Saturday, April 20, 2024

WI go down to Ireland


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KINGSTON – How?the mighty have fallen!
World T20 champions West Indies slid to a shocking and embarrassing six-wicket defeat to lightweights Ireland in their first T20 international at Sabina Park yesterday.
Ireland easily chased down the West Indies sub-par total of 116 for 8 from their 20 overs to win their first Twenty20 International against the Caribbean side.
A brilliant performance by Ireland in the field severely restricted the West Indies batting and ensured none of their batsmen reached 20.
Flamboyant openers Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith posted 31 but both batsmen departed in the space of seven balls.
Smith, fresh from his heroics for Barbados in the NAGICO?Super50 tournament, hit two sixes and was caught in the deep hitting to leg for 14.
Gayle, who has just returned from injury, top scored with 18 including three fours but lost his wicket chipping Alex Cusack to long-on.
West Indies, scoring at less than a run a ball, slid further to 58 for three after losing Samuels for 16, stumped.
Dwayne Bravo and Lendl Simmons rallied in the second biggest partnership of the innings, 20, for the third wicket.
Bravo was caught at third man for eight, Simmons was caught in the deep for 16 while Tim Murtagh yorked Andre Russell for 15.
Murtagh, Alex Cusack, and Kevin O’Brian picked up two wickets each for Ireland.
Ireland found themselves in trouble early in their chase after openers William Porterfield and Paul Stirling were dismissed inside eight balls.
But the left-handed Ed Joyce led the way with an unbeaten 40 and shared in two important partnerships that provided the main foundation for Ireland’s victory.
Joyce, who hit two fours in a composed innings, and Gary Wilson added 29 in 5.2 overs for the third wicket as West Indies bowlers toiled in the field.
The 35-year-old Joyce also shared in a 58-run stand with Andrew Poynter which brought Ireland well within reach of victory.
Kevin O’Brien, one of two survivors from the team that beat Pakistan at Sabina Park during the 2007 World Cup, hit the winning runs.
Samuel Badree, who played a major role in putting Ireland under pressure in the earlier part of their innings, finished with two for 18 from his four overs.
The two sides meet in the final T20 match of the series tomorrow at the same venue.


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