Windies skipper Kieron Pollard seemed to make good on his promise to take ‘tough decisions’ after being dissatisfied with the team’s performance in the second ODI against Ireland.

Top-order batsman Shimron Hetmyer was dropped from the team’s line-up for the third One Day International (ODI) against Ireland, on the back of what has been general frustration with the looseness of his stroke play in the first two matches of the series.

On Sunday, however, the skipper seemed to make it clear the move was just a temporary one with Hetmyer expected to return to the team’s line-up later this week.  In the two ODI games played, Hetmyer made 14 runs and was caught on both occasions after questionable shots.

“We spoke about working hard and the discipline and what is required for the team.  He is a very important player for us and it is a discussion that we had.  We need him to settle down and bat the way that we know he can bat.  In India he did it very well for us,” Pollard said following the match.

“These things happen, it just goes to show the dynamics of the team we have, Sunil coming in and getting that opportunity as well.  We want guys to be very, very hungry because there are other guys knocking on the door so we can’t relax and take anything for granted,” he added.

“At the end of the day, all is well that ends well.  He is a jovial guy.  He has helped out throughout the day and we look forward to him making runs in the T20 series.”

Windies coach Phil Simmons is standing firmly behind the comments of his captain, Kieron Pollard and demanding that his young charges play a ‘complete’ game of cricket against Ireland when the final ODI of their Colonial Medical Insurance series bowls off on Sunday.

“I think the message is for us to play a complete game and not just bowl well, or bat well, or field well and finish the series 3-0, because 3-0 is always better than 2-1.

The West Indies took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series on Thursday when they inched over the line in a one-wicket victory at Kensington Oval. At the same venue, the West Indies had shown chinks in their armour in a more dominant display, running out five-wicket winners on that occasion.

Alzarri Joseph had earned man-of-the-match honours in both games, bagging 4-37 and 4-32 to keep the West Indies’ targets relatively low.

“I’m happy with Alzarri, not just on the pitch but the way he prepares, the way he talks about cricket and about bowling. He seems to be maturing very quickly and it showed in the two games and the way he bowled,” said Simmons regarding those two performances.

Despite the good bowling of the West Indies, the batting has left much to be desired with only Evin Lewis, 99 not out, and Nicholas Pooran, 52, showing a real willingness to bat deep into an innings.

“That’s the crux of the matter here. We need to finish well and play a properly constructed, complete, 100 overs,” said Simmons.

Pollard had been a little more caustic, saying the West Indies top order needed to stop wasting good form with poor approaches to batting.

“We can’t continue to just give away our hand just like that when you have form and confidence because it will come back to bite you,” said Pollard, who seemed to be wagging his finger at the talented Shimron Hetmyer.

Hetmyer had lost his wicket for six, having faced just six deliveries before firing an injudicious pull shot that landed safely in the gloves of Irish wicketkeeper, Lorcan Tucker.

“The batsmen need to go back to what we were doing in India and how we were putting scores together, creating a platform for the big hitters down the bottom. We need to make sure that we do that in this coming game,” said Simmons.

Prime minister of Grenada and outspoken CARICOM official Dr Keith Mitchell believes the use of promising Windies talents over multiple formats could prove a hindrance in their future development.

Currently, the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, and Shai Hope, who lead a group of the next generation of talented Windies players, play both the 50 over and T20 formats or all three.  The practice is not at all uncommon as the evolution of the sport has offered different advantages to players taking part in multiple formats.  Particularly the lucrative T20 format, which offers major cash incentives.

Mitchell, however, believes that different temperaments and various styles needed to be successful in the different formats could prove damaging to young players still honing their craft.

"We have some talented players, the Poorans and Hetmyers and so on. I’m not sure that the right thing is to play these young people in all formats of the game at this point in time,” Mitchell explained in a recent interview.

“You have talent in Pooran and Hetmyer – these guys on the 50-over and on the Test team, we’d be moulding these guys. But when a guy gets used to sixes and sixes and hitting the ball in the air in the 20-over game which they must do, I think the mindset if they’re not well-developed yet … you can be spoiling a talent that is there for the [longest] version of the game and the 50-over game,” he added.

“That’s my opinion; I might be wrong … but in watching it from the sidelines, I think it is something [CWI] and selectors must look at – do you need to play these young players in all versions of the game? I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do.”

For the moment, West Indies batsman Shai Hope can count himself as one of the top ten batsmen in One-Day International Cricket after scoring heavily against India in a just-concluded three-match series in that country.

Hope will end the year as the number nine batsman in the world, jumping five places on the ICC ODI Player Rankings after scoring 222 runs in those three matches at an average of 111.

Hope opened up in Chennai, helping the West Indies to a 1-0 series lead with an unbeaten 102, before he made things interesting despite losing efforts from the West Indies.

Hope would go on to score 72 in Visakhapatnam, and 42 in Cuttack to end the year with four centuries in 2019 and a healthy average of over 60, above his lifetime average of 52. The ODI top-order batsman now has eight centuries and became the quickest West Indian batsman to reach 3000 runs in the format. Only Hashim Amla has gotten to 3000 runs faster.

Hope lies ahead of all West Indies ODI batsmen, even Shimron Hetmyer, who has also seen improvement in his ICC ODI ranking. Hetmyer now lies at 19 in the world, while Nicholas Pooran, another player from West Indies’ young and exciting middle-order, now stands at 30th in the world, up from 63 after scoring 193 runs at an average of 96.50.

Hetmyer scored 180 runs at an average of 60.

West Indies middle-order batsman, Shimron Hetmyer, while happy for a second chance at the Indian Premier League, isn’t focusing on the lucrative, high-profile show, in which his price tag suggests he needs to play a starring role.

Hetmyer was discarded by the Royal Challengers Bangalore after just one season but scored a brilliant century in the first One-Day International against India, as well as a few attractive-looking cameos in T20 Internationals against the same team, inclusive of his first half-century.

The left-hander went for US1.1 million to the Capitals at the IPL draft but wasn’t paying any attention to it, choosing instead to focus on the final game his Windies side have against India on Sunday.

The teams go into that third ODI locked at a game apiece.

“I wasn’t really looking too far ahead about it (auction). Really and truly I was just thinking all about the West Indies,” he said.

Hetmyer believes it is what has happened while playing with the Windies that makes him an attractive sell in the IPL and he doesn’t want to quickly forget that.

“They have brought me [here] and made me the person I am today so all thanks to the West Indies for just giving me the chance to represent [them]. I just do my thing and it’s all for the team,” he said.

West Indies players Sheldon Cottrell and Shimron Hetmyer were both sold for over US$1million at the 2020 IPL draft in India on Thursday.

West Indies white-ball cricket captain, Kieron Pollard is not paying attention to the difference in ranking between his side and India who are currently locked at a win apiece in their three-match T20i series.

West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran, by all accounts, is a very talented player, who could do great things on the international scene, and his 38 not out to help his side to an 8-wicket win over India in the second T20 between the two in Thiruvanthapuram on Sunday is evidence of that fact.

According to Pooran though, his talent isn’t enough to help him do well for the West Indies or even keep his place, and that he has to work hard.

“I work very hard and happy it's finally paid off. I believe in my processes and glad it's coming off,” said Pooran, who came to the crease with the West Indies on 112-2 in chase of India’s 170 in the 14th over.

Six overs later it was all over, as Pooran took over from Lendl Simmons, who scored a classy 67 from 45 deliveries, slamming four boundaries and two sixes in 18 balls to take the West Indies to 173-2

That type of innings, Pooran said, was not difficult, because the hard work has already been done.

“Cricket's all about having fun. I've put in a lot of hard work, so now is time for having fun,” he said.

Pooran explained after the game that places in the middle order of the West Indies side comes at a premium with the type of talent that lies in it but that was good for the team.

“There's a bit of competition in the middle order, but we all want to do good, that's all,” he said.

Earlier Evin Lewis had scored 40 and Shimron Hetmyer, 23, in a bid to chase down India’s 170, which they were restricted to thanks to Hayden Walsh Jr’s 2-28 and Kesrick Williams’ 2-30.

Those bowling figures, along with the start from Lewis and Simmons, meant there was no pressure for Pooran.

“To be honest, we had no pressure. Tried not to panic, tried to build partnerships.”

West Indies limited-overs captain Kieron Pollard has placed the blame for a six-wicket defeat to India in the first T20 international of their tour of India squarely at the feet of the bowlers.

The West Indies, sent into bat in the first game of a three-match series, batted well to score 207-4 from their 20 overs, but found the big total not enough, as India romped to 209-4 in 18.4 overs.

For the West Indies, Evin Lewis scored 40 from 17 deliveries, Brandon King announced himself with 31 from 23 balls, and Shimron Hetmyer notched his first half-century in international T20s with 56 from 41. Pollard scored 37 from 19, Jason Holder had a worldwind 24 not out from nine balls, while Denesh Ramdin ended unbeaten on 11 from seven.

In reply, KL Rahul slammed 62 from 40 deliveries, while India captain Virat Kohli was imperious with 94 not out from 50 deliveries.

“Batters had a good effort. You'd take 208 ten out of 10 times,” said Pollard after the game.

“We lost due to the extras column,” said Pollard.

In a bowling innings where Kesrick Williams had none for 60 in 3.4 overs, and Holder struggled, going wicketless for 46 runs, it was still the extras column that was problematic for the skipper. While Sheldon Cottrell was good, taking 1-24 from his four overs, and Khary Pierre took two wickets for 44, the 23 extras, stemming from 11 illegal deliveries, the West Indies racked up was too much.

“Nearly two and a half overs of extra deliveries. Yes, it was a batting wicket, but if we executed our plans better, it could've been a different story,” said Pollard.

Despite the loss and the manner of defeat, Pollard believes the outing was good for the West Indies and showed they were not far away from being a very good T20 side.

“There are only two areas where we lost the game in. Usually we tend to focus on negatives, but a lot of positives to take away today. King and Hetmyer showed great intent. Fielders did well. In the end, we need to improve, and we will win if we learn to tick more boxes. Can't fault the effort of the guys."

The West Indies will look to get the formula right on Sunday when they again go up against India in a bid to even the series at The Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.

Legendary West Indies batsman Viv Richards is confident that it will only be a matter of time before mercurial young talent Shimron Hetmyer lives up to his full potential.

Since bursting on the scene in 2017, Hetmyer has shown clear signs that he has the potential to be one of the game’s best players.  Hetmyer, who has four centuries in 37 matches, recently became the 4th fastest West Indian batsman to score 1,000 ODI runs. 

On the flip side, however, the young batsman has put in several disappointing performances with innings that have been typified by rash stroke play and what many have criticized as a carefree approach.  Richards has, however, backed the young batsman to deliver the goods eventually.

"Hetmyer we keep speaking about, he's a young talent I believe when he settles down, his numbers could be much better for West Indies in the future, but at present, he's a little if and but at times, but when he works that out and gets to believe he can accomplish that, he'll be okay. But his talent, his talent is enormous, it's just for him to know how to get that done,” Richards told Espncricinfo.

The player will be part of a Windies squad that will play against Afghanistan in three ODI and three T20 series beginning tomorrow.

Guyana Amazon Warriors extended their perfect 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign to eight wins from eight matches with a 19-run win over defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders at the Queen’s Park Oval despite Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo briefly threatening to pull off an outrageous heist.

The Knight Riders appeared dead and buried at 91/4 with just six overs remaining and still needing 95 more to overhaul the Warriors 185/6. But Pollard and Bravo went on a ferocious six-hitting spree that almost dragged the unlikeliest of wins out of the fire for TKR.

They came up short, though, with Keemo Paul’s 19th over in which only singles came from the last five balls easing the Warriors’ fraying nerves before Tahir bowled Pollard for a sensational 71 from 38 balls with three balls to go and 21 still needed to at last finish the contest. The final winning margin of 19 runs also highlighted the significance of Romario Shepherd’s late cameo with the bat in the Warriors’ innings – he smashed 32* from 13, with two sixes and a four to finish it off as 25 came from Chris Jordan’s closing over.

Yet another win for the Warriors means they have now guaranteed themselves top spot in the regular season with two games to spare, while the Knight Riders still have work to do to secure their own place in the top two and the safety net of a place in Qualifier 1. One win from their two remaining games will do it.

Having muscled their way to 185/6 despite a troubling mid-innings wobble, the Warriors then strangled the Knight Riders top order through their battery of spinners.

Chris Green once again led the way, bowling his four overs off the reel at the top of the innings, removing the dangerous Colin Munro and Lendl Simmons, and returning figures of 2/18.

Imran Tahir did for Mark Deyal and Shoaib Malik had Denesh Ramdin caught in the deep off a slog-sweep to leave TKR reeling at 53/4.

Not even Pollard could rescue the Knight Riders from there, although he gave it a real crack. He shared a swashbuckling 125-run stand with Bravo, who himself cleared the ropes six times in a 46-ball 58 not out, but the required rate continued to climb throughout the partnership. Even when 57 runs were plundered in four overs from the 15th to the 18th.

Paul’s nerveless 19th over was ultimately key, and across the 40 overs the Warriors were deserving winners.

A 98-run second-wicket stand between Chrandrapaul Hemraj and Shimron Hetmyer then Shepherd’s late fireworks lifted the Warriors to their commanding total.

After the early loss of Brandon King, falling straight after taking Khary Pierre for 10 runs in two balls to start the third over, Hemraj took stock and then took charge.

Only 35/1 was on the board after the powerplay but the boundaries started to flow – for Hemraj in particular, who smashed four Hero Maximums and reached a 34-ball half-century with back-to-back fours off Jordan.

When Hemraj was caught behind off a wide Javon Searles yorker for 66, Hetmyer exploded into life in thrilling yet sadly for the Warriors all too brief fashion.

Searles’ next over started with the wicket of Nicholas Pooran and ended with that of Hetmyer slicing to Pierre at deep point. In between came 17 runs as Hetmyer flayed two fours and a gorgeous six carved high and handsome over backward point.

The failed attempt to repeat the dose saw Hetmyer depart the scene furious with himself and two short of a half-century.

The Warriors innings threatened to subside at that point in the face of some fine bowling from Ali Khan (1/23) in particular.

From 111/1 and 136/3, the Warriors found themselves 143/6 when Malik and Sherfane Rutherford fell to catches in the deep having added just a single between them.

But Shepherd ensured the Warriors would get up past not just 160 but also 180. He flayed a couple of early boundaries through the offside, but it was the two Hero Maximums and one-bounce four with which he finished the innings – 25 in all coming from Jordan’s closing over – that would ultimately take the Warriors out of Pollard and the Knight Riders’ reach.

Last year’s runners-up Guyana Amazon Warriors joined 2018 champions Trinbago Knight Riders on two wins from two in the early stages of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with a comfortable eight-wicket victory over St Kitts & Nevis Patriots at Providence Stadium.

Having restricted the Patriots to 153/8, thanks largely to the efforts of spin twins Shadab Khan (2/20) and Chris Green (1/18), the Warriors made light work of the chase after getting the perfect platform from openers Brandon King and Chandrapaul Hemraj before Shimron Hetmyer showed his class to steer his side to victory with a superb unbeaten 70 from 47, including a six to seal the win.

After a watchful couple of overs to begin the chase, the innings burst into life with three boundaries from Sheldon Cottrell’s second over, and two Hero Maximums from Hemraj off Usama Mir took the score to 55/0 and the target down to double-figures by the end of the Power Play.

Hemraj departed for a lively 39 from 24 to a fine diving catch from Fabian Allen at point off Carlos Brathwaite, but that just brought Hetmyer to the middle.

Initially looking to put pressure on the fielders with hard running between the wickets, Hetmyer was soon finding the boundary regularly as the Warriors stalked their target.

Back-to-back fours off Brathwaite really got him going before a glorious shot played inside-out and on the up over extra-cover off Rayad Emrit brought four more.

He lost King for a well-compiled 27, smartly caught low down by Usama Mir at short third-man off Cottrell but Hetmyer was unfazed. He immediately pulled Cottrell away behind square-leg for a one-bounce four and went four, four, six off Alzarri Joseph in the 14th over to bring the target down to a run a ball.

From there it was a simple task for Hetmyer and the vastly experienced Shoaib Malik, the winning runs coming with eight wickets and seven balls to spare thanks to Hetmyer’s third Hero Maximum.

Unlike the Warriors, the Patriots were just never really got going in their innings - until Allen joined Devon Thomas late in the piece - despite a gift from Keemo Paul in his first over, the second of the innings.

He appeared to have reduced the Patriots to 9/1 with the final ball of the over when he rearranged Kjorn Ottley’s stumps, but replays showed he had overstepped. Not only did Ottley get a reprieve, but also a free hit to go after. That was smashed over midwicket for four with Paul having overstepped again. Another free hit and another boundary, this time flashed down to third-man off a thick outside edge.

From an apparent 9/1 off two overs, the Patriots instead found themselves 19/0. But they couldn’t capitalize. Ottley fell in the very next over, a disastrous mix-up leaving him stranded mid-pitch as Green gathered Nicholas Pooran’s throw and removed the bails.

Evin Lewis launched a Hero Maximum down the ground but was caught at square-leg off the impressive Shadab soon after.

Thomas was initially watchful but was the one Patriot able to find the boundary with some regularity. Third-man was a particularly profitable area via a combination of expertly played glides and a couple of slightly more fortunate thick edges off the luckless Paul.

Thomas dominated a 54-run stand for the third wicket with Mohammad Hafeez, whose patience eventually ran out when he sliced Shadab to long-off for 14 from 18 balls. Patriots skipper Brathwaite was caught at midwicket second ball pulling Paul, who this time did have something behind the front line – just.

Allen provided Thomas with decent support, though. The Patriots keeper went through to a fine half-century in spectacular style with back-to-back sixes down the ground and over midwicket off the previously unhittable Shadab – his other 22 deliveries brought just eight runs in total.

Shadab wasn’t finished, though, producing an excellent sprawling catch in the deep to end Thomas’ innings at 62 from 49 and hand Green his only wicket in a typically miserly spell – only 18 runs came from his four overs.

Allen took on the senior role, driving Romario Shepherd imperiously over extra-cover for a Hero Maximum but lost Jason Mohammed for just 4.

The final over was a good one for the Patriots despite the loss of both Allen for 33 and Mir without scoring with 17 runs coming from it. Ten of those came in the last two balls as Joseph lifted the total beyond 150 with a six over midwicket and a four belted down the ground but it never looked likely to be enough.

Upcoming Fixtures: Sunday 8 September – Trinbago Knight Riders v St Lucia Zouks (12pm), Queen’s Park Oval; Guyana Amazon Warriors v Barbados Tridents (5pm), Providence Stadium

India skipper Virat Kohli was not too perturbed by his side’s difficulty in overhauling a small total against the West Indies in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.

Playing in the first T20 of an Indian tour of the Caribbean, Kohli’s side ran through the West Indies top order, leaving veteran all-rounder, Kieron Pollard, the only man to offer any resistance with his run-a-ball 49, that took the home team to 95-9.

The total seemed too low to be a problem for the powerfully stacked Indian batting line-up but at 69-5 when Kohli picked out Pollard at mid-wicket, the game was very much on.

India would eventually make their way to 98-6, a comfortable enough victory with 16 balls to spare, but it was tougher than it should have been.

“We would've liked to chase it four down, but we wanted to take risks and take the scoreboard moving. As the ball got older, strike rotation became key. It's just about putting in solid performance, ensure the guys who play contribute in some way or the other,” said Kohli.

The Indian skipper had lots to say about his side’s bowling and fielding, pointing out that they did well under the conditions.

“Bowlers were on top throughout, variations were superb,” he said.

The Indian skipper gave special praise to theDelhi Daredevil’s paceman Navdeep Saini, who ended with figures of 3-17. Saini was responsible for the important wickets of Nicholas Pooran, Pollard, and Shimron Hetmyer.

“Navdeep is from Delhi, he's come a long way. Plays the IPL as well, had a great season. Raw talent, hardly any bowlers who can bowl 150 clicks, hopefully he builds on from here,” he said.

West Indies skipper Jason Holder had high praises for his charges despite coming out on the losing end of another ICC World Cup game maybe they should have won. 

In Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope, West Indies possess two batting talents that have the potential to light up the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup. 

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