Keagan Simmons’ brilliant 166 drove West Indies well past 300 in the first innings of their Plate Semi-Final against Canada, before an excellent team bowling performance ensured that Canada never got anywhere close.
West Indies opted to bat, but lost two wickets within the first ten overs, both falling to the unorthodox off-spinner Rommel Shahzad.
Simmons was joined by the in-form Alick Athanaze, West Indies’ leading run scorer in the tournament coming into the game. Together the duo added 156, taking West Indies to 212 before Athanaze (87) departed.
They rotated the strikes with ease nudging and pushing the ball into gaps and dispatching the bad balls. Canada skipper Arslan Khan experimented with his bowlers, using eight in total, but missed a trick with his field placements.
Simmons’ hundred came up from 101 balls, and his 150 just 25 balls later, as he took Canada to all parts, going aerial but just to clear the infield, and not attempting to overhit the ball. Akash Gill located his yorker, bowling well at the death to finish with 4/54, a drop off the last ball agonizingly denying him his fifth.
In reply, Canada was reduced to 5 for three, effectively ending the match as a contest. From 5/3, captain Arslan Khan and Kavian Naress staged a recovery of sorts, adding 48, though too slowly to threaten an actual comeback. They were the only two batsmen to make it double digits, Naress carrying on to a gritty 61 as wickets fell around him.
West Indies were brilliant on the field with their bowling and fielding. However, the one cause of concern for the West Indies will be the fitness of their captain, Emmanuel Stewart, who copped a blow on the ribs behind the stumps which forced him from the field.
Brief Score: West Indies 323/8 (Simmons 166, Athanaze 87; Gill 4/54) beat Canada 136 (Naress 61) by 187 runs
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