WI and hosts SL earned hard-fought wins against England and NZ respectively in an exciting start to the Super Eights round in the World Twenty20.
PALLEKELE: West Indies and hosts Sri Lanka earned hard-fought wins in an exciting start to the Super Eights round in the World Twenty20 on Thursday.
West Indies edged out defending champions England by 15 runs while Sri Lanka needed a one-over eliminator to upstage New Zealand, who fought back to tie the match from the jaws of defeat.
Chasing a daunting 180-run target, England came close with Eoin Morgan (71 not out) and Alex Hales (68) putting on a resolute 107-run partnership for the fourth wicket but in the end they fell short.
England had lost Craig Kieswetter and Luke Wright for first over ducks but Hales, who hit five boundaries and two sixes off his 51 balls, and Morgan’s 36-ball knock, with five sixes and four boundaries, defied West Indies’s four-pronged spin attack.
England needed 125 runs in their last 10 overs but Morgan and Hales paced the innings well before Marlon Samuels bowled an excellent last over, conceding only eight runs.
West Indies were set on their way for a big total by openers Johnson Charles and Chris Gayle. Charles smashed three sixes and 10 well-timed boundaries in his 56-ball 84 while Gayle hit four sixes and six fours in his 35-ball 58.