Jun 24 2012
England's inexperienced batting line-up will chase 173 for victory in the one-off NatWest Twenty20 against West Indies at Trent Bridge.
Opener Dwayne Smith smashed 70 from 54 balls, after West Indies had been in trouble following the early loss of Chris Gayle, to post a challenging target for England's post-Kevin Pietersen line-up.
Pietersen's premature retirement from limited overs cricket earlier this summer has left England relying on a talented if young batting line-up ahead of their World Twenty20 title defence later this year.
Their credentials to defend that crown was set to be immediately put under the microscope after England's bowlers allowed the tourists recover from 30 for three on the back of Smith's powerful knock, that included five sixes.
Dwayne Bravo also added an unbeaten 54 from 36 balls and with Kieron Pollard (23 off 13) took 63 from the last four overs as West Indies reached 172 for four. After England lost the toss and were asked to bowl their immediate hopes of victory were significantly boosted with the early dismissal of danger man Gayle for two.
A Steven Finn short ball tempted Gayle, playing his first Twenty20 international in two years, to swipe at a ball he could only top edge high to Jonny Bairstow who held on well on the fine leg rope.
When Broad removed Lendl Simmons, also caught by Bairstow, with his first delivery, the tourists had been restricted to 29 for two after the initial six-over powerplay. England's early advantage was strengthened when Graeme Swann had Marlon Samuels caught behind by wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter.
It was opener Smith who took up the lead role though, lofting both Swann and Samit Patel straight over the ropes, before his third six brought up his half-century from 46 balls. Broad was celebrating his 26th birthday by captaining his country on his home ground, but Smith was intent on crashing his party and he hammered another six over the bowler's head.
With partner Bravo content to feed Smith the strike he continued the slightly-delayed acceleration, back-cutting Patel for four as West Indies reached 100 off 91 balls. The opener pulled Finn for his fifth sixth but was out next ball when the England quick claimed his second important scalp when he cleverly fired a wide delivery that Smith chased only to edge behind.
That brought the big-hitting Pollard to the crease and he soon swiped Patel for a straight six before Bravo cleared the ropes from consecutive balls off Jade Dernbach as they gave West Indies hope of a first win over England on this tour.