Bowlers shine after after Sarwan's 123

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, CMC – Andre Russell and Kemar Roach followed Ramnaresh Sarwan’s 123 with penetrative fast bowling to carry West Indies to a confidence-boosting, 61-run victory over Kenya in an “official” ICC Cricket World Cup warm-up match on Saturday.

The two 22-year-olds bowled with pace at the top of the innings and got the ball to reverse swing in the end overs. Russell was the most successful bowler with 4-43 from 10 overs, and Roach collected 3-23 from 7.3 overs, as Kenya were dismissed for 192 in 45.3 overs in the match at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Sarwan had stroked 11 fours and five sixes in his 125-ball innings to anchor the West Indies to 253-8 from their 50 overs. The pitch offered a lot to the bowlers early on and Sarwan had to be patient in the first half of his innings. He blossomed and played strokes to all part of the field.

Dwayne Bravo added some beef to the innings, with six fours and a cover-driven six in 54 from 56 balls, and put on 94 for the fifth wicket with Sarwan, but no other West Indies batsman passed 20. Later, West Indies slumped to 178-6 in the 41st over but Sarwan dominated a seventh-wicket stand of 57 with Carlton Baugh to lead a late flurry as 58 runs came in the five-over batting powerplay at the “death”.

Thomas Odoyo, the experienced seamer, was the pick of the Kenyan bowlers with 3-34 from eight overs, and Steve Tikolo, the veteran off-spinner, took 2-32 from eight overs.

In the Kenya innings Russell made the breakthrough for trapping Alex Obanda lbw for 15 in the eighth over. But West Indies were kept at bay when Collins Obuya (68) joined opener Seren Waters (43) to put on 70 for the second wicket.

Left-arm spinner Nikita Miller was on song and had Waters stumped by an alert Baugh in the 26th over. Miller ended with 1-36 from his 10 overs. Russell and Roach were unerring in the closing stages, with four of the last seven wickets that fell for 40 in the space of 45 balls, either leg-before wicket or bowled.

West Indies will play a second official warm-up match against Sri Lanka under lights on Tuesday at the R Premadasa Stadium.

The Windies will open their World Cup campaign against South Africa (February 24, Delhi) then followed by contests against The Netherlands (February 28, Delhi), Bangladesh (March 4, Dhaka), Ireland (March 11, Mohali), England (March 17, Chennai), and India (March 20, Chennai).

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