Rampaul seals West Indies win
West Indies 242 (Lara 106) beat Ireland 146 (Rampaul 3-25) by 96 runs
A century from Brian Lara and three wickets from Ravi Rampaul helped West Indies to a 96-run win over Ireland in the first of their one-day warm-up matches at Stormont. Despite some lacklustre batting, and some dogged Irish bowling, in their innings of 242 all out with four overs remaining, West Indies still managed to record an all important victory.
Rampaul ran through Ireland's top order to finish with 3 for 25 from 6 overs, picking up the wickets of openers Jason Molins and Jeremy Bray, as well as Niall O'Brien, to leave Ireland stuttering at 47 for 3. Ian Bradshaw then bowled Andre Botha for 21 (71 for 4), and almost immediately afterwards, Darren Sammy had Peter Gillespie caught by Chris Gayle for 3 as West Indies took control.
Bradshaw had Andrew White caught by Carlton Baugh, the stand-in wicketkeeper (91 for 6), then caught Trent Johnston off Chris Gayle's offspin for 17 (129 for 7). Gayle also bowled Eoin Morgan for 9 (145 for 8) before Jermaine Lawson wrapped up the innings with the wicket of Kyle McCallan for 32 with the score on 146, and Gordon Cooke unable to bat due to injury.
Earlier, Lara saved West Indies' blushes with a typically flamboyant century after they had stumbled to 40 for 3. He came to the crease with the fall of Gayle, bowled by Adrian McCoubrey for 16. Lara smashed 106 off 99 balls, with 12 fours and four sixes, in an otherwise dire batting performance. Apart from Dwayne Bravo (45), no batsman scored more than 16 and West Windies were bowled out in the 46th over.
After the run out of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 11 (29 for 1), the impressive McCoubrey had Devon Smith caught behind second ball for 4, after he had hit his first to the boundary (33 for 2), before bowling Gayle. Lara and Bravo steadied the ship with a 139-run partnership for the fourth wicket. They were particularly severe on the offspin of Andrew White, but he came back well to take the key wicket of Lara, caught by Kyle McCallan (205 for 5). He then removed Darren Sammy, on his first-class debut, for a duck.
McCallan and Botha then combined to run through West Indies' lower order as the last four wickets fell for only 18 runs, with Ricardo Powell bowled by McCallan for 15 (224 for 7), and Bradshaw caught behind off Botha for 7 (233 for 8). Baugh gave McCallan his second wicket, caught by the substitute fielder for 15 (239 for 9), and Botha wrapped up the innings, with 22 balls still remaining, by bowling Jermaine Lawson for 1.