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T20 World Cup | Salt assault leads England to smooth eight-wicket win over West Indies

Coming off a scorching display against Afghanistan, West Indies amassed a competitive 180 for four, but England waltzed to 181 for two in 17.3 overs in their Group 2 match.
Last Updated : 20 June 2024, 04:01 IST

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Gros Islet: Phil Salt slammed a belligerent unbeaten 87 as defending champions England began their T20 World Cup Super Eights campaign with a crushing eight-wicket win over the West Indies here.

Coming off a scorching display against Afghanistan, West Indies amassed a competitive 180 for four, but England waltzed to 181 for two in 17.3 overs in their Group 2 match.

Salt led their charge with a bruising innings that came off 47 balls with seven fours and five sixes. The opener received copious help from Jonny Bairstow (48 not out, 26b, 5x4, 2x6).

But equal amount of credit should be given to the English bowlers too for producing as many as 51 dot balls with Jofra Archer (1/34) and Adil Rashid (1/21) accounting for 22 of them in their tidy spells.

Salt made full use of his reprieve by Nicholas Pooran on seven to cart the Windies bowlers around in the company of Bairstow as the Englishmen together milked 97 runs from 44 balls for the third wicket, while negotiating the hosts' spin attack in the middle overs.

After a sedate start, England broke loose in the second over when skipper Jos Buttler struck two boundaries off Romario Sheperd to take 12 runs. Salt then came to his own, hammering an Andre Russell slower one for a six.

The duo continued their assault and Salt finished the power play smashing Alzarri Joseph for a four and a six to lift England to 58 for no loss in six overs, the best powerplay score by any team against the Caribbeans in this tournament.

Off-spinner Roston Chase finally gave the breakthrough when he noticed Buttler stepping forward and speared in a 108.9 kph delivery to catch the England skipper off guard.

The ball hit him hard and low on the front pad to be trapped leg before but it was a minor aberration as England pressed forward with determination towards a win.

Earlier, Windies got off to a splendid start as Brandon King and Johnson Charles opened with authority. The pair had the Windies flying at 40 for no loss in the fifth over, before they were hit with a cruel blow.

Attempting to drive Sam Curran down the ground, King (23; 13b) picked up what appeared to be a side strain and had to retire hurt.

The in-form Pooran joined Charles at the crease, lifting them to 54 in the power-play Pooran smoked Mark Wood for a leg-side six to start the eighth over, but England managed to tighten the screws after the drinks.

That was the final boundary before the mid-innings break.

Charles then ended a brief lull by smashing Rashid for a six.

But in the next over, England struck with Moeen Ali dismissing Charles (38; 34b), who holed out to Harry Brook at long-on.

Captain Rovman Powell took on off-spinner Ali with a maximum and went on to smash Liam Livingstone for three sixes in five balls in a 20-run over.

But Livingstone had the last laugh, picking up the crucial wicket of Powell (36 off 17) off his last delivery.

The English found some fight in the final five overs.

Archer found the edge of Pooran’s bat, as the heavy hitter removed for 36 off 32. Rutherford then dominated the strike in the last few overs to lift their total but that was not enough for them.

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Published 20 June 2024, 04:01 IST

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