Thursday, July 25, 2024

T20 World Cup: ‘He is a class player, incredibly impressive innings’, Buttler on Baitstow’s 48* vs WI

Gros Islet (St Lucia), June 20, 2024
England captain Jos Buttler has hailed Jonny Bairstow as a “class player” and termed his unbeaten 48* off 26 knock as “incredibly impressive innings” after a dominant eight-wicket victory against West Indies in the Super Eight stage of the T20 World Cup 2024 in Gros Islet.

Chasing a formidable target of 181, England achieved it with ease, thanks to an unbeaten 87 from Phil Salt and a blistering 26-ball 48 not out from Bairstow. The pair added 97 off just 44 balls, guiding England to victory with 2.3 overs to spare.

“That was a really good performance from us,” Buttler said during the post-match presentation. “We planned really well, we’ve been practising well and executed both with the bat and ball and deserved to win.

I thought we bowled really well to restrict such a powerful batting line-up, such great six-hitters especially. [It was a] decent score, and you had to play well to chase it down.”

Buttler was particularly impressed with the smart approach his team took while batting. “I thought we were very smart with the bat. Guys were very calculated when they took their options on.

The Bairstow and Salt partnership was so good. Jonny came in with great intent and took the momentum straight back. Salty tucked in behind him for a bit and when he got that one big over, he broke the back of it.”

Reflecting on the game, Buttler emphasised the importance of learning from victories as well as defeats. “A lot of people say you learn when you lose, but I truly believe you learn when you win as well. [It is] important to reflect on what we did well today. We had a good performance, put that to bed and focus on the next performance.”

Praising Bairstow, Buttler said, “He is a class player, he has been for a really long time. That’s what we decided to do, you just keep backing class players. He hasn’t had many opportunities but today was an incredibly impressive innings. A really mature, senior player’s innings. With a lot of power, he scored at a great gear when the game was just in the balance.”

Earlier in the match, West Indies had raced to 72 for 0 in eight overs, thanks to a strong start from Brandon King, who retired hurt with a side strain, and the contributions of Johnson Charles and Nicholas Pooran.

However, the next five overs, bowled by leg-spinner Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali in tandem, saw West Indies manage only 34 runs and the wicket of Charles. Rashid, bowling the crucial 17th over, conceded just two runs and took the vital wicket of Andre Russell, finishing with figures of 4-0-21-1.

“We keep saying [Rashid] is our most important player, he really has been for a long time,” Buttler said. “He’s got so much variation and so much threat of taking wickets and also restricting runs.”(Agency)

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