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PM's XI sneak home in thriller
By David Barbeler
22:35 AEST Tue Jan 29 2013

The Prime Minister's XI have snuck home against the West Indies by 23 runs in a high scoring 50-over thriller in Canberra.

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

The West Indies looked on track to chase down the score in front of a crowd of almost 10,000 at Manuka Oval until Kieran Powell retired hurt on 92 with leg cramps.

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 Jono Dean, Khawaja and Alex Doolan all making half centuries.

ACT Comets captain Dean blitzed hit his half century off just 35 balls at the top of the order while Test hopefuls Usman Khawaja (69) and Alex Doolan (87) also starred with the bat.

Faulker 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 before the match, who was suffering from slight back stiffness after a long flight.


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