Earlier in the week West Indies assistant coach Toby Radford said the West Indies team planned to use two warm-up matches today against the Sagicor High Performance Centre and the Combined Campuses & Colleges as “quality and proper” preparations for the imminent Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy showed Radford wasn’t kidding this evening.
Sammy set the 3Ws Oval ablaze with a brutal half-century to turn around a sluggish batting effort by his team that had seen them slip to 90 for 5 in the 15th over with Marlon Samuels on 34 and the recently arrived captain yet to score.
What then transpired brought spectators to their feet at the campus facility as Sammy put all the bowlers to the sword, with the exception of the promising Jamaican left-arm quick Sheldon Cotterrell. Barbados’ fast-bowling all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite came in for some heavy punishment during the onslaught.
Taking full advantage of the small boundaries, Sammy butchered his way to an unbeaten 58 with his 50 coming up in 23 balls with two boundaries and five sixes. He got useful support from an equally enterprising Samuels who made 45 as the West Indies finished on 164 for 5 in their twenty overs. So devastating was the Samuels/Sammy partnership that the last six overs of the West Indies’ innings yielded 84 runs.
Earlier West Indies got off to a bad start when opener Dwayne Smith was dismissed for a duck caught at long-on off the bowling of part-time off-spinner Jermaine Blackwood. Opener Chris Gayle looked in good touch striking a few big blows before he was caught by wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton off the bowling of Jamaican fast bowler Jason Dawes for a quick-fire 27.
A fast, flat legbreak from Trinidadian spinner Yannic Cariah accounted for compatriot Kieron Pollard, bowled for 13, while both Darren Bravo and Andre Russell were run-out to stall the West Indies progress.
Then came the Sammy/Samuels show.The Sagicor HPC youngsters were never in the hunt and failed to collar the West Indies bowling. Samuel Badree did his credentials no harm by proving as frugal as usual conceding only 15 runs in his four wickets.
Only Blackwood showed any enterprise batting beautifully to compile 67 off 62 balls with three fours and three sixes as the youngsters finished on 120 for 5 to lose by 44 runs. (WG)