Dwayne Bravo’s led from the front with the bat and ball © Getty Images (File Photo)
Feb 24, 2014
West Indies laboured to a four wicket victory against Ireland, making heavy weather of the modest target before crawling past the small target of 203 after openers Dwayne Smith and Kieran Powell had set the tone for an comfortable win with a hundred run opening stand.
Earlier in the day, the West Indies bowlers were on target, led by skipper Dwayne Bravo and Jason Holder, with West Indian team desperately needing wins after their miserable tour of New Zealand. Gary Wilson played a patient and a steady 62 but he did not get the right kind of support from the middle order to get a big score. Stuart Thomson played a well crafted 33 towards the end of the innings.
Chasing a modest total of 203, openers Smith and Powell meant business and were in total control of proceedings, setting the tone for the home side’s victory.
Smith, a naturally aggressive batsman went for his shots and was in great touch on his comeback to the West Indies team. It was a pity that the crowd couldn’t witness local boy Chris Gayle and Smith together, which is sure to be a treat for fans in the upcoming ICC World T20 2014 in Bangladesh.
Powell on the other hand was workmanlike and took his own time building his innings. The opening duo had put on a hundred-run stand and immediately after, Smith departed, nicking medium pacer Thompson to the keeper Wilson.
Shortly after Smith’s wicket, Kirk Edwards was run out and the Irish sprang back to life. Thompson also sent Darren Bravo to the pavilion to put West Indies in a spot of bother at 108 for three.
captain Dwayne Bravo batted with swagger and panache and stuck some lovely shots but the whipping boy for the West Indies, South African-born Max Sorenson struck when Bravo skied the ball to Thompson. Denesh Ramdin didn’t last long and Powell’s painstaking stay at the crease also came to an end after being stumped by Wilson while going for a big heave of Paul Stirling’s bowling.
Marlon Samuels, however, stemmed the rot for the West Indies and stayed till the end. He finished things off in style with a six to help West Indies to a rather laboured win.
Ireland 202 in 49.2 overs (William Porterfield 25, Gary Wilson 62, Stuart Thomson 33; Jason Holder 3 for 34, Dwayne Bravo 3 for 36) lost to West Indies 205 for 6 in 36.4 overs (Dwayne Smith 55, Kieran Powell 57, Dwayne Bravo 35; Stuart Thompson 2 for 17, Paul Stirling 1 for 42) by 4 wickets.
Man of the Match: Dwayne Bravo