West Indies beat Ireland by 1 wicket in a thrilling encounter to win the series

West Indies defeated Ireland in a thrilling encounter to win the ODI series against Ireland in 2nd One day international played at Kensington Oval, Barbados on Thursday.

Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie won the toss again and decided to bat first. It was a steady start by Paul Stirling and Gareth Denly who played with positive intent. Sheldon Cottrell got the breakthrough for West Indies dismissing Denly for 14. On his first ball, Alazzari Joseph took the wicket of Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie to put pressure on Ireland batting line up. At the end of 10 overs, Ireland were 52 for 2.

After the power play overs, the experienced Paul Stirling and William Porterfield steadied the Ireland innings taking singles and hitting occasional boundaries. As things looked dangerous for West Indies, Kerry Pierre dismissed William Porterfield for 29. William Porterfield struggled to score runs while Stirling reached his fifty off 66 balls. As things looked dangerous for West Indies, Pierre dismissed Porterfield for 29. Porterfield and Stirling added 59 runs for the 3rd wicket. The West Indies bowlers kept picking wickets at regular intervals which stem the run flow. Kevin O Brien looked in good touch right from word scoring a quickfire 31 off 26 balls. Ireland’s lower order contributed useful runs to post 237 for 9 in 50 overs.

Chasing 238 to win, it was not an ideal start for the West Indies as Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetymer and Brandon King were dismissed cheaply. On the other hand, Shai Hope also struggled with his stroke play.  At the end of 10 overs, West Indies were struggling at 33 for 3.

After the power play overs, Nicolas Pooran made the batting look easy and showed his class. Simi Singh struck to dismiss Shai Hope. Hope and Pooran added 52 runs for the 4th wicket. Kieron Pollard came to the crease and took the attack to Ireland bowlers with shots. Pooran, on the other hand, looked steady reaching his fifty off 39 balls. After completing his fifty, Pooran was dismissed by Simi Singh. Pooran and Pollard added 64 runs for the 5th wicket. Ireland reduced West Indies to 148 for 7. Hayden Walsh Jr and Khary Pierre steadied the innings for West Indies with an important partnership of 52 runs for the 8th wicket. Alazzari Joseph came to the crease and hit 18 off 29 balls. He and Walsh added 32 runs for the 9th wicket which made the match interesting.

Sheldon Cottrell and Hayden Walsh Jr survived few anxious moments. With 5 runs required off the final over, Cottrell survived a close run out shout but was given not out. Sheldon Cottrell hit the winning shot with a six to help West Indies win a thrilling encounter by 1 wicket with 1 ball to spare. For Ireland, Simi Singh took 3 wickets while McBrine, McCarthy 2, Rankin and Aadir 1 wicket each.

West Indies 242 for 9 in 49.5 overs (Nicolas Pooran 52, Hayden Walsh Jr 46*, Simi Singh 3/48) beat Ireland 237 for 9 in 50 overs (Paul Stirling 63, Simi Singh 34, Alazzari Joseph 4/32, Cottrell 3/51) by 1 wicket.

West Indies take a 2-0 unassailable lead in the 3-match series. The third and final ODI will be played at Grenada on 12th January.