World T20 cricket: England lose to West Indies despite Morgan effort
|ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights Group One, Pallekele:|
|West Indies 179-5 beat England 164-4 by 15 runs|
Eoin Morgan smashed 71 from 36 balls but England fell 15 runs short against West Indies in their opening Super Eights match of the World Twenty20.
Morgan and Alex Hales (68) put on 107 for the fourth wicket, but were left with too much to do after England slumped to 0-2 in their first over.
Johnson Charles smashed 84 and Chris Gayle 58 in the Windies's 179-5.
Defending champions England face New Zealand in Pallekele on Saturday in their second Super Eight match.
Morgan's innings, which included four fours and five sixes, was one of the great Twenty20 knocks, but he was let down by his team-mates earlier in the innings.
Ravi Rampaul removed both Craig Kieswetter and Luke Wright for ducks within the first three balls of England's reply - the dismissals as much to do with bad strokeplay as good bowling.
First, Kieswetter tried to pull a ball that was not short enough in length and top-edged a catch to Kieron Pollard at point.
Wright, who scored 99 not out in England's victory over Afghanistan in the group stages, fended another shortish delivery to Gayle at slip.
The tame manner of their dismissals evoked memories of England's 80 all out against India on Sunday, and it was left to Hales to repair the damage.
The Nottinghamshire man scored at more than a run a ball while his partner Jonny Bairstow battled hard for 18 off 29 balls.
However, by the time the Yorkshireman had departed to Pollard's stunning catch on the boundary, the required rate had rocketed and England were left wishing they had sent Morgan to the crease earlier than they did.
Hales and Morgan brought up their 100 partnership in 52 balls but, with 23 needed from the final over, their fightback fizzled out and the opener was out stumped with only two balls left.
Morgan's brutal counter-attack was matched in its ferocity by whirlwind knocks by Gayle and his 23-year-old opening partner Charles.
Gayle set the tone with a scintillating 58 from 35 balls, which included six fours and four sixes. He was particularly brutal to Samit Patel, brought into the side in place of Tim Bresnan, as he took 19 of the spinner's first over - launching three maximums into the stand.
Charles was more circumspect early on, but took control when Gayle skied one to Steven Finn off Graeme Swann.
Ironically, Finn had dropped Johnson off a similar chance the ball before, and the let-off seemed to energise the St Lucian.
Excellent variations by Stuart Broad accounted for Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy - either side of Charles's dismissal to Jade Dernbach.
Late hitting by Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell set England a target of 180, and that looked out of reach when Rampaul struck early.
Morgan and Hales got close, but England now have two crucial games left in the Super Eights - against New Zealand on Saturday and Sri Lanka on Monday.