West Indies v Ireland, 2nd T20, Kingston February 21, 2014

Sammy helps West Indies save face

ESPNcricinfo staff

West Indies 96 for 9 (Cusack 4-11) beat Ireland 85 for 8 (Wilson 35, Sammy 3-22) by 11 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

West Indies were far from unfortunate in defeat two days ago but for the first half of this match it looked as if they could be accused of carelessness. Ireland had squeezed West Indies until the pips squeaked and seemingly done the hard work in attempting to secure a first bilateral series win against a Full Member. But the reigning World Twenty20 champions scrapped hard for their dignity and a narrow 11-run win.

Darren Sammy, so often the example for his team in effort and demeanor, claimed three wickets, as Ireland subsided meekly chasing less than 100 on a surface that again proved difficult for batting. Only Ed Joyce and Gary Wilson managed to get into double figures, as some variable bounce made the task increasingly tricky, meaning that the T20 series was shared 1-1. Ireland, however, will have one more chance to topple their hosts in the sole ODI on Sunday.

Krishmar Santokie, the T20 specialist making only his third international appearance, claimed a wicket in his second over on the way to figures of 1 for 12, while Sunil Narine was equally unhittable whilst picking up the key wicket of Joyce, playing his 100th match for Ireland.

West Indies raised their intensity in the field after another insipid batting display and managed to claw the game back, as Ireland limped to 29 for 5 at just past halfway. When Wilson was caught on the edge of the square in the 18th over by Dwayne Bravo, off his own bowling, he celebrated with a modest jig, confident that some Caribbean credibility was about to be salvaged - if not totally restored.

It meant Alex Cusack's display with the ball did not get the reward it deserved. West Indies had struggled against a parsimonious bowling attack in the first T20 but they had not learned from their mistakes, this time failing to reach three figures. They only managed six boundaries - four fours and two sixes - in the innings, and again no batsman reached 20. Their total of 96 for 9 was their second lowest in completed innings, since making 79 for 7 against Zimbabwe in 2010.

It could have been worse, as at least two straightforward catches were put down, but Ireland were otherwise impressive in the field. William Porterfield twice effected run-outs, firstly picking up at cover and swiveling to catch Bravo out of his ground, then swooping to defeat his opposite number, Sammy, from point, the position where he also took an excellent low catch to remove Dwayne Smith.

The wicket of Andre Russell, who had been flailing at the crease like an overstimulated airport runway marshal, highlighted Ireland's degree of savvy. Porterfield put a second man out on the leg side, setting the trap for another hook, before Tim Murtagh fired in a yorker that removed leg stump. It was a simple bluff but suggested West Indies were still off the pace.

They had begun their innings competently enough, despite the blow of Chris Gayle being ruled out with a minor niggle. His replacement, Andre Fletcher, twice deposited the ball into the stands but he was the last batsmen to do so. Fletcher edged Cusack's first ball behind, during a wicket maiden, and the sight of West Indies batsmen trudging off shaking their heads became a regular one.

Porterfield shuffled his attack well and his bowlers responded, with Cusack - particularly impressive in recording his best T20 figures - George Dockrell and Kevin O'Brien all conceding less than five an over. Eighteen months ago, West Indies stormed to victory at the World T20, with Marlon Samuels lashing 78 to set up victory in a low-scoring final. Here he could only follow up a princely cover drive for four with an ungainly swipe to be caught behind for 10 off 16 balls.

Unlike in Colombo, there was no "Gangnam Style" in victory, just relief at West Indies' first in six matches. Time is running out for them to re-learn the moves ahead of their World T20 defence.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ty on February 23, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    Gibson and the selectors must go! If anyone agree with me, say yes let them go!

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    I never expected better from this team.I was hoping Ireland win and I do hope they win the ODI. It start from the TOP . The president sold out West Indies pride just for a few dollars so he and top exec can travel and receive good perks. All we hear is that West Indies revenue will double but nothing else, I cannot see how revenue will be increase with these type of performance.First the selectors,coach must go now. How can you have players who was inactive for over 5-6 months and did not even play in the recent ODI series and pick them.No where in the world this happens. They much demonstrate some kind of match readiness. But these selectors whether the follow instructions just pick these fellows and that is why the behaves in this manner. These players are just a bunch of overpaid no good and this is putting it mildy.I hope WIPA is paying attention to their performance. Do you know how much Lloyd and company used to earn compared to these no good???lets start by picketing Butt home

  • Sanjay on February 22, 2014, 23:31 GMT

    It's T20 cricket, folks, a format where even an amateur team could defeat a top Test nation. Yup, even a lousy club outfit. It's the nature of the format, a 240 ball MATCH.

    Congrats to Ireland but if anyone thinks their current team could survive Test cricket, they're being rather optimistic to the say the least.

  • Jack on February 22, 2014, 22:37 GMT

    What is happening to WI cricket is really a reflection of its management. It seems to me that President Dave and the new Director of Cricket are too indecisive. Politically, strategically and technically WI cricket would be in a better place today if Gibson and the selectors were fired a long, long time ago. After India and NZ, it is obvious that old talk beat performance in WI cricket. Fans are crying out to ease Gibson and the selectors off their backs. It will be like New years day or a new birth when the WICB finally gets it. I wish to repeat that the selection panel should be a minimum of five persons along the line of the Jamaican model.

  • CRIC on February 22, 2014, 20:15 GMT

    Coaches, management and selectors should be from the list below:

    Clive Lloyd, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Richie Richardson, Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Jeffrey Dujon, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Curtley Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, ex-players of that status. To not utilise such a fantastic wealth of knowledge and undoubted skill and aptitiude, is a patent error.

    A physical trainer must also be put in place at every regional HQ, somebody with a harder approach who will get the players fit again, like Dennis Waight did years ago. Rampaul and Sarwan to name just two are terribly unfit or have very poor attitudes toward their conditioning.

    The region's groundsmen need marshalling properly - get the life back into the tracks...West Indies batsmen need pace and bounce, not just the speedsters...cricket is a much finer spectacle when the ball is coming onto the bat.

    Don't expose young talented players to too much T20, get guys back in county cricket and field a fast battery again.

  • Dummy4 on February 22, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    It is so hard to comprehend that there are competent men running West Indies cricket. It is just impossible. Our cricket is in the toilet.We can go no lower. Should we really be that happy to have won one match against Ireland? We played less than a run a ball both games.How then can we fare in the world cup. There has to be discontent within the ranks. How is it possible that Russel could only bowl one over in the two matches? Under Otis and Sammy we have been sliding down to the abyss.We can go no lower. Their goal was for us to be #5 in tests we are now #8. How they can keep their jobs is beyond imagination.

  • ty on February 22, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    WI need a new captain ,coach ,and selectors. the entire west Indies public need to stand up and protest . because it's our tax paying money spending.these buys are power hungry.

  • Orlando on February 22, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    What was obvious in India and was confirmed in NZ became undeniable over these past few days - WI has no TEAM and no way back from terminal decline apart from an internal earthquake inside WICBC. Some of these individual players who perform well for their countries and even for WI A team look hopeless as soon as they play for WI senior team. Why? Because there are deep and undeniable rifts and basic incompetence at every level of WI management and the minds of these players are shot. WI has individuals but no TEAM because a team requires focus, purpose and unity and they no longer have any of these. Cozier,other commentators, experienced former players and many who post here pleaded for an investment in youth for this mini series. All were ignored and so the predictable happened. What do you think is going on in the minds of these players now as the ODI approaches followed by England and the T20 world cup?

  • Paulo on February 22, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    I always knew West Indies were overrated and Ireland could cause them trouble, but got ridiculed for saying as much. After 2 dire batting displays, West Indies look like theyre in a really bad place.

    Ireland must feel confident of qualifying for the WT20. It's shambolic for the ICC to make them have to requalify along with Bangladesh. What's wrong with 3 or 4 groups of 4?

    On the bright side, England may have a chance vs West Indies, despite the inclusion of Dernbach Bresnan Bopara & Wright

  • Dummy4 on February 22, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    Is anyone surprised?W.I. will continue down the path to failure until the present system is totally revamped.The odd victory will continue to keep some hope alive only to be dashed by a string of failures.Coach and selectors must go and a proper structure to nurture cricketers from school level onwards must be implemented.

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