England Dominated West Indies with 8 Wickets Victory in T20 World Cup

England, the defending champions defeated the West Indies by eight wickets in Gros Islet, St Lucia, during the Super Eight stage of the T20 World Cup 2024.

Phil Salt and Jonny Bairstow’s dominant partnership made it easy to chase 181 with 15 balls remaining.

England Dominated West Indies with 8 Wickets Victory in T20 World Cup
Jonny Bairstow and Phil Salt took England home. ICC via Getty Images

West Indies 180 for 4 (Charles 38, Powell 36, Rashid 1-21) were defeated by England 181 for 2 (Salt 87*, Bairstow 48*) by eight wickets.

In St Lucia, England crushed the West Indies by eight wickets thanks to a devastating 87 not out from Phil Salt and an undefeated 48 from Jonny Bairstow. It was the kind of performance that left a lasting impression on the remaining teams in the T20 World Cup 2024 Super Eight.

With 15 deliveries remaining, a brilliant 97-run partnership between Salt and Bairstow saw the reigning champions easily surpass their goal of 181.

Jos Buttler chose to pursue at the toss in this match, which took place at the Daren Sammy National Stadium on a fantastic batting deck. After eight overs, things appeared to be in jeopardy as West Indies amassed 72 runs for the loss of just Brandon King, who had scored 23 off his previous 12 deliveries before collapsing with a side strain early in the fifth over.

Thanks to Adil Rashid, the best bowler with 1 for 21 from four overs, and Moeen Ali, who would later remove Johnson Charles, the West Indies’ hitters were reduced to a diet of spin.

Moving up to No. 4, Rovman Powell hit three sixes down the ground in four deliveries against Liam Livingstone to take 20 from the 15th over. But Livingstone’s last-ball try at a fourth proved to be his undoing, as Mark Wood grabbed it low at short third, moving Chris Jordan back to the starting lineup.

For just six runs, it was the first of three wickets to fall in the course of 12 deliveries. In the subsequent over, Jofra Archer removed Nicholas Pooran after he was caught behind, and then Andre Russell hit a Rashid googly straight to long on.

As much credit goes to Sherfane Rutherford as it does to Wood for the West Indies’ ability to reach 180 without losing any more wickets after trailing 143 for 4 with three overs remaining. After the 18th over was taken for 19, the former was able to find 28 from 15 deliveries, 13 of which came from the latter.

After six overs, England’s chase had progressed quite steadily, reaching 58 for no loss. After catching Buttler in front with a flat delivery from Roston Chase, the opening stand came to an end on 67. Moeen then came and went, batting at No. 3 for the first time since March 2023.

Salt was still there, and even if he did eventually slow down, Bairstow was there to fill the void, scoring 46 off 21 runs till the 16th over. The seamer was hit for thirty runs with three fours and three sixes by Salt, who then returned to the attack, making it the joint-most costly over by a West Indian in a T20 World Cup.

Before skewering any further threat, the first of those boundaries brought up Salt’s half-century from 38 deliveries. In the third over, Salt toed a hack across the line through to Pooran, who was unable to hang on, leaving West Indies to lament a squandered opportunity to remove him at seven.

The Player-of-the-Match honor went to Salt. But he might not have had much to celebrate, or perhaps even England, without Bairstow’s assistance.

After the powerplay, Salt had made a solid 35 off 20. He had paused, though, with the strike fewer, the field wider, and twirlers coordinating with one another. He had only managed to score 12 more runs from 15 deliveries entering the 14th over.

At that point, Bairstow started working on a jump-start. Powell, for whatever reason, went back to Alzarri Joseph rather than continuing with the thrifty Chase. Before ramping the following delivery for four, Bairstow utilized the pace of the ball to send the first over the deep midwicket fence – the longer side, no less.

Also Read: England’s T20 World Cup Triumph: Stokes and Curran Shine Bright

Powell brought Akeal Hosein back on for his final over in an attempt to atone for his mistake. But Bairstow was not in a forgiving mood. Before a traditional sweep, a 76-meter six that was flung into the stands at midwicket, and a fortunate inside edge that brought 14 from three deliveries, an attempted reverse sweep resulted in a muted lbw appeal. This World Cup was Hosein’s most costly due to the 16 from the over.

At that moment, when 40 were required from 30, Salt began his attack on Shepherd. From the opposite side, Bairstow observed, adopting a cheerleader’s role while his partner lost control. In the end, he was honoured to hit the game-winning run, improving his T20 World Cup personal best to 48 not out. “I had to be the better to bat through once Jos got out,” Salt clarified. “For Jonny to come out and, by taking measured risks, relieve some of my pressure. As a colleague, I could not be more delighted about that.”

England Dominated West Indies with 8 Wickets Victory in T20 World Cup
Photo Credit: ICC via Getty Images

There are numerous ways to express intent. On the most accurate hitting surface of the tournament, England dominated the six-count, but the difference in the middle running out told an equally true narrative.

With a score of at least 180, West Indies, with all their might, created a new unwelcome record of 51 dot balls, the most any team has registered in a T20 World Cup. In the 2016 tournament, they also set the previous record of 50, but that was after they had to chase down 193 to defeat India in the semifinals en route to winning their second championship.

They also performed poorly in utilising the uneven dimensions of this ground, rotating the strike as little as possible, and only producing nine twos in 120 deliveries. England not only scored three runs more in fifteen deliveries less, but they also scored three when Buttler mistimed a cut to the cover point sponge in the fourth over. With the last ball of the over, it put Salt on strike. He exploited it to his advantage, rushing at Russell and sending him flying over his head and onto the roof for the first of his five sixes.

It did not seem like a wise move at the time to buy Powell’s wicket for 20 runs from Livingstone’s opening over. Powell’s average before this game was barely 16.25. Watching their skipper hoist three rapid sixes was a certain way to excite up the fanatical St Lucian fans before Russell arrived to help Pooran, who was set on 32.

After eleven deliveries, they were both back in the hut. Although Rashid’s catch of Russell was the cherry on top in this brief verse that turned the tide of the match in England’s favour, it was Archer’s catch in the 17th over that validated Buttler’s wager.

Archer smashed a tight line across the left-hander Pooran over the wicket. With the exception of one blunder—a full toss third ball that Pooran steered through point for four—Archer had it all to himself, reaching both full and yorker length.

He was too quick—always hitting around 90 mph—and too steady for a batter who was gradually losing his groove and was scrambling to find space to hit his preferred hitting zones farther down the field. Out of all the deliveries, the one that gave Buttler the edge was the least full; Pooran’s face on the bat was one of defeat rather than defiance.

With six wickets, Archer is currently tied with Rashid as England’s highest wicket-taker. His economy rate, 6.58, is lower than any of his colleagues’ combined totals, save for Reece Topley (5.50), who has played two fewer games and has yet to be dismissed.

The most impressive statistic, though, is that Archer has now played five times for England in the previous fifteen days. The four48 days between the five caps before this one. Following a dreadful two-year sequence of elbow and back problems, the 29-year-old might finally be on the mend.

England’s Captain Jos Buttler Hails Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid after Dominant Win Over West Indies

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid received high praise from captain Jos Buttler, while Jonny Bairstow was commended for his well-rounded knock that enabled England to pursue a difficult target.

England Dominated West Indies with 8 Wickets Victory in T20 World Cup
Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Jos Buttler on the Victory:

“Our strategies were well-planned and carried out. It was vital to restrict a potent batting lineup like the West Indies, and our bowlers performed a fantastic job at it. While chasing 181 was a challenge, we prevailed because of our strategic use of the bat.”

Jonny Bairstow’s Impact:

“Jonny played with maturity and class throughout his innings. He moved in with purpose, turning the tide back in our favor. His 26-ball 48 was crucial, particularly with the game close. It was a powerful and well-executed inning for a senior guy.”

Adil Rashid’s Contribution:

Adil Rashid is the key member of our team. He is priceless because of his versatility and capacity to limit runs while taking wickets. His 4-0-21-1 stats were very helpful in managing the middle overs and dissolving important alliances.”

West Indies Captain Rovman Powell’s Perspective:

Powell admitted that West Indies’ bowling strategy against Salt was a departure from their game plan and that they lost by 15 to 20 runs. We mishandled our bowling strategy and let up runs on the field. Phil Salt took advantage of that, so going forward, we need review our strategies. We still have control over our destiny, and improving as cricket players can help us get back on track.”

England’s success over the West Indies was largely due to their planned execution and the outstanding plays of Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid. The victory highlights England’s depth and resiliency and solidifies their status as serious competitors for the T20 World Cup in 2024.

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