In response to a request from Upper Demerara Cricket Association (UCDA) for help in developing the sport in Linden, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) on Wednesday donated a large quantity of cricket gear to the association’s president Jermaine Figueira.

Ben Stokes' father is heading home after more than five weeks in hospital in South Africa due to a serious illness.

Ged Stokes was taken ill in Johannesburg ahead of the start of England's opening Test against the Proteas, putting his son's participation in the game in doubt.

However, following an improvement in his dad's condition, the all-rounder played in the Boxing Day fixture, and while the tourists lost at SuperSport Park, they bounced back impressively to record a 3-1 series victory.

Stokes was pivotal to his team's success, scoring 318 runs - including a century in the third Test - at an average of 45.42 while also taking 10 wickets at 22 apiece.

Ahead of the limited-overs leg of the trip, the 28-year-old posted a picture on Instagram with his parents ahead of their return flight, the cricketer declaring his pride at Ged's recovery following three operations while also praising his "incredible" mother, Deb.

"37 days in hospital 3 surgery's [sic] and he's finally on his way home. You are strong and you are stubborn which is why you are still with us," Stokes wrote in the post.

"I am so proud to be your son. And as for you mam, behind every man is a stronger women [sic] you are incredible."

Stokes has been rested for the upcoming three-match ODI series with South Africa, which begins on February 4 in Cape Town, but will return to England duty for a trio of Twenty20 games that complete the tour.

West Indies limited-overs captain Kieron Pollard has signed for Northants Steelbacks who play in the Vitality T20 Blast this summer.

West Indies slipped from a position of strength to a two-wicket defeat to New Zealand in Wednesday’s quarterfinals of the 2020 ICC U19 World Cup in South Africa.

Zimbabwe lost Kevin Kasuza to another concussion while a brilliant performance from Sikandar Raza put them in control of the second Test against Sri Lanka on a dramatic third day in Harare.

When rain halted play, Zimbabwe were on 62-1 for their second innings, with a lead of 175 runs.

All-rounder Raza had earlier taken 7-113, the second-best figures recorded by a Zimbabwe player in Test cricket as Sri Lanka were all out for 293.

Paul Strang's record of 8-109, achieved against New Zealand in 2000, is the country's only superior bowling performance.

But enjoyment of Zimbabwe's progress was tempered by concern over Kasuza, who was taken off the field on a stretcher and rushed to hospital after being hit flush on the helmet by a Kusal Mendis shot at short leg early in the day.

He was diagnosed with a mild concussion and replaced by Timycen Maruma.

Kasuza is in a stable condition but will continue to be monitored, having also suffered a delayed concussion while fielding at the same position against the same batsman in the first Test, which was his debut.

With Sri Lanka beginning Wednesday on 122-2, Mendis, who had twice been dropped off the bowling of Raza on day two, finally fell to the same bowler for 22.

Kasuza sustained his injury when the pull shot from Mendis struck him, with Carl Mumba gathering the rebound.

Dinesh Chandimal hit Raza for six but they were the only runs he scored before being caught and bowled by the spinner two balls later.

Angelo Mathews (64) played an anchoring role to free up Dhananjaya de Silva (42) as the pair went about rebuilding Sri Lanka's innings.

De Silva had five fours and a six but ended up on his rear end as he was bowled by the rampant Raza in the last over before lunch with a delivery that stayed low.

Raza brought up his five-for by trapping Niroshan Dickwella (1), with a 38 from Vishwa Fernando the only contribution of note from the tail after Mathews had been caught down the legside.

Craig Ervine (13) stepped into open in the absence of Kasuza and he was the only man to fall before the close, with Prince Masvaure (26 not out) and Regis Chakabva (14no) well placed to press home Zimbabwe's advantage.

Rohit Sharma smashed back-to-back sixes to inflict more Super Over misery on New Zealand as India snatched a Twenty20 International series-clinching victory in a Seddon Park thriller.

The Blacks Caps looked primed to make it 2-1 with two matches to play after they were set 180 to win in Hamilton on Wednesday courtesy of Kane Williamson's highest T20I score.

New Zealand needed just three to win off five balls in the last of their 20 regulation overs after Ross Taylor hit Mohammed Shami for six, but Williamson fell for a magnificent 95 two balls later.

There was more much more drama to come, with Taylor bowled off the last ball to leave the scores level with the hosts 179-6.

Williamson and Martin Guptill posted 17 off the extra over from Jasprit Bumrah and it appeared that would be enough with Rohit ​– who earlier top scored with 65 in India's 179-5 – needing 10 off two deliveries from Tim Southee, but the opener hammered the paceman for two sixes in a pulsating finale.

The stunning victory sealed India's first T20 series win in New Zealand, with Williamson and his side left shell-shocked again six months after a Super Over loss to England in the Cricket World Cup final, with the same opponents beating by the same method in November.

Williamson must have been fearing the worst when India were 69 without loss after the powerplay, Rohit clubbing three sixes in a sixth over from Hamish Bennett (3-54) that went for 27.

Colin de Grandhomme ended an opening stand of 89 when he had the in-form KL Rahul (27) taken by Colin Munro at point and the powerful Rohit was caught by Southee at long-on attempting to launch Bennett for another six. 

Virat Kohli (38) became the expensive Bennett's third victim before Manish Pandey and Ravindra Jadeja dispatched slower balls from Southee for six in a final over that cost 18 runs.

Martin Guptill blasted the second ball of the run chase from Shardul Thakur (2-21) beyond the rope, but the fast bowler sent the opener packing for 31 after he had struck another two sixes.

Munro and Mitchell Santner missed out, but Williamson raced to a 28-ball half-century before punching Jadeja for back-to-back sixes with exquisite timing. 

The skipper also set about Bumrah after de Grandhomme fell to Thakur, but he was unable to see New Zealand home, edging behind to end a stunning 48-ball masterclass that included six sixes.

New Zealand must have felt a sense of deja vu when Taylor was cleaned up by Shami (2-32) to extend the match and Rohit proved to be the Super Over hero on this occasion as Southee was given the treatment.

Zimbabwe's bowlers ensured Sri Lanka made slow progress on day two of the second Test in Harare before play was halted early due to bad light.

Starting on 352-6, the hosts ended an impressive first innings on 406 all out as they bid to bounce back from their 10-wicket defeat to the tourists in the series opener last week.

And Zimbabwe's attack was economical in restricting Sri Lanka to 122-2 from 54 overs in their reply.

After Sean Williams' century on day one, Zimbabwe returned to the crease on Tuesday in a strong position, though they had added just 10 to their overnight total when wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva fell for 31 to Lasith Embuldeniya, who ended with figures of 4-182.

Debutant Tinotenda Mutombodzi (33) did most of the work in ensuring his side moved past the psychological 400 mark before falling to Dhananjaya de Silva (3-71).

Embuldeniya took care of the last two wickets and Sri Lanka made a solid start to their first innings, captain Dimuth Karunaratne and fellow opener Oshada Fernando combining to produce a disciplined 94-run stand.

But Sikandar Raza took the pivotal wicket of Karunaratne, who was trapped lbw for 44 while trying to sweep a full delivery, before Fernando's 168-minute innings came to an end as he also fell for the same score as his skipper, Donald Tiripano getting him caught behind.

Kusal Mendis against Raza produced an entertaining duel, the Sri Lanka number three smashing him for six while he was also dropped by Prince Masvaure, fielding at forward short leg, and a diving Tiripano at deep mid wicket either side of that maximum.

Having scored 80 in the opening Test, Mendis will return to the crease on Wednesday on 19 not out, partnered by Angelo Mathews (4no), with Sri Lanka still 284 runs adrift.

A career-best spell from Sheeno Berridge undermined hosts Windward Islands Volcanoes and set up Leeward Islands Hurricanes for their first win of the season by 165 runs at Gros Islet.

Sean Williams scored only his second Test century as Zimbabwe made a strong start in their quest to save the series with Sri Lanka.

The hosts lost the first match of the two-game series in Harare by 10 wickets but reached stumps on day one of the second at the same venue on 352-6.

It had looked as if it would be a difficult day for Zimbabwe when they were reduced to 49-2 inside the first 20 overs.

However, Brendan Taylor, who went for a run-a-ball 62, led a recovery effort alongside Kevin Kasuza (38), but it was Williams' partnership with Sikandar Raza that turned the tide.

Williams and Raza (72) put on 159 for the fifth wicket before the latter was removed by Lasith Embuldeniya (1-153), who endured an otherwise dreadful day with the ball.

There was no stopping Williams from reaching his hundred, which was brought up in 131 balls with a sweep through the gap between fine leg and deep square leg for four.

He faced six more deliveries before he was dismissed for 107 by Dhananjaya de Silva having struck 10 fours and three sixes, but Regis Chakabva (31 not out) and Tinotenda Mutombodzi (10no) are well set to push Zimbabwe past 400.

Led by West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons and Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams, Cricket West Indies (CWI) is hosting a West Indies Coaches Forum with regional franchise coaches on Tuesday, January 28, as part of a major initiative to develop the West Indies cricketers and coaches of the future.

Faf du Plessis spoke of his sadness South Africa could not give Vernon Philander a fairytale finish to his Test career after their side went down to a heavy defeat against England.

England sealed a 3-1 series win by wrapping up a 191-run victory with a day to spare in the fourth and final Test at the Wanderers.

The match was far from a dream send-off for Philander, who having struggled with a hamstring injury ended with just 14 runs and two wickets as the Proteas lost a third straight contest

"I'd like to thank Vern for his services to the Proteas over the years," Du Plessis said after Philander was given a standing ovation and a guard of honour from his team-mates having been dismissed for 10 by man of the match Mark Wood.

"This team will miss him so, so much. We will sit with him tonight in the dressing room and share in the memories. 

"Off the field he's been a champion guy and I'm sad this game wasn't the fairytale moment he deserves.

"It's a lot of effort and time away from family, the sacrifices you make for over 10 years. We're very thankful."

Du Plessis, who has hinted his own Test career may be nearing its end, acknowledged the Proteas had fallen short, particularly when it came close to their batting.

The skipper added: "Right through this series after that first game, England were better in every department than us. 

"We did play well in that first game, but one Test doesn't make a summer. We didn't put enough runs on the board, though Rassie van der Dussen played well here and was unlucky not to get a great hundred.

"Anrich Nortje came through shining for us, we need pace to take the place of the Steyns and Morkels, and he has come through - the skill to land the ball in the same area is what has impressed me the most.

"Beuran Hendricks came in with five in his first Test match but from a batting point of view we weren't at our best and the scores reflect that."

Philander was keen to credit England after his Test career came to a close.

"Obviously not the way I wanted to end," he said.

"All credit to Joe Root and his team. We all fight hard on the park but at the end of the day we remain gentlemen. 

"To my guys, thanks for making it such an honour for me to wear this badge in the last few years. It's been an honour and privilege to share a dressing room with so many greats.

"I think now the hard work starts, giving back to young talent is my mission in life, hopefully I can mentor a couple to play for this wonderful team one day."

Joe Root believes the sky is the limit for England as a Test team after they completed a 3-1 series win in South Africa.

England wrapped up the series with a 191-run victory in the fourth Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Monday.

The triumph marks England's first series success since a 3-0 sweep of Sri Lanka in November 2018.

Dom Sibley, playing in only his second Test series, top-scored for England with 324 runs, forming an opening partnership with another new boy in Zak Crawley.

Ollie Pope scored two half-centuries and his first century while spinner Dom Bess vindicated his selection with a crucial six-wicket performance in the third Test. 

With so many young players contributing to an impressive victory, captain Root is confident there is a lot more to come from his side.

"Very special indeed. It's taken a lot," Root said of the win at the post-match presentation. "To pick ourselves up and play the way we have done in the last three games is extremely pleasing.

"It's been a real squad effort from a number of guys that are very much at the start of their international careers.

"The sky's the limit for us now, we have to keep looking to get better. It's been a fantastic series for our development as a Test team."

Ben Stokes won the man of the series award, having played an instrumental role, most notably in the second Test in Cape Town, where he scored 119 runs, claimed six catches and took a match-winning 3-35 in South Africa's second innings. 

He also struck a century in the third Test and finished the series with 12 catches, the most of any fielder, his performance coming after his father was rushed to hospital days before the series.

"The most important thing is that we're walking away with a series win," Stokes said. "It's been a bit of a rollercoaster.

"I hope the old man is in his hospital bed watching this with a big smile on his face."

Mark Wood was the key figure in England's fourth Test win, taking nine wickets in the match and also forming the highest 10th-wicket partnership at the Wanderers as he and Stuart Broad combined for 82 to push the tourists to 400.

Man of the match Wood had not expected to play in the series finale, but he was included after elbow soreness led to Jofra Archer's omission.

The seamer, who has frequently battled injuries in his career, said: "There was a bit of doubt going in but boy am I glad I played now.

"I'm over the moon. I've had a lot of dark days, credit to the backroom staff, everyone's so supportive, [head coach] Chris Silverwood tries to get me to have fun."

Describing his approach, he added: "I give it everything I've got, run in hard for the captain, as much energy as I can, and let it fly."

England wrapped up a comprehensive 3-1 series win over South Africa as their bowlers sealed a 191-run victory on day four of the fourth Test at The Wanderers.

Rassie van der Dussen agonisingly missed out on his first Test century as England took 10 wickets on Monday in Johannesburg to complete the win with a day to spare.

Chasing a world-record target of 466 in the fourth Test, South Africa had made a solid start on day four before losing captain Faf du Plessis (35) and Van der Dussen (98) in the last 10 minutes before tea.

That dropped the Proteas from 181-2 to 187-4 and England quickly got rid of the home side's lower order in the final session for a third consecutive triumph, Mark Wood (4-54) ending with nine wickets in the match.

Pakistan's T20I match against Bangladesh was called off on Monday due to heavy rain in Lahore.

The hosts had won the first two clashes in the three-match series, so were already assured of victory before the cancellation of the final meeting meant they came out on top by a 2-0 scoreline.

Pakistan will now play Bangladesh in a Rawalpindi Test match that begins on February 7.

There is a further Test in Karachi on April 5, which starts two days after a solitary ODI clash between the nations.

Bangladesh agreed a revised schedule for their tour earlier this month.

The Tigers had initially said they would only play the three T20Is due to the situation in the Middle East amid tension between Iran and the United States.

The Brisbane Heat missed out on a place in the Big Bash League finals after a seven-wicket defeat to the Melbourne Renegades on Monday.

Aaron Finch led a cool and commanding chase, his 63 not out leading the Renegades to 155-3 after the Heat had set a target of 155 at Docklands.

Only a win would have been enough to secure a play-off place for Darren Lehmann's side, but they failed to make the most of chances in the field, meaning the Sydney Thunder take the fifth and final spot.

With AB de Villiers (six) failing to fire after another top-order collapse, questions will likely be asked about Lehmann's future after a disappointing end to a hugely underwhelming season.

RENSHAW LEADS RESISTANCE AFTER HEAT GO OFF THE BOIL 

The Heat were 1-35 after just 21 balls as they endured another miserable start after winning the bat flip. 

Sam Heazlett's wild slice gave Finch an easy catch, and Ben Cutting, perhaps over-confident after four early boundaries that included two sixes off Will Sutherland (3-30), was lost lbw when teeing up for another big swing. 

De Villiers went to sweep Samit Patel (1-23) only for the ball to cannon off the back leg and into the stumps, and when Chris Lynn was bowled by Nabi (1-23) for the loss of just 14, the Heat's troubles were mounting. 

Renshaw and Marnus Labuschagne began the rebuilding job, the latter digging deep for 28 off 26 deliveries before Jack Wildermuth caught him trying to clear the ropes from Cameron Boyce (1-29). 

Renshaw remained a beacon of resistance, his unbeaten 65 helping the Heat amass a respectable target before he was run out in the final over.

FINCH KEEPS COOL AFTER COOPER TANTRUM

Tom Cooper and Finch made an encouraging start to the chase before the former sent a delivery from Cutting (2-35) to the grateful grasp of Jack Prestwidge at deep midwicket, leaving Cooper visibly fuming as he headed back to the dugout.

The Renegades were 2-44 when Daniel Christian was caught superbly by Renshaw and, when Beau Webster was bowled full and straight by Cutting after making 14, Heat hopes were beginning to rise. 

Finch, though, refused to panic. Australia's Twenty20 and ODI captain showed few signs of wilting in the Heat onslaught, with Nabi's four boundaries helping to keep the pressure off his skipper. 

Prestwidge allowed a Finch drive to slide through his fingers as the Heat found their season slipping away, another mistake on the rope helping Finch bring up his half-century. 

Six more over deep backward square and a drive wide of cover signalled the death knell to the Heat's play-off ambitions and gave the Renegades something to smile about at the end of a difficult season.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.