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Fletcher shines in the spotlight

The Caribbean boasts eleven new millionaires after the Stanford Superstars team walloped England by 10 wickets last night in the much-anticipated Stanford 20/20 for 20 showdown.

Before a packed and vibrant crowd at the Stanford Cricket Ground, the home side proved itself more ready to claim the greatest prize in a single team sports encounter - US$20 million - and, chasing a clean 100, wrapped up victory in the 13th over.

England won the toss and elected to bat and that was their only victory of the evening as they showed little heart for the fight.

Jamaica paceman Jerome Taylor (2-24) started the tourists' downward slide in the fourth over when he bowled Ian Bell (seven) with a superb yorker and followed that two balls later by blowing away Matt Prior's (12) leg stump.

England were suddenly reeling at 22 for two in the fourth over and were never able to recover despite their apparent depth of all-round talent.

Man-of-the-match Darren Sammy, a late inclusion to the Stanford Superstars squad, bowled the dangerous Kevin Pietersen for seven when the England skipper shuffled across the crease and finished with the fine figures of 2-18.

Young allrounder Kieron Pollard picked up 2-2 4 and lanky left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn claimed 3-16 off 3.5 tidy overs.

The other bowler used, Daren Powell, bowled as well as any of his teammates, but went wicketless, while conceding 18 runs off his four overs.

Only three England players reached double figures with Samit Patel top scoring with 22 before he was run out trying an ill-advised second run on the arm of Chris Gayle at cover.

After a couple of early scares, Gayle with a superb 65 off only 45 balls with five sixes and five fours and promising Grenadian Andre Fletcher (32, five fours) made a mockery of England's performance with the bat, wiping away the target with 7.2 overs to spare.

The die was well and truly cast in the fifth over when the pair plundered 22 runs off paceman Steve Harmison including two huge sixes by Gayle off the final two balls.

England had no answer to the onslaught and lost focus as their bowlers often pitched too short and too wide.

Appropriately captain Gayle, who had personal issues and injury to deal with during an interrupted lead-up to the match, sealed the deal when he smashed Andrew Flintoff for six over deep mid-on.

source - jamaica-gleaner.com
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