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'Mature' Phil Salt knock powers England to win over West Indies at T20 World Cup

'Mature' Phil Salt knock powers England to win over West Indies
© Reuters
England continue their return to form at the T20 World Cup by posting an eight-wicket victory over West Indies in their first Super 8s fixture.

England opener Phil Salt battered a knock of 87 against West Indies on Wednesday evening to boost England's hopes at the T20 World Cup.

Jos Buttler's side only scraped into the Super 8s through two wins over minnows Oman and Namibia, as well as Scotland narrowly losing to Australia on Saturday.

However, England were back to their magnificent best with the bat in St Lucia as they prevailed by eight wickets against one of the tournament hosts.

West Indies had posted an imposing 180-4, yet there was a feeling that it was more than attainable should England be able to make a fast start.

At the halfway stage, they were behind the run-rate, but a monstrous 30-run over from Salt ensured that England got home with 2.3 overs to spare.

England showcase their qualities in St Lucia

Although England elected to field first, they felt up against it to keep West Indies below 200 on a favourable batting surface, and they did not lost a wicket until the 12th over.

Brandon King had to retire with a side injury when well set on 23 from 13, but Johnson Charles (38), Nicholas Pooran (36) and Rovman Powell (36) hit seven sixes between them to keep West Indies on track.

Sherfane Rutherford's unbeaten 28 off 15 took his side to 180 as Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone all took a wicket apiece.

In reply, Buttler was pedestrian by his own high standards, making just 25 from 22, and Moeen would depart after contributing just 13 off 10 higher up the order.

Nevertheless, Salt and Jonny Bairstow (48*) combined to pummel England to victory, the former hitting seven boundaries and five maximums including smashing 30 off a Romario Shepherd over.

Bairstow praises "mature" Salt

Speaking after the contest, Bairstow was full of praise for his batting partner at the end, crediting him for what he felt was a "mature" performance.

He said, as quoted by BBC Sport: "He's a class player and has been for a really long time.

"You just keep backing class players. He hasn't had many opportunities but today was a really impressive innings: a mature, senior player's innings with a lot of power.

"He scored at a great lick when the game was in the balance."

Having acquired a strong net-run-rate, England may just require one win from their final two Super 8s fixtures against South Africa and USA to book their place in the semi-finals.

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England celebrate taking a wicket against Pakistan on May 25, 2024.
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