Pollard, Samuels half-centuries propel Windies to 249

West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard in action during their 4th ODI against India at Antigua AFP

By Ashish Shukla

Antigua: Jun 12, 2011

Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons struck fluent half centuries as West Indies registered a competitive 249 for eight in the fourth One-day international against India on Monday.

Sent into bat after Suresh Raina won the toss, Pollard top-scored with a typically aggressive 70 off 72 balls, while opener Simmons notched up a fluent 67 off 78 deliveries, to lift the hosts to their highest total of the season after the Indian bowlers had them in a spot of bother at 89 for four.

Pollard hit six boundaries and two sixes while Simmons had three sixes and an equal number of fours to his credit.

Praveen Kumar was the most impressive of the Indian bowlers, picking up three for 37.

India got off to a good start after seamers Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar dismissed Danza Hyatt and the experienced Ramnaresh Sarwan by the fifth over.

But even as wickets continue to fall, Simmons looked in total command at the other end, finding the fence with ease.

After his dismissal, Pollard took over and in the company of Carlton Baugh, did the repair work with a solid half-century partnership at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

But just when the hosts threatened to pile up a huge score, Pollard went for an expansive shot against Ravichandran Ashwin that found Ishant at long-off.

Earlier, the lanky Ishant gave India a perfect start, removing Hyatt as early in the second over of the match.

Kumar then had the Sarwan caught at point by Manoj Tiwary.

Simmons tried to rebuild the innings, and in the company of Dwayne Bravo, put together a fifty partnership for the third wicket, but Mishra cut short what seemed like a flourishing partnership, by having Bravo caught at deep midwicket in the 16th over.

The leg-spinner, who has been having a good series with ball, struck again eight overs later when he trapped Marlon Samuels in front of the wicket to leave the hosts reeling at 89 for four.

West Indies were dealt a body blow when Simmons, who looked in good touch during his stay at crease, was run out by an agile Manoj Tiwary.

But before falling victim to Tiwary’s acrobatic act, Simmons played some effective shots to prop up his team.

There was a pull over backward point and a heave over wide long-on for another boundary off Ishant.

After a late cut against Yusuf Pathan, Simmons came into his own, unleashing three sixes, two off Mishra and one against Ishant, before getting out.

Pollard’s first boundary was a streaky one over point but thereafter he showed his power in no uncertain terms by producing some stunning shots.

The burly Trinidadian took his time to settle but cut loose by hitting Mishra down the ground and then flicked Kumar over midwicket fence in the next over.

Opting for batting powerplay in the 44th over, Pollard smacked Mishra over midwicket and a delivery later, glanced him past fine-leg for a four.

Andre Russell, having hit a sparkling 92 in the last match, was in his stride straightaway, hitting Ashwin back over his head for a four.

In the next over, he collected a four and a six off Mishra.

But Kumar came back to take the wickets of Carlton Baugh (39 off 57) and Russell off successive deliveries.

Brief Scores: West Indies 249 for 8 in 50 overs (Kieron Pollard 70, Lendl Simmons 67; Praveen Kumar 3 for 37, Amit Mishra 2 for 56) vs India

Full scorecard