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West Indies deny England
The West Indies reach the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup after beating England.
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2009 21:43 GMT

Going on: The West Indies fight on to the semi-finals [AFP]
West Indies are through to the semifinals of the Twenty20 World Cup after a thrilling five-wicket victory over England in a rain-affected match at The Oval in London.

England scored 161-6, with Ravi Bopara making 55 from 47 balls, including five fours and Kevin Pietersen 31.

However, Dwayne Bravo took 2-30 as England squandered a promising start.

After nearly an hour's delay for rain, West Indies was set a revised victory target of 80 from 9 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

"We're happy to be in the semi-finals,'' captain Chris Gayle said. "Our batting has been a disaster here in England and we wanted to give our supporters something to cheer about.

"It was great to see them cheering in the stand. It's been a long hard summer for us but to be in the semifinal is brilliant.''

Victory at hand

England appeared to be coasting to victory after reducing West Indies to 45-5, but the experience of Ramnaresh Sarwan (19 not out) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (17 not out) steered them to victory with four balls to spare.

"I was basically we thinking we needed one big over to get back into the game and that's what happened, it got us back into the equation,'' Sarwan said.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, England lost opener Luke Wright off the ninth ball of the innings when he top edged a ball from Kieron Pollard and was caught by Denesh Ramdin.

Pietersen made a rapid 31 from 19 balls, but was out in the eighth over when he tried to sweep Lendl Simmons and was caught at deep square leg by Andre Fletcher.

England was 84-2 after 10 overs and looking set for a high score, but Fletcher then produced a fabulous diving catch, again at deep square leg, this time off Dwayne Bravo to dismiss Owais Shah.

Rain

As light rain began to fall Bopara was given out lbw to West Indies captain Gayle in the 16th over.

The shower turned into a downpour and play was suspended after 16.4 overs, but after exactly 30 minutes the game was resumed and no overs were lost for England.

Collingwood was out lbw to Bravo just two balls after the resumption and James Foster was caught by Pollard off Sulieman Benn in the final over.

Having gone 58 balls without a boundary, Stuart Broad struck the last two balls for four and six, to bolster England's total.

However, rain fell heavily during the interval and the West Indies were then set the revised target.

England made an early breakthrough when James Anderson removed Andre Fletcher with the final ball of the opening over when he miscued to Foster.

West Indies stagger

Gayle responded by smacking the next ball, from Ryan Sidebottom, for four, but Sidebottom bowled him four balls later.

West Indies visibly panicked. Simmons played a rash shot to Broad in the next over and was caught by Sidebottom.

Pollard and Bravo hit sixes from successive balls, but just as the momentum appeared to be shifting Pollard was bowled by Adil Rashid in the fifth over.

Next over Bravo was stumped by Foster off Swann and with three overs to go West Indies needed 29.

But successive fours from Sarwan off Anderson put the West Indies back in charge.

Sarwan and Chanderpaul struck 13 off the penultimate over from Broad, meaning West Indies needed just three runs from Sidebottom's last over. Sarwan then finished the game in style with a four.

Confidence

Gayle was confident West Indies would have won if his side had batted the full 20 overs.

"161 on this sort of ground is very gettable,'' Gayle said. "It's a fast outfield and it's gettable. We didn't get the start we wanted but we couldn't have had two better batsmen in that sort of situation.''

Collingwood drew comfort from the way his side tried to defend a low target.

"I'm very proud of the guys and the way they fought through the tournament,'' Collingwood said.

"It's been pretty much a rollercoaster ride for us all the way through.

"At one point I thought we had a chance to win (today) and to get to that point we showed a lot of character, because it's not easy to defend a total like that.''

Source:
Agencies
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