DUBAI: Adil Rashid returned figures of 4-2 to set up a six-wicket victory for England after they dismissed defending champions West Indies for a paltry 55 at the T20 World Cup on Saturday.
West Indies rattled England’s top order before Jos Buttler (24) and skipper Eoin Morgan (7) took the team home in 8.2 overs in Dubai.
Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein took two wickets and Moeen Ali was run out, but the target proved too meagre to challenge England.
Moeen opened the bowling for England with his off-spin and made an instant impact, first with a sharp running catch to remove Evin Lewis. He then got the wicket of Lendl Simmons.
Pace bowler Tymal Mills claimed two wickets including Chris Gayle, the only batsman to make double figures with his 13, as West Indies crumbled in a poor batting performance from the two-time champions.
Rashid entered the attack with West Indies on 44-6 and bowled the big-hitting Andre Russell for nought. He took two more wickets in successive balls in his next over and then wrapped up the innings.
He returned outstanding figures of 4-2 from his 2.2 overs of leg-spin.
West Indies avoided their worst T20 total of 45 against the same opposition in 2019.
The two sides met five years after their clash in the 2016 final in Kolkata when Carlos Brathwaite hit Ben Stokes for four straight sixes in the last over.
But with Saturday’s crushing performance, England have fired a warning to their rivals in the seventh edition of T20’s showpiece event.
England skipper Eoin Morgan had won the toss and elected to bowl against holders West Indies in the Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup on Saturday, five years after the two sides clashed in the 2016 final.
Carlos Brathwaite hit four straight sixes off Ben Stokes in that dramatic final in Kolkata, but both players are missing from this tournament.
Morgan, who is looking for a double World Cup triumph after he led England to the 50-over title in 2019, had said the team has the balance to make an impact.
“We get balance with Liam (Livingstone) and Moeen (Ali), so it gives us three seamers and three spinners,” Morgan had said at the toss.
“We are excited about the start of our campaign tonight.”
West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard had said his team is looking to the likes of 42-year-old “legend” Chris Gayle to fire up the team.
“We have an all-round team. Just a matter of us coming together and playing,” said Pollard.
“Chris Gayle, legend for us…Looking forward to what we can do as a team more than individuals.”
Both teams decided to take a knee once the anthems had been played.
England: Jos Buttler (wk), Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Tymal Mills
West Indies: Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Kieron Pollard (captain), Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Akeal Hosein, Obed McCoy, Ravi Rampaul
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