Eoin Morgan was an elated captain as England started their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign with a crushing six-wicket win over West Indies at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday (October 23).
Opting to bowl first, England bundled out the defending champions for a humiliating 55 in 14.2 overs – the lowest score by a Test playing nation in the T20 World Cup history. Barring Chris Gayle (13), no one from the Caribbean side managed to touch the double-digit mark.
For England, off-spinner Moeen Ali (2-17) bowled three overs in the powerplay and picked up two wickets while leg-spinner Adil Rashid returned with the figures of 4 for 2 in his 2.2 overs. The pace troika of Tymal Mills (2-17), Chris Jordan (1-7), and Chris Woakes (1-12) also contributed and took four scalps between them.
In reply, England were expected to chase down the total without breaking a sweat but they had bit of a hard time and lost four wickets during the process. Thanks to Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 24, the Three Lions eventually got over the line with 70 balls to spare.
“It’s as good as it gets. To start our campaign like that, all credit to our bowling unit,” Morgan said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
“I think Moeen read the conditions beautifully. He took chances when his match-up was in his favour, and to take his opportunity like he has … was brilliant.”
On the other hand, West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard looked dejected and called it “an unacceptable performance.”
“There’s not a lot to explain – it was an unacceptable performance, but we do need to take this on the chin and move on. These sorts of games sometimes, we just need to bin it.
“It’s a matter of finding our straps, we have to find a way to get a fighting total on the board, today was a day where we couldn’t find that balance, but we need to forget this and move on,” Pollard said after the game.
While England will face Bangladesh in their next game in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (October 27), West Indies will take on South Africa a day earlier in Dubai.