West Indies 96-9 (Cusack 4-11) beat
Ireland 85-8 (Wilson 35, Sammy 3-22) by 11 runs
Second Twenty20 International, Jamaica
West Indies triumphed in a low-scoring second Twenty20 International against Ireland in Jamaica to go into Sunday’s one-off One-Day International with honours even.
They again struggled with the bat as no man reached 20 and Alex Cusack starred with career-best figures of four for 11; eventually limping to 96 for nine from their 20 overs on a slow Sabina Park pitch.
Ireland, though, found the going tough against the West Indies battery of spinners and slower bowlers. Only two of their batsmen reached double figures, with Gary Wilson’s dismissal for 35 off 39 balls with 25 needed off 14 balls tilting the match irreversibly in the hosts’ favour.
Captain Darren Sammy led the West Indies bowlers en route to figures of three for 22 and was named man of the match, while Cusack was named man of the series for his six wickets.
West Indies had earlier made two changes to their starting eleven following Wednesday’s defeat. Chris Gayle sat out after complaining of stiffness in his hamstring and was replaced by Andre Fletcher at the top of the order, while left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie was handed an international recall after a gap of almost two years in place of Ravi Rampaul.
Openers Fletcher and Dwayne Smith gave the West Indies another positive start by adding 27 in four overs, but wickets followed Fletcher’s departure to Cusack’s first delivery. He edged behind to Gary Wilson to bring to end an innings that included the only sixes of the West Indies innings. He would also finish as their top scorer with just 19.
Cusack dispensed with Smith for 11 in his next over, with Stuart Thompson then getting his first T20 International wicket when Marlon Samuels edged behind to leave the score on 44 for three after nine overs.
The home side continued to limp towards the end of their innings as Lendl Simmons (12) and Dwayne Bravo (10) both perished shortly after reaching double figures. Sunil Narine ensured that his side at least batted for 20 overs by ending on 12 not out.
Besides Cusack and Thompson, Kevin O’Brien (1-16) and Tim Murtagh (1-22) were the other Ireland wicket-takers, while George Dockrell and Paul Stirling got through four overs of spin at a cost of just 18 runs.
Ireland’s chase then began badly as they lost Stirling to Santokie after a cautious start. Captain William Porterfield followed soon after for five, with the big wicket of Ed Joyce (10) then falling to Sunil Narine to leave the tourists tottering on 22 for three in the eighth over.
It then got even worse as Andrew Poynter (2) and Kevin O’Brien (3) fell in successive Sammy overs as the Irish innings appeared to be stalling at 29 for five in the 11th over. Stuart Thompson gave Wilson some support by adding 20 for the sixth-wicket, as did Max Sorensen in adding 13 for the seventh. However, Wilson’s departure to Dwayne Bravo (1-24) left Ireland with too much to do and they finished on 85 for eight.
The West Indies spin pair of Samuel Badree and Narine returned combined figures of 8-1-25-2, while Santokie with one for 12 and Sammy were also exceptional.
The win restores some pride for West Indies ahead of Sunday’s ODI, the series against England and the defence of their ICC World T20 crown and denies Ireland their first series win against Full Member opposition.
© Cricket World 2014