DWAYNE SMITH was the real soca teaser while Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels raised the tempo and birthday boy Samuel Badree enjoyed a slow dance to give the Caribbean’s calypso cricketers the perfect party at Kensington Oval, yesterday.
Before a capacity crowd of over 13,000 spectators, the West Indies emphatically trounced England by 27 runs in the first Twenty20 International to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match cricket series.
The victory also sent a warning that the Windies are starting to peak as they get ready to defend their title at the World T20 Championship which starts in Bangladesh, next week.
Smith set the tone with an 18-ball 27-run cameo while Gayle complemented with a 35-ball 43, studded with five fours and two sixes.
Their electrifying opening stand of 57 in 6.2 overs paved the way for Samuels to stroke an unbeaten 69 off 46 balls and carry the West Indies to a challenging total of 170 for three.
In reply, leg-spinner Badree stunned England with a triple strike as they surrendered wickets meekly to be restricted to 143 for nine in their 20 overs.
Ravi Bopara made 42 off 24 balls and Tim Bresnan got 47 off 29 balls to bring a measure of respectability to England’s final total after they were tottering on 73 for six in the 12th over.
Badree ended with three for 17 and Man-of-the-Match Samuels was tidy with his off-spin, taking two for 21.
After West Indies won the toss and batted, Smith started the match in grand style, pulling the first ball from England’s captain Stuart Broad over the Greenidge and Haynes Stand for six.
He then added three more fours in the expensive opening over which yielded 19 runs, the last one, a lovely check-drive between extra cover and point before repeating the same shot in the next over from Jade Dernbach.
Gayle, who started uncertainly, scooping a couple of deliveries short of fielders, finally found his groove in the fifth over when he powerfully smashed Bresnan for three fours.
In the next over, he charged medium pacer Ben Stokes and deposited him high over long-on for six and pulled the next ball through square leg to post the Windies’ 50 in 5.2 overs.
Bopara broke the opening stand in his first over, bowling a defensive Smith with a delivery which nipped back.
But Samuels looked in fine nick from the first ball he faced, which he elegantly cut behind point for four.
Gayle then casually whipped off-spinner James Tredwell on the top of the Greenidge and Haynes Stand for six but the bowler had the last laugh, trapping him LBW at 87-2 in the 12th over.
Samuels took over, savagely pulling the friendly medium pace of Stokes over the players’ dug-out as the Windies reached their hundred in 12.4 overs.
After Lendl Simmons, who just three, became Bopara’s second wicket, caught at long-on, Andre Russell hit two fours and a six in a 15-ball 24 not out to give the innings a final flourish.
He added 58 runs in the remaining 5.4 overs with Samuels, who smashed Dernbach for five consecutive fours in the 18th over after he was dropped off the first ball by Tredwell at point.
In reply, England made a disastrous start to their run-chase with Badree having both Alex Hales and Luke Wright stumped off successive balls by wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin.
After missing a stinging return catch, Badree snared a third scalp in his final over when Michael Lumb pulled a short ball straight into Ravi Rampaul’s hands inside the backward square leg boundary.
Mystery spinner Sunil Narine also struck in his second over when wicket-keeper Jos Butler ill-advisedly attempted a switch hit and gave substitute Johnson Charles a simple catch at point.
But Narine had to leave the field shortly after hurting his knee after a fall while chasing a ball but his absence hardly mattered yesterday even though he will have a scan, today to ascertain if there is any damage.
Samuels filled the void admirably, accounting for the dangerous Eoin Morgan for 19, well caught by Charles over his head just inside the mid-wicket boundary, and Stokes, easily stumped by Ramdin for four.
There was one blemish when captain Darren Sammy called for a catch which wasn’t his and gave Bresnan a reprieve off Rampaul on three.
But Bravo didn’t make the same mistake, holding a skied catch offered by Bopara off his own bowling.
Broad was run out by Ramdin. He missed a ball which went straight to the keeper and moved out of his crease. And Russell beat Tredwell to the stumps to complete another run out and compound England’s woes.
West Indies 170 for 3 (20.0 overs)
Dwayne Smith b Bopara 27
Chris Gayle lbw b Tredwell 43
Marlon Samuels not out 69
Lendl Simmons c Lumb b Bopara 3
Andre Russell not out 24
Extras: (lb 3, nb 1) 4
Total: (3 wkts; 20.0 overs) 170
Did not bat: Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin+, Darren Sammy*, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Samuel Badree
Fall of wickets: 1-57, 2-87, 3-112
Bowling: Stuart Broad 2-0-26-0 (1nb), Jade Dernbach 4-0-36-0, Tom Bresnan 4-0-36-0, Ben Stokes 2-030-0, Ravi Bopara 4-023-2, James Tredwell 4-0-16-1
England 143 for 9 (20.0 overs)
Michael Lumb c Rampaul b Badree 18
Alex Hales st +Ramdin b Badree 3
Luke Wright st +Ramdin b Badree 0
Eoin Morgan c sub (J Charles) b Samuels 19
Jos Buttler+ c sub (J Charles) b Narine 0
Ravi Bopara c & b Bravo 42
Ben Stokes st +Ramdin b Samuels 4
Tim Bresnan not out 47
Stuart Broad* run out (+Ramdin) 5
James Tredwell run out (Russell) 1
Jade Dernbach not out 1
Extras: (b 1, lb 2) 3
Total: (9 wkts; 20.0 overs) 143
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-13, 3-36, 4-40, 5-55, 6-73, 7-101, 8-123, 9-133
Bowling: Samuel Badree 4-0-17-3, Ravi Rampaul 3-0-31-0, Sunil Narine 2-0-8-1, Dwayne Bravo 4-0-30-1, Marlon Samuels 4-0-21-2, Darren Sammy 1-0-12-0, Andre Russell 2-0-21-0
Result: West Indies won by 27 runs
Man-of-the-Match: Marlon Samuels (West Indies)
Toss: West Indies, who chose to bat
Umpires: Peter Nero, Joel Wilson
TV Umpire: Gregory Brathwaite
Fourth Official: Nigel Duguid
Match Referee: Andrew Pycroft