Pallekele – The West Indies recorded their first win in the Super Eight stage of the World Twenty20 Championships with a 15-run win over England here Thursday.
John Charles, playing only his ninth T20 international, scored a brilliant 84 off 59 balls propelling the West Indies to a total of 179 for five. England’s batting woes continued as they lost early wickets once again.
Alex Hales (68) and Eoin Morgan (71 not out) fought a valiant battle to keep the English in the hunt but in the end they fell 15 runs short, scoring 164 for four.
Electing to bat, the West Indies got off to a flyer courtesy Chris Gayle (58). The big Jamaican was at his devastating best as he smashed four sixes on his way to a blistering half-century.
There were worrying signs for England when Gayle hit spinner Samit Patel for three sixes in his first over. But Graeme Swann, after being smashed for 18 runs in his second over, came back strongly to fox Gayle into lobbing a simple catch to long-on.
Charles, who started slow, came into his own after his opening partner’s departure. He reached his fifty after facing 36 balls but added another 34 off just 17 balls taking the West Indies to an imposing score.
England got off to the worst possible start, losing Craig Kieswetter (0) and Luke Wright (0) off successive balls in Ravi Rampaul’s first over of the innings.
Ales Hales and Jonny Bairstow (18) steadied the ship for a while before Pollard’s brilliant running catch on the long-on boundary ended Bairstow’s innings prematurely.
Morgan reached his half-century in just 25 balls but had luck to thank. On more than one occasion the left-hander skied the ball but each time it landed safely.
Requiring 39 off the last two overs, Rampaul was smashed for two sixes by Morgan leaving England with 23 to get off the last over.
Samuels made amends for his failure with the bat by giving away just seven runs off the last over and also dismissing Hales.