Former West Indies cricketer Sylvester Joseph admits he was surprised by the decision to deploy Raymond Reifer at number 3 in the team’s batting line-up for the first Test against Bangladesh.

The 31-year-old batsman struggled to make an impact in the opener, dismissed for 11 in the first innings before being one of three batsmen dislodged in a brutal spell from Khaled Ahmed, this time without scoring.

Reifer cobbled together a strong season for the eventual champions Barbados Pride scoring 345 runs at an average of 49.28 in five matches.  Typically, however, the batsman was deployed to the middle order.

“Where he is batting is not where he batted throughout the season, which was at number 5, number six and you could understand that,” Joseph told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“To be honest when I just saw his name, I thought he might have been there to replace Kemar Roach who had some injury issues…it was really surprising to me that they had him as the number three batter,” he added.

“It was a bit of a shock…the selection of batting Reifer there was kind of baffling and it’s still baffling now because we are looking to see what the next move is, if they will carry on with him.”

The West Indies are on the brink of victory after Saturday's day three of the first Test against Bangladesh thanks to an excellent spell of bowling from Kemar Roach at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua.

Bangladesh carried on from their overnight 50-2 to reach 245 all out off 90.5 overs thanks to Captain Shakib Al Hasan who got his second fifty in the match with 63 and wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan who got 64. Opener Mahmudul Hasan Joy earlier got 42.

Roach, who now has 249 Test wickets, was brilliant for the hosts with 5-53 off 24.5 overs while Alzarri Joseph and Kyle Mayers supported well with 3-55 from 19 overs and 2-30 from 13 overs, respectively.

The hosts, needing 84 to win, got off to a terrible start and were 9-3 after four overs, losing captain Kraigg Brathwaite, Nkrumah Bonner, and Raymon Reifer in quick succession.

Opener John Campbell (28 not out) and vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood (17 not out) then combined to ensure the hosts lost no more wickets, ending the day 49-3 off 15 overs, needing a further 35 runs for a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Khaled Ahmed took all three wickets for Bangladesh.

An excellent bowling display left the West Indies in a commanding position against Bangladesh after day one of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

The hosts won the toss and decided to bowl first, a decision which proved to be correct as the tourists were, at one point, struggling mightily at 45-6 after 15 overs of play with three top-order batsmen being removed without scoring. 

They eventually recorded six ducks in total as a fighting 51 from captain Shakib Al Hasan and 29 from opener Tamim Iqbal helped the Bangladeshis stumble to 103 all out after just 32.5 overs.

Jayden Seales (3-33 from 10 overs), Alzarri Joseph (3-33 from 8.5 overs), Kemar Roach (2-21 from eight overs) and Kyle Mayers (2-10 from five overs) were the wicket-takers for the hosts.

In their reply, the Windies ended the day 95-2 off 48 overs, trailing Bangladesh by just eight runs. Captain Kraigg Brathwaite (42) and Nkrumah Bonner (12) are the batsmen at the crease while John Campbell (24) and Raymon Reifer (11) are the batsmen dismissed so far.

Pacers Mustafizur Rahman and Ebadot Hossain took the wickets.

 

Three uncapped players have been named in a 12-man West Indies squad selected to play the first Test against Bangladesh at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua from June 16-20.

Wicket-keeper/batsman Devon Thomas, left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie and fast bowler Anderson Phillip are the players set to make their West Indies senior Test debuts.

Meanwhile, experienced fast bowler Kemar Roach is to undergo a fitness assessment as he recovers from an injury sustained in the English County Championship with Surrey. If he is passed fit, he will be included as the 13th player in the Test squad.

Allrounder Jason Holder is unavailable for selection as CWI has granted his request for a period of rest and recovery. He will therefore miss Bangladesh’s all-format tour of the West Indies. Batter Tagenarine Chanderpaul and fast bowler Shermon Lewis have been selected as reserves.

Thomas has played 21 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and four T20 Internationals (T20Is) while Motie has so far played one T20I and was a reserve for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Phillip was in the squad throughout the recent Apex Test Series victory against England but has not made his debut to date. He has featured in three ODIs, including last week’s 3-0 Series win against the Netherlands and is in the ODI squad for the ongoing ODI series in Pakistan. The Test squad also includes left-handed allrounder Raymon Reifer, who has one match on his record.

“Devon Thomas has been knocking on the door for quite some time. He has done extremely well in our franchise cricket system and we view this as a good opportunity to give him a go,” said lead selector Sir Desmond Haynes.

“You would notice that Raymon Reifer is also in the squad. He is another person that has done impressively well in the four-day competition and against England. So again, we are giving opportunities to guys who are performing.

“We think Gudakesh Motie is one of those guys who is also bowling well and we think it will be a good opportunity for him to be involved. We are looking to pick up World Test Championship points against Bangladesh which will be very important. It would be good for us to use our home advantage to win both Test matches and collect those points.”

The Selection Panel also named the CWI President’s XI to face the visitors in a three-day warm-up match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua from Friday, June 10 to Sunday, June 12. The team will be captained by all-rounder Yannic Cariah.

“Yannic Cariah has captained Trinidad & Tobago at youth level and he was also the captain of the West Indies Emerging Players team which won the CG United Super50 Cup in 2019,” Haynes said.

 ‘We are looking at future leaders. We need to start identifying these persons as early as possible. While we will need some assistance from the territories as well, we want to make sure there are leaders we can identify and begin grooming for the future of West Indies cricket.”

Test squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood (Vice Captain), Nkrumah Bonner, John Campbell, Joshua Da Silva, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales and Devon Thomas.

Reserves: Tagernarine Chanderpaul, Shermon Lewis

CWI President’s XI: Yannic Cariah (Captain), Colin Archibald, Alick Athanaze, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Bryan Charles, Roston Chase, Tevin Imlach, Jeremiah Louis, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Jeremy Solozano and Jomel Warrican.

Kraigg Brathwaite scored an unbeaten century and Raymon Reifer took six wickets to lead a Barbados Pride fightback against the Jamaica Scorpions on day two of their West Indies Championships match at Kensington Oval.

Raymon Reifer and Rahkeem Cornwall scored half-centuries as the second BestvBest between Team Brathwaite and Team Blackwood ended in a draw on Wednesday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.

Resuming from their overnight score of 213-8, Team Blackwood scored 268 with Reifer 40 not out overnight going on to score 62. Cornwall, 27 overnight, scored a valuable 52 that took Team Blackwood to within 58 runs of Team Brathwaite’s first innings score of 326-6 declared.

Alzarri Joseph was the best of the bowlers with 4-48. Jomel Warrican who did most of the damage on Tuesday ended with 3-38.

Batting a second time, Team Brathwaite stumbled to 46-4 when Captain Kraigg Brathwaite declared. Jeremy Solozano top-scored with 12 before retiring hurt. Joshua Da Silva, who seems to be struggling for form, scored 11 before he was dismissed lbw by Cornwall.

Shannon Gabriel, who is returning from injury, claimed the wickets of Kyle Mayers for seven and Brathwaite for two to finish with figures of 2-24 from his five overs. Cornwall was stingy taking 2-2 from 2.4 overs.

Chasing 105, Team Blackwood’s Shayne Moseley scored 29 and Kavem Hodge 26 in a first-wicket partnership of 57. Hodge then lost his wicket to Imran Khan before the match was called off and declared a draw.

Khan had figures of 1-27 from 7.2 overs.

Despite scoring an unbeaten century for Team Blackwood on day two of the BestvBest match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on Thursday, Nkrumah Bonner said spending time at the crease was more important to him as he prepares for the West Indies’ upcoming tour to Sri Lanka later this year.

Notwithstanding the Guyana Jaguars’ crushing nine-wicket victory over the Windward Islands Volcanoes in the final preliminary round match on Monday, Captain Leon Johnson says he has no intention of underestimating their opponents when the two teams meet again in the second semi-final tomorrow.

An 82-run eighth-wicket partnership between Joshua Da Silva and Raymon Reifer was the highlight of the final day of the three-day ‘warm-up’ match between the West Indies and the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI that ended in a draw today.

Captain Jason Mohammed believes the West Indies substitutes sent to tour Bangladesh were simply not up to the task as the visitors suffered a 120-run loss at Chattogram today. It was their third straight loss in the three-match series.

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