May 22, 2018

Ben Stokes: Liam Plunkett backs England decision to rest Durham all-rounder

17 September 2017, 05:20 | Sandy Nunez

West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Liam Plunkett to win the T20 match in Durham. Richard Sellers

West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Liam Plunkett to win the T20 match in Durham

Brathwaite said: 'It was bad and I asked they guys 'you know do you want to trudge on or do you want to call it a day?'

Barbados-born Brathwaite, 29, had been West Indies' star with the bat when they beat England in last year's World Twenty20 final, hitting four successive sixes in a dramatic last over. "We said 'do you know what, let's give it a go"'.

In response Alex Hales struck a blistering 43 as England started strongly but the hosts fell to 68-4 and were all out for 155.

To some in Durham it was yet another slap in the face from the England and Wales Cricket Board, who took the unprecedented step of relegating the side from the First Division of the County Championship in October and then hit them with a massive 48-point penalty for this season in return for a £3.8 million (4.3 million euros) bail-out that stopped the club going out of business in May previous year.

But the Yorkshire duo of fast bowler Plunkett, who took three for 27 in his maximum four overs, and leg-spinner Rashid, whose return of three for 25 was his best at this level, helped England regain the initiative in a match that represented a repeat of last year's World Twenty20 final - won by West Indies.

West Indies openers Evin Lewis (51) and Chris Gayle (40) got their side off to a good start before Brathwaite and Kesrick Williams claimed three wickets apiece as England fell short of their target.

And the elder Curran brother, who made such an impact on debut for England in the Twenty20 series against South Africa earlier this season, is the only real 50-over newcomer as the selectors have chose to wheel out their big guns.

Ramadan Sobhi features as Newcastle defeats Stoke City
Asked how he felt when he looked at the table, he replied: "I haven't seen the table and I don't want to see the table, believe me".

The 37-year-old Gayle, in common with several senior West Indies players, had been involved in a bitter dispute with Caribbean cricket chiefs.

Gayle's 21-ball innings, featuring three fours and four sixes ended when, after guiding Plunkett to backward point, he was run out as he ambled for a single.

That match saw fellow left-hander Lewis manage the impressive feat of out-hitting Gayle on his way to a stunning and unbeaten 125.

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle secured a slice of history on Saturday in becoming the first man to smash 100 sixes in worldwide Twenty20 cricket.

The Trinidadian, however, was out soon afterwards when he drove Plunkett straight to England Test skipper Root at mid-off.

Stokes, 26, will play in the five-match one-day series that follows, and is set to be a key figure in England's Ashes campaign in Australia this winter.

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