Windies pace bowler Shannon Gabriel is confident he can be a huge asset to the One Day International team ahead of next month’s ICC World Cup.

The 30-year-old Gabriel has proven to be one of the region’s premier bowlers but has done most of his damage over the longest format.  Against Bangladesh last year the bowler got the third five-wicket haul of his career.  Against England in the last series, Gabriel took five wickets in the at an average of 27.4 and kept the visitors on their toes with 90mph pace.

In the 50-over format, the player has not featured for the Windies since 2017 during the team’s tour of New Zealand.  The player is, however, confident his current form will translate into the shorter format.

 “I think I still have a part to play in one-day cricket for the West Indies, and I just want to keep improving every step. It’s been a while, over a year, since I’ve played one-day cricket, so I just want to relish the opportunity once given the chance,” Gabriel said.

“Moving on from Test cricket, I don’t think my role has changed. They see me as someone who will go out there and look to take wickets, and I think my role is very clear and I always enjoy the ­challenge. I just want to go out there and ­perform to the best of my ability, take each game one game at a time.”

Shane Watson ended his barren spell with a brutal knock as Chennai Super Kings returned to the top of the Indian Premier League with a six-wicket defeat of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Watson's place in the defending champions' side had been called into question due to his lack of runs at the top of the order, but the former Australia all-rounder was CSK's match-winner on Tuesday.

Manish Pandey made 83 not out from only 49 balls and David Warner (57 from 45) made a fifth consecutive half-century as Sunrisers posted 175-3 at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Watson returned to form with a bang to set up a victory that put the Super Kings above Delhi Capitals at the summit, blasting 96 off just 53 deliveries and passing 8,000 Twenty20 runs in the process.

The powerful Watson struck six sixes and nine fours in his first half-century of the tournament and CSK got home with a ball to spare, two days after suffering a dramatic one-run defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

 

WARNER AND PANDEY PILE ON RUNS AFTER BAIRSTOW FAILURE

Jonny Bairstow has had an outstanding debut IPL season for Sunrisers, but the England wicketkeeper-batsman was unable to end his participation in the tournament on a high note.

The opener edged Harbhajan Singh through to MS Dhoni for a second-ball duck, but it was business as usual for Warner as he and Pandey put on 115 for the second wicket in 12 overs.

Warner - the leading run-scorer in the 2019 IPL - showed exquisite timing and power, clearing the ropes twice before he was stumped off Harbhajan in the 14th over.

Pandey had overtaken Warner by the time the Australian was dismissed and continued to attack the spinners, hitting three sixes and seven fours in a brilliant innings.

 

WATSON SILENCES THE CRITICS

The Super Kings' run chase got off to a bad start when Faf du Plessis was left shaking his head after being adjudged run out by the third umpire following a direct hit from Deepak Hooda.

CSK had only moved on to 27-1 after five overs, but Suresh Raina (38) added some impetus by taking 22 from the next over off Sandeep Sharma, who almost got Watson for 33 but Bairstow failed to cling on. 

Watson took centre stage after Rashid Khan saw the back of Raina, latching onto anything short as he delivered a barrage of boundaries before being caught behind attempting to hook Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

CSK needed only 13 from the last two overs to win but made hard work of it - Jadhav scampering through for a single after hitting the second ball from the last over from Sandeep into the crowd.

Windies skipper Jason Holder’s preparation for the ICC World Cup in England at the end of May could be hitting high gear after the all-rounder took a liking to English conditions. 

Mickey Arthur believes Pakistan can "go all the way" in the Cricket World Cup despite their one-day international slump.

Pakistan were whitewashed 5-0 by Australia in the United Arab Emirates following a 3-2 series defeat to South Africa.

There are also concerns that leg-spinner Shadab Khan could miss the World Cup after he was ruled out of the ODI series against England next month due to a virus.

Yet coach Arthur feels Pakistan can achieve more glory in England and Wales, two years after winning the ICC Champions Trophy.

Speaking at a news conference before Pakistan's departure for England, Arthur said: "We leave very, very well prepared.

"We leave with a team that has both the talent and attitude to be successful. Our preparation over here has been outstanding, and our preparation leading into the World Cup is brilliant with a series against the world number one side in their own conditions.

"That will give us an opportunity to test ourselves and to test our combination, and to head to the World Cup with a lot of confidence. We know if we play to our potential, we have the ability to go all the way."

Arthur has challenged Yasir Shah – who was not included in the World Cup squad – to grasp his opportunity to face England in the absence of Shadab.

"We wanted a wrist spinner [for the England series]," Arthur said. "Wrist spinners are in vogue in cricket at the moment, all teams have good wrist spinners.

"The key for Yasir is to challenge both edges. If Yasir's challenging both inside and outside edges of the bat, he becomes a different beast. If he only challenges the outside edge, players can line him up and hit him one side of the ground.

"That means he has to bowl his googly more often. In the UAE, the wickets were especially flat and didn't turn. If we get on a wicket that just grips a little bit, Yasir is a bowler we still feel can be a weapon for us. But time will tell on whether we decide to pick him for the final World Cup squad."

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper, Dinesh Karthik, is defending the balance of his team, saying it is not overly dependent on the star power of Andre Russell. 

Bangladesh bowling coach, former West Indies pacer, wants one of his charges handled with care ahead of the International Cricket Council’s Cricket World Cup in England just weeks away. 

Ajinkya Rahane's magnificent century was in vain as Rishabh Pant blasted Delhi Capitals to a six-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals which put them top of the Indian Premier League.

The Royals had little margin for error in their bid to make the play-offs and Rahane showed he is not feeling sorry for himself after being sacked as captain by scoring a brilliant 105 not out from only 63 balls.

Steve Smith, who was appointed as skipper on Saturday, made 50 from 32 deliveries in the Royals' total of 191-6 in Jaipur on Monday.

But that was not enough to deny the Capitals top spot, Pant smashing an unbeaten 78 from just 36 balls after another half-century from the in-form Shikhar Dhawan (54 off 27).

Prithvi Shaw also chipped in with 42 for a Delhi side that moved level on points with Chennai Super Kings, who have a game in hand. 

 

RAHANE SHOWS HIS CLASS WITH HELP FROM ISHANT

Rahane silenced his critics in emphatic fashion after enduring a difficult few days.

Sanju Samson was run out without facing a ball following a mix-up with Rahane, who was then dropped by Ishant Sharma with only 16 to his name.

The classy opener made amends with an outstanding knock, racing to a half-century in only 32 balls and hitting three sixes and 11 fours as he batted through the innings.

 

WICKETS HALT ROYALS' MOMENTUM

Smith also played with fluency to score a second successive fifty, but the Royals lost their way after the skipper struck Axar Patel to Chris Morris at long off.

Ben Stokes (8) fell cheaply and there was a third consecutive golden duck for Ashton Turner as the Capitals put the brakes on.

Kagiso Rabada (2-37) struck twice in the final over, with Rajasthan failing to post 200 after losing momentum. 

 

DHAWAN DELIVERS AGAIN, PANT FINISHES IT OFF

Dhawan played the role of chief aggressor in an opening stand of 72 with Shaw to get the Capitals ahead of the required rate. 

The dangerous left hander launched Dhawal Kulkarni and Shreyas Gopal for sixes as Delhi got off to a flyer.

Gopal claimed a measure of revenge by getting him stumped, but Pant took centre stage with a match-winning knock - hitting the second ball of the last over from Jaydev Unadkat for his fourth six to send the Capitals to the summit.

Paceman Hamid Hassan has been included in Afghanistan's Cricket World Cup squad after almost three years in the international wilderness.

Hassan has not played for his country since July 2016, but the 31-year-old quick is among the 15 to be selected for the tournament in England and Wales. 

Gulbadin Naib will captain the side after Asghar Afghan was controversially ousted from the role just two months before the World Cup starts.

Ikram Ali Khil, Karim Janat and Sayed Shirzad are on standby.

Chief selector Dawlat Khan Ahmadzai said: "It is has been a six-month preparation process for the ICC Cricket World Cup.

"The mission is to play inspirational cricket in the tournament; I know there are strong teams but we will do our level best to achieve our goals."

Afghanistan face Australia in Bristol in their first match of the tournament on June 1.

 

Afghanistan squad: Gulbadin Naib (captain), Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb ur Rahman.

Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan will visit a specialist in London on Thursday and Friday after a virus ruled him out of next month's limited-overs series against England. 

The Pakistan Cricket Board announced on Sunday that Shadab would require treatment and rest for a minimum of four weeks after tests revealed an unspecified medical condition. 

Shadab, 20, will travel to England on Tuesday, with the aim of completing a full recovery before Pakistan's Cricket World Cup opener against West Indies on May 31 at Trent Bridge. 

His team-mates will undertake their preparations on the field over the course of a T20 international and five one-day internationals against England between May 5 and May 19. 

Yasir Shah has been named as Shadab's replacement for the tour of England, although the latter is the only specialist spinner in Pakistan's provisional World Cup squad, which can be altered without seeking ICC permission up until May 23. 

"Our strategy will be to attack, we're going to look to take wickets and bowl sides out," head coach Micky Arthur told a news conference at the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday. 

"We've got it covered in all departments, we've got all the bases covered." 

Royal Challengers Bangalore's resurgence continued despite MS Dhoni's heroics as Parthiv Patel's final-ball direct hit earned the Indian Premier League's bottom side a thrilling one-run win over leaders Chennai Super Kings.

Patel (53) had underpinned the Challengers' innings as they made 161-7, with Deepak Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo each taking two wickets apiece for Chennai.

Dale Steyn then claimed two dismissals in the opening over of Chennai's innings and, at 28-4 at the end of the powerplay, they had it all to do when Dhoni (84 not out) arrived, yet the 37-year-old dragged his team to the brink of victory with 24 runs off the first five balls of the final over.

That meant Chennai needed two from the final ball to win with Dhoni on strike, yet Umesh Yadav's delivery went through to Patel behind the stumps and he beat Shardul Thakur's dive to run him out, clinching a third win in four for Bangalore.

Du Plessis atones for drop in the field

Dhoni's team started brightly, with Bangalore captain Virat Kohli out in the third over, yet Faf du Plessis looked to have made a costly error when he misjudged AB de Villiers' shot to him at mid off and could only get his fingertips to the ball.

De Villiers appeared in the mood when he reached 25 off 19 balls and he dispatched Jadeja's shorter ball to the long-off boundary, but his compatriot did not put down another chance.

It was one of two catches made by Du Plessis – who has now taken 10 in this year's IPL – though his most impressive act was the role he played in removing Marcus Stoinis (14) as he shovelled the ball up to Dhruv Shorey while falling over the rope to claim a brilliant assist.

Steyn sets the tone again as Dhoni's effort comes up short

Bangalore's dismal start to the IPL campaign owed much to their feeble bowling attack, which has been rejuvenated since Steyn returned in a 10-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders last time out.

The Challengers had taken only three wickets in the powerplays of their first eight matches, but have now taken seven in their past two, with Steyn (2-29) and Yadav (2-47) laying the foundations again.

Steyn accounted for Shane Watson, who edged to slip, and bowled Suresh Raina in the opening over, while De Villiers took routine catches off Yadav's bowling to dismiss Du Plessis and Kedar Jadhav. That left Chennai 28-4, a position that ultimately proved too much to come back from despite Dhoni's brilliance.

Dhoni reached his half-century off 35 balls with one of his seven sixes. He then dragged his team into a position to triumph with three maximums in the final over – including one that went out of the stadium – but his failure to get bat on ball at the death allowed Patel to be the match-winner instead.

David Warner and Jonny Bairstow combined for their fourth century stand of the 2019 IPL as Sunrisers Hyderabad hammered Kolkata Knight Riders by nine wickets on Sunday.

The opening pair, set to be on opposite sides of the Ashes divide later this year, put on 131 as the hosts made light work of overhauling the Knight Riders' 159-8 with five overs remaining.

Warner, the competition's top run-scorer this season, made 67 from 38 balls to take his tally beyond 500 while Bairstow – badly dropped when on just one – is now second behind him on that list after his unbeaten 80 off 43.

The major noteworthy contribution of Kolkata's total was Chris Lynn's 51, although the regular loss of wickets at the other end meant the opener scored those from a comparatively laborious 47 deliveries.

 

SHORT AND SWEET FROM SUNIL

Lynn's partner Sunil Narine certainly packed plenty of entertainment into his eight balls at the crease, from which he plundered 25 runs.

The West Indian clubbed three fours and two sixes during that time – going six-four-four to start the third over – before he was deceived by Khaleel Ahmed's slower ball from the next delivery and lost his leg stump.

 

RUSSELL FIREWORKS FIZZLE OUT

The IPL's leading six-hitter Andre Russell looked as though he would provide more late excitement as he sent Bhuvneshwar Kumar over the ropes twice in the 19th over only to then pick out Rashid Khan on the deep-midwicket fence.

And Rashid had his say with the ball – returning a typically tidy 1-23 while his team-mates all conceded at least 30 runs.

 

BRUTAL BAIRSTOW AND WONDERFUL WARNER

Bairstow made the most of his second chance as KC Cariappa put down a simple catch at deep point to deny Prithvi Raj a maiden IPL wicket in his first over.

The England man blasted seven fours and four sixes, including one of each to start the ninth over – Cariappa the bowler this time as his luckless outing continued.

Warner bludgeoned three fours and five maximums en route to his seventh score in excess of fifty this season before he was eventually cleaned up Raj, who celebrated wildly despite his side's crushing loss.

The resounding nature of the defeat was encapsulated at the end of the 15th over as Bairstow crashed Piyush Chawla for a four and two sixes to seal victory in style.

Delhi Capitals secured just their second home win in the Indian Premier League this season, beating the Kings XI Punjab by five wickets to bolster their play-off hopes.

The Capitals had lost three of their previous four games at the Feroz Shah Kotla, including a 40-run defeat against Mumbai Indians last time out that saw them struggle to chase a target of 169.

However, they had no such problems in replying to the Kings XI's total of 163-7 on Saturday, a half-century up front from Shikhar Dhawan putting them on course.

While they rather limped over the line, not helped by losing two late wickets, captain Shreyas Iyer (58 not out) saw his team to victory with two balls to spare as he passed the personal milestone of 1,500 runs in the competition.

Chris Gayle had earlier blasted 69 from 37 deliveries but Kings XI failed to capitalise on the opener's onslaught, Delhi spin duo Sandeep Lamichhane (3-40) and Axar Patel (2-22) impressing for the hosts.

The Capitals now have 12 points from 10 games to sit third in the standings. The franchise have not finished higher than sixth at the end of the round-robin stage of an IPL campaign since 2012.

LAMI TO THE SLAUGHTER? NOT QUITE!

Gayle gave Kings XI early impetus in their innings, including finding the boundary four times in one over from Lamichhane during the powerplay.

Yet the Nepal international had the last word in his personal duel with the left-hander, benefiting from a relay catch in the deep as Colin Ingram cleverly threw the ball across to team-mate Axar before stepping over the rope.

The clever piece of fielding sent Gayle on his way, with Lamichhane also accounting for Sam Curran - deceived by a glorious googly - four balls later.

 

DELHI RUN INTO TROUBLE

Dhawan shared a 92-run stand for the second wicket with Iyer after cutting short his opening stand with Prithvi Shaw.

The pair had plundered 24 runs from the first three overs before a Dhawan drive to cover led to confusion. Shaw responded to an initial call for a single, only to be sent back. Stranded out of his ground, he could only watch on as Mandeep produced a direct hit.

There was also an unnecessary run out towards the end of Delhi's innings too, Axar colliding with bowler Mohammed Shami as he turned for a risky second. The contact, while minimal, cost him any chance of making it back, meaning his only delivery at the crease saw him score one run and yet still be dismissed.

Steve Smith scored a fifty in his first match as captain to lead the Rajasthan Royals to a five-wicket victory over the Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

Australia international Smith replaced Ajinkya Rahane as skipper after a run of two wins in eight Indian Premier League matches for the Royals, and he made 59 off 48 balls as they triumphed in Jaipur.

Smith won the toss and put the Indians in to bat but may have been regretting his decision as Quinton de Kock (65) and Suryakumar Yadav (34) built a 97-run partnership after the early loss of Rohit Sharma (5).

In his first outing since being named in the England squad for pre-Cricket World Cup ODIs against Pakistan and Ireland, Jofra Archer made a trio of drops as he endured a miserable day in the field.

Archer somewhat atoned by removing Hardik Pandya (23) in the final over, with Mumbai – who were without Jos Buttler, who returned to England to attend the birth of his first child – setting a target of 162.

Rahul Chahar's trio of wickets disrupted the Royals in the opening eight overs of the chase but Mumbai toiled as Smith and 17-year-old Riyan Parag (43) built a 70-run fourth-wicket stand.

Ben Cutting and Pandya combined brilliantly to run out Parag with 14 balls remaining, but Smith hit straight back with a four and his fifth of the match sealed the victory with five deliveries remaining.

 

ARCHER LACKING A STRING TO HIS BOW?

The first of Archer's drops came when he dived forward at long-on and failed to hold on to left-hander De Kock, who punished Dhawal Kulkarni by plundering 18 runs – including one maximum – off the next four deliveries.

Archer came in off the deep midwicket boundary and let Pandya slip through his fingers in the 17th over and spilled him again at long on in the penultimate set of six.

However, three of his four overs came at the death and he removed Pandya upon review with a blistering yorker that crashed into his front boot, finishing with figures of 1-22.

 

TURNER ROUND, ASHTON

Ashton Turner made his ODI debut in March but missed out on selection for the Cricket World Cup and the Australian's Twenty20 struggles continued against Mumbai.

The middle-order batsman was trapped lbw first ball by Jasprit Bumrah and has now failed to register a single run in his past four T20 innings.

West Indies batting legend Brian Lara believes the current form of senior players in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign is a real fillip for the region.

With the 2019 World Cup just a little over a month away Windies stars Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell have put on some impressive displays with the bat in the IPL to date.  After starting slowly for Mumbai Indians Pollard has picked up steam in recent week, hitting a crucial 46 against Sunrisers Hyderabad before an outrageous 83 against Kings XI Punjab.

Russell has been one of the players of the tournament to date, after scoring 377 runs and claiming seven wickets in 9 matches.

It remains to be seen whether any of the players, who have been outside of the One Day International set-up for several months, will be selected to the final Windies squad.  Lara, however, believes the form of the players makes them nice options to have.

“Cricketers from the West Indies have been doing well in this edition of the Indian Premier League. A few players from other nations are also making good contributions. Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell have been pretty consistent and that augurs well for West Indies cricket. Even Chris Gayle has fired on a couple of occasions, but you need to look out for guys who are making contribution regularly,” Lara said.

“The West Indies players bring their whole-hearted effort in every performance. They are not playing for the West Indies national team, so the IPL is their opportunity to shine.”

 

Virat Kohli's fifth Indian Premier League century helped Royal Challengers Bangalore record a much-needed 10-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders, despite the best efforts of the in-form Andre Russell.

Captain Kohli led from the front, making an even 100, while Moeen Ali contributed 66 in a hurry as the Royal Challengers posted a formidable score of 213-4 at Eden Gardens.

Kolkata appeared set to fall well short in reply, labouring to 60-3 at the halfway stage following two early wickets for returning paceman Dale Steyn.

However, not for the first time this season, Russell produced an onslaught at the back-end of an innings to suddenly put the game back in the balance.

The West Indian all-rounder hammered nine sixes as he and Nitish Rana (85 not out) put Bangalore on the back foot, getting what seemed a nigh-on impossible equation down to 24 required from the final over.

Russell kept his side's hopes alive by hitting Moeen for six down the ground, leaving the equation at 17 off three, but a dot ball by the England spinner curtailed the Knight Riders' late charge.

The following delivery saw Russell run out for 65 and while Rana finished the game with another six, Bangalore had just about held their nerve under pressure. The victory is just their second of the campaign, though they remain bottom of the table.

 

KOHLI TIMES IT JUST RIGHT

With AB de Villiers not in the starting XI, the pressure on Kohli was even greater to perform for his struggling franchise.

The right-hander needed 40 balls to reach 50 but exploded into life after such a patient start, needing just a further 18 deliveries to make it through to three figures. He reached the milestone in glorious fashion, sending a cover drive to the fence for his ninth four.

Kohli had also smashed four sixes before he was caught off the final ball of the innings having put on 64 with Marcus Stoinis, who ended up unbeaten on 17.

Moeen had earlier dominated a 90-run stand for the third wicket, the England international belting six sixes. 

 

STEYN RUINS KOLKATA CHASE

In need of a boost to their bowling attack, Bangalore turned to Steyn. The South African bowler had last played for the team in the IPL nine years ago, yet he showed what they had been missing with an early burst to put the home team on the back foot.

He dismissed Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill in the powerplay, while the Knight Riders were further hampered by Robin Uthappa eating up 20 deliveries to make just nine runs.

Too many early dot balls came back to haunt them at the death as well, with Russell and Rana running out of time.

Still, Russell has now amassed 377 runs in the tournament this year, despite facing just 171 balls. His tally of 39 sixes tops the charts, as he sits 13 clear of fellow West Indian Chris Gayle.

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