SPORTS

England face West Indies in T20 opener

Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium Date: 23 October Time: 15:00 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus text commentary, in-play clips and video highlights on BBC Sport website and app.

England begin their Men’s T20 World Cup campaign against West Indies in Dubai on Saturday in a rematch of the 2016 final.

West Indies beat England in a last-over thriller five years ago, when Carlos Brathwaite hit Ben Stokes for four sixes in a row to seal victory.

England are now the top-ranked Twenty20 team and 50-over world champions.

Australia face South Africa in Abu Dhabi at 11:00 BST, followed by England v West Indies at 15:00.

Those matches represent the start of the Super 12 phase, after a week of qualifying matches in which Scotland, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Namibia progressed to the main draw.

There will be Test Match Special commentary of every game on Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus live text commentary, in-play clips and video highlights on the BBC Sport website and app.

England chasing white-ball history

England – T20 champions in 2010 – are bidding to become the first team to hold the 50-over and T20 World Cups at the same time, and captain Eoin Morgan says his players are still motivated by their final defeat in 2016.

England have won their past three T20 matches against West Indies but have never beaten them at a T20 World Cup.

Morgan’s side lost to India and beat New Zealand in their two warm-up matches this week.

“We’ve played some of our best ever cricket in T20 World Cups, so guys are excited,” he said.

“Given the experience we had in 2016 and the ride that we went on, it was unbelievable, thoroughly enjoyable.”

At 42, West Indies legend Chris Gayle is the oldest player in the tournament but forms part of a powerful batting line-up that also includes captain Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran and Andre Russell.

Group 1 Group 2
Australia Afghanistan
England India
South Africa New Zealand
West Indies Pakistan
Sri Lanka Namibia
Bangladesh Scotland
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals.

What about Australia and South Africa?

Neither Australia nor South Africa have won the T20 World Cup, although Australia reached the 2010 final.

“We are really excited to kick it off,” Australia captain Aaron Finch said.

“Everyone’s in a pretty good space. The way the group’s come together, the feeling around the place has been brilliant.”

Australia beat New Zealand before being thrashed by India in their warm-up matches, while South Africa saw off Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“I am confident,” South Africa captain Temba Bavuma said. “The squad that we have here is a squad that has been playing together for quite a while.

“With the positive results we’ve been able to get, that has given us confidence in the guys who are here.”

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