England dominate Windies in 1st T20
London, England – Ravi Bopara returned outstanding figures of 4-10 – England’s best in Twenty20 cricket – and openers Alex Hales and Craig Kieswetter shared their side’s highest partnership in the shortest format as West Indies were beaten by 10 wickets in the first of two T20 Internationals at the Kia Oval.
Bopara was chiefly responsible for restricting the Windies to 125 all out after openers Dwayne Smith and Johnson Charles had set a solid platform with an opening stand of 51 inside six overs in front a near capacity crowd on a wonderful Friday night.
Bopara picked up two scalps in as many balls in his second over and wickets once again fell from successive deliveries, the first courtesy of a run-out, in his next set of six as the Windies fell apart. Their last eight wickets fell for the addition of only 28 runs.
Hales prospered to the tune of 62 from 48 deliveries in only his second international appearance, while Kieswetter contributed 58 from 49 balls. The duo’s unbroken alliance of 128 represented a new record for England in this form of the game – surpassing a stand of 112 between Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan against Pakistan last February.
After Swann won the toss and decided to bowl, a mere five runs came from the opening two overs, but it wasn’t long before Smith and Charles, who hit 33 and 36 respectively, settled into their stride. Smith, back in the side after an 18-month lay-off, collected four boundaries, including pulled sixes over long-on and square-leg, in Tim Bresnan’s second over, which yielded 22 runs.
Charles in just his first match in Windis colours, then picked up three fours down the ground in the space of four balls from Steven Finn. Smith was fortunate to survive a tricky caught-and-bowled chance in Jade Dernbach’s first over, but then fell to a wonderful delivery from Samit Patel that turned sharply to take off stump.
With Patel, who finished with 2-23, and Swann each exploiting a surface offering notable assistance to the spinners, West Indies struggled to maintain their momentum and a frustrated Marlon Samuels was bowled through the gate by England’s skipper as he looked to drive expansively.
Swann’s figures took a significant dent in his final over as Danza Hyatt, the only other West Indian to reach double figures, drove back over the bowler’s head for six before picking up another maximum with a slog-sweep over midwicket. Charles made it three sixes in 10 balls by clearing long-on off Patel, but his attempts to repeat the trick from the next ball led to his downfall as he provided Steven Finn with a simple catch.
West Indies were soon in further trouble when Bopara, whose opening over had yielded just two, struck with consecutive deliveries. The Essex all-rounder bowled Nkruma Bonner via pad for three before having Christopher Barnwell superbly caught behind by Kieswetter, who sprung to his right to pull off a one-handed take.
Andre Russell survived the hat-trick delivery, but was then run out in Bopara’s next over as Stokes provided an accurate throw to the non-striker’s end from long-on. Hyatt was bowled next ball, for 28, as he hit across the line and, after Derwin Christian had been superbly yorked by Dernbach and Devendra Bishoo run out by Jos Buttler’s throw from backward point, Bopara wrapped up the innings by having visiting captain Sammy caught at deep midwicket.
Sammy opened the bowling for West Indies and was immediately guided through point for four by Hales. Kieswetter made the most of a no-ball in Fidel Edwards’ first over by hitting the resulting free hit over cow corner for the innings’ first six.
After Hales, fluent off front and back foot, had clipped Edwards wide of mid-on and fine-leg respectively for his third and fourth fours, an impudent lap-sweep from Kieswetter took England to 50 in the sixth over. Hales moved past 50 - and took England into three figures - with consecutive swept fours off Bishoo and Kieswetter followed his partner to the landmark one ball later.
J Charles c Finn b Patel 36
D Smith b Patel 33
M Samuels b Swann 4
D Hyatt b Bopara 28
N Bonner b Bopara 3
C Barnwell c wkp Kieswetter b Bopara 0
A Russell run out 6
+D Christian b Dernbach 0
*D Sammy c Bairstow b Bopara 5
D Bishoo run out 0
F Edwards not out 7
Extras (w3) 3
TOTAL (all out; 19.4 overs) 125
Fall of wickets: 1-51 (Smith, 6 overs), 2-62 (Samuels, 9), 3-97 (Charles, 13.4), 4-104 (Bonner, 15.2), 5-104 (Barnwell, 15.3), 6-112 (Russell, 17.2), 7-112 (Hyatt, 17.3), 8-116 (Christian, 18.2), 9-117 (Bishoo, 18.3), 10-125 (Sammy, 19.4)
Bowling: Bresnan 2-0-26-0, Finn 2-0-16-0, Dernbach 4-0-20-1, Patel 4-0-23-2, Swann 4-0-30-1, Bopara 3.4-0-10-4.
A Hales not out 62
+C Kieswetter not out 58
Extras (w3, nb5) 8
TOTAL (without loss, 15.2 overs) 128
Did not bat: R Bopara, J Buttler, B Stokes, J Bairstow, S Patel, T Bresnan, *G Swann, S Finn, J Dernbach.
Bowling: Sammy 3-0-20-0, Edwards 2-0-25-0, Russell 2-0-21-0, Bishoo 4-0-28-0, Barnwell 2-0-12-0, Bonner 2-0-18-0, Smith 0.2-0-4-0.
Result: England won by 10 wickets.
Series: England lead two-match series 1-0.
Man-of-the-Match: R Bopara.
Umpires: Rob Bailey, Nigel Llong; TV – Ray Illingworth.