South Africa have levelled their Women’s One-Day International series with the West Indies at 1-1 after securing a 96-run win in the third ODI at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg Thursday.

After winning the toss and batting first, South Africa put the West Indian bowlers to the sword to post their best total of the series, 299-8 off their 50 overs.

Opener Laura Wolvaardt dazzled with 117 off 123 balls including 11 fours and a six and captain Sune Luus contributed 56 off 93 balls.

Chloe Tryon provided some big hitting late in the innings with 42 from 24 balls including two fours and three sixes.

Shamilia Connell was the only bowler to have a good day for the West Indies with 4-54 off her 10 overs.

West Indies had to attempt their chase one batsman short as Chedean Nation, who got 35 in the second ODI, was unable to bat after picking up an injury in the field.

The batting was further handicapped when Captain Stafanie Taylor had to retire hurt for the second time in three games after being struck on the helmet by South Africa’s Nadine de Klerk early in the innings.

Eventually, despite a career-best 69 from 94 balls from Kycia Knight, the West Indies fell comfortably short of their target, finishing 203-9 off 43.5 overs.

Shabnim Ismail was the pick of the South African bowlers with 4-37 from 8.4 overs while Ayabonga Khaka took 2-27 off nine.

The decisive fourth ODI will take place on Sunday.

 

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and allrounder Jason Holder have achieved career-best rankings in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings after helping the West Indies to a series-deciding 17-run victory in the fifth Betway T20 International against England at Kensington Oval last Sunday.

In the latest weekly update to the men’s rankings, which considers performances in the last three matches of the series, Hosein moved up 15 places to 18th position after a haul of 4-30 that helped him finish with six wickets in three matches.

“It’s not something I pay close attention to. However, when I play or train, it’s always about aiming to become the best,” Hosein said while speaking with CWI Media.

“It’s about having that mindset of wanting to improve and wanting to be at the top, so definitely it is an aspiration of mine to be the number one bowler in the world someday. Therefore, this move means a lot to me. It shows that my hard work is paying off and that I will be rewarded if I perform well. It’s definitely a good feeling.”

Holder was the star performer with the unique feat of grabbing four wickets in four balls in front of his home crowd. He finished with figures of 5-27 – the best in a T20I at the historic venue. This took his tally to nine wickets in those three matches, as he advanced three places to 23rd with a massive gain of 20 rating points. Overall, he took 15 wickets in the five matches, a new record for the most in a bilateral series, and was named the Player-of-the-Series.

Left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell (up 10 places to 31st) is another West Indies bowler to move up in Wednesday’s update while England spinner Moeen Ali (up three places to 32nd) and Liam Livingston (up 33 places to 68th) have also advanced.

In the ranking for batters, Nicholas Pooran is up eight places to 18th after scoring 113 runs in the three matches including a knock of 70, while opener Brandon King (up 25 places to 58th) and West Indies captain Kieron Pollard (up 15 places to 60th) have also advanced. King made a stylish 52 not out in the first match as West Indies won easily, while Pollard had a crucial 41 not out off 25 balls in the final match.

“This definitely means a lot to me, because I put a lot of work into my craft. I work day in and day out, so moving up the rankings is important. The ultimate goal is to be the best. I do pay attention to it (the rankings) because it is a good way to track your growth,” Pooran said.

Rovman Powell made the most of his return to the team with a brilliant 107 in the third matchmaking him the third West Indian to record a century in this format. He followed up with 35 not out off 17 balls in the last game.

Speaking at the end of the enthralling series, West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick said the improvement shown was extremely pleasing.

“After the last couple of months that we’ve had, it’s really pleasing that we’ve won a series. Improvement for me is actually more important than winning the series because you’ve got to focus on getting to the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 and doing a lot better than we did in the last one,” he said.

“The crowds coming back to the stadium is very important. The players were a lot freer this time around. The bubble was still there but a lot more relaxed and you could see the players responding to it so credit to the medical staff of the Cricket West Indies.

“Akeal Hosein was really brilliant for us when the chips were down along with Fabian Allen. They turned the tide, put England under pressure, continued to get wickets and that’s all we can ask, that people put their hands up when they need to and lead and fight and battle.”

Defending champions Craig Simpson and Aliana McMaster successfully defended their titles at the David East Memorial Sporting Clays shoot at Murphy Hill in St Ann on Sunday.

In cool and cloudy conditions, both shooters proved to be a class apart with Simpson, who shot a 92 to be the only shooter to score in the nineties while McMaster, scored 81 and was the only female to score in the eighties.

"It feels good. It took everything I had today,” said Simpson, who had a perfect start at Station Nine picking off all six birds.

“I really put out everything today and at the end of it, I am always happy to come out with a favourable score. I know what I am up against. I know the talent that's here (and) yes it can also have a negative effect in that you are trying not to be beaten and that's actually what comes with the territory.

 “Fortunately, I was able to zone that out and just keep what was in front of me. I can feel them right behind me but I am not looking back."

Simpson hit 24 consecutive birds before dropping one on Station 14.

He said that the weather had little effect on him during the competition.

"I enjoy this weather. Actually, it wasn't too cold for me. This was comfortable for me, I like it.”

‘A’-Class shooter Geoffrey Ziadie copped the runner-up spot after posting 89 in the morning session while three-time national shotgun champion Christian Sasso who tied with Simpson last year on 96, shot an 84.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old McMaster, who had a perfect start on Station 12  before missing two at the next station said she was proud of her final score.

"Honestly, I am very proud of my score and I knew it could have been higher but I am very proud of myself. I have never felt so proud of myself and accomplished, especially after a tournament,” she said. “Honestly, the course was really good and I enjoyed even the difficult targets and stations that I might have not shot as well at, I enjoyed knowing that I need to go practice this to come back again and shoot a better course."

For her, the conditions were a factor.

"I hate shooting in the cold and when it’s kind of overcast because it kind of messes with you when you are cold. It kind of distracts you away from what you are trying to do, which is shoot and get a good score but once you just embrace it and focus on what matters most then you should be fine and I was."

 

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah is in line for another major global award following her nomination for the Sportswoman of the Year at this year’s Laureus Awards.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has paid tribute to Easton McMorris, who passed away on Tuesday. The former Jamaica captain and West Indies batsman was 86.

 McMorris made his Test debut for West Indies against Pakistan at Queen's Park Oval in 1958 in a team alongside Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Garry Sobers and Sir Conrad Hunte. He played 13 Test matches and scored one century – 125 against India at Sabina Park in 1962.

“I had the privilege to engage with Mr McMorris on a few occasions over the years. I found him to be an encouraging and selfless gentleman. On behalf of CWI, I want to send condolences to his family and the entire cricket fraternity in Jamaica,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

“Easton was a true stalwart of the game and contributed significantly at all levels, on and off the field. He was a leader at the Lucas Cricket Club, carrying on the legacy established by the great George Headley. After retirement from playing, he gave yeoman service as a board member of the Jamaica Cricket Association and manager of the Jamaica cricket team.”

McMorris was an outstanding captain for Jamaica, including winning the much-coveted Shell Shield, and he was a steady performer for West Indies in Test cricket. As a captain, McMorris led from the front. He was an astute thinker of the game, a shrewd tactician and was respected by his teammates and opponents. He was a very determined batsman, who valued his wicket. The region has lost a true and life-long servant of the game.

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The West Indies will head back to the silence of an empty stadium for part of its tour of India following the announcement that the upcoming One Day International series will be played behind closed doors.

In addition to the cricket, the West Indies most recently concluded series against England looked like a rollicking good time.  Vaccinated spectators were allowed to enter the Kensington Oval and added plenty to the atmosphere.

The team’s tour of India will begin with three One Day International’s at the Narendra Modi Stadium, scheduled between February 6 to 11.  The Gujarat Cricket Association, however, confirmed that due to the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic the match will be played behind closed doors.

“We are all set to host West Indies Tour of India ODI Series 2022. 1st ODI on 6th of Feb will be a very special and historic match as India will be playing it’s 1000th ODI. The Indian team will be the first cricket team in the world to achieve this feat. @BCCI #INDvsWI #teamindia,” the GCA said via its official Twitter account.

“Considering the current situation, all the matches will be played behind the closed doors,” the state cricket body said in another tweet.

Following the ODI series, the teams will play a three-match T20 International series in Kolkata, for which the West Bengal government has allowed 75 percent crowd attendance.

Windies skipper Kieron Pollard had plenty of reasons to strike an unmistakably defiant tone after a hard-fought series win over England at the Kensington Oval on Sunday.

The victory will have gone some way in easing the pressure faced by both the captain and the team itself following an anemic performance at the T20 World Cup and a shock loss to Ireland in its most recent One Day International series.

During the England series, the West Indies were once again put in a negative spotlight as rumours of player victimization, pertaining to fast bowler Odean Smith came to the surface.

A performance against world number one England, albeit an understrength unit, and particularly one where so many players put in exceptional performances, was timely.  The fact did not escape Pollard.

“Every single one in the dressing room, we rallied together through everything.  Every time we won a game there was something negative against us, but we came out and the guys really won it,” Pollard said after briefly opening with his own rendition of a verse from the popular Jamaica dancehall artist.

“Empty vessels make the most noise.  The guys have worked tirelessly, when we came back from Jamaica our heads were down.  We had conversations in the dressing room regarding how we wanted to play the cricket and I think the guys bounced back pretty well,” he added.

“It’s one series but we have been on the losing end of a lot of series and a lot of games and you have to take this one.  The guys needed an opportunity to just free up themselves and enjoy themselves for a couple of games.”

Particularly pleasing for the team would have been the performance of former captain Jason Holder who claimed man of the series following a virtuoso performance just months after being controversially left out of the 15-man T20 World Cup starting team.

West Indies Women secured a nine-run super over win over South Africa Women in the second ODI at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg Monday.

The tourists lead the four-match series 1-0 after the first ODI ended in a no result.

On Monday, the match was reduced to 41 overs per side after a rain delay.

After winning the toss and electing to field, West Indies women had a solid outing with the ball to restrict the hosts to 160 all out in 40.4 overs.

South African captain Sune Luus top-scored with 46 while openers Laura Volvaardt and Tazmin Brits got 25 each.

All five bowlers used by the West Indies got two wickets each with Hayley Matthews being the most economical with 2-21 from 7.4 overs.

In a chase that should have been simple, the West Indies made it complicated by losing wickets in bunches.

Deandra Dottin followed up her magnificent 150 not out in the first ODI with a top-score of 37 while Chadean Nation contributed 35.

Chinelle Henry (26) and captain Stafanie Taylor (21) were the other key contributors with the bat.

The Windies had a chance to win the match before the super over when Nation and Shakera Selman were at the crease in the 37th over needing just three runs to win.

Nation was then dismissed leaving Selman and new batter Karishma Ramharack needing three runs to win.

Ramharack and Selman each then got singles to leave just one run to win before Selman was trapped in front by pacer Shabnim Ismail for 11 to leave the Windies 160 all out from 37.4 overs.

Ayabonga Khaka was the pick of the South African bowlers with an excellent 5-26 from her eight overs while captain Luus supported well with 2-15 from seven overs.

West Indies batted first in the super over with Dottin and Matthews striding to the crease to face Ismail.

Some clean hitting from the pair meant the West Indies produced an intimidating 25 off their super over, leaving the hosts needing 26 to win.

Matthews then bowled the super over for the tourists and restricted the South African pair of Chloe Tryon and Tazmin Brits to 17 to secure a 9-run win and a 1-0 series lead.

The third ODI will take place on Thursday.

It was a special Sunday night at the Kensington Oval in Barbados as the West Indies defeated England by 17 runs in the fifth T20 International to win the Betway series 3-2.

Former West Indies Test and ODI captain Jason Holder was the hero of the day with four wickets in four balls in the final over as the West Indies defended their score of 179-4.

Not surprisingly, Holder was chuffed.

“What a real night last night. I just want to thank each and every fan that came to the stadium yesterday. It was a wonderful feeling seeing everyone back in the stands cheering," he while speaking with the media Monday morning. "Special thank you also to the supporters who travelled all the way from England to support their team. I think both teams played a really good series and it’s good to see the way it ended.”

Holder, who was voted Man-of-the-Series after an excellent return of 15 wickets in five matches, was pleased with the attitude of the team that saw them bounce back from a disappointing 2-1 ODI series defeat to Ireland earlier in January.

“I think it’s been great. After the start we had against Ireland in Jamaica and everybody was really down and deflated, to see the way we bounced back against England, it just shows the character in the dressing room. I think we really pulled together and it’s the first time in a long time it’s felt that close in the dressing room. It’s a great feeling,” he said.

“Hopefully we can continue this and build something special. I think this group has to be the group now, with such young and talented players, to become even closer and get better. I think if we do that, the future of West Indies cricket would be in good hands.”

The West Indies next assignment will be a white-ball tour of India where they will play three ODIs and three T20Is beginning on February 6.

“I think this series is a big series. India, for me, is the best all-round cricket team in the world and they’ve proven that over the last couple of years so to go in their backyard and beat them is not going to be an easy feat but it’s not impossible,” Holder said.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Apex Group have announced an extended partnership which will see Apex Group become the title sponsor of the three-match Apex Test Series between West Indies and England in March 2022.

Apex Group, a global provider of financial, sustainability and environmental services, will feature prominently on the global television broadcast, as well as prime pitch and wicket branding placements, and the Apex logo will also appear on the breast of the West Indies Test kit for the duration of the Apex Test Series. Apex will be granted access to the West Indies team for marketing activation and content and will deliver several sustainability initiatives involving the participation of West Indies players.

CWI’s and Apex Sustainability Partnership commenced in October 2021, ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup with the Apex brand appearing on the West Indies’ ICC T20 World Cup shirt. Apex is providing sustainability and environmental advisory services over a three-year period as CWI’s Exclusive Sustainability Partner. By providing CWI with annual carbon footprint assessments, Apex will help lead the way in driving sustainability in cricket across the region by supporting CWI in creating an action plan to reduce and offset climate-altering outputs, including international travel.

The Apex Test Series will be played for the newly-minted Richards-Botham Trophy, named in honour of legends Sir Vivian Richards and Lord Ian Botham. The Apex Test Series opens appropriately at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua from March 8-12, followed by the second Apex Test at Kensington Oval, Barbados from March 16-20. The third and final contest will be at the idyllic Grenada National Stadium from March 24-28. All three Apex Test matches are part of the ICC World Test Championship with both West Indies and England vying for points to challenge for qualification for the World Test Championship final in 2023.

“We’re delighted to build on our growing relationship with Apex for the upcoming Apex Test Series, which continues to be the most anticipated and highest-profile international sports event in the Caribbean,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.

“With the West Indies versus England Test rivalry dating back nearly one hundred years, this deeper partnership with Apex enables CWI to make cricket more sustainable as we move towards a second century of West Indies cricket and build the next generation of cricketers across the Caribbean.”

Meanwhile, Peter Hughes, Founder and CEO of Apex Group said this is an important partnership for his company.

“Following a challenging two years for sport, we are pleased to be a part of the return of International Test Cricket hosted in the West Indies,” he said.

“This is an important partnership for us, as we look forward to further leveraging the combined global platform Apex Group and the West Indies represent, to raise awareness for driving greater environmental sustainability in the sport; for fans, players and future generations.”

Jason Holder sensationally came up trumps at the end as he took four wickets in succession to help secure the West Indies a 17-run victory over England in the final T20I that sealed a 3-2 series win.

West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard had won the toss and elected to bat, with the hosts posting 179-4, with England falling short in reply, bowled out for 162 in the 20th over with Player of the Match Holder (27-5) decisive with a double hat-trick in the final over.

After an encouraging start, West Indies did suffer a minor wobble as they lost wickets in consecutive overs, with Kyle Mayers (31) and Romario Shepherd (six) falling in the sixth and seventh, giving England a boost.

Brandon King (34) was the next to go as he was caught at the rope, and Nicholas Pooran (21) was dismissed in the 14th over, with West Indies looking solid if unspectacular ahead of the final five overs of their batting innings.

It was then that they really picked up the slack, with Pollard (41 not out) and Rovman Powell (35 not out) accumulating runs at a much greater rate, their fifth-wicket stand of 74 ultimately integral in the grand scheme of things.

The total of 180 certainly did not look unassailable for England and they reached the halfway stage at 86-2 having only lost Jason Roy (eight) and Tom Banton (16), with James Vince in fine form.

The wickets of Moeen Ali (14) and Liam Livingstone (six) followed just a few minutes apart, and while Vince (55) reached his half-century, he too departed in the 14th as a top-edged slog fell short of the boundary from Akeal Hosein (30-4).

The excellent Sam Billings (41) at least got England into a position where they were still alive in the final over, but they could not meet their target of 20 in six balls as Holder's incredible haul clinched the series.

Holder's historic heroics

Having almost looked without hope, England did make things a little tense towards the end – but what a performance from Holder.

Just when West Indies needed the ultimate display of experience, Holder took over in style. His hat-trick was the Windies' first in men's T20Is, and then he went one better. It was a truly memorable end to the series.

Billings deserving of praise

Although he was not England's highest scorer, Billings did play a vital role in keeping them in contention.

His 41 off 28 balls meant England were still in the hunt in the final over. A poorer showing could have seen them fold much earlier – he can leave with his head held high.

In her first race since her incredible 2021 season, five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah said she felt really good after winning the 60-metre dash at the Queens/Grace Jackson meet at the Stadium East in Kingston on Saturday.

Running into a stiff headwind of – 1.9m/s, the fastest woman alive clocked 7.19 to win ahead of Remona Burchell, who ran 7.29 and Sprintec teammate Shashalee Forbes 7.37.

“The run felt good. It was my first time in spikes since the start of this season,” Thompson-Herah told Sportsmax.TV.

"Obviously, the -1.9 wind would be a factor in the time (but) the run wasn’t about time. It was just to get a race at the end of a very heavy week, to see how I would feel and I felt great.”

No longer with MVP Track Club and under the guidance of its globally respected head coach Stephen Francis, Thompson-Herah now trains under the watchful eye of her husband Derron Herah and has reportedly set several targets for this season when she will go for her first world title in Eugene, Oregon in July.

On the basis of what she accomplished on Saturday, she is off to a good start

Obviously pleased with the performance of the team in the Betway T20I Series against England in Barbados, West Indies selectors have opted not to make any changes for the upcoming three T20I series against India next month.

West Indies captain, Kieron Pollard, did not put too much blame on the shoulders of all-rounder Jason Holder after an expensive 18th over led to the ballooning of England’s first innings total.

On Saturday, England leveled the series on the back of a stroke-filled 64 from the team’s captain Moeen Ali, which bankrolled the team’s first innings score of 193 for 6.

Things had looked far more controlled at the start of the 18th over, with England on 134 for 3.  Holder, who had put together a tidy spell to that point, was the target of a savage attack from Ali who launched four consecutive sixes and eventually milk 28 off it.  The following over for Romario Shepherd also proved costly as it ended up adding another 18 to England’s tally.  Pollard admitted the expensive final overs were likely where the game turned.  

“That’s the nature of T20 cricket all it takes is six balls or a couple hits to get you away from where you want to be,” Pollard said following the match.

“We were looking at around at around 160, 170, a total that would have been chasable but them getting to 190 put that extra 20 runs out of our reach,” he added.

“I thought right until then, and even when we started to bat, we had a very good chance.  We slowed up in the middle not losing wickets but we were a little slow.”  

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