Sat, Oct 15, 2011 - Page 18 News List

CRICKET: Simmons’ first century lifts the Windies to win


Lendl Simmons smashed a maiden century to set up the West Indies’ comfortable 40-run victory over Bangladesh in the opening one-day international on Thursday.

The opener, 26, hit two sixes and eight fours in his 124-ball 122 as the West Indies posted 298-4, before restricting Bangladesh to 258-7 for a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Shakib al-Hasan (67 not out) and opener Naeem Islam (52) scored half-centuries, but Bangladesh never looked like achieving a stiff target in the day-night match.

West Indies pacemen Ravi Rampaul and Andre Russell, and off-spinner Marlon Samuels bagged two wickets apiece.

Simmons earlier propped up the innings after the tourists had been put in bat as he put on 67 with Adrian Barath, who retired after making 21, and 150 with in-form Samuels (71).

Simmons, who had scored six half-centuries in his past nine one-day internationals before this match, completed his hundred in the 37th over with a single to mid-wicket off left-arm spinner Shakib.

His best came in the 40th over when he hit seamer Shafiul Islam for four boundaries before being caught by Alok Kapali off paceman Rubel Hossian in the 42nd over.

Samuels also fell in the same over after hitting two sixes and six fours in his 78-ball knock, but not before setting the stage for the closing-overs onslaught with Simmons.

The West Indies plundered 74 runs in the final eight overs, with Kieron Pollard smashing three sixes in his 25-ball 41 and Darren Bravo scoring 20 off 19 balls.

Barath left the field because of a hamstring injury as runners are not allowed under new rules, but there was no respite for Bangladesh as Samuels looked in good form from the beginning.

Samuels, who hit a half-century in the one-off Twenty20 international on Tuesday, lofted left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak for the first six of the match.

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim, leading in his first one-day series, used seven bowlers, but none could keep pressure on Simmons and Samuels who continued to gather runs comfortably.

Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin led the West Indies in place of all-rounder Darren Sammy, who was ruled out of the match because of an upset stomach.

The second one-day international will be played in Dhaka today.

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