Ireland stun World T20 champions West Indies

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Kingston (Jamaica), Feb 20 (IANS/CMC) The world Twenty20 champions West Indies crashed to a shocking six-wicket defeat against Ireland in their first T20 International at Sabina Park here.

Ireland easily chased down the West Indies’ sub-par total of 116/8 from 20 overs to win their first T20I against the Caribbean side Wednesday, reports CMC.

A brilliant performance in the field by Ireland ensured none of the West Indies batsmen reached 20 runs.

A 31-run opening stand between Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith was broken and both batsmen departed in the space of seven balls. Smith (14) was caught in the deep after hitting two sixes and Gayle, who has just returned from injury, top scored with 18 before chipping Alex Cusack to long-on.

The West Indies, scoring at less than a run a ball, slid further to 58/3 after losing Samuels for 16, stumped.

Dwayne Bravo and Lendl Simmons then put on the second biggest partnership of the innings, 20, for the fourth wicket before the former was caught at third man for eight. Simmons then left, caught in the deep for 16 while Tim Murtagh yorked Andre Russell for 15.

Murtagh, Alex Cusack, Kevin O’Brien, one of two survivors from the team that beat Pakistan here during the 2007 World Cup, picked up two wickets each.

Ireland, too, were in trouble early in their chase as openers William Porterfield and Paul Stirling left inside eight balls. But Ed Joyce, the only other player apart from O’Brien from this side to play the 2007 World Cup, led the way with an unbeaten 40 and shared in two important partnerships to steer Ireland to victory.

Joyce, who hit two fours in a composed innings, added 29 runs in 5.2 overs with Gary Wilson for the third wicket and then a decisive 58-run stand with Andrew Poynter.

Samuel Badree, who played a major role in putting Ireland under pressure in the earlier part of their innings, finished with 2/18 from his four overs.

The two sides meet in the final T20I Friday.

Brief scores: West Indies 116/8 (Chris Gayle 18, Marlon Samuels 16, Lendl Simmons 16; Tim Murtagh 2/28, Cusack 2/17, O’Brien 2/17) lost to Ireland 117/4 (Ed Joyce 40 not out, Andrew Poynter 32; Samuel Badree 2/18).


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