England’s grip on the t20 World Cup was loosened even further after another disappointing defeat this time at the hands of the West Indies after they cruised to a 15 run victory at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
Having suffered a 90 run defeat against India in their final group game, England were once again on the back foot after they slumped to 0-2 after three deliveries as they attempted to chase down the West Indies mammoth total of 179-5.
Ravi Rampul (2-37) picked up the wickets in the opening over after quick fire half centuries from Johnson Charles and Chris Gayle had left the defending champions with a tricky run chase after they had been bundled over for just 80 against the Indians.
Having lost Craig Kieswetter (0) and Luke Wright (0) in the opening over England were never in the hunt despite resistant half century from Alex Hales (68) after he had watched on from the non-strikers end during the opening over.
Eoin Morgan (71) offered support during a 4th wicket stand off 107 but the pair were unable to rescue the defending champions who suffered at the hands of Charles and Galye with the bat early in the evening.
Charles led the way blasting 84 runs from 56 balls which included ten boundaries and three sixes as England’s bowlers were dispatched with little regard around the ground much to the delight of the fans which had stayed inside the ground after Sri Lanka’s Super Over victory.
Gayle (58) provided the fireworks early as he smashed Samit Patel for three sixes during the 8th over during an opening stand of 103 with Charles which was ended by Graeme Sawnn thanks to a catch by Steve Finn out on the boundary.
Having dropped Charles from the previous ball, Finn held his nerve to keep hold onto the catch but in some ways the damage had already been done as Charles went on to become the linchpin of the West Indies innings.
With the runs flowing England slowly worked their way back onto the game by removing Gayle and Charles before working their way through the West Indies middle order which failed to fire after the earlier fireworks.