Sarwan century sees off Ireland
West Indies 213 for 4 (Sarwan 100*, Deonarine 57) beat Ireland 219 (K O'Brien 54, Stirling 51, Bernard 3-32) by six wickets (D/L)
A calmly paced century from Ramnaresh Sarwan helped West Indies overcome a spirited Ireland in a rain-affected encounter in Jamaica, as they eased to their target with six wickets and six deliveries to spare.
Chasing a revised target of 213 in 45 overs after their innings had been interrupted in the sixth over, Sarwan finished the match with 100 not out from 119 balls, having broken the back of the run-chase in a 111-run stand for the fourth wicket with Narsingh Deonarine.
Having recently lost to Zimbabwe in humiliating fashion, West Indies were looking on course for another embarrassment when they lost Andre Fletcher and Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the first ten deliveries of their innings to creep to 1 for 2. Wavell Hinds was then caught and bowled for 20 by George Dockrell (56 for 3), but Sarwan struck 11 fours in a 119-ball innings to overcome his team's anxieties.
Earlier, Ireland won the toss and batted first, and their total of 219 was built on the efforts of Paul Stirling, who made 51 from 83 deliveries, and the O'Brien brothers - Niall, who made 49 from 76 balls, and Kevin, whose hard-hitting 54 from 51 balls included three fours and the only two sixes of the innings. Kevin brought up his fifty with a fierce pull to midwicket but was bowled shortly after by Ravi Rampaul.
None of the three men could go on to produce the big innings that would have anchored the innings, however, and West Indies were able to peg Ireland back to an obtainable total, thanks in particular to the efforts of David Bernard, who starred with 3 for 32 in 10 overs, and Sulieman Benn, who claimed for 2 for 29 in eight.
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson was all praise for Sarwan and Deonarine. "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."
Ireland's captain, William Porterfield picked on the positives from defeat. "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."