Bopara & Pietersen help England post 161/6

Updated: Jun 15, 2009, 22:14 PM IST

Zeecric Bureau

The Oval, June 15: Opener Ravi Bopara’s brilliant fifty and Kevin Pietersen’s blistering 31 helped England reach 161/6 in a must-win match against West Indies here on Monday.

England looked all set to post big when Bopara and Pietersen were going great guns. But some unimaginative batting by other batsmen coupled with excellent bowling and fielding by Windies restricted them to 161 in allotted 20 overs despite some rain interruption for a brief while.

England were 129 for four off 16.4 overs when rain suspended the play. But no over was curtailed and England got full quota of 20 overs to bat.

After losing Luke Wright early, former England captain Pietersen took the attack to the opposition by playing an whirlwind knock of 19-ball 31. His cameo knock consisted of 5 hits to the fence.

Ravi Bopara helped England laid a solid platform by smashing a brilliant fifty off 43 balls.

Bopara, who along with Pietersen put up a 56-run stand, anchored the England innings. It’s due to their partnership that England crossed hundred run-mark.

Keiron Pollard, who replaced injured Fidel Edwards in the side, drew the first blood for the West Indies as he removed Luke Wright for 6.

Earlier, England won the toss and elected to bat first against a do-or-die match against England. Both the teams need to win the match to get a semi-final berth. South Africa have already qualified for the semis.

West Indies were unfortunate enough to lose out on Edwards when he injured his knee during the warm up a few moments back. England, on the other hand, brought in Adil Rashid to replace Dimitri Mascarenhas.

West Indies (Playing XI): Chris Gayle(c), Andre Fletcher, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Keiron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin(w), Darren Sammy, Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn

England (Playing XI): Luke Wright, Ravinder Bopara, Kevin Pietersen, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood(c), James Foster(w), Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Adil Rashid, Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson