West Indies defeated Ireland by 24 runs in the first ODI of the three-match series that took place between the sides at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday. Shamarh Brooks’ 93 runs took the side to a fighting total of 269 against the guests before three wickets each from Alzarri Joseph and Romario Shepherd helped them bag the game and gain an early lead in the series. (More Cricket News)
The match kicked off with Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie winning the toss and opting to bowl first against Kieron Pollard and company. The top three of Windies -- Shai Hope, Justin Greaves and Nicholas Pooran failed to make a difference in the game. The side lost its four batters at a score of just 62 before Brooks (93 off 89 balls) and Pollard (69 off 66 balls) stitched 155 runs for the fifth wicket to take Windies out of hot waters.
However, the hosts failed to capitalize on it and lost their last six wickets for just 52 runs, setting a 270-run target for their opponent.
Ireland started the chase on a promising note. They were 165/1 at one stage in the game, but after the fall of Balbirnie, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and finished 24 runs short of the target despite putting up some good fight towards the end as well.
“It was challenging, most important thing is getting the victory. When you look at it, toss is going to play a big factor in the entire series. There's a lot of moisture, Ireland used the conditions pretty well,” said West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard after the match.
"The bowlers did pretty well. The pitch dried out and it was a better batting track in the second innings. The guys stuck in the there, all the bowlers were fantastic today. I had to go to my best bowlers to try and get the wicket or dry up the runs and put them on the back foot," he added.