Deonarine dedicates MOM to family
St George's, Grenada - West Indies A batting allrouder, Narsingh Deonarine, has dedicated his Man of the Match performance in the 2nd One Day against Sri Lanka A to his first-born, Dariel Inshan Ali Deonarine.
Deonarine missed the two Twenty20 matches of the Sri Lanka A tour as he flew back to his Trinidad home to be with his wife, Aneesa Micheline Deonarine, who gave birth to their son on June 2nd in Florida. Aneesa is the daughter of former West Indies left arm unorthodox spin bowler, Inshan Ali.
The left-hander stroked a run-a-ball 34 runs in the 2nd One Day to help the West Indies A draw level at 1-1 in the 3-match One Day series. His heroics with the ball though proved to be more crucial on the day as the hosts successfully defended what looked to be a par score of 240/9. Deonarine's spell of 10-2-25-3 stalled the Sri Lankans as the visitors crashed to to a 90 run defeat at the Grenada National Stadium.
But in the midst of capping the top prize of the match, Deonarine used the opportunity to dedicate the Man of the Match award to his wife and son. He said, "I had my first son on June 2nd, and this award is really for him and for my wife." He added, "I've been working really hard on my cricket over the last few years and while I've been around the world playing, my wife has supported me, and I'm sure my son will too. So achievements like these are really for them."
And indeed it was a great achievement. At the end of their innings, West Indies A would have felt they had let another good start to their innings go to waste after Lendl Simmons and Nkrumah Bonner put on 89 runs for the opening stand. But according to Deonarine, though it was the same pitch used two days ago when over 500 runs were scored in the first One Day, Tuesday's wicket played differently.
He stated, "I think batting first, the pitch was kind of difficult and we got off to a good start but the run rate wasn't what we required at the stage for us to get to a bigger total. But at the end we managed to get to 240 with some partnerships with myself and Fletcher and coming down to the end, some of those guys chipped in as well so it was a good batting effort."
In the end, 240 was more than enough for the Windies A to seal victory and keep the series alive. But less than 48 hours after 569 runs were scored in Sri Lanka A's first One Day win, batsmen struggled on the very same pitch. Deonarine offered some clues as to why, saying, "I find that the pitch wasn't too conducive. It was on the slow side. The ball wasn't coming on so we wasn't able to hit through the line so you more had to go after your runs and you had to work the ball around."
The result was Deonarine hitting four boundaries in his 34, sharing in a crucial fourth wicket, 51 run partnership, with Andre Fletcher. Then Deonarine took the ball and engineered a remarkable comeback for his team. Sri Lanka A were cruising to victory at 94/0. Deonarine broke the back of the middle order getting the wickets of Angelo Perera, Thilana Kandamby and Ashan Priyanjana. He was not expected to deliver all of his ten over allotment but he gave his captain, Kirk Edwards, little choice. He credited extra work on his bowling for the success, stating, "I've been working on it and it paid off in the game. I put the ball in the right areas and at the end of the day I was able to pick a few wickets."
Deonarine's heroics backed up by his team has left the series on a knife edge, and with just one more match to play, his thinking is simple, "We're going for a win!"
The 3rd and final One Day between West Indies A and Sri Lanka A takes place at the Grenada National Stadium on Thursday. Members of the West Indies A Team depart on Thursday night while Sri Lanka A leave the Caribbean on Sunday.