West Indies bat well, but lose close encounter

POTCHEFSTROOM -- West Indies suffered a narrow defeat in their first warm-up match against Cape Cobra on Saturday at the Markötter Stadium, Klerkdrop in the North West province.

The West Indies won the toss and rattled up 327- off their 50 overs. The Cobras lost early wickets but stayed in the chase on a perfect batting pitch and ended on 329-7 off 49.4 overs, to win by three wickets with just two balls left.

When the West Indies batted left-hander Devon Smith topscored with a stroke-filled 84 from 118 balls. The experienced left-hander hit nine boundaries before being dismissed in the final power play as he tried to push on the score.

Opener Kieran Powell and wicket-keeper Chadwick Walton also hit half-centuries. Powell made a forthright 62 off just 53 balls with eight fours and two sixes. Walton, batting at Number 6, made the most of his opportunity. He smashed the ball with power to make 69 not out from 62 balls with seven crisp boundaries. There was also good knocks from opener Dale Richards, 33 off 31 balls; and Darren Sammy crashed 31 from 14 balls with four boundaries and a six.

In the Cobras innings, fast bowler Kemar Roach was brilliant with the new ball sending back two batsmen in his first three overs. At one stage the Cobras were reduced to 92-4 and later 128-5, but they batted well in the second half of the innings to win a cliffhanger.

Roach ended with 3-62 while his new ball partner Tino Best took 2-63. The West Indies will have another warm-up match on Monday against North West Dragons in the suburb of Witrand. First ball is 10 am (4 am Eastern Caribbean Time/3 am Jamaica Time)