West Indies are bracing for a backlash from England when the two teams square off in the second Twenty20 International of the three-match series at Kensington Oval today.
The regional side played superbly to pull off a convincing 27-run victory in Sunday’s opener, outplaying the visitors in every aspect of the game before a sold-out crowd.
A win today will give West Indies the series.
However, wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin said yesterday they expected England to hit back strongly but were prepared for the response.
“It’s a good feeling when you win cricket matches. We are a very good T20 team. We have explosive guys at the top and in our lower order and with Chris Gayle back in the team it’s a boost for us,” he said.
“England have won [the World Twenty20] already in the Caribbean so they aren’t going to take this [defeat] lightly, they’re going to come back strong tomorrow. We need to come up with our ‘A’ game again and put on a good show.”
Opting to bat first on Sunday, West Indies got up to 170 for three from their 20 overs, propelled by a scintillating unbeaten 69 off 46 balls from Marlon Samuels and 43 off 35 balls from Gayle. Dwayne Smith, who smashed 27 from 18 balls, put on 57 for the first wicket with Gayle, while Andre Russell clobbered an unbeaten 24 from 15 balls at the death.
Leg-spinner Samuel Badree then wrecked the England top order with a spell of three for 17 from four overs while Samuels returned with the ball to do damage, claiming two for 21.
Ramdin was quick to praise both the batting and bowling departments.
“We have batters that can chase down any scores we’re chasing and we have bowlers that can defend runs – the Sunil Narines, the Dwayne Bravos, the Ravi Rampauls who have been in tremendous form for the last six, seven months for us,” he said.
“Our batting has been letting us down but in this T20 format, once all the guys get going you know how dangerous they are.”
Ramdin, who has come under fire in recent time for his form with the bat but who answered his critics with a maiden one-day century last week, said he had been working hard at his fitness in order to improve his batting.
“It is always good as a batsman to go out there and get runs. I will put it down to a lot of hard work but no one sees the hard work you do, just the results at the end but there is a lot of hard work you do at the back, a lot of fitness work as well,” he pointed out.
“To keep 50 overs and then go and bat a lot of overs out there is very difficult. I’m trying to work a lot more in the gym and get fitter and stronger and hopefully I can carry on for a few more years.”
England captain Stuart Broad, who will miss the rest of the series with injury, said his side needed to improve.
“I think West Indies outplayed us, there is no doubt about that. We shouldn’t let that take away from what we have done in the last couple of weeks and we have got time to improve in the next two games,” he said.
“We were pretty happy with 170, maybe it was a touch over par, but we never got going with the bat. You need one of your top three to get in and that hasn’t happened for a while.”
WEST INDIES – Darren Sammy (Captain), Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.
ENGLAND – Ian Bell, Moeen Ali, Tim Bresnan, Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Harry Gurney, Chris Jordan, Ben Stokes, Stephen Parry, James Tredwell, Luke Wright.