Centurion Sarwan blanks Irish luck

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 12:29 PM

Centurion Sarwan blanks Irish luck
The well-known phrase 'the luck of the Irish' seems to be having very little effect on the West Indies, as the Caribbean side romped to its sixth straight One Day International triumph and its fourth win on the trot in the Jamaica Cricket Festival, brushing aside the Irish by six wickets at Sabina Park on Thursday.

Ramnaresh Sarwan secured his fourth ODI ton and was the main architect of this latest triumph, slamming an even unbeaten century to lead the Windies to its revised target of 213-4 (44 overs), in reply to Ireland's 219 all out.

Afternoon showers and a one-hour delay meant that the regional team had to recalculate its approach, but only slightly, with the Duckworth-Lewis system leaving 45 overs for the new target.

Sarwan, who came in with the West Indies looking rather uncertain on 2-1, produced a responsible knock, which came off 119 balls and lasted just over three hours.

The Guyanese got support from the in-form Narsingh Deonarine (57) and Darren Bravo, who contributed a late innings cameo that brought about 28 runs.

Wickets were at a premium for the Irish as no bowler was able to get more than two. Peter Connell finished with figures of 1-25 off eight overs, with Paul Stirling (1-30), George Dockrell (1-34) and Trent Johnston (1-43) being the other successful bowlers.

Kevin O'Brien was the chief run-getter for the Irish, playing his way to a nicely-paced 54 off 51 balls before his stumps were disturbed by pacer Ravi Rampaul towards the end of the innings.

O'Brien, who had brought up his half-century in stylish fashion with a fierce pull that went over the midwicket boundary, went for one shot too many and was bowled by Rampaul with the last ball of his ninth over.

Earlier, Ireland found themselves in trouble in the fourth over when captain William Porterfield was caught by his counterpart Darren Sammy off the bowling of David Bernard Jr for 10 with 16 runs already scored. The experienced Andre Botha, who scored nine, was next to go in similar circumstances to leave the visitors on 52-2.

Niall O'Brien supported his brother well and just missed out on his eight ODI fifty, falling to spinner Nikita Miller for 49 runs in the 26th over, caught by Bernard Jr.

Young opener Stirling had a patient 51 runs of his own and was a constant bother for the West Indies attack during the early stages of the game. His was the fourth wicket to fall as he was eventually run out by Chanderpaul.

Bernard Jr claimed three wickets for 22 runs off his 10 overs while Rampaul (2-54), Sulieman Benn (2-29) and Narsingh Deonarine (1-18) were the supporting cast.

West Indies coach, Ottis Gibson, was pleased with his team's victory and reserved special praise for Sarwan and Deonarine.

"It was a good performance. I thought we started quite well and then chasing a score like we did is always going to be tricky. We lost a few wickets early on, but Sarwan played well to get a brilliant hundred to win us the game," said Gibson. "It was good to see Deonarine coming in and once again getting among the runs, he is obviously a player in form and he is showing that."

"We also bowled well this morning, Bernard Jr. did very well, but all in all it was a very good performance from my boys," Gibson closed.

Ireland's captain, William Porterfield, called for improvement from his team but had a few bright areas to hold on to.

"We played pretty well but there are a few areas that we can improve on," said Porterfield. "But I thought the way we came out and fought with the ball was a good sign. We started very well but Sarwan's knock was a pretty good one and it basically took the game away from us."

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