by Dyon Ravello
West Indies were not winners on Tuesday against the PM’s XI but there were notable highlights heading into Friday’s first One Dayer against the struggling Australians. Kieran Powell and Ramnaresh Sarwan were both among the runs with 92 and 63 respectively recovering from their abysmal showing during the recently completed Caribbean T20. Andre Russell scored a late innings half century, out performing the other three all-rounders in the line-up.
On a day when the slower variety proved more useful than the quicks. Tino Best, skipper Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo all scored 70 plus with the ball in hand. Sunil Narine had a miserly return with ten over for 2/32, as Kieron Pollard was the next best with the ball with figures of 7/0/37/2. The Windies will have some cause for concern aa the middle order collapse after a promising start from the top order. The quartet of the Bravo brothers, Pollard and Sammy contributed 29 in between the top three’s 189 and Russell’s 54.
With Chris Gayle rested for the tour opener and Kemar Roach returning at Perth, Gibson’s charges will be boosted by these two leaders in their respective departments. Gayle’s presences at the top will ease doubts regarding Powell’s ability to take his place on Friday. Johnson Charles had 34 against the PM and will be a capable contender in the event that Powell is unable to recover. Roach returns to the pacy tracks of Down Under where he had gained his reputation by wrestling Ricky Ponting. Kemar will be geared to repeat similar performances on this tour as well.
As for those playing catch up, game one is just three days away. With a strong bench there is no room for complacent, especially with an objective to climb the rankings. As the home team has struggled in their recent series, the visitors will look to pounce on the opportunity. Hopefully the over-confidence of Bangladesh does to take reign. To add to the motives for success, West Indies may want to play with Marlon on the mind. The Marlon Samuels of the T20 World Cup and the tour of the Bengal region in late 2012.
VelloCricket predictions for the starting lineup on Friday: Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell/Johnson Charles, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Devon Thomas, Sunil Narine, and Kemar Roach.