A blistering unbeaten century from Windies opener Hayley Matthews put the team in perfect position to complete a sweep of Ireland Women, at the Pembroke Cricket Club on Wednesday.

 Despite the Windies already holding a 2-0 lead, the 23-year-old was in no mood to take things easy as her savage 107 runs from just 62 balls pushed the regional team to an impressive 188 for one.  Matthews’ innings consisted of seven fours and an astonishing 9 sixes.

The total was the player’s first century in the format, in the process becoming the 11th woman to reach the triple digit mark in the format.  Taylor received outstanding support from Chedean Nation, who compiled a brisk 63 from 46 balls, and also remained unbeaten at the crease.  Nation hit two sixes and six boundaries in the total. 

The Windies lost Britney Cooper early, with 26 runs on the board, but had very few issues afterwards as Matthews and Nation took the bowling attack apart. 

Sophie MacMahon took the lone wicket of Cooper but went for a costly 36 runs.  The Windies won the first match by 64 runs, before winning the second match by 45 runs.

West Indies blitzed their way to a 400-plus total against New Zealand in the last warm-up game before the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 gets under way, and the power in their batting was unreal. 

Windies captain Jason Holder has hailed the team’s big win over New Zealand in their final official ICC World Cup warm-up match as welcomed momentum heading into the start of the tournament.

In-form batsman Shai Hope stroked another brilliant 100 and was backed up by half-centuries from Evin Lewis and Andre Russell as the regional team piled up 421 runs.  In response, the Windies took any possibility of the fixture materializing as a contest after claiming early wickets, following early breakthroughs from Sheldon Cottrell, Kemar Roach and O’Shane Thomas.  In the end, the Black Caps were 91 runs short of the target.

For Holder, such a strong all-around performance with the team bowing into action in just a couple days’ time against Pakistan is encouraging.  Especially on the back of a Tri-series performance, which featured Ireland and Bangladesh that was less than impressive.

“It was a good win; any win is good right now in the position we are in because we are building towards something special at the World Cup.  To get this momentum going into the first game against Pakistan I think is key,” Holder said following the game.

“I was also pleased with the bowlers.  I thought we stuck to our task.  It was a really good wicket, we were able to do what we wanted to do.”

 

 

In-form batsman Shai Hope led a powerful Windies performance at the crease, which saw the regional team pile on 421 to register a 91-run win over New Zealand in the team’s final ICC World Cup cricket warm-up match.

 On a flat surface at a small Bristol County Ground, the smattering of fans on hand was treated to a superb display of hitting as the Caribbean team dispatched the ball to all parts of the ground.

The innings started off with a bang thanks to an opening stand between Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis that was worth 59 runs from just 44 balls, with Gayle doing the majority of the scoring before he fell for a 22-ball 36. Lewis was more sedate, making 50 from 54 balls before he was dismissed by Jimmy Neesham.

Lewis didn’t have to force the pace, thanks to Hope who looked to attack as soon as he walked to the crease. Even with a long boundary to the west of the ground, the West Indies batsmen found no difficulty in clearing the ropes, with 18 sixes in their innings.

The most powerful hitting came from Andre Russell, who scored 54 off 25. One six, smashed towards the Ashley Down Road end of the ground, almost cleared the flats, hitting the building four floors up.

In an innings that was all about big-hitting, it would have been pleasing for the New Zealanders to see Trent Boult take 4 for 50, going at less than a run a ball. He was the one Black Caps bowler who could keep the rate down.

It was always going to be difficult for New Zealand to chase that massive total, but early wickets made the task more difficult. Needing more than eight an over from the start of their innings they stumbled to 33 for 3 in the 10th over with Martin Guptill, Henry Nichols and Ross Taylor all falling cheaply.

A brilliant stand of 120 between Kane Williamson and Tom Blundell would have kept a team in the contest on another day, but here, with the rate steadily rising, even 85 from 64 balls from Williamson and 106 from 89 from Blundell were not enough for New Zealand.

However, runs for Blundell, the stand-in keeper, will be a boost for the Black Caps with injury concerns around Tom Latham. They will kick off their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on Saturday, 1 June, while the Windies will take on Pakistan the previous day.

West Indies captain Jason Holder has asserted that his side are sufficiently prepared for this summer's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales, despite them going wicketless in a rain-affected warm-up bout against South Africa. 

The Windies will have to play against nine teams and in so doing find a way to be better than six of them if they are to get past the first phase of the ICC World Cup in England and Wales that begins later this week. 

Windies opener Evin Lewis has not played very much 50-over cricket ahead of his side’s first game at the ICC World Cup in England and Wales next week, but believes he is ready. 

Windies Women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor’s blistering half-century was backed up by a four-for from spinner Afy Fletcher as the team registered a 64-run win over Ireland, in the first match of the three-match T20I series in Dublin on Sunday.

The Windies were off to a slow start after Hayley Matthews was dismissed for 3 runs in the fourth over.  After joining Britney Cooper at the crease, Taylor went straight to work as she cracked her 75 off just 53 balls.  The innings included 11 fours and one six. 

Taylor and Cooper took the team past the half-century mark for the second wicket.  The partnership was, however, broken when Sophie MacMohan dismissed Cooper for 17.

 Shermaine Campbell then joined Taylor at the crease and the two rapidly accelerated the score, putting on 75 from 47 balls, before the team ended with 139 for 4.

In response, Ireland’s number three batsman Kim Garth was the only one to offer up any resistance, after scoring 46 from 55 balls.  The rest of the line-up failed to get into double figures as they were meekly dismissed for 75 in 18.4 overs.  Fletcher ended with impressive figures of 4 for 14, with Chinelle Henry claiming 2 for 15.

 

Windies batsman Shai Hope jumped five places to enter the top five of the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings for batting after his splendid performances in the recent tri-nation series in Ireland. 

Nicholas Pooran, after impressive performances in T20 leagues around the world, has now realized his dream of playing for the Windies in a World Cup, but he is hoping that the achievement of goals doesn’t stop there. 

With just over a week to go to the start of the 12th edition of the global showpiece, Holder joined the nine other captains who assembled at The Film Shed on the lively east end of London for the official Captains Media Day.

Windies come into their first official ICC Men's World Cup warm-up on back of mixed fortunes. While they trounced hosts Ireland in each of their two games in the tri-series, they were outclassed on all three occasions by Bangladesh, including in the final. 

Windies star batsman Chris Gayle is well aware that he will be the target of young upcoming fast bowlers when the ICC World Cup gets under way later this month but has cautioned that he will be ready.

The 39-year-old batsman, who has long been a standard of attacking cricket, will take part in his swansong for the West Indies at a fifth tournament.  Despite being one of the game’s elder statesmen the self-styled Universe boss devastating attacking capability was on full display against England in March. 

The veteran batsman was named man of the series after amassing 429 runs in four matches at an average of 106.  Many pundits and fans have tipped Gayle to carry that good form into the tournament but not if the bowlers have a say in the matter and he has slowed down just a bit.

"Youngsters coming at my head - it's not as easy as it was like one time before," Gayle told cricket.com. "I was quicker then.

"But they'll be wary. They know what the Universe Boss is capable of. I'm sure they will have it in the back of their mind, 'Hey, this is the most dangerous batsman they've ever seen in cricket,” he added.

Two-time champions West Indies begin their campaign against 1992 winners Pakistan on May 31 at Trent Bridge.

 

Opening batsman Chadwick Walton has expressed delight at being back home with the Jamaica Tallahwahs for the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.

The 33-year-old batsman played four years for the Tallawahs before moving away to the Guyana Amazon Warriors after a lucrative contract offer in 2017.  Walton recently booked a return to the Jamaica-based franchise after being drafted third in the Hero CPL draft on Wednesday.

 “I'm elated to come home, I couldn't be happier. It's always a different joy to be able to play for your home franchise and it's a franchise I've won with before,” Walton said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

“I'm satisfied with the teammates that have been drafted. We should be able to go very far in the tournament with the quality that we have,” he added.

Walton made a solid impact in his first year with the Warriors, winning player of the tournament in 2017.  Despite making the final with the franchise who lost to Trinbago Knight Riders last season, the player saw his numbers dip overall after a difficult patch.

“I enjoyed my seasons with the Amazon Warriors. We did have some success, but it was a pity we didn't go on to win it (CPL). My career path has taken me back home and hopefully, we can win again.”

Walton was a part of two title-winning teams with the Tallawahs in 2013 and 2017.

Windies talisman Chris Gayle is known for setting records but the big left-hander could be heading for one he may not want when he makes his appearance later this month at the ICC World Cup.

The 39-year-old batsman is expected to earn his 290th ODI cap as a Windies opener, having scored 10,151 runs.  The appearance will also be the player’s fifth at a World Cup.

 If the Windies do not win the tournament and with the player already slated to retire immediately after it, Gayle would join a select group of players to have played the most World Cup without winning.  The big left-hander is in danger of being the ninth player to have accomplished this unwanted record.  Some of the most notable names include the likes of Mahela Jayawardene, Shahid Afridi and Jacques Kallis.  Regionally Gayle will join legends Brian Lara and Curtly Ambrose. 

Ambrose played in 17 World Cup games across three editions from 1992 to 1999 and had 24 wickets at just 20.79, conceding a miserly 3.03 runs per over.  Lara is the third highest run-scorer in World Cups with 1225 runs from 34 matches spread across 5 editions, starting from 1992.

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