DWAYNE Bravo could have had the perfect return to the West Indies after more than three years away from international cricket, but Ireland pulled off a thrilling four-run win over West Indies, in the first T20 International in Grenada, on Wednesday.
After leading the bowling attack with 2/28 in four overs to help limit Ireland to 208/7 in 20 overs, Bravo came out to bat with West Indies needing 15 off ten deliveries. Bravo struck a six, but when the equation was five runs off two balls he was caught for nine attempting another big hit.
Openers Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien gave Ireland the perfect start batting first, as the pair added 154 runs for the first wicket inside 13 overs. However, O'Brien and Stirling fell in consecutive overs and the innings lost some steam. O'Brien first fell for 48 off 32 balls and Stirling slammed six fours and eight sixes in his 47-ball knock of 95.
Bravo bowled brilliantly at the end of the innings and kept the Irish at bay. Fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell (2/37) and spinner Khary Pierre (2/45) were expensive in their four-over spells.
In reply, opener Evin Lewis continued his rich run of form with a top score of 53 and captain Kieron Pollard chipped in with 31. West Indies lost wickets regularly and could not get over the line. Craig Young grabbed 2/31 and Josh Little took 3/29 in their respective four-over spells.
Ireland 208/7 (20 overs) (Paul Stirling 95, Kevin O'Brien 48; Dwayne Bravo 2/28, Sheldon Cottrell 2/37, Khary Pierre 2/45) vs West Indies 204/7 (20 overs) (Evin Lewis 53, Kieron Pollard 31; Craig Young 2/31, Josh Little 3/29) Ireland win by four runs