Rajasthan Royals climbed off the canvas to record their first win over Delhi Capitals since April 2018, Chris Morris the hero as he blasted his side to a three-wicket win in the final over.

The Royals were on the ropes at 42-5 during their reply to the Capitals' total of 147-8, yet David Miller's fighting innings of 62 helped keep them in a see-saw contest in Mumbai.

His departure - caught in the deep trying to hit Avesh Khan (3-32) for a third successive six - left the score at 104-7, yet Morris delivered the knockout blows at the death.

Needing 27 from the final two overs, the all-rounder hammered four sixes – including two off compatriot Kagiso Rabada – to sensationally steer Rajasthan home with two balls to spare.

Delhi had suffered a poor start in their innings earlier in proceedings, a superb opening burst from Jaydev Unadkat, who finished with figures of 3-15, helping the Royals reduce their opponents to 37-4.

However, captain Rishabh Pant led the recovery mission for the Capitals, who were unbeaten in the previous five meetings between the franchises.

Lalit Yadav (20) and Tom Curran (21) made useful contributions down the order, while Chris Woakes finished up on 15 not out before playing a starring role for his team with the ball.

The England pace bowler removed international team-mate Jos Buttler for two early on, but the Royals – without the injured Ben Stokes, who will miss the rest of the campaign due to a broken finger – recovered to end Delhi's three-game winning streak at the Wankhede Stadium.

Morris shows his value

Back for a second spell with Rajasthan, who made him the most expensive buy in IPL auction history earlier this year, Morris demonstrated just why he was in such high demand.

Denied the chance to be the hero in their opening game – Sanju Samson turned down a single from the penultimate delivery against Punjab Kings, then got out when needing six to win – he benefited from some loose bowling from Delhi to cash in during the closing stages this time.

Pant down, then out

Skipper Pant rescued his team with a fluent 51 that included nine fours. However, when seemingly well set, he ran himself out trying to sneak a single, some smart work by bowler Riyan Parag seeing the left-hander dismissed by a distance.

Speaking after the game, the wicketkeeper-batsman admitted his team's score was "15-20 short", runs he could easily have provided had he not taken such an unnecessary risk.

Promising West Indies batsman, Kyle Mayers, has expressed confidence at the prospect of becoming a top international Test cricket all-rounder, on the back of encouraging displays with both the bat and ball in recent months.

The attacking-minded Mayers burst on the scene with a stroke-filled 210 unbeaten in the first Test against Bangladesh, in February of this year.  However, against Sri Lanka last month, the player also had a good turn with the ball.  Not only extracting movement from a placid pitch but taking four wickets in the process, with just a short spell.

The display prompted some pundits to suggest that the player had the ability to become a dependable all-rounder for the squad if he could improve his overall fitness.

Bowling would not have been entirely new to Mayers, however, as he was at one point considered more of a bowling all-rounder, having claimed 71 wickets in 30 first-class matches at an average of 21.54.  Having displayed more prowess with the bat in recent months, Mayers is convinced that he can do both at the highest level in the mold of former West Indies captain Jason Holder, or England’s Ben Stokes, the world’s top-ranked all-rounders.

“I have it in me to do it.  I just have to become fitter,” Mayer’s told SportsMax’s The Commentators podcast.

“I just started Test cricket and people think watching it on tv, it’s very easy, it’s very hard.  I will always say that, and I will always let young people coming up know that if you want to play Test cricket you need to work very hard,” he added.

“Preparation is key for me to be up there with Jason.  It will take that hard work, but I believe I can do it for sure.  Having number one and maybe number two in the world can’t be so bad.  If they had two of the world’s best all-rounders the guys would be happy.”

 Catch full interview in the Podcast below

 

 

Former West Indies Captain Jason Holder has expressed his delight at being named among Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year.

Former West Indies captain Sir Clive Lloyd is taking the Guyana Chronicle to court, his lawyer Ralph Thorne confirmed Tuesday night.

Lloyd claims that the newspaper attributed to him, disparaging comments made about all-rounder Jason Holder, himself now a former West Indies captain. However, the man who is also known as the 'Big Cat' insists that he did not speak to the reporter employed by the Guyanese media house.

The offending story published on March 13, was headlined ‘Holder has outlived his usefulness in the position, says Lloyd’ over the byline of Rajiv Bisnauth, who has subsequently been suspended. The newspaper has also apologized for their publication of the story.

However, Thorne revealed on the Mason & Guest talk show in Barbados last night that they were proceeding with legal action against the newspaper.

“I am representing Sir Clive Lloyd in association with Guyanese counsel and if the Chronicle or anybody at the Chronicle is hearing let them understand that we are pressing ahead with the case on behalf of one of the great West Indians of the last 100 years,” Ralph Thorne.

In response to Thorne’s declaration, Editor at the Guyana Chronicle Tajeram Mahabir told Sportsmax.TV that since the story was published online, they had taken several actions that included reaching out to Sir Clive Lloyd with an apology as well as publishing a retraction and apology on the front page of their online publication.

Mr Mahabir also revealed that the newspaper had also reached out to Lloyd’s attorney with an apology, also indicating that the attorney had requested a settlement. He was unable to say whether an agreement was reached on any settlement.

He directed Sportsmax.TV to General Manager Moshamie Ramotar, who was said to be in a meeting when a call was made to her office.

Meanwhile, Mr Mahbir, who said he was disappointed and appalled by the headline and the story saying that had he seen it before it would not have been published. The editor, who described Lloyd as an icon, also said that the newspaper has also engaged the reporting staff in libel training.

On Tuesday night, Thorne said regional newspapers needed to be more responsible with their reporting.

“This region is what it is because we have some people called cricketers. This region derives much of its identity and much of its respect in the international community because of cricket, and therefore because of our cricketers you are not going to meet a more distinguished West Indian than Sir Clive Lloyd,” he said.

“And therefore, newspapers must be very careful how they portray our heroes. Sir Clive Lloyd is a West Indian hero, an authentic West Indian hero and when a reporter is going to say to the world in an online edition that Sir Clive Lloyd spoke to him and he quoted Sir Clive Lloyd as having said that he disavowed Jason Holder.

That is unkind, not only because Sir Clive Lloyd is a West Indian hero speaking about a West Indian captain but Sir Clive Lloyd never said that. These men must not be defamed by newspapers simply because they have the power of the pen.”

Royal Challengers Bangalore made it two wins from two in the Indian Premier League as Sunrisers Hyderabad's miserable record at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium continued on Wednesday.

Glenn Maxwell hit his first half-century in the tournament since 2016 as the Royal Challengers – who had beaten defending champions Mumbai Indians in their opening fixture – posted 149-8 after being put into bat.

Hyderabad appeared on course to prevail in pursuit of their target when they reached 96-1, only for the departure of captain David Warner – caught in the deep for 54 - to trigger a dramatic collapse.

Shahbaz Ahmed claimed three wickets in an over, including Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey with back-to-back deliveries, to completely change the complexion of a run chase that fell apart.

While Rashid Khan made 17 in a hurry the Sunrisers still finished up six runs short on 143-9, meaning they have still yet to win a completed fixture at the venue in Chennai.

Bangalore's innings had been similar too, captain Virat Kohli making 33 before his departure to Jason Holder started a mid-innings wobble, his team slipping from 91-2 to 109-6.

However, Maxwell eventually mastered the tough batting conditions, producing a late onslaught as 39 runs came from the final three overs. He was dismissed off the last delivery of the innings for 59, caught behind to give Holder final figures of 3-30.

Taking it to the Max

Maxwell endured a lean 2020 IPL campaign in the United Arab Emirates, averaging 15.42 for Kings XI Punjab as he made only 108 runs. Having been released ahead of the auction, Bangalore already appear to be getting plenty for their money.

The Australian has now scored 98 runs in his two innings for the Royal Challengers, who sit on top of the table in the embryonic stages of the season.

Chennai trouble for chasing teams

After Kolkata Knight Riders had faltered in pursuit of a 153-run target to lose narrowly against Mumbai at the ground 24 hours earlier, Sunrisers let the same situation happen when seemingly well on top.

Shahbaz (3-7) bowled only two overs, yet the second from the left-arm spinner saw Bairstow, Pandey - who struggled to up the pace as he made 38 from 39 balls - and Abdul Samad all caught off top-edged attempts to go big to the leg side.

Andre Russell cleaned up the Mumbai Indians' tail for career-best figures of 5-15 but was unable to finish the job with the bat as the Kolkata Knight Riders slumped to a dramatic 10-run defeat

Suryakumar Yadav hit a wonderfully fluent 56 but Mumbai's innings stuttered after he holed out to Shakib Al Hasan and they lost 7-37 in the final five overs to be dismissed for 152, as Russell claimed a remarkable 5-15 from 12 deliveries.

Nitish Rana (57) and Shubman Gill (33) tore into the Indians attack with an opening stand of 72, only for Kolkata to subside meekly from a position of strength to a final score of 142-7 – leg-spinner Rahul Chahar (4-27) chipping away at the top order before Trent Boult (2-27) sealed the deal by removing Russell and Pat Cummins in the final over.

Batsmen on either side generally found the going tough but Suryakumar played beautifully, hitting seven fours and two sixes with some wonderfully languid strokeplay before being caught by Gill when trying to plough Shakib back over his head.

Skipper Rohit Sharma anchored the innings until the impressive Cummins (2-24) bowled him with an off-cutter for 43 and Russell made hay.

Fellow West Indian Kieron Pollard edged behind to start the procession and Cummins held on as Russell dismissed Marco Jansen for nought, with Krunal Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Chahar all caught in the deep off the final four balls of the innings.

Unfortunately for Kolkata, they similarly fell apart down the stretch after Chahar had Gill caught by Pollard and claimed the key wicket of Rana stumped, Rahul Tripathi and captain Eoin Morgan giving their wickets away cheaply in every sense to the wrist-spinner.

Shakib played a reckless slog sweep to fall to Krunal Pandya, who sent down a miserly four overs for 1-13. He dropped a return catch with Russell on nought but Boult ensured that did not matter, removing the all-rounder in similar fashion before cleaning up Cummins first ball to effectively end the argument.

Mumbai keep Kolkata under their spell

This was certainly a victory worthy of the defending champions, for whom everything looked lost as Rana and Gill went about their work. There will have been a sense of grim inevitability for the Knight Riders when Chahar and Krunal Pandya began to turn the screw – they have now lost 11 of the past 12 matches between the sides.

Forgot about Dre?

A specialist in franchise T20 all over the world, it was no surprise to see Russell bringing his know-how to the fore. However, in a game of such tight margins, perhaps Morgan might regret not giving the Jamaican his full allocation of overs.

Rajasthan Royals and England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the remainder of the Indian Premier League after breaking his finger.

Stokes did the damage when he ran in from the boundary to claim a low catch and dismiss Punjab Kings batsman Chris Gayle in the Royals' first game of the tournament, which they lost by four runs on Monday.

The Royals on Tuesday revealed that Stokes will play no further part in the competition.

A statement from the franchise said: "Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes injured a finger on his left hand while fielding during the team's match against Punjab Kings on 12 April 2021 in Mumbai.

"Subsequent investigations revealed that he sustained a broken finger, which will unfortunately rule him out of the remainder of the Indian Premier League 2021 season.

"Everyone at Rajasthan Royals absolutely admires Ben for being such a huge asset and a valuable member of the Royals family, both on and off the field, and wishes him a speedy recovery.

"We are delighted that Ben would like to stay with the group to provide his valued support and inputs off the field. In the meantime, we will be reviewing potential replacement options for the remainder of the season."

The England and Wales Cricket Board said it will confirm the next steps for Stokes after he is assessed over the coming days.

There was positive news on Stokes' England and Royals team-mate Jofra Archer earlier in the day, with the paceman given the all-clear by his hand consultant to resume training.

Archer, who underwent surgery last month, was given the go-ahead to return to light training this week, working closely with the Sussex and England men's medical teams.

An update on his elbow injury will be provided once he has resumed bowling and it is not yet clear when he will be available to play again.

Former West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan has been appointed to lead the senior selection panel of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB). His appointment is one several made at a meeting of the newly elected board on Saturday night.

At the meeting, which was the second held since the March 29 elections, and chaired by President B Bissoondyal Singh, several sub-committees were established for senior selection, junior selection as well as for cricket development, finance and public relations.

Sarwan will head the senior panel while Andre Percival, the most successful youth captain in the West Indies, will head the junior selection panel. Vice President Hilbert Foster will lead cricket development, Claude Raphael, the Public Relations Committee while Acting Treasurer Dr Cecil Beharry, heads up the Finance Committee.

Also arising from the meeting was the GCB decision to make available several positions on the different committees for the Essequibo Cricket Board.

 

Chris Gayle was among the runs as the Punjab Kings defeated the Rajasthan Royals by four runs in a thriller in Mumbai today.

South Africa levelled the four-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan at 1-1 thanks to a convincing six-wicket win at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

The Proteas - minus their Indian Premier League stars - had slipped to defeat in the opening game on Saturday but recovered impressively from that setback, with a disciplined bowling performance restricting their opponents to 140-9.

Aidan Markram led the reply with 54 from 30 balls and while there was a mid-innings wobble as they slipped to 98-4, the hosts still cruised to their victory target with six overs to spare.

Stand-in captain Heinrich Klaasen finished up unbeaten on 36, while George Linde was 20 not out from just 10 deliveries to complete a fine all-round performance.

Mohammad Rizwan had starred in Pakistan's successful run chase at the weekend, making an unbeaten 74, but fell for a first-ball duck this time.

The recalled Sharjeel Khan – playing his first international game since January 2017 – also departed early for eight, leaving the score at 10-2 in the third over of an innings that simply never gained momentum.

Skipper Babar Azam made 50 at a run-a-ball rate and Mohammad Hafeez contributed 32, the pair adding 58 for the third wicket.

However, three wickets apiece for Linde – who opened the bowling with his left-arm spin - and Lizaad Williams restricted Pakistan's final score. Tabraiz Shamsi also played his part with the ball, recording figures of 1-22 from his four overs.

The two teams meet again in the third T20 at Centurion on Wednesday, with the series concluding at the same venue two days later.


Rare failure for Rizwan

Rizwan had posted scores of 74 not out, 42, 51, 104 not out and 89 in his previous five T20 appearances for Pakistan. However, the impressive run of form came to a rapid halt on Monday.

The wicketkeeper-batsman fell to the first ball of the game, an ambitious attempt to hit Linde over the top only providing catching practice for Markram at mid-off.

Opening case continues

Markram made sure South Africa had no issues with the required rate in reply, hitting seven fours and three sixes in a 30-ball knock.

The opening batsman has hit back-to-back half-centuries in the format now, furthering his case for a spot in the full-strength line-up ahead of the T20 World Cup later in the year.

 Ricky Skerritt and Dr Kishore Shallow have been re-elected unopposed to the posts of President and Vice President respectively, of Cricket West Indies (CWI). They will serve a second two-year term. The re-election process was conducted as one of the key items on the agenda of the 22nd Annual General Meeting of CWI, today Sunday, April 11, 2021.

“I am humbled and deeply honoured to be re-elected to serve as CWI President for a second term,” said Skerritt, whose leadership was briefly challenged by former Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board, Anand Sanasie.

“I take the responsibility to lead the Board of this prestigious organization, most seriously. We have much-unfinished work to do, and we renew our pledge to work untiringly to help achieve sustainable improvement, both on and off the field, for West Indies cricket.”

Meanwhile, CWI Vice President said expressed gratitude for being able to continue to serve regional cricket.

“I am again grateful for the continued support of the member representatives for Ricky and myself. This re-election is a victory for West Indies cricket as we continue on the path of growing the game across the region, and achieving good outcomes on all fronts and at all levels,” he said.

In addition to the election for President and Vice President, the following persons were duly elected as Member Directors of CWI:

 Conde Riley – Barbados Cricket Association

Calvin Hope – Barbados Cricket Association

Bissoondyal Singh -– Guyana Cricket Board

Hilbert Foster – Guyana Cricket Board

Wilford Heaven – Jamaica Cricket Association

Dr Donovan Bennett – Jamaica Cricket Association

Enoch Lewis – Leeward Islands Cricket Board

Leon Rodney – Leeward Islands Cricket Board

Azim Bassarath – Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board

Arjoon Ramlal – Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board

Julian Charles – Windward Islands Cricket Board

Dwain Gill – Windward Islands Cricket Board

 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting took place virtually via video conference. All of the Territorial Board Member Associations were fully represented.

 

 

 

 

 

Nitish Rana led the way with the bat as Kolkata Knight Riders opened their Indian Premier League campaign with a 10-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Rana made an impressive 80 from 56 deliveries, hitting nine fours and four sixes as the Knight Riders posted 187-6 after being put in at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Rahul Tripathi helped add 93 for the second wicket, his innings of 53 seeing him surpass 1,000 career runs in the competition.

Having crashed their way to 145-1 after 15 overs, Kolkata lost four wickets for 14 runs in trying to lift the run-rate even higher, including two in as many deliveries during a Mohammad Nabi over.

However, it was Nabi’s Afghanistan team-mate Rashid Khan who was the pick of the Hyderabad attack, taking 2-24 from four overs.

Dinesh Karthik produced a late cameo – he hit 22 not out from nine balls – to hurt Sunrisers, who then slipped to 10-2 early in their reply as openers David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha fell cheaply.

Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey both made half-centuries to lift their team after the early setbacks, yet an ever-increasing required rate proved too much for the middle order to manage.

Knight Riders make fast start

Rana's 12th IPL half-century came to an end when he departed to Nabi, who then tempted Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan to loft the next ball straight to Abdul Samad at deep backward square leg.

Having lost Andre Russell cheaply in the previous over too, the clatter of wickets ended any hopes that Kolkata - who missed the play-offs last season after finishing fifth in the round-robin stage – may have had of making it to 200 and beyond.

Jonny be good but Sunrisers come up short

Bairstow was utilised at number four in the batting order - a position he also occupied for England in the recent Twenty20 series against India. At the crease after just 13 deliveries, the right-hander's clean hitting kept Hyderabad's hopes alive as he made 55 from 40 balls.

Pandey ended up unbeaten on 61 - including hitting the final ball of the game for six - while Samad slammed 19 not out from just eight deliveries at the end, raising questions over why he did not come in earlier in the run chase.

Former West Indies captain, Daren Sammy, insists veteran batsman Chris Gayle would be a sure pick in his squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup as the player’s experience and explosive ability remain invaluable.

The recent decision by Cricket West Indies (CWI) to recall the batsman for the recent series against Sri Lanka was met with criticism in some quarters, with some believing the selectors should have opted for younger talent.  The player's struggles in the series did little to dispel that notion.

Sammy, the two-time T20 World Cup-winning captain, however, does not agree.

“After watching Chris Gayle play in the Pakistan Super League, the IPL late last year, and looking at his career, I think he should definitely go to the World Cup,” Sammy told Line and Length on SportsMax.

“Whether he plays in the final XI is a matter for the guys on tour because you will have Evin (Lewis) and (Lendl) Simmons, but Chris’ experience in India and what he brings to the team, I would have him with me,” he added.

“Chris is a batting leader! He has over 20 hundreds in T20s and the next person after that has eight or nine and his experience cannot be underrated so I would have him with me. He knows the big occasion and you bet he can still turn it on…. I will go with him,” said Sammy from his home in St. Lucia.

Gayle has played 31 T20s for the West Indies and scored two centuries and 13 half-centuries, with an average of 31.24 and a strike rate of 140.81. At the last World Cup, he scored an unbeaten 100 in the first match against England but ended the series with 113 runs from four innings.

Sammy, who was at the helm when the team won the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, in 2012, versus the hosts, and in 2016 against England, thinks that the West Indies can win again if they improve their bowling attack.

“We have the batting firepower, but we are missing two x-factor bowlers. Fidel is back and brings some pace, but I think our best chance will be chasing totals. We don’t have that Sunil Narine type of bowler and, to be honest, that’s the missing link. We can win but we need a couple of bowlers to put pressure on for eight overs,” explained Sammy.

 

Five years after his fiery speech criticising Cricket West Indies (CWI) hierarchy and then President, Dave Cameron at the conclusion of the T20 World Cup, Darren Sammy says he would do it all over again if he had to.

As the Windies celebrated the 5th anniversary of their historic victory over India at the 2016 Showpiece in Eden Gardens, Sammy reiterated that he would never apologise to Cameron for his statements, which eventually put an end to his international career.

 “You seek forgiveness when you have done something wrong. I wouldn’t change anything I said because I spoke the truth as to what went on and yes, I paid the price for it, but that’s the way life goes. My Mom always said if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything,” he said while a guest on Line & Length on SportsMax

“I thought I was a true representative to my team. To Dave Cameron, he has moved on. I recently saw on your show he said he is still available for advice…but I don’t know how the current administration would think about that,” he explained.

After Carlos Brathwaite hit four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes to upset England in the final over, Sammy chose the presentation ceremony to vilify the administration for a number of matters prior to the tournament and during the competition when players clashed with CWI over fees, equipment, and communication differences.

“There is a vibe and player-harmony now. The players are playing for their captain...added to that, it’s been great watching Jason Holder and the respect he has gained even though no longer captain. West Indies cricket seems to be moving in the right direction,” said Sammy.

 

 

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