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Brooks, Mayers help WI top up S/League account; allrounder wants to become permanent opener

A boundary-filled 106-ball Kyle Mayers century followed by a less belligerent, more patient 115-ball Shamarh Brooks effort put Nicholas Pooran’s West Indies in the driver’s seat in the third and final ODI at the VRA Stadium in Amstelveen today.

But somebody forgot to send Netherlands openers Vickramjit Singh and Max O’Dowd the memo about what a mountain a score of 308 for 5 is to climb.

Photo: West Indies allrounder Kyle Mayers.
(Copyright Getty)

Only timely interventions from Man-of-the-Match Mayers and Man-of-the-Series Akeal Hosein spared the Maroon Men the blushes, as the home side fell 20 runs short in their chase and ensured that 30 rather than 20 points were deposited in the West Indies’ World Cup Super League account.

Winning the toss, Pooran perhaps surprisingly opted to take first strike. Mayers was a somewhat surprising choice to partner Shai Hope at the top of the order, replacing Brooks.

The left-hander, who has recently opened for the West Indies in T20s, called getting an opportunity to open the batting in an ODI ‘a good feeling’ and said that he wanted ‘to make [opening] a permanent fixture’.

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But, he said, he wants to ‘see how it goes’.

Photo: West Indies allrounder Kyle Mayers.
(via CWI Media)

Today, it went well. In the mood, he took a particular liking to the quick stuff served up by Vivian Kingma—whom he clouted for four of his seven sixes. He added another three sixes and eight fours in reaching his 50 off only 53 balls and his century off only 43 more.

With the steady but not swashbuckling Brooks, Mayers added 184 for the second wicket before he smashed Ryan Klein straight down Bas de Leede’s throat on the midwicket boundary.

Skipper Pooran (7 off 7), off-spinner Aryan Dutt’s victim for the third consecutive innings, and the in-form Brandon King (10 off 12) could not sustain the momentum.

Brooks (101*, 3 x 4, 4 x 6) eased to three figures off 114 balls after the loss of Mayers in the 41st over but the team managed to add only 66 in the last nine overs.

Photo: West Indies batsman Shamarh Brooks.
(via CWI Media)

There was no momentum problem for the home side’s openers. Singh (54 off 55, 7 x 4, 1 x 6) needed just 49 balls to reach 50 and O’Dowd 57. By the 19th over, three figures were already on the board and the Netherlands were on pace to reach their target—with all ten wickets still intact.

With quicks Jayden Seales (1/59) and Shermon Lewis (who would clean up the tail to end with a flattering 3/67) not troubling the batsmen, Pooran called up part-timers Keacy Carty and Nkrumah Bonner for one and two overs respectively.

Still, by the end of the 40th over, the score was 211 for three. Under 100 runs were needed and a set batsman, O’Dowd (89 off 121, 8 x 4), was still at the crease. But once Hosein’s persistence broke through the opener’s defences at 239 in the 43rd over, the rest of the batting offered little resistance.

They got to 288, within sight of the psychological destination that is 300. But they still fell 20 runs short.

Photo: Netherlands opening batsman Max O’Dowd.

Netherlands captain Pieter Seelaar said that his team ‘could’ve won with some experience’.

“[…] We pulled it back nicely to keep them down to 308 [but] we kind of lost it in the 35-40 overs.”

Pooran won’t be happy to hear that it was the Oranje who had ‘lost it’ rather then the Maroon Men who had won it. Next up for his side are the vastly experienced Pakistanis, who swept them 3-0 in the three-match T20 leg of the series which began last year.  They generally give no quarter  and, with 60 points from their 12 completed games, they are currently in 10th spot on the 13-team table. No room for slip-ups.

So unlike in Amstelveen, outstanding contributions from one or two members of the team won’t suffice to get the WI home next week in Multan.

The ride won’t be nearly as easy since Babar Azam’s men will be a horse of a completely different colour.

Photo: Then West Indies T20I stand-in captain Nicholas Pooran (left) poses with Pakistan captain Babar Azam before the start of the 2021 Homage Series.

MATCH SUMMARY

Toss: West Indies

West Indies: 308 for 5 (50 overs) Kyle Mayers 120, Shamarh Brooks 101*; Bas de Leede 1/34, Aryan Dutt 1/44)

Netherlands 288 all out (49.5 overs) (Max O’Dowd 89, Vickramjit Singh 54, Musa Ahmad 42, Bas de Leede 25; Shermon Lewis 3/67, Akeal Hosein 2/52, Hayden Walsh Jr 2/54)

Man-of-the-Match: Kyle Mayers

Result: West Indies win by 20 runs

Man-of-the-Series: Akeal Hosein

West Indies win 3-match series 3-0

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