Sammy on the ball as West Indies warm-up with win

POTCHEFSTROOM -- West Indies allrounder Darren Sammy was in good form with both bat and ball on Monday as the West Indies recorded victory by 103 runs against North West Dragons in their unofficial warm-up match ahead of the International Cricket Council’s Champions Trophy 2009.

Sammy, the 25-year-old Vice Captain smashed a brilliant 44 from just 19 balls with a four and five sixes as the West Indies amassed 345 all out off their 50 overs. He then returned with his accurate seam bowling to grab 3-33 from eight overs as the Dragons made 242-9 off their 50 overs, giving West Indies victory by 103 runs in the match played at the Potchdorp Cricket Club in the suburb of Witrand in North West Province.

The match offered good preparation for the West Indies as several batsmen took the opportunity to get much needed time in the middle. At the top of the order Andre Fletcher stroked 52 from 53 balls with seven fours and two sixes. He added 97 for the second wicket with Travis Dowlin, who made 57 from 73 balls with seven fours.

In the bottom half of the innings Captain Floyd Reifer hit the ball powerfully to topscore with 79 off just 76 balls, including six fours and four sixes. Wicket-keeper Chadwick Walton was again in good touch with 69 from 56 balls with four boundaries and three sixes, to follow up the 69 not out he made on Saturday against Cape Cobras. Walton and Reifer shared a crucial fifth-wicket partnership of 131 off just 99 balls. The main feature of the stand was superb running between the wickets.

After the batsmen did their jobs the bowlers were consistent in the evening session. Sammy started the excellent bowling and fast bowler Gavin Tonge followed with 2-54, and off-spinner Royston Crandon, took 2-32 -- both wickets with his cleverly disguised faster ball.

The West Indies will now have official warm-up matches against South Africa on September 18 at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom and against Sri Lanka on September 20 at LC de Villiers Oval in Pretoria.

The West Indies are drawn alongside Pakistan, Australia and India in Group A of the Champions Trophy and all the Windies matches will be played at The Wanderers in Johannesburg. In the first round: vs Pakistan (September 23), vs Australia (September 26), vs India (September 30). The ICC CT09 is a short, snappy limited-overs event which features the top eight nations in world cricket playing 15 matches in two weeks.