Monday, 9 February 2015

England beat a lacklustre West Indies side by nine wickets in their first World Cup warm-up match at Sydney. World Cup warm-up: England ease past West Indies in Sydney

England celebrate after Chris Woakes (centre) dismisses West Indies' Dwayne Smith

West Indies won the toss but lost both Chris Gayle and Darren Bravo first ball in Chris Woakes's opening over to leave them 1-2, and they struggled to 35-4.
Lendl Simmons (45) top scored but only three of his team-mates reached double figures as they were skittled for 122 with seamer Woakes claiming 5-19.
Moeen Ali hit 46 as England cruised to victory with 27.1 overs to spare.
Although England took the opportunity to rest front-line pacemen James Anderson and Stuart Broad, their remaining bowlers found easy pickings against a disappointing Windies batting line-up.

After Woakes combined with keeper Jos Buttler to remove Gayle and Bravo off successive deliveries, he nearly had three in three as Marlon Samuels came within a whisker of edging the hat-trick ball - although the unofficial nature of these warm-up matches, with all 15 World Cup squad players able to take part, would have denied him a one-day international hat-trick.
With only a small sprinkling of fans within the Sydney Cricket Ground, the atmosphere remained subdued as the West Indian shot selection left something to be desired all afternoon.
Dwayne Smith edged Woakes to second slip, while Samuels and Denesh Ramdin were both bowled playing down the wrong line, with only Simmons able to hold up an end.
Off-spinner James Tredwell, having carried the drinks for last month's one-day tri-series, bowled Jonathan Carter with his first ball, and it looked as though the Windies might struggle to reach three figures. 

However, Simmons took them past that milestone with a huge six off Tredwell, but a few airy wafts gave England some practice at holding high catches.
The Caribbean misery continued when England began their innings as Moeen was caught at point by Carter off skipper Jason Holder from what was subsequently adjudged to be a no-ball.
Even when Moeen fell for 46 from 43 balls, fortune continued to favour England as a top edge over square leg from Ian Bell fell safely, and he anchored the run chase with a patient unbeaten 35 from 68 balls. 

England take on Pakistan at the same venue on Wednesday in their second and final warm-up match before the tournament begins with New Zealand hosting Sri Lanka in Christchurch at 22:00 GMT on Friday, 13 February.
England's opening match is against Australia in Melbourne on Saturday.

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