Mixed feelings for England

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Eoin Morgan admits England need to improve with the bat Eoin Morgan admits England need to improve with the bat

England were left reflecting on what might have been against the West Indies, but also what might still be in the forthcoming ICC World Twenty20 if they can somehow sort out their top-order batting.

Captain Eoin Morgan, deputising for the injured Stuart Broad, admitted after a five-wicket defeat at the Kensington Oval - where the hosts therefore clinched the series with a match to spare - that England again simply paid for a poor start with the bat.

Their 30 for three in the powerplay compared very unfavourably with the Windies' 58 for one in reply - and it was testament to the efforts of Jos Buttler (67) and then the miserly Ravi Bopara with the ball that England kept the outcome in doubt for so long.

In the end, Darren Sammy's brutal 30 not out from only nine deliveries made it 2-0 to his team - after Krishmar Santokie's four for 21 had first set the match up for West Indies.

Morgan was unsurprisingly in no doubt afterwards that it was not England's bowlers who had been found wanting.

Asked to assess where the match was lost, he said: "It was certainly with the bat.

"Being 30 for three after six overs puts us on the back foot.

"To get to 150 from there, I thought, was a great effort.

"Jos and Alex (Hales) played particularly well, given the circumstances.

"Jos just continues to flourish. He's absolutely loving life at the moment, in fantastic form."

Bopara could also take credit for the most economical four-over spell in England's Twenty20 history - conceding only 10 runs, and taking the wicket of the dangerous Chris Gayle.

Overall, Morgan was rightly more heartened than England could have been after their chastening defeat at the same venue two days ago.

"I think it leaves us with a lot more positives than the other day," he said.

"We fought really well tonight, bowled and batted - in the middle overs and towards the end - much better.

"We showed a lot of character, which is great. That will give us great confidence going into the Twenty20 World Cup."

The Irishman believes England have many of the constituent parts to be competitive in the impending global tournament in Bangladesh, if only they can address their issues against the new ball.

"I think we have enough power in the tank, but we're just faltering at the very start," he said.

"Finding the balance between being really positive and not losing wickets is difficult ... and the margin for error when momentum is against you is very, very small."

One possible remedy might be to deploy Ian Bell in the top three, following his addition to the squad as a replacement for the injured Joe Root.

But Morgan said: "Belly's only arrived very recently, four days ago, so he's just catching up to speed at the moment.

"He needs to get balls under his belt (in the nets) before we'll look at him."

Morgan's opposite number Sammy had more to smile about as his world champions warmed up in style for the defence of their title.

He told Sky Sports 2: "We wanted to leave here with good momentum going into the World Cup.

"For two games, it has been a complete team effort. I can't fault the lads."

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree