“He brought a lot to the group” – Phil Salt credits Kieron Pollard’s inputs for West Indies bashing as England shine in Super 8 tie

Phil Salt’s magical knock propelled England to a massive eight-wicket win over West Indies in their Super 8 match of the T20 World Cup 2024. Chasing 181, England got a promising start as Salt and Jos Buttler stitched a good partnership. Even after Buttler;s dismissal for 25, Salt continued the carnage and took England home in 17.3 overs. Salt scored an unbeaten 87 off 47 balls. Apart from him, Jonny Bairstow also contributed with 48* off 26 balls. For West Indies, Andre Russell and Roston Chase scalped one wicket each. Earlier, Nicholas Pooran and Johnson Charles’ partnership helped West Indies post 180/4.

Speaking to the media on what Pollard brought to the table, Salt admitted the veteran T20 batter helped them work on constructing the run chase.

“Pollard’s brought a lot to the group, but I’d say that’s the most valuable thing I’ve taken so far is constructing that run chase,” Salt said after his match-winning inning against West Indies.

“We’ve spoken a lot about taking eights from one side to take twelves from the other, and that’s 200. So, it’s really simple, it sounds so simple to say it, but putting that into action there wasn’t really a point in time out there I knew I was, I slowed down, I knew I hadn’t got much strike, but I knew that If I just get through that period, then we’re going to be in a good position and I can have a good dip, a good calculated risk at the seamers,” he continued.

‘Win brings momentum’

Following England’s shaky start to the tournament, where they were on the brink of an early exit in the first round, the defending champions changed the narrative with a massive win over the home side. Salt, among their top-performing batter, admitted his confidence-building inning and England’s statement win is perhaps the first step in the right direction.

Answering questions about whether this England win reminds the players and fans of the last edition where they won the tournament despite being in a similar situation, Salt said, “I don’t know if you can compare the two but it’s definitely the first step in that direction.”

“I’ve already said, in tournament play, you need a bit of luck at the right time, and you need to build your momentum and confidence, and I feel like that’s the first step in the right direction.

“I think firstly, it’s a bit of confidence – you’re going to get bored of me saying confidence and momentum, but it’s a bit of confidence playing on this ground, knowing the conditions, knowing the dimensions, the wind, everything like that. Getting that momentum, that’s how I see tournament cricket. The good sides that I’ve played in have all sort of come to the peak and at the right time,” he added.

Meanwhile, for England to qualify for the semis, they must win at least one of the remaining two matches against South Africa (June 21) and the USA (June 23).

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