World champions the West Indies began preparations for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in a most heart-breaking manner after crashing to a 6 wickets defeat to giant killing minnows Ireland in game one of the 2 match T20 international series at Sabina Park.
The West Indies after winning the toss and electing to bat were restricted to 116 for 8 from their 20 overs. Opener Chris Gayle, who is returning from injury, led the way with 18 as no West Indian batsman was able to make more than 16.
Three Irish bowlers Tim Murtagh, Alex Cusack and Kevin ‘O‘ Brien, finished with 2 wickets each.
In contrast Sunil Narine, ranked the world’s No. 1 T20 bowler, had to wait until his 23rd delivery to take a wicket – deceiving Andrew Poynter with a carrom ball – and he was one of several West Indies big guns to be successfully spiked. Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and the captain, Darren Sammy, have not played much cricket in recent weeks and their return from various injuries was painful on several levels
Ed Joyce, who was named Man of The Match, led the batting for Ireland with an unbeaten 40.
Joyce and Poynter (32) laid the main plank for victory during a 58-run stand, after their bowlers had done superbly to restrict a rusty West Indies, as Ireland issued another warning that they will not be in Bangladesh just to make up the numbers next month with a win over the World Twenty20 champions
Sabina Park which is hosting an international T20 match for the first time is also the the venue where Ireland produced their greatest feat in cricket so far, a shock win over Pakistan in the group stage of the 2007 World Cup.
The second and final match in the series takes place on Friday at Sabina Park before both teams meet in a one-off One Day International match two days later also in Kingston.
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