WI skipper bemoans batting after embarrassing 55-run total in losing World Cup opener
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC):
SHAMBOLIC WEST Indies crashed to their lowest ever Twenty20 World Cup total and their second lowest in T20 Internationals, as they suffered an embarrassing six-wicket defeat to England to begin the defence of their title in abject fashion here yesterday.
Sent in at the Dubai International Stadium, the Caribbean side failed to rid themselves of the lethargy that plagued them in their two warm-up games this week and collapsed for a meagre 55 in the 15th over, in another shocking batting effort.
Veteran Chris Gayle was the only player to reach double figures with 13 as West Indies never recovered from a position of 31 for four after the first power play, and 44 for six at the halfway stage of the innings.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid spearheaded England’s attack with four wickets for two runs from 14 balls in a career-best performance, while off-spinner Moeen Ali and left-arm pacer Tymal Mills – in his first T20I in three years – both finished with two for 17 from four-over complements.
In reply, England took some of the shine off the victory by losing four soft wickets before overhauling their target in the ninth over, with opener and vice-captain Jos Buttler hitting an unbeaten 24 off 22 deliveries.
Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein snatched two for 24 from four overs and snaffled an astonishing return catch to remove Liam Livingstone for one, but even his heroics failed to brighten an otherwise depressing performance from the reigning champions.
“It was an unacceptable performance, but we do need to take this on the chin and move on,” a dejected captain, West Indies Kieron Pollard, said afterwards.
“We have to find a way to get a fighting total on the board. Today was a day where we couldn’t find that balance, but we need to forget this and move on.
“This is an international sport – such days happen – but we need to find a solution.”
Entering their opening Group 1 match with their batting under scrutiny following emphatic defeats to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the official warm-ups, West Indies did precious little to silence detractors.
Left-hander Evin Lewis smashed the final ball of the first over from Moeen for a beautiful straight six, but it was the only one of the innings as things fell apart thereafter.
He perished for six in the second over by seamer Chris Woakes attempting a similar stroke, but only succeeded in finding Moeen running back at long off. And his opening partner Lendl Simmons followed in the next over from Moeen, when he picked out Livingstone at deep midwicket for three.
Shimron Hetmyer (9) flattered to deceive, striking two successive delightful boundaries on either side of the wicket in the fifth over from Moeen, before tugging an innocuous delivery in the same over to midwicket, providing captain Eoin Morgan with the simplest of catches.
Struggling on 27 for three, West Indies needed a special innings from Gayle, but none such was forthcoming. In fact, the 42-year-old, out-of-form left-hander belted three off-side fours in 13 balls at the crease, before mistiming a pull at Mills in the sixth over and skying a catch to Dawid Malan pedalling backwards at midwicket.
The end then came swiftly as West Indies lost their last six wickets for 18 runs with Rashid ripping through the lower order.
L Simmons c Livingstone b Moeen 3
E Lewis c Moeen b Woakes 6
C Gayle c Malan b Mills 13
S Hetmyer c Morgan b Moeen 9
DJ Bravo c Bairstow b Jordan 5
+N Pooran c wkp Buttler b Mills 1
*K Pollard c Bairstow b Rashid 6
A Russell b Rashid 0
A Hosein not out 6
O McCoy c Roy b Rashid 0
R Rampaul b Rashid 3
Extras (w3) 3
TOTAL (all out, 14.2 overs) 55
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Lewis), 2-9 (Simmons), 3-27 (Hetmyer), 4-31 (Gayle), 5-37 (Bravo), 6-42 (Pooran), 7-44 (Russell), 8-49 (Pollard), 9-49 (McCoy), 10-55 (Rampaul)
Bowling: Moeen Ali 4-1-17-2, Woakes 2-0-12-1, Mills 4-0-17-2 (w3), Jordan 2-0-7-1, Rashid 2.2-0-2-4.
J Roy c Gayle b Rampaul 11
+J Buttler not out 24
J Bairstow c & b Hosein 9
Moeen Ali run out 3
L Livingstone c & b Hosein 1
*E Morgan not out 7
Extras (nb1) 1
TOTAL (4 wkts, 8.2 overs) 56
Did not bat: D Malan, C Woakes, C Jordan, A Rashid, T Mills
Fall of wickets: 1-21 (Roy), 2-30 (Bairstow), 3-36 (Moeen Ali), 4-39 (Livingstone)
Bowling: Hosein 4-0-24-2, Rampaul 2-0-14-1, McCoy 2-0-12-0 (nb1), Pollard 0.2-0-6-0.
Result: England won by six wickets.
Points: England 2, West Indies 0.
Man-of-the-Match: Moeen Ali.
Umpires: Aleem Dar, Marais Erasmus; TV – Chris Brown.
n 5 a.m. Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh
n 9 a.m. India vs Pakistan