West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes a change of approach by his team’s batsmen is largely responsible for five of them averaging over 50 for the just-concluded series against Sri Lanka. Kraigg Brathwaite, Nkrumah Bonner, Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder and Rahkeem Cornwall hit that significant milestone during the series that ended in a stalemate between the two cricketing nations.

It was the first time since 2012, that West Indies batsmen have been able to achieve that feat and only the second time since 1995.

Brathwaite, who started off the series with scores of three and 23 in the first Test, finished strong with his ninth Test century, 126, and a second innings score of 85 that spiralled his average in the series to an excellent 59.25.

Kyle Mayers, perhaps the most consistent of the West Indies batsmen had scores of 49, 55, 45 and 52 for an overall average of 50.25.

Incidentally, these were the two lowest averages of the five batsmen. Nkrumah Bonner, who scored his first Test century in the series, 113 not out, averaged 72 while Jason Holder averaged 69 after scoring 71 not out, 30, 19 and 18 not out.

Rahkeem Cornwall had only two turns at-bat and he made them count. His 61 and 73 gave him an average of 67, to round out an impressive all-round performance from the West Indies despite the fact that they were unable to force a win in any of the two Tests.

Simmons, though, was pleased with what he observed.

“Everybody is looking to occupy the crease. People are working to bat for long periods and our depth goes deeper because Alzarri Joseph and Rahkeem Cornwall have shown within the last three series that they can bat and they can provide that 50-100-run partnerships that later down can take us to 350 to 400s,” said the West Indies head coach.

He was particularly pleased with Cornwall’s performance with the bat. Already, a crucial member of the bowling attack, Cornwall enhanced his reputation as a genuine allrounder.

“It was great to see Rahkeem’s batting coming to the fore, and in all, the batting has shown up in the last four Test matches and this is a great thing because, before that, the bowling was carrying us,” Simmons said.

The last time the West Indies had five batsmen averaging over 50 in a Test series was back in 2012, when Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kieran Powell and Denesh Ramdin all surpassed the milestone. Chanderpaul averaged over 300 for the series.

Before that, six West Indies batsmen - Chanderpaul, Junior Murray, Winston Benjamin, Jimmy Adams, Brian Lara and Sherwin Campbell - all averaged over 50 runs an innings against New Zealand in 1995.

 

 

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Bonner’s maiden test century was worth the wait.

West Indies all-rounder Nkrumah Bonner’s maiden century in the first Test against Sri Lanka helped the team play to a draw in the match that looked like it had slipped away from the home team. Batting at number three, the 32-year-old Jamaican scored 113 not out to achieve what he described as his childhood dream.

After winning the toss the home side bowled out Sri Lanka for 169. In reply, the Windies scored 271 for a lead 102 runs. Sri Lanka scored a massive 476 in their second innings which left the home side requiring 375 for an unlikely victory.

Entering the on 34-1, still 340 runs behind, only two results seemed likely – a Sri Lanka win or a draw. Bonner helped to achieve the latter as the West Indies were 236-4 when play was called off.

It is notable that Bonner came into this series in good form from the 2-0 Test series win over Bangladesh earlier in February. He was named Man of the Series having produced scores of 17, 86,90 and 30.

In the West Indies first turn at bat against Sri Lanka, Bonner scored 31 but was not happy with his performance. Recognizing that there was a problem, he sought and received the help that saw him produce his unbeaten century that prevented the West Indies from slipping to defeat.

 T&T’s Soca Warriors victory is exactly what they needed

Trinidad and Tobago’s 3-0 victory over Guyana their opening 2022 CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers on Thursday, was exactly what the team needed to lift their spirits.

 Prior to the match, T&T’s preparations were limited and were forced to play away from home because of their government’s pandemic protocols that kept their borders closed.

 Additionally, T&T has had many off-field issues including a FIFA imposed suspension after a protracted battle with the football’s governing body. Then, just days before the qualifiers were to begin, head coach Terry Fenwick and Director of Communications Shaun Fuentes were alleged to have been involved in a physical altercation.

On form, the team was coming off a 7-0 thrashing from the United States 7-0 in January.

With this in mind, the 3-0 victory over Guyana, was a welcome respite that gave Fenwick his first official win as national coach.

The coach, who said he was incredibly pleased with the team’s performance, will want to keep the momentum in the second qualifier away to Puerto Rico. 

Trinidad and Tobago will be heading into the match against Puerto Rico in high spirits as it would go a long way to shifting the narrative away from off-field woes.

 

Of all the important partnerships that Joshua Da Silva featured in during the West Indies successful Test series against Bangladesh, there was one that the Trinidadian wicketkeeper-batsman said he enjoyed the most.

Nkrumah Bonner’s outstanding Test debut against Bangladesh saw him being awarded the Man-of-the-Series at the conclusion of the second and final Test in Dhaka on Sunday.

Man-of-the-math Rahkeem Cornwall took four wickets today, spurring West Indies to a nail-biting 17-run against Bangladesh inside four days to sweep the closely fought Test series 2-0.

Fast bowling great Sir Curtly Ambrose believes some West Indies players who opted out of the tour of Bangladesh could come to regret their decisions not to go because of how well the team is performing there.

Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua Da Silva just missed out on their maiden Test centuries while Alzarri Joseph produced his second-highest score as the West Indies dominated play on Friday’s second day of the second Test against Bangladesh at Dhaka.

West Indies middle-order batsman, Nkrumah Bonner, insists he always puts pressure on himself to do well, after scoring another half-century against Bangladesh on day one of the second Test.

On the back of a patient 86, which proved crucial to the Windies in their first Test win, Bonner once against set himself up to be the lynchpin of the innings.  At the close of the first day’s play, the batsman remained unbeaten on a watchful 74 from 173 balls.

Bonner’s stand brought stability back to the innings after the Windies lost three wickets for 29 runs after lunch.  The team had gone to lunch at 84 for 1, with Brathwaite on 36 and Shayne Moseley on six.

“For me, every innings that I play, I put pressure on myself,” Bonner told windiescricket following the innings.

“We get paid to make runs and to be consistent and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.”

Bonner, who will resume batting with Joshua Da Silva on the second day, admits the team suffered from early mishaps but has targeted making around 350 from the first innings.

“We had a few soft dismissals, but that’s the nature of the game, me and Josh are there now, and we still have others to come, so we will have to just bat as long as possible.”

 

 

The West Indies threw away a solid start to the second Test against Bangladesh and had to rely on an unbeaten 74 from Nkrumah Bonner to end the day at 223 for 5 at Dhaka.

West Indies middle-order batsman, Nkrumah Bonner, has recalled drawing inspiration from gritty India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara in wake of the team’s recent triumph over Bangladesh.

Pujara earned widespread commendation for a gutsy performance against Australia last month, where the India batman took hits to the head, elbows, hands, and ribs.  In total, ten balls crashed into him throughout his 211-ball innings.  His stubborn 56, however, was crucial to a historic win for an understrength India, in Australia.

Bonner may not have had to put up with as much physical punishment from the Bangladesh bowlers, but certainly showed plenty of determination in his gritty 86 from 245.  The knock, alongside a cracking 212 from Kyle Mayers, was critical in anchoring an understrength West Indies to a surprise win, in Bangladesh.  Bonner admits he has been taking close note of the India batsman and tries to emulate a few of his qualities.

“I like to see how he goes about his batting.  I think he is very tough mentally and it’s something that I’ve taken from him,” Bonner told members of the media, via a Zoom press conference on Tuesday.

“There is nothing that really troubles him, so I idolize him a lot,” he added.

 

 

West Indies batsman, Nkrumah Bonner, admits that it was disappointing to miss out on what would have been a debut century against Bangladesh but is far more satisfied with a surprise victory for the team.

The 32-year-old Bonner stroked a solid 86 from 245 balls, as part of a match-defining partnership with Kyle Mayers, who managed an unbeaten double century to steer the West Indies to a historic victory.

Mayers and Bonner remained unbeatable for the first two sessions but after cutting loose for a 6 off Taijul Islam, Bonner was dismissed lbw the very next delivery, after missing a flatter length delivery from the spinner.

“Personal milestones are always good but obviously we know that we do everything for the team,” Bonner told members of the media via a Zoom press conference.

“Obviously it would be good to make a 100 on debut but it wasn’t mean to be and I’m really just happy that we won the game,” he added.

Though Bonner did not get to triple digits on debut he still managed to make it into the record books.  The 216 runs partnership with Bonner was the second-highest partnership by Test debutants, behind Pakistan's Abdul Kadir and Khalid Ibadulla, who put on 249 back in 1964.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons believes the team needs to improve in all areas going forward and especially if they are to win the second Test against Bangladesh set for the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Barbadian Test debutant Kyle Mayers said a strong belief in self and never giving up were keys his match-winning performance for the West Indies against Bangladesh on Sunday.

Kyle Mayers scored a double century on his Test debut as the West Indies pulled off a miraculous come-from-behind three-wicket win over Bangladesh at Chattogram, reaching their target of 395 for the loss of seven wickets.

West Indies batsmen Nkrumah Bonner and Kyle Mayers cobbled together an unbroken 51-run partnership, for the moment staving off a relentless Mehidy Hasan, as the team closed day four at 110 for 3, still needing another 285 for victory against Bangladesh.

Mehidy, who punished the Caribbean team with a first-innings century, tore through the top half of the Windies batting order after claiming 3 for 52 to close the evening session.  The spinner struck for Bangladesh after a solid start from the West Indies, which saw skipper Kraigg Brathwaite and left-hander John Campbell post 39 runs in an hour for the first wicket.

Early on, Campbell was more than ready and willing to deploy the sweep shot against the spinners.  He cashed in for four 4s, in his 23, but was eventually undone after missing one from Mehidy and being trapped lbw.  Brathwaite, in the meantime, showed solid footwork against the spin but was let down by hard hands after a defensive stroke offered against Mehidy went bat-pad to short leg and was gobbled up by Yasir Ali.

Shayne Mosely contributed 12 before also being trapped lbw, which meant the West Indies lost three wickets for 20 runs and found themselves struggling at 59-3.

Coming together to stabilize the innings, Bonner and Mayers used different tactics to see out the day.  Mayers was more aggressive for an unbeaten 37, while the more watchful Bonner accumulated 15 from 63.

In the morning session, Bangladesh skipper Momimul Haque registered his 10th Test century as they declared at 223-8. He was the second wicket for fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who bagged 2-37.

 Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican was again the most successful bowler with 3-57 off 17.5 overs, to end with match figures of 7-190 off 65.5 overs. He bowled well in tandem with off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, who picked up 3-81 off 27 overs. He took 2-144 off 42.2 overs in the first innings.

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