, faulty DRS or even DL. It was heads and tails! Well, in India, nearly all these things will be reversed - so it should be different, shouldn't it? Unless, of course, England just happens to have the better team ...

  • A on September 25, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    Rajesh - i couldn't agreemore. For a long time now i've been saying that the mathematical probability induced by the toss of a coin is GROSSLY unfair to Indian teams. It's about time they did away with the toss which is always biased against Indian teams and come up with something new. What about this idea? We pull out a row and seat number at random from a hat and let the fan sitting at that seat decide who gets to bat first? Would that be better for you diddums?

  • John on September 25, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    So, Rajesh.Kumar, when the start of the final ODI was delayed by rain, why weren't India able to take advantage of the fact that England had to bowl with a wet ball? Instead Rahane and Pathiv scratched about, 26 off 47 and 19 off 39 respectively. Dravid, Kohli and Dhoni batted well, but the ball never swung at all (not surprising since England's best swing bowlers Anderson and Broad weren't playing) and 304 on a small ground was clearly below par. Any advantage England had from the wet ball during their innings was offset by having to go off and then restart their innings and India got a nice dry ball to bowl with for their last few overs after Bairstow put the old one in the river. In the end England scored 241 at 7.45 runs per over, a rate that translates to 372 off 50 overs, and they only lost 4 wickets, one of them, Kieswetter, to a dodgy lbw decision. We're hearing that a couple of the Indian wickets are not as dead as they used to be- I'm sure you're hoping that's wrong!

  • Dummy4 on September 25, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    the selectors need to step down,the coach also needs to get axed

  • Dummy4 on September 25, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    LOL at the Indian fans. All summer we've been treated to an explanation as to why they've just been thrashed, and why they will win the next game. The bottom line is that their bowling is weak, the batsmen (Dravid apart) inconsistent, and the fielding poor. It's hardly Englands fault that they keep winning the toss - the bottom line is that they have throroughly outplayed India (check the margins of victory) and have been commited, proffessional and consistent. Of course, the real test will come in October, but India still have a lot of ground to make up, and some half decent bowlers to find....

    As for this game - shame that the last was so one sided - would like to see a more even contest, if only for the chance to get a look at the newer lads in the middle order....

  • Dummy4 on September 25, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    Sammy need to step up to the wicket, It,s time he contributes with the bat; Fidel would not have been selected in my T20 squad, England will bring it today:They are at the top of their game, GET SET GO WINDIES.

  • Valavan on September 25, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    @RajeshKumar, why you are here to stir India into ENG vs WI games. Please wait till 14th October and stir when you get the chance. Coming now to the point out of INDIAN STIRRERS. The title sounds funny, WI needs to improve fielding. WI needs to improve batting, bowling and fielding and WICB need to improve in solving problems between players and boards and select right team and right captain. If all these are not fixed, Sooner WI will loose the test status.

  • John on September 25, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    Rajesh/Talwinder - If you're not going to give England any credit for what they've done , is it not time to get real and at least look at India's shortcomings. I will admit that England were lucky that DL favoured them in the drawn match in the OD series , when India probably would have won given that we'd have had our number 10/11 needing a run a ball or so. Surely India should be looking more at the lack of depth , particularly in the bowling/fielding dept. England have had injuries/rested players and have had guys coming in and doing a decent job. Bres coming in for Tremmlett being a prime example. Morgan and KP are IMO our most important ODI/T2O batsmen and have been missing for practically all our ODI/T20 games. The difference between English players (esp bowlers) and Indians is that gap between our 1st choice bowlers and our back up bowlers and Indian cricket as awhole mirror your views re luck etc you're only likely to fall further.

  • John on September 25, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Davidpk - agree with you entirely. Depending on pitch etc , many teams open with spinners these days in T20s etc Also agree that TB could do with a break and NOW is the right time to give our young spinners a go. OhMatty - a bit harsh leaving Kieswetter out , but if it's purely to look at others then that looks a good side. BobMartin - agree totally. I thought it was really poor scheduling having an ODI less than 24 hrs before the major ltd overs domestic final. Having said that Buttler and Dernbach were the 2 best players on the pitch. Somerset did really well just to qualify without JB,CK and of course MT. Re this match , I just hope that guys like Buttler and Bairstow get a chance to bat even if it means us batting first and moving them up the order. Re WI - they do look poor as a bowling/fielding outfit so their only real hope is to excel with bat which is made harder without Gayle/Pollard etc

  • David on September 25, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    @rajesh.kumar India failed to defend 300 in the ODI for the same reason they got hammered 4-0 in the test series- their bowling attack is very weak. Or are you going to blame that whitewash on the coin toss as well? The excuses coming from India fans are beyond a joke now. As an england fan I can't believe I'm saying this but I really hope Aus beat India in the upcoming test series, just so that all the Indian fans saying that England can only win at home get an understanding of what it takes to beat Australia 3-1 in their own backyard.

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