T20 World Cup: England resume title defence campaign with win over West Indies

T20 World Cup: England resume title defence campaign with win over West Indies


Phil Salt of England embraces teammate Jonathan Bairstow after defeating West Indies in a T20 World Cup cricket match at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, Saint Lucia on June 19, 2024.

Phil Salt of England embraces teammate Jonathan Bairstow after defeating the West Indies in a T20 World Cup cricket match at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia, June 19, 2024. | Photo Credit: AP

Thanks to Phil Salt's innings of 87 runs off 47 balls, England achieved the target of 181 runs with eight wickets remaining.

Defending champions England put their struggles in the initial stages of the Twenty20 World Cup behind them to beat previously unbeaten West Indies by eight wickets in their first Super 8 match in St Lucia on Wednesday.

England's bowlers restricted West Indies to 180-4 on the same pitch where the co-hosts made 218 against Afghanistan on Monday. Opener Phil Salt led the side with 87 off 47 balls and the batsmen finished the job inside 18 overs.

Having progressed to the second stage on the basis of net run rate, England will be high on confidence as they will look to beat one of the teams in good form in the tournament to top Group 2 and take on South Africa at the same ground on Friday.

“I thought we did a really good job of restricting such a powerful batting line-up,” England captain Jos Buttler said.

“It's still a good score and you have to play well to catch them. But I thought we batted very smartly.”

The contest between the only two teams to have won the T20 World Cup twice was expected to be a run-war one and the credit for the win would largely go to England's bowlers, who prevented the local batsmen from playing freely.

After winning the toss and deciding to field, he bowled 51 dot balls and took regular wickets in the second half of the innings, ensuring no West Indies batsman reached half century.

“I thought we lost 15-20 runs as a batting group and we could have done better with the ball,” West Indies captain Rovman Powell said.

“Credit has to go to the England bowling unit, you could see they had a great strategy and the execution was good as well.”

Opener Brandon King's 23-run innings was cut short by a groin injury but West Indies were still confident of a big score having made 82 without loss by the middle of their innings.

However, while he was trying to score quick runs, the other opener Johnson Charles fell into the trap and was dismissed by Moeen Ali for 38.

Dangerous batsmen Nicholas Pooran and Powell both scored 36 runs before getting dismissed in successive overs and Andre Russell too departed for a single run in the next over, taking West Indies to 143/4 in the 17th over.

Sherfane Rutherford (28 not out) and Romario Shepherd put on 37 but England were confident the target was reachable, especially after Salt and Buttler added 67 for the first wicket.

Buttler fell to Roston Chase's off-spin for 25 but Salt kept scoring, before being joined by Jonny Bairstow.

Salt allowed Bairstow (48 not out) to take the strike initially but almost put the chase in check by smashing 30 in the 16th over off Shepherd, hitting three sixes and three fours.



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