England post challenging 155/9 in WT20 final

Kolkata: England recovered from an early stutter to post a challenging 155/9 against the West Indies in the World Twenty20 cricket final at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday. Joe Root (54 off 36 balls, 7x4) and Jos Buttler (36 off 22, 1x4, 3x6) resurrected the England innings with a fourth wicket partnership of 61 runs after the side seemed to be tottering at 23/3 in front of a capacity crowd. Most of the England batsmen fell to poor shots on a docile pitch that offered little assistance to the bowlers. For the Caribbeans, Carlos Brathwaite (3/23) and Dwayne Bravo (3/37) were the chief wicket-takers. Put in to bat, England started on a wrong note, losing Jason Roy of the second ball, without a run on the board. Windies skipper Darren Sammy's tactics of beginning with leg spinner Samuel Badree paid off, as he got a slider through the Durban-born right hander's defence. Another jolt came in the next over, with the other opener Alex Hales (1) getting out to Andre Russell. The tall Middlesex batsman miscued a big hit off the wayward stuff that finished in the hands of Badree at short fine leg. England were 8/2, but soon tallied 23/3 inside the fifth over -- it was the big wicket of skipper Eoin Morgan and the successful bowler was again Badree. Having looked tentative all through his 12-ball stay, Morgan fell to a googly that took the outside edge. Badree, who had a hand in each of the first three dismissals, finished his bowling stint with enviable figures of 4-1-16-2. Root and Buttler then batted cautiously to revive the innings, running the singles and twos and hitting the occasional boundaries. Buttler took the score past 50 in the ninth over, sending left arm off-spinner Suleiman Benn out of the ground. England were 67/3 at the halfway stage. Buttler then went after Benn, hitting two back-to-back sixes, but departed a little later in his attempt to hit pacer Brathwaite into the stands. The score read 84/4 in the 12th over. Root got to his fourth T20I half-century off 33 balls with a single, while Ben Stokes (13) brought up the 100 in the 13th over, that yielded 14 runs, but the innings stuttered soon after. Bravo triggered a collapse by getting rid of Stokes and Moeen Ali in the space of three balls, while Brathwaite sent back the dangerous Root in the first ball of the 15th over, reducing England to 111/7. Root failed to control a premeditated shot and gave a simple catch to Benn at short fine leg. David Willey then played a cameo, scoring 21 of 14 balls, including two sixes of Bravo, that helped England go past the 150-mark. After he got out, England managed only 24 in the last three overs.