England openers overpower Windies

England looked to have found the solution to their opening problems at the ICC World Twenty20 as Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara led them to a nine-wicket warm-up thrashing of the West Indies here at Lord’s.

By (AFP)

Published: Thu 4 Jun 2009, 9:49 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:48 AM

Chasing 145 for victory, England got home with more than five overs to spare here on Wednesday after a first-wicket stand of 119 between Wright (75 not out) and Bopara, who made 60.

Since their first Twenty20 international against Australia four years ago, England have used 11 different duos at the top of the order.

But Wright and Bopara’s 76-ball stand appeared to settle the issue ahead of England’s tournament opener proper against the Netherlands at Lord’s on Friday.

Bopara has scored hundreds in his last three Tests against the West Indies and Wright said: “Ravi is good to bat with. He’s really come of age with the way he’s playing.

“He’s taken his form from the Test matches and the one-dayers into the Twenty20 and he really does take the pressure off you when he plays the way he does.

“At times in Twenty20 cricket someone will naturally get a start and the other person doesn’t always.

“I had a choice of keep trying to knock ones and let Ravi keep going the way he was or make a decision to take a bit on myself, take a punt and have a go and that’s what I chose to do.

“That got me in and got me seeing the ball a bit better.

“I found it quite hard to start with. Those first few overs they bowled quite well and I wasn’t seeing it quite as well as Ravi was at the time.”

Sussex all-rounder Wright added: “I’m happy to do a job wherever I’m asked to bat.

“When I’ve gone out, they’ve just told me to go and express myself and believe in yourself and that’s what I’ve tried to do.

“If I do get the chance to do it on Friday I’ve got to try and get more consistent and push on from this. I want to make this my marker and push on.”

West Indies, well-beaten by England during both a Test and one-day series earlier in the season, made 144 for six with Ramnaresh Sarwan top-scoring with 46 in an innings where England leg-spinner Adil Rashid took one for 20.

West Indies though were without captain Chris Gayle after the aggressive opening batsman let wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin lead the side instead.

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