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WI nail England


WI nail England

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FATULLAH, Bangladesh – Chris Gayle smashed a typically stroke-filled half-century as West Indies crushed England in their first official warm-up match of the World Twenty20 Cup here yesterday.
Chasing a modest 132 for victory at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, West Indies easily reached their target with 23 balls to spare.
The left-handed Gayle blasted an unbeaten 58 from 38 balls with six fours and two sixes, posting 78 for the first wicket with Dwayne Smith whose 38 came from 30 balls and was decorated with four fours and two sixes.
Earlier, left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie was outstanding, taking three for 24 from four overs as England struggled to 131 for seven.
Stand-in captain Eoin Morgan top scored with a painstaking 43 not out off 42 deliveries.
Morgan shared in two crucial partnerships in the middle of the innings that both yielded 33 runs, a fourth wicket stand with Jos Buttler who scored 14 and a fifth-wicket association with Ravi Bopara who scored 15.
Assistant coach Andre Coley was extremely pleased with the businesslike manner in which the players went about their duties against an England team they also dominated a home series in the Caribbean last week.
According to Coley, yesterday’s performance signalled the team’s readiness to defend their world T20 title.
“It was a very professional approach today. There are times when you play warm-up matches leading up to a major tournament and it would peter out.
“They went about their business in the correct manner and in the end it was a clinical performance to win against a good England team,” said Coley.
“The individual performances by Santokie and Gayle today showed we have strength . . . any given player, any given time can perform for this team. The vibe in the camp has been good so far – when we were in Barbados and now we have come here to Bangladesh. This kind of performance helps us to continue that momentum.”
Moeen Ali hit four fours in a knock of 22 as he attempted to compensate amid a chaotic scenario in which England lost opener Michael Lumb for 14 in the first over and careened to 48 for three.
Santokie and Sheldon Cotterell were the stars of the West Indian bowling effort that contained the Englishmen.
Santokie’s top figures were supported by Cotterell’s two for 23 from two overs while Samuel Badree and Andre Russell picked up a wicket each.
The West Indies run chase got off to a speedy start with Gayle leading the way, supported by Dwayne Smith.