England cruise to another victory

London: England, fresh from overwhelming India during the summer, kept up their recent winning run by thrashing West Indies by 10 wickets in their first Twenty20 international at The Oval on Friday.

Ravi Bopara with four for 10, a record return by an England player in a Twenty20 international, undid the visitors who slipped from 62-1 to a modest 125 all out in 19.4 overs.

England openers Alex Hales (62 not out) and Craig Kieswetter (58 not out) amassed 128 in 15.2 overs, a record stand for England in Twenty 20.

"I was delighted with the way everyone performed. Good old Ravi Bopara, he`s been bowling me out for two years in the nets and I`ve told everyone he should bowl more," England stand-in captain Graeme Swann said during the presentation ceremony.

"He did really well. It speaks greatly for the depth in the squad when we can leave someone like James Anderson out and still win like this. It bodes well."

Both sides fielded three debutants apiece and England were led for the first time by Swann as regular skipper Stuart Broad was out injured. The second and final match is on Sunday, again at The Oval.

"When we started batting we were right on course, but we lost our way from there and we never caught up. As soon as the spinners came on it started to turn a bit, we lost crucial wickets and we couldn`t rotate the strike enough," said West Indies captain Darren Sammy.

Bureau Report

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