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KINGSTON—Captain Darren Sammy says he is making no excuses and has admitted that West Indies were outplayed by Ireland in their opening match of a two-match series at Sabina Park on Wednesday.
Ireland scored a huge upset, trouncing the home side by six wickets after restricting them to 116 for eight from 20 overs.
“Ireland played well and deserved their victory. We were a bit rusty and they came hard at us and in the end were the better team on the day,” Sammy said after the match, the first ever T20 International at Sabina Park.
“We were outplayed today. We can’t make any excuses; we just have to get it right”.
The Irish innings was built around a solid 40 not out off 49 balls from Ed Joyce.
The experienced left-hander, who took home the Man of the Match award, added 58 for the fourth wicket with Andrew Poynter, who contributed 32 off 30 balls.
“We never took them for granted. We weren’t complacent. They bowled well against us and we just didn’t handle it as we should have,” said Sammy.
“Then when we bowled, we did a good job of trying to defend a small target, but they had one good partnership of over 50 runs and that won the match for them.”
No West Indian batsmen crossed the 20-run mark including Chris Gayle who top scored on 18.
Gayle and Dwayne Smith who scored 14 put on an opening stand of 31 runs before the collapse began.
“We have to come back hard at them on Friday and put in a performance that shows we are worthy of being the world champions,” Sammy added.
Ireland’s coach, Phil Simmons, described the upset win as a much- needed confidence booster ahead of the World Twenty20 in March.
Simmons, the former West Indies player, is also warning his players not to rest on their laurels as they look to close out the series today.
“It’s a big victory because we are in West Indies’ hometown so to beat the world champions, it’s going to give us a lot of confidence, especially going into the World T20s in March,” Simmons said.
“It’s good for us to beat (ICC) Full Members and especially the better ones such as the West Indies.”
Ireland’s first ever T20 win over West Indies follows heavy defeats against Guyana and Jamaica in the recently concluded NAGICO Super50.
Simmons believes that while many West Indian players were still feeling the effects from the Nagico Super50 tournament his team which was eliminated before the semifinals had enough time to rest and acclimatise.
“I think we’ve had more time to prepare and we were sharper today and got accustomed to the conditions,” said Simmons.
“We bowled a lot better than we’ve done in the past and we also fielded a lot better. Our bowlers did the job and we came out on top.”
Simmons praised the disciplined bowling of Alex Cusack as well as Tim Murtagh and Kevin O’Brien, who picked up two wickets each to restrict the West Indies to a paltry 116 off their allotted 20.
The two teams will play the second and final T20 International today. (CMC)
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