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April 20, 2008
West Indies 240 for 6 (Brathwaite 122*, Campbell 61) beat Malaysia 94 by 146 runs
Playing against Malaysia, Brathwaite stroked a typically polished unbeaten 122 off 144 balls in which he batted through the innings. It helped set up a total of 240 for 6 from 50 overs that was more than adequate for the hosts to complete a big victory by 146 runs. Malaysia were 64 for 1 at one stage, but softly collapsed against the spin trio of Donovan Nelson, Derone Davis and Ramon Senior to be dismissed for 94 in 35.1 overs.
Pride of place on the day went to opener Brathwaite, who has sustained his outstanding form at domestic and regional level with an innings that included nine fours. "I am really delighted. It is my first game for the West Indies and I am very happy," he said. "This hundred means a lot to me. Representing the West Indies is like representing the whole Caribbean."
The youngster was a delight to watch during his first 50 which took 55 balls, but he slowed over the second half-century which required 76 balls. It might have had to do with a middle-order slump after an opening stand of 136 in 27.1 overs between Brathwaite and John Campbell, who weighed in with 61 off 81 balls.
With a hundred under his belt in the opening match, Brathwaite is looking to bigger and brighter things for the rest of the tournament in which he wants to score four centuries. His effort earned praise from manager Peter Vaughan who felt the youngster could do even better.
"He just needs to spend a little more time getting some runs off the loose deliveries," Vaughan said. "I found that he was not scoring from a number of bad balls as you would like him to, but all in all, he batted well. You can't complain. He knows how to score hundreds. I hope that he will carry this through his career."
Malaysia seemed to be challenging West Indies when opener Zubair Asyruf (23) and Keithan Goonasagaran (21) added 59 for the second wicket. Once the slow bowlers were introduced, however, it became a different ball game and the last nine wickets fell for 34 against the legspin of Nelson (4 for 25), left-arm spin of Davis (3 for 12) and offspin of Senior (2 for 25).
"The team performed quite well. They actually followed our game-plan. We just have to work on a few errors and move forward," Vaughan said. "We have to look at our opening bowlers. They were all over the place. They bowled too many wides. We have to go back to the nets and get these young boys to bowl as straight as they can."
© The Nation
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