Destructive batsman, AB De Villiers, could be part of the South African team booked for a tour to the West Indies next month, which was officially confirmed by Cricket South Africa (CSA) director of cricket Graeme Smith.

 After several months of negotiations, the teams are confirmed to play two Test matches and five Twenty20 Internationals.  The venue, which will be one country, due to existing coronavirus protocols, has not yet been announced.  Originally, it was believed the matches would be held in Trinidad and Tobago, but the country's fresh battle with a COVID-19 surge seems to have put that in doubt.

De Villiers, who played in the Caribbean with the Barbados Tridents in 2016, has not played for the South African team since a Test match against Australia in 2018.  The player has, however, given repeated displays of his jaw-dropping hitting ability for the India Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

It was last month that South Africa coach Mark Boucher suggested the big hitter could return to the South Africa line-up for the T20 World Cup, scheduled for India from October to November.  It could still be moved due to issues caused by an outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

South Africa has not played in the West Indies since 2016.

Fabian Allen credits his confidence for his stand out performance against Sri Lanka on Sunday night that helped the West Indies win the third and final match of the T20 series by three wickets and subsequently take the series 2-1.

Fabian Allen smashed three sixes off the penultimate over of the match to hand the West Indies a hard-fought three-wicket win over Sri Lanka at the Coolidge Cricket Ground this evening.

The West Indies, who took the series 2-1, was staring possible defeat in the face at 105-7 after 17 overs, needing 27 from the last 18 balls but with only Kevin Sinclair and Obed McCoy to come. With Jason Holder at the other end and the West Indies needing 20 from the last two overs, Allen hit the first ball of the 19th over bowled by Akila Dananjaya for six and then ran two leg byes off the second.

He then smashed the third ball for six and then took a single off the fourth. Holder took a single from the fifth, leaving Allen to face the last ball of the over with four runs needed for victory. Allen duly obliged with his third six of the over to end unbeaten on 21 off just six balls.

Holder was not out on 14.

Chasing 132 for victory, the West Indies were put in a spin by Hasaranga de Silva 2-13 and Lakshan Sandakan 3-29, who threatened to take the match away from the home side. The former removed Evin Lewis for 21 and Lendl Simmons for 26, both batsmen playing injudicious shots to the bowler, who prior to the start, had planned to see off.

Sandakan and Dushmantha Chameera (2-23) then combined to rip the heart out of the West Indies middle order. Sandakan bowled Chris Gayle for 13 early in the piece and then returned to bowl Rovman Powell for seven and then getting Dwayne Bravo caught at short fine leg for a golden duck from consecutive deliveries as the match headed towards a thrilling climax.  

Chameera had Kieron Pollard caught behind for a duck and then bowled Nicholas Pooran for 23 to leave the West Indies in a spot of bother at 95 for 5.

Dananjaya ended with regrettable figures of 0-53 from his four overs.

Earlier, an unbeaten fifth-wicket partnership of 85 from 63 balls between Dinesh Chandimal and Ashen Bandara helped take Sri Lanka from 46 for 4, after the West Indies bowlers had combined to restrict the visitors to 46 for 4 mid-way the 10th over.

The pair took 13 off Dwayne Bravo’s final over to push the score to produce the highest fifth-wicket partnership for Sri Lanka to reach 131 for 4.

Chandimal’s unbeaten score of 54 came off 46 balls. He only hit three fours as he and his fellow batsmen were made to work hard by the West Indies bowlers, who produced a disciplined display.

Bandara’s 44 not out came from 35 balls hitting three fours and two sixes.

So restrictive was the home side’s attack they limited Sri Lanka to only eight fours and two sixes over the course of the 20-over allotment.

Fabian Allen, who returned figures of 1-13 from his four overs, took the first Sri Lankan wicket when he took a brilliant return catch to dismiss Danushka Gunathilaka for nine with only 10 runs on the board.

Nirsoshan Dickwella provided Kevin Sinclair (1-19) with his second wicket of the series caught by Jason Holder at wide mid-on for four as Sri Lanka crept to 15 for 2 in the fourth over.

Sinclair returned the favour when he took Pathum Nissanka at mid-off of Holder’s (1-27) short-of-a-length delivery for five to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 27 for 3.

Chandimal and Captain Angelo Matthews began to repair the damage with a stand of 19 when Matthews was caught behind off an Obed McCoy (1-29) delivery for 11. However, his dismissal opened the door to the record stand that took Sri Lanka’s to a competitive total at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.

The West Indies will now turn their attention to the ODI Series set to begin at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium at North Sound on March 10, 2021.

 

 

 

In a bizarre game of fluctuating fortunes at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in which a bowler took a hat-trick and then got hit it for six sixes in an over, the West Indies battled to a four-wicket win against Sri Lanka with 41 balls to spare.

Chasing a modest total of 132, the West Indies, who took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, started strong as Evin Lewis hit three sixes off the first over bowled by Angelo Matthews that yielded 19 runs.

However, in the fourth over with the home side sailing merrily along at 52 without loss, the match evolved into an even more entertaining spectacle.

Lendl Simmons had hit a six and a four off from the first two balls of the third over bowled by Dushmantha Chameera that yielded 14 runs. At the end of the over West Indies were 48-0 but it was the start of the most bizarre period of play in the match.

It all began with Lewis hitting Akila Dananjaya’s first ball of the fourth over for four as the West Indies raced to 52-0.

Lewis was caught in the deep for 28 off Dananjaya’s second ball, Gayle was trapped lbw first ball before Nicholas Pooran’s wicket completed the hat-trick caught behind off a thin edge. In three balls the West Indies had slipped from 52-0 to 52-3.

Lendl Simmons hit a six and a four before Hasangara de Silva trapped him lbw for 26. The West Indies were then 62 for 4.

There was another dramatic twist in over number six, Dananjaya’s third.

With Captain Kieron Pollard and Jason Holder at the crease and the West Indies still needing 70 runs, Pollard went on the offensive hitting the spinner for six consecutive sixes rushing to 38 from 10 balls.

The match would swing again in the seventh when Hasangara trapped Pollard lbw for 38 and then Fabian Allen for a duck with consecutive balls as both players failed to read the spinner.

Dwayne Bravo, who was unbeaten on four at the end, survived the hat-trick ball and together with Holder, who was 29 not out, produced an unbroken stand of 31 after Holder drove Pradeep for six over long-on to seal the victory.

Hasangara ended with 3-12. Dananjaya’s figures that read 3-17 after two overs ended with 3-62.

Pollard had won the toss and put Sri Lanka into bat. The visitors lost their first wicket at 20 when Pollard diving to his right pulled off a spectacular catch at short midwicket to dismiss Danushka Gunathilaka for four and hand debutant Kevin Sinclair his first international wicket.

Niroshan Dickwella (33) and Pathum Nissanka (39) put on 51 for the second wicket but there were no other noteworthy partnerships for the Sri Lankans who crawled to 132 for 9 from their allotment of 20 overs.

Obed McCoy was the best of the West Indies bowlers with 2-25 and there was a wicket each for Jason Holder, Allen, Sinclair, Dwayne Bravo and Fidel Edwards, who bowled tight lines and lengths, hardly giving anything away to the Sri Lankan batsmen.

 

Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards have been recalled to the West Indies squad for next month’s T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka.

Rain was the winner of the third and final T20 International of West Indies tour of New Zealand on Monday.

West Indies were outplayed by New Zealand and lost by 72 runs in the second T20 International on Sunday (Saturday night Caribbean Time) at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

New Zealand strike bowler Trent Boult and captain Kane Williamson have opted out of the T20 series against the West Indies, in order to be fully fit for the Test series. 

The Windies are booked to face New Zealand in a three-match T20 international series, which will run between the 27th to 30th of this month.

Both Boult and Williamson had several strong performances in the recent Indian Premier League (IPL) season, but the Blackcaps have prioritised the Test series.   New Zealand are eyeing a spot in the World Test Championship final at Lord's next year.  They are currently fourth in the standings and need to beat West Indies in the two-Test series in December to stake their claim.

"We've had to make a decision on Kane and Trent to prioritise the test matches, given how important they are to our red-ball team and the fact they both played such big roles in the recent IPL while also managing injuries," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said after announcing the squads.

"There's no secret we're right in the hunt for the World Test Championship final following our two-nil win over India and having Trent and Kane fully fit and focussed for the upcoming series will be crucial."

 

In four days’ time when the West Indies bow into action against New Zealand ‘A’ at the Queenstown Events Centre in Queenstown, New Zealand, fans should expect to see evidence of some of the areas that head coach Phil Simmons has had the players concentrating on since they arrived in New Zealand.

The West Indies were given a special dispensation to train while they were isolation but have now began more intensive training as they ramp up their preparations for their three T20 Internationals and two Test-series that begins on November 27.

Phil Simmons revealed that there are specific areas which the team has been focused on that will hopefully translate in better performances in what is expected to be a challenging tour.

“The big areas are consistency, especially in the bowling and understanding situations, especially in the batting,” Simmons said.

We have situations when we have been in control of games and people give away their wickets, so things like that are the main things that we are concentrating on now.”

Overall, things have been going well Simmons said, explaining that while some days have been cold there have also been warm days which they players have enjoyed.

“When its warm, West Indies teams tend to thrive so they’ve been very good. They’re enjoying it,” he said.

 

 

 

As the West Indies squad continues to prepare to take on New Zealand in three T2o Internationals and two Tests later this month, West Indies batsman Shamarh Brooks said he is eagerly anticipating the challenge.

All members of the West Indies team have returned negative results from their third and final COVID-19 tests, conducted on Day 12 of the ongoing tour of New Zealand.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has apologized for the behavior of his players who breached New Zealand’s Covid-19 safety protocols and caused the team to be stripped of exemptions that had allowed to train while in isolation.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) today named the vice-captains for the upcoming series in New Zealand.  Nicholas Pooran will be vice-captain for the three T20 Internationals (T20Is), while Roston Chase has been named vice-captain for the two International Cricket Council's World Test Championship matches.

Batting all-rounder Roston Chase, 28, has so far played 35 Test matches, scoring five centuries and collecting three five-wicket hauls with his off-spin bowling. Wicket-keeper/batsman Pooran, 25, is among the leading white-ball players with two half-centuries in 19 T20I innings and also averaging close to 50 in One Day Internationals.

 “Roston Chase has been appointed vice captain of the West Indies Test Team for this tour of New Zealand. He is an experienced player who is tactically aware and very purposeful in his approach to the game. He is readily willing to offer advice and discuss ideas with his fellow players and the coaches and I think will offer good leadership support to captain Jason Holder both on and off the field,” said Chief Selector Roger Harper.

“Nicholas Pooran continues in the role of vice-captain of the T20I Team for the tour of New Zealand. He was first named vice-captain for this format for the series against Afghanistan in 2019.”

Chase, meantime, was delighted with the appointment.

“I have been making strides in Test cricket since my debut back in 2016 and I see this new role as vice-captain as an honour,” he said.

“It is just for me to try and carry on and try to achieve great things for West Indies. It is all about offering support to the captain, coach and other players as we try to plan strategy and put more wins on the board.”

Nicholas Pooran expressed that this appointment presents a chance to develop further.

“I see this as another opportunity to learn and grow in the game. I was vice- captain for the tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year, so this is continuation of that work,” he said.

“It’s always good to share your knowledge as we look to continue the winning mentality. We were successful in Sri Lanka and this is series we believe we can get more success against New Zealand.”

FULL SQUADS

T20I Squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams

Test Squad: Jason Holder (captain), Roston Chase (vice-captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach

Test Reserves: Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua DaSilva, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales.

 

Match Schedule:

November 27: 1st T20I at Eden Park, Auckland

November 29:  2nd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

November 30: 3rd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

December 3-7: 1st Test at Seddon Park, Hamilton

December 11-15: 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington

 

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has made it clear that Test captain Jason Holder is always in consideration for the regional T20 team, particularly on the back of several recent eye-catching performances in the CPL and IPL.

Holder last played for the Windies in the shortest format of the game in India last year.  Recently, however, since the resumption of cricket following an enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic, he has put in a few notable T20 performances.  In the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Holder was the Barbados Tridents' third-highest scorer with 192 runs in 10 matches and had a high score of 69.  He also made an impact with the ball after claiming 10 wickets, the second-most on the team.

Despite not being initially drafted to the Indian Premier League (IPL), Holder was called up to replace Mitchell Marsh by Sunrisers Hyderabad where he has made a big impact.  The player has, however, not been included in the T20 squad to face New Zealand later this month.

Simmons, however, pointed to scheduling being more of a factor than anything else for the Holder's omission.

“This is an odd tour.  The T20 series here finishes a day, two days before the Test match.  Being captain of the Test team, the decision was taken by us as a selection panel that Jason would not be considered for that part of the tour,” Simmons told members of the media via a Zoom interview on Friday.

"Seeing that he is coming from IPL now, he will have one chance to play in the four-day game before the Test match, so that decision was taken by the panel,” he added.

"Jason is always in consideration for the T20s.  He has had two good years at CPL and now he has had a good tournament at IPL.”

The West Indies squad begun training in New Zealand, on Tuesday, after being given the all-clear following negative COVID-19 test results.

The team and management unit has been in isolation since arriving in the country last Friday.  Under New Zealand’s rigorous testing program, the team had to spend the first three days in isolation and then return a negative test before they could begin training in small groups at New Zealand Cricket’s High Performance Centre.

The squad must now undergo two further tests on Day 6 and Day 12 before they are allowed to train in larger groups.

 The tour will bowl off with a T20I series against the Black Caps at Eden Park in Auckland under lights. The series then moves to Mount Maunganui for two matches at Bay Oval – the first a day match and the second under lights.  The team will then travel to Hamilton for the first Test at Seddon Park and then south to Wellington for the second match at the historic Basin Reserve.

 

Match Schedule:

November 27: 1st T20I at Eden Park, Auckland

November 29: 2nd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

November 30: 3rd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

December 3-7: 1st Test at Seddon Park, Hamilton

December 11-15: 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington

 

 

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