T20WC24: Salt for West Indies, as England win by eight wkts—King hurt

West Indies opened their Super Eight campaign with a defeat last night, as they lost by eight wickets to England in the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup action at the Daren Sammy Stadium in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia.

The result means that West Indies’ next outing against co-hosts, United States, at Kensington Oval on Friday night will be a do or die affair, with the loser standing no chance of advancing to the semifinal round.

West Indies captain Rovman Powell leads his team off the field.
Photo: CWI Media

The Maroon Men must win against USA and South Africa, on Sunday, to keep their dreams of a third T20 World Cup title alive.

Last night, West Indies captain Rovman Powell opted to revert to the XI that produced wins over Papua New Guinea, Uganda and New Zealand—with Shai Hope and Obed McCoy giving way to the returning Roston Chase and Romario Shepherd.

Chase did not bat but he was relatively tidy with one for 19 from his four overs, while he had England captain Jos Buttler out lbw for 25. But for Shepherd, he was on the wrong side of England’s memorable 16th over as Phil Salt clobbered him for three 6s and three 4s, which proved to be the final nail for the West Indies.

“[We] needed a better display as a bowling group,” said Powell. “We are generally good in the last five overs. The execution wasn’t good, [we] need to re-evaluate.”

England batsman Phil Salt on the go.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

West Indies’ problems started when they were inserted to bat, though. They were 40 without loss when opener Brandon King was forced to retire hurt with a side strain in the fifth over.

At 54-0 at the end of the powerplay, Powell would have hoped to get to 200 runs again—as they did against Afghanistan at the same ground on Monday. However, Johnson Charles, Nicholas Pooran and Powell failed to build on starts and all perished in their 30s, as the West Indies tallied 51 dot balls.

And West Indies were 143 for 4 at the start of the 18th over, with Sherfane Rutherford on 1 and Shepherd 0. The pair contributed a valuable 37-run partnership, with Rutherford getting 27 of those runs. But it was not enough.

“We left 15-20 runs [on the table],” said Powell.

West Indies batsman Brandon King was forced to retire hurt in the fifth over against England at the Daren Sammy Stadium in Saint Lucia on 19 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

England, who scored 58 from the powerplay, were not exactly free-flowing with the bat either. But they managed the game well and benefitted from a 97-run partnership by Salt and Jonny Bairstow.

“We were smart with the bat, the guys were calculated,” said Buttler “The Bairstow-Salt partnership was very good. Jonny took the game deep and ‘Salty’ broke it with that one over (against Shepherd). That’s why we brought Jof [Archer] back there with Pooran and Russell in.

“[…] Jonny batted at number four today, [and he has been a] class player for a really long time. You keep backing class players. Incredible, mature, senior player’s innings.”

West Indies captain Rovman Powell gestures during his team’s T20 World Cup contest with New Zealand at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad on 12 June 2024.
Photo: Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868

Powell expressed hope that King can “pull through” to face USA and South Africa. But he may have to turn to Hope for Friday’s outing.

“Credit to Salt, he always hurts us,” said Powell. “We fell away from our plans to Phil. [We] need to look back and evaluate.

“Our destiny is in our own hands. It’s just for us to continue playing some good cricket.”

West Indies’ eight-match winning streak ended with defeat to England in the ICC T20 World Cup at St Lucia on 19 June 2024.
Photo: CWI Media

(Summarised scores)

Toss: England

West Indies: 180 for 4 (Johnson Charles 38, Rovman Powell 36, Nicholas Pooran 36, Sherfane Rutherford 28*; Adil Rashid 1/21)

England: 181 for 2 (Phil Salt 87*, Jonny Bairstow 48*, Jos Buttler 25; Roston Chase 1/19)

Player-of-the-Match: Phil Salt

Result: England win by 8 wickets

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