West Indies captain Kieron Pollard believes there were a number of missteps that led to his side’s one-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in Colombo on Saturday.

The West Indies, thanks to a century from Shai Hope at the top of the order, scored 289-7 before going from losing positions to winning positions and back again, as Sri Lanka got to 290-9 with five balls to spare.

According to Pollard, after leaving a few runs with the bat, the West Indies were also not at their very best with the ball and coughed up too many presents for the Sri Lankans.

But Pollard did enjoy the game, saying it was well contested by both teams.

“Good game of cricket came down to the last over with the crowd on its feet,” he said.

“Normally guys like me and Pooran finish it off but it couldn't happen today. Couple of soft dismissals in the middle really set us back,” said Pollard.

“I think we bowled too many bad balls in the start, gave them too many freebies, that's where we lost the game. Our discipline was not there,” he said.

Sri Lanka started well with a 111-run first-wicket partnership between Avishka Fernando (50) and captain Dimuth Karunaratne (52).

The Windies fought back brilliantly but Thisara Perera played an important innings, slamming a 22-ball 32. When Perera was caught off the bowling of Alzarri Joseph, the match was very much in the balance with Sri Lanka on 253-7.

However, Hasaranga (42 off 39) produced a performance that belied his ODI average of 14.37 to get Sri Lanka over the finish line.

Hasaranga's ability to find the rope – he struck a quartet of fours and one maximum – and inaccurate death bowling from the Windies left the scores level going into the final over.

A direct-hit run out from Sunil Ambris to remove Lakshan Sandakan frayed the nerves a little, but the one run Sri Lanka needed came from a Keemo Paul no-ball off the next delivery as if to highlight the way little mistakes had cost the Caribbean side.

Guyanese prodigy, Shimron Hetmyer, has earned a recall to the West Indies squad scheduled to play against Sri Lanka in two Twenty20 Internationals on March 4 and six after the completion of the current One-Day International between the teams.

Hetmyer and Evin Lewis were spectacularly dropped after an announcement they had both failed fitness tests Cricket West Indies selectors had implemented as a requirement for selection.

There is still no recall for Lewis, who had, not long before, overcome poor form in typically destructive fashion.

The squad also includes a recall for Andre Russell and Oshane Thomas.

Allrounder Russell, 31,  hasn't played for the Caribbean side since pulling up short midway through the 50-over World Cup in June 2019. However, he has taken part in other matches, most notably in the Bangladesh Premier League in December and January

Russell is a two-time ICC T20 World Cup winner, having played a crucial role in the triumphs back in 2012 in Sri Lanka and 2016 in India. He has successfully completed the Cricket West Indies (CWI) return-to-play assessment programme under the supervision of CWI Medical Team in his native Jamaica. He has so far played 47 T20Is for the West Indies.

Fast bowler Thomas, who turned 23 earlier this week, is selected after making a full recovery from a car accident in Jamaica recently. Additionally, wicket-keeper/batsman Shai Hope has been included alongside left-arm spinner Fabian Allen.

Commenting on the squad, CWI lead selector Roger Harper said: “Shimron Hetmyer missed out on selection for the ODI squad. He has since attained the required fitness level, becoming available for selection and has been included.

"Andre Russell is back in the squad, having been cleared by the medical panel and successfully completing CWI’s return-to-play protocol. Andre will add potency to every department of the team. Oshane Thomas appears to be focused and raring to go. He will add pace and penetration to the bowling unit.”

Harper added: “Shai Hope provides an opening option and cover as a back-up wicket-keeper also. Fabian Allen returns from the injury he sustained in the series against Afghanistan late last year. He will provide a spin-bowling option as well as adding depth to the batting group.”

Looking ahead to the T20I matches, Harper outlined that he will have one eye on the ICC T20 World Cup to be played in Australia later this year. West Indies are the defending champions and the only team to lift the trophy twice.

“I look forward to the team building on its recent performances and winning the T20 series in Sri Lanka. This is another opportunity for the team to build on its strengths and identify areas that need improvement while continuing the process of building up with the aim of peaking for the T20 World Cup in October,” said Harper.

The two T20Is will be played at the Pallakele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

West Indies and Sri Lanka are now contesting a three-match ODI series. Sri Lanka won the first match today by a wicket in Colombo.

The second match is in Hambantota on Wednesday.

 

West Indies T20I squad

Kieron Pollard (capt), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams.

 

IN: Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Fabian Allen, Shai Hope.

 

OUT: Evin Lewis, Khary Pierre, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd.

Wanindu Hasaranga inspired Sri Lanka to a dramatic one-wicket win in the first ODI against West Indies with the highest successful chase at Colombo.

The Windies had set the hosts 290 to win the opening match of the three-game series, Shai Hope leading the way with 115 as he scored his ninth ODI century.

It was a target that looked like it could well be beyond Sri Lanka after their innings lost impetus following a 111-run first-wicket partnership between Avishka Fernando (50) and captain Dimuth Karunaratne (52).

Thisara Perera played an in important role with a 22-ball 32, but when he was caught off the bowling of Alzarri Joseph the match was very much in the balance with Sri Lanka on 253-7.

However, Hasaranga (42 off 39) produced a performance that belied his ODI average of 14.37 to get Sri Lanka over the finish line.

Hasaranga's ability to find the rope – he struck a quartet of fours and one maximum – and inaccurate death bowling from the Windies left the scores level going into the final over.

A direct-hit run out from Sunil Ambris to remove Lakshan Sandakan frayed the nerves a little, but the one run Sri Lanka needed came from a Keemo Paul no-ball off the next delivery.

Umar Akmal has been suspended from all cricket-related activities by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) under its anti-corruption code.

The PCB on Thursday revealed that Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Akmal has been suspended under article 4.7.1 of its code, but did not state the nature of the alleged offence.

Akmal's ban was imposed on the day he was due to play for defending champions Quetta Gladiators in the first game of the Pakistan Super League against Islamabad United.

The 29-year-old has been replaced in the Gladiators squad by Anwar Ali, with an investigation ongoing. 

Akmal was this month reprimanded by the PCB after allegedly exposing himself while undergoing a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy.

That incident, which is reported to have seen Akmal ask a trainer "where is the fat?" during a skin-fold test, was described by the PCB as a "misunderstanding".

Akmal has played 121 ODIs and 84 Twenty20 Internationals, also featuring in 16 Tests between 2009 and 2011.

Dimuth Karunaratne has returned to the Sri Lanka ODI squad and will captain the side in their home series against West Indies, while Lahiru Thirimanne has been dropped.

Skipper Karunaratne was one of 10 players who opted out of the last Sri Lanka ODI group that travelled to Pakistan in September amid security concerns.

He is back in the 15-man squad to take on West Indies at home, though, with Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews among the other key players to return.

Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella is recalled and in contention to make his first ODI appearance for a year.

Sri Lanka lost the Pakistan series 2-0 under the stewardship of Thirimanne, who is not selected this time around after contributing just 36 runs in two games.

Minod Bhanuka, Oshada Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Angelo Perera also miss out, while Danushka Gunathilaka is injured.

The first ODI match against West Indies will take place in Colombo on Saturday.

Three ODI contests will be followed by two T20 games against West Indies in March, a month in which Sri Lanka will also host a two-Test series against England.


Sri Lanka ODI squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera, Shehan Jayasuriya, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara.

West Indies paceman Oshane Thomas has avoided serious injury in a car accident.

Thomas was taken to hospital after he was involved in a crash in Jamaica on Sunday.

The quick's agent, Mark Neita, told the Jamaica Observer that Thomas is "at home resting" after being taken to hospital.

Thomas, who turned 23 on Tuesday, has played 20 ODIs and 10 Twenty20 Internationals for the Windies.

The West Indies Players' Association released a statement saying: "The West Indies Players’ Association [WIPA] extends best wishes to West Indies and Jamaica fast bowler Oshane Thomas who was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Sunday, February 16 in Jamaica.

"Thomas was reportedly involved in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 2000 near Old Harbour in St. Catherine and was taken to hospital.

"WIPA's executive and staff would like to extend our sympathies to Oshane. We wish for him a speedy and full recovery."

Faf du Plessis has stepped down as the Test and Twenty20 captain of South Africa.

The 35-year-old was replaced by Quinton de Kock as ODI captain in January and, with immediate effect, no longer leads the Proteas in any form of the game.

Du Plessis wants to continue contributing as a batsman and senior player and will advise the new leadership group as of the team's succession planning, Cricket South Africa said in a statement on Monday.

Kane Williamson praised the way New Zealand handled the pressure after his depleted side completed an ODI series sweep over India with a five-wicket win at the Bay Oval.

The Black Caps' attack – minus Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, as well as Matt Henry and Adam Milne – restricted India to 296-7 in the third and final game, despite a century from KL Rahul.

Martin Guptill (66) and Henry Nicholls (80) gave the hosts a sound platform in their reply, sharing an opening stand of 106, and despite a mid-innings wobble, Colin de Grandhomme smashed an unbeaten 58 to see his team home with 17 balls to spare.

Captain Williamson was particularly pleased with the way New Zealand fought hard with the ball, Hamish Bennett claiming 4-64, to restrict their opponents, India having at one stage reached 162-3 during the 31st over.

"As you know on some of these surfaces with some short boundaries, the job of the bowlers is so important," Williamson said during the post-match press conference. "They also operated nicely in partnerships and we were able to hold our nerve in key moments.

"Today was a great example. Once again, we were put under pressure by India, but we were able to have a really good death phase, which helped us keep India to about a par total.

"A lot of positives in different areas, so it's an opportunity to build on this series and keep moving forward as an ODI side."

Opposite number Virat Kohli admitted India had been second best throughout the 50-over games, a dramatic reversal after they had won 5-0 in the Twenty20 series.

"With the ball we were not able to make enough breakthroughs. And in the field as well, we were not good at all," Kohli said at the presentation ceremony.

"We didn't deserve to be on the winning side at all in the series. [We] haven't played so badly, but if you don't grab your chances at this level then teams are going to hurt you."

The focus for both nations now turns to Test cricket, with a two-match series beginning at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on February 21.

Williamson was able to provide a positive update on injured duo Boult and Ferguson, saying: "[I'm] Expecting all of those guys to be fit for the first Test and they're all tracking nicely."

David Warner showed his emotion and expressed gratitude for being allowed back into the Australia set-up as he accepted his third Allan Border Medal.

Having been reintegrated to the team after his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018 resulted in a one-year ban, Warner edged out Steve Smith by one vote to win the country's top individual prize.

He expressed his thanks to team-mates, coaches and Cricket Australia after beating Smith and last year's winner Pat Cummins to the accolade.

Warner also fought back the tears as he thanked his parents and wife Candice, who he described as his "rock and inspiration".

"I'm taken aback by this," said Warner. "It has been quite challenging. I want to thank Cricket Australia, Belinda Clark, Kevin Roberts and Justin Langer for that opportunity [to come back].

"You were really working your backsides off behind the scenes to reintegrate the three of us [Warner, Smith and Cameron Bancroft] into the cricketing family.

"Everything to get us back in there amongst the guys, taking us to Dubai, starting that way, was absolutely fantastic and the way [ODI captain] Aaron Finch and [Test captain] Tim Paine accepted us and were always in contact with us, we really appreciate that. 

"I want to thank my home club team at Randwick-Petersham for giving me that opportunity to go out there and play grade cricket. 

"I realised a lot of things during that time off that we don't actually understand or realise when we're in this bubble, the importance of what this game is and the smiles on the faces that we bring to a lot of people.

"Sitting back and reflecting upon the time I had away from the game, you don't realise the importance and effect it has on everyone. It put things in perspective.

"Getting cricket taken away from you, something you've always dreamed of, it really hurt, so I'm just extremely grateful to be accepted back by Cricket Australia, the peers and also by the fans. 

"I had mixed emotions about how I was going to be received back here at home - I definitely knew what I was in for in England and obviously in a couple of weeks' time [in South Africa]. But it's just been remarkable to come back.

"Standing here I'm just really proud to have that opportunity again." 

Warner struggled in the Ashes but otherwise enjoyed a superb year across all formats.

But he thought his woes against England would have cost him a shot at the Allan Border Medal, which only Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting have won on more occasions.

"It was a shock and a surprise," he said. "When it is that close, you really don't know so it's a big surprise to be honest.

"I had an absolutely horrendous Ashes and generally, across the Test matches, that's where a lot of the votes are polled, so I didn't think I had a chance.

"I really had the hunger and determination to come back and do the best for our team. We've been great across all three formats for 12 months, I couldn't be any prouder to stand here and receive the award."

Mark Boucher said missed opportunities cost South Africa as they suffered a two-wicket defeat to England in the third and final ODI in Johannesburg.

Despite a late wobble with the bat, England claimed victory with 40 balls unused on Sunday to ensure the three-match series finished level at 1-1, the second game in Durban having been washed out.

Boucher felt his team were "30 to 40 runs short" when making 256-7 with the bat, while they then made an abysmal start with the ball as Jonny Bairstow (43 off 23 balls) got stuck into Lungi Ngidi and Beuran Hendricks.

Although South Africa fought back, dropped chances from Joe Denly and Tom Banton hindered their hopes of turning things around.

"We were probably 30 or 40 runs short and then, with the ball, we just started off really, really poorly and we were playing catch-up after that," said Boucher in a news conference.

"We had chances and we didn't take our opportunities. When you are 30 to 40 runs short, you have got to bowl well, especially up front, and you've got to take your opportunities.

"We didn't do that. That's why we lost."

South Africa and England both rested frontline players for the ODI series, and Boucher indicated the Proteas would continue to experiment in their next 50-over matches against Australia.

"It's a long time until the next [50-over] World Cup, so we can afford to do that," he added.

"There are a lot of good things that happened and a couple of things we need to work on, obviously, but it is quite difficult to judge over two games.

"We'll probably use the next three games against Australia to find out some answers and ask some questions. We do believe we're going in the right direction."

Former skipper Faf du Plessis is likely to return against Australia, though, after being rested and replaced as captain by Quinton de Kock for the ODI and T20 series with England.

"We feel at this point in time he [Du Plessis] needs a bit of a break away from the game," Boucher explained.

"I would like to think, against Australia, the rest will be enough and they [Du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada] can come back and play."

New Zealand survived a major scare to clinch a 22-run victory over India at Eden Park and secure an ODI series triumph.

After posting 273-8 in their 50 overs, New Zealand looked to be on the point of victory when they reduced India to 153-7 in reply.

Yet Ravindra Jadeja and Navdeep Saini led a gutsy fightback that came to a head with India needing 23 runs to win from the final two overs.

By then they were nine wickets down and Jadeja holed out to Colin de Grandhomme on the long-off boundary in the last act of a gripping contest.

New Zealand's success gave them a 2-0 lead in the best-of-three series, following an opening win at Seddon Park on Wednesday, and the runs that set the platform for this latest victory were hard earned.

Opener Martin Guptill made a run-a-ball 79 before being run out in the 30th over, after he and Ross Taylor chased a chancy single.

Taylor (73 not out) and Kyle Jamieson (25no) later shared in an unbroken ninth-wicket partnership of 76 that allowed New Zealand to post a testing score, just as India threatened to bowl them out in the low 200s.

A mid-innings collapse had seen New Zealand crumble from 157-2 to 197-8, with five batsmen in succession dismissed for single-figure scores.

Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal snaffled three wickets while Jadeja (1-35) kept the run rate down, with India hoping they had reined in New Zealand sufficiently.

Shreyas Iyer was then the only batsman in India's top six who could hold his head high. He made 52, but one aggressive shot too many proved his downfall, a rash swipe at a straight ball from Hamish Bennett resulting not in the intended cut to the boundary but a clip through to wicketkeeper Latham.

Amid a string of failures with the bat, Virat Kohli had his wickets clattered by Tim Southee and KL Rahul edged a delivery from De Grandhomme into the stumps.

It fell to the lower order to dig India out of trouble, with the eighth-wicket pair of Jadeja and Saini taking the fight to the Kiwis.

The tourists required 85 runs from the last 10 overs and threatened to get them. Saini clubbed two huge sixes, but Jamieson bowled him after the second of those, ending an entertaining innings of 45 and a 76-run partnership.

A misfield led to Chahal being run out, and it effectively came down to Jadeja versus the New Zealand attack. A lusty hoick from the left-hander proved to be his last of the match, dismissed for 55 with Jimmy Neesham's full toss lashed into the grateful hands of De Grandhomme.

The series concludes in Mount Maunganui on Tuesday.

South Africa and England were frustrated by rain as the second ODI in their three-match series was abandoned on Friday.

A succession of downpours in Durban delayed play, then interrupted the action after South Africa began their innings, and finally brought about a soggy end to the contest.

England were seeking victory at Kingsmead to make up for their thumping seven-wicket defeat at Newlands on Tuesday, while the hosts were aiming for a win to seal a series success.

Play began almost two hours later than planned due to the wet weather, and South Africa reached 37-1 in 6.3 overs – Joe Root bowling dangerman Quinton de Kock for 11 - before heavy showers forced the players off.

A no-result outcome looked inevitable as the outfield took a drenching, but an early-evening inspection saw the umpires give the go-ahead for play to resume, with the match cut to 26-overs-a-side.

South Africa pressed on and Reeza Hendricks reached an unbeaten 35, but the fall of Temba Bavuma lbw to Chris Jordan for 21 - leaving the home side 71-2 - coincided with the return of rain.

Confirmation of the abandonment came just over 20 minutes later, with the teams now heading to Johannesburg for Monday's final match in the rubber.

Rajasthan Royals remain hopeful that Jofra Archer can play in the Indian Premier League despite the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) revealing he would miss the tournament.

The ECB on Friday stated that paceman Archer has been ruled out of England's Test tour of Sri Lanka and the IPL due to a low-grade stress fracture of his right elbow.

Archer is due to commence a rehabilitation programme with the ECB medical team with a view to facing West Indies in a three-match Test series in June.

Yet the Royals, who signed the quick for 7.2 crore (£800,000) in the 2018 IPL auction, have not given up hope of Archer playing in a tournament that gets under way at the end of March and finishes on May 24.

Rajasthan head coach Andrew McDonald told ESPNcricinfo: "It is a blow but these things always confront teams. These are the setbacks that you have to contend with.

"First and foremost, our thoughts are with Jofra. Getting an elbow injury when you are at the top of your game is far from ideal, but watching him from afar it's been great to see what he's been able to achieve.

"We'll see what happens. The ECB have been reasonably solid on ruling him out of the IPL, but we still hold out some hope that he may recover.

"We'll get those details over the next 24-48 hours as to the extent of the injury, and we'll work with the ECB as to what that may or may not look like.

"I'm sure he's keen [to play in the IPL]. He loves playing for Rajasthan, but injuries happen, and until more details come to light, we will always hold out hope for a player of that quality.

"It doesn't look good at the moment, but we won't be in any rush to replace him at this moment in time."

Ross Taylor felt the return of some familiar faces helped New Zealand record a stunning ODI victory over India on Wednesday.

Taylor put on a masterclass as his unbeaten 109 helped New Zealand – playing in their first one-dayer since the dramatic defeat to England in the Cricket World Cup final last year – to a four-wicket triumph in Hamilton.

The result came after a 5-0 defeat to India in the Twenty20 series, though Taylor believes having added experience in the one-day squad was a decisive factor in a high-scoring contest.

"We lost in a clean sweep in the T20 series, but all we talked about was the new personnel coming in – there was no hangover for them," Taylor told a news conference.

"I'm sure it must play on their mind a little bit, they're human and towards the end we lost a couple of wickets but at the same time, our last ODI was a World Cup final.

"A lot of guys have played in a lot of pressure situations. There's probably more experience in this side than the T20 side and I think that showed. But it's only one game, there's still a long way to go in the series.

"The older you get the better you deal with different situations. I had a lot of help out there.

"It's small margins, it could have been a different result but that's cricket, it's why we love the game. Those little things went our way today and in the T20 series they didn't."

Without injured captain Kane Williamson, stand-in skipper Tom Latham put India into bat, but the decision appeared to have backfired when the tourists reached 347-4.

However, inspired by Taylor – who was ably supported by Henry Nicholls (78) and Latham (69) – the Black Caps managed their highest successful run chase in ODI cricket.

"It's the tough thing about playing in some of these grounds in New Zealand, you don't know what a par total is," Taylor said.

"I think there were some great contributions through the whole order and even the bowlers, because it looked like India could get 360, 370 at one stage so it was nice for us to just keep it under that 350 psychological mark.

"If anything, what made that chase a little easier for us was left-right combinations. We knew there was one short boundary and we were able to use that to our advantage."

India have been fined 80 per cent of their match fee for a slow over-rate in a high-scoring ODI defeat to New Zealand at Seddon Park on Wednesday.

The tourists were four overs short of their target after time allowances were taken into consideration during the Black Caps' second-highest successful run chase in the 50-over format.

India captain Virat Kohli pleaded guilty to a sanction imposed by match referee Chris Broad, so a formal hearing was not required in Hamilton.

Ross Taylor made a magnificent unbeaten 109 not out and stand-in captain Tom Latham smashed a rapid 69 as the Black Caps ended a run of eight consecutive defeats with a four-wicket victory in their first game of the three-match series.

Shreyas Iyer (103) earlier struck a maiden international century and KL Rahul blasted an unbeaten 88 from 64 balls in India's 347-4, but New Zealand reached their target with 11 balls to spare.

Kohli said: "It was an outstanding performance by New Zealand, they batted outstandingly well. We thought 347 was good enough, but Ross is an experienced batsman and Tom's innings was the one that took away the momentum.

"Credit to Taylor and Tom. The opposition played better than us and they deserved to win. I think the debutants [Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal] gave us a good start and hopefully they continue.

"Iyer was outstanding getting his first ODI hundred under pressure, KL again. These are positives for us."

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