Ireland warmed up for their imminent One-Day and Twenty20 International tour of the region with a 45–run win over the Wanderers Club at Dayrells Road today.
Though the victory over one of Barbados’ most famous cricket clubs was relatively comfortable, it was not achieved without a bit of a late scare and a definite bludgeoning from the bat of burly Barbados Pride all-rounder Roshon Primus.
A superb display of power-hitting from Primus delighted the faithful gathering at the ground. The 24-year-old blasted seven huge sixes and seven fours in a scintillating 83 off 36 balls as the home team launched a strong challenge on target of 339 set by Ireland who batted on winning the toss. But despite his heroics Wanderers could get no closer than 293 for 7.
Primus, a member of the Barbados Tridents franchise which won the Caribbean Premier League last year, entered with Wanderers on 165 for four in the 37th over and immediately went into over-drive in a superb solo effort.
The right-hander raced to his half-century off 25 balls with five fours and four sixes, reaching the landmark with a thunderous cover-driven boundary off seamer Barry McCarthy.
While he was at the crease, Wanderers added 114 runs in 10 overs to threaten the target and put the Irish under severe pressure.
Primus, who has represented Trinidad and Tobago in the past but is now under contract to the Pride, finally perished in the 47th over, bowled missing a heave at pacer Craig Young. His dismissal basically ended the home team’s spirited effort.
The run chase was set up by a century opening stand between Test batsman Kraigg Brathwaite and Barbados Pride left-hander Shayne Moseley.
The pair, who will open for Barbados next week in the Regional Four-day Championship, posted 109 but at a pedestrian rate of just four runs per over, leaving the asking rate close to nine runs per over.
Brathwaite made a sedate 45 off 59 balls before he was stumped off off-spinner Simi Singh attempting a big hit while Moseley made a cultured 79 but took 119 balls to so with 12 boundaries. He was eventually bowled by seamer Boyd Rankin, paving the way for Primus’ arrival and a surge in the scoring rate. Right-armer Rankin was the best of the Irish bowlers with figures of 2 for 26 in seven overs. Leg-break bowler Gareth Delany chipped in with 2 for 29 in six overs.
Earlier, Ireland made great use of the perfect batting conditions on winning the toss to reach 338 for five off their 50 overs, with three batsmen reaching blazing half-centuries. Wicketkeeper Gary Wilson slammed 76 off 35 balls batting at number eight, with 60 of his runs coming in boundaries as the visitors managed 100 runs off the last 10 overs.
The pair of Paul Stirling and James McCollom both made 64 in an opening stand of 133 in 20 overs before retiring to allow other batsmen the opportunity to bat.
In the middle overs Ireland were stymied by off-spinner Jamar Trotman who was impressive with figures of five for 50 from his 10 overs.
A club cricket journeyman and wholehearted performer, Trotman was not introduced until the 27th over and was the sixth bowler used. He stemmed the flow of runs with immaculate control.
Ireland used the match as part of their preparations for the upcoming three-match One-Day International series against West Indies, starting next Tuesday at Kensington Oval.
Wanderers is one of the most storied clubs on the island having produced several West Indies players including current Test captain Jason Holder, Brathwaite, retired West Indies left-arm seamers Ian Bradshaw and Pedro Collins, fast-bowler Richard “Prof” Edwards and opener Robin Bynoe, along with the late Keith Boyce and brothers Denis and Eric Atkinson.
Ireland next take on a Cricket West Indies President’s XI on Saturday at the Three Ws Oval, UWI, Cave Hill Campus.
Today’s summarised scores:
Ireland 338-5 (50 overs) (Gary Wilson 76 not out, James McCollum 64 retired, Paul Stirling 64 retired, William Porterfield 40, Andrew Balbirnie 36, Lorcan Tucker 14, Simi Singh 14 not out; Jamar Trotman 5-50).
Wanderers 293-7 (50 overs) (Roshon Primus 83, Shayne Moseley 79, Kraigg Brathwaite 45, Nico Reifer 34, Jason Greene 19; Boyd Rankin 2-26, Gareth Delany 2-29).