CAVE HILL, Barbados – West Indies captain Darren Sammy hit 56 not out and shared an unbroken, half-century, sixth-wicket stand with Marlon Samuels to lead his side to a 44-run victory over the Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre in a Twenty20 practice match on Thursday here.
Sammy helped give a boost of confidence to West Indies preparations for the World Twenty20 later this month in Sri Lanka, when he struck two fours and six sixes from 24 balls.
He put on 84 with Samuels, leading his side to 164 for five from their 20 overs in the practice match at the Three Ws Oval pitch.
Samuels made 45 not out from 35 balls that included three fours and three sixes, helping the World Cup-bound side recover from a wobbly 80 for five after 14 overs, following two run outs.
No HPC bowler grabbed more than one wicket, but Yannic Cariah was the most economical, conceding 17 from his four overs, and left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cotterrell was a handful, generating plenty pace and extracting sharp bounce from the docile surface.
The HPC, preparing to leave on Monday for a month-long trip to Bangladesh, never mounted a serious challenge, but opener Jermaine Blackwood distinguished himself with a composed 67 from 62 balls that contained three fours and three sixes, as the Windies emerging players were restricted to 120 for five in their turn at the crease.
Kyle Hope supported with 30 from 39 balls and shared 93 for the third wicket with Blackwood, after the HPC lost opener Trevon Griffith and Marlon Barclay in the space of three balls and were shaky on 17 for two.
Ravi Rampaul was the most successful West Indies bowler with 2-22 from his allotted four overs and beanpole left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, one of the three West Indies reserves, was bowled his customary miserly spell, coughing up just 10 runs from three overs.
West Indies will face the Combined Campuses & Colleges in a second Twenty20 practice match later on Thursday at the same venue.
They conclude preparations with a third practice match on Saturday at the same ground before flying out to Colombo the following day.
The World T20, which features 12 teams, will be played from September 18 to October 7.
West Indies have been drawn in Group B alongside Australia and Ireland and both first round matches will be at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Their opening match will be against the Aussies on Saturday, September 22 followed by a clash with the Irish on Monday, September 24.
WEST INDIES 164 for five off 20 overs (Darren Sammy 56 not out, Marlon Samuels 45 not out, Chris Gayle 27)
SAGICOR WEST INDIES HIGH PERFORMANCE CENTRE 120 for five off 20 overs (Jermaine Blackwood 67, Kyle Hope 20; Ravi Rampaul 2-22)
WEST INDIES SQUAD: Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Bravo (vice captain), Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin (Wicket-keeper), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith
Reserves: Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Devon Thomas
Team Management: Ottis Gibson (Head Coach), Richie Richardson (Team Manager), Toby Radford (Assistant Coach), C.J. Clark (Physiotherapist), Hector Martinez-Charles (Strength & Conditioning Co-ordinator), Richard Berridge (Video & Statistical Analyst), Philip Spooner (Media Manager), Virgil Browne (Massage Therapist)
Thursday, Sept 13: vs Sri Lanka – NCC, Colombo
Monday, Sept 17: vs Afghanistan – P Sara Oval, Colombo
First round matches
Saturday, Sept 22: vs Australia – R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Monday, Sept 24: vs Ireland – R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Super Eight matches
Thursday, Sept 27: C1 v D2 – Pallekele
Thursday, Sept 27: A1 v B2 – Pallekele
Friday, Sept 28: D1 v C2 – Colombo
Friday, Sept 28: B1 v A2 – Colombo
Saturday, Sept 29: A1 v D2 – Pallekele
Saturday, Sept 29: C1 v B2 – Pallekele
Sunday Sept 30: B1 v C2 – Colombo
Sunday Sept 30: D1 v A2 – Colombo
Monday, Oct 1: B2 v D2 – Pallekele
Monday, Oct 1: A1 v C1 – Pallekele
Tuesday, Oct 2: B1 v D1 – Colombo
Tuesday, Oct 2: A2 v C2 – Colombo
Thursday, October 4: Super 8 Group 1-1 vs Super 8 Group 2-2 – R Premadasa Stadium
Friday, October 5: Super 8 Group 2-1 vs Super 8 Group 1-2 – R Premadasa Stadium
Grand Final: Sunday, October 7 – R Premadasa Stadium