England beaten by Wwst Indies in Super Eights

Gayle leads England a merry dance as Windies claim Super Eights victory

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UPDATED:

18:08 GMT, 27 September 2012

ICC World Twenty20 champions England
suffered a second successive setback as they began their Super Eight
campaign with a 15-run defeat against West Indies at Pallekele.

Eoin Morgan (71no) and Alex Hales
(68) did their best to rescue an unlikely victory, in pursuit of 179 for
five. But in the end, with 23 required off Marlon Samuels' final over,
England had left themselves with just too much to do.

West Indies' bowler Chris Gayle dances

West Indies' bowler Chris Gayle dances

Lord of the dance: Chris Gayle celebrates dismissal of England's Jonny Bairstow

Lord of the dance: Chris Gayle celebrates dismissal of England's Jos Buttler
England v West Indies

England: C Kieswetter (wkt), AD Hales, LJ Wright, EJG Morgan, JM Bairstow, JC Buttler, SR Patel, SCJ Broad (capt), GP Swann, ST Finn, JW Dernbach

West Indies: J Charles, CH Gayle, MN Samuels, DJ Bravo, KA Pollard, D Ramdin (wkt), AD Russell, DJG Sammy (capt), SP Narine, R Rampaul, S Badree

Umpires: S Davis (Aus) and A Rauf (Pak)

Third umpire: A Dar (Pak)

Match referee: J Srinath (Ind)

Click here to read the full scorecard

England wrote off their heaviest loss, and lowest total, in this sprint format against India in Colombo on Sunday as a blip.

On thursday night, there was a much better performance but more disappointment too after they fell short of a tough but achievable target with 164 for four on a decent pitch.

Johnson Charles (84) and Chris Gayle (58) both clubbed half-centuries, after West Indies won the toss; then England's reply suffered a telling initial stumble, before opener Hales and back-to-form Morgan kept them in the contest with a century stand and seven sixes between them.

England's bowlers already knew all about master blaster Gayle, but might have been a little more surprised by his opening partner Charles.

After a stand of 103, Gayle was first to go. But 23-year-old St Lucian Charles, without a century in any form of professional cricket, stayed the course to record his maiden Twenty20 international 50.

On the attacK: Gayle hits a four off England's Steven Finn

On the attacK: Gayle hits a four off England's Steven Finn

Safe hands: Finn takes a catch to dismiss West Indies' Chris Gayle

Safe hands: Finn takes a catch to dismiss West Indies' Chris Gayle

England, by contrast, began their reply
by losing two wickets for no runs in the first three balls to Ravi
Rampaul – and even though Hales responded with 50 containing five fours
and two sixes, and Morgan reached his half-century in a tournament
joint-record 25 balls, it was never going to be quite enough.

Charles had earlier hit 10 fours and three sixes, before mistiming another attempted big hit to long-on off Jade Dernbach.

Gayle predictably first signalled his intent with three fours in one over from Dernbach.

Up for it: West indies bowler Ravi Rampaul (centre) celebrates the dismisal of Craig Kieswetter

Up for it: West indies bowler Ravi Rampaul (centre) celebrates the dismisal of Craig Kieswetter

Impressive: Eoin Morgan plundered 71

Impressive: Eoin Morgan plundered 71

The powerplay yielded a near par 47, but without loss, and that proved to be a platform for the Windies openers to up the ante.

Gayle had one minor moment of fortune on 29 when a wrong-footed Morgan,
perhaps losing the ball in the bright floodlights, found himself
over-committed as the big left-hander pulled Samit Patel high to the
boundary.

The Irishman might have had a chance of holding an important catch, had
he been able to retreat to the fence, but instead saw the first of three
sixes in the over sail over his head.

Those three sixes and six fours took Gayle past 50 in only 29 balls, and the West Indies were in three figures in the 11th over.

Close call: Morgan makes his ground under pressure from Ravi Rampaul

Close call: Morgan makes his ground under pressure from Ravi Rampaul

Clean bowled: England's Alex Hales is dismissed by Marlon Samuel

Clean bowled: England's Alex Hales is dismissed by Marlon Samuel

England should have had a much-needed breakthrough when Steven Finn put down Charles on 39 off Graeme Swann at long-off.

But England would doubtless have swapped that for what happened off the
very next ball, Finn holding his nerve this time to cling on at long-on
and see the back of Gayle.

England celebrated appropriately, and soon had number three Samuels
cheaply too – caught at point by Morgan as Stuart Broad interrupted the
Windies' flow with a wicket-maiden.

Charles was still at large, but England recalled Finn early to test
Kieron Pollard with pace – a move that worked instantly, as the big
hitter skied a catch to the cover boundary from the first ball of the
over to go for just a single.

Watching brief: The England dug out

Watching brief: The England dug out

The openers apart, only Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell managed
double-figures – and their last-over assault on Dernbach helped to
produce 15 runs, to make the Windies marginal favourites at the
interval.

Three balls after it, their position had strengthened somewhat.

Rampaul's double-wicket maiden saw Craig Kieswetter lob a short ball to
cover for a second-ball duck, and Luke Wright edge some extra bounce to
slip to put the seamer on a hat-trick.

Jonny Bairstow, promoted ahead of Morgan, survived that early crisis.

Hales escaped a 'double-play' on 31 – when he should have been stumped
off Samuel Badree, and then run out had a direct hit come in from short
fine-leg as he stole a bye.

Bairstow's innings was a particular struggle, ending when he finally hit
one well enough down the ground off Gayle but was very well-caught by
Pollard running round from long-on.

Hales and Morgan joined forces with little realistic hope of a
successful chase but had enough firepower to make the Windies sweat
right to the end.