Imran Khan (Digicel)
Narsingh Deonarine was the star of the show, as the Darren Sammy-led West Indies team out-powered Canada, en route to a 49 run victory in their Digicel sponsored Jamaica Cricket Festival clash at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium on Saturday.
The Guyanese was a key figure in the result, as the Windies limited Canada to 81 all out in 19.2 overs in reply to their total of 130 for 7.
Deonarine slapped a vicious 40 runs off just 23 balls (2x4, 2x6) before tormenting the Canadian batsmen with a wicket tally of 4 for 14, to lead the Windies to their decisive victory. Batting first after winning the toss, the West Indies tally was achieved with Deonarine receiving help from the typically aggressive Andre Fletcher, who made 32 runs of his own from 33 balls, with three fours to his credit.
The West Indies were looking rather tenuous at 63 for 4, after Umar Bhatti - who ended with figures of 2 for 28 - caused trouble for the regional side's top order. They recovered somewhat to post the total with Wavel Hinds (16) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (10) being the only other batsmen to achieve double figure scores.
Rizwan Cheema ended with 3 for 19 for the Canadians with Hiral Patel contributing 2 wickets for 11 runs.
Canada lost their first wicket off the very first ball of their innings, after Cheema was caught behind by Fletcher off the bowling of Lionel Baker. They lost their second wicket with only three runs on the board as Patel was bowled by Ravi Rampaul in the second over.
Captain and wicketkeeper, Ashish Bagai (32), and opener, Trevin Bastiampillai (24), offered some degree of resistance before the latter's dismissal triggered a collapse that saw the Canadians losing their last seven wickets for 30 runs.
Sammy - who is standing in for Chris Gayle who is playing in the IPL - was pleased with the win and was particularly happy with the team's bowling display.
"We did what we had to do, it's a good victory for us. The bowlers defended the total excellently and I think the batsmen did well even though we didn't get the runs that we wanted to get," said Sammy.
Canada's coach, Pububu Dassanayake, was left ruing his team's batting performance and added that he was beginning to get worried. "We are not doing well enough at the top order of the batting and I definitely have some concerns in that area but I think we bowled well. We gave up a few extra runs but they are young, so we are hoping that we can do some work and get everyone ready," said Dassanayake.