Marlon Samuels came back from injury to score a blistering 69 © Getty Images (File Photo)
Bridgetown: Mar 9, 2014
Marlon Samuels blazed an unbeaten 69 in leading the West Indies to a competitive 170 for three against England in the first Twenty20 international (T20I) of a three-match series at Kensington Oval.
Troubled by a groin injury that restricted him to just the last of the three one-day internationals (ODIs) the previous week in Antigua, the classy Jamaican batsman looked to be back to his strokemaking best in Barbados.
He belted ten fours and one six in a 46-ball innings that highlighted the West Indies effort after their captain Darren Sammy chose to bat first on a pitch that looked full of runs.
Samuels was not without good fortune though as he was missed twice, the first a difficult chance to Eoin Morgan at backward-point off England captain Stuart Broad and the second, a much more straightforward effort to James Tredwell at cover off Jade Dernbach.
The right-handed batsman then proceeded to rub salt in the English wounds by crashing the next five deliveries from Dernbach — the 18th over — for boundaries.
All-rounder Andre Russell supported his compatriot with an unbeaten 24 in an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 58.
Chris Gayle‘s much-anticipated return to the T20 line-up saw him contributing 43 off 35 balls at the top of the order, an innings decorated with five fours and two towering sixes.
Yet he was actually overshadowed at the start of the innings with Dwayne Smith hoisting the first ball of the match for six off Broad and taking 19 runs off the opening over before being bowled by Ravi Bopara for 27 in the seventh over.
Bopara and Tredwell were the outstanding bowlers for England, their combined eight overs costing just 39 runs and producing three wickets.
West Indies 170 for 3 in 20 overs (Dwayne Smith 27, Chris Gayle 43, Marlon Samuels 69*; Ravi Bopara 2 for 23) vs England.