Hat-trick Roach pilots Windies

NEW DELHI, India, CMC– Kemar Roach snared the Netherlands’ last three wickets to capture a rare World Cup hat-trick in a dramatic finish, firing West Indiesto a crushing 215-run victory over Netherlands on Monday.

Roach got palpable lbw verdicts to dismiss Pieter Seelaar for one, and Bernard Loots for a first-ball duck before he bowled Berend Westdijk for another first-ball duck, as the Netherlands, chasing a highly improbable, if not impossible target of 331 for victory, were demolished for 115 with 111 balls remaining in the Group-B match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

Bowling fast, typically a full-length, and gaining appreciable reverse swing, Roach was virtually unplayable, and outgunned the Netherlands batsmen to finish with his best One-day International figures of six wickets for 27 runs from 8.3 overs.

“Hat-trick was not on my mind, but then captain (Darren Sammy) pointed out to me I was on a hat-trick, and it worked out,” said Roach.

He became the second West Indies bowler to take a One-day International hat-trick, but the first from the Caribbean, and sixth overall, to claim it at a World Cup.

Jerome Taylor was the first West Indisbowler to take an ODI hat-trick five years ago, coincidentally at the ICC Champions Trophy in Indiaat Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.

The victory lifted West Indiesto two points, and elevated them provisionally to third in the Group-B standings behind the Indians and England.

Eager to prove the skeptics wrong, following a seven-wicket loss against South Africa in their World Cup opener last Thursday at this same venue, West Indies gave firm evidence that the gap between them and the ICC Associate nations may still be the same.

Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, and Devon Smith plundered contrasting half-centuries to lead a solid batting effort, and set things up.

Gayle gathered the top score of 80 from 110 balls, Pollard smote 60 from 26 balls, and Smith made 53 from 51 balls, as West Indies, sent in to bat, reached 330 for eight from their allocation of 50 overs.

Left-arm spinner Pieter Seelar was the most successful Netherlandsbowler with three wickets for 45 runs from his allotment of 10 overs, and Mudassar Bukhari collected two for 65 from 10 overs.

Roach and compatriot Sulieman Benn then wrecked the Netherlands’ top-order batting to leave the Dutch reeling on 36 for five in the 11th over, and they never recovered from the setback.

Tom Cooper, who has played at the first-class level in Australia, defied Roach and the West Indies attack to slam nine fours in the top score of 55 not out from 72 balls.

Mudassar Bukhari made 24 and put on 57 for the seventh wicket with Cooper before he was carried away in the tide by Roach.

No other Dutch batsman reached 20, and Benn finished with three for 28 from eight overs.

“Kemar was great! He was brilliant!” said West Indies captain Darren Sammy. “He knows his role in the team is to be the strike bowler for us, and it was important that he went out there and do it.

“We lost to South Africain our first game, and we had to come in this game to show that we are much better than how we played the other day.”

He added: “It is important to see us winning, but also winning convincingly, and Kemar, as well as our batsmen earlier, came out, put their hands up, and did what they have been picked to do in the team.”

Earlier, West Indieshad a solid base, when Smith shared an opening stand of 100 with Gayle before he was caught behind off Loots in the 17th over.

Darren Bravo kept the momentum going with Gayle in a second wicket stand of 68, but was caught at long-on off Seelar for 30 in the 32nd over.

Gayle was careful early on then exploded, striking two sixes and seven fours, three in an over off Ryan ten Doeschate, before he was caught at long-off in the 37th over off the same bowler in the first over of the Batting Power Play, falling one short of becoming the fourth West Indies batsman to score 8,000 ODI runs.

Ramnaresh Sarwan, meantime, had played himself in, and started to blossom. He and Pollard made full use of the Power Play to help West Indiesgather 56 runs from the five-over spell.

But Sarwan was lbw for 49 to Westdijk playing across a delivery, which struck him full on the big toe of his back-foot in the 43rd over, following a stand of 65 with Pollard.

After Sarwan’s dismissal, Pollard led the West Indies assault in the closing overs, but several of his partners were guilty of trying to be heroes rather than offering his as much of the strike as possible, and he was finally caught at long-on off Bukhari in the 48th over, as the Caribbean side plundered 91 from the last 10 overs.

West Indiestravel to the Bangladeshcity of Mirpur, where they will face the home team on Friday at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.

The Netherlandsface the South Africans the day before at the PCA Stadium in the Indian city of Chandigarh.

The World Cup continues on Tuesday, when Sri Lanka, another of the World Cup co-hosts, play Kenyaat the Premadasa Stadium in their island nation’s capital of Colombo.

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