Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie has admitted that the team is distraught after coming up just short against the Windies in a low-scoring thriller at Kensington Oval on Friday.

In the end, pace bowler Sheldon Cottrell smashed a six off the penultimate over of the match to give the hosts a one-wicket win.  However, at several points during the match the Irish seemed on the verge of securing a rare win over the Windies, with the hosts struggling at 3 for 24, 4 for 76 and 7 for 148 before heroics from Khary Pierre, Alzarri Joseph and Cottrell lifted the team to 242 for 9.

Before Cottrell’s heroics, the big pacer only narrowly just avoided being run out at the bowler’s end.  Cottrell was a long way short of his ground when but was given a reprieve after the third umpire determined Mark Adair failed broke the stumps with his hand before the ball actually hit the wicket.

The drama in the final over was not yet over with Cottrell finding himself stranded three-fourth of the way down the pitch after Hayden Walsh failed to take a second run but luckily, the return throw went to the wrong end and Cottrell, despite slipping on his way back, managed to return to the striker's end safely.

“I can’t really fault guys now, they’re all distraught now actually.  We have thrown everything into the game and come up short and that will definitely haunt us today,”  Balbirnie said.

“We’ve lost a game of cricket, which is usually disappointing…I backed the bowlers to keep their heads, we have skillful enough bowlers.  Garry Wilson came up with an outstanding bit of fielding that almost won us the game but like I said I can’t fault our bowlers.  We have put in two really good efforts with ball and in the field and hopefully, we can come up better in the third ODI.”

 

West Indies paceman Alzarri Joseph is not done with Ireland just yet, even though his Caribbean side took an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match Colonial Medical Insurance One-Day International Series being held in the region.

Joseph starred with the ball again but had a vital innings with the bat to help the West Indies pull off a one-wicket victory against Ireland at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Thursday.

Choosing to bat first for the second game in a row, the first was a five-wicket loss, Ireland showed they can bat in posting a total of 237-9, thanks, in large part, to Paul Stirling’s 63 at the top of the order. In reply, the West Indies barely got over the line, scoring 242-9, getting to the target with one ball to go.

When Ireland batted, Joseph played chief tormentor for the second game in a row, bagging 4-32, to leave the potential for a big innings from the visitors in tatters.

Joseph was backed up by pace teammate, Sheldon Cottrell, who ended with 3-51.

Joseph was also good with the bat, scoring an important 16 before a mistimed pull off a slower ball from Mark Adair, ended his evening.

Despite the win, Joseph sent a subtle warning to the visitors.

“The win means a lot to everyone, but it's not finished, we have one game to go," said Joseph, after he was awarded his second man-of-the-match honour in as many games.

The young paceman said he was relieved to have come away from the game with a win, but for the first time in his fledgeling career, spoke, for the first time, about his batting.

“We wanted to bat sensibly and get to the score. When I went out to bat, there were a lot of balls to get there and I was looking to play every ball on merit,” said Joseph.

While Joseph is excited about his personal performance, he is also aware that there were others who stood up to be counted.

"Relieved about the win but it's a team game, we all put in the effort,” he said.

Joseph bowled a fuller length to the Irish in this game than he did in the first where he bagged 4-34, explaining that he had read something different from this pitch.

“The wicket was a bit more even than the first game, so I assessed early and bowled to the plan.”

When Joseph spoke about the four-wicket haul he enjoyed in the first ODI against Ireland, he alluded to how much work he had put into getting back to international cricket and his captain, Kieron Pollard, confirmed as much on Thursday, saying he was happy for the young man.

“Alzarri Joseph again the pick of the bowlers getting another four-wicket haul. He continues to show again, his hard work is paying off so congratulations to him,” said Pollard.

 

West Indies paceman Alzarri Joseph is happy to have started the year with a bang after his 4-32 helped the West Indies to a dominant performance in the first game of a three-match One-Day International series against Ireland in the Caribbean.

Joseph, who has been in and out of the West Indies team with injury and because of dips in form, led the attack for a West Indies side that would end up five-wicket winners in a game Ireland never got the handle of.

Choosing to bat, Ireland were in early trouble after Joseph removed the openers, Paul Stirling (15) and Gareth Delany (19) before returning to rip the heat of the middle order with the wickets of Kyle O’Brien (4) and Lorcan Tucket (31).

The visitors to the Kensington Oval in Barbados were eventually rolled for just 180 in 46.1 overs before an unbeaten 99 from opener Evin Lewis made victory secure for the West Indies, who scored 184-5 in just 33.2 overs.

"For me, it's a really good start to the year," said Joseph after receiving his man-of-the-match award on Tuesday.

According to Joseph, the coaching of former West Indies fast bowler Winston Benajmin has been instrumental to any improvement he has shown recently.

“Winston Benjamin, whenever I have something going on, I turn to him for advice,” said Joseph.

Despite the influence of Benjamin on his fledgeling career, Joseph is also very aware that there is something else that is key to his development as a consistently good bowler.

"It's just about putting in the hard work in training and doing the yards,” he said.

After the preparation is done, the actual execution may not be that interesting, as his captain, Kieron Pollard, has consistently said.

“Success is boring.”

“I kind of had an idea of how I wanted to bowl today, and I just kept it simple and bowled to my plans," explained Joseph.

Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Carlos Brathwaite were among seven West Indies players who went unsold during the 2020 IPL Auction in Kolkata, India on Thursday.

 Former West Indies fast bowler Winston Benjamin believes young paceman Alazarri Joseph has been hampered by being drafted into the regional team as an undercooked product.

Joseph was called into the Windies squad three years ago as a talented 19-year-old and has for far played 9 Test matches and claimed 25 wickets.  In one day international’s (ODI) the bowler has made 16 appearances and claimed 24 wickets.  During the period, the player has struggled with both injuries and inconsistency.  Benjamin does not believe the shortcomings are a surprise.

“Let us face facts; when Alzarri got into the West Indies team we were in dire need of fast bowlers and he basically got in on his potential. I worked with him from since he was 15 years old and I said I would like to have another two years with him and then by that time, you would have seen the difference,” Benjamin told Antigua radio show Good Morning Jojo Sports Show.

“He’s here and he’s there, [and] our work was not completed, so he learns from the top [when] everybody else learns from the bottom up. Rabada and all those guys, their thing is structured where you have coaches for every meal of the day and every direction you turn,” he added.

The former fast bowler has admitted to being impressed with the progress the young bowler has made in recent months and believes he could be on the way to fulfilling his potential.

 

Windies and Mumbai Indians pacer Alzarri Joseph is likely to miss the rest of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season after suffering an injury to his bowling arm.

In Saturday’s contest against the Rajasthan Royals the 23-year-old injured the limb while fielding.  It was a bad afternoon all round for the young bowler.

After claiming record figures of 6 for 12 in his debut last weekend, Joseph experienced the flip side of the coin.  He bowled the most expensive three-over spell ever seen at the tournament.  Joseph was targeted for 53 off his three overs, the third the worst of all as he was the victim of some savagery from Jos Butler.  Butler smacked six boundaries in the over to take 28 runs.  He ended the night with 89 from 43 balls as the Royals chased down Mumbai Indians’ 187 with three balls to spare.

According to reports, Joseph has a tear in his right arm, which was dislocated during the fielding incident.  Although there has not been an estimate for the length of time the player will take to recover, the player seems set to miss the rest of the season.  With the ICC World Cup just over a month away, Joseph will hope to recover in time.

Former West Indies pace bowler Winston Benjamin has heaped praise on his former pupil Alzarri Joseph, praising both the player’s commitment and willingness to work hard, following an IPL debut to remember last week.

Joseph claimed an IPL record for the Mumbai Indians, in a 40-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad. Even as the tributes and congratulations poured in for the 22-year-old, earmarked as potentially the next great West Indies pace bowler, Benjamin has been quick to point to the player’s attitude and work ethic.

 “It’s a misconception that West Indies bowlers just come and bowl fast. A lot of hard work goes into the making of a genuine fast bowler,” Benjamin said in a recent interview.

“Obviously, the more matches he played, the more he learnt, but he never shied away from advice or hard work. He has that attitude, and the passion for the game, not the money involved in it,” he added.

Joseph who was a part of the successful ICC Under-19 World Cup winning squad in 2016, made his debut for the senior team later that year but was later out of the game for several months due to injury.

“He was maybe a yard or two quicker but was all over the place. Besides, his action was more prone to injuries. So we made it shorter, a bit straighter and he doesn’t jump as wildly.”

Alzarri Joseph made history on a sensational Indian Premier League debut, leading Mumbai Indians to a convincing 40-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.

West Indies paceman Joseph claimed the best bowling figures in IPL history as he picked up 6-12 from his 3.4 overs, surpassing Sohail Tanvir's haul of 6-14 back in 2008.

The 22-year-old's efforts were also the eighth-best in a Twenty20 game.

Kieron Pollard had earlier lifted Mumbai from 65-5 with an unbeaten 46 off just 26 balls, helping set the Sunrisers a target of 137.

Jonny Bairstow (16) and David Warner (15) got Hyderabad off to a solid start, but the hosts lost their final five wickets for just eight runs in an astonishing collapse.

Joseph sparked the incredible finale by removing Deepak Hooda (20) and he ended it with 14 balls remaining by drawing an outside edge from Siddarth Kaul (0) that was snaffled by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

 

JOSEPH'S DREAM DEBUT

There cannot be many better ways to begin your first IPL appearance than by removing one of the competition's leading run scorers with your first delivery. That is precisely what Joseph did.

Warner – who sits fourth in the list of all-time IPL runs – attempted to play a huge shot to the boundary at the start of the fifth over but only edged Joseph back onto his stumps.

After Windies quick removed Hooda and Rashid Khan off successive deliveries in the 16th over, Hyderabad wilted and Mumbai surged to an impressive victory.

 

POLLARD PUNISHES SUNRISERS

Mumbai were sitting uncomfortably at 97-7 at the end of the 18th over, with Pollard making just nine off the first 13 balls he faced.

However, the 31-year-old plundered a trio of powerful maximums – one from a free hit – off the next set of six from Kaul.

The final over saw Pollard add another six and a pair of fours, with some sloppy fielding from Mohammad Nabi and Hooda proving key as the game turned on its head.

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Six Trinidad and Tobago Red Force batsmen failed to trouble the scorers as the team were crushed by 245 runs in their West Indies Championship game against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes on Monday at the Bryan Lara Cricket Academy. 

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