Local lad leads PM’s XI home in thriller

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The Prime Minister’s XI have snuck home against the West Indies by 23 runs in Canberra after a “David Warner-esque” performance by an unknown local.

The PM’s side rattled up 6-333 and restricted the tourists to 310 runs off 49 overs.

ACT Comets captain Jono Dean, who captain Ricky Ponting said he had never seen bat before, got the home team off to a flyer after blitzing his half century off just 35 balls at the top of the order.

“He played beautifully,” Ponting said.

“Some of the shots he hit earlier today, I’m sure there will probably be a few people on the phone to him over the next few days.”

West Indies opener Kieran Powell, who smashed 92 runs before retiring hurt with leg cramps, shared Ponting’s sentiments.

“A right-handed David Warner just kept smashing everything to the boundary,” Powell said.

“He seems a Big Bash player, I don’t understand why he hasn’t got a run yet. If he keeps doing that I’m sure he’ll get one soon.”

The West Indies looked on track to chase down the score in front of a crowd of almost 10,000 at Manuka Oval on Tuesday until Powell came off the field as a “precautionary measure”.

Pakistan-born legspinner Fawad Ahmed then sparked a middle order collapse, grabbing a top edge off Darren Bravo (6) to Alex Doolan at deep square.

Dwayne Bravo (18), Kieran Pollard (2) and captain Darren Sammy (3) soon followed, leaving the visitors in an almost irrecoverable position.

Ramnaresh Sarwan (63) and Andre Russell (54) both attempted to revive the innings before both holing out to fielders in the deep.

Man of the match James Faulkner (4-54) bowled Tino Best (2) with his final ball during the penultimate over to put the visitors at 9-310, with Powell declining to come back out to bat.

Earlier in the innings Test hopeful Usman Khawaja silenced critics of his fielding by brilliantly running out opener Johnson Charles (34).

The foundations of the PM XI’s total of 6-333 was built early on, with the top three batsmen Dean (51), Khawaja (69) and Alex Doolan (87) all making half centuries.

Ponting said Khawaja and Doolan couldn’t have done much more to earn a spot in the squad to tour India, due to be announced on Thursday.

“No one knows where they sit as far as Test selection for India. They couldn’t do much more than they did today,” Ponting said.

“Usman looked, as you say, classy again, and Doolan didn’t do a thing wrong.”

Faulkner also didn’t hurt his chances of a call-up to the national squad with his batting performance, scoring 44 off just 28 balls.

Alister McDermott (2-63) and Ashton Turner (1-62) also chipped in with the ball for the PM’s XI.

The run chase was made all the more difficult for the West Indies with the late withdrawal of star batsman Chris Gayle, who was suffering from slight back stiffness after a long flight.

© AAP 2014
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