King, Reifer star in West Indies’ warm-up win over UAE

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Brandon King scored a half-century and Raymon Reifer claimed three wickets as the West Indies won their warm-up match against the United Arab Emirates at Junction Stadium by 17 runs on Sunday night.

It was not an easy win for the Caribbean men who would have suffered jitters when medium-pacer Junaid Siddique took career-best figures of 5-13 to restrict West Indies to 152-9 from their 20 overs.

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The West Indies owed their eventual match-winning score to a 95-run, fourth wicket partnership between King and captain Nicholas Pooran that spared the Caribbean men blushes after UAE won the toss and decided to bowl.

It seemed the right decision as the West Indies were struggling at 22-3 inside the Powerplay.

The dismissal of Evin Lewis (2), Johnson Charles (1) and Sharmarh Brooks (4) brought King and Pooran together in the fifth over and together they dragged the West Indies into a position of relative strength.

The West Indies captain hit five fours in his 31-ball 46 before he was bowled by Zahoor Khan, who had earlier dismissed Brooks. It was then 117-4 in the 15th over.

The loss of Pooran’s wicket saw the West Indies slip to 122-7 as Siddique, who had earlier removed Charles, scythed through the middle-order with three wickets in four balls claiming Reifer for one, King for 64 and Akeal Hosein without scoring.

King’s runs came from 45 balls and included seven fours and two sixes.

Siddique picked up his fifth wicket in the 18th over when he bowled Odean Smith for five.

Alzarri Joseph helped the West Indies past 150 with 15 well-needed runs from 11 balls before being the last man out, leaving Rovman Powell unbeaten on seven and Obed McCoy on four at the end.

Khan ended with 2-24.

Needing 153 for victory, UAE were 19-1 at the end of three when McCoy dismissed Chirag Suri for nine.

Muhammad Waseem and Vriityia Avarind took the score to 50 in the eighth when Reifer dismissed the latter for nine and CP Rizwan for one in the space of four balls as UAE slipped to 52-3 in the ninth.

The UAE ran into further trouble three balls later when Evin Lewis ran out Aayan Afzal Khan for a duck.

Waseem and Basil Hameed inched the score along to 66 by the 13th over when Reifer claimed his third after dismissing Hameed for five. It was soon 82 for 6 in the 16th when Odean Smith dismissed Kashif Daud for seven.

With nothing to lose UAE went for broke smashing 53 from the final 26 balls.

Waseem brought up his 50 with a six from the last ball of the 17th over bowled by McCoy that yielded 16 runs. The pair also took 15 from the 19th bowled by Alzarri Joseph, whose last ball was smashed for six by Zawar Farid, who ended unbeaten on 29 from the 14 balls he faced.

Waseem’s heroic unbeaten 69 came from 52 balls and included four fours and three sixes as UAE closed on 135-6.

Reifer took 3-13, while Smith had figures of 1-20 from his four overs. McCoy gave up 49 runs from his four overs. (Sportsmax)

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