Powell steps up with career-best 83

Perth, Australia – Kieran Powell was delighted he managed to get the highest score of his limited-overs career and felt the 83 runs he made against Australia on Sunday was a breakthrough innings.

However, the 22-year-old opener left the WACA Ground kicking himself that he was not able to carry on to get three figures and lead the West Indies to a series-levelling win.

He made great use of the superb batting conditions on a scorching, sun-kissed Sunday and topscored as West Indies were bowled out for 212 in the 39th over, losing by 54 runs.

Powell added a brilliant century-stand with Dwayne Bravo, which laid the foundation after West Indies had slipped to 33-3. Bravo made 45 in the partnership of 126 for the fourth wicket, but it was not enough to reach the victory target after the Aussies scored 266-7 off their 50 overs.

“We lost early wickets and we decided we would back ourselves to go for our shots if the ball was in our zone, but other than that we would grind it out. It paid off for a bit but we weren’t able to go all the way and win,” said Powell, who hit nine boundaries and two sixes off 92 balls.

“After the hard graft earlier on, I knew I would get the chance to play my shots and I went for it as the ball was coming onto the bat well. I felt I played well, but I was disappointed I could not take the team to victory – that is the most important thing when you’re playing for your country, you want to be on the winning side.

“Overall, I would have to say it has given me the confidence I needed. I have been trying to crack One-Day cricket and this tour is teaching me a lot about the limited-overs version of the game. I have been successful in Test cricket last year and now I’m learning about One-Day cricket,” he told WICB Media.

Powell had a breakthough year in 2012 when he made three Test centuries in six innings – including twin tons in the first Test against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Dhaka. A graduate of the Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre, he also made first-class centuries for West Indies “A” against India “A” last June and for West Indies against England Lions on the tour of England last May.

He is looking ahead to the third One-Day International on Tuesday at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, where he made an excellent 92 against the Prime Minister’s XI last week in the warm-up match.

“It’s a very good surface for batting in Canberra so I will be looking to do very much the same as I did today, which is get through the new ball and then look to carry on from there. I know the conditions so the plan is to back my ability and be patient.”

After Sunday’s match on the western coast of the country, the series now moves to the eastern centres. The other three matches will be February 6 (Manuka Oval, Canberra), February 8 (SCG), and February 10 (MCG). The teams will also play a one-off T20 International at the Gabba, Brisbane on February 13.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 15:04