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West Indies beaten badly by England again
LONDON, England (CMC):
West Indies failed miserably in their bid to find a confidence-boosting win ahead of the start of the World Twenty20 Championship when they crashed to a nine-wicket defeat to England at Lord's yesterday.
Playing in their second and final official warm-up match, West Indies rattled up 144 for six off their allotted 20 overs, but England then easily romped to their target behind explosive half-centuries from openers Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara.
Wright slammed an unbeaten 75 from 48 balls, with eight fours and five sixes, while Bopara sustained his recent run of superb form with 60.
The two shared an opening stand of 119 off a mere 74 balls and the Windies attack failed to make any inroads against the first real top-level opposition they have met in the warm-up matches.
Official warm-up matches
They beat lowly Scotland and Ireland in unofficial warm-up matches last week before easily trouncing Ireland again in the first official warm-up at the Oval on Tuesday.
The defeat left the West Indies without a win against top-tier opposition as they head into their opening match of the tournament against Australia on Saturday.
Winning the toss and batting, West Indies' innings stumbled and stuttered and it required Ramnaresh Sarwan's top score of 46 not out from 34 balls to see them to their eventual score.
Opener Xavier Marshall hammered 35 at the top of the order, but the innings lacked contributions from key players and fell away.
Marshall, a surprise call-up for the tournament, struck four fours off 33 balls and posted 31 from 27 deliveries for the first wicket with Andre Fletcher, who got 18 from 14 balls, with a four and a six.
When Fletcher was left stranded in mid-pitch after a mix up with Marshall in the fifth over, West Indies suffered a collapse, losing four wickets for 33 runs.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul followed Fletcher two balls later for a first-ball duck when he miscued a hook to third man where Ryan Sidebottom took a good running catch.
Kieron Pollard managed two before being run out and Marshall gloved a catch behind, attempting to pull Wright, as Windies slipped to 64 for four.
Dwayne Bravo's mistimed drive off leg-spinner Adil Rashid ended up in Bopara's hands at mid-off, at 85 for five, and Lendl Simmons' 14-ball labour over seven was ended by a catch on the square leg boundary by James Anderson off off-spinner Graeme Swann.
West Indies then got a 31-run, seventh-wicket stand off 22 balls between Sarwan and Denesh Ramdin (16 not out), to rally at the end.
Sarwan counted six fours in a measured innings while Ramdin slammed a four and a six in his 11-ball stay, to entertain briefly.
Any hopes West Indies had of a win were quickly erased as Wright and Bopara tore into their bowling with relish, ensuring England maintained their dominance from the preceding Test and one-day international series.