Alex Hales, Chris Gayle, Cricket, England, England vs West Indies, ICC World T20, Others, Stuart Broad
England are on the brink of World T20 elimination, after falling to West Indies in the first game of the Super Eights round. The uninspiring performance is unlikely to please their captain, Stuart Broad, as his side battle to defend the title they won two years ago.
On a turning pitch in Pallekele, England struggled to put their fast bowlers to any use as Johnson Charles and Chris Gayle put on a staggering 103-run opening partnership to hand West Indies a decisive advantage.
Despite Broad’s best efforts to expel the middle order, his side faced a mountainous 180 to win against an opposition buoyed by their group stage success.
Indeed, in sticky Pallekele conditions, England came undone early in their reply and, after Craig Kieswetter and Luke Wright both fell for weak ducks, England’s comeback was over before it even began, the side falling 15 runs short of their target.
What was most disappointing about the game for fans, however, was not the loss itself, but instead the manner of England’s run chase. For Broad’s side looked incapable of playing against spin, with Chris Gayle and Samuel Badree superlative with the ball in hand.
While Badree stunted England’s fightback with a magnificent 20 runs lost from four overs, Gayle picked off a crucial Jonny Bairstow wicket to ruin all chances of a late flourish from the 2010 champions.
Indeed, the only source of inspiration in the England side was Alex Hales, whose staggering 68 off 51 deliveries gave Broad hope before he was stumped late on.
With a complete inability to play against spin, England lost an early chance to top their Super Eights group and secure safe passage to the semi-finals. Broad and co. have it all to do now, and the top order must learn from Hales’ superb innings if they are to avoid catching an early flight home next week.