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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 June, 2004, 18:06 GMT 19:06 UK
Windies overwhelm Ireland
By Jim Stokes
BBC Sport at Stormont

One-day warm-up, Belfast: West Indies 242 all out beat Ireland 146 all out by 96 runs

Brian Lara wants pride restored to West Indian cricket
Lara gave the Windies' innings some respectability with his ton

Brian Lara warmed up for the NatWest Series with a swashbuckling ton as West Indies defeated Ireland by 96 runs.

In the first of back-to-back one-dayers in Belfast, Lara blasted 106 runs in the West Indies' 242 all out.

However, the pace of Ravi Rampaul, who finished with 3-25, ended Ireland's hopes of a shock victory and they were bowled out for 146.

Ireland's only real answer to the tourist's pace attack was a stubborn 32 from Kyle McCallan.

Essex paceman Adrian McCoubrey had early success when he removed Chris Gayle and Devon Smith while Shivarine Chanderpaul was run-out by Eoin Morgan to leave the tourists on 40-3.

Lara started slowly on the flat track before flexing his muscles to entertain the shirt-sleeved crowd.

Along with the impressive Dwayne Bravo, Lara featured in a 139-run partnership.

The West Indies skipper rocketed a cover drive to the boundary to bring up his 50 in 72 balls.

Lara struck four sixes and 12 fours before he was beautifully caught in the long-on boundary by Kyle McCallan off Andrew White.

The only time Lara displayed any compassion came when he ran off the field at the fall of Bravo's wicket to hand his battings gloves to seven-year-old Curtis Cooke.

Young Cooke was hit on the head when Lara cleared the ropes for his third six.

Twenty minutes later he was then joined in the ambulance by his father Gordon, the Ireland pace bowler who slipped on the hard surface and was taken to hospital with a suspected hairline fracture of the ankle.

However, once Lara departed the run-rate slowed appreciably and the Ireland bowled out the visitors with 3.4 overs remaining.

Best of the Ireland bowlers was Andre Botha with 3-42, while McCallan and White chipped in with two wickets apiece.

The amateurs of Ireland started the run-chase in positive fashion at six-an-over with Molins and Jeremy Bray peppering the boundary.

We looked tired and the top three and lower order both need to show more
Brian Lara

But once both openers and Kent wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien departed to Rampaul the runs dried up.

Halfway through their innings, Ireland were struggling at 102-6 with all their main run-getters back in the pavilion and Cooke incapacitated.

There was a late 38-run stand between McCallan and Trent Johnston, but it was not enough as Ireland's knock finished 96 runs short.

Afterwards Lara acknowledged that he wasn't overly impressed with his side's display.

"We looked tired and the top three and lower order both need to show more," said Lara.

"But we're a young side and there's competition for places so I'm confident we'll improve.

"Ireland's top three looked strong but they need more match-winners - and we have to step up a level because we will be playing better teams soon."

Ireland: AC Botha, JP Bray, G Cooke, PG Gillespie, DT Johnston, WK McCallan, AGAM McCoubrey, JAM Molins, EJG Morgan, NJ O'Brien, AR White.

West Indies: CS Baugh, IDR Bradshaw, DJJ Bravo, S Chanderpaul, CH Gayle, BC Lara, JJC Lawson, RL Powell, R Rampaul, DJG Sammy, DS Smith.

BBC's Mark Sidebottom
"A remarkable day for the Cooke family"

BBC's Michael McNamee
"Lara survived a couple of strong appeals"

Cricket fan knocked for six
16 Jun 04  |  Northern Ireland
Windies lean on experience
14 Jun 04  |  Cricket

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