NO, this wasn’t the Ashes – this was the format in which England are ranked No 1 in the world.
But England showed their batting disasters can extend to any type of match in any country.
Eoin Morgan’s team were thrashed by West Indies by nine wickets in the first of five Twenty20 matches in Barbados.
The games signal the start of England’s build-up towards another T20 World Cup later this year.
It was the T20 team’s first appearance since being beaten by New Zealand in the semi-final of the previous World Cup in the UAE in November.
But this was a performance they will want to forget.
England lost four wickets in the opening six-over power play and were bowled out for 103 in the 20th over.
The Windies might have been without T20 legends such as Chris Gayle and Andre Russell but they knocked off the runs with 17 balls to spare.
What a contrast from losing a 50-over series 2-1 to Ireland earlier this month.
It is only a week since England were routed for 124 all out – including ten wickets for 56 runs – in the final Ashes Test in Hobart.
Wicketkeeper Sam Billings made the 10,000-mile journey between the venues and had the dubious honour of featuring in both collapses.
Sure, T20 regulars such as Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood were resting after the Ashes and Jos Buttler has a broken finger.
The pitch offered turn and uneven bounce but there was sufficient experience and quality in England’s team for their slump to be inexcusable. There was a string of soft dismissals.
Ironically, it comes after all the soul-searching and promises to reset red-ball cricket in the wake of the 0-4 defeat to Australia. Don’t expect a white-ball reset any time soon!
Jason Roy, who plundered a 36-ball hundred in a warm-up match, hit a six in the opening over but then missed an inswinging full toss next ball from left-armer Sheldon Cottrell.
Cottrell, who used to be a soldier, produced his trademark celebration of marching a few paces and then saluting.
All-rounder Jason Holder had Tom Banton caught at slip and then Moeen Ali drove his first ball lazily to backward point. Holder returned to take two wickets at the end and finished with the remarkable figures of 3.4-1-7-4.
Roy described England’s total as “embarrassing.”
James Vince took 14 from an over but then slapped a long hop to cover.
Billings ran down the pitch, missed and was stumped. Liam Dawson called for a ridiculous single to short cover, was sent back by Morgan and run out.
Morgan recent poor form continued as he gave catching practice to extra cover. He managed just 17 runs from 29 balls and, at 35, England will want to see Morgan recapture some touch in the coming months.
Chris Jordan hit three sixes and helped England nudge into three figures but he holed out to long-off. Saqib Mahmood was caught at deep mid-wicket and Adil Rashid was bowled behind his legs attempting a ramp shot.
England managed to take just one wicket as the Windies cruised to their target and that came when Rashid lured Shai Hope down the pitch and Billings completed the stumping.
Opener Brandon King finished with 52 not out – easily the highest score of the match.
The second match of the series is on Sunday evening.
Source: The Sun