WI ease past PCA Masters XI

West Indies bounced back well from their humiliating loss to Derbyshire on Sunday with a comfortable victory in this year’s Twenty20 PCA Masters XI tour game. After running-up a sizeable 198 for 1, they bowled the PCA XI out for 142 in the final over. The result will give the tourists some confidence going into the two Twenty20 internationals against England on Thursday and Friday.

The PCA XI consisted of retired stars and current county players, including one from overseas in each camp in Nathan Astle and Azhar Mahmood respectively. Former England bowlers Dean Headley and Chris Lewis enjoyed contrasting fortunes: Lewis’ 4 overs cost a respectable 27, including, incredibly, a maiden, while Headley’s single over went for 30. Chris Gayle’s 73 took just 34 balls, while Devon Smith and Marlon Samuels managed some useful hitting practice, slamming an unbeaten 77 and 41 respectively. PCA captain Nick Knight – less than a year out of the game – used 8 bowlers but Gayle, Smith and Samuels powered on.

In reply the only substantial contribution for the PCA came from the Pakistani Mahmood, who crashed 41 off 26 balls. The middle-order caved-in, however, to Marlon Samuels and a run-out, with the fingerspinner finishing with 4-19 from his 4 overs. Gayle and Ravi Rampaul also took a wicket each, and despite a few swipes from James Middlebrook and Martin Bicknell, which turned 98 for 7 into a more honourable score, Dwayne Smith, who had opened the bowling ahead of Darren Sammy and Fidel Edwards, mopped-up to finish with 2-21 in 2.4.

West Indies’ troubles, however, are certainly not eased with news that the WICB has slammed Gayle for his refusal to show any repentance for his recent criticisms of the appalling tour arrangements. They head into the Twenty20 Internationals and ODIs with many clouds still hanging over them.

West Indies 198-1
Devon Smith 77*, Chris Gayle 73, Marlon Samuels 41*
Nathan Astle 1-29

PCA Masters XI 142
Azhar Mahmood 41, Chris Schofield 19, Nathan Astle 18
Marlon Samuels 4-19, Dwayne Smith 2-21

West Indies won by 56 runs

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