Windies set Ireland 230 for victory

Kingston – A maiden half-century from Romario Shepherd led enterprising batting from the lower order to give West Indies a welcomed boost and helped them set Ireland 230 to win the second One-day International on Thursday in Jamaica.

Shepherd struck seven fours in the top score of exactly 50 from 41 balls and shared a valuable, ninth-wicket stand of 58 with fellow pace bowling all-rounder Odean Smith, and the Windies were bowled out for 229 in 48 overs on a slow Sabina Park pitch.

Hometown hero Smith, playing only his second ODI, smashed two fours and five sixes in 46 off only 19 balls and ignited a bold counter-offensive for West Indies after they stumbled to 143 for eight in the 40th over.

When Smith was caught at deep backward point off pacer Josh Little in the 45th over, slicing a drive at a wide delivery, and Shepherd was 28 and took charge in the last five overs.

The Guyanese all-rounder hit four fours, including a reverse sweep to reach his landmark off Andy McBrine before the off-spinner bowled him with the next delivery, as the Windies again committed the cardinal sin of not batting out their full allocation of 50 overs.

In another shaky batting display, the top order again failed to get cracking and West Indies stumbled to 43 for three in the 14th over before Shamarh Brooks dominated a fourth wicket stand of 48 with Barbados Pride teammate Roston Chase to steady things.

Brooks made 43, but he was the last of four wickets that tumbled for 20 in the span of 47 balls when he was lbw to part-time left-arm spinner George Dockrell and the hosts sunk to 111 for seven in the 34th over before the lower order breathed life into the innings.

McBrine was the pick of the Ireland bowlers, taking 4-36 from his allotted 10 overs, Craig Young supported with 3-42 from eight overs, and fellow pacer Josh Little grabbed 2-40 from his allotted 10 overs.

The Windies were unchanged, but the Irish were forced to make two changes because of injury and players being impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Experiened opener Paul Stirling replaced Andrew Balbirnie and is leading the visitors in the match, and Neil Rock takes the place of Lorcan Tucker and kept wicket.

West Indies lead the three-match series 1-0 after they won the first ODI this past Saturday by 24 runs.

The cricket authorities of the two sides agreed earlier this week to reschedule the last two matches of the series, after a COVID-19 outbreak in the Ireland squad contributed to this math being postponed.

As a result, the Twenty20 International between the two teams that was scheduled for Sunday at the same venue has been cancelled.

The three ODIs in the series are part of ICC Cricket World Cup Super League that automatically qualifies seven teams to the CWC 2023 India.

The Windies, on 50 points, are fifth in the 13-team table with five wins out of their 10 matches, and Ireland, on the same number of points, hung onto fourth place with a superior net run rate after four wins and two no-results from their 16 matches.

Summarised scores:

West Indies 229 all out off 48 overs (Romario Shepherd 50, Odean Smith 46, Shamarh Brooks 43, Shai Hope 17, Roston Chase 13, Akeal Hosein 11, Justin Greaves 10; Andy McBrine 3-00, Josh Little 2-40) vs Ireland.

(AR)

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