Cricket

West Indies Vs England, T20 World Cup: Salt-Powered ENG Outbat Hosts In St Lucia

Defending champions England inflicted West Indies' first T20I defeat in nine games. Jonny Bairstow stayed there with Phil Salt till the end to complement their bowlers' discipline in restricting the hosts to 180 runs in the Super Eight match at ICC T20 World Cup 2024

AP/Ramon Espinosa
Phil Salt (left) bats during the England vs West Indies, T20 World Cup 2024 match in St Lucia. Photo: AP/Ramon Espinosa
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Riding on Phil Salt's astounding late assault, England out-batted West Indies in a high-scoring contest to halt the hosts' eight-win T20I juggernaut and clinch an eight-wicket victory in in Gros Islet, St Lucia on Thursday (June 20). Set a target of 181 runs, Jos Buttler's men romped home with 15 balls to spare. (Highlights | Scorecard | Full Coverage)

Salt (87 not out off 47 balls; 7x4, 5x6) took some to get into his element, but once he was set, the English opener was unstoppable. He clobbered 30 runs off the 16th over bowled by Romario Shepherd to swing the game England's way.

Salt was ably supported by Jonny Bairstow (48 not out off 26), who played busy cricket from the get go, hitting the gaps and finding the fence regularly to bring the required run rate down below nine an over. Salt later cut loose in a remarkable blitzkrieg to take the defending champions past the target in 17.3 overs.

The foundation of the triumph was laid by the English bowlers, who bowled with discipline to limit the Windies to a 180-run total. Frontline spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali were the most economical in the attack, together conceding just 36 runs off six overs and picking up two wickets.

Star fast bowler Jofra Archer also delivered when it mattered, giving away just 34 runs, and sending back Nicholas Pooran, despite bowling at the death too. England bowled as many as 51 dot balls, with Rashid and Archer together delivering 22 of them.

All the top-four WI batters - Brandon King (retired hurt after scoring 23 runs off 13 balls), Johnson Charles (38 off 34), Nicholas Pooran (36 off 32) and Rovman Powell (36 off 17) got starts and played cameos, but none of them could kick on or even cross the 40-run mark.

Sherfane Rutherford eventually ended unbeaten on 28 off 15 to propel the hosts to a score, which seemed to be just about par on a good batting surface. As it turned out, the aggregate wasn't nearly enough.

Playing XIs

West Indies: Johnson Charles, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran (WK), Roston Chase, Rovman Powell (C), Sherfane Rutherford, Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie.

England: Phil Salt, Jos Buttler (C/WK), Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley.

Both England and West Indies are eyeing a third T20 World Cup title - a feat no side has achieved before at the 20-over showpiece's history. While England are the defending champions, having lifted the trophy in 2022, hosts West Indies were on an eight-game winning streak before suffering this crushing loss.

The Windies won all four of their group-stage clashes comfortably, while England scraped through to the Super Eights on the back of a superior net run rate to Scotland.

England will next meet South Africa at the same venue on June 21, while West Indies will travel to Bridgetown and face United States next on June 22.

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