King, Pooran, Reifer shine against UAE

West Indies brushed aside minnows United Arab Emirates by 17 runs in their first official warm-up match but concerns remained ahead of the Caribbean side’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign.

Brandon King’s 64 off 45 balls allowed West Indies to post 152 for nine from their 20 overs after they were sent in, captain Nicholas Pooran lashing 46 off 31 deliveries in support.

West Indies recovered from a difficult position of 22 for three in the fifth over to reach 117 without further loss before 29-year-old seamer Junaid Siddique snatched five for 13 from his four-over spell to scythe through the middle and lower order.

In reply, UAE were reduced to 82 for six in the 16th over before Muhammad Waseem stroked an unbeaten 69 off 52 deliveries and Zawar Farid, a 14-ball unbeaten 29 to provide a scare for the former World champions.

Left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer picked up three for 17 from his four overs to shine for West Indies.

Coming off two successive defeats to reigning world champions Australia, West Indies found themselves wobbling early when openers Evin Lewis (2) and Johnson Charles (1) fell in consecutive overs and late call-up Shamarh Brooks followed in the fifth over for four.

King, arriving at number three, counted seven fours and two sixes while the left-handed Pooran struck five sixes, the pair rallying the innings in a 95-run, fourth wicket stand.

Once Pooran was bowled by pacer Zahoor Khan (2-24) in the 15th over, West Indies lost six wickets for 28 runs in quick time.

UAE lost an early wicket in their run chase but Waseem helped them recover by anchoring a second wicket stand of 31 with Vriitya Aravind (9).

Reifer intervened, striking twice in the ninth over to trigger a slide that saw five wickets tumble for 32 runs, before Waseem, who lashed four fours and three sixes, partnered with Zawar in a 53-run unbroken seventh-wicket partnership to provide UAE with a strong finish.

Photo: KING LEADS THE WAY: West Indies batter Brandon King raises his bat after reaching his half-century during the ICC World Cup warm-up match against UAE in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday. King top-scored with 64 and West Indies won by 17 runs. –Photo: CWI