Dubai: Fatullah Chris Gayle served a timely reminder for his rivals with a 38-ball 58 as the West Indies brushed aside England by seven wickets in their first ICC World Twenty20 warm-up game on Tuesday.
Eoin Morgan, the stand-in captain after Stuart Broad’s injury, topscored with an unbeaten 43 as Krishmar Santokie and Sheldon Cottrell restricted England to 131 for seven. West Indies overhauled the target with little fuss, getting there with 23 balls to spare.
Chasing 132, West Indies openers Gayle and Dwayne Smith (36) started at a little over nine per over in a 78-run opening stand. Tim Bresnan was the most bruised bowler in England’s attack, taken off after conceding 29 in two overs.
Smith smacked four fours and two sixes in a 30-ball knock before being caught by Jade Dernbach off James Tredwell.
West Indies had a minor hiccup when Johnson Charles and Marlon Samuels were dismissed in consecutive overs, but Lendl Simmons creamed 15 runs off the 15th over, leaving Gayle to complete the formalities. Gayle slammed six fours and two sixes during his knock.
Earlier in the day, England opted to bat and lost Michael Lumb (14) after an expensive first over bowled by Santokie but continued to live dangerously. Cottrell then removed Moeen Ali for a 16-ball 22 to help reduce England to 48 for 3 in six overs.
Morgan, however, was not one to be cowed into submission. He was the chief aggressor in two 33-run stands, first with Jos Buttler and then with Ravi Bopara. But with wickets tumbling at the other end, Morgan was forced to be more circumspect than he would have liked.
Morgan struck four fours and one six in his 42-ball knock to shepherd the England innings, but with Gayle going hammer and tongs, the total proved to be insufficient.