England thrash West Indies to make winning start to Super 8s

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West Indies’ Sherfane Rutherford bats during the men’s T20 World Cup cricket match against England at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa).

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At Gros Islet, St Lucia: Phil Salt carried his bat for 87 as defending champion England beat the West Indies by eight wickets in the second game of the Super Eight at the Twenty20 World Cup on Wednesday night.

It was the West Indies’ first loss of the tournament and their first defeat in eight Twenty20 internationals.

The West Indies made 180-4 batting first on the same pitch on which they made 218-5 against Afghanistan in the final match of the group stage on Monday.

The fireworks came at the end and from England as Salt made his 87 runs from 47 balls with seven fours and five sixes and Jonny Bairstow added 48 not out from 26 deliveries. England reached 181-2 with 15 balls to spare.

Salt provided a solid foundation for the England run chase, initially in a 67-run opening partnership with Jos Buttler.

Salt scored 30 runs — three sixes and three fours — from the 16th over bowled by Romario Shepherd.

“I’m not looking too far ahead at the minute, just glad that I could contribute to a good team win,” Salt said. “It was a little bit tougher in the middle overs with the spin.”

The pitch may have been a little slower than on Monday but England captain Jos Buttler also used his bowlers well and the West Indies innings included 50 dot balls.

A capacity crowd in the first night match of the Super Eight stage was out to party but the match really didn’t come alive until the end.

The West Indies started well but were disrupted in the six-over power play by the loss of Brandon King who retired hurt after 4.3 overs with a side or groin strain. King had just hit the first six of the match, a 103-metre (338-foot) blow that flew over the grandstand and out of the stadium.

He made 23 from 13 balls and was setting the early pace of the innings when he was forced to retire with the West Indies at 40-0. There was no immediate word on the seriousness of King’s injury.

“Credit has to be given to the England bowling unit. You can see they had clear plans and executed them well,” West Indies captain Rovman Powell said.

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