Happy faces and smiles both in the team-dugout and in the stands, bright sunshine and sense of accomplishment after the West Indies vs Ireland 3rd ODI. These aren’t every day defining features of the Windies Cricket. But then every new year seems to bring a fresh start- doesn’t it? And perhaps there can be no better feeling than seeing a unit that backs itself to go for stamping authority on the game that it often falters at.
When the West Indies jogged home to complete the winning runs at Grenada, with 10 overs left in the game, they didn’t just beat Ireland comfortably to clinch the series 3-0, they corrected a major fault that had marked their limited-overs cricket in the Caribbean as seen in the past half a decade.
Among the key talking points from West Indies vs Ireland 3rd ODI 2020 series was the close-knit performance and excellence, not a term you associate with the men in maroon- in both forms of the game- that thumped the visitors. Then, it also earned the Caribbean force something they had so lagged: winning their first ODI series at home since 2014.
From a Caribbean perspective, one can only imagine the relevance and importance of whitewashing their opponents for it underlined the consistency and intent with which Pollard’s side contested the 3 vital limited-overs internationals. Yet, at the same time, it also unveils the litany of problems Irish Cricket currently finds itself in. As not an awful lot of time remains before the start of the 3 T20s, on Wednesday, it will be an uphill task for the Balbernie-led team to recover and settle scores with their aggressors.
But before the exciting T20 series beckons, let’s capture the key talking points from West Indies vs Ireland 3rd ODI 2020 series:
West Indies Complete A Clean Sweep
The West Indies, it wasn’t hard to note, played in full might and registered an inspired and hitherto non-recurring feat as they completed a rare ODI clean sweep.
It wasn’t hard to see how the bowling and batting gelled well together in the same game, under the newfound leadership of Pollard.
While on the one hand, Thomas and Chase supported by the bowler of the day- Walsh Jr.- were able to apply the brakes on Irish scoring, the batting, on the other hand, was amplified by the in-form Evin Lewis’ heroics.
That Pooran and King played their own respective roles in completing a successful run chase was special and entertaining, especially from the standpoint of home fans who aren’t always a witness to an exhibition of enthralling all-round Caribbean cricket.
Andrew Balbernie’s Lone Fight
Another day and one saw another distraught Irish performance. But if there was one man who led from the front combatting the West Indian pressure then it was the captain, Andrew Balbernie. In scoring a stroke-full but cautious 71, his first fifty of the series, the right-hander did all he could in his capacity to sway West Indian bowling. But his lone heroics weren’t enough to keep Ireland’s nemesis at bay, nor were they enough to contribute to what, in the end, seemed a banal scoring card.
But Balbernie’s impressive fifty, including 6 fours, marked an important and timely return to form, among the key talking points from West Indies vs Ireland 3rd ODI 2020 series.
Hayden Walsh Records Best Bowling Figures
Hayden Walsh Jr. delivered an inspired performance, just the other day, although it was with the bat. This time, however, Walsh, a keen exponent of leg-break, was able to register something even special.
In taking a vital, and as seen in the end, a match-winning four-for, Walsh Jr., struck a match-winning feat enabling his team to put a tight lid on the Irish scoring. The big wicket in Walsh’s career-best effort against Ireland, it could be said, was that of Balbernie, who at 71, was seeming in fine touch and well on his way to what might have been a decisive ton for his team.
Walsh’s economical spell of 4 for 36 from a full quota of 10 overs was about as inspiring a feat as it was effective for the victors.
The First ODI Ton For Evin Lewis In The Caribbean
Evin Lewis’ powerful and belligerent century, his first against Ireland and also his first in the Caribbean was among the big highlights from West Indies vs Ireland 3rd ODI.
Lewis wasn’t on the defensive ever and played well to the merit of the ball, attacking Irish bowlers immediately soon as the Windies chase began.
Even as he lost Hope- rather uncharacteristically from the Bajan’s point of view- early on, Lewis was firmly in control and in an aggressive mood.
On a day where it seemed Lewis (who had earlier scored an unbeaten 99 in Barbados) was dealing in only boundaries and sixes, the fierce leftie collected 54 of his 102 only through hits to the fence.
His fiery, quicker than run-a-ball ton included 5 big sixes, being severe to anything short and pitched in the ‘zone’ the likes of which was felt by Young and McCarthy.
Also, Lewis’ menacing form could be an ominous sign for the hapless Irish side in the upcoming T20 contests.
William Porterfield’s Dismal Run Of Form Continues
When the team is enduring a tough time, it is up to the senior figureheads to answer back exhibiting inspiration and control. Unfortunately, though, none of that was to happen for Ireland that hugely lacked the big scores from William Porterfield, their most prolific scorer in the limited-overs format, alongside Paul Sterling.
While Porterfield once again retracted to the dugout, scoring only 10, it didn’t help that he suffered poor form in the entirety of the series, scoring 29 and 15 in the previous two games.
Among the important talking points from West Indies vs Ireland 3rd ODI 2020 series was the listless run that one of Ireland’s senior statesman endured in what was an important exposure for a young side keen to rebuild its limited-overs journey.