On fire!

Lendl Simmons on the attack during his 84.

West Indies had ideal preparation for their One-Day International series against Bangladesh with a crushing 118-run win over a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI today.

They were led to a commanding total of 361 for 7 in their 50 overs by half-centuries from Lendl Simmons and Devon Thomas. Then steady, penetrative bowling ensured that the BCB XI lost wickets frequently and never really challenged the daunting target.

Off-spinner Sunil Narine was the most successful West Indies bowler with 3 for 47 from his allotment of 10 overs, as the hosts were dismissed for 243 in 49.1 overs on the hard, easy-paced Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium pitch.

Left-arm Veerasammy Permaul supported with 2 for 52 from his 10 overs and Kemar Roach collected 2-40 from eight overs. Some of the BCB XI batsmen got starts without playing a significant innings – Imrul Kayes and Mominul Haque both scored 43, Marshal Ayub made 30 and Anamul Haque got 22.

Simmons struck 12 four and two sixes in his top score of 84 from 81 balls and Thomas smoked five fours and three sixes in an unbeaten 61 from 43 balls, as West Indies, choosing to bat, plundered the bowling.

Simmons stamped his authority from the start. He dominated the first two partnerships, putting on 68 with fellow opener Kieran Powell for the first wicket and 81 with Dwayne Smith for the second wicket.

Simmons was fortunate on 23, when BCB XI captain Jahurul Islam dropped him at mid-on off Farhad Reza before the same bowler was rewarded with the scalp of Powell, bowled for 34 playing across a well-disguised slower delivery in the 10th over.

Simmons gathered a leg-side single off Elias Sunny to reach his 50 from just 42 balls and continued to indulge himself, launching Enamul Haque Jr for back-to-back sixes in the 12th over, and Sunny for consecutive fours in the 19th.

He was bowled in the 24th over, when he swung and missed a delivery from part-time leg-spinner Ayub, who also bowled Smith for 30 two overs later.

A stand of 61 between stand-in captain Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo kept West Indies on the charge, but they were dismissed for 44 and 31 respectively, as the West Indies lost three wickets for 37 runs between the 33rd and 38th overs.

Thomas led the lusty hitting from the lower-order batting and put on 46 with Permaul (27), before Narine (21 not out) †joined him to wind up the innings with an unbroken 61 partnership from just 46 balls for the eighth wicket.

The Windies new-ball pair of Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul then kept things on the tight side early, but Imrul and Anamul put on 63 for the first wicket before Andre Russell made the breakthrough in the 15th over.

Russell had Anamul caught at third man, triggering a period of instability in the BCB XI batting, as they slid to 95 for three in the 21st over.

West Indies were held up when Ayub joined Mominul and put on 71 for the fourth wicket before Roach turned the match decisively.

The West Indies pacer bowled Ayub in the 34th over and the home team soon slumped to 180 for seven in the 38th over.

West Indies will now play five One-day Internationals against the hosts with the first two taking place this †Friday and Sunday at this venue.

The others will be played on December 5, 7 and 8 followed by a Twenty20 International on December 10 at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka. (windiescricket)

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