Tuesday, May 04, 2010

West Indies 60-2 (5.5 overs) beat England 191-5 (20 overs) via Duckworth/Lewis method

England's hopes of an opening victory at the World Twenty20 were dashed as West Indies won a farcical encounter in Guyana via the Duckworth/Lewis method.

England posted an impressive 191-5 batting first, with a superb stand of 95 between Eoin Morgan (55) and Luke Wright (45 not out) the highlight.

The Windies raced to 30-0 in reply but rain arrived to hold up proceedings.

When play resumed the hosts were handed a target of 60 - or 30 from 22 balls - which they reached with one ball to go.

The result means West Indies qualify for the Super Eights following their victory over Ireland on Friday, but England will still go through if they beat the same side on Tuesday.
It was certainly harsh on Paul Collingwood's team, whose superb batting display earlier in the day featured 11 sixes and equalled the highest total made in the tournament so far.

In contrast, the surprisingly low target handed to the hosts raised eyebrows in a sodden Guyana and will surely provoke questions about the validity of the Duckworth/Lewis method, particularly in the shortest form of the game.

It was a somewhat bizarre end to a match which really should have been remembered for a sizeable shift in England's batting mentality in Twenty20 cricket.

Much has been made of the use of South African-born players in recent weeks, but there were few complaints from the away supporters as Collingwood's side raced to the highest powerplay score of the tournament after being put in to bat.

Debutant Michael Lumb was brutal in reaching 28 from 18 balls before being bowled by Chris Gayle but Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen - also both raised in South Africa - confidently picked up the baton.

The former looked in great touch in reaching 26 before being trapped in front by Nikita Miller's left-arm spin and when Collingwood was bowled by Darren Sammy for just six shortly after, nerves began to rumble in the England dressing room.
Sammy had been the star of the show with bat and ball in the Windies' win against Ireland and did his chances of a second man-of-the-match award no harm when Pietersen swiped one straight to Ramnaresh Sarwan at deep mid-wicket.

That brought the crowd to life, and from an extremely positive start, England were suddenly looking rather shaky.

Morgan and Wright well and truly retook control of the situation though with some blistering mid-innings hitting.

Ravi Rampaul saw one over smashed for 27, including an audacious reverse flick from Morgan that almost went for six at third man.
The youngster rapidly moved past 50 and Gayle was left to scratch his head, along with the rest of the home bowlers.

A superb innings from the 23-year-old was ended when Kieron Pollard took a diving catch in the deep but with Wright finishing unbeaten just short of his half-century, England had recovered from a mid-innings wobble in superb fashion.

West Indies coach Ottis Gibson, pitched against his old colleagues for the first time since quitting as England bowling coach in January, must have been hoping for a poor show with the ball by his former colleagues.

He was not to be let down either as poor bowling enabled Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Gayle to race to 30-0 before heavy rain arrived and forced the players off the pitch.

After a long period of uncertainty, the teams eventually returned to the field with the hosts facing a revised, and somewhat less challenging target.

Gayle (25) launched one huge six before he was caught at mid-wicket and although Pollard was brilliantly stumped by Kieswetter for a duck, an England win suddenly seemed incredibly unlikely.
And so it proved, as Andre Fletcher and Chanderpaul comfortably scored the eight runs they required off Stuart Broad's final over to wrap up an eight-wicket victory in the South American gloom.

Story from BBC SPORT: By Harry Reekie