West Indies v England: Darren Sammy hails perfect performance

West Indies v England: Darren Sammy hails a perfect display as they came out on top in the opening T20 international

By Daniel Jolly

Darren Sammy said that his side put in the perfect display as they came out on top in the opening Twenty20 international against England.

Marlon Samuels put in a virtuoso display with an unbeaten 69 and Chris Gayle notched 43 to set a target of 170.

In reply, six wickets fell to slow bowling, as the tourists could only reach 143-9, as they lost by 27 runs, and Sammy was full of praise for his teammates.

“That’s what we asked for and we played a good game in front of a full house,” Sammy told Sky Sports.

“The start that Chris (Gayle) and (Dwayne) Smith made allowed Marlon (Samuels) to play a big innings as we know how destructive Chris can be.

“Sunil Narine will probably go for a scan later, he’s an integral part of our team. We’ve already lost Kieron Pollard so we can’t afford to lose another key player.

“Hopefully on Tuesday we can repeat that performance.”

Given the previous 20-over results at the venue, the decision to bat first looked to be a sensible one.

The side batting first had won ten of the 13 matches in this format , so the signs didn’t look good for the tourists.

The Windies started positively as they quickly reached 50 – as Dwayne Smith smashed 19 off the opening over – but he fell soon after for 27.

Their momentum was halted though as James Tredwell and Ravi Bopara accounted for Lendl Simmons and Gayle.

Samuels took advantage of being dropped on 43 as he linked with Andre Russell to add a final flourish, with a rapid 57 partnership.

The home skipper took inspiration from Stuart Broad’s tactics in the one-day series as he used spin bowling from the first ball and it paid dividends.

Samuel Badree celebrated his 33rd birthday by claiming three wickets as the tourists slumped to 73 for 6.

Despite late resistance from Ravi Bopara (42) and Tim Bresnan (47), Ottis Gibson’s side never looked like losing and they will now focus on sealing the series.

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