Morgan sees signs of progress

  • Last Updated: March 12 2014, 7:48 GMT

England believe they are continuing to refine their ICC World Twenty20 strategy, despite a series defeat against West Indies at the Kensington Oval.

Jos Buttler: Hit a career-best 67 in Barbados
Jos Buttler: Hit a career-best 67 in Barbados

Jos Buttler's career-best 67 and Ravi Bopara's most economical four-over spell in English Twenty20 history were not enough to stop the hosts racing to a five-wicket victory with seven balls to spare in pursuit of 152 for seven.

The Windies will therefore head to Bangladesh next week for the defence of their title with a series success under their belts, irrespective of the outcome in a dead rubber here on Thursday.

For England, a fifth consecutive Twenty20 defeat - after they lost 3-0 in Australia earlier this winter - was less promising.

But captain Eoin Morgan, deputising for the injured Stuart Broad, saw some encouraging signs.

As well as Bopara, James Tredwell also bowled with great skill - despite some massive blows into and over the stands from Chris Gayle - and Morgan was also pleased to have made room for a second spinner, Stephen Parry, to make his debut.

Spin is sure to be a significant weapon in the global tournament in Bangladesh, and Morgan said: "We've tested out two spinners today, seen how it works, what our new template looks like.

"I thought it worked particularly well after the first six (overs)."

England were never able to make up for a powerplay differential which overwhelmingly favoured West Indies.

After winning the toss, the tourists stumbled to 30 for three in six overs - and then had to watch the Windies race to 58 for one in the same time frame, thanks to Gayle and Dwayne Smith's big hitting.

Tredwell and especially Bopara helped to keep the contest alive, however.

"Particularly this evening, we found when it rained a little bit it greased it up, and Ravi said it was just nibbling off the seam," said Morgan.

"I've seen Ravi play in Bangladesh, and he has ways of getting it under the bat.

"His slower ball goes really well - similar to Jade's [Dernbach], very effective."

West Indies have a team full of power hitters.

But Morgan believes, as England develop, they can match the world champions - as long as they start to avoid the sticky starts which have afflicted them here.

"I think it's harsh to compare us as sides," he said.

"We have very different attributes, and they have a lot of very experienced guys who were there when they won the World Cup last time.

"When we won the World Cup four years ago, there weren't many of us here."

Morgan is still struggling with a badly bruised knee but like Broad, who has had an injection in his knee and is sitting out the final two matches of this series, he is confident he will be fit in Bangladesh.

"It's coming along," he said.

"It's a bit of a slow-burner, but it's getting there.

"I'm confident I'll be okay."


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