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Windies routed in T20 World Cup opener


Windies routed in T20 World Cup opener
Teammates celebrate with Akeal Hosein after he took a wicket - CWI Media picture

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Dubai – West Indies started their defence of the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup with a chastening six-wicket loss to England on Saturday, after they were routed for their second lowest T20 International total.

Spin, the perpetual bane of Windies batsman, returned to haunt them and they were bowled out for 55 in 14.2 overs after they were put into bat in their Group 1 match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Only the embattled Chris Gayle, the self-proclaimed “Universe Boss”, reached double figures with 13, as he and many of his teammates fell to a series of injudicious, swashbuckling strokes.

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein then took 2-24 from his allotted four overs and a bit of shame off the faces of the Caribbean side – but opener Jos Buttler made 24 not out and anchored the English to their first victory over West Indies in a T20 World Cup match.

“It was unacceptable, we accept that,” Windies captain Kieron Pollard said. “These sorts of games sometimes, we just need to bin it.

“For us, it’s just a matter of finding our straps. We haven’t batted well in our three games so far. We went out, guys tried to play their shots, and it didn’t come off. I don’t think any sort of panic will come into our camp. It is what it is, we just need to take it on our chest and move on, this is international sport.”

The demolition of the West Indies batting was triggered when off-spinner Moeen Ali bowled through his allotted four overs at the start of the innings and grabbed 2-17 that earned him the Player-of-the-Match award.

The Windies ended the Power Play on a troublesome 31 for four and sunk to 44 for six at the scheduled halfway stage of the innings and were never allowed to make a comeback.

They lost their last six wickets for 13, as leg-spinner Adil Rashid destroyed the lower half of the batting with the best figures of an Englishman in a T20I of 4-2 from 2.2 overs.

Hosein held two fine return catches to dismiss Jonny Bairstow for nine and Liam Livingstone for one, but Buttler batted sedately to guide England to the target and ended the match with a pull through backward square leg off Pollard for four with 70 balls remaining.

Next match, West Indies face South Africa on Tuesday at the same venue.

The South Africans also lost their Group 1 opener, a low-scoring contest against Australia by five wickets on Saturday at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.