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Stanford Super Series
Stanford Stadium, Antigua: 1 November
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Stanford Super Series, Antigua:
Superstars 101-0 (12.4 overs) beat England 99 (19.5) by 10 wickets

By Oliver Brett

Darren Sammy
Man of the match Darren Sammy absorbs his new-found wealth

England were embarrassed in the finale of the Stanford Super Series as the Superstars team won by 10 wickets to pocket the $20m (12.4m) prize fund.

England slumped to 33-4 and then 65-8 after 15 overs before Samit Patel's 22 took them to 99 in 19.5 overs, still easily their lowest Twenty20 total.

Superstars skipper Chris Gayle smashed England out of sight, striking five sixes in a devastating unbeaten 65.

He and Andre Fletcher (32 not out) took just 12.4 overs to bring home the cash.

We made history - Gayle

The Superstars XI take home $1m each - with four of them winning the money despite neither batting nor bowling - but England's players go away with nothing after a difficult week.

The five remaining members of the winning Caribbean squad share $1m, with their back-room staff members pocketing $1m as well.

In addition, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the West Indies Cricket Board each receive $3.5m.

The tourists had actually begun reasonably brightly with the bat after Kevin Pietersen had won the toss. Matt Prior struck a couple of clean boundaries as he and Ian Bell steered the tourists to 19-0 after three overs.

BBC Sport's Oliver Brett
But Jerome Taylor bowled Bell with a fast and full delivery and two balls later Prior moved across his stumps, missed with his attempted swipe, and also had his stumps re-arranged.

Pietersen never got going, and the excellent Darren Sammy - an unsung seamer from St Lucia - flung himself onto his back in exultation after removing the England captain.

By then, Sammy had seen Owais Shah well caught at square leg off his bowling. And the wicket of Pietersen - almost a carbon copy of Prior's demise - left England in tatters at 33-5.

Kieron Pollard looked to be the weak link in the Superstars attack with his gentle medium pace. Flintoff possibly sensed that and connected cleanly with one rare boundary thumped down the ground.

Pietersen blames defeat on distractions

He tried to do the same with the next ball, but a well-disguised slower ball did for him as he became the fourth of six England batsmen to be bowled.

All-rounders Paul Collingwood and Luke Wright were caught in the deep before Graeme Swann was bowled by spinner Sulieman Benn. Bankroller Sir Allen Stanford applauded each wicket with a beatific smile, though surely he would have hoped for a better contest than this.

England players' partners
It was a quiet evening for the England players' partners
When Patel was dropped on the boundary by Dave Mohammed off Pollard he had just five runs to his name but the let-off enabled him to hit the same bowler for two boundaries as England attempted a rally.

But he was run out in the penultimate over and Benn bowled last man Steve Harmison to finish with the wonderful figures of 3-16.

Superstars openers Gayle and Fletcher had to weather an impressive hostile opening over from Harmison.

But as soon as Fletcher hit three fours off Stuart Broad's first over it was plain-sailing, with two fours and two Gayle sixes fired off Harmison's third over - which rather made a mockery of any complaints about the pitch.

The celebrations were in full flow among the home supporters long before the finish - with occasional crescendos greeting each Gayle six.

He hit five in all, and appropriately the final one was the winning hit - deposited yards beyond the long-on fence - off England's best bowler, Flintoff.

Gayle's team-mates swarmed onto the pitch to congratulate him and his young partner, while Stanford also made his way out to the middle to join in the celebrations.

see also
ECB defends Stanford involvement
01 Nov 08 |  England
ECB plans Stanford Series review
29 Oct 08 |  England
Stanford Super Series results
02 Nov 08 |  Cricket

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