DURHAM: Fabian Allen revels in a bit of razzmatazz, and with Rihanna in the house he tried to make the most of it.
Nicholas Pooran was playing the support act, scoring his first one-day international century to dig West Indies out of serious trouble in a Cricket World Cup chase against Sri Lanka on Monday. Allen had the spotlight, a 30-ball half-century cameo containing seven boundaries and a six down the ground that drew Rihanna to her feet.
The stage was set for a comeback victory, until a mix up cost Allen his wicket and ended an 83-run partnership just as Sri Lanka was starting to panic.
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) July 1, 2019
Allen had to be the fall guy, he knew, considering Pooran was one run shy of a milestone 100 at the time. And so he couldn’t turn his teammate back, he took off late to the non-striker’s end, and wasn’t even close to making it to safety. He walked off unhappily prodding his bat into the turf, later saying it was the turning point that led to West Indies losing by 23 runs.
It was a pivotal moment, but he couldn’t say he cost West Indies the game by getting out for 51. He helped get them closer to victory than they were at 199-6 chasing 339. His was one of three runouts in the innings, compounding some shots that more senior batsmen would prefer not to have played.
Despite the result, Rihanna visited the players in their changing room.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) July 1, 2019
West Indies captain Jason Holder, also from Rihanna’s homeland of Barbados, said her appearance in Riverside stadium was a pleasant surprise.
“It was great to see her here. I just want to personally thank her for coming out,” he said. “It’s not easy for a celebrity to come down to Durham to watch the West Indies play but I’m sure the boys felt her presence in the stands. And she came down to the dressing room as well and met quite a few of the players, and that was also refreshing.”