After some promising performances in the preliminary warm up matches prior to facing West Indies in the first ODI at Kensington Oval, the Ireland batsmen crumbled.
New Skipper Andrew Bilbirnie won the toss and elected to bat, as many people believed to be his best option to win, but others may feel it didn’t matter as the Windies pack a lot of talent in both batting and bowling.
Openers Delany and Stirling started well, but once Stirling fell it sparked a series of batting disasters. At 88 for 6, Adair (29) and Tucker (31) set about rescuing the innings but once they fell it depended on the tail-enders to scramble whatever runs they could muster. And they did, as Rankin and McCarthy took the total to 180. Certainly much too little, but at least something to bowl at.
West Indies lost 5 wickets in the chase for victory, but opener Evin Lewis was the Man-of-the-Match with a brutal innings reaching 99no and few would have denied him his century. Best of the Irish bowlers were the spinners Andy McBrine (1-40) and Simi Singh (2-44), but sadly Adair was punished in his two overs bowling too short on this placid track.
Bilbirnie will appreciate the experience gained by his team, but they return on Thursday and must improve, especially the batsmen. Sadly, it may be the end of Gary Wilson as Tucker took the gloves, although Gary's batting would have been very helpful yesterday.
Hindsight is a wonderful gift!
Let’s hope James McCollum and Craig Young are brought into the team on Thursday, as they need experience too.