England v WI, World T20 2012, Super Eights, Pallekele September 27, 2012

West Indies survive Morgan blast


West Indies 179 for 5 (Charles 84, Gayle 58) beat England 164 for 4 (Morgan 71*, Hales 68) by 15 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A century opening stand between Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles powered West Indies to their first win of the 2012 World Twenty20 with a 16-run victory against England in their opening Super Eights match. Their top-order batsmen setting a daunting total of 179 for 5 and their quartet of slow bowlers suffocated the England batsmen as they started their reply.

A remarkable fourth-wicket stand of 107 in 58 balls between Alex Hales, who scored 68 from 51 balls, and Eoin Morgan, who made a brilliant, unbeaten 71 from 36 balls, gave England an outside chance of victory, but the pair were left too much to do by another lacklustre performance from their top-order colleagues.

This was England's second successive defeat following the 90-run thrashing India inflicted in their final group game and leaves their hopes of retaining the World T20 trophy hanging by a thread. England will probably need to win both their remaining Super Eights matches, against New Zealand and Sri Lanka respectively, to progress to the semi-finals.

England were always behind in their run chase. Set a demading 180 to win - they have never chased more than 173 to win a T20I - they knew they required a good start. But, while they were expecting a challenge from the spinners, it was the seam of Ravi Rampaul that provided the killer punch.

After three balls of England's reply, Rampaul was on a hat-trick after Craig Kieswetter, attempting to pull a delivery too full for the shot, top-edged to point and Luke Wright, attempting to withdraw his bat from a short delivery, guided the ball off the bat face to slip. A double-wicket maiden never represents a good start for a batting side; when they are chasing nine an over it is likely to prove fatal.

Hales took legspinner Samuel Badree, in the side instead of the pace of Fidel Edwards, for consecutive boundaries - skipping down the pitch to drill a drive through mid-off before cutting the next ball for four when the bowler compensated - and cut Sunil Narine for another. But, at the end of their six Powerplay overs, England had scored just 29 for 2. West Indies, by comparison, had been 47 without loss. It was a gap that England could never completely close.

Hales pulled Darren Sammy for one six and then drove and pulled Samuels for a four followed by a six. But though Jonny Bairstow helped Hales add 55 in 9.3 overs for the third-wicket, Bairstow's struggles against the spin bowling - he made just 18 in 29 balls - put England even further behind the rate and left Morgan a vast amount of ground to make up.

West Indies' selection policy was certainly vindicated. Not only did Charles, the 23-year-old from St Lucia who has little obvious pedigree as an opening batsman, fully justify his position, but the control offered by the quartet of spin bowlers - Badree, Gayle and Narine, in particular - ensured that England were always behind the run-rate and, despite Morgan slogging a Gayle full toss for six over square leg, driving Narine for another and then top-edging another off Rampaul, West Indies always had breathing space.

They produced some outstanding fielding, too. Andre Russell, catching the ball in the air over the midwicket boundary and throwing it back into play before he landed, limited Morgan to two when he must have thought he had a six and Sammy, having picked himself up having dived to parry a clip from Hales, raced after the ball and dived full length to turn a four into a three.

With three overs remaining, England required 46; with two remaining they required 39. Even though Morgan drove two sixes off Rampaul from the first four balls of the penultimate over, the last over, entrusted to Marlon Samuels, began with England still requiring 23 to win. Morgan drove the first delivery for four, but could manage only a single from the next two deliveries and, when Hales was stumped from the fourth ball, dragged wide as Hales advanced down the pitch, England's hopes were extinguished.

Earlier a career-best performance from Charles hastened West Indies towards their total. Charles, overcoming an uncertain start, scored 84 from 56 deliveries and shared in an opening stand of 103 in 11 overs with Gayle to allow West Indies to seize the initiative they never really relinquished.

While Steven Finn, bowling with sharp pace, produced a tight first over with Charles' first boundary coming when he top-edged an attempted pull over slip, Gayle was soon into his stride. Having patted back his first two deliverires from Jade Dernbach, he then crashed three fours from the rest of the over: two pulls and a fierce drive.

Gayle dealt with the pace of Finn comfortably, giving himself room to cut a short ball over point, and greeted the introduction of Stuart Broad, also bowling at a sharp pace and with good control, with a thick-edged over third man and then a flick over mid-wicket.

But it was Samit Patel's introduction for the eighth over that marked a sharp acceleration from West Indies. Patel's third delivery, something of a long-hop, was pulled over mid-on, the fifth was slog-swept over square leg and the final delivery, a quicker ball, was driven over mid-on as Gayle thrashed three sixes from the over.

Johnson followed suit in the following over from Graeme Swann. Having seized on to a poor ball down the leg side with a sweep for four, he followed it with two sixes over the long-on boundary to complete a period of five sixes in 10 balls for West Indies.

Gayle reached his 50 in just 29 deliveries and brought up the 100 stand from 63 balls with another six driven over extra cover. So when Finn, running in from long-off, put down a simple chance offered by Charles on 39 off Swann, it seemed there would be no respite for England. But it turned out to be a moment of fortune for England. The next delivery, Gayle mistimed a thump over long-on and, this time, Finn made no mistake with the catch.

Broad clawed back a little control with a wicket maiden in the 14th over when he had Samuels taken at point as he attempted to slash over the off side, but Charles, who reached his half-century from 36 balls, was back on strike for the next over and skipped down the wicket to drive Patel for another six then latched onto both Finn and Dernbach

Clearly showing the effects of weariness he then drove a full toss to mid-on to depart 16 short of a century. His work was done, though, and despite Morgan's heroics, West Indies were always just one step ahead.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Geoffrey on September 30, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    @Si Baker- mate that is a little oxymoronic- suggesting that you are well aware of the Kolpak decision and yet at the same time advocating something that would constitute a clear breach of the same law. If people from all over Europe (and beyond) are entitled under this decision to earn a living playing cricket in England, then those overseas cricketers that qualify for both UK citizenship and the county cricket qualification period are then entitled to play for England. It's as simple as that. No poaching involved at all, just the UK as part of the EU following the European Court of Justice decision, and then picking the players that then qualify to play for England purely on merit. Why is this so hard for everyone to understand? Maybe they just don't want to understand.

  • Dummy4 on September 30, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    @Hammond: I should've made myself clearer: I meant a *voluntary* moratorium. I'm well aware of the Kolpak ruling, thanks. @JG: point taken re the Irish football team of the early 90s (most of whom had broad Cockney or Scouser accents), but the danger is that if we don't do all we can to help the Irish establish a solid cricketing culture at a point when interest in the sport is growing in Ireland, the window of opportunity might pass (as happened with Kenya post-2003 World Cup). If we want to see cricket grow & flourish on a global basis, the individual Test-playing boards along with the ICC need to do a lot more than they do at present to help countries such as Ireland, Scotland, Afghanistan & Holland develop their resources. An obvious way to do this would be to incorporate such teams into existing domestic structures: Afghanistan into the Pakistani set-up, for example; or even the USA and/or Canada into the Caribbean set-up.

  • John on September 29, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    @Si Baker on (September 28 2012, 15:14 PM GMT) Mate , I don't have a problem with any of what you suggested. Some of the Irish players could maybe play for the Lions but retain their ODI/T20 Status with Ireland. My point was that the guy is saying that we're poaching all the Irish talent when at this stage the only Irish player who has played for England is Morgan. Joyce - who he also mentions - is playing for Ireland again anyway. Also , do you get my point about those 100% Irish footballers of the 90s such as their captain Andy Townsend.

  • Geoffrey on September 29, 2012, 6:56 GMT

    @Si Baker- the ECB cannot impose any "moratorium" on Irish players as Ireland is part of the EU and is therefore bound by the Kolpak decision. Read up on this decision and become informed on this issue.

  • Dummy4 on September 29, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    Wow West Indies fielding superb.

  • Shanmugam on September 29, 2012, 0:49 GMT

    @always_SA, wasn't it Philander/Tahir who were compared to McGrath/Warne? Philander has had a dream start to his test career but a McGrath he is not. Not yet, at least. The less said about Tahir the better.

  • Dummy4 on September 28, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    @Eoin-Chief, ARJa & JG: the Irish question is a vexed one. I know that - for various reasons, ranging from self-interest to logistics & finance - it's most unlikely to happen, but what I'd *like* to see is a situation in which the ECB helps Ireland towards Test status by (a) implementing a five-year moratorium on selecting players of Irish nationality for England & (b) inviting Ireland to participate fully in England's domestic programme. This would ensure that youngsters such as Dockrell & Stirling aren't poached by England in the near future, while allowing the Irish to build a future Test squad already familiar with the rigours of genuinely competitive four-day cricket. A side containing Morgan, Joyce, Dockrell, Rankin, Murtagh, Stirling, Porterfield, Wilson & the O'Briens would stretch not just the best teams in county cricket but also New Zealand, Bangladesh & Zimbabwe. Realistically, I'd say it'd take no longer than 3-5 years to achieve Test status.

  • John on September 28, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    @satish619chandar on (September 28 2012, 07:00 AM GMT) I'm actually surprised WI had more dots than England , but to me England still had way too many dots. We don't have as many natural big hitter as WI so we need to make reducing dot balls a priority.

  • John on September 28, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    @prannsshu on (September 28 2012, 08:23 AM GMT) Bopara has never performed with the bat under pressure situations for England. His bowling has probably kept him in the side for quite a while and that was at best erratic last time out. On form he would add a handy bowling option although he is at best a medium pacer but his SR in T20s says it all about his batting. Keiswetter is a slow starter but at least - if he stays in - he usually accelerates. We don't need someone batting at Bopara's pace in the top 4. Bairstow was woeful yesterday but I'd still back him over Bopara with the bat. Bell might have been another option. He seems to have improved his ODI game/SR but can he continue to do this and improve his SR further at T20 level? When Bell is in a positive mindset he can be an asset as he has all the shots etc but all too often he goes into his shell and becomes a liability

  • Dummy4 on September 28, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    big up to the windies it was unlucky against Australia we should have won that this year we are coming

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