Simmons, Thomas fire as Windies crush hosts
KHULNA, Bangladesh (CMC):
Opener Lendl Simmons and wicketkeeper Devon Thomas hit high-powered half-centuries as West Indies warmed up for tomorrow's (tonight local time) start of the five-match limited-overs series with a 118-run victory over the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI yesterday.
In a 50-over game at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium, West Indies piled up 361 for seven, with Simmons top-scoring with 84 and Thomas chipping in with 61 down the order.
Kieron Pollard, captaining the side in Darren Sammy's absence, chipped in with 44 while Kieran Powell (34), Darren Bravo (31) and Dwayne Smith (30) all got starts.
In reply, the BCB XI were limited to 243 all out off 49.1 overs, with Mominul Haque and Imrul Kayes both stroking 43.
Off-spinner Sunil Narine led the Windies attack with three for 47, while pacer Kemar Roach (2-40) and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul (2-52) supported with two wickets apiece.
Though key players like Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Sammy were rested, West Indies still made light work of their opponents with an impressive batting display.
Winning the toss and batting, the tourists got an uptempo start from Simmons and Powell who posted 68 from 55 balls for the first wicket.
The right-handed Simmons hit 12 fours and two sixes off just 81 balls while Powell, who got two centuries in the recent first Test, cracked three fours and two sixes in his 24-ball cameo.
Once the left-handed Powell was bowled by seamer Farhad Reza in the 10th over, Simmons and Smith put on 81 for the second wicket, with Smith unusually subdued in gathering his runs from 41 balls.
Both batsmen fell in successive overs from leg-spinner Marshall Ayub to leave the Windies on 156 for three in the 26th over, but Bravo and Pollard kept the pressure on with a busy 61 for the fourth wicket off just 43 balls. Bravo stroked five fours off 27 balls while Pollard was his usually aggressive self, belting five fours and two sixes in his 28-ball knock.
West Indies' momentum dipped when they lost three wickets for 37 runs in the space of 32 balls, but Thomas arrived to shift gears for the Caribbean side. The right-hander put on 46 off 30 deliveries for the seventh wicket with Permaul, before adding another 61 off 46 balls in an unbroken eighth-wicket stand with Narine. Thomas, who has replaced Test keeper Denesh Ramdin for the limited-overs series, counted five fours and three sixes off a mere 43 balls.
Left-arm spinner Elias Sunny finished with three for 71 while Marshall Ayub (2-63) and Farhad Reza (2-68) claimed two wickets apiece.
In reply, the BCB XI got a solid start when Imrul Kayes and Anamul Haque (22) put on 68 for the first wicket, but the hosts lost three wickets to slide to 95 for three in the 21st over.
Mominul Haque and Ayub (30) pulled their side around with a 71-run, fourth-wicket stand, but Roach removed both in successive overs to end the fightback.