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Gayle's West Indies crush England

England’s defence of their Twenty20 world title hangs by a slender thread after they lost to West Indies. Big-hitting Chris Gayle ensured that the West Indies posted a daunting total of 179, and England’s reply was immediately undermined when they lost the wickets of Craig Kieswetter and Luke Wright in the opening over.

In the circumstances Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales made a decent attempt at chasing down a daunting total, but fell 16 runs short. England must now win their remaining matches, against New Zealand and Sri Lanka, to have a realistic chance of making the semi-finals.

The partnership between Hales and Morgan added 107 runs, which could be important if progress comes down to net run-rate. Morgan’s audacious batting might also make the England management consider playing him higher up the order in future matches.

"It was always going to be tough chasing that total, once we were eight for two after three overs," Hales said. "But I thought we fought back really well. I thought Morgs came in and played outstandingly well - and gave us half a chance towards the end."

With Morgan on this kind of form, England can have some grounds for optimism going into their next match, against New Zealand. "He was very good to bat with, and very calm," Hales added. "When he got going, at a strike rate of 200, I thought if he really clicks in the last few overs we might actually have a chance. But they executed their plans well at the end there."

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