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View from the Armchair: England win by four wickets in first T20 in St Lucia

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Roar Rookie
6th March, 2019
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If only England could have performed like this on Saturday.

The pitch in St Lucia was identical to the one used in the fifth ODI and retained the bounce that caught them out on Saturday. On this occasion, it was the Windies who were in a spot of bother, restricted to 160-8 off their 20 overs.

It started quite well for the Windies as Hope got a boundary of the first ball of the match. Then, mistakes started to be made as Shai Hope hit one high in the air, only to be reprieved as Adil Rashid dropped him out on the third man boundary.

Hope’s luck was not going to last for long though as he hit another one high in the air in the next over, and was caught by Joe Root just inside the circle.

At the other end, Chris Gayle was taking a while to get going, although this is typical of his powerplay batting. He swung at and missed three consecutive balls bowled by Willey before the Six Machine was activated and he powered one over the third man boundary for six.

This six meant that Gayle had broken the record for the most sixes scored in T20Is, beating Martin Guptill’s 103 sixes. Gayle was only able to hit one more six before he was caught by Adil Rashid at third man off Chris Jordan for 15.

The crowd were continuing to come into the ground and they brought some screeching whistles with them which they blew every time a six was scored. Perhaps England caught on to this as they were very restrictive in their bowling and their fielding, keeping a tight field.

Apart from Nicholas Pooran’s excellent half-century, the Windies batsman struggled to make a good total, with the only major contribution being the 64-run fourth wicket partnership between Pooran and Darren Bravo.

England were quick out of the starting blocks in their pursuit of the Windies target of 161, scoring 47 runs off their first four overs. Jonny Bairstow was the top-scorer for England with an excellent 68 off 40 balls, including nine fours and two sixes.

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Even though Bairstow was out in the 12th over, Joe Denly (30) and Sam Billings (18) helped England get towards the total, before Tom Curran, who had earlier got 4-36, scored the winning runs with seven balls to spare. England now take a 1-0 lead in the series heading into the second T20 in St Kitts on Friday.

UK fans will hope that Sky Sports can reach an agreement with Cricket West Indies to show the remainder of the series as the second and third T20s were organised after the broadcasting deal had been signed. A blackout of these matches will not look good for either side.

There were many changes in the England side that faced the Windies last night. Paul Farbrace, England assistant coach, told Sky Sports’ Nick Knight that this was because both himself and Trevor Bayliss were giving an opportunity to players who are on the fringe of entering the World Cup squad.

He also said that 13 players have been inked in to the squad that will play in the World Cup in England this summer.