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Sarwan condemns England to defeat

Twenty20 international, Trinidad:
West Indies 123-4 beat England 121 by six wickets

By Oliver Brett

Ravi Bopara is clean bowled by Lionel Baker
Ravi Bopara is clean bowled by Lionel Baker as England's collapse begins

England's winless winter continued as they were crushed by West Indies in the Twenty20 international in Trinidad.

They were bowled out for 121 in 19.1 overs, the home side winning by six wickets and with 12 balls to spare.

England declined horribly from 55-1 after seven overs with shock debutant Steve Davies top-scoring with 27.

Darren Sammy (1-14) applied the brakes and Sulieman Benn supplied three wickets before Ramnaresh Sarwan (59) led a thoroughly professional chase.

England's biggest gamble in team selection was the decision to axe Matt Prior, the wicketkeeper who had batted with some distinction in the Tests, and hand an international debut to Worcestershire's Davies.

The 22-year-old left-hander opened the batting with Ravi Bopara. An indication of England's inability to find a winning formula in this format was the fact that this duo were England's 12th opening pair in Twenty20s and Davies was the eighth wicketkeeper used in the shortest form of the game.

Bopara fell early, but Davies had a reasonable batting debut, with five boundaries including a couple of aerial strikes over mid-on off Dwayne Bravo.

606: DEBATE
splendidsparrow
The local all-rounder, playing his first international since an eight-month injury break, had his revenge when bowling Davies behind his legs with the first ball of his second over.

A poor umpiring decision by Norman Malcolm - the Jamaican adjudging Kevin Pietersen lbw to a ball slipping down the leg side - and a jittery 12-ball innings from Owais Shah left England 92-4 at the 12-over mark.

It was not an ideal platform, but nor was it a disaster on a slow wicket.

However, the next three overs yielded just nine runs - and saw the end of Paul Collingwood (caught in the deep) and Dimitri Mascarenhas (run out following a breakdown in communication).

Such a woeful passage of play seemed to seal England's fate, though Andrew Strauss - playing his first competitive one-day game for England since April 2007 - finally swept a couple of boundaries before being run-out taking a tight single to Shivnarine Chanderpaul at mid-wicket.

The decision had to be referred, and the batsman looked a little unlucky to be sent on his way, but when Gareth Batty fell to Sarwan's direct hit he was not even in the same parish.

England's innings continued to unravel like a ball of string and ended five balls early when Stuart Broad speared a catch into the covers.

Ramnaresh Sarwan and Steve Davies
Sarwan hoists Gareth Batty for six as debutant Steve Davies watches
West Indies scorched an early trail by reaching 45-1 in the fifth over as Sarwan hit Amjad Khan for two off-side boundaries and followed up with a towering straight six off James Anderson.

The match was not quite as one-sided as England's defeat to the Stanford Superstars in November - largely because, once Chanderpaul had skewed Anderson to point, Lendl Simmons began his innings at Test match pace.

But Sarwan continued to have things pretty much his own way, hitting Batty - oddly preferred to Adil Rashid despite not being in the original squad - for a comfortable six.

The right-hander should have been caught on 38 when lofting Mascarenhas to long-off, only for Khan to spill an easy catch. His fifty, and the half-century partnership with Simmons, came up in the 15th over - and Sarwan added two boundaries off an increasingly frustrated Broad for good measure.

With 17 wanted off the last five overs - and England surely already regretting their decision not to play two spinners - Khan returned to bowl Sarwan.

The Kent bowler was expensive, but added to his tally when Dwayne Bravo was caught at square leg - only to see Keiron Pollard pull his first ball for the boundary that won the match two overs early.

While none of England's batsmen, bar perhaps Davies, could reflect on a job well done, only Mascarenhas - whose four overs cost just 17 and should have produced a wicket - emerged with any credit among the bowlers.

The five-match one-day series begins with a match in Guyana on Friday.

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see also
West Indies v England photos
15 Mar 09 |  England
England earn one-day warm-up win
14 Mar 09 |  England
Flintoff to rejoin England squad
10 Mar 09 |  England
Windies hold on to clinch series
10 Mar 09 |  England
England in West Indies 2009
15 Mar 09 |  England


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