Guyana Amazon Warriors opened a three-point lead at the top of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) table as they extended their perfect start to the season to six matches and guaranteed a playoff spot with a rain-affected victory over Barbados Tridents at the Kensington Oval.

The Warriors dismissed the Tridents for just 138, Chris Green taking the last four wickets to fall and conceding just 14 runs in his 3.2 overs, before reaching 77/2 after 10 overs of the run-chase when heavy rain held up play for an hour. When play resumed, the Warriors’ target of 62 from the last 60 balls had been reduced to 20 from 24.

They added four from the 11th over before the rain returned again to finish things off with the Warriors 81/2 and still comfortably clear of a DLS par score of 69. 

The one over possible after the initial rain delay did at least allow Brandon King to complete a fine half-century having been left stranded on 49 not out when the players had first left the field..

He and Chandrapaul Hemraj had been watchful at the start of the Warriors’ initial pursuit of 139 for victory but still took the score past 50 in the Powerplay as King in particular began to cut loose.

King took Ashley Nurse for 10 in two balls as the spinner’s first over leaked 15 runs, while King smashed his second Hero Maximum from the final ball of the sixth over as Jason Holder dropped short.

That took the total and partnership to 52 before Nurse’s problems continued in the field as he put down a simple chance offered by King on 30. Two balls later, King planted his third six of the night over midwicket.

There was some respite for the Tridents when Hemraj chipped a return catch to Sandeep Lamichhane for 20 and Shimron Hetmyer was very smartly caught and bowled by JP Duminy for just 2 but by then the required rate was already down to just a run a ball.

King continued to impress, taking Lamichhane for back-to-back boundaries to end the tenth over and, as it turned out, the contest as the initial drizzle turned quickly into something more substantial.

With 77/2 on the board, the Warriors were 16 ahead of the DLS par score of 61, with the only minor disappointment for them being King left stranded one short of a half-century on 49* from 30 balls. Something he rectified when they returned to the field. 

Earlier, The Tridents lost regular wickets throughout a rather frenetic innings, which meant even when the run-rate was healthy – 63 runs came in the six-over Powerplay at the top of the innings – their position was always fragile.

Unsurprisingly, the run-rate slowed as the hosts were forced to keep one eye on their wickets in hand.

And even that approach didn’t work out in the end, Green taking the last four wickets of the innings to leave the Tridents well short.

The tone was set in the very first over, a slightly wild effort from Keemo Paul that brought 17 runs, but also the crucial wicket of Johnson Charles as he sliced a wide ball all the way to Imran Tahir at third-man.

Justin Greaves, so impressive on debut, got a couple of good-looking boundaries away but holed out off Romario Shepherd for 11. That too was a recurring theme. Alex Hales looked good for his 24 before picking out deep midwicket from the first ball of Tahir’s second over, while Jason Holder, Leniko Boucher, Raymon Reifer, and Lamichhane all fell going for big shots early in their innings.

Even Duminy, who held the whole thing together with a 32-ball 38 featuring two fours and two Hero Maximums, was caught in the deep attempting to pull Green over square-leg.

Jonathan Carter was undone by a fine leg-break from Tahir, lbw after a lengthy deliberation from the umpire, while Nurse was smartly stumped by Nicholas Pooran to help Green on his way to figures of 4/14.

That represented the second-best bowling return of the 2019 Hero CPL – only Green’s team-mate Shepherd has done better, with 4/13 against these same opponents in Match Six.

Rain was the winner after only 12.2 overs were possible in Saturday’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) clash between St Lucia Zouks and Trinbago Knight Riders at Daren Sammy Stadium.

Colin Ingram was the star of what play was possible, getting off the mark with two sixes within the first four balls he faced and making his way to 52 not out from 36 before the rain arrived.

He put on 51 for the third wicket with Colin de Grandhomme (17 from 16) after Andre Fletcher and John Campbell both fell to the first ball of new spells.

Fletcher was caught by Khary Pierre off Ali Khan’s first ball of the night, while Campbell was superbly caught and bowled by Jimmy Neesham, who stuck out a right hand in his follow-through to pouch a ball hit back at him with interest.

Neesham had a far simpler task to dismiss de Grandhomme when his New Zealand team-mate miscued Kieron Pollard straight to him at cover, while Rahkeem Cornwall – moved down the order to number five for this game – sliced Pierre to Khan at short third-man from the final ball before the rain arrived.

Both teams take a point apiece from the abandoned game, leaving the Knight Riders a point behind Guyana Amazon Warriors at the top of the table while the Zouks move within a point of Barbados Tridents in the final playoff spot.

The Zouks are next in action against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on Tuesday, while the Knight Riders now travel to Barbados to face the Tridents on Thursday.

Afghanistan suffered a second Twenty20 defeat in as many days as they were edged out by Bangladesh in a dress rehearsal for the tri-series final.

Rashid Khan's men had seen a record run of 12 consecutive wins ended when they lost to Zimbabwe on Friday, and another reverse followed thanks to an inspirational knock from Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan.

These two sides were already assured of places in Tuesday's final, with Zimbabwe out, but there was plenty for them to mull over from a topsy-turvy affair.

Afghanistan were sent in to bat first and started steadily before collapsing from 75-0 to 96-5, Afif Hossain – who claimed 2-9 from three overs - making the crucial breakthrough.

Shafiqullah's unbeaten 23 helped Afghanistan recover to a semi-respectable 138-7 and they looked to be in a promising position when Bangladesh struggled early on, 12-2 in the fourth over.

But Shakib (70 not out) lifted his side, continuing to battle away even as wickets started to fall around him, with Rashid Khan taking a pair despite briefly departing with an apparent hamstring issue.

Mosaddek Hossain joined his skipper in a strong late stand and Bangladesh reached their target with four wickets in hand and with an over to spare.

Veteran Windies batsman Chris Gayle has voiced his annoyance regarding constant speculation surrounding his future, particularly as it relates to expected retirement plans.

Gayle, who turns 40 tomorrow, announced that he planned to retire from the sport following the ICC World Cup a few months ago.  The player, however, seemed to have a change of heart later, insisting that he could play longer.  Following his appearance at the World Cup, Gayle participated in the Windies One Day International series against India.

 At the end of that series, it appeared several players and members of the media thought Gayle’s international career was at an end as he received a standing ovation.  The Windies talisman was, however, quick to announce that he had said nothing about retirement.  With the question continuing to linger, Gayle has made it clear he has grown weary of the speculation.

“The older you get is the wiser you get and it’s the more you feel a different sort of energy,” Gayle said in an interview posted by Jamaica Tallawahs.

"You get older you might feel a bit jaded here and there.  I’m turning 40 soon and I’m feeling pretty good.  I am going to rest aside this discussion about retirement,” Gayle added.

“It’s something I learned a couple of months ago.  When you make an actual statement about retiring while you are still playing it can be a bit complicated and it can get irritating and annoying.  I get annoyed when people say this and that so from now on, I won’t be answering anyone’s questions about retirement.”

 

 

Ashely Giles is thrilled Eoin Morgan elected to stay on as ODI captain following England's triumphant Cricket World Cup campaign.

Morgan led England to their maiden success in a 50-over World Cup in July, with the final settled in dramatic fashion at Lord's – the tournament hosts edging out New Zealand in a super over.

Following the tournament, the 33-year-old suggested he was undecided as to whether he should stay on as captain of the limited-overs side.

However, the ECB confirmed on Friday that Morgan would remain in charge and Giles is delighted with the batsman's decision with England now having the T20 World Cup in their sights.

"Eoin took some time to decide whether, all things considered, it was right to continue," Giles told Sky Sports.

"It didn't take him too long, thankfully. I'm delighted, he's been a great leader for us and with us losing [coach] Trevor Bayliss as well it's great for the team and the environment that he's staying on.

"Having one of those two guys still there gives us consistency and now we can look to perhaps go with the team we've got and to hold two white-ball trophies within a year would be a great achievement."

Bayliss called time on his tenure as England coach across all formats at the end of the Ashes series, but Giles is confident a replacement will be finalised within the coming weeks.

"I see one coach leading the whole thing. I've been part of a set-up where there are two coaches and role-playing that out, for me, it doesn't end particularly well," Giles told BBC Sport.

"If we have one head coach and some very good assistants, we are going to have to look after those guys well. The head coach would have some time off, so it's an opportunity for those assistants to lead in different forms.

"I hope we have a shortlist in a week to 10 days and we will go through interviews. We won't rush it but it would be nice to have someone in place before we leave for New Zealand."

Giles also added Alex Hales – who was dropped ahead of the World Cup due to an "off-field incident" – should not give up hope of returning to the fold despite not being given a central contract.

"The door isn't closed. He's a very fine short-format player," Giles said. "He needs to keep working hard and getting the runs - but if he does that, who knows?"

An unbroken 94-run partnership for the seventh wicket between Fabian Allen and Keron Cottoy sent St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on their way to a 20-run Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) victory over Jamaica Tallawahs despite Glenn Phillips smashing 87 from 49 in reply.

The Patriots looked sure to finish below par when skipper Carlos Brathwaite was sixth out with just 82 on the board in the 13th over, but Allen launched a controlled and clinical assault on the Tallawahs bowling and found a willing ally in Cottoy, who would later pick up the all-important wicket of Phillips.

Incredibly, Allen and Cottoy were able to add 81 without loss in the last five overs of the Patriots innings as the Tallawahs bowlers lost their way after an exemplary first 15 overs.

Openers Devon Thomas and Evin Lewis were both dismissed inside the first three overs, and a promising recovery partnership between Mohammad Hafeez and Laurie Evans ended in a mix-up and the latter was superbly run out by Ramaal Lewis.

Hafeez, Shamarh Brooks and Brathwaite all then fell in the space of 12 balls to leave the Patriots up against it.

Allen took an over or two to play himself in, but soon exploded into life. He had just 6 runs to his name from seven balls going into the last five but added another 56 runs from just another 20 deliveries.

He started his counter-attack by taking Zahir Khan for four boundaries in the 16th over before driving Jade Dernbach high and handsome over long-off for a Hero Maximum in the next.

Shamar Springer was swivel-pulled over long-leg for six more, while Allen took 10 in two balls from Dernbach’s 19th over as the former England bowler’s control deserted him.

Cottoy had been the quiet partner through much of the stand, but had some fun of his own in the final over with a lap over long-leg for six and ended unbeaten on 27 from 23.  That the Tallawahs even got close was almost entirely down to Phillips.

He produced what was almost a lone hand – no other Tallawah even scored a boundary until the 11th over, by which point Phillips had struck 12 of them – but was just left with too much to do.

 

Joe Root will captain England's Test side regardless of their new head coach, Ashley Giles has confirmed.

Test skipper Root came under pressure in the recent Ashes series as England were held to a 2-2 draw, seeing Australia retain the urn as tourists for the first time since 2001.

The uncertainty around the coaching position added to speculation regarding the Yorkshireman's future, with Trevor Bayliss leaving his role following the series.

But Giles, the managing director of England men's cricket, has confirmed Root will continue to lead the side going forward.

"There have been no questions asked [about Root's future] by me," Giles told Sky Sports News. "I would hope that is the most important thing for now.

"One of the most important things for Joe is that we now redress that balance between red and white-ball cricket and we have more focus on Test match cricket.

"And when the new coach arrives, Joe gets a choice to sit down with him and really plan and decide a way forward - with me as well - our DNA around Test cricket going forward.

"If I were Joe, and we've had these discussions, we need to start planning towards winning the Ashes back in Australia in just over two years."

England will have one coach across all formats when they replace Bayliss, with Giles adding: "It's an exciting process because it's my first big appointment and we need to get it right."

The team's central contracts for the 2019-20 season were confirmed on Friday, with Eoin Morgan, England's white-ball captain, also set to continue in his role after winning the Cricket World Cup.

He has been given a limited-overs contract again, with Jofra Archer awarded an all-format deal.

The paceman starred in his first international campaign, playing key roles as England won the Cricket World Cup and drew the Ashes.

Rory Burns has been handed a Test contract following his performances against Australia, although Joe Denly got a white-ball deal.

Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, previously contracted across all three formats, received limited-overs agreements, while Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett and David Willey missed out completely.

Jack Leach and Sam Curran were granted incremental deals.

Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya has been banned from bowling in international cricket for 12 months after his action was ruled illegal.

An independent assessment determined his delivery method contained a technical flaw, the International Cricket Council confirmed.

Dananjaya was reported for a suspect bowling action during the first Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, which took place from August 14 to 18 in Galle, with Kane Williamson also flagged.

The Sri Lanka spinner had produced a first-innings five-wicket haul in his team's six-wicket win.

Dananjaya, who was suspended late last year after his bowling action was reported against England, subsequently faced an independent assessment on August 29.

This assessment revealed his illegal action and, given the prior suspension, he was automatically suspended from bowling in the international game for a year.

Dananjaya will be able to approach the ICC for re-assessment following this period, the world governing body said.

The Jamaica Tallawahs brief turnaround was cut short by the Guyana Amazon Warriors who became the lastest team to pillage a struggling bowling attack in an 81-run win at Sabina Park on Wednesday.

Sent in to bat, a combination of the big-hitting Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer and Shoab Malik powered the Warriors to their highest total ever recorded in the CPL, after posting 218 for 6.  The achievement has become a familiar sight at Sabina Park, now associated with playing the Tallawahs three times already this season.

 Things did, however, begin brightly for the Jamaican-based franchise as opening batsman Chanderpaul Hemraj was gobbled up by wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips off the bowling of Jade Dernbach for just one ball.

Hetmyer was, however, determined not to let the bowling line-up build on their early success.  His blistering 44 came from just 25 balls, before being bowled by Dwayne Smith.  With Hetmyer gone, King accelerated the scoring going on to crack 59 off 37, his innings consisting of 6 sixes. 

King was eventually caught in the deep by Chadwick Walton off the bowling of Ramal Lewis.  Nicholas Pooran then added a steady 20 from 11 deliveries but it was Malik who continued to do real damage, his classy and unbeaten 67 coming from just 37 deliveries.

In response, the host’s expectation of any big runs chase was bound to hinge on a massive contribution at the crease from talisman Gayle.  That hope faded quickly, however, after the veteran T20 star hit a massive six off Imran Tahir but caught the very next delivery for just 7 runs.

Replacing Gayle, Chadwick Walton played a few enterprising shots but was also eventually caught, by Qais Ahmad also off the bowling of Tahir.  Andre Russell joined the industrious Glenn Phillips at the crease to provide a glimmer of hope for the Tallawahs as the two combined for 60 runs.  When Russell was caught at extra cover, for 40, looking to dispatch with Odean Smith the writing was officially on the wall for the hosts. 

Phillips’ innings came to an end soon after when he was caught by Pooran off the bowling of Keemo Paul.  The team continued to lose wickets in a steady possession, eventually all out for 137.  The Tallawahs have now won one of their first six matches, including three home losses.

 

Trinbago Knightriders captain Kieron Pollard has defending bowling a struggling Jimmy Neesham at the death in a thrilling super over loss against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots on Tuesday night.

The New Zealand cricketer had a night to forget, his four-over spell going for a record most runs conceded with 68.  On his birthday, the 29-year-old got off to horrid start after being punished with 31 taken off his first over by top-order Patriots batsman Evin Lewis.  Lewis and the Patriots were in pursuit of 216 and got within touching distance of the target, largely in part to a 64 runs 30 balls cameo from Carlos Brathwaite.  

 The Patriots needed 19 from the final over and Neesham, who bowled at the death for the Black Caps during the Cricket World Cup earlier this year, bowled it but conceded 18 runs as the home side's Rayad Emrit (21 off 11 balls) and Alzarri Joseph (7 off 3 balls) forced a Super Over.

Needing five to win from the last ball, Emrit was fortunate with a four that flew to the boundary after a leading edge and the scores were tied after a dramatic final over that featured misfields, overthrows and a no-ball for height from Neesham.

“Obviously in hindsight, I could have bowled that last over, bowling two overs with sweat on my back but couple games before that he had done it for us bowling the last over.  Yes, he wasn’t having a great day but sometimes you have to back your players and I backed him to do it,” Pollard said.

Pollard also had high commendation for man-of-the-match Brathwaite, who scored 17 in the super over, before taking the ball to restrict the Knightriders to 5 for 1.

“I could have easily backed myself and taken the initiative like Carlos did but it’s great to see Carlos stepping up and taking that mantle and taking the team on his shoulders."

 

 

Jade Dernbach arrived in Jamaica in time to see the Jamaica Tallawahs plunge to their fourth straight loss, a 41-run defeat to the league-leading Trinbago Knight Riders last Friday night.

Mahmudullah hit 62 from 41 balls as Bangladesh clinched a 39-run victory over Zimbabwe in Chattogram and secured their place in the T20 international tri-series final.

The all-rounder's knock helped Bangladesh post 175-7, after they had been inserted by Zimbabwe, and included five sixes.

Mahmudullah had support from wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim (32), while opener Liton Das had earlier got the hosts of to a fine start with a 22-ball 38.

Kyle Jarvis finished as the pick of the Zimbabwe attack with 3-32 while fellow seamer Chris Mpofu’s two wickets came at the expense of 42 runs.

Zimbabwe's reply quickly hit the buffers. They were reduced to 8-3 before captain Hamilton Masakadza (25) steadied the ship.

He was one of only two batsmen in Zimbabwe's top six to make double figures as Mohammad Saifuddin (1-14), Shakib Al Hasan (1-28) and Shafiul Islam (3-36) impressed.

Richmond Mutumbami blasted 54 off 32 balls from number seven while Jarvis made a quickfire 27 as Zimbabwe's innings at least finished with a flourish. 

However, Mustafizur Rahman polished off the tail with 2-38 as Zimbabwe, winless in the tournament, were bowled out for 136.

Captain Virat Kohli led from the front with an unbeaten 72 as India eased to a seven-wicket win over South Africa in the second match of their T20I series.

After Sunday's opener in Dharamsala was washed out, the home team did well with the ball to restrict the Proteas to 149-5, Quinton de Kock top-scoring with 52.

Not for the first time in his career, Kohli timed the chase superbly, keeping the run-rate under control before accelerating late on to see his team cruise over the line in Mohali with six balls to spare.

His 22nd score of 50 or more for India in the T20 format saw him move past team-mate Rohit Sharma, who made 12 before he was trapped lbw by Andile Phehlukwayo, atop the list of leading run-scorers at international level.

Shikhar Dhawan contributed 40 before falling to a sensational catch in the deep by David Miller, the fielder at long on motoring to his right before clinging onto the ball with one hand as he put in a full-length dive.

Still, the stunning piece of fielding, plus the dismissal Rishabh Pant (4), failed to inspire South Africa, with the masterful Kohli, whose innings spanned 52 deliveries, seeing India to their target. 

Visiting skipper De Kock had earlier hit eight boundaries in a 37-ball knock that was ended by a fine running catch by his opposite number, leaving the score at 88-2.

Temba Bavuma marked his international T20 bow with 49, but South Africa's middle order struggled to up the tempo in the second half of their innings.

Deepak Chahar removed the well-set Bavuma as he finished with impressive figures of 2-22, while Miller (18) was bowled by Hardik Pandya with the first ball of the 19th over.

Dwaine Pretorius and Phehlukwayo both hit huge sixes in the closing stages, but South Africa’s total always looked to be under par. They will now aim to draw the series when the teams meet again on Sunday, this time in Bangalore.

During Match 14 of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League both Evin Lewis of the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and Ali Khan of Trinbago Knight Riders were charged by the on-field umpires with breaching Article 2.2.4 of the Code of Conduct - Inappropriate & deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play.

The incident occurred following the third ball of the Super Over being bowled by Ali Khan.

Both players pleaded guilty to the charge and accepted the following sanctions imposed by Match Referee, Simon Taufel, which are in keeping with the sanctioning guidelines provided for such breaches, at Article 7.3 of the Code:

Evin Lewis - 100% of his match fee

Ali Khan - 75% of his match fee

Kyle Abbott claimed the fourth-best figures in County Championship history as his 17-wicket haul helped Hampshire stun title-chasing Somerset.

The former South Africa international followed up his first-innings figures of 9-40 at the Rose Bowl by taking 8-46 second time around, spurring his team to an emphatic 136-run win.

Abbott's stunning performance saw Somerset - chasing their first county title - bowled out for 144 after they were set 281 on the final day of the Division One fixture.

The 32-year-old's combined figures of 17-86 from 36.2 overs are a new record for Hampshire, while they are also the best match return by a bowler on English soil since Jim Laker's 19-90 against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956.

Abbott had also contributed 25 crucial runs with the bat in his side's second innings, sharing in a ninth-wicket stand worth 119 alongside James Vince, who made 142.

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