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Awesome Sammy gives West Indies perfect launch

Published:Saturday | May 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP): Darren Sammy produced an awesome all-round display to lead the West Indies to a thumping 70-run victory over Ireland yesterday, as the hosts got off to a strong start in the ICC World Twenty20 Championship.

Sammy's 30 off 17 balls supplied an important late surge to lead the West Indies to 138-9 off 20 overs, after they won the toss and batted first at Guyana National Stadium.

In reply, Ireland were skittled for just 68, with the dynamic Sammy claiming one stunning second slip scorcher among four catches, as well as taking 3-8 with his medium pace.

Ravi Rampaul grabbed 3-17 to start the Ireland collapse.

The West Indies began shakily against the modest threat of Ireland, reduced to 83-5 after 13 overs.

Ramnaresh Sarwan hit a run-a-ball, 24, and the top five batsmen all crossed double figures, but Ireland kept a tight rein.

Left-arm spinner George Dockrell, the youngest player in the tournament at 17, claimed 3-16.

Sammy supplied the crucial momentum shift towards the end, smashing two fours and two sixes as the locals took 45 runs from the last four overs.

Ireland's reply was derailed early when Sammy snared a low catch to remove captain William Porterfield off paceman Kemar Roach. Rampaul further dented the run-chase with the scalps of Paul Stirling, Niall O'Brien and Alex Cusack, as Ireland slumped to 16-4 either side of a short rain delay.

Gary Wilson, with a laborious 17 off 34 deliveries, was the only Irish batsman to reach double figures as the West Indies throttled the associate team.

Ireland only scored 49 runs off the bat, with extras being the top scorer, thanks to an errant West Indies attack.

Sammy fittingly ended the match with the scalp of Dockrell.

The home team's next match is against England on Monday at the same venue.