England started their T20 World Cup campaign with a comprehensive six wicket win over the West Indies in Dubai.
Having won the toss England Captain Eoin Morgan elected to field and that decision proved to be key in his team’s victory as his side were able to skittle the Windies for only 55 in just 14.2 overs.
England then survived a batting collapse to chase down their target of 56 in only 8.2 overs with Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone all falling cheaply however Liam Livingstone was tremendously caught and bowled by bowler Akeal Hosein as the West Indies were excellent in the field and stretched the game as long as they could.
The carnage began in the West Indies innings first as they lost Lewis, Simmons, Hetmyer and Gayle all within the power play. All four were caught as they attempted to put some pressure on the English bowlers but could only find the fielders who took comfortable catches.
With the damage already done England continued their momentum and picked up Bravo, Pooran, Russell and Pollard as the West Indies batting capitulated on a pitch where there wasn’t a lot of movement but if the delivery was bowled in the right areas batsmen would struggle to time the ball.
England’s bowlers were fantastic with Moeen Ali finishing with figures of 2-17 from his four overs, Chris Woakes with 1-12 from his two overs, Tymal Mills on his World Cup debut finished with 2-17 from his four overs, Chris Jordan finished on 1-7 from his 2 overs and Adil Rashid finished on 4-2 from only 2.2 overs.
West Indies who are the current holders of the T20 World Cup after their victory against England in 2016 were nowhere near their best with Coach Phil Simmons looking very disappointed with his side’s performance.
Morgan always relies on Rashid but it was a surprise to see the leg spinner held back till the 10th over to ball but he struck immediately with his first ball by removing the dangerous Andre Russell for a second ball duck. Then with the very first ball of his second over Rashid removed West Indies Captain Kieron Pollard as he holed out to Bairstow on the leg side boundary.
Obed McCoy then followed his captain back into the dressing room with a golden duck as he attempted to clear the boundary and was caught by Jason Roy. Ravi Rampaul was Rashid’s last victim as he was bowled trying to sweep the ball to the boundary. Rashid finished with 4-2 which is the best figures by an English bowler in the history of T20’s.
England began the chase with their usual attacking intent with Roy and Buttler both of who hit several boundaries showed that why many regard England favourites to win the T20 World Cup this year. Roy was caught as he picked out Gayle in the field to give Ravi Rampaul his first International wicket after a six year absence.
Jonny Bairstow entered the crease and belted a few crisp boundaries back down the ground before he was caught and bowled by Akeal Hosein. A mix-up between Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler allowed Evin Lewis to run out Ali to leave England 36-3 from 5.2 overs.
Akeal Hosein then took a fantastic one handed diving catch to dismiss the dangerous Liam Livingstone for 1 as the West Indies put up a fantastic fielding display. Hosein finished with figures of 2-24 from his 4 overs and Rampaul picked up 1-14 from his two overs.
England Captain Eoin Morgan entered the field of play and knocked off the remaining runs with opener Jos Buttler who played with a sense of maturity and calmness as the wickets fell around him. England cruised to a comfortable win in the end and top Group 1 win a significantly higher net run rate than 2nd place Australia who beat South Africa by 5 wickets in 19.4 overs earlier in the day.