About the Match
The hosts made a comeback by winning the first of the 3-match T20 Series on Sunday, taking a 1-0 lead against England. The visitors had looked confident after taking the one-day series, but the West Indies yet again proved their love for the shorter form of the game, catching England unawares and scoring a triumphant victory to boost their morale. The teams will now go into the second match of the series on Mar 11th at Bridgetown; it’s a crucial do or die situation for England while West Indies will be eager to make short work of the T20 challenge and claim the title with a win here.
While Chris Gayle’s return to the side encouraged the fans, his heroics were second to Marlon Samuels’ unbeaten 69 off 46 deliveries that powered the team’s total to 170 runs; Gayle had built a good start by scoring 43 runs off 35 balls and along with Smith, played lofty shots and confident strokes that made the hosts proud. But it was Samuels’ powerful batting with Russell to give company that made all the difference in the first match; he is in good form and this should be good news for the team in the hope to claim the home series before heading out to conquer the World T20 at Bangladesh. The opponents had to fight their way back but Badree’s 3-17 in his four overs of superb bowling had the English batsmen struggling for air. Samuels returned to play an all-round role and took 2 wickets also, thus emerging as the man of the hour in this emphatic win. The fast bowlers didn’t have much luck as the spinners caught regular breaks; with the batting line-up looking strong, the hosts have done a good job so far and look confident to seal the series.
The bowling efforts were lackluster as they struggled to pick up quick wickets on Sunday, giving away 170 runs to the hosts; the chase was equally dismal when the batting line-up crumbled to 6-73 with the top order collapse coming to haunt them again. Bopara was confident to come to the rescue, posting a quick 42 runs off 24 balls and Bresnan remained unbeaten with an impressive 47 off 29 deliveries, but their efforts went in vain as the lower order failed to measure up to the critical situation and a couple of run-outs did them in. Stokes and Broad proved to be costly and it was left to Bopara and Tredwell to fetch the few wickets that hardly made a dent on the hosts. Alex Hales, Luke Wright and Buttler need to get their game face on and prove their might if they want to make a comeback. The batsmen seem to be facing problems against the spinners and this is something they need to work on ahead of the match, bracing themselves for another onslaught to emerge victorious.
West Indies have the temperament to fight hard when the going gets tough, something they seem to have mastered especially in the T20 format; with players like Chris Gayle and Samuels in top shape, the team looks well set to claim the series; however, England will be battle-ready too and will not let the hosts sail smoothly. Though England look good to make a comeback, the hosts are in great form and seem confident to take the game and the series with a win here.
West Indies, 1.66 @ Bet365