SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (CMC) — Brandon King's maiden One-Day International lifted West Indies to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over minnows United Emirates, in the opening game of the three-match series on Sunday.
In pursuit of a modest 203 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, West Indies produced a measured chase to overhaul their target in the 36th over, with the 28-year-old King top-scoring with a run-a-ball 112 in his 23rd ODI, notching a dozen fours and four sixes.
Shamarh Brooks struck 44 and Johnson Charles 24, both partnering with King in key early stands which provided the platform for West Indies' dominance.
Earlier, seamer Keemo Paul claimed three for 34 in his first ODI in nearly a year as the Caribbean side restricted the hosts to 202 all out in the 48th over.
Leg-spinner Yannich Cariah (2-26) and debutant left-arm seamer Dominic Drakes (2-29) chipped in with two wickets apiece to ensure the UAE never found any real momentum after choosing to bat.
Debutant Ali Naseer, a 19-year-old left-hander, top-scored with 58 from 52 deliveries while Vriitya Aravind struck a patient 40 from 77 deliveries and Asif Khan, 27 from 41 balls.
In reply, the result was never in doubt once King put on 48 with Charles for the first wicket and then added a further 91 for the second wicket with Brooks.
King's first fifty was a cautious one, requiring 74 balls and achieved with a single to deep midwicket in the 21st over. His second fifty was more robust, however, needing only 33 balls.
He reached the landmark with the second of his three sixes in the 34th over from 22-year-old leg-spinner Karthik Meiyappan — clearing the ropes at long on with a clean strike.
King dominated a 54-run, third-wicket stand with Keacy Carty (seven not out) before finally departing with victory in sight, caught at the wicket trying to steer off-spinner Karthik Meiyappan square on the off side.
Captain Shai Hope arrived to end the game quickly, thumping sixes off the first two deliveries of the 36th over from Meiyappan.
United Arab Emirates
*Muhammad Waseem b Paul 0
+Aryansh Sharma b Drakes 5
Vriitya Aravind c wkp Hope b Cariah 40
Rameez Shahzad lbw b Chase 16
Asif Khan c King b Cariah 27
Rohan Mustafa b Drakes 7
Ali Naseer c sub (K Sinclair) b Paul 58
Aayan Afzal Khan c wkp Hope b Smith 9
Karthik Meiyappan b Paul 11
Junaid Siddique c King b Smith 8
Zahoor Khan not out 0
Extras (b4, lb2, w14, nb1) 21
Total (all out, 47.1 overs) 202
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Muhammad Waseem), 2-25 (Aryansh Sharma), 3-100 (Vriitya Aravind), 4-105 (Rameez Shahzad), 5-107 (Asif Khan), 6-129 (Rohan Mustafa), 7-145 (Aayan Afzal Khan), 8-193 (Ali Naseer), 9-202 (Junaid Siddique), 10-202 (Karthik Meiyappan)
Bowling: Paul 7.1-0-34-3 (w2), Drakes 9-1-29-2 (w5), Hodge 6-0-28-0, Smith 8-0-40-2 (w2), Chase 10-1-39-1 (nb1), Cariah 7-1-26-2 (w1)
B King c wkp Sharma b Rohan Mustafa 112
J Charles b Zahoor Khan 24
S Brooks lbw b Aayan Afzal Khan 44
K Carty not out 7
*+S Hope not out 13
Extras (lb3, w3) 6
Total (3 wkts, 35.2 overs) 206
Did not bat: K Hodge, R Chase, K Paul, Y Cariah, O Smith, D Drakes
Fall of wickets: 1-48 (Charles), 2-139 (Brooks), 3-193 (King)
Bowling: Junaid Siddique 6-0-26-0 (w2), Ali Naseer 3-0-32-0, Aayan Afzal Khan 10-0-36-1, Zahoor Khan 6-1-32-1 (w1), Rohan Mustafa 6-0-22-1, Karthik Meiyappan 4.2-0-55-0
Result: West Indies won by seven wickets.
Series: West Indies lead three-match series 1-0.
Man of the Match: Brandon King
Umpires: Aasif Iqbal, Ahsan Raza; TV – Shiju Sam