When England take on the West Indies in their opening men’s T20 World Cup fixture at Dubai tomorrow, they will be looking to break their tournament jinx against the defending champions. Since the two teams first met in the 2009 edition, England have lost on all five occasions, with the 2016 final being the latest episode. As we await a potentially cracking contest, here is a look back at these five matches.
Windies knock the hosts out – Super Eight, The Oval, 2009
With both teams having lost to South Africa, this was a knockout for a semifinal berth. England put up a competitive 161/6, with opener Ravi Bopara scoring 55. Rain in the interval reduced the West Indies’ target to 80 from nine overs, after which they faltered to 45/5. With 35 needed in 22 balls, the Guyanese duo of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan combined to seal a five-wicket win with four balls left.
Another rain-hit chase – Group Stage, Providence, 2010
The two teams were again involved in a rain-hit encounter in the following edition in the Caribbean. Eoin Morgan (55) and Luke Wright (47) added 95 for the fifth wicket to spur eventual champions England to 191/5, before captain Chris Gayle launched the chase aggressively. Rain intervened when the Windies were 30/0 in 2.2 overs, reducing the target to 60 from six overs. They duly got there with a ball and eight wickets to spare.
Openers blaze away – Super Eight, Pallekele, 2012.
The opening pair of Johnson Charles (84 in 56 balls) and Gayle (58 in 35) gave the West Indies a terrific start by adding 103 in 11 overs. England pulled things back to limit the total to 179/5, but then lost two wickets to Ravi Rampaul in the first over for no score. Morgan hit 71* off just 36 balls and added 107 for the fourth wicket with Alex Hales (68), but the early setbacks meant that England could only muster 164/4.
Gayle storm strikes – Group Stage, Mumbai, 2016
One of Gayle’s most destructive knocks started off his team’s campaign in style. Responding to England’s 182/6, the southpaw lost his opening partner Charles off the second ball. But he proceeded to smash five fours and 11 sixes and went from 22 in 16 balls to 100* in 48, besting his own World Cup records for the fastest hundred and most sixes in an innings. The Windies got home by six wickets with 11 balls to spare.
The Samuels and Brathwaite show – Final, Kolkata, 2016
England slumped to 23/3 in the summit clash, before Joe Root (54), with support from Jos Buttler and David Willey, helped boost the total to 155/9. Carlos Brathwaite collected 3/23, while Samuel Badree’s leg-spin fetched him 2/16. Root was not done though, as his off-spin accounted for Charles and Gayle in his first over to leave the West Indies at 5/2. It soon became 11/3 with Willey (3/20) removing Lendl Simmons.
However, as he had done in the 2012 final against Sri Lanka, Marlon Samuels (85* in 66 balls) steadied the ship. He put on 75 for the fourth wicket with Darren Bravo to swing the game again. Yet, the West Indies needed 19 off the last over, to be bowled by Ben Stokes. Brathwaite (34* in 10) rose to the task, slamming four sixes off the first four balls to ensure a stunning four-wicket win and a second title for the West Indies.