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England go down to smashing West Indies in Twenty20 warm-up

England suffered more misery in the first of their two pre-World Twenty20 matches. They lost by seven wickets to the West Indies on March 18th, following their recent 2-1 series loss against the same side, and now face India the next day.

With England’s first fixture of the tournament coming against New Zealand on March 22nd, they will have a lot of work to do to prove doubters wrong and reclaim the trophy the won in 2010.

Coral class Ashley Giles’ team as eighth-favourites to win the World Twenty20 at 14/1, just behind their opening group opponents – who are priced at 9/1.

In the first warm-up games against the West Indies, England were put into bat first, but could only manage a total of 131 for seven wickets from their 20 overs.

Stand-in captain Eoin Morgan (7/2 to be England’s and 28/1 for be overall World Twenty20 top batsman) was the only real performer on the day for his side, as he top scored with 43 not out from 42 balls. Moeen Ali (7/1 and 40/1) was the next highest with 22 off 16 deliveries and, although he made a promising start, his innings was cut short.

The usually prolific wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Butler (9/1 and 80/1) could manage only 14 from 20 balls at a strike-rate of 70.00.

A masterclass display from the always entertaining Chris Gayle destroyed England’s hopes. The former Windies captain smashed an unbeaten 58 from just 38 deliveries and was aided by his opening partner Dwayne Smith’s 36 from 30.

Back Gayle to finish the competition as top batsman at 10/1, or just for the West Indies at 9/4.

England’s next and final warm-up match is against India (tournament second-favourites at 5/1). Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad (3/1 to be England top bowler) should return from his knee tendonitis injury, while Ian Bell (4/1 England top batsman) could also make an appearance to try cement his place in the XI.

Sixes will be a problem for Giles’ side, as England managed just one (from Morgan) compared to five from the West Indies.