Runs for Powell, Sarwan, Russell but Windies lose tour opener

Canberra, Jan 30 (IANS/CMC) Opener Kieran Powell narrowly missed out on a century while Ramnaresh Sarwan made a timely return to form with a half-century, but the West Indies still made a losing start to their tour of Australia with a 23-run defeat to the Prime Minister's XI here.

In a high scoring contest at Manuka Oval, the PM's XI piled up 333 for six off 50 overs and then restricted the West Indies to 310 all out off 49 overs, with the left-handed Powell hammering 92 and Sarwan stroking 63, reports CMC.

Exciting all-rounder Andre Russell chipped in with 54 from 24 balls down the order but the task proved too much for the tourists.

Asked to bowl first after losing the toss, the West Indies attack was put to the sword by Alex Doolan (87), Usman Khawaja (69) and Jono Dean (51) who all cashed in with half-centuries.

The Windies seamers were punished for their short length early on and leaked runs, and it needed the guile of off-spinner Sunil Narine to put the brakes on the free scoring Aussies.

He finished with two for 32 from his ten overs, knocking over former Australia captain Ricky Ponting (15) and wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb (0) in successive deliveries in the 36th over, to put himself on a hat-trick.

However, fast bowler Tino Best's ten overs went for 84 runs while captain Darren Sammy's nine overs of medium pace yielded 72, and seamer Dwayne Bravo's ten overs bled 75 runs.

Even when Doolan departed in the 44th over, James Faulkner slammed an unbeaten 44 from 28 balls and Brad Haddin, 39 from 28 balls in an upbeat 62-run, sixth wicket stand off 37 balls, to finish the innings on a high.

West Indies started positively, with Powell and Johnson Charles (34) putting on 83 from 69 deliveries. Powell faced 97 balls and struck five fours and two sixes while Charles plundered a pair of fours and sixes in a cameo 32 ball knock.

A 51-run, sixth wicket stand off 30 balls between Sarwan and Russell revived the Windies hopes, with Russell in particular flaying the Aussie bowling to all parts of the ground in clobbering three fours and five sixes.

Both fell in a mad dash for runs in the dying stages, however, the last four wickets went down for 35 runs in the space of 22 balls.

--IANS/CMC

sr/vt

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