DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – West Indies defeated the Emirates Cricket Board X1 by 22 runs in a tour match at the ICC Academy today, before they embark on the first Twenty20 International of a three-match series against the Pakistanis on Friday.
New recruits to the West Indies T20 squad, Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell, propelled the innings with a half-century partnership while leg-spinner Samuel Badree and off-spinner Sunil Narine shared five wickets in mesmerizing spells.
Badree and Narine conspired to erase a threatening partnership and swung the match firmly in West Indies way for them to eventually coast to a comfortable win in Dubai.
Badree picked up three wickets for 20 runs while Narine grabbed two for 21 to restrict Emirates to 144 for six wickets from their 20 overs after West Indies posted 166 for seven.
West Indies, who won the toss and elected to bat, lost top order batsmen Evin Lewis, Andre Fletcher and Chadwick Walton cheaply but aggressive opener Johnson Charles smashed 42 from 32 balls to keep the innings alive.
Charles’ innings included five fours and a six until he attempted to slog a flighted delivery from Ahmed Raza on the on-side but got a top edge for Raza to take a superb running catch.
West Indies were 74 for the loss of four wickets halfway through their innings when Pooran and Powell came together to kick-off an explosive phase which produced 55 runs in a fifth wicket partnership.
Pooran top scored with an undefeated 47 off just 23 balls, in an innings which include four fours and three sixes while Powell scored 38 from 31 balls, hitting three sixes and picking up a boundary.
Pooran and Powell were drafted into the T20 setup on the basis of outstanding batting performances in the fourth edition of the Caribbean Premier league earlier this year.
Pooran in particular has oozed class from the time he turned heads at the ICC U19 World Cup in 2014 with a breathtaking century against Australia. Today once again he looked in sublime touch.
The West Indies score appeared under threat when Mohammed Qasim, who carried most of the innings and Shalman Anwar, combined to put on 73 for the third wicket in nine overs of solid batting together.
But then Narine and Badree struck in quick succession to stifle the ambitions of the homeside.
Narine trapped Anwar leg before for 31, and then had Rameez Shahad for a duck soon afterwards.
Badree, who had made the initial breakthrough with two early scalps, then returned to get the wicket of Qasim, who danced down the wicket to a flighted ball but missed it and was neatly stumped by Andre Fletcher for a top score of 46.
A last wicket stand of 33 by Laxman Sreekumar and Amjad Javed, who were unbeaten on 19 and 16 respectively, was not enough to rekindle the asking rate.
Fast bowlers captain Carlos Brathwaite and Jason Holder came in for heavy punishment, conceding 30 runs each in their three wicketless overs respectively.
West Indies – 166 for 7 in 20 overs: (Nicholas Pooran 47 not out [23 balls, four 4s, three 6s], Johnson Charles 42 [32 balls, five 4s, one six], Rovman Powell 38 [31 balls, one four, three 6s]; Mohammad Naveed 3 for 20, Ahmed Raza 3 for 20) Emirates Cricket Board XI – 144 for 6 in 20 overs: (Mohammed Qasim 46 [54 balls, five 4s], Shalman Anwar 31 [23 balls, five 4s]; Samuel Badree 3 for 20, Sunil Narine 2 for 21) West Indies won by 22 runs.