Sunday 23 February 2014 

West Indies Ease To Victory Over Ireland

Dwayne Bravo celebrates
Dwayne Bravo (foreground) took three for 36, while Darren Sammy chipped in with one for 29 as Ireland could muster only 202.
 
Kieran Powell plays a shot
Kieran Powell anchored the early part of the West Indies run chase...
 
Dwayne Smith sweeps
...alongside Dwayne Smith, who was the aggressor in their opening stand of 100.
© WICB Media
 

West Indies 205-6 (Powell 57, Smith 55) beat
Ireland 202 (Wilson 62, Holder 3-34) by 4 wickets
Only One-Day International, Jamaica
Scorecard

After the closely-contested nature of the Twenty20 International series, it was the West Indies who triumphed quite comfortably over Ireland in the one-off One-Day International at Sabina Park.

Openers Dwayne Smith and Kieran Powell got their pursuit of Ireland’s modest 202 off to a positive start by adding exactly 100 in fewer than 17 overs. A cluster of wickets did fall in the middle of the innings but that only served to narrow the margin of victory for the hosts rather than realistically threaten the actual result. Dwayne Bravo hit a brisk 35, while Marlon Samuels struck the winning blow over long-off off George Dockrell.

Ireland had earlier won the toss and chosen to bat, including Niall O’Brien to strengthen their batting line-up, while the West Indies handed a debut to Barbados fast-bowler Miguel Cummins.

The tourists lost Paul Stirling in Jason Holder’s second over, but William Porterfield and Ed Joyce laid a platform by sharing 48 for the second-wicket. Unfortunately that was largely squandered by the middle-order as the West Indies spinners and medium-pacers again proved difficult to play.

Five wickets fell in a little over 25 overs for the addition of only 78 runs in the middle of their innings. Cummins got his maiden international wicket by dismissing skipper Porterfield for 25, with Joyce then sent packing by Dwayne Bravo. Niall O’Brien then didn’t last too long and handed Bravo a second wicket when on 12.

Gary Wilson, who so nearly took Ireland to victory on Friday, then began a recovery. He shared 45 with Kevin O’Brien (22) before Nikita Miller (2-30) removed both the all-rounder and Andrew Poynter (3) in relatively quick succession to make it 132 for six in the 37th over.

Stuart Thompson, though, joined Wilson and the pair added the largest partnership of the innings with 61 in just over 10 overs as Ireland at last found some momentum. They would have been eyeing a total of around 220, but Wilson was caught by Kirk Edwards off Darren Sammy (1-29) at the start of the 48th over and the innings rather spluttered to its conclusion. Thompson was ninth man out to Holder (3-34) for 33 off 34 balls with the score on 199, with Bravo (3-36) wrapping things up at 202 by dismissing Dockrell early in the 50th over.

Any hopes Ireland had of defending their modest total were soon put to bed by Smith and Powell at the start of the West Indies run chase. Both men hit half-centuries, with Smith hitting three sixes before finally being caught behind by Thompson for 55 off 53 balls.

Kirk Edwards and Darren Bravo then followed Smith back quickly to make it 108 for three, but Dwayne Bravo joined Powell and the duo took their side close enough to the winning line to make the result a foregone conclusion by the time the next cluster of wickets fell.

Bravo was caught off Max Sorensen for 35 off 29 balls, with Powell’s innings ending three overs later at 57 off 80 balls, and Denesh Ramdin contributing just 15 before handing Dockrell his first wicket. Sammy partnered Samuels (26 not out off 21 balls) as the winning runs were hit.

The Ireland seam bowlers were largely a disappointment as Tim Murtagh, Sorensen and Kevin O’Brien each conceded at least six runs per over. However, the performance off all-rounder Thompson will at least give them something positive to take out of the match. The 22 year-old, who is effectively replacing the talismanic Trent Johnston in Ireland’s side, returned international best returns with both bat and ball, following up his cameo with the bat by taking two for 17 from four overs.

© Cricket World 2014

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