Follow all the action as England begin their T20 World Cup campaign against reigning champions West Indies.
Eoin Morgan’s side will attempt to banish the woes of 2016 when Carlos Braithwaite hit four monstrous sixes in the final over to vanquish Ben Stokes and complete a tremendous chase. “It’s definitely going to be in the back of their minds. For us to be in that situation and get over the line, it shows that sort of never-say-die attitude,” said West Indies captain Kieran Pollard, who missed the final due to injury five years ago. “I thought what Carlos did in those four deliveries in that last over, it’s unbelievable. It’s something that as a team we actually saw last night and it brought goosebumps back to us.”
Morgan has kept his cards close to his chest over his team selection, with plenty of scrutiny on the captain himself due to his poor recent form, and England can afford few slip-ups in a tricky group. If they can prevail in spin-friendly conditions in Dubai, though, and add the T20 World Cup to their ODI crowd, Morgan will go down as one of cricket’s great captains. “The name of the country on the shirt is irrelevant really when it comes to a World Cup,” he said of the task in front of his team. “You need to prove your worth through performance.” Follow all the latest updates below:
That was magnificent from England, the perfect way to exorcise some lingering demons from five and a half years ago with a total dismantling of this outstanding West Indies batting line-up. Eoin Morgan’s bowling attack were utterly faultless with the ball, executing their plans excellently even in the absence of Mark Wood. A slightly nervy batting performance did not much take the shine off and that’s a real statement first-up.
That just about does it for our live coverage - we’ll be back tomorrow for the small matter of India against Pakistan. Do join us for that, and thank you for your company.
I leave with you with Vithushan Ehantharajah’s report - farewell!
West Indies all out for 55 before England reached the target with 70 balls to spare
The West Indies are next in action on Tuesday, where they face today’s other beaten team, South Africa. They will need to reset quickly - after such a heavy defeat they can ill-afford to prolong a bad start to their time in the Middle East.
England, meanwhile, get an extra day to celebrate and recuperate. Bangladesh are their next opposition in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday 27 October. Bangladesh could be troublesome with a varied, deep spin attack that will look for similar chinks to those found by Akeal Hosein today.
And now Eoin Morgan to Sky Sports
“It’s as good as it gets, really. Full credit has to go to our bowlers. The guys were very disciplined and we took all of our chances. They are some of the hardest catches in the game, running back over your shoulder or back-pedalling. Hopefully it continues like that.
Of the usage of Moeen Ali, Morgan explains: “He summed up conditions beautifully. He took chances when his match-ups were right. The reason he hasn’t always featured as much is due to conditions but he is going to be a huge contributor throughout the competition for us.
On Tymal Mills: “I’m delighted for Big T. He’s as good as I’ve seen him, bowling fit, and his fielding has drastically improved.”
The defeated skipper speaks
Also having a chat with Sky Sports is West Indies captain Kieron Pollard:
“There are no words to explain it. We accept the responsibility. We just have to bin it and move on. We haven’t batted well in the games so far (including the two warm-up games) but we have to move on from it.
“I don’t think any sort of panic will come into the camp. It is plain to see what it is. This is international sport. We play a lot of cricket all around the world and this is not something that is new to any one of us. It is easy for us to move on. We need to accept it - we have another game in three days time and each game in this group is important.
Of Akeal Hosein, Pollard says: “Everything happens for a reason and he’s got an opportunity to show the world what he can do. He has done well in the CPL bowling some hard over. From here, it should only be up.”
A big boost
Net Run Rate can be a curious beast with a few vagaries in calculation, but that could be crucial should England stumble later on in the group stage.
Player of the Match - Moeen Ali
He started the collapse with a brilliant spell with the hard new ball, and though his spin partner Adil Rashid’s figures were more eye-catching, it’s hard to argue with Ali getting the gong, particularly having also taken a good catch to secure the first wicket.
“My first over was nice until the six and the catch gave me a bit of confidence,” Moeen tells Sky Sports. “It helps with so many left-handers in their team but because I’ve been playing cricket and bowling alright, I wasn’t that nervous.
“My role with Chennai means I am really involved with bat and ball which is great preparation for this World Cup.”
England beat the West Indies by six wickets with 70 balls remaining
A demolition. A couple of brief hiccups with the bat but that is about as comprehensive as it gets for England, superb with the ball, safe in the field and able to enjoy an early night. The winning runs came courtesy of a firm pull through backward square leg to another short-of-a-length ball from Pollard, with Jos Buttler boosting the average with an unbeaten 24.
A modicum of revenge for Carlos Braithwaite’s blasts in Kolkata and Eoin Morgan’s side have started in perfect fashion.
ENGLAND WIN BY SIX WICKETS!
England 52-4 (8.1)
Pollard now brings himself on. After a spell without being a regular bowler he’s trundled in slightly more often this year for both the West Indies and in franchise cricket for the Mumbai Indians and others, and Buttler takes two to a diving sweeper with a firm cut to move England closer...
England 50-4 (8)
An appeal from the West Indies as Morgan misses another attempted hook as Obed McCoy hammers away on a short length. Nothing doing, as the conciliatory nod from wicket-keeper Nicholas Pooran to the bowler confirms as Kieron Pollard considers the review.
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