England thrash West Indies by eight wickets in T20 World Cup as Phil Salt hits 30 runs in an over | Cricket News

Phil Salt hit six boundaries in an over as he and Jonny Bairstow powered England to an eight-wicket victory over host nation West Indies in their T20 World Cup Super 8s opener in Saint Lucia.

Salt (87 not out off 47 balls) thrashed three sixes and as many fours in West Indies seamer Romario Shepherd’s 30-run 16th over as the defending champions reached their target of 181 with 15 deliveries to spare in Gros Islet in a statement victory.

Bairstow struck 48 not out off 26 deliveries in an unbroken third-wicket stand of 97 from 44 balls with Salt, taking three boundaries in succession off left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein in the 15th over.

Score summary – West Indies vs England

West Indies 180-4 in 20 overs: Johnson Charles (38 off 34), Rovman Powell (36 off 17 balls), Nicholas Pooran (36 off 32); Adil Rashid (1-21), Moeen Ali (1-15)

England 181-2 in 17.3 overs: Phil Salt (87no off 42), Jonny Bairstow (48no off 26), Jos Buttler (25 off 22); Roston Chase (1-19)

The Yorkshireman also smoked two consecutive boundaries off paceman Alzarri Joseph at the start of the 14th, which had begun with England requiring 70 from 42 balls following a West Indies fightback in the middle overs after England had reached 58-0 at the end of the powerplay through Salt and Jos Buttler (25 off 22).

Buttler’s side sit top of Super 8s Group 2, above South Africa on net run-rate, ahead of their clash with the Proteas in Saint Lucia on Friday (3.30pm UK and Ireland).

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid (1-21) was earlier the pick of the England bowlers, conceding only two runs and dismissing the potentially dangerous Andre Russell (1) in the 17th over, with fast bowler Jofra Archer (1-34) shipping only four runs and removing Nicholas Pooran (36 off 32) in the 16th as West Indies were limited to 180-4.

T20 World Cup Super 8s Group 2 - after Engand vs West Indies
England are the early leaders in T20 World Cup Super 8s Group 2

Brandon King (23 off 13) dazzled briefly for the home side in the powerplay, including smashing Reece Topley for a 101metre maximum over deep midwicket, but then retired hurt with a side strain that could rule him out of the rest of the tournament.

West Indies – who will rue Pooran dropping Salt on seven off Hosein early in the chase – next play against USA in Bridgetown, Barbados from 1.30am on Saturday.

England's Phil Salt (Associated Press)
Salt smashed three sixes and as many fours in the 16th over of England’s successful run chase

Salt stars in Saint Lucia as England lay down marker

Salt completed a 38-ball fifty when he smoked Shepherd for four over the covers at the start of the 16th over and then proceeded to pump six down the ground before uppercutting a slower ball over wicketkeeper Pooran for four.

The opener continued his assault with sixes over long-off and deep backward square and concluded a run-laden over by belting a full toss through the off-side, leaving his teams requiring just 10 from 24 deliveries and the game all but won.

Salt had earlier dominated his opening stand with Buttler before the latter was pinned lbw by off-spinner Roston Chase, while Moeen Ali (13 off 10) then holed out off Russell as England managed only 53 runs across overs seven to 13.

Bairstow reignited the innings, though, before Salt’s pyrotechnics.

With the ball, spinner Liam Livingstone (1-20) took some tap in his sole over, nailed for three sixes in four deliveries by West Indies skipper Rovman Powell (36 off 17) before he dismissed the same player, while paceman Mark Wood’s 18th over was taken for 19, largely due to Sherfane Rutherford (28no off 15).

But the hosts were largely subdued with top-scorer Johnson Charles (38 off 34) plodding along and England spinners Rashid and Moeen (1-15) keeping the run-rate down.

After only squeezing into the Super 8s ahead of Scotland on net run-rate, England now look like genuine title contenders once again.

Catch every match from the T20 World Cup, including the final in Barbados on Saturday June 29, live on Sky Sports.

What’s next?

England stick in Saint Lucia to play South Africa on Friday (3.30pm UK and Ireland), while West Indies travel to Barbados to take on USA on Saturday (1.30am UK and Ireland).

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