Captain Darren Sammy showed leadership with the ball as reigning World Twenty20 champions West Indies struggled to a narrow 11-run win over ICC Associate team Ireland to draw their two-match series at Sabina Park yesterday.
Sammy claimed three wickets, as Ireland subsided meekly chasing less than 100 on a surface that again proved difficult for batting. The victory meant the Windies avoided a sixth straight defeat in T20s, following their six-wicket loss in the first match on Wednesday.
Only Ed Joyce and Gary Wilson managed to get into double figures for the Irish in their chase, as some variable bounce made the task tricky.
Krishmar Santokie, the T20 specialist making only his third international appearance, claimed a wicket in his second over on the way to figures of one for 12, while Sunil Narine was equally difficult to get away, picking up the key wicket of Joyce, in his 100th match for Ireland.
West Indies raised their intensity in the field after another lame batting display and managed to claw the game back, as Ireland limped to 29 for five at just past the halfway point. When Wilson was caught on the edge of the square in the 18th over by Dwayne Bravo, off his own bowling, he celebrated with a modest jig, confident that some Caribbean credibility was about to be saved—if not totally restored.
West Indies had struggled against a stingy bowling attack in the first T20 but they had not learned from their mistakes, this time failing to reach three figures. They only managed six boundaries—four fours and two sixes—in the innings, and again no batsman reached 20. Their total of 96 for nine was their second lowest in completed innings, since making 79 for seven against Zimbabwe in 2010.
It could have been worse, as at least two straightforward catches were put down, but Ireland were otherwise impressive in the field. William Porterfield twice effected run-outs, firstly picking up at cover and swivelling to catch Dwayne Bravo out of his ground, then swooping to defeat his opposite number, Sammy, from point, the position where he also took an excellent low catch to remove Dwayne Smith.
West Indies had begun their innings competently enough, despite the blow of Chris Gayle being ruled out with a minor niggle. His replacement, Andre Fletcher, twice deposited the ball into the stands but he was the last batsmen to do so. Fletcher edged Alex Cusack’s first ball to wicketkeeper Wilson, during a wicket maiden, and the sight of West Indies batsmen trudging off shaking their heads became a regular one.
Porterfield shuffled his attack well and his bowlers responded, with Cusack—particularly impressive in recording his best T20 figures—George Dockrell and Kevin O’Brien all conceding less than five an over.
But that effort was still not enough to guarantee another famous victory.
West Indies vs Ireland
West Indies Inns
D Smith c Porterfield b Cusack 11
A Fletcher c wkpr Wilson b Cusack 19
M Samuels c wkpr Wilson b Thompson 10
L Simmons lbw O’Brien 12
D Bravo run out 10
A Russell b Murtagh 8
D Sammy run out 2
D Ramdin c Sorensen b Cusack 5
S Narine not out 12
S Badree c&b Cusack 5
K Santokie not out 0
Extras: (W2) 2
Total: (for nine wickets, 20 overs) 96
Wickets at: 27 (Fletcher), 30 (Smith), 44 (Samuels), 58 (Bravo), 69 (Simmons), 73 (Russell), 74 (Sammy), 84 (Ramdin), 93 (Badree)
Bowling: Sorensen 3-0-20-0, Murtagh 4-0-22-1 (1w), Dockrell 3-0-14-0, Cusack 4-1-11-4, Thompson 1-0-9-1 (1w), Stirling 1-0-4-0, O’Brien 4-0-16-1
W Porterfield b Badree 5
P Stirling b Santokie 2
E Joyce c wkpr Ramdin b Narine 10
G Wilson c&b BRavo 35
A Poynter c Samuels b Sammy 2
K O’Brien b Sammy 3
S Thompson c Smith b Sammy 7
M Sorensen not out 10
A Cusack run out 8
J Murtagh not out 1
Extras: (LB 2) 2
Total: (for eight wickets, 20 overs) 85
Wickets at: 3 (Stirling), 15 (Porterfield), 22 (Joyce), 25 (Poynter), 29 (O’Brien), 49 (Thompson), 72 (Wilson), 82 (Cusack)
Bowling: Santokie 4-0-12-1, Badree 4-1-13-1, Narine 4-0-12-1, Bravo 4-0-24-1, Sammy 4-0-22-3
Result: West Indies won by 11 runs
Man-of-the-Match: Darren Sammy
Series drawn 1-1