Ollie Pope gushed at how Ben Stokes has “changed the game” as the England captain gears up for his 100th Test this week.

England are back in India following a break in the United Arab Emirates between the second and third Tests, with Stokes set to make his landmark appearance in Rajkot in a match that starts on Thursday.

As well as being England’s ace in the hole and pulling out all the stops when the pressure is at its peak, Stokes’ dynamic style of leadership alongside Brendon McCullum has galvanised the national side.

Stokes boasts 14 victories from 21 Tests – no one who has captained England on 10 or more occasions in the format has a better win percentage (66.67) – and his revolutionary effect was recognised by Pope.

“It’s unbelievable,” England’s vice-captain said. “For anyone to play 100 Tests is an unbelievable achievement. He’s had his highs and lows but what he’s done since he’s been captain has been amazing.

“Stokesy is not someone who likes it being all about him. He doesn’t need those accolades but away from the ground I’m sure we’ll celebrate him, get around him and think of something to do.

“He’s changed the game in a lot of respects. He just has a way of bringing out the best in himself when the team needs him the most.

“There have been so many unbelievable memories and hopefully he can play 100 more. He’s been great to watch, great to be a part of and hopefully there’ll be many more special moments in his career.”

England are a bowler light for the final three Tests after deciding against naming a replacement for slow left-armer Jack Leach, who has travelled back to the UK following a series-ending knee injury.

The sight of Stokes bowling gently in the nets in England training on Tuesday morning left locals wondering whether the 32-year-old would spring a surprise and return to all-rounder status.

But Pope poured cold water on the theory, with Stokes, who has not bowled competitively since July last year, still feeling his way back after surgery to his left knee 11 weeks ago.

“He’s just getting back to bowling and getting his knee right,” Pope said. “That’s why he had surgery – just to make sure that when he is back bowling, he’s going to be bowling quickly and as well as he can.

“I’d be surprised and I guess you never know. But I think he’s just preparing as a batter.”

Following a gripping pair of Tests in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam that has left the series evenly poised at 1-1, England have had a six-day breather in Abu Dhabi to decompress and go again.

“It’s a nice way just to refresh,” Pope added. “The guys are energised coming into these last three Tests.

“We’ve loved every bit of this tour so far. Two competitive games of cricket that have been awesome to play in. But it was a nicely timed break to recharge the batteries.”

Rehan Ahmed has become the latest England player to run into visa problems in India but the tourists are optimistic the teenage leg-spinner will be available for the third Test in Rajkot.

The 19-year-old was initially denied entry upon the England team returning to India on Monday after a mid-series break in the United Arab Emirates because he only held a single entrance electronic visa.

The issue is different to what Shoaib Bashir encountered last month and Ahmed was granted an emergency two-day visa, allowing him to train with his England team-mates in Rajkot on Tuesday morning.

Ahmed has now applied for a multi-entrance visa and England are confident the issue will be resolved before the series, currently deadlocked at 1-1, resumes on Thursday.

“We were advised, on returning to India, that there was paperwork discrepancy with Rehan Ahmed’s visa,” an England team spokesperson said.

“The local authorities at Rajkot Airport were supportive, enabling Rehan entry on a temporary visa. The correct visa should be processed and issued in the coming days.

“He will continue to prepare with the rest of the squad ahead of the third Test.”

Bashir’s arrival was delayed because of a unforeseen snag in his paperwork, with his Pakistani heritage leading to extended checks, and meant he missed the first Test win in Hyderabad last month.

Ahmed, like Bashir, was born in the UK and is of Pakistani heritage but he was already in possession of an Indian visa after being placed on standby for England’s 50-over World Cup campaign.

That was not activated because he was not required to travel but, with all of England’s team travelling on electronic visas which are not stamped on passports, any administrative issues are harder to spot.

Ahmed, England’s youngest cricketer in all three formats, entered India for the first time ahead of the start of the series and has featured in both Tests, taking eight wickets at a decent average of 36.37.

He has also contributed 70 runs, including a cameo 23 after being bumped up to number three in the batting order as the so-called ‘nighthawk’ in the second Test, before England departed for the UAE.

Only when Ahmed had his passport scanned after England arrived at Hirasar Rajkot Airport following a chartered flight from Abu Dhabi did the oversight emerge.

England captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum remained with Ahmed while he was given his temporary stay and they arrived at the team hotel about an hour after the rest of the group.

Joe Root described himself as “privileged, humbled and very excited” after being confirmed as England’s new Test captain on this day in 2017.

The then-26-year-old Yorkshire batter was handed the reins in the wake of Alastair Cook’s resignation after a 59-game tenure.

Root, who was averaging a little under 53 over 53 Tests at the time, was appointed ahead of home summer series against South Africa and the West Indies with an Ashes tour looming, on the recommendation of the selectors and the ECB’s director of England cricket Andrew Strauss.

With Ben Stokes as his vice-captain, vastly-experienced bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad at his disposal and coaches Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace behind the scenes, he set out on his mission with some optimism.

Root said at the time: “We have a very good group of players, and I’m looking forward to leading them out in the summer – building on Alastair’s achievements and making the most of our talents in the years ahead.”

The new captain was appointed with England in a state of flux, having lost a match for the first time to Bangladesh and suffered at the hands of India as Cook’s reign, which had taken his side to within a win of the top of the Test rankings, drew to a close.

In all, Root led his country out onto the field in 64 Tests and collected 27 wins before he eventually stood down from the role in April 2022.

His tenure included two depressing 4-0 Ashes defeats Down Under either side of a 2-2 draw at home, but also more encouraging series wins over India and in Sri Lanka before the coronavirus pandemic intervened.

However, he called it a day in April 2022 after a decisive 10-wicket defeat in the West Indies, with the pressure of the job weighing heavily on his shoulders.

He said: “I have loved leading my country, but recently it’s hit home how much of a toll it has taken on me and the impact it has had on me away from the game.”

Ronsford Beaton, the Guyana Harpy Eagles fast bowler, was reported for a suspect bowling action during the ongoing West Indies Championship four-day first-class competition. Beaton’s action was cited by match officials during the first-round match between Guyana Harpy Eagles and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at the Conaree Cricket Centre in St. Kitts, which ended last Saturday.

 As part of the process, once a player is reported for a suspect bowling action, video footage from the match in which the player was reported is provided to CWI. The video footage along with the written report is then sent to the CWI Bowling Review Group (BRG) and Loughborough University for analysis using an Opinion Report.

 On Sunday, Cricket West Indies (CWI) confirmed that the Opinion Report by the Independent Assessor at Loughborough University, has found Beaton’s bowling action to be illegal and, as such, he has been suspended from bowling in all West Indies international and regional matches with immediate effect.

 The assessment revealed that Beaton’s deliveries exceeded the level of tolerance for extension of the elbow permitted under playing regulations. As per the International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations the suspension will also apply to all other domestic leagues worldwide.

 Beaton will remain suspended until such time as his action is found to be legal, either by an Opinion Report from Loughborough University or by an independent analysis from an accredited ICC testing centre, in accordance with the CWI Regulations for Dealing with Suspected Illegal Bowling Actions.

 Isai Thorne who returned from competing with the West Indies Men’s Under 19 team at the recently concluded ICC Men’s Under-19 World Cup in South Africa, will replace Beaton in the Guyana Harpy Eagles squad.

 The Round 2 of matches in the West Indies Championship start on Wednesday 14 February. Guyana’s first-round match against Trinidad and Tobago was abandoned with no result due to seepage of water onto the pitch from 24 hours of persistent rainfall.

Future stars hailing from five different nations including newly-crowned champions Australia comprise the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 Team of the Tournament, announced today by the International Cricket Council.

Australia captain Hugh Weibgen is given the honour of leading out the star-studded lineup, chosen by an esteemed panel of media, broadcast and ICC representatives.

India enjoyed a resounding campaign leading up to Sunday’s final, and mark their impressive tournament with four names in the team. Champions Australia have three players included, South Africa have two names – including the Player of the Tournament Kwena Maphaka – while the West Indies and Pakistan each have one player feature.

The selection panel consisted of commentary representatives Ian Bishop, Melinda Farrell and Abhinav Mukund, media representative Telford Vice, and ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley.

The Team of the Tournament for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup (in batting order):

  1. Lhuan-dre Pretorius (SA) (wk) - 287 runs at 57.40
  2. Harry Dixon (AUS) - 309 runs at 44.14
  3. Musheer Khan (IND) – 360 runs at 60.00
  4. Hugh Weibgen (AUS) (captain) - 304 runs at 50.66
  5. Uday Saharan (IND) – 397 runs at 56.71
  6. Sachin Dhas (IND) – 303 runs at 60.60
  7. Nathan Edward (WI) – 101 runs at 50.50 and 11 wickets at 17.81
  8. Callum Vidler (AUS) – 14 wickets at 11.71
  9. Ubaid Shah (PAK) – 18 wickets at 12.38
  10. Kwena Maphaka (SA) – 21 wickets at 9.71
  11. Saumy Pandey (IND) – 18 wickets at 10.27

and

  1. Jamie Dunk (SCO) – 263 runs at 65.75

South Africa’s Pretorius takes the gloves for this Team of the Tournament, and also heads up the batting order, after a series of impressive and explosive displays in the Proteas surge to the semi-final.

The wicketkeeper batter hit three half-centuries towards the back end of the tournament, including an eye-catching 76 in the semi-final against India, and will be remembered for contributing heavily to his side’s fast starts, ending the U19 Men’s CWC with a strike rate of 94.09.

Australia’s Harry Dixon partners him atop the order after a superb tournament and some invaluable contributions in the knockout stages. Dixon remained resolute in the semi-final and final despite the challenges posed by bowling attacks of Pakistan and India, registering important runs atop the order in both, as well as their emphatic win over England in the Super Six stage.

India’s Musheer Khan takes the number three spot as the only batter to register two centuries during the competition. Despite a subdued end to the tournament, Musheer displayed plenty of early promise, featuring a wide array of attacking shots, as well as an ability to pick up wickets with his probing left-arm spin.

Captain Weibgen was instrumental to Australia’s fourth U19 Men’s CWC title, providing valuable runs and making intelligent on-field decisions that sparked another successful campaign. After a sensational match-winning century against rivals England on a difficult Kimberley pitch in the Super Six stage, Weibgen continued to grow as a player and leader, eventually sealing the deal with victory in Benoni inspired by his decision at the toss and with team selection.

Top run-scorer for the event, Uday Saharan played a pivotal role in India’s dominance through to the final. Scoring consistently throughout the event and registering a century against Nepal, Saharan saved his best performance for the thrilling semi-final against South Africa, dragging India back from the brink of elimination with a vital 81 runs to seal their spot in the final.

Saharan’s primary ally that day was Sachin Dhas, and the composed right-hander also earns a place in the Team of the Tournament for his ability to relieve pressure situations, and the innovative and aggressive strokeplay that charactised India’s wins over Nepal (116 runs) and South Africa (96 runs).

The West Indies made a promising start to the tournament, and could have progressed through to the semi-finals had their all-or-nothing match against Australia not been washed out. All-rounder Nathan Edward was a standout performer for the side, in particular during their win against England in Potchefstroom, taking three wickets and hitting 49 in a high-pressure chase.

The four out and out bowlers in the side all found success in their respective sides.

Australia’s Callum Vidler enjoyed plenty of pace and bounce on the South African surfaces, and posed a constant threat to batters throughout the competition. He starred in wins over England and Sri Lanka before his efforts in the semis and final included prized wickets with the new ball.

Ubaid Shah was in scintillating form for Pakistan in the U19 Men’s CWC, spearheading their bowling attack and demonstrating lethal amounts of pace that produced vital wicket taking spells in his side’s wins over New Zealand (three for 30) and Bangladesh (five for 44) in their run to the semi-final.

Player of the Tournament Kwena Maphaka set the World Cup alight from day one. Searing pace and swing handed him his first of three five-wicket hauls in the dramatic win over West Indies on opening day, and the pacer never looked back, with stellar performances in wins over Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.

Maphaka almost provided South Africa with another match-winning performance in the semi-final defeat against India, yet his pace, bounce and ability to take important wickets just saw the young Proteas fall short.

Maphaka ended the tournament with 21 wickets, leaving him at the summit of the wicket-taking charts.

Completing the lineup is India’s Saumy Pandey, whose left-arm spin threat yielded 18 wickets – the most by any spinner in the tournament. Twinned with a supreme ability to bowl economical spells, Pandey was inspirational in the early stages in Bloemfontein, highlighted by his performances in wins over Bangladesh (four for 24) and New Zealand (four for 19).

The twelfth player listed in the ICC Team of the Tournament is Scotland opening batter Jamie Dunk. So important in their journey to the World Cup through the Europe Qualifiers, Dunk adapted well to the World Cup environment, registering impressive half-centuries against West Indies (57), South Africa (90) and in the gripping play-off match against Namibia (76).

 

 

India will be without another middle-order regular in the third Test against England in Rajkot this week after KL Rahul was unable to prove he had fully shaken off a quad injury.

With Virat Kohli excusing himself from the series because of personal reasons, India would have been hoping for Rahul to regain full fitness after being ruled out of the second Test in Visakhapatnam.

But while a Board of Control for Cricket in India statement revealed Rahul had “reached 90 per cent of match fitness and is progressing well”, the hosts are unwilling to take any risks over the 31-year-old.

Devdutt Padikkal, whose international career so far has comprised of two T20s, has therefore been named as a replacement for Rahul ahead of the series, which is evenly-poised at 1-1, resuming on Thursday.

Rahul has amassed eight hundreds in 50 Tests and was widely expected to slot back in at number four – where he made 86 and 22 in the series opener – after selectors axed the misfiring Shreyas Iyer.

Rahul will now continue his rehabilitation under the supervision of India’s medical staff in Bengaluru with a view to being welcomed back for the fourth Test in Ranchi, which gets under way on February 23.

Padikkal, meanwhile, joins a middle-order mix also containing another uncapped batter in Sarfaraz Khan while Rajat Patidar only came in for his Test debut in Vizag.

It is unclear whether highly-rated all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja can bolster the batting after a hamstring problem precluded his involvement in India’s series-levelling win last time out.

West Indies T20 Captain, Rovman Powell, lauded his team's display of courage in their high-scoring encounter against Australia in the second T20 match at Adelaide on Sunday, despite succumbing to a 34-run defeat.

Powell acknowledged the team's fighting spirit but acknowledged that the chase for Australia's formidable total of 242 runs was marred by the loss of crucial wickets.

In his post-match comments, Powell reflected on the team's performance, stating, "The boys showed courage, but we kept losing wickets at key intervals and failed to get big partnerships. But credit to Australia, they bowled well. We knew if we were going to get close, we had to have wickets. Those things do happen when chasing 240. It's very difficult."

While Powell praised the resilience of his team, he also highlighted the challenge of chasing down such a mammoth target and emphasized the importance of building substantial partnerships. The West Indies skipper acknowledged the effectiveness of the Australian bowling attack, recognizing that they played a crucial role in defending their imposing total.

Powell, who led from the front with an impressive 63 runs from 36 balls, got key contributions from Andre Russell's explosive innings of 37 from 16 balls and Jason Holder's valuable 28 from 16 in the team's 207-9 in pursuit of the massive target.

The West Indies captain singled out Glen Maxwell, whose exceptional innings of 120 runs from 55 balls proved to be the decisive factor in Australia's commanding total. “He tends to have a shot (for anything they bowled at him) it, but we strayed from our plans a little."

Despite the loss, Powell maintained hope and confidence in the team's abilities, expressing optimism about their chances in the upcoming third and final match of the series. He conveyed the team's determination to secure a consolation win, stating, "A 2-1 series [is] better than 3-0. The guys are still confident."

As the West Indies prepare for the concluding match of the series, Powell and his team are focused on regrouping, learning from their experiences, and aiming for a positive outcome to conclude their series against Australia.

 

 

In a display of unparalleled brilliance, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell played a spectacular unbeaten innings, scoring an extraordinary century to lead Australia to victory in the second T20 International against West Indies at the Adelaide Oval. Maxwell's unbeaten 120 from just 55 balls proved to be the game-changer as Australia secured the series with a 34-run win.

Australia's total of 241 for 4, their highest on home soil, set a challenging target for West Indies. Despite a valiant effort from West Indies captain Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, and Jason Holder, Australia's bowling attack, led by Marcus Stoinis with figures of 3-36, proved too strong for the Caribbean side.

The match featured late controversy when Alzarri Joseph was short of his ground attempting a tight single. However, umpire Gerard Abood ruled there had been no appeal, leading to heated scenes on the field. Despite the late drama, it did not affect the match's outcome.

Maxwell's innings, featuring eight sixes, was the second-highest T20I score for a batter at number or lower, equaling Rohit Sharma's record with a fifth T20I century. His dominating performance left West Indies with a challenging target, and despite Powell's attractive 63 off 36 balls, they fell short, finishing at 207 for 9.

The series victory for Australia, following their 11-run win in the first game at Bellerive Oval, marks a successful start to their T20 World Cup preparations. The third and final game of the series is scheduled to be played in Perth on Tuesday.

West Indies, facing an imposing total, came out swinging with aggressive batting early on. However, Australia's left-arm quick, Spencer Johnson, making his first appearance in a home international, showcased his talent with figures of 2 for 39. Johnson, who debuted for Australia late last year and starred for Brisbane Heat in the BBL, is emerging as a bowler of considerable interest across formats.

Despite West Indies' big-hitters like Andre Russell providing some fireworks, the team fell away in the face of Maxwell's relentless assault. Russell's entertaining 37 off 16 balls and Powell's glimmer of hope were not enough to overcome Australia's commanding performance.

 

Jack Leach has been ruled out of the rest of England’s Test tour of India with a left knee injury.

The 32-year-old picked up the injury during England’s first Test victory in Hyderabad, where he was forced to play a restricted role and subsequently missed the second Test in Vizag.

His absence saw Somerset team-mate Shoaib Bashir come into the side, where he picked up four wickets on his international debut.

Bashir was joined by Rehan Ahmed and Tom Hartley in England’s spin attack, with the trio only holding three caps between them going into the second Test.

The series resumes in Rajkot on Thursday tied at 1-1 following India’s 106-run victory in Vizag.

England will not be calling up a replacement and Leach will now return home.

In a statement, the England and Wales Cricket Board said: “He will fly home from Abu Dhabi in the next 24 hours, where the England team have been staying ahead of the third Test in Rajkot, which starts on Thursday.

“Leach will work closely with the England and Somerset medical teams in respect of his rehabilitation.”

Barbados Pride opened their West Indies Championship account in a dazzling manner, as they wrapped up a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners in a lopsided contest at Chedwin Park, in Jamaica, on Saturday.

Despite a well-played 72 by Shamarh Brooks and 47 from Demario Richards, the Marooners, resuming their second innings at 96-2, crumbled for 193, as they again failed to contend with the Holder, who took 5-69 and Warrican, who took 3-16, to end with match figures of 8-140 and 7-45 respectively.

Requiring a mere 34 for victory, Zachary McCaskie, unbeaten on 28, and Shayne Moseley, unbeaten on seven, easily surpassed the target in just under five overs.

The win which came inside four days –after the first day was lost to a wet outfield caused by a ruptured water main –was also spurred by Kevin Wickham’s 139 and Jonathan Drakes’ 84, which laid the foundation for the massive target, that was well defended by the bowlers.

Scores: Barbados Pride 344-8 dec & 35-1; Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners 185 & 193

Brooks and Shatrughan Rambaran resumed the Marooners second innings on 44 and 15 respectively, with the latter only adding eight to his overnight score before being bowled by Chaim Holder.

Captain Jonathan Carter’s stay in the middle was short-lived as he was removed by Chemar Holder for one. However, Brooks and Richards, formed a tidy fifth-wicket partnership that briefly threatened to make things interesting, as they kept the Pride bowlers at bay with solid defensive strokes, while also pouncing on the loose deliveries to erase the deficit and gift Marooners a slender lead.

When Chaim Holder accounted for both, they would have hoped that the remaining batsmen would have added to the tally and possibly give their bowlers something to work with in the Pride’s second turn at bat. But it was not to be, as Chaim Holder completed his second First Class five-wicket haul when he had Romario Greaves (two) trapped in front, while Warrican snared the last three wickets.

Though they lost captain Kraigg Brathwaite for naught three balls into the innings, the Pride were never in any danger and McCaskie quickly wrapped things up with five boundaries in his 14-ball 28, while Moseley held the other end.

Meanwhile, the contest between Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and reigning champions Guyana Harpy Eagles was abandoned after no play was again possible for a third straight day at Conaree Cricket Centre, in St Kitts.

Scores: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force 215 for four (Jason Mohammed 100 not out, Tion Webster 50, Amir Jangoo 27, Vikash Mohan 20 not out; Ronsford Beaton 2-39, Veerasammy Permaul 2-42) vs Guyana Harpy Eagles.

West Indies fast bowler Shamar Joseph has joined Lucknow Super Giants as replacement for England quick Mark Wood. He will join Super Giants for INR 3 crore (US$ 362,000 approximately), an IPL statement on Saturday said.

According to ESPNCricinfo, the ECB pulled Wood, a centrally contracted player, out of IPL 2024 to manage his workload, with the T20 World Cup scheduled in June and England hosting West Indies and Sri Lanka for Tests in the home summer.

Recently, the ECB had prevented Jofra Archer from being a part of the IPL 2024 auction as it manages his comeback from injury leading up to the T20 World Cup.

Super Giants had signed Wood in the auction before the 2022 season for INR 7.50 crore. He, however, missed that season because of an elbow injury. In IPL 2023, Wood played four matches and picked up 11 wickets at an average of 11.82.

Joseph made his West Indies debut in the drawn series against Australia, dismissing Steven Smith with his first ball in Test cricket, in a game West Indies lost in Adelaide. He then became a worldwide phenomenon when he took a seven-wicket haul in the final innings despite an injured foot to give West Indies a dramatic eight-run win at the Gabba in the second Test. It was West Indies' first Test win in Australia since 1997.

Joseph had been signed by Dubai Capitals for the ongoing ILT20 season before West Indies' tour of Australia, but was subsequently ruled out because of the toe injury he suffered in the Brisbane Test when a Mitchell Starc yorker struck him. But his performance in Australia has since landed him a deal with Peshawar Zalmi in the PSL, which starts on February 17.

While Joseph has just played two T20 games in his professional career, and doesn't have a wicket to show yet, West Indies white-ball coach Daren Sammy has indicated that Joseph could find a berth in the T20 World Cup squad, saying the fast bowler has "created a good headache" for the selectors.

Apart from Joseph, the Super Giants' fast-bowling line-up has Naveen-ul-Haq, Mohsin Khan, David Willey, Shivam Mavi, Yash Thakur and Yudhvir Singh. They also have allrounders Marcus Stoinis, Kyle Mayers and India's Under-19 World Cupper Arshin Kulkarni, who can give them quite a few overs. Though just two seasons old in the IPL, Super Giants have been one of the best-performing teams, making the playoffs and finishing third both in 2022 and 2023.

 

India batter Virat Kohli has been ruled out the remainder of the Test series against England due to personal reasons.

The 35-year-old previously withdrew from the first two matches.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India said on Saturday his absence will extend into the final three Tests in Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala.

Barbados Pride followed up their batting performance with a decent all-round bowling effort, as they tightened their grip on the West Indies Championship contest against Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners at Chedwin Park, in Jamaica.

The Marooners closed Friday’s third day on 96-2 in their second innings, still 63 runs behind with eight wickets intact, as they were forced to follow-on after their first innings folded at 185. Shamarh Brooks, on 44, and Shatrughan Rambaran, on 15, will resume batting on Saturday’s final day.

Scores: Barbados Pride 344-8 dec (72.2 overs); Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners 185 & 96-2 (37 overs)

Resuming on their overnight score of 10-1 in response to Pride’s massive total, the Marooners struggled to contend with the bowling of Jomel Warrican, Akeem Jordan and Chaim Holder, as their first innings crumbled early in the day.

Captain Jonathan Carter with a patient 131-ball 59, and Shaqkere Parris with a 108-ball 44, were the only batsmen to offer minimal resistance, with Demario Richards (28) the next best score.

Warrican grabbed 4-29 in 22.3 overs, while Holder and Jordan had 3-71 and 2-30 respectively.

Still 159 runs at that point, the Marooners would have hoped for a more compact batting display on the second occasion. But those hopes were dampened when Jordan and Holder again combined to remove the opening pair of Parris (five) and Kirstan Kallicharan (24) respectively.

However, Brooks and Rambaran remained composed to not only limit the damage, but also offer the Marooners another glimmer of hope of possibly seeing out the final day for a draw.

Elsewhere at Conaree Cricket Centre, in St Kitts, no play was again possible for a second straight day between Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and reigning champions Guyana Harpy Eagles. This was due to a waterlogged field following heavy rains on Thursday.

Scores: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force 215 for four (Jason Mohammed 100 not out, Tion Webster 50, Amir Jangoo 27, Vikash Mohan 20 not out; Ronsford Beaton 2-39, Veerasammy Permaul 2-42) vs Guyana Harpy Eagles.

The Windward Islands Volcanoes needed only three days to complete a nine-wicket victory over the Jamaica Scorpions in their 2024 West Indies Championship opening round fixture at Sabina Park in Kingston.

The Scorpions started Friday’s day three 76-4 off 18 overs, trailing by 106 runs with Nkrumah Bonner and Gordon Bryan at the crease on 36 and one, respectively.

Eleven overs into the day’s play, Bonner was trapped in front by Shamar Springer for 45 to leave the Scorpions 109-5 needing a further 73 runs to make the Windwards have to bat again.

New batsman Abhijai Mansingh joined Bryan at the crease and the pair looked to be safely guiding the Scorpions into the lunch break without any further damage.

However, this proved not to be the case as Mansingh was caught brilliantly at short mid-wicket by Sunil Ambris off the bowling of Shadrack Descarte for 11 to leave the hosts 131-6 off 47 overs at lunch.

The first over after lunch saw Bryan’s resistance finally ended by Kenneth Dember for 31 with the score on 133.

Peat Salmon and Romaine Morris then did their best to get the scoring rate up but their partnership ended when Salmon went back to a full delivery off Dember and was bowled for 15.

Despite the fall off wickets around him, Morris maintained his positive play, eventually bringing up a maiden first-class fifty.

He was eventually the last man dismissed for 68 off 76 balls including seven fours and two sixes as the Scorpions were dismissed for 234 in 73.4 overs, leaving the Volcanoes needing just 53 for victory.

Darius Martin finished with 4-85 from 16 overs while Shamar Springer and Kenneth Dember took 2-30 from 16.4 overs and 2-53 from 22 overs, respectively.

The Volcanoes then needed only 16 overs to reach 55-1 and secure the win. Jeremy Solozano ended 29* while Johann Jeremiah made 22*.

Full Scores: Jamaica Scorpions 159 all out off 41 overs (Romaine Morris 35, Peat Salmon 26, Ryan John 5-43, Shamar Springer 3-53) & 234 all out off 73.4 overs (Romaine Morris 68, Nkrumah Bonner 45, Gordon Bryan 31, Darius Martin 4-85, Shamar Springer 2-30, Kenneth Dember 2-53)

Windward Islands Volcanoes 341 all out 105.2 overs (Johann Jeremiah 80, Shamar Springer 71, Ryan John 57, Sunil Ambris 45, Gordon Bryan 4-64, Peat Salmon 3-78, Marquino Mindley 2-60) & 55-1 off 16 overs (Jeremy Solozano 29*, Johann Jeremiah 22*)

 

West Indies all-rounder Matthew Forde was one of the stars of the show for the Comilla Victorians in their four-wicket win over Durdanto Dhaka in their Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) clash at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Friday.

Forde led the way with his medium pace with 3-35 from his four overs to help limit Dhaka to 175-4 from their 20 overs after they won the toss and chose to bat.

Mohammad Naim (64) and Saif Hassan (57) led the way with the bat for Durdanto.

The Victorians then successfully chased down their target with one ball to spare, reaching 176-6.

Towhid Hridoy led the way with an unbeaten 57-ball 108 including eight fours and seven sixes while Brooke Guest provided good support with 34 off 35 balls including four fours and a six.

The win moves the Victorians to second on the points table with 10 points from their seven games.

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