Debutants Shamarh Brooks and Odean Smith were exceptional for the West Indies yesterday as the Caribbean team started 2022 on the right foot with a relentless 24 innings victory over Ireland in the first of three games at Sabina Park in Jamaica .
The Windies needed a hero after a poor start with the bat and Brooks answered the call, scoring 155 points with skipper Kieron Pollard for the fifth wicket to save the innings.
Brooks scored 93 of 89 balls with nine fours and three sixes, while Pollard slammed 69 of 66 with four fours and four sixes to bring the score from 62 for four to 217 before being split.
The Windies ultimately posted 269 on 48.5 overs with fellow debutant Odean Smith who also came in with an 18-on-eight cameo near the end.
Ireland led the race until 35th place when the Windies came back with a bang with their fast bowlers dominating the last 15 overs as Ireland were sacked for 245 in the final.
Alzarri Joseph and Romario Shepherd each grabbed three wickets, while Smith brought two scalps to complete his successful debut.
Sent to bat first, the trails were difficult to find on the Sabina Park terrain which contained some moisture, having been covered most of the day before due to the rain.
The Windies struggled to get started, slipping to 62 for four in the 19th with Justin Greaves, Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope and Roston Chase all back in the dugout.
However, skipper Pollard and Brooks stabilized the heats with the fifth highest wicket stand at Sabina Park.
Although their partnership started with intertwined boundaries, the pair seemed more assured as the innings progressed, bringing the score to 148 for four in the 35th with minimal risk.
And with 15 overs left, Pollard decided it was time to hit the gas as he punched George Dockrell for a long time for his first six. Brooks hit his 50 with a brace to end the streak, but there were more fireworks to come.
McBrine was targeted in the next round, the Windies skipper hitting three straight sixes on the deep, long, square midwicket on the first three balls as he spoke of his half-century in style.
Brooks joined the six-hitting squad with a pair of Curtis Campher’s as the total topped 200 before “Polly” left, edging out Craig Young who flew to Harry Tector.
Brooks ultimately missed a first ton when he was trapped by Mark Adair, but the damage was already done.
In response, Ireland lost an early wicket but rallied with a stand of 61 races between skipper Andy Balbirnie and Andy McBrine.
However, the pair were separated after McBrine was hit on the helmet by a short delivery from Smith.
McBrine retired injured on 34, but Balbirnie kept the Irish in the chase, using the sweep wisely against the spinning of Akeal Hosein’s left arm as the visitors headed to 102 for a half-way. journey.
The Irish skipper spoke of his 13th ODI half-century before pulling Alzarri Joseph for Ireland’s first six heats as the races started to sink in the second half of the pursuit.
Balbirnie and Tector scored 103 more as Ireland took control of the game before the Windies resumed their path by removing the two men to keep the game in balance.
Balbirnie edged Romario Shepherd at Hope for 71, while Tector referred to his fifth half-century before being caught by Chase to give Smith his first ODI wicket.
Shepherd struck again in his next round, taking Campher out for six while Joseph beat Lorcan Tucker for nine as the hosts took the lead before taking a 1-0 lead in the series.