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All-round Samuels stars for West Indies

Badree's triple strike derails English chase in first T20 International

All-round Samuels stars for West Indies - Cricket News
Marlon Samuels scored a 46-ball 69.

West Indies registered an emphatic 27-run win over England in the first of three Twenty20 Internationals at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown on Sunday (March 9).

Marlon Samuels, who played a pivotal role in West Indies' ICC World T20 triumph in October 2012, led the resurgence with an unbeaten 69 in the team's total of 170 for 3 in 20 overs. He then finished capped off a fine afternoon in front of a packed house with two wickets to seal the win and the Man of the Match award.

If Samuels gave West Indies a total of substance, the initiative was further wrested by Samuel Badree, the wrist spinner, who pegged England back right at the outset with three wickets. Tim Bresnan (47 not out) and Ravi Bopara (42) chipped in with useful contributions, but the early damage dealt a big hole as England ended its innings at 143 for 9.

While the win comes as a breather for West Indies, who lost the ODI series 1-2, it would also be concerned over the fitness of Sunil Narine and Badree, the frontline spinners. Narine bowled just two overs after jarring his right knee trying to save a boundary, while Badree, who claimed 3 for 17, injured his fingers while attempting a return catch.

Injury has played its part in limiting West Indies from playing its full-strength squad in recent times. Chris Gayle, who missed the ODI series, made a quickfire 43 that included five fours and two towering sixes. He along with Dwayne Smith ensured the launch pad was set.

Smith, in fact, hoisted the first ball of the match off Stuart Broad for a six and took 19 off the over. He was dismissed for 27 to Bopara, who along with James Tredwell, the offspinner, somewhat restricted the flow of runs in the middle overs.

But that is when the dam burst open. Samuels has a slice of luck when he was dropped on 37 by Eoin Morgan at backward point. Off the 18th over, he was offered a second reprieve by Jade Dernbach. To England's misfortune, Samuels made it pay as he smashed the next five delivers for boundaries. That was the passage of play that made a bearing on the final outcome. 

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