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Salt powers England to dominant victory over West Indies in T20 World Cup 2024

SAINT LUCIA: In a commanding performance, Phil Salt’s unbeaten 87, supported by Jonny Bairstow’s solid 48 not out, propelled England to an emphatic eight-wicket victory over the West Indies in St Lucia. The match, held at the Daren Sammy National Stadium, saw the defending champions chase down a target of 181 with 15 balls to spare, setting a formidable tone for the Super Eight stage of the T20 World Cup 2024.

England’s captain, Jos Buttler, chose to field first on a pitch known for favoring batsmen. The West Indies got off to a strong start, posting 72 runs in just seven overs despite losing Brandon King early due to a side strain. Adil Rashid, with figures of 1 for 21 from his four overs, and Moeen Ali, who dismissed Johnson Charles, applied the brakes on the West Indian innings with some clever spin bowling.

West Indies captain Rovman Powell attempted to accelerate the scoring, notably hitting Liam Livingstone for three sixes in a single over. However, Powell’s aggressive approach led to his downfall, caught by Mark Wood off Livingstone’s final delivery. This wicket triggered a collapse, with Jofra Archer and Rashid quickly removing Nicholas Pooran and Andre Russell respectively, reducing West Indies from 143 for 4 to a precarious 149 for 7.

Sherfane Rutherford’s late cameo of 28 off 15 balls, including a productive 18th over against Wood, helped West Indies post a competitive 180 for 7. However, England’s response was both measured and relentless.

The opening partnership of Salt and Buttler accumulated 58 runs in the first six overs. Although Roston Chase managed to dismiss Buttler for 30 and Moeen Ali fell shortly after, Salt remained steadfast. He initially slowed down, allowing Bairstow to take charge. Bairstow’s quickfire 46 off 21 balls kept the pressure on the West Indies bowlers.

As the match approached its conclusion, Salt unleashed a devastating assault on Romario Shepherd, scoring 30 runs in one over with three fours and three sixes, equaling the record for the most expensive over bowled by a West Indian in T20 World Cup history. This blitzkrieg ensured England’s victory, bringing their total to 183 for 2 in 17.3 overs.

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