Another brutal spell from Leewards Hurricanes pace bowler Jeremiah Louis pushed the T&T Red Force to the verge of defeat in the West Indies Championship at the Diego Martin Sports Complex.

At the close of play, the Red Force were left on 143 for 6, still, some 316 runs short of the victory target.  Similar to his performance in the first innings, it was Louis who devastated the top order when the T&T unit took to the crease for a second time. 

T&T opener Jeremy Solozano only managed to score 6 before he was dismissed by Kieron Powell off the bowling of Sheeno Berridge.  Then Louis went to work, removing Tion Webster, Darren Bravo, and Jason Mohammed to leave Red Force struggling at 53 for 4.

Yannic Cariah and Joshua Da Silva briefly came together to stage a rescue act, putting on 47 for the fifth wicket but Da Silva’s innings came to an end when he was trapped lbw by Rahkeem Cornwall.

Cariah remains at the crease on 37 and has been joined by Brian Charles, who is not out on 6, following the dismissal of Akeal Hosein who was bowled by Cornwall on 10.

Earlier, enterprising half-centuries from Kieron Powell (83) and Devon Thomas (84) had pushed the Hurricanes' second innings to 241 for 7 declared after resuming the day on 23.  Cariah was the pick of the Red Force bowler, having taken 3 for 33, while Hosein picked up 2 for 64.

A solid century from left-handed opening batsman, Kieran Powell, anchored a solid opening day for the Leeward Island’s Hurricanes who posted 308 – 7 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the West Indies Championships.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the Leewards suffered an early setback after losing Montcin Hodge in the second over of the match.   Hodge was caught by Bryan Charles off the bowling of Jadon Seales.  Powell, however, immediately set about repairing the damage after forming a 64-run partnership with Kacey Carty.

Carty’s dismissal left the Hurricanes at 66 for 2 but Powell feature in another pair of crucial partnerships.  First with Devon Thomas, who made 12 before being bowled by Akeal Hosein, then Amir Jangoo with the two putting on a 100-run partnership to bring the score to 198 for 4 when Jangoo was sent back to the pavilion by Jason Mohammed soon after making his half-century.  Powell’s brilliant resistance was brought to an end when he was trapped lbw by Yannic Cariah, having totalled 139 or 211 deliveries.

Terrance Ward added a patient 26 from 101 balls before being caught by Gabriel off Seales, while Cornwall could only add 5 to the tally before himself being dismissed by Gabriel.

Jeremiah Louis (16) and Hayden Walsh (8) ended the day as the not-out batsmen for the Hurricanes.  Seales was the pick of the bowlers for T&T after ending with a best of 2 for 35.

The Windward Islands Volcanoes are staring down the barrel of defeat after they were bundled out for 98 in response to Trinidad and Tobago’s first innings score of 326. Following on the Windwards were in trouble again at 32-3 at stumps.

Alick Athanaze was the only scorer of note with 33 as Anderson Phillip (4-32), Jayden Seales (3-31) did the damage for Trinidad and Tobago.

Phillip has so far taken 2-15 as the Windwards struggled once again in their second turn at bat.

Earlier, Trinidad and Tobago resumed at 217-5 with Joshua Da Silva on 51 and Terrence Hinds on five. The pair would eventually post 72 for the sixth wicket when Da Silva was dismissed for 73. Hinds would go on to make 57 as Trinidad were eventually dismissed for 326.

Sherman Lewis was the best of the Windwards bowlers with 5-43.

However, when they went to bat the Volcanoes imploded as other than Athanaze, Devon Smith (16) was the only other top-order batter in double figures. Among the lower order Ryan John (16), Larry Edward (13) and Kenneth Dember (10) were the only other batters in double figures.

Middle-order batsman Yannic Cariah and opener Jeremy Solozano were critical in a recovery effort for the T&T Red Force who ended day one of the West Indies Championship match against the Windward Island Volcanoes, at the Brian Lara Stadium, on a promising 217 for 5.

At the close of play, Joshua Da Silva (51) and Terrance Hinds (5) were the not out batsmen at the crease. Hinds came in to bat after team captain Imran Khan retired hurt, after scoring one run, with what looked like a pulled muscle.

Earlier, it was Cariah who yet again anchored another Red Force recovery.  The team found themselves in early trouble following the dismissals of opener Keagan Simmons (8), Isaiah Rajah (0), and Jason Mohammed (0), which left them struggling at 22 for 3.  All three batsmen were sent packing on the back of a brilliant spell from fast bowler Sherman Lewis who ended the day with 3 for 24.

With the team in desperate need, Cariah joined Solozano, who had watched the early carnage from the other end, and the two proceeded to rescue the innings with a patient 112-run stand for the fourth wicket.  The partnership was broken when Solozano was caught, on 66, by Teddy Bishop, after attacking Kenneth Dember.

Cariah then joined up with Da Silva to stage a 59-run partnership before he was trapped lbw by Ryan John.

 

The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force survived a second-innings collapse to secure a three-wicket victory over Jamaica Scorpions on day four of their West Indies Championship fixture at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy on Saturday.

The Red Force entered the fourth day 22-0, needing only 59 more runs to win with Keagan Simmons on 11 and Isaiah Rajah on eight.

Marquino Mindley got the ball rolling for the Scorpions on the final day with two wickets in quick succession to leave the Red Force 40-2.

The hosts then inexplicably lost four wickets for three runs to find themselves in a dogfight at 60-6.

Captain Imran Khan arrived at the crease and brought stability to the innings before they lost another wicket to find themselves 69-7.

Khan then combined with Anderson Phillip to bring the score to 81-7 and secure a three-wicket victory.

 

Simmons was the Red Force top scorer in the second innings with 38, while the Jamaican fightback was led by spin with Jamie Merchant taking 3-18 from 10.4 overs and Patrick Harty taking 2-21 from nine overs.

 

Final Scores: Jamaica Scorpions 141 and 212, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force 273 and 81-7.

The Jamaica Scorpions and the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force entered day 3 of their West Indies Championship match at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy evenly poised.

After starting the day 234-6, the Red Force were bowled out for 273 after 114.3 overs to lead the Scorpions by 132 runs.

Yannic Cariah led the way for the Red Force with 72 while Isaiah Rajah finished with 65.

Marquino Mindley completed his fourth five-wicket haul in first-class cricket with 5-70 off 28.3 overs while Nicholson Gordon provided good support with 4-65 off 28 overs.

In their second innings, the Scorpions fought gallantly to reach 212 all out, setting the hosts a target of 81 for victory, thanks to 45 from captain John Campbell and crucial knocks of 41 not out from Derval Green, 30 from Jamie Merchant, and 28 from Alwyn Williams.

Anderson Phillip was the pick of the Red Force bowlers in the second innings with 5-82 off 15 overs while captain Imran Khan supported him well with 3-46 off 16.5 overs.

At the close of play, the Red Force were 22-0 needing a further 59 runs on Saturday for outright victory with Keagan Simmons on 11 and Isaiah Rajah on eight.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force ended a rain-affected day 2 of their West Indies Championship encounter with the Jamaica Scorpions at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in a commanding position.

The Red Force entered the day 98-3, trailing the Scorpions first innings score of 141 by 43 runs with Joshua Da Silva and Yannic Cariah at the crease on 32 and 11 respectively.

Da Silva added 5 to his overnight score before he was dismissed for 37 by Derval Green to leave the hosts 104-4.

Jyd Goolie was next to go for just six to leave the Red Force in a spot of bother at 118-5 before a magnificent 116-run partnership between Cariah and Isaiah Rajah put them in a comfortable position leading up to the end of play.

Cariah, who brought up his 10th first class half-century off 181 balls in the 80th over, eventually fell near the close of play for a patient 72 off 222 balls.

Rajah batted fluently to end the day, making 58 not out off 268 balls, including seven fours.

The Red Force ended Day 2 on 234-6 off 98 overs, leading the Scorpions by 93 runs.

Nicholson Gordon has so far led the way for the Jamaican bowlers with 3-51 off 21 overs while opening bowling partner Marquino Mindley has taken 2-52 off 20 overs.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Monday announced the West Indies Championship 2022 will start on Wednesday, February 9, marking the return of first-class cricket in the region since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CWI has unveiled the match schedule for the first two rounds of the West Indies Championship as part of a five-round tournament scheduled for the six professional regional franchises.

The West Indies Championship marks not only a return of the regional red ball competition but also the opportunity for West Indian players to stake their claim for selection to the West Indies Test squad for the forthcoming Apex Test Series between West Indies and England in March 2022.

The first and second rounds will be played in Barbados and Trinidad from Wednesday, February 9 to Saturday, February 12 and from Tuesday, February 15 to Friday, February 18. The teams will again compete for the Headley/Weekes Trophy named in honour of West Indies legends George Headley and Sir Everton Weekes.

Defending champions, Barbados Pride will face Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the first match at Kensington Oval, home team Trinidad and Tobago Red Force host Jamaica Scorpions at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad while the newly named Guyana Harpy Eagles face Windward Islands Volcanoes at Queens Park Oval in Trinidad.

In the second round, Barbados Pride faces Jamaica Scorpions at Kensington Oval, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force take on Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and Guyana Harpy Eagles meet Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Queen’s Park Oval.

The last three rounds of the West Indies Championship are scheduled to be contested in May.

For the 2022 tournament, each squad will consist of 15 players due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CWI is also implementing a special “player loan” system to try to ensure that each team will be able to complete their fixtures. If a team has a player(s) ruled out due to a positive COVID-19 result, they can request to use a player(s) from another team and/or from a pool of locally registered reserve players.

Johnny Grave, CEO of CWI, commented on how the West Indies Championship is a critical part of CWI’s professional cricket calendar. Jimmy Adams, CWI’s Director of Cricket also welcomed the return of the four-day format.

“Following detailed planning over the past six months, we are delighted to finally announce the return of the West Indies Championship. This is exciting news as we know the teams have been putting in hours of hard work in the nets, patiently waiting for the matches to be confirmed and are looking forward to being back on the field and entertaining their fans. These upcoming matches are especially crucial as we host England in the Apex Test Series in March, so the ‘Championship’ will be the ideal preparation for our Test players as well,” Grave said.

“I am pleased to see the re-introduction of regional four-day cricket for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. This competition plays a critical role in our player-development pathway and, after almost two years, we are delighted to have our regional players back playing competitively in this format,” Adams said.

Live ball-by-ball scoring of each game will be available through the www.windiescricket.com match centre. CWI will be streaming each of the matches with commentary via the Windies Cricket, YouTube channel. The Championship will also be streamed live in India on FanCode, as part of CWI’s partnership with the Indian broadcaster.

On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've 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

 Big names in Windies T20 and ODI squads; execution will be the key.

Last Friday, West Indies named T20I and ODI squads as they get ready for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka beginning on March 3 in Antigua. These matches will serve as preparation for the team that hopes to successfully defend the ICC T20 World Cup title in India later this year. On paper, the team looks strong. However, teamwork will be among the keys to success for Kieron Pollard’s men.

The recall of Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards did not come as a surprise as the selectors believe both still have a lot to offer. The 41-year-old Gayle last played for the Windies in 2019 when he scored 72 against India in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The Universe Boss is heading into the series against Sri Lanka in good form. Before he returned to the Caribbean, Gayle had scores of 39 and 68, playing for the Quetta Gladiators against the Karachi Kings and Lahore Qualanders, respectively.

Gayle’s experience will prove invaluable to the West Indies having scored 13,691 runs in T20I with 22 hundreds. His influence in the dressing room is also expected to be a significant factor.

Edwards returns to the team after an absence of nine years but at 39, he is still able to generate 90mph deliveries that CWI will hope he uses to add to his 26 T20I scalps.

Experience aside, the selectors have included a number of younger players who are expecting to make their debuts during the series. Guyana’s Kevin Sinclair and Trinidad’s Akeal Hosein impressed with recent performances in Bangladesh and during the CG Insurance Super 50 competition.

Both players played in the finals of the Super 50 tournament on which the 21-year-old Sinclair picked up five wickets and scored 47 runs for the Guyana Jaguars. Hosein impressed for the Trinidad Red Force taking eight wickets at a miserly economy rate of 4.18.

The mixture of youth and experience will need a strong leader and the West Indies are blessed with that in the form of Kieron Pollard, who in recent months, won the CPL and the Super50 and had a leadership role in the Mumbai Indians winning the IPL late last year.

His wisdom, experience and will to win will be key to any success the Windies have against the Sri Lankans and future series.

“Winning is the only thing,” he said after claiming the Super50 title on Saturday. It is imperative his team believes that as well.

 

 Red Force too hot to handle!

The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force won all seven of their matches to lift the Sir Clive Lloyd Trophy on Saturday after smashing the Guyana Jaguars by 152 runs in the final at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.

The aptly named Red Force scored an imposing 362-5 and then restricted Jaguars to 210 from 43.5 overs.

It was an all-around team effort that resulted in the domination of a strong Jaguars team.

Lendl Simmons saved his best performance with the bat for the final scoring 146, the highest score in a 50-over final and he was supported by Evin Lewis’ 57, 47 from Dwayne Bravo and a quick-fire 39 from Nicholas Pooran.

Their bowlers, led by Ravi Rampaul’s 4-52 and Jayden Seales, who picked up 3-40 and Anderson Phillip 2-40 decimated the opponent’s batting notwithstanding a courageous unbeaten 97 from Raymon Reifer.

The team’s dominance came down to the consistency of each member. Jason Mohammed was the highest run-scorer with 327. He scored a century (122) and averaged an excellent 81.75 for the tournament. Lewis, who had a high score of 107, was the second-highest run-scorer with 318 at an average of 45.42.

Simmons was also among the top-five run-scorer for the 2020 champions and was the only batsman with more than one century in the tournament.

The veteran Ravi Rampaul’s 14 wickets were the second-best haul for the tournament, just three behind fellow finalist Gudakesh Motie’s 17 for the Jaguars.  However, all their bowlers contributed to the team’s success this season.

Leave the NBA logo as it is else change it to Michael Jordan!

The NBA logo is a timeless classic, a representation of love and respect for the game. It remains a silhouette of Lakers great Jerry West since 1969.

However, in recent times, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has called for it to be changed to an image of late Laker great Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January 2020, and whose contributions to the game cannot be accurately quantified.

“Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says,” Irving said on Instagram.

Irving’s call has been endorsed by Bryant’s widow Vanessa.

 While I understand the call for the change, it must be noted the G.O.A.T discussion in the NBA starts and ends with Michael Jordan, a person who Kobe admired greatly.  Having played 15 seasons and winning six championships with the Bulls, he should be considered as the logo replacement.

Apart from the statistics which are compelling - 11 All-Star teams, 5 MVP awards, 10 scoring titles – Jordan’s killer instinct and obsession with winning are qualities that embody the NBA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lendl Simmons played a dream innings to provide the perfect platform for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force to outplay Guyana Jaguars in the final of the CG Insurance Super50.

On a warm and calm Saturday night, captain Kieron Pollard had the honour of lifting the Sir Clive Lloyd trophy as his team accomplished the stated mission and showcased their dominance – winning all seven matches.

Simmons made a monumental 146 as the Red Force made a whopping 362-5 off their 50 overs. He hit 15 fours and seven sixes off 145 balls to register the highest score of this year’s tournament, as well as the highest score by a Trinidadian in the 46 years of the event – surpassing the 134 made by Denesh Ramdin in 2013. It was his second century of this year’s tournament and lifted the Trinis to their second-highest score of all time. He was named the CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match.

Such heroics left the Jaguars with a mammoth target and they fell well short, being bowled out for 210 off 43.5 overs. Left-hander Raymon Reifer played brilliantly to end on 97 not out, to follow up his 90 in the semi-final against the Windwards Volcanoes on Thursday night. Fast bowler Ravi Rampaul was again on song with 4-52 off his 10 overs, his second four-for in as many matches, and took him to his 100th List A wicket for Trinidad and Tobago.

Jayden Seales, the 19-year-old pacer brought into the match specifically unsettle the Guyanese, bowled with sustained pace and hostility to end with three wickets – two of which were caught on the leg-side as batsmen attempted hook shots.

Captain Pollard was full of praise for his team and said they were delighted to win all seven matches and take the title.

When Trinidad and Tobago batted, Simmons shared several big partnerships. He added 121 in just 19.1 overs with Evin Lewis (57) and 100 with Darren Bravo (47). After they fell, Simmons shared a third-wicket of 57 in four overs with Nicholas Pooran who entertained with 39 off 15 balls, including four sixes.

In Guyana Jaguars turn at the crease, they were totally blown away by Rampaul and Seales and were tottering at 55-6 at the end of the powerplay. Reifer offered strong rearguard action as he faced 112 balls and hit seven fours and three sixes. He shared a ninth-wicket stand of 71 with Gudakesh Motie (28) which took the score over the 200-mark.

But he was left just short of his maiden century when he exposed last man Nial Smith to a rampaging Seales who cleaned him up with the perfect Yorker, which capped off the perfect match in a perfect campaign.

 

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force captain, Kieron Pollard, believes the team’s all-round balance should be enough to deliver a 13th regional 50-over title, with a win over Guyana Jaguars, in the final of the CG Insurance Super50, on Saturday.

A dominant Red Force squad has certainly set the marker as the team to beat this season, and a seventh straight win will cap a flawless performance.  In advancing to the final, the Red Force coasted to a comfortable 6 wicket win over the Jamaica Scorpions with 47 balls remaining.

In fact, it is the Red Force who handed today’s opponents, the Guyana Jaguars, their only loss of the season so far, on that occasion also a comfortable win.  Pollard believes the team’s dominance so far has been down to getting the personnel just right.

“In terms of personnel, I think we have the right mix – in terms of experience, in terms of youth, in terms of wicket-taking ability, in terms of flexibility in the batting order and stuff like that,” Pollard said.

“We tried to cover all bases and it has shown that each and every individual that has come into the team has done well despite their varying roles. We’re very flexible in what we’re doing and we take everything on a game-by-game sort of basis.”

Guyana Jaguars captain, Leon Johnson, believes the team’s performance in the field will be critical if they are to secure an upset win over the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the final of CG Insurance Super50 final, on Saturday.

Although the Red Force has clearly been the team of the tournament so far, with six straight wins, The Jaguars not been too far behind with five wins.  In fact, the team’s lone loss came against the T&T Red Force in the 13th match of the season, a six-wicket defeat at Coolidge.

On that occasion, on the back of an unbeaten 82 from Jason Mohammed and 58 from Darren Bravo, the Red Force cruised to a comfortable win.  Johnson is confident of turning the tables this time around.

“The mood is good in the camp. Obviously, Trinidad are unbeaten and have played good cricket but I think once we execute our plans well, it will be a good game of cricket,” Mohammed said.

“I don’t see why the Jaguars shouldn’t come out on top. I think fielding will be a major aspect; obviously, to win a championship against a quality Red Force we need to be exceptional in the field.”

It will be a battle of the Southern Caribbean for the Sir Clive Lloyd trophy, when Guyana Jaguars face-off with the unbeaten Trinidad & Tobago Red Force in the CG Insurance Super50 Final on Saturday, after the Guyanese comfortably defeated the Windward Islands Volcanoes in the second semi-final.

Playing on Thursday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Guyana’s victory was first set up by a magnificent century from Shimron Hetmyer, who was deservedly named the CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match.  He scored his seventh List A century of 112 and it came off 80 balls with 11 fours and five sixes. He was well supported by Raymon Reifer who made a career-best 90 off 104 balls with eight fours and three sixes.

The left-handed pair boosted the Jaguars to 305 for 7 – the third 300-plus total in the tournament. Then, under the floodlights, leading wicket-taker Gudakesh Motie (53 for 4) led the charge with the ball as the Windwards were routed for 210 all out in 46.4 overs.

The Jaguars started poorly with the bat and were forced into errors courtesy of some outstanding bowling by the Volcanoes. They initially slumped to 63 for 4 in the 12th over as skipper Leon Johnson was out first ball after he top-edged an attempted hook off pacer Ray Jordan – who had an inspired first spell of 12 for 3. It was Kevin Stoute who took a stupendous catch. to dismiss Johnson, as he ran in from the fence at long-leg and dived full stretch.

One run later, Hetmyer (12) was dropped by wicket-keeper Emmanuel Stewart. This proved to be the game-changing moment as in partnership with Reifer, who was playing his first game of competition, Hetmyer procured a regional List A record fifth-wicket partnership of 194. The total eclipsed the previous mark of 159 unbroken between Devon Thomas and Jahmar Hamilton for the Leeward Islands against Combined Campuses & Colleges at Conaree, St Kitts in Super50 2019.

Although the Windwards kept the Jaguars from scoring an even bigger score by conceding only 49 scored in the final 10 overs, they never looked capable of chasing the target. No one supported top-scoring opener Alick Athanaze, who made a patient 58.

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force made it six wins in a row, as they produced a commanding performance to power past the Jamaica Scorpions and into the CG Insurance Super50 final.

This victory was set up by three key efforts,  Ravi Rampaul started with the ball and was then complemented by Lendl Simmons and Nicholas Pooran with the bat.

Firstly Rampaul, in claiming his second CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match award of the tournament, with figures of 29 for 4, played a key role in restricting the Scorpions to a below-par score of 255-7 on a very good batting surface.

In reply, batting second for the sixth consecutive match, Simmons (63) scored his 27th List A half-century to set the perfect platform, before Pooran’s unbeaten innings of 54, his 11th List A half-century, finished things off in style with eight overs to spare.

Earlier on, Jamaica lost the early wicket of Aldaine Thomas but after that John Campbell (88) and Brandon King (58) played well. When they reached 95-1 in the 22nd over, King smashed Jason Mohammed for a big straight six to bring up his second half-century of the tournament.

The Red Force would strike five overs later with the Scorpions, at 113-2 in the 27th over, when King gave Anderson Phillip his second wicket, playing back to a delivery that kept a bit low. The wicket ended the 108-run second-wicket alliance between Campbell and King.

At 168-2 in the 35th over, the Scorpions looked set for a big final charge. However, the Campbell/McCarthy third-wicket partnership of 58 runs would end as McCarthy (35) presented a catch off veteran leg-spinner Imran Khan to Rampaul at leg on.

Attempting to defend that total, the Scorpions almost got a perfect start in the first over, but Nkrumah Bonner dropped a difficult long-on boundary catch from Simmons off Scorpions off-spinner Jamie Merchant. When Red Force were 29-0 in the fifth over, Evin Lewis (14) was also dropped by Campbell at first slip, again by the unlucky Merchant. As the big-hitting opening duo raced to their 50-partnership in the eighth over, those missed catches were even more critical.

Leading up to the 25th over, Jamaica got three wickets, the last of which when Simmons (68) skied a catch off Allen to Bonner at the long-on boundary. Despite T&T further losing Jason Mohammed (41), who was bowled by Odean Smith, Pooran (54 not out) was joined by captain Pollard (36 not out) who quickly hit five massive sixes to celebrate the win in style and get ready for Saturday's grand final.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force recorded their fifth win in a row to end the preliminary round of the CG Insurance Super50 Cup with a perfect record and 20 points.

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