Trinbago Knight Riders secured their second win of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with a 22-win over Jamaica Tallawahs despite Andre Russell threatening to pull off another unlikely heist.

Last year, Russell had won a game against the Knight Riders almost single-handedly from a seemingly impossible position with a century for the ages, and for a while here he threatened something similar in a game TKR had otherwise dominated.

The Tallawahs needed 99 from 42 when Russell came to the crease, but he smoked the third ball he faced high and handsome over wide long-on for six. When he muscled the next one down the ground and was dropped by Neesham – the ball rolling into the rope for good measure – a repeat of 2018 looked all too feasible.

Ultimately, though, he had been left just too much to do on this occasion. Despite three more monster maximums and the able assistance of George Worker, who finished with 46 and more than played his part in a thrilling 67-run stand it was instead a maiden Hero CPL half-century for Tion Webster and Sunil Narine’s all-round efforts for the Knight Riders that proved decisive.

Webster batted through the TKR innings for his unbeaten 66, with the Knight Riders given early impetus by Narine’s quick-fire 46 at number three. Kieron Pollard made 33 not out at the back end of the innings to lift the total to 191 for 4 before Narine added figures of 2 for 23 from four overs to his night’s work.

Narine got the first Tallawahs wicket to fall, following his batting exploits with the crucial dismissal of Glenn Phillips. The Kiwi keeper-batsman was the second-highest run-scorer in last season’s tournament but made just 6 in his first outing of the 2019 Hero CPL before being bowled by one that spun through the gate.

Chris Gayle hit back-to-back sixes off Mohammad Hosnain and a huge six down the ground off Ali Khan on his return to Tallawahs colours but fell to the American’s very next ball for 28 as sub fielder Akeal Hosein held a juggling catch at deep midwicket.

Rovman Powell picked out Khary Pierre in the deep to hand Seekkuge Prasanna a wicket in his first over to leave the Tallawahs three down and falling well below the required rate.

The squeeze was on. Narine, Pierre and Prasanna at one stage had combined figures of 2 for 32 from seven overs to leave the Tallawahs limping along below a run a ball at the halfway stage of the innings.

Earlier in the night, the Knight Riders innings had got off to a breathless start and rarely let up. Lendl Simmons set the tone, slashing the very first ball of the night from Oshane Thomas over point for four and adding a Hero Maximum before the over was out.

He fell in the second over, though, deceived by the spin of Christopher Lamont and bowled. That brought Narine to the middle for a whirlwind innings. In the space of his first four balls he had bludgeoned two fours, smashed a six over long-on and sent a steepler down to long-leg that was dropped by Gayle.

Two wickets in two overs seemed set to check the Knight Riders’ progress as Narine holed out to Walton at long-on off Shamar Springer for a thrilling shot-a-ball 46 from 22 and Neesham, man of the match two nights ago in the tournament opener, chipped a return catch to Steven Jacobs for just 6.

Instead, Webster simply took up the challenge. Having been content to be the silent partner during Narine’s fun, he smashed 14 in three balls off Springer to start the 11th over and send TKR screeching past 100.

 

Trinbago Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard hailed the impact of mystery spinner Sunil Narine, who fired up the team with a fast and furious start at the top of the order in a 22-runs win over rivals Jamaica Tallawahs on Friday.

Narine, who is better known for his exploits with the ball, was just as dangerous with the bat this time around, cracking 46 from just 22.  The knock, which included 3 sixes and four 4s got the hosts off to a strong start en route to a sizeable 191 for 4. 

Narine was given excellent support at the other end by Tian Webster who batted straight through the innings with 66 from 49 balls.  The two put on a damaging 74 runs on the board for the second wicket, helping to offset the early loss of Lendl Simmons who was sent packing for 11 runs.  In response, man-of-the-match Narine claimed 2 for 23 as the Tallawahs eventually crumbled at 169 for 6.

Pollard, who added 33 from 21 for TKR, believes the contribution of the pair was crucial to the team’s success.

“I thought the guys played well, we asked for a start and yes we lost the early wicket but it shows the confidence of Sunil Narine, he walked in and just changed the momentum immediately and that first 6 overs is where we stamped our authority,” Pollard said following the match.

For the most part, the defending champions TKR kept the explosive Tallawahs from really going after the steep target, with the timely dismissals of Chris Gayle (28), Glenn Phillips (6) and Ravmon Powell (1).  Andre Russell scored a brisk 44 from 24 but was in the end left with too much to do.

“We sat and we tried to analyse the Tallawahs line-up.  We had specific plans for certain batsmen and I just asked the guys to back themselves and execute…again it wouldn’t have been possible without Narine but also the way young Webster batted.”

 

A 100 per cent fit Sunil Narine is happy to be back bowling for the West Indies and had an immediate impact on the first T20 against India in Fort Lauderdale despite his team’s four-wicket loss.

Defending a paltry 95, the West Indies were in trouble but Narine with figures of 2-14, from his four overs, showed great control and the ability to still take wickets.

“Sunil's four overs very important, he showed his experience, brought us back into the game. Great bowling effort,” said Narine's skipper, Carlos Brathwaite.

"Always good to be back in maroon. Being able to perform for the country is a proud moment,” said Narine after his efforts.

The mystery spinner has been troubled with a finger injury and the workout in Lauderhill was a good way to test where he was.

“Fitness is there, finger is now 100%,” said Narine.

Now, the spinner says his goal is to find consistency.

“T20 I'm trying to stay on for as long as I can. Let's see how it goes. We still have to play positively, start well in the Powerplay, whether we're batting or bowling,” explained Narine.

That positive intent, Narine believes, is the key to winning games again for the West Indies.

“We've to start winning matches. No new thing at the moment, just enjoying my cricket. Hopefully you can see good performances in the near future."

West Indies coach Floyd Reifer believes the return of experienced players to the regional squad has provided a major boost ahead of the start of the T20 series against India.

The Windies will face India in three T20 matches, the first beginning at the Central Broward Regional Park on Saturday.  Ahead of the tournament, the Windies announced the return of top T20 players Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard. 

Despite being one of the world’s best bowler Narine has not played for the regional team since 2017, with Pollard last appearing for the regional team in the shortest format last year.  

“We have players like (Kieron) Pollard and (Sunil) Narine making a return to the team as well as the captain Carlos Brathwaite and they have a lot of experience at this level and in this format,” Reifer said.

“The team is young, and we like to mix the experienced players with the youth. We have a very good blend. We are looking forward to the matches here in Florida. It should be a very exciting weekend, with lots of entertainment for the fans,” he added.

The team will also include the likes of spinner Khary Pierre who made his debut with the team in India last year.  Wicket-keeper Anthony Bramble is also in the squad for the three-match series.

 

 

  

 

The uncapped Anthony Bramble has been named in West Indies' squad for the first two Twenty20 games against India along with recalled duo Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Bramble could make his debut in a three-match series that will be staged in Florida and Guyana next month.

Spinner Narine and all-rounder Pollard come back into the fold, but opener Chris Gayle made himself unavailable as he is playing in the GT20 in Canada. 

John Campbell should get his chance at the top of the order, while spinner Khary Pierre is also in the 14-man squad.

Andre Russell will have to pass a fitness test after a left knee injury cut short his participation in the Cricket World Cup.

"This squad is an excellent balance of experience and youth," said interim chairman of selectors Robert Haynes.

"It's not just about the present – the India tour of the West Indies – but we are also looking at the T20 World Cup coming up next year and it is important that we find the right combination of players and the right formula for defending our title.

"We have to make sure that we put certain things in place now, so that when it comes to picking the squad for the T20 World Cup, it becomes easier, so we are giving more players the opportunity to play and get the exposure."

 

West Indies squad:

Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Anthony Bramble, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas.

West Indies cricket selectors have recalled Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard to the squad to play the first two T20 internationals against India early next month.

Mystery spinner, Sunil Narine, who was recently left out of the Windies’ provisional 15-man squad to the World Cup in England next month, is insistent that he is not done with the regional team.

Narine has turned down a number of invitations from Cricket West Indies to be part of Windies One Day International teams for a variety of reasons.

The spinner, who was sidelined from cricket on two occasions because of an illegal action, had once said he wasn’t confident he could bowl 10 overs because of his revamped action.

Narine’s various issues have meant he hasn’t played an ODI for almost three years, dating back to October 2016, and his most recent comments about an injury ruling him out have been met with, scepticism.

That scepticism comes from the fact that Narine is, at the moment, playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, but the spinner claims he cannot manage more than that.

Narine sustained a torn ligament in his right middle finger a few months ago and has since been restricted in the type of deliveries and the number of them, he can bowl.

“I would have loved to play in the World Cup,” said Narine during an interview with ESPNcricinfo.

“I have missed international cricket and I’ve missed representing West Indies. It’s where my heart lies,” he said.

According to Narine, even playing T20 cricket has put a strain on the injury and he can’t get through four overs without work from the physiotherapist.

“I don't feel my finger is quite ready for ODI cricket. I can get through a T20 where I bowl just four overs. But even that isn't easy and I need help from the physio. It's holding me back from playing international cricket. I wouldn't be able to do myself or the team justice,” he said.

Narine believes that despite the scepticism from people in the Caribbean, the selectors and, in essence, Cricket West Indies, are sympathetic to his situation and the entities are well on their way, in terms of an improved relationship.

"I'm really happy that the selectors considered me," said Narine.

"It shows they have faith in me. I haven't played international cricket in so long and this shows how much they want me to come back. It was good to have some conversations with them and I feel we're all on the same page going forward."

Newly appointed Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt has insisted that the newly formed body is determined to dispel the 'myth’ that several of the team’s senior players are no longer interested in representing the team.

In recent years several of the region’s most high-profile players have found themselves at odds with the regional program’s selectors as heavy T20 league schedule has often clashed with the international game.  For various reasons T20 stars like Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, who retired from the sport last year, have not consistently represented the region.

Since taking over the office, however, Skerritt and his administration have dismissed the Courtney Browne-led selection panel and installed Robert Haynes.  The administration has since begun to reach out to the players, including Bravo.

“There's a myth that our elite players don't want to play for the West Indies. Over the last couple of weeks, we've engaged several of them and prior to the election, I personally engaged several of them and the desire and hunger to play for their West Indian colours is as strong as ever,” Skerritt said.

“What we have to do is to make sure we put systems in place that can respect the players and help the players to respect their responsibility when they are actually involved in West Indies cricket, and do it in a way that is clearly communicated and that there's mutual respect and understanding,” he added.

“I have no doubt that in the hearts and in the minds of all of these players, the performance of the West Indies team and being involved in a successful West Indies team setup is important to them.”

Talented Windies players Andre Russell and Sunil Narine could be major doubts for the 2019 World Cup after pulling out of the upcoming One Day Internationals (ODI’s) against England.

The 30-year-old Narine, once considered one of the best spinners in the world, has reportedly informed Cricket West Indies (CWI) that he is not eligible for selection.  The player cited a lack of confidence in a remodelled action, an issue that has plagued him in recent years, as the primary reason for his decision.

Russell, who is the same age as Narine, is considered one of the best all-rounders in T20 cricket and has often spoken of taking his talent to the ODI arena for the region.  The player has, however, cited recent issues with his knee as the cause of his unavailability for the series.  The all-rounder is currently taking part in T20 cricket but does not believe the damaged ligament will hold up to the scrutiny of the longer format. 

With the tournament just four months away, both players are running out of time to impress the selectors ahead of a possible pick.  For similar reasons, the duo also missed out on taking part in last year’s ICC World Cup qualifiers.

Nicholas Pooran scored a quick-fire half-century but his Sylhet Sixers still lost by 32 runs to the Dhaka Dynamites in the Bangladesh Premier League on Saturday.

Five West Indians have been retained to their various teams for the Indian Premier League’s 2019 season. 

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force captain Denesh Ramdin believes the return of the former Windies senior players to the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force bolsters his side’s chances of winning the Regional Super50 competition that bowls off next week.


Guyana Amazon Warriors booked their place in the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final after edging past Trinbago Knight Riders by two wickets on a thrillingly tense night in Providence.

Trinbago Knight Riders were indebted to more runs from the Hero Caribbean Premier League’s (CPL) Mr Consistent Colin Munro in a thumping 67-run victory over fellow playoff qualifiers Guyana Amazon Warriors at Queen’s Park Oval. 

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