England v West Indies, World T20 warm-up, Fatullah March 18, 2014

England batting continues to stumble

ESPNcricinfo staff

West Indies 132 for 3 (Gayle 58*) beat England 131 for 7 (Morgan 43*) by seven wickets
Scorecard

England captain Eoin Morgan was forced to address more questions of England's batting after a miserable performance saw them swept aside by seven-wickets by West Indies in their opening World T20 warm-up.

Despite a new "solar red" kit, England, as they did in the Caribbean, lost wickets in the Powerplay and brought their middle order to the wicket sooner than they would have liked. England's top three were dismissed by the end of the sixth over and made only 45 runs between them.

"It did hurt us a bit," Morgan said. "It was tough to get going. Their spinners are high class, they take wickets early and we've struggled with that. We never really got any substantial partnerships going which was disappointing given the progress we made at the back end of the West Indies trip."

England ended their tour of the Caribbean with a victory in the final T20 but a change of scenery saw them relapse despite conditions that Morgan described as similar to the West Indies.

"The only difference is the bounce," he said. "There is similar turn and similar pace here but it doesn't go through. We know about the lower bounce out here and that's something we have to adjust to quickly. Hopefully we can do that sooner rather than later."

England set just 132 in Fatullah, a target West Indies golluped down in only 16.1 overs, and managed to hit only one six, a shortcoming Morgan was not too concerned over.

"I don't think that's the real problem," he said. "You can never just concentrate on hitting sixes, getting the fours is more important. Around 82% of games are won by the side who hit the most fours. We never put ourselves in a position to take their bowling on. They bowled well but we didn't play well enough to take them on."

England head to Mirpur for their final warm-up against India before the competition proper begins for them on Saturday against New Zealand in Chittagong. Morgan was hopeful that Stuart Broad would "pull up well" but won't have Luke Wright available, who has a side strain. Ian Bell, called up despite having not played a T20 for England since January 2011, won't be considered.

"We have a range of options which is a good thing," Morgan said. "Moeen's at three at the moment and he offers us some off spin too. Wrighty has done it too and been pretty solid. We are quite versatile and flexible and that can be dangerous when we fire. It's a strength of ours.

"We've always been quite adamant about playing warm-ups as competitive games and trying to get confidence by winning those games. Since 2010-11 Ashes we've always made these games as competitive as we can because we feel we get more out of it that way.

"The last game at Mirpur early on it didn't bounce and later on it carried through. It's about adjusting accordingly. I've scored some runs there in the past but it can vary on the surface and what time of day you bat."

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