Essex duo blame it on the weatherman

ENGLAND failed to reach the World Twenty20 semi-finals after losing to West Indies on Monday night, despite the best efforts of Essex duo Ravi Bopara and James Foster, writes MIKE SIMMONDS. Bopara hit 55 at the top of the order, as England posted 161-5 fr

ENGLAND failed to reach the World Twenty20 semi-finals after losing to West Indies on Monday night, despite the best efforts of Essex duo Ravi Bopara and James Foster, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.

Bopara hit 55 at the top of the order, as England posted 161-5 from their 20 overs.

Rain intervened throughout the evening though and the 'Windies' were left facing a target of 80 from nine overs on the Duckworth/Lewis system.

Despite a stunning stumping from Foster to dismiss dangerman Dwayne Bravo, reducing West Indies to 45-5, that brought Ramnaresh Sarwan to the crease, and along with Shivnarine Chanderpaul, they won the game with four balls remaining.


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Earlier in the evening, Bopara and Kevin Pietersen looked to have set England on their way to an imposing total as they shared 56 for the second wicket, but once Pietersen was out, the innings again faltered.

Owais Shah hit 18 from 15 balls, but once Bopara was the fourth man out, the middle order stumbled yet again, and only 10 runs from the final two balls from Stuart Broad saw them to 161.

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The hosts would have been confident of restricting West Indies had they had a full 20 overs, but once rain came into play, they were always underdogs.

The bowlers did their utmost though, with Ryan Sidebottom removing dangerman Chris Gayle, but once Sarwan and Chanderpaul came together, there was only ever one winner.

It ended a mixed tournament for England, after excellent wins against Pakistan and India, coupled with a shocking defeat to Holland and a woeful loss to South Africa.

Captain Paul Collingwood believes the side is starting to evolve though now.

"I think you've seen that from a couple of our performances, particularly against Pakistan and India, we're starting to get some players in there who are getting to grips with it," he said.

"We're catching up, that's the important thing. Even with that lack of experience in Twenty20 cricket, we're catching up with the skills and thought processes, and we're understanding situations and pressures.

"We need a lot more time to get accustomed to the conditions, and it is very important that you do play more Twenty20 cricket if you want to be realistic about winning these competitions, but the boys can take a lot of credit.

"In 20 overs we'd have had a better chance against the West Indies.

"The guys at the top have been fantastic, but there are areas where we've let ourselves down a bit.

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