Two Dwaynes upstaged as England win T20I
NOTTINGHAM, England – Typically flambuoyant half-centuries from the two Dwaynes, Smith and Bravo, were upstaged by career-best knocks from Alex Hales and Ravi Bopara that gave England a seven-wicket victory over West Indies in their Twenty20 International on Sunday here.
Smith hit top score of 70 and Bravo supported with an unbeaten 54, as the Windies reached 172 for four from their allocation of 20 overs, after choosing to bat on a hard, true Trent Bridge pitch.
But the Caribbean side failed to make inroads into their opponents’ batting, after capturing an early scalp, as Hales hit 99 – England’s highest-ever individual T20I score – and Bopara made 59 to put the hosts firmly on track for victory.
The result was formalised with two balls remaining, when left-hander Eoin Morgan drove Marlon Samuels to deep mid-off for a deuce, bringing a heart-breaking conclusion for West Indies to their tour of the United Kingdom.
It also meant West Indies failed to win an international match on the trip, after losing both the series of three Tests and three One-Day Internationals by 0-2 margins.
The Windies grabbed an early scalp, when Craig Kieswetter was caught at deep backward square leg for three off Ravi Rampaul in the third over.
the visitors were put on the back-foot, when Bopara joined Hales and they
carried England to within reach of victory with a second-wicket stand of 159.
Before a packed crowd, a six over wide long-on off Bravo carried hometown boy Hales to his 50 from just 33 balls.
West Indies continued to hunt for the breakthrough, but it failed to come, and Bopara reached his landmark from 39 balls in the penultimate over, when he swung Rampaul through the leg-side for four.
Rampaul however, bowled Hales with the final delivery of the over, preventing the England opener from becoming only the seventh batsman to hit a hundred in a T20I. He struck six fours and four sixes from 68 balls.
In the final over, Marlon Samuels, bowling his uncomplicated of-spin darts, had Bopara caught at long-off with the third delivery – the England batsman finishing with four fours and a six from 44 balls – before Morgan sealed the deal.
Earlier, West Indies suffered a massive blow, when Chris Gayle top-edged a pull at Steven Finn and was caught at fine leg for two in the third over.
His dismissal triggered a slide that left the Windies struggling on 30 for three in the seventh over.
Lendl Simmons, batting at three, was caught at deep mid-wicket to giveStuart Broad, the England captain, a 26th birthday gift in the sixth over before Samuels was caught behind for four, when he essayed a late cut and edged off-spinner Graeme Swann in the next over.
It was left to Smith to accelerate the scoring, dominating an up-tempo, 77-run, fourth-wicket stand off 54 balls with Bravo.
Smith smashed five fours and five sixes off 54 balls, playing audaciously on either side of the wicket against both pace and spin.
He smacked Swann for two consecutive leg-side boundaries in the ninth over before depositing left-arm spinner Samit Patel straight back overhead in the next over for the first of his sixes.
His second was another straight hit off Swann and the third flew over long-on off Broad in the 14th over and raised his second half-century in T20Is from 34 balls.
A quality straight hit in the same over off Broad ensured the over cost 16.
He launched Finn to wide long-on for another six off the first ball of the 16th over, but he was caught behind next ball off the same bowler.
Bravo and Kieron Pollard, whose cameo, unbeaten 23 came from just 13 balls, then added a whirlwind 65 from 28 balls to end the Windies innings on a high.
Hitting the ball fluently, Bravo counted a four and three sixes off 36 balls, while Pollard smashed a four and two typically thunderous sixes.
Some way off a challenging total at 109 for four at the end of the 16th over, Bravo and Pollard raised a frenetic 63 off the last four overs to give their bowlers something meaningful at which to bowl.
West Indies depart from the British capital of London on Monday and arrive in the United States later in the day ahead of the start of the Digicel 2012 Series against New Zealand.
This series opens with two T20Is on Saturday and Sunday at the Central Broward Regional Park in the city of Lauderhill in the American state of Florida.
WEST INDIES (20 overs maximum)
D.R. Smith c wkpr Kieswetter b Finn 70
C. Gayle c Bairstow b Finn 2
L. Simmons c Bairstow b *Broad 6
M. Samuels c wkpr Kieswetter b Swann 4
D.J. Bravo not out 54
K. Pollard not out 23
Extras (b1, lb4, w8) 13
TOTAL (4 wkts) 172
*D. Sammy, +D. Ramdin, R. Rampaul, S. Narine, F. Edwards did not bat
Fall of wickets: 1-10 (Gayle, 2.2 overs); 2-24 (Simmons, 5.1); 3-30 (Samuels, 6.2); 4-107 (Smith, 15.2)
Bowling: Finn 4-0-22-2 (w1); Dernbach 4-0-46-0 (w3); *Broad 4-0-33-1 (w1); Swann 4-0-32-1; Patel 4-0-34-0
ENGLAND (target: 173 off 20 overs)
+C. Kieswetter c Smith b Rampaul 3
A. Hales b Rampaul 99
R. Bopara c Edwards b Samuels 59
E. Morgan not out 2
J. Buttler not out 0
Extras (lb2, w2, nb 6) 10
TOTAL (3 wkts) 173
J. Bairstow, S. Patel, G. Swann, *S. Broad, J. Dernbach, S. Finn did not bat
Fall of wickets: 1-10 (Kieswetter, 2.1 overs); 2-169 (Hales, 18.6); 3-171 (Bopara, 19.3)
Bowling: Rampaul 4-0-37-2 (w2); Edwards 4-0-33-0 (nb2); Narine 4-0-28-0; Bravo 2-0-21-0; *Sammy 3-0-22-0; Pollard 1-0-15-0; Samuels 1.4-0-15-1
Result: England won by seven wickets (2 balls remaining)
Series: England won one-off match
Toss: West Indies
Man-of-the-Match: A. Hales (England)
Umpires: R. Illingworth (England), R. Kettleborough (England)
TV umpire: R. Bailey (England)
Match referee: J. Crowe (New Zealand)
Reserve umpire: T. Robinson (England)