x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

England out of World Twenty20

The West Indies win by five wickets via the Duckworth/Lewis method to knock-out the host nation.

LONDON // Twenty20 cricket is supposed to be a young man's game, but the veteran West Indian batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul proved there is no substitute for experience as he sent England crashing out of the World Twenty20. Chanderpaul played his first international match in 1994, when England's youngest player, Adil Rashid was just six years old. Such longevity marks him out as a class player, which he proved yet again as he guided the West Indies to a five wicket win in a rain-curtailed match at the Oval. Victory for the West Indies was particularly sweet, given they have suffered at the hands of the host nation for the majority of this year. Energised by their victory over India the previous evening, England started swiftly, with Kevin Pietersen and Ravi Bopara leading the way again. Pietersen, the talismanic batsman, hit the first two balls he faced to the boundary, and raced to 31 before being caught in the deep off a top-edged sweep. Bopara stayed on and passed 50, but when he went the innings began to stutter. Owais Shah had offered a glimpse of his prodigious talent, then fell victim to an outstanding catch, diving backwards on the square leg boundary by Andre Fletcher. Lightning forks lit up the sky over the Thames, but the rain stayed away long enough for England to reach 161 for six from their 20 overs, thanks in no small part to Stuart Broad hoisting a four then six from the last two balls of the innings. The deluge did arrive between the innings, which abbreviated the length of time the West Indies had to bat to nine overs. As such their target was revised to 80 to win. A washout would have given the West Indies a pass to the semi-finals as they came into the game with a slight advantage on their net run-rate. Five overs need to be bowled to constitute a match in Twenty20, and England were granted that. Jimmy Anderson picked up Fletcher without scoring at the end of the first over, but Gayle's was the wicket England wanted. That task fell to Ryan Sidebottom, who, fresh from his man-of-the-match heroics against India, toppled the Caribbean kingpin with a precise yorker. Gayle went for 15 midway through the second over, and the golden touch was with Sidebottom as he caught the dangerous Lendl Simmons off the bowling of Broad at third man on the first ball of the following over. At 16 for three, the task seemed a hefty one for the West Indians. Adil Rashid, England's wild card selection, was under pressure after being hit for nine from his first three balls as the West Indies crept ahead of the Duckworth/Lewis rate. But he bounced back bravely, bowling an advancing Kieron Pollard. James Foster and Graeme Swann, who combined to get India's key wicket of Yuvraj Singh 24 hours before, repeated the trick by seeing off Dwayne Bravo. He had seemed to be their best hope, but the two old stagers Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chanderpaul combined to take them home with four balls to spare. pradley@thenational.ae