T20 World Cup 2024, WI vs ENG 42nd Match, Super Eights, Group 2 Match Report, June 19, 2024

England 181 for 2 (Salt 87*, Bairstow 48*). West Indies 180 for 4 (Charles 38, Powell 36, Rashid 1-21) by eight wickets

Bill Salt’s unbeaten 87, supported by Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten 48, helped England beat the West Indies by eight wickets in St Lucia. It was such a performance that set a benchmark for other teams in the Super Eight of this T20 World Cup 2024.

With a clinical 97 between Salt and Bairstow, the defending champions made easy work of a target of 181 and cruised to victory with 15 balls to spare.

Darren Sammy played a good batting deck at the National Stadium, with Jos Buttler opting to chase the toss. Things looked precarious after seven overs, with West Indies all out for 72 for the loss of Brandon King, who collapsed with a side pressure in the fifth over, having scored 23 off his previous 12 balls.

Spin controlled the West Indies bowlers – thanks to Adil Rashid – who was 1 for 21 in his four overs – and Moeen Ali, who dismissed Johnson Charles.

Rowman moved Powell up the ranks to No. 4. And while it didn’t produce immediate results, the home leaders paid off when Buttler decided to gamble with an over from Liam Livingstone in the 15th over.

Paul scored 20 in that over, hitting Livingstone for three sixes off four balls. But an effort off the fourth ball of Livingstone’s final ball brought about his downfall, caught at short three by Mark Wood, who returned to the XI in place of Chris Jordan.

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It was the first of three wickets to fall for just 6 runs off 12 balls. Jofra Archer caught Nicholas Pooran in the next over before Andre Russell hit a Rashid Googly straight to wide long on.

West Indies managed to reach 180 runs from 143 runs for the loss of 4 wickets. In three overs Sherfan owed Wood as much as he owed Rutherford. The former managed to score 28 off 15 balls, with 19 coming in the 18th over.

Having reached 58 for no loss at the end of six overs, England’s chase got off to a smooth start. A flat delivery from Roston Chase eventually ended the opening stand on 67, before Moeen came and went, trapping Buttler in front, batting at number 3 for the first time since March 2023.

Salty, remained the same, though he eventually slowed down, scoring 46 off 21 balls by the 16th over. That’s when Salt came back in and unleashed a brutal onslaught on Romario Shepherd, hitting the seamer with three fours and three sixes for 30 – West Indies’ joint-most expensive over in a T20 World Cup.

The first of those boundaries was Salt’s half-century off 38 balls, and he didn’t bend any remaining danger. The third over left West Indies with a half-chance to remove Salt for seven runs, when he hacked to Buran, who was unable to catch him.

More to follow…

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