World Twenty20: Stuart Broad remains confident England can defend title despite 'unacceptable' display

 

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The Independent Online

ICC World Twenty20 champions England insist they can still complete a successful defence of their title, despite back-to-back defeats in their last two matches.

Captain Stuart Broad rued the 'unacceptable' loss of two wickets in the first over, which undermined England's attempt to chase 179 for five against West Indies in their first Super Eight match at Pallekele last night.

Even after Eoin Morgan, with 71 not out, and opener Alex Hales, with 68, had kept faint hope alive in a century stand, Broad's team fell 15 runs short of what they thought might be an achievable target.

England must surely therefore beat New Zealand back at the same venue tomorrow, if they are to retain realistic hopes of returning to Colombo next week for the knockout stages.

Broad, for one, is keeping the faith.

"We hope we've got four games left in this 'World Cup'," he said.

"We back the guys up there (at the top of the order); we know they're all dangerous players.

"But losing wickets in the first over, especially, is not acceptable."

England's latest setback followed a record defeat against India in their final Group A match last weekend - and was all the more dispiriting because they thought they had restricted the Windies well with the ball.

"It's disappointing," added Broad.

"At the halfway stage, we thought we'd done a good job - especially after the start they got, on an absolutely belting track.

"Batsmen would have wanted to roll it up, and take it with them everywhere."

Openers Johnson Charles and Chris Gayle both made fifties for the Windies, and shared a century stand.

But Broad said: "We thought we had them probably just below par, very chaseable.

"So to then lose two wickets like we did, in a disappointing manner, was frustrating - but I thought we rebuilt pretty well.

"It was always going to take some overs out of the game, because we couldn't afford to lose more.

"We still tried to keep wickets in hand, and explode in the last eight - but we didn't quite get there."

 



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