Windies T20 skipper Kieron Pollard insists the team will focus on the positives despite a 29-runs loss to Afghanistan, which handed the South Asian team a 2-1 series win on Sunday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, a punishing 79 from 52 balls from man-of-match Rahmanullah Gurbaz, lifted the hosts to 156 for 8 and set the table for the crucial win.  The opener was left to anchor the innings following the departure of partner Hazratullah Zazai for a duck and the team losing wickets at regular intervals.

In response, Shai Hope did his best to keep the Windies in the hunt as they pursued the target and added 52 from 46 balls.  He, however, found very little support as the team found the bowlers difficult to get away on the slow surface.  Naveen-ul-Haq was the most successful of the Afghanistan bowlers and claimed 3 for 24.

“It was a similar situation to yesterday. We found ourselves in a hole in the Powerplay and couldn't dig ourselves out of it. I can’t fault the effort of the bowlers. but having said that, the guys would have taken a lot from this series and how to adapt and play on slower pitches,” Pollard said.

 “We have a long-term plan, but we have to deal with what's in front of us right now.  I can't say what will happen in October next year (for the T20 World Cup). Yes, we are on the losing side, but these things happen. In sport, there is a winner and a loser.”

The Windies won the first T20I against Afghanistan by 30 runs, lost the second by 41 runs, before being swept aside in the decider.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz bludgeoned his highest international score as Afghanistan sealed a first Twenty20 series win over West Indies with a 29-run victory in Lucknow.

Afghanistan set up a decider by making 1-1 at the same venue on Saturday and completed the turnaround the following day, 17-year-old Gurbaz smashing 79 off 52 balls in their total of 156-8.

The Windies' shortcomings with the bat were then shown up as could only make 127-7 in a poor run chase, Naveen-ul-Haq taking 3-24.

Shai Hope top scored with 52 in his first game of the series as a replacement for the injured Denesh Ramdin, but Kieron Pollard's first T20 series as captain ended in a surprise defeat on the back of a 3-0 ODI victory.

Bangladesh were the only other top-10 side Afghanistan had beaten in a bilateral series in the shortest format before they came from behind to stun the Windies.

Sheldon Cottrell (2-29) removed Hazratullah Zazai in the first over and the left-arm seamer had Karim Janat - hero with the ball 24 hours earlier - caught behind in an excellent opening spell.

Teenage wicketkeeper-batsman Gurbaz demonstrated his repertoire of shots, bringing out the ramp, sweeping with assurance and timing the ball sweetly as he brought up his half-century in 37 balls.

Asghar Afghan (24) provided support in a fourth-wicket stand of 50 and Gurbaz had hit five sixes by the time he struck Pollard to Keemo Paul - who took two wickets along with the Kesrick Williams - at deep point.

Naveen and Mujeeb Ur Rahman had the Windies in trouble on 16-2 after dismissing Brandon King and Lendl Simmons respectively.

The dangerous Evin Lewis followed for 24 as Afghanistan continued to keep it tight and captain Rashid Khan saw the back of Shimron Hetmyer as the captain claimed superb figures of 1-18 from his four overs.

Hope ticked along at just over a run a ball, but the Windies remained behind the required rate and the wicketkeeper-batsman fell to Gulbadin Naib - who dropped him on 11 - in the penultimate over.

Pollard and Holder were taken in the deep off Naveen as West Indies fell well short of their target.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is planning to hit back hard at Afghanistan after the hosts won their first game against his side in Lucknow, India on Saturday.

Afghanistan were dominant against the West Indies, beating them by 47 runs despite not scoring many when their side batted.

The result, largely coming on the back of Karim Janat’s 5-11, gave the skipper pause to think.

He has had things largely his own way since his debut as captain at the start of a three-match ODI series his team bossed and one T20I where they proved much better than their opposition, but now he has to will his team to come good when the outcome isn’t so clear.

“We just have 24 hours to wrong the rights, and hopefully we come back and do those things right tomorrow. 1-1 is a virtual final tomorrow, and you'd want to see how the guys react tomorrow. Happy times for us in terms of how we have played through this series. We need to have conversations on what to improve on for tomorrow,” said Pollard.

As for the game just concluded, Pollard believes the West Indies did a few things wrong.

"At the halfway stage, we were happy with 147. Their batsmen came hard at us, but we came back well, especially Kesrick. We cannot fault the bowlers. We didn't get a good start in the Powerplay, and we lost wickets every time we were trying to be aggressive,” he said.

Earlier, Afghanistan had scored 147-7 from their 20 overs with Hazratullah Zazai and Janat scoring 26, Gulbadin Naib, 24, and Najibullah Zadran, 20 not out.

Kesrick Williams had been the best bowler for the West Indies, bagging 3-23, while Keemo Paul, replacing the injured Fabian Allen, ended with 2-28, and Jason Holder, 2-23.

When the West Indies batted, only Denish Ramdin, 24 not out, seemed interested against Naveen-ul-Haq, 1-19, Rashid Khan, 1-25, Naib, 1-22, and the brilliant 5-11 from Janat.

Karim Janat ripped through West Indies with a maiden five-wicket Twenty20 International haul as Afghanistan dished out a 41-run defeat to set up a series decider in Lucknow.

Kesrick Williams followed up an impressive bowling display in the first match of the series by taking 3-23 in Afghanistan's 147-7 on Saturday.

That total was more than enough for Rashid Khan's men to make it 1-1, with all-rounder Janat claiming 5-11 - the second-best figures by an Afghanistan bowler in the shortest format - from his four overs as the Windies made only 106-8.

Afghanistan, whitewashed 3-0 in the ODI series, will look to complete the turnaround by winning the final match at the same venue on Sunday.

Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz got Afghanistan off to a good start after they won the toss, but both openers fell from consecutive deliveries in the fifth over from Williams with 42 on the board.

Jason Holder (2-23) trapped Janat leg before for 26 and had Asghar Afghan caught behind, while Keemo Paul - replacing the injured Fabian Allen - took 2-28 as Afghanistan were kept in check.

Najibullah Zadran (20 not) and Gulbadin Naib (24) were able to provide some late impetus and the Windies never got going in a sorry run chase.

Shimron Hetmyer was adjudged lbw to the impressive Janat, who also saw the back of Evin Lewis and Sherfane Rutherford to leave West Indies in trouble on only 45-4 at the halfway mark.

Captain Kieron Pollard was also struck in front by Janat and the rampant seamer had five when he cleaned up Paul in his final over, Denesh Ramdin top scoring with an unbeaten 24 in a poor effort with the bat from the Windies.

A.R. Srikkanth, one of the world’s leading T20 cricket analysts, has been appointed as the new West Indies Men’s Team Analyst, on a two-year contract.

Kieron Pollard’s 32 not-out from 22 balls and 2-17 brought a man-of-the-match and 1-0 lead in a three-match T20 series over Afghanistan but the West Indies skipper refuses to sit on his laurels.

Speaking after the first T20 in the series being played in Lucknow, India, Pollard, who led from the front in a 30-run win, said that while he was happy with the performance of the team, work was still left to be done.

"It's always good to contribute but it's always better to contribute in the winning cause,” he said of his own man-of-the-match performance.

“The partnership between Lewis and Hetmyer set it up. It was not one of the easiest wickets to bat on. The balls were coming slow off the wicket. That's when you have to play smart cricket, manoeuvre the fielder,” he said.

In the field, Pollard was also happy with the West Indies, who restricted Afghanistan to just 134-9 after they were set 164 for victory.

“We were a bowler short but the boys stepped up,” he said.

Stepping up was Kesrick Williams, who ended with figures of 3-17, and Hayden Walsh Jr, who bagged 2-34.

But there are still areas the West Indies can tighten up, said Pollard who seems dead set on getting the side to be more aggressive.

“We have another game shortly, so we need to look at the areas to improve upon," said Pollard.

Before the start of the T20 series, the skipper had said he was already preparing the team to defend its T20 World Cup title.

“Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we have to improve on over a period of time,” Pollard had said.

Evin Lewis produced a fiery batting display as West Indies made a winning start to their Twenty20 series against Afghanistan.

After a 3-0 success in the ODI games, the apparent wide gulf between the sides was exposed again as West Indies powered to a 30-run victory.

West Indies posted 164-5 as Lewis flayed Afghanistan for 68 from 41 deliveries, before the minnows were limited to 134-9 in reply.

Curiously, a cloud reportedly made up of insect repellent forced a delayed start to the night match in Lucknow, but there was little holding back Lewis once he found his rhythm.

Despite failing to score a run from the first seven balls he faced, Lewis made up for lost time with a brutal assault of the Afghanistan attack.

He was eventually caught by Mohammad Nabi off Gulbadin Naib, having plundered six sixes and four fours, and captain Kieron Pollard added middle-order impetus with 32 from 22 balls to help West Indies to their competitive total.

Four Afghanistan batsmen went past 20 but Najibullah Zadran top-scored with just 27. Fareed Ahmad was unbeaten on 24 after a late flourish, but momentum was always lacking.

Early wickets fell at a steady rate before four fell for just seven runs as the run rate soared, West Indies quick Kesrick Williams returning of 3-17 from four overs.

Pollard also poached two wickets to swing man-of-the-match honours his way.

The second and third matches in the T20 series take place on Saturday and Sunday before a one-off Test, which gets underway on November 27.

West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran has been handed a four-game ban for ball tampering, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Wednesday.

Pooran admitted changing the condition of the ball as the Windies sealed a whitewash in their three-game ODI series against Afghanistan with a five-wicket victory in Lucknow on Monday.

Video footage showed the 24-year-old scratching the surface of the ball with his thumbnail and he accepted the sanction put forward by match referee Chris Broad, avoiding the need for a formal hearing.

As part of the suspension handed down by the ICC, Pooran will sit out the three Twenty20 internationals against Afghanistan.

Pooran said: "I want to issue a sincere apology to my team-mates, supporters and the Afghanistan team for what transpired on the field of play on Monday in Lucknow.

"I recognise that I made an extreme error in judgement and I fully accept the ICC penalty. I want to assure everyone that this is an isolated incident and it will not be repeated.

"I promise to learn from this and come back stronger and wiser."

A four-for from pace bowler Keon Harding and an unbeaten ton from top-order batsman Joshua Da Silver led the West Indies Emerging Players to a crushing 107 runs win over Windwards Islands at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy on Monday.

The result maintains a strong start for the Emerging Players, which see them surprisingly topping Group B after three games.  After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Emerging Players experienced an early set-back after opener Kimani Melius was dismissed lbw by Kavem Hodge.  A pair of fruitful partnerships, however, quickly steadied the innings.  Da Silva joined Gidron Pope at the crease and the pair repaired some after putting on 89 for the second wicket.  The partnership ended when Pope was bowled by Larry Edwards for 50.

Justin Greave added 46 before being bowled by Bhaskar Yadram and Roland Cato (49) then joined Da Silver to see out the innings.

In response, the Volcanoes were dismal.  Desron Maloney was the first of Harding’s four victims when he was dismissed for 10 with Windwards having 14 runs on the board.  Emmanuel Stewart followed soon after without scoring and Kirk Edwards added just one run before leaving the Windwards in deep trouble at 22 for 3.  Devon Smith (6) and Alick Athanaze (3) continued the tumble of wickets with Kaveem Hodge (28), Keron Cottoy (33) and Shane Shillingford (41) offering the most resistance.  Harding was backed up by Kevin Sinclair who claimed 3 for 19.  Harding claimed 4 for 45.

 

It was not long ago that Roston Chase was seen as one of a growing number of match-winning players in the West Indies ranks.

Since that time, however, Chase has suffered long dips in form and has not done much saving.

Chase, from 22 One Day Internationals averages 28.28 with the bat and has scored 396 runs but has scored just two half-centuries to date.

Against Afghanistan in a recently concluded One Day International in Lucknow, India where the visitors thumped the home team 3-0, he was immense.

Chase began with scoring 94 as the West Indies easily won the first ODI by seven wickets. Earlier he had bowled economically to end with figures of 2-31.

In the second ODI, Chase failed with the bat, only scoring nine as the West Indies only managed 247, but his 3-30 was instrumental in limiting the reply from Afghanistan to 200.

Chase was at it again on Monday,first bowling economically to end with figures of 1-24, before going on to bludgeon the bowlers, scoring 42 from just 32 deliveries to help seal the whitewash with a five-wicket victory.

Speaking after the game, Chase explained that skipper, Kieron Pollard, had reminded him to stay focused on the task ahead of him.

"Skipper told me last night we'll bat in a different position, but he said, 'Don't worry. Just concentrate on your bowling, and if you get a chance to bat, show that’.” Chase explained.

Pollard was referring to the fact that he would bat ahead of Chase in the final ODI for the first time in the series, and that he should not change what he was doing because of it.

“He [Pollard] said, 'Ros, just take over and play at a run-a-ball.' I did that, and put away the boundary balls,” Chase said of his innings.

As for his effectiveness with the ball, Chase says he has begun to understand how to change his pace to deal with different batsmen and, of course, different conditions.

“I was just trying to vary my pace, and the pitch was helping out a lot. Each game, our bowlers came to the party. This is my first series win in five years, and I'm quite happy for that."

West Indies opening batsman Shai Hope played no small part in getting the regional side their first series win in five years.

The batsman, who scored an unbeaten 77, 43, and 109 not-out, said the regional side were at pains to earn a series win and that achieving a whitewash a day after his birthday was special.

“It was a long time coming. We've been waiting for this series win for a long time, so it felt good,” said Hope.

For the series win and the eventual whitewash to come to reality, Hope explained he had to take the responsibility of batting the team into good positions.

“Someone had to put his hand up and bat through the innings,” he said.

“Felt good to be able to do it. It's just about reading the situation, and as long as someone batted through, we were always going to win the game," said Hope.

The West Indies completed a whitewash over Afghanistan with a five-wicket win in Lucknow, India.

Afghanistan, having the best game of the three-match series, scored 249-7 in their 50 overs thanks to Asghar Afghan’s 86 and Hazrafullah Zazai’s 50, Mohammad Nabi, 50, and Najibullah Zadran, 30, but found they were still outgunned after the West Indies cruised to 253-5 in 48.5 overs.

The West Indies total was anchored by Hope’s 145-ball knock. Hope reached the boundary eight times and went over it on a further three occasions and was ably supported by debutant Brandon King, who scored 39, Nicholas Pooran, 21, Kieron Pollard, 32, and Roston Chase, 42.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is of the belief that the regional side has venom in them and needed to show it against Afghanistan, something they achieved after a 3-0 whitewash in their One-Day International that concluded on Monday in Lucknow, India.

"We are thankful to God for giving us this opportunity,” said Pollard.

“We came here with a mission and specific roles for players, and all the players deserve credit,” he said.

“Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we had to improve in a period of time,” said Pollard.

According to the new captain, the team took the chance to show how aggressive they could be and urged them to make that way of playing cricket, habitual.

“This was an opportunity for us to show we have that kind of venom inside us. We knew we had to rally as a team, and we proved we can bat 50 overs, and once we do that, we can win games,” he said.

The West Indies destroyed Afghanistan over a three-game ODI series, winning the first by seven wickets thanks to Shai Hope’s unbeaten 77 and Roston Chase’s 94 before claiming a series-winning 47-run victory, this time courtesy of Evin Lewis’ 54 and Nicholas Pooran’s match-saving 67.

In the final game, playing with Brandon King and Keemo Paul in the line-up, the West Indies restricted Afghanistan to 249-7 despite 50 from Hazratullah Zazai and 86 from Asghar Afghan. In reply the West Indies scored 253-5 with Chase scoring 42, King, 39, Pollard, 32, and Hope, an unbeaten 109.

Despite Hope’s knocks, Chase was named player of the series.

Shai Hope marked turning 26 in style as his 109 not out inspired West Indies to a five-wicket ODI victory over Afghanistan, completing a 3-0 series whitewash.

A day after his birthday, Hope hit eight boundaries and three sixes in a supreme 145-ball innings, though the Windies left it late to secure victory.

Asghar Afghan (86), ably supported by Hazratullah Zazai (50) and Mohammad Nabi (50 no) gave Afghanistan hope of salvaging some pride in the series as they set 249-7 from their innings in Lucknow.

Afghanistan looked well set three overs into West Indies' innings - Mujeeb Ur Rahman taking the wickets of Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer in the space of four deliveries.

But Hope came to the fore, anchoring himself at the crease, with debutant Brandon King (39) providing support before Nicholas Pooran offered a quickfire 21 as the Windies' remaining opener moved beyond 50.

Captain Kieron Pollard provided a useful 32, with Roston Chase (42 no) then coming in to up the run rate.

Hope brought up his seventh ODI century with a tidy single off Rashid Khan, with Chase on hand to wrap up the series in style with a four over short leg with eight deliveries to spare.

India Women defeated West Indies Women by 10 wickets in the second T20 International at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground to take a 2-0 series lead on Sunday.

Anisa Mohammed, the stand-in captain as Stafanie Taylor has been ruled out of the series due to injury, won the toss and elected to bat first. Once again, the runs were hard to come by. as Hayley Matthews and Stacy-Ann King opened the batting.  King was the first to go for 7 followed by Shemaine Campbelle for a four-ball 0.

Chedean Nation steadied the Windes Women’s middle order with Matthews, as the pair added 34 runs before Matthews tried to hit a straight six and was caught in the deep for 23. Nation fell soon after for 32.  Natasha McLean was the only other batter to reach double figures, she made 17.

 The West Indies Women finished their 20 overs on 103 for 7.  Deepti Sharma was the best bowler for India Women with 4 for 10 from her 4 overs.

Shafali Verma for the second match in a row took a liking to the Windies Women’s bowling and the pitch at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground. The fifteen-year-old struck her second consecutive half-century to lead the Indians to victory in the eleventh over.

Verma finished on 69 not out and with her was Smriti Mandhana on 30 not out. India won the match reaching 104 without loss in 10.3 overs.

 

Windies Women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor has been ruled out of the remaining series against India after sustaining an injury.

According to official reports, the all-rounder will be sidelined for two weeks after sustaining a "Grade 1 Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain".  Taylor suffered the knee injury during the last game of the ODI series, which India won 2-1.  The player, who was named the player of the series in the three-match ODIs, did not suit up for the team’s second T20I on Sunday.  Instead, spin bowler Anisa Mohammed took over from Taylor as captain with young Guyanese all-rounder Cherry-Ann Fraser named to the squad to replace the stricken star.

"It is very disappointing to lose Stafanie at this crucial time and she will no doubt be missed but her health and recovery are of utmost importance," said CWI chief selector Ann Browne-John.

"We have the ICC T20 World Cup in a few months and it is critical that Stafanie gets the time to recover and return to full fitness."

India defeated Windies in the second ODI by 10 wicket to go ahead 2-0 and claim lead in the five-match series.  The tourists opened with a thumping 84-run victory in the curtain raiser in St. Lucia.

 

 

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