Discarded West Indies players Shai Hope and Roston Chase will have to fight their way back into the Test team, after not being selected for the matches against Sri Lanka.

Hope, widely agreed to be one of the region’s most talented batsmen, was dropped from the team after a poor run of form in November of last year.  Chase, the consistent all-rounder, at the same time replaced Kraigg Brathwaite as vice-captain ahead of the New Zealand series.

Both players were called to the team ahead of the Bangladesh series but were among 12 players to decline due to health and safety concerns. 

Hope has since returned to the ODI squad, where he looked to be in strong form.  Chase, who initially missed out on the minimum fitness requirement ahead of the series, put on a strong display in the warm-up tour matches.  Both players remain on the sideline, so far.  For now, according to Simmons, however, the current players are doing well enough to keep their places.

“The guys who played in the Test matches have done well, so we need to continue to back the guys who have done well in the last three Test matches,” Simmons told members of the media via a Zoom press conference.

“The way I look at it is the guys did well.  The guys went to Bangladesh, each one of the batsmen did well.  They earned their places.  So, it is a case where they continue to play and play well,” he added.

“Roston, Shai, those other players will have to fight their way back in, and that just how cricket goes.”

Newly promoted West Indies skipper, Kraigg Brathwaite, insists there is no worry about the added responsibility of captaincy affecting his batting form after somewhat of a slow start to officially taking the reins.

Brathwaite, who officially took over from Jason Holder at the start of the Sri Lanka series, made a total of 26 at the top of the order for the first Test, for an average of just 13.  The batsman did, however, manage to occupy the crease, his score of 23 in the second innings coming from 124 balls.  While not showing up on the scoreboard, the player believes it was a vital contribution.

“I’m not concerned.  In the second innings I managed to spend over two hours at the crease, which was important for us as a batting unit,” Brathwaite told members of the media via a Zoom press conference.

“As I said before, I always enjoy leading and I know what I have to do, I know my role as a batsman and also as the captain.  So, I’m not concerned.”

In the previous series against Bangladesh, as the stand-in captain for Holder, Brathwaite scored 149 runs over the two matches, for an average of 37.25.  The West Indies unexpectedly won the series 2-0, which played a crucial role in Brathwaite securing the leadership post.

 

 West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, has backed the team's strike bowler Shannon Gabriel to bounce back following a poor showing against Sri Lanka in the first Test.

The 32-year-old pace bowler had a first Test to forget, failing to claim a wicket for the entire match.  Overall, he ended with figures of 0 for 89 in 27 overs.  The bowler last went wicketless in a match last year, in the second Test against England where he ended 0 for 122.

In assessing the player’s most recent performances, however, Simmons dismissed Gabriel’s first-match struggles as just a blip and looked forward to a much better showing in the second Test.

“I thought in Bangladesh, he bowled exceptionally well in both Test matches and he was the main one, on the occasion in the first Test, who turned things around with his spell in the evening,” Simmons said in an assessment of the player’s recent form.

“He had a bad game and bowlers have that. Two of the main bowlers did not have a good game but that’s one game,” he added.

“I think he has been unsung, in New Zealand he was unsung, in Bangladesh he was unsung, so, one bad game does not change him being the strike bowler.”

In New Zealand, despite a tough series for the regional team, Gabriel, who was the pick of the bowlers, extracted plenty of pace and bounce from the surface to claim six wickets in two matches, where New Zealand only batted once.

 

 

On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these trending issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah.

 

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.

 

West Indies coach, Phil Simmons, insists the team will need to brush up on its bowling and work in the field ahead of the second and final Test against Sri Lanka, which gets underway on Monday.

The West Indies successfully negotiated the fifth and final day on the back of a patient 113 undefeated from the bat of Nkrumah Bonner.  After being dismissed for 169 in the first innings a massive 476 piled up in the second innings would have been a massive concern.  The Sri Lankans were led by 103 from Pathum Nissanka and 96 from Niroshan Dickwella.  The pair frustrating and blunting the Windies bowling attack.

For large periods of the second innings, it seemed the hosts had lost their way, with a series of poor displays in the field and poor choices to review.  Simmons believes if the team is to win a second straight Test series, the errors must be cleaned up.

“I think our discipline when we are bowling has to improve,” Simmons told Windiescricket.

“The few hours in the field that we allow runs to just slip by us, because of the discipline, that definitely has to tighten up, and then we just have to bat in the second innings like we batted in the first innings,” he added.

 

Nkrumah Bonner’s dream came true today when he scored his maiden Test century as the first Test between the West Indies and Sri Lanka ended in a draw at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

The first Sandals Test match is intriguingly poised with one day left to play at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Sri Lanka dominated the fourth day on Wednesday and scored 476 in the second innings – with a patient, maiden century on debut by Pathum Nissanka (103) and Niroshan Dickwella (96).

The pair added a record 179 for the sixth wicket and Nissanka became the first Sri Lankan to make a century away from home in his first match. He eventually fell to a catch by Kemar Roach from the bowling of off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, who ended with 3-137 off a marathon 42.5 overs.

Roach had the best figures of 3-74 off 27 overs to end the match with six wickets – following up his 3-47 off 16 overs in the first innings.

This left the West Indies with a victory target of 375. They reached 34-1 at the close and will require another 341 to win on the final day with nine wickets in hand. Nkrumah Bonner will resume Thursday on 15 not out and with him captain Kraigg Brathwaite on eight not out.

The match resumes on Thursday at 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time).

in the hunt for victory seam bowler Kyle Mayers captured his first Test wickets to break a century partnership which kept West Indies chances alive on the third day of the first Sandals Test match on Tuesday at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

With Sri Lanka on 170-1, a half-hour after tea, Mayers produced two brilliant outswingers – to remove Oshada Fernando for 91 with his first delivery and then Dinesh Chandimal for four in his next over. Both were caught behind by 'keeper Joshua Da Silva.

Kemar Roach added the wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne for 76 a few overs later as Sri Lanka lost three wickets for 19 runs in the space of 45 balls. Mayers finished the day with 2-10 off four overs while Roach has 2-28 – overall figures of 5-75 in the match so far.

Thirimanne and Fernando added a superb partnership of 162 – a record for the second wicket at this venue. It surpassed the previous record of 136 between Simon Katich and Ricky Ponting of Australia in 2008. Then, Dhananjaya de Silva ended the day 46 not out and Pathum Nissanka, unbeaten on 21, to see Sri Lanka to the close on 255-4. The overall lead is 153 with two days left to play.

Speaking on the Sandals Players Zone, Mayers said he was delighted to make a contribution with the ball, as he started his career as a bowling all-rounder.

“I’m happy to get my first Test wicket I like to be in the game – I’m that kind of person. I like to win games for my side, so bowling, batting, fielding – any part of cricket at all I can play to win the game for my side, I will do that. I think the wicket is a good one – it has flattened out nicely. Obviously, they had the upper hand, but the game is still evenly poised. We’re still in the game,” he said.

The match resumes on Wednesday at 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time).

A 90-run eighth-wicket partnership between Rahkeem Cornwall and Joshua Da Silva gave the West Indies a 99-run lead and a nice cushion over Sri Lanka at stumps on the second day of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

Cornwall was unbeaten on 60, his first half-century in Test cricket as the West Indies closed the day on 268 for 8 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 169. Kemar Roach is on four, the two have added seven runs for the ninth wicket so far and will be hoping to add a few more come tomorrow.

Cornwall and da Silva came together after Suranga Lakmal had bowled Jason Holder for 19 for his fifth wicket of the match and have the West Indies at 171 for 7, just two runs ahead of Sri Lanka’s first innings total.

However, by the time da Silva got out caught behind for 46 trying to uppercut Dushmantha Chameera, they had stretched the lead to a healthy 91. Cornwall’s innings was a mix of stern defence and big-hitting for his highest Test score that included nine fours and two sixes and seemed at ease against both pace and spin.

Da Silva, who playing in just his fourth Test, featured in yet another lower-order recovery for the West Indies, was more sedate soaking up deliveries while wearing down the Sri Lankan bowlers. His 46 took 124 deliveries from which he hit five fours.

It was a welcome partnership for the West Indies, who were restricted by some disciplined bowling from the Sri Lankans.

A number of their batsmen got starts but each failed to carry on, pried out by penetrative bowling from Lakmal, who exhibited accurate pace and swing while claiming the wickets of Brathwaite for 3, Mayers for 45, Jermaine Blackwood for 2, Alzarri Joseph for a duck and Jason Holder to return figures of 5-45.

Chameera also claimed the wicket of John Campbell for 42 to end with 2-71.

 

 

Jason Holder had excellent figures of 5-27 as the West Indies took full control over Sri Lanka on the opening day of the first Sandals Test match on Sunday.

West Indies Test captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, insists the team will not be complacent against Sri Lanka heading into the start of the two-match series on Sunday.

The Windies are riding momentum following a hard-fought 2-0 series win away to Bangladesh and a strong performance in a 3-0 One Day International (ODI) series sweep over Sri Lanka.

Despite the recent success, however, Brathwaite, who officially replaced Jason Holder as captain to start the series, insists the team will be looking for a fierce fight from the tourists.

“It’s Test cricket so we won’t be taking them for granted.  I think they have some experienced batsmen that have played a lot of Tests, have scored a number of Test 100s, and an experienced bowler in Lakmal,” Brathwaite told members of the media via a Zoom press conference on Saturday.

“Going into the game we won’t be underestimating them.  I think they will come and fight because the Sri Lanka team always tends to fight,” he added.

Sri Lanka have shown plenty of fight, despite losing both the T20 and ODI series their spinners gave the West Indies batsmen a lot to think about once they were deployed.

West Indies coach, Phil Simmons, insists the team is looking for improvement in every area ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka, on Sunday, but particularly targeted once again achieving the elusive 400 runs first innings score.

In recent matches, the regional team has carved out some momentum, following up hard-fought Test series win over Bangladesh with a T20 and dominant ODI series win over Sri Lanka.  Heading into the start of Sunday’s Test series, however, Simmons is far from satisfied.    

“We need to improve in every area, we had a good series but there are lots of things we need to keep improving on,” Simmons told Windies cricket.

“We need to make sure we get 400 in the first innings, which is something that we are striving for every time we play.  Then we have to bowl and bat even better than we did in Bangladesh,” he added.

The West Indies reached 400 first innings runs last month, in the series against Bangladesh, but reaching the total has proven to be the exception rather than the rule.  Prior to that, the team got to the total against Sri Lanka in 2018.

The highest first innings total, in the last 10 years, was 590 against India in 2011, in total they have achieved the feat seven times.  By comparison, Australia has achieved the feat 27 times within the same period.

 

Half-centuries from Kyle Mayers and Roston Chase were the highlights of the second day of Cricket West Indies’ President’s XI vs Sri Lanka as the fixture ended in a predictable draw.

Left-hander Mayers made a typically stroke-filled 57 off just 66 balls as the President’s XI took a first-innings lead of 122. He used the match as ideal preparations for the first Sandals Test match, which starts on Sunday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

They started the second day on 103-1 and made 294 in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings 172. In the second innings, the visitors were 56-0 when the match was called off at 4:50 pm.

Mayers hit 11 fours, mainly fierce cuts, and powerful drives and added 76 for the fourth wicket with Shamarh Brooks, who made 19 before he was magnificently snapped up at slip by Lahiru Thirimanne off-spinner Danajaya De Silva (3-26).

Chase then came to the crease and showed his class. The tall right-hander was excellent against the spinner as he scored 52 off 81 balls with eight fours. He was especially fluent through the on-side before he was dismissed leg-before wicket to left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya (3-69). This knock capped a very good match for Chase, who also took 4-12 on the opening day with his off-spin.

In the final session, Sri Lanka’s openers Thirimanne (27 not out) and Dimuth Karunarathne (23 not out) batted out the final 13 overs.

 

Shai Hope hit a brilliant unbeaten half-century to follow up Roston Chase’s four-wicket haul as Cricket West Indies’ President’s XI dominated Sri Lanka on Wednesday’s first day of a two-day tour match.

After bowling out the visitors for just 172 just after tea, the President’s XI reached the close on 103-1 with Hope unbeaten on a stroke-filled 60 off just 72 balls.

Hope was the embodiment of class as he played several stunning shots, the two best of which went for sixes. The first was a nonchalant flick over deep square leg and the second a slog sweep smacked with great authority, which cleared wide long-on by some distance. He has also hit ten fours so far. Left-hander Darren Bravo ended the day on a solid 30 not out off 69 balls and has so far put on 94 for the second wicket with Hope.

Chase had earlier picked up 4-12 as Sri Lanka collapsed from 137-5 to lose their last five wickets for 35 runs in quick time. Oshada Fernando top-scored with 47, Dinesh Chandimal struck 40 while Pathum Nissanka made 23.

From the outset, Sri Lanka were never allowed to settle, as fast bowler Anderson Phillip snatched 3-47 and seamer Kemar Roach, 2-41, to cause problems early in the innings. Roach removed both openers in successive overs. He got left-hander Lahiru Thirimanne to play around a full-length delivery and gained a leg-before decision in the day’s third over.

He then had captain Dimuth Karunaratne (2) caught at first slip by Kyle Mayers, after Chase at second slip parried the initial offering. There were also four catches for wicket-keeper Jahmar Hamilton, who demonstrated excellent glovework behind the stumps.

 

 

Legendary West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, believes that the fighting spirit and professional display that led to a 2-0 series win, in Bangladesh, has spread to the rest of the team.

So far, the general consensus is that the regional team has, at times, been fairly impressive in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka.  They battled to a 2-1 win in the T20 series, but then swept the visitors aside in a confident display during the One Day International series.

Lloyd believes some of that confidence stems from the performance of the Kraigg Brathwaite unit, which was understrength and underestimated heading to last month’s tour of Bangladesh but battled to a surprise 2-0 Test series win.

“I believe it is because of the way our players played in Bangladesh, that it trickled down.  They put their head down and batted intelligently and won,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“It galvanized those other guys to do the same.  We had 274, 270-odd and we looked good.  We batted well. (Things were tighter) in the T20s but we won out because we are getting that professional attitude back and that I think it is because of the guys winning in Bangladesh.”

The team will look to take the momentum into the two-match Test series, which will get underway on Sunday.

 

 

 

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