It was a special Sunday night at the Kensington Oval in Barbados as the West Indies defeated England by 17 runs in the fifth T20 International to win the Betway series 3-2.

Former West Indies Test and ODI captain Jason Holder was the hero of the day with four wickets in four balls in the final over as the West Indies defended their score of 179-4.

Not surprisingly, Holder was chuffed.

“What a real night last night. I just want to thank each and every fan that came to the stadium yesterday. It was a wonderful feeling seeing everyone back in the stands cheering," he while speaking with the media Monday morning. "Special thank you also to the supporters who travelled all the way from England to support their team. I think both teams played a really good series and it’s good to see the way it ended.”

Holder, who was voted Man-of-the-Series after an excellent return of 15 wickets in five matches, was pleased with the attitude of the team that saw them bounce back from a disappointing 2-1 ODI series defeat to Ireland earlier in January.

“I think it’s been great. After the start we had against Ireland in Jamaica and everybody was really down and deflated, to see the way we bounced back against England, it just shows the character in the dressing room. I think we really pulled together and it’s the first time in a long time it’s felt that close in the dressing room. It’s a great feeling,” he said.

“Hopefully we can continue this and build something special. I think this group has to be the group now, with such young and talented players, to become even closer and get better. I think if we do that, the future of West Indies cricket would be in good hands.”

The West Indies next assignment will be a white-ball tour of India where they will play three ODIs and three T20Is beginning on February 6.

“I think this series is a big series. India, for me, is the best all-round cricket team in the world and they’ve proven that over the last couple of years so to go in their backyard and beat them is not going to be an easy feat but it’s not impossible,” Holder said.

England secured a 34-run win over the West Indies in the fourth Betway T20 International at the Kensington Oval today to tie the five-match series 2-2.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard won the toss and chose to field, and the home side had early success when Jason Holder removed the man who got 73 for England in the last match, Tom Banton, for just four to leave the visitors 8-1.

Jason Roy and James Vince then put on 85 for the second wicket before Roy was dismissed in the 12th over for 52 off 42 balls.

Vince was next to go for 34 in the 13th over to leave the tourists 97-3.

A 65-run fourth-wicket partnership between stand-in captain Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone then carried the English to 162-4 before Livingstone was dismissed in the 19th over for 16.

Ali produced some brilliant late innings hitting before he was eventually dismissed for 63 off just 28 balls in the last over.

England’s innings eventually ended on 193-6 after their 20 overs.

Jason Holder finished with 3-44 from his four overs for the Windies.

In the chase, openers Brandon King and Kyle Mayers got off to a fast start reaching 64 before Mayers was dismissed in the eighth over for a well-played 40 off 23 balls.

King then fell in the 10th over for 26 to leave the West Indies 69-2.

After 10 overs, the West Indies were 76-2 needing 118 more to win from 60 balls with Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell at the crease on four and five, respectively.

Powell was unable to replicate his heroics from the third T20I after being dismissed for five by Adil Rashid in the 11th over.

After two massive sixes, Pooran was the next to go for 22 in the 14th over to leave the West Indies 97-4, needing 97 more runs to win off 39 balls.

Some brilliant hitting from Jason Holder meant that after 16 overs, the West Indies were 133-4, needing 61 off 24 balls to win with Holder on 29 and captain Kieron Pollard on 3.

Holder then went for 36 in the 18th over to leave the Windies 144-5 needing 50 from 16 balls to win.

The target eventually proved to be too much for the West Indies who ended on 159-5 off their 20 overs.

Ali followed up his 63 with 2-28 off four overs to cap off an excellent all-round performance, while Reece Topley continued his good form with the ball in the series with 1-21 off his four overs.

The series decider will take place tomorrow.

 

 

The West Indies are in a position to knock off the number one ranked T20 International team in the world, England, with a win in the fourth T20I of their five-match series on Saturday.

After a 20-run victory on Wednesday, the Caribbean side now leads the series 2-1 with the chance to take an unassailable 3-1 lead on Saturday.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons says that even with a series win in sight, he is focused on how the team is playing.

“Saturday, if we win the game we’ll win the series so yes, I’d be happy, but I’m happier now with the way that the players are taking on board how we want to play going forward,” Simmons said in a press conference today.

With the ICCT20 World Cup a few months away, the emphasis for the former Ireland and Afghanistan head coach is for the two-time champions to have a much-improved performance from the disaster of the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup in the UAE where they won only one of their five group matches and crashed out of the tournament.

“Winning as a whole is a great thing for any team so it’s something that we’re happy with, but for me, at this point in time, it’s about building back the team because at the end of the day, October is another T20 World Cup and, especially with our performances in the last one, we want to get back up to where we normally are. I’m looking at the quality of the cricket we’re playing and how we’re improving rather than just a series win,” Simmons said.

The former West Indies player also commented on Rovman Powell’s brilliant maiden T20 hundred.

“I think it was a brilliant innings from the start. The way he assessed the situation at the beginning is something that we’ve been talking about as a group and I’ve been looking forward to someone doing that in a match and he did that. We’re moving in the right direction,” Simmons added.

 

 

 

 

 

West Indies all-rounder, Rovman Powell, stole the show with a maiden T20 hundred in the team’s 20-run win over England in the third of their five-match Betway Series at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Wednesday.

Powell smashed a belligerent 107 off 53 balls, including five fours and 10 sixes, to help the home side amass a total of 224-5 off their 20 overs. In the field, Powell took two catches to help the Windies restrict the English to 204-9 and secure a 2-1 lead in the series but it was with his batting that he spoke loudest.

“It means a lot. The last six or seven months have been tough, not getting a lot of runs so it was good for me to get an opportunity tonight and I took it. I hope it’s a breakthrough international performance. It’s just for me now to go back to the drawing board, think about the stuff that I did right and hopefully I can replicate it come Saturday,” Powell said after the game.

Many fans and pundits were left bemused when Powell strode to the crease at number four ahead of Darren Bravo, who batted at that position in the second game, but Powell said that the move was tactical and that he was told of the possibility the night before by captain Kieron Pollard.

“It was to split up the two left-handers. We didn’t want Pooran and Bravo at the crease at the same time, so I was the right-hander that slotted between them. Last night (Tuesday) he told me it's a possibility that I would bat four so I started to think back to some of my good innings and started to come up with a game plan. I think that plan served me well today. When I walked out to bat, I was confident because for the last five months I’ve been working hard and stroking the ball well so that confidence transferred into the game,” he said.

That confidence also comes from a fantastic stint Powell had at the Abu Dhabi T10 League in late 2021 for the Northern Warriors where he scored 305 runs in nine innings at an average of 33.88 with 15 fours and a mammoth 27 sixes.

“I think I’m in very good form. I told the guys I’m sure that I’m one of the best in the world at the moment when it comes to hitting the ball and it started from the T10. When I went there, I just tried to express myself and catch back the eyes of the selectors and now everything is coming to fruition,” he added. West Indies fans are hoping that that form will carry over into the fourth T20I which takes place on Saturday. 

One of the key things that fans of West Indies cricket over the last few years have wanted from the regional team is consistency.

There are periods where the team is clicking at all levels, as evidenced by a dominant 4-1 T20I series win over Australia in July 2021 but there are also periods where the team just can’t seem to buy a win.

The Caribbean side are currently locked 1-1 in a five-match T20I series with England and Jason Holder, in a press conference today, pleaded for the team to strive for consistency.

“We’ve just got to keep challenging ourselves to play a complete game. If we can be a lot more clinical and consistent, we can make our lives a whole lot easier. The challenge for each and every individual is to seek consistency. I think consistency is something that we’ve been talking about for years and it’s just time we start heading in the right direction and progressing. I just want to see progression and development, consistently,” he said.

The former West Indies Test and ODI skipper, who has so far taken figures of 4-7 and 2-25, in the first two games of the series, also said that with a relatively young squad, he has to take on a leadership role even without the captaincy.

“I just try to give anything to the team that I think will benefit us. We have a relatively inexperienced group so I just try to help out as much as I can and give what advice I can give. I don’t think it’s a situation where I have to give too much information because that becomes clouded for individuals, so I keep it as simple as possible. Anything I pick up I pass it on to the captain and then obviously to individual players but I think my role is just to help guide and nurture the young talent that we have,” Holder added.

There are three games remaining in the series, but Holder wants the team to take a game-by-game approach rather than looking to the future too soon.

“I’m just focused on what’s ahead tomorrow. Tomorrow is our next encounter so there’s no point in looking at the last three matches before we get to the one tomorrow,” he said.

In the second T20I the regional team’s fielding left a lot to be desired and Holder echoed the same sentiments.

“I don’t think we were good enough in the field in the last encounter and that probably hurt us in the end,” Holder added.

The West Indies can, hopefully, have a better day in the field tomorrow when they take on England in the third T20I at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Indian Premier League is the most popular T20 franchise league in the world and many cricketers across the globe dream about playing in it one day.

West Indies all-rounder Romario Shepherd is no different.

The Guyanese fast bowler and right-handed batsman, who dazzled with the bat with an unbeaten 44 in the second T20 international between the West Indies and England yesterday, has put his name in the last three IPL auctions but is yet to be awarded a contract.

Speaking in a press conference today, Shepherd says the dream, which at this point is very close to reality, is still alive.

“It’s a great platform for any youngster. Many people dream to go to the IPL and I’m no different. It’s something that I’ve dreamed about for a very long time. My name was in the draft for the last three years so this year I’m definitely looking forward to it,” he said.

In the midst of a five-match T20I series with England at the moment, Shepherd says his full focus is on helping the West Indies win.

“I’m trying my best to get there but, at the same time, trying my best to help us win this series. I try to focus on what is at hand right now and try to put my all in there. Eventually, if an IPL contract comes that would be great for me but I try not to think about it while in the game,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd has so far played 11 T20 Internationals with 100 runs and eight wickets to his name.

The IPL player auction is scheduled to take place on February 12 and 13 and he will have another opportunity to enhance his reputation when the West Indies and England square off in the third of five T20 internationals in Barbados on Wednesday.

 

 

 

West Indies secured a comprehensive nine-wicket win over England in the first of their five-match T20 International series at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday.

 After winning the toss and choosing to bowl first because of, according to captain Kieron Pollard, the presence of some ‘juice’ in the pitch, the West Indies produced one of their best bowling displays in a long time to wreck the England batting line-up for just 103 in 19.4 overs.

Jason Holder took his best bowling figures in T20s with 4-7 off 3.4 overs and he was supported by Sheldon Cottrell who claimed 2-30 from his four overs.

Chris Jordan top-scored for the English with 28 and Adil Rashid added 22.

The West Indies looked comfortable in their chase, only losing one wicket before getting to the target in just 17.1 overs.

Brandon King got his second T20I 50, finishing not out on 55, while Nicholas Pooran finished not out on 20.

The second match of the series takes place tomorrow at the same venue and time.

 

West Indies white ball captain, Kieron Pollard, says the team will be starting from scratch in their Betway T20 International series against England beginning on Saturday in Barbados.

The last outing for the regional team in the format came in January with a 3-0 defeat in an away series against Pakistan.

The majority of that squad will get another opportunity to represent the region and Pollard, speaking in a pre-match press conference today, says the team is eager to get started.

“For us, it’s like starting from scratch. These guys got a run out in Pakistan in the three T20Is and I’m sure they’re looking to build on their own personal performances and that, in extension, will help us get victories,” he said.

If the West Indies are to come out victorious in the five-match series, Pollard says execution in all three phases of the game will be critical.

“We have to execute in all three facets of the game. It’s been mentioned over the last week or so, batting has definitely been a problem for us but a good thing about it is that we have some new faces in the group again. Guys are looking to make a name for themselves on the international scene and so we just need to be able to do the basics and play according to the situation of the game,” Pollard added.

With the team coming off a disappointing ODI series loss to Ireland, Pollard says it will be important to leave that in the past and focus on what they can do going forward.

“It’s a new series. We can’t take the disappointment from that series into this one. There’s a different sort of mindset and approach that is needed to come into this series,” Pollard said.

The first match of the T20I series between the West Indies and England bowls off at the Kensington Oval in Barbados at 3:00 pm Jamaica time.

 

 

 

 

West Indies fast-bowling allrounder Odean Smith is taking his ascension to the West Indies limited overs team in stride.

Speaking to the media, on Thursday, before the team’s five-match Betway T20 International series against England, Smith said he has ambitions to be a fixture in the West Indies white-ball setup for years to come.

“Definitely. I think I have a long way to go and a lot of work to do but it’s all a learning process. Cricket is a learning process. I just have to work on my game along the way and I think I’ll definitely get to where I want to be when the time comes,” he said.

One of the biggest talking points across the regional cricket landscape over the last few years has been player fitness and Smith said he is fully aware that if he wants to achieve his goals, he must prioritize taking care of his body.

“I think it’s very important. If you’re not taking care of your body then you probably won’t have far to go so, I work a lot on my fitness. Cricket is a lot of running so I tend to do a lot of that. I don’t really go to the gym to do a lot of strength work. Running and eating well are the things I take pride in,” Smith added.

A member of the triumphant 2016 West Indies Under-19 team, Smith also stated that it is an ongoing process because of a busy schedule.

“I’m not where I want to be right now because, as I said, it’s an ongoing process and there’s a lot of cricket going on so it’s hard to get anything done during the season. When I get a little time, I’ll focus on distance running and my eating habits,” he added.

Smith has, so far, played 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is for the West Indies.

With the team coming off a disappointing ODI series defeat to Ireland and England coming off a 4-0 defeat to Australia in the Ashes, Smith believes the upcoming series will be an important one for both teams.

“Both teams have an equal opportunity to go out there and win this series. England has a very good team and we also have a very good team as we’re trying to rebuild. We have a few new guys so the coaches are trying to figure out roles for everyone. This series is going to be very important for both teams going forward,” he added.

The series between the West Indies and England gets underway at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday.

 

 

West Indies senior Men’s head coach Phil Simmons says players must be more aware of situations ahead of the Betway T20 International Series against England.

“Each game has a situation. Every ball is a situation in the game, and we’ve got to be able to assess that situation and know how we have to play in that game. If you’re 20-3 you play differently than if you’re 40-0. These are the little situations that we need to highlight and win and that will take us to winning the game,” he said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Simmons also explained that the return of the West Indies to the pinnacle of world cricket will only come with a focus on development at all levels.

“Definitely things need to be changed at different levels. You don’t become bad batsmen at this level,” he said.

He continued on, saying that responsibility lies with coaches at all levels to see to the development of players in the region.

“You come up here thinking you are able to play up here, but things are not going the way they should do so there must be some sort of responsibility taken from the levels before us and that’s something that has to be addressed, generally, as an organization,” Simmons added.

With that said, Simmons also acknowledged that once players get to the international level, they also have a part to play.

“In saying that, the guys, when they come up here, need to fight harder. They need to put more effort into wanting to be the best in the world when they come up here,” he added.

The West Indies will play five T20 Internationals against England in Barbados starting on January 22.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) interim selection panel has announced the squads for the upcoming series against Ireland and England.

Captain Kieron Pollard is fit again and returns to lead both the ODI and T20 sides that will battle the Irish in three ODIs and one T20I at Sabina Park, in Jamaica, starting January 8.

The CG Insurance ODI Series between West Indies and Ireland will form part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, in which the top seven teams can secure automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India.

The West Indies are currently eighth in those standings with 40 points, while Ireland sits fourth with 50.

The Caribbean side will then play five T20 Internationals against England, in Barbados, beginning on January 22.

“We have tried to maintain the general make-up of the squads from the Pakistan tour before Christmas, with the captain and some senior players coming back in. The challenges in the next couple of months are getting the young players in both squads to not only improve on their skills but maintain the attitude and desire we saw in Pakistan,” said West Indies coach Phil Simmons.

Simmons also emphasized the need for his team to start the year on a good note.

“We do need to start the year on a high. We know both Ireland and England have very good teams so we expect a very strong challenge as we look to improve our chances of automatic qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023 and building the team for the ICC T20 World Cup in 2022,” Simmons added.

ODI squad for the Ireland Series: Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Jayden Seales, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas, and the COVID-19 reserves are Keacy Carty and Sheldon Cottrell.

T20I squad for Ireland and England Series: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen (England T20Is only), Darren Bravo (England T20Is only), Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Jason Holder, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr, and the COVID-19 reserves are Jayden Seales, Alzarri Joseph, and Devon Thomas.

Fabian Allen is fully recovered from an ankle injury but is unavailable for the Ireland series after a positive COVID-19 test.

Pakistan achieved their highest ever successful run chase in T20 Internationals on Friday to complete a 3-0 series sweep of the West Indies in Karachi.

The home side made 208-3 from 18.5 overs to win by seven wickets.

The Pakistan opening pair of Mohammad Rizwan and Captain Babar Azam were comfortable throughout the first powerplay, taking 60 from the six overs with Rizwan on 32 and Babar on 27.

The pair raced to 98-0 after 10 overs with Rizwan bringing up a half century, his second of the series, on the last ball of the 10th over, and Babar on 46.

A boundary off the first ball of the 11th over bowled by Oshane Thomas made Mohammad Rizwan the first batsman ever to score 2000 T20 runs in a calendar year.

Babar achieved his 50 off 40 balls in the 12th over.

Rizwan and Babar brought up their 150-run partnership in the 15th over, which ended with Pakistan 158-0, still needing a further 50 from 30 balls to secure the sweep.

Babar was finally dismissed for 79 on the first ball of the 16th over bowled by Odean Smith.

Rizwan’s brilliant innings of 87 from 45 balls was finally ended in the 18th over when he was caught off the bowling of Dominic Drakes leaving Pakistan on 184-2 needing 24 off 16 balls to win.

Fakhar Zaman was the next Pakistan batsman to go, caught in the 19th over off the bowling Romario Shepherd for 12 to leave them 195-3.

Pakistan got to their target off 18.5 overs thanks to a late cameo of 21 from seven balls from Asif Ali.

Earlier, The West Indies won the toss and elected to bat, posting an excellent 207-3 thanks to 64 from captain Nicholas Pooran.

He was well supported by Shamarh Brooks who got 49 and Brandon King who scored 43.

Shahnawaz Dahani was Pakistan's best bowler on the day with 1-23 from his four overs.

Mohammad Rizwan was named Man of the Match and, after his brilliant 203 runs in three matches, was also named Man of the Series.

The West Indies have set Pakistan a target of 208 to win the third and final T20 in Karachi thanks to 64 from Captain Nicholas Pooran, his highest T20 International score.

Darren Bravo and Gudakesh Motie replaced Shai Hope and Akeal Hosein in the team for this game as Hope and Hosein were among the five additional members of the touring party to test positive for COVID-19 during PCR tests administered by the Pakistan Cricket Board on Wednesday.

With Hope missing, Shamarh Brooks joined regular opener, Brandon King, at the top of the innings. Together they brought up 50 in the fifth over with King going well on 37 and Brooks on 11.

King was dismissed on the last ball of the powerplay by Mohammed Wasim Jr for a well-played 43 to leave the team 66-1 after six overs.

Pooran came to the crease to join Brooks who was on 21.

Brooks narrowly missed out on a maiden T20 International 50 when he was dismissed for 49 by Shahnawaz Dahani in the 10th over to leave the West Indies 99-2.

After 15 overs the West indies were 153-2 with Pooran on 37 and Bravo on 16. Pooran brought up his fourth T20 International 50 in the 17th over off 31 balls.

He was eventually dismissed by Wasim Jr for 64 from 37 balls to leave his team 192-3 in the 18th over.

The 200 came up in the 19th over with Bravo on 30 and Rovman Powell on four.

The West Indies eventually ended their turn at the crease on 207-3 with Darren Bravo finishing not out on 34 from 27 balls and Rovman Powell not out on six.

Pacer Shahnawaz Dahani was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers with 1-23 from his four overs.

 

A Man of the Match performance from Shadab Khan helped Pakistan take an unassailable 2-0 series lead against the West Indies after a nine-run win in the second T20 International in Karachi today.

A late cameo of 28 from 12 balls by Shadab Khan propelled Pakistan to a respectable 172-8 off their 20 overs in the second T20 international against West Indies in Karachi Tuesday.

Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first.

After getting to 14 without loss in the second over, Mohammed Rizwan and captain Babar Azam inexplicably went for a single that resulted in the Pakistan captain being run out for seven.

Rizwan and new batsman Fakhar Zaman attempted to steady the ship with a 19-run fourth over off Oshane Thomas to take the score to 38-1. The partnership was broken by Akeal Hosein, who had Zaman stumped for 10.

That wicket brought together, Rizwan and Haider Ali, who on Monday scored half-centuries in Pakistan's 63-run win over the visitors. Together, they guided the hosts to 50-2 at the end of the first powerplay.

Hosein bowled his four overs within the first seven and was once again excellent with figures of 1-16 to follow up his 1-19 performance Monday.

Pakistan were still only 2 wickets down at the halfway mark as Rizwan and Ali played sensibly to take the score to 73-2. The partnership was broken in the 12th over when Odean Smith had Rizwan caught at short cover for 38 from 30 balls. Smith got his second wicket of the day when Haider was caught at deep point by Shamarh Brooks for 31 on the last ball of the 14th over.

Hayden Walsh Jr got his first wicket in the very next over, removing Mohammad Nawaz, who was caught at deep mid-wicket for one.

Pakistan ended the 15th over 113-5 with Iftikhar Ahmed at the crease on 14 and Asif Ali on two.

Rovman Powell took an excellent catch off the bowling of Romario Shepherd to remove Ali for nine off the second ball of the 17th over to reduce Pakistan to 124-6.

Iftikhar hit two sixes off Thomas in the 18th over but was then dismissed caught behind off the last ball for a well-played 32 from 19 balls.

Shadab Khan brought up Pakistan’s 150 with a straight six off Dominic Drakes off the second ball of the 19th over.

Mohammad Wasim Jr was run out on the second to last ball of the innings for five.

Pakistan finished their 20 overs 172-8 with Mohammad Rizwan top-scoring with 38 and Iftikhar Ahmed getting 32.

Odean Smith and Akeal Hosein were the best performers for the West Indies with the ball with 2-24 from 3 overs and 1-16 from four overs, respectively.

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