McLean snatch career-best 5-19
Incisive fast bowling from 23-year-old Barbadian fast bowler Kevin McLean spearheaded the Sagicor High Performance Centre (HPC) to a six-wicket victory over the Daren Sammy led West Indies senior team in their 50-over encounter in Dubai yesterday to finish their tour unbeaten.
Left-arm pacer Delron Johnson (3-17) took two early wickets before McLean, who plays for CCC in Regional cricket demolished the middle order to finish with 5-19 as West Indies who beat England in their last match to level the two-match Twenty20 series in England had a horrendous day with the bat; being bowled out for 73 in just 30.2 overs.
The HPC students then taught their established counterparts from the Caribbean a lesson in batsmanship strolling to 74-4 to win with 30 overs to spare on a good track and fast outfield; Bajan teenager Jason Holder finished unbeaten on 19 for the youngsters.
McLean, who has scored two fifties and taken 66 wickets in 28 First-Class matches since his debut for CCC against Guyana three years ago at Providence, embarrassed the West Indies side which will travel to Bangladesh for a T20, three ODIs and two Tests later this month and his wickets included skipper Daren Sammy, who batted at number six and managed just three runs.
After Johnson removed Keiran Powell for a duck and Marlon Samuels for one, McLean got rid of his countryman Carlos Braithwaite for seven and from 27-3 the West Indies never recovered as only Danza Hyatt (11) of the top order batsmen reached double figures before he was leg before to Guyanese left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul at 34-5.
Guyanese all-rounder Chris Barnwell (11) and Kemar Roach who top-scored with 12, added 15 for the eighth wicket before Barnwell, in his first 50-over game for the West Indies, was caught behind off Johnson at 51-8 before Roach was last out to Holder after McLean had dismissed Davindra Bishoo for seven.
When Guyanese Rajendra Chandrika (0) fell to Roach and Jamaican Andre Creary was sent packing by Andrew Russell for 11 at 11-2 the West Indies were fighting back.
Devon Thomas (11) was run out and Bishoo trapped Nkruma Bonner leg before for 17 to leave the score on 51-2 before Holder and former West Indies Under-19 skipper Shamrah Brooks (11) saw HCP to an emphatic victory.
“It was a ‘fresh’ pitch so I knew once I got the ball in the right areas there would be something in it for me. I anticipated there would be plenty of ‘carry’ so I ran in, hit the pitch hard and got the results. It was a pleasing performance for me. I got roughed up in the first T20 match (v United Arab Emirates Blues) so I knew I had something to prove against the West Indies. I didn’t want to let the side down,” McLean said after the game.
“It was very tough bowling out there today (yesterday). It was close to 40 degrees so I had to make sure I conserved energy and look to execute my game plan. The aim was to build blocks of dot balls and then produce that ‘effort’ ball. It worked and my game is progressing well on this tour.” He added
McClean, a Sociology student at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, is on the comeback trail. A little over a year ago he suffered an ankle injury while fielding in a match. It kept him out of the game for over six months and he was forced to miss the Sagicor HPC tour of Canada as well as the Regional 50 over tournament in Jamaica.
“I fractured my ankle last year and that put me out of the game for a while. It happened while I was going to field a ball in a match against a Barbados Select XI. As the ball got close to me it spun away and I tried to change direction. I felt it snap.
“From the moment it happened I knew I was in trouble. I missed most of the first year of the (Sagicor HPC) programme and it was quite tough to sit there and just watch others play. I used to pick up little injuries here and there but this was a severe set-back.”
He added: “The time alone thought me a lot about the game and about life. I spent a lot of time on my own and I visualized where I wanted to be. I built up a lot of inner strength and now I’m a much stronger person and much more focused as a cricketer.
“I had a lot of people there to support me but I had to face the challenges on my own… it was my career to rebuild. I had to be independent and it brought me out of my comfort zone. I never once thought of quitting. It was a long, hard road to rehabilitation but I literally knew I would get back on my two feet. I am not what people would call a ‘talented’ cricketer but I will always be a hard worker and a trier.” The six-footer said.
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