West Indies recorded a surprise victory over pre-tournament favourites India at Townsville. They restricted the Indians to just 166 for eight from their 50 overs after asking them to bat, with Kyle Mayers (two for 35), Ronsford Beaton (three for 33) and Jerome Jones (two for 23) doing the bulk of the damage. India struggled to 34 for three and then 50 for four when influential captain Unmukt Chand departed for 22, and it was thanks only to a determined 51 off 97 balls from wicket-keeper Smit Patel that they posted anything resembling a testing total.
Sandeep Sharma removed both West Indies openers at the start of their run chase, but John Campbell (36 off 70 balls) and Anthony Alleyne (52 off 91) put on 58 for the third-wicket to steady the ship. All-rounder Mayers then hit 43 off 54 balls to steer them closer towards the target and the job was finished by Akeal Hossain (11 not out off 19) and Justin Greaves (five not out off nine) in the 48th over.
Mayers, who was adjudged player of the match, said, “India had some quality spinners and I thought they bowled really well with great variation. I tried to bowl as tight as possible to create some pressure and eventually it worked out.
“There is always room for improvement; I would have liked to bat right through to the end. It is always good to start with a win and we would like to keep winning as a habit and continue on and win all of our games.”
Another of the pre-tournament favourites, South Africa, successfully overcame a potentially tricky match against Bangladesh, winning by 133 runs in Brisbane. Wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock top-scored with 95 off only 93 balls, while Theunis de Bruyn made an equally aggressive 63 off 54 balls, in their impressive total of 294 for eight. Nasum Ahmed and Noor Hossain each took three wickets for Bangladesh, but they were never likely to get close to their target and were all out in the 35th over for 161.
England eased past near neighbours Ireland to put yesterday’s defeat to Australia behind them in Townsville. Essex left-armer Reece Topley again impressed, taking three for 14 to help bowl the Irish out for just 109. England then lost both openers cheaply in their reply, but Ben Foakes hit 32 and Craig Overton and Aneesh Kapil shared an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 59 to see them home by seven wickets in the 37th over.
Scotland put up an impressive fight against New Zealand before succumbing by 39 runs in Buderim. Freddie Coleman made 65 off 80 balls for Scotland as they mounted a challenge on New Zealand’s total of 247 for nine, but Ish Sodhi and Connor Neynens each took three wickets and they were all out for 208. Earlier, Kiwi captain Will Young had hit 115 off only 111 balls and shared a third-wicket stand of 88 with Robert O’Donnell (50 off 75 balls).
Tomorrow sees Australia take on Nepal in the day's televised game; Pakistan play Scotland; Papua New Guinea entertain the West Indies; and Namibia take on Sri Lanka.
© Cricket World 2012
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