West Indies set the Netherlands 331 to win


West Indies capitalised on a strong start to post a commanding 330-8 against the Netherlands in a World Cup Group B match on Monday.

Put into bat at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium where they went down to South Africa on Thursday, the twice champions got off to a rollicking start with Chris Gayle (80) and Devon Smith (53) stitching together a century opening stand.

Down the order, Kieron Pollard (60) celebrated his promotion in the batting line-up with a 27-ball blitz to guide the team past the 300-mark.

Smith dominated the initial stage of the opening partnership, hitting Mudassar Bukhari for three boundaries in the first over before offering the same treatment off Berend Westdijk.

Gayle followed suit, hitting three boundaries off Ryan ten Doeschate’s first over and went on to help himself to some more but his second World Cup century would eventually elude him.

Bernard Loots earned the breakthrough for the Netherlands in the 17th over when he had Smith caught behind but West Indies had reached the 100-mark by then.

Next man in Darren Bravo (30) proved why people compare him to Brian Lara, wowing the sparse crowd with a fluent 38-ball cameo that included two sweetly-timed sixes before spinner Pieter Seelar cut short his stay.

Pollard continued punishing the Dutch bowlers, hitting four sixes and five fours in his entertaining knock.

Team mate Ramnaresh Sarwan fell one run shy of the half-century mark despite two reprieves from his butter-finger opponents.

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