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Lendl Simmons’ blitzkrieg 91 helps West Indies beat Ireland by 9 wickets to level T20I series

Lendl Simmons, who turns 35 this week, hit 10 sixes and five fours and shared a match-winning 133-run opening partnership with Evin Lewis who made 46.

By: AP | Basseterre (saint Kitts And Nevis) | Published: January 20, 2020 10:09:52 am
Lendl Simmons hit 10 sixes in his 40-ball 91 (Source: Cricket Ireland/Twitter)

The veterans who will lead the West Indies’ defense of the Twenty20 World Cup later this year combined to guide the team to a nine-wicket win over Ireland Sunday which levelled the rain-affected three-match series at 1-1.

Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard took three wickets each as the West Indies bowled out Ireland for 138 in 19.1 overs and Lendl Simmons made a 28-ball half-century on his way to an unbeaten 91 from 40 balls. That steered the West Indies to their winning target in only 11 overs.

Simmons, who turns 35 this week, hit 10 sixes and five fours and shared a match-winning 133-run opening partnership with Evin Lewis who made 46.

“I have the freedom in this team to go out and express myself and the licence to go out there and do what I do best,“ Simmons said.

“Coming back from Bangladesh I had some form. In this series, I didn’t get a score in the first game or the second game but I got a score in this game and I’m happy with that.“

Ireland won the first match of the series by four runs while the second match on Saturday was rained out without a result. The West Indies won the three-match one-day series between the teams 3-0.

Saturday’s performance was a reminder of their ability in the shortest format just over eight months out from the T20 World Cup in Australia.

“I missed the last World Cup being injured and this year’s World Cup is eight months away and we have a lot of time to prepare and a lot to get going right so I’m looking forward to that,“ Simmons said.

Ireland made a blazing start to its innings after being sent in when the West Indies won the toss.

Kevin O’Brien struck 36 from 18 balls including six fours and a six as Ireland reached 50 in only 3.2 overs. But O’Brien was out, dismissed by Pollard in his first over, one ball before a short rain interruption and it lost momentum.

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Pollard, 32, turned the match in the West Indies’ favour when he claimed 3-17 from his four overs.

The 36-year-old Bravo, in his first T20 series for the West Indies since 2016, then took 3-19 from 3.1 overs to clean up the Ireland lower order.

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