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West Indies vs Ireland in 2019-20

A review of West Indies vs Ireland, 2019-20

Ian Callender
Evin Lewis hits down the ground during his hundred, West Indies v Ireland, 3rd ODI, Grenada, January 12, 2020

Evin Lewis hits down the ground  •  Cricket West Indies

One-day internationals (3): West Indies 3, Ireland 0
Twenty20 internationals (3): West Indies 1, Ireland 1
West Indies won a one-day series at home for the first time since August 2014 after easily outgunning a rusty Ireland, who hit back to share the Twenty20 spoils. Test captain Jason Holder was rested from a powerful West Indies squad that exposed the frailty of Ireland's batting. There was plenty to mull over for their new captain, Andy Balbirnie, on his first assignment since taking over from William Porterfield. Ireland's previous ODI had been against Zimbabwe in July 2019, and they had not played one in the Caribbean for nearly six years. At first, it showed: West Indies strolled home in the opener, but the Irish regrouped, and took the second game to the penultimate ball - and the last wicket. Ireland were well beaten in a rain-hit third match.
Paul Stirling's explosive 95 off 47 balls earned them the lead in the T20 series but, after an unfinished second game, West Indies won the third at a canter. With 208 runs at 104, Evin Lewis dominated the 50-over matches (the next-highest aggregate on either side was Nicholas Pooran's 112), and he also averaged over 50 in the shorter format. Alzarri Joseph shrugged off an undistinguished ODI record to take eight wickets at 12, with an economy-rate of 3.36. Kieron Pollard, in his first home matches as full-time white-ball captain, was Player of the Series in the 20-over games, taking seven cheap wickets. All-rounder Hayden Walsh, who had played for the United States, was the hero of their backs-to-the-wall victory in the second ODI.
It was a sign of Ireland's eclipse in the one-dayers that Balbirnie was their leading run-scorer with only 97. Simi Singh's off-breaks brought him six wickets at 20, while Stirling and Kevin O'Brien underpinned the T20 batting, which otherwise had little depth. In the opening game, Ireland were 150 without loss after just 11.2 overs, but finished on 208 for seven; in the second, they were 95 for two, also in the 12th, but tumbled to 147 for nine; in the third, 50 for none in the fourth translated to 138 all out.