West Indies fightback defeats Ireland
Imran Khan (Digicel)
The West Indies rallied from a disappointing start to exact a comfortable 31 run victory over Ireland in their Digicel-sponsored Jamaica Cricket Festival match-up at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium on Sunday.
The regional team recovered from 3 for 10 to post a competitive 143 for 8 in their 20 overs, scoring 80 runs in their last six overs, with Narsingh Deonarine top-scoring with an even 40 runs off 32 balls.
The Windies then limited Ireland to 112 for 7 to seal the win. Deonarine, who also dominated play in Saturday’s clash against Canada, struck one four and three sixes in his innings that was by and large the precursor to the West Indies triumph.
The Irish seemed to have the upper hand on their ICC World Twenty20 opponents during the early exchanges after Andre Fletcher (6), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (1) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (2) were all removed cheaply.
Darren Bravo (19), stand-in captain Darren Sammy (26) and Wavell Hinds (21) all made valuable contributions towards the West Indies revival. Trent Johnston was the chief wicket-taker for the Irish, with figures of 2 for 19 off his four overs while Paul Stirling snared 1 for 13.
The Irish were however unable to build on their positive fielding displays when it was their turn to bat, and were pegged back from the very first over, with captain William Porterfield sent back into the pavilion for a duck off the third ball of the innings.
One wicket quickly became two after Niall O’Brien (3) was dispatched with the score at 2 for 3, minutes before Gary Wilson (3) was removed with the Irish struggling on 3 for 9. Stirling – who resisted with 25 runs off 35 balls – and Andrew White (16) rallied to push the total to 46 before Stirling was removed to virtually spell the end for their efforts.
Sulieman Benn was the most successful bowler for the West Indies with a haul of 2 for 12, while Darren Sammy claimed 2 for 15. Ravi Rampaul bagged 2 for 19 while David Bernard Jr assisted with 1 for 17.
West Indies coach, Otis Gibson, was pleased with his team’s efforts and reserved special praise for Deonarine. “This was obviously a better performance from the guys, we applied ourselves much better this time around even though we didn’t have a very good start,” said Gibson.
“We did very well to get to 140 and that is always going to be a difficult target in this format of the game. I'm very happy with what we have seen from Deonarine, he is doing very well both with bat and ball.”
Ireland coach, Phil Simmons, blamed his team’s poor batting for the defeat but was encouraged by their efforts in the field. “We didn’t bat well enough and that was the main issue. We had them at 40 for 4 or something like that before we allowed it to slip but overall we did well in the field. We should have gotten closer to their score so it’s a case where we have to do some work on our batting,” said Simmons.