A cracking half-century from Shemaine Campbelle and a decisive late-match spell from experienced spinner Anisa Mohammed propelled the West Indies Women to a narrow 7-run win over England and a second straight win at the ICC Women’s World Cup.

In a game that featured several swings in momentum, England seemed on course for victory after Sophie Ecclestone and Kate Cross combined to put on 61 for the ninth wicket.

In the last three overs, England needed just nine runs for victory and still had two wickets in hand.  In the 48th over Eccelstone went after Mohammed who missed a return catch but inadvertently run out Cross at the non-striker's end.  The experienced Anya Shrubsole was then bowled by the spinner to leave England all out on 218 and set off jubilant celebrations.

In their turn at the crease, the West Indies were off to an excellent start and seemed set for a big target with openers Hayley Matthews (45) and Deandra Dottin (31) putting 81 on the board, with 58 of those runs coming during the opening powerplay.

England spinner Ecclestone, however, was introduced into the attack with great effect and turned the match on its head during an eventful 21st over as the West Indies lost three wickets in five deliveries.

Matthews was the first to go after edging Ecclestone to Anya Shrubsole and Dottin was run out three balls later, courtesy of some excellent fielding from the experienced Danni Wyatt.

The West Indies then lost skipper Stafanie Taylor first ball as Ecclestone gave England the ascendancy, but Campbelle and Chedean Nation (49*) launched a furious fightback with an impressive 123-run stand for the fifth wicket.  

Campbelle eventually fell to Nat Sciver in the penultimate over, but the West Indies had recovered sufficiently from a mid-innings collapse eventually ending with a score of 225 for 6.  Ecclestone ended with figures of 3 for 20.

The win moved the Caribbean team up to second in the table, while England will have plenty of work to do if they are to repeat their 2017 heroics.

 

Jonny Bairstow scored a fine century to lift England on day one of the first Test with West Indies.

Having won the toss and elected to bat in Antigua, it looked like being an all too familiar tale for a frequently fragile England line-up.

The tourists' top order collapsed to leave England 48-4 inside 16 overs, however, Bairstow (109 not out) led the rebuilding effort to ensure they got valuable first-innings runs on the board.

It was his eighth century in the longest format and first against the Windies, his success in surviving the first 10 overs with the second new ball meaning England are well placed to put themselves in an even more favourable position on day two after reaching 268-6 at stumps.

Such a scenario appeared unlikely when Kemar Roach quickly removed debutant Alex Lees (4) and opening partner Zak Crawley (8) was caught behind off Jayden Seales.

England looked in dire straits after Joe Root (13) was caught in two minds and bowled by Roach, with Dan Lawrence failing to build on a start as he went for 20 caught at second slip off Jason Holder.

The foundation for England's response was laid by Bairstow and Ben Stokes (36), who put on 67 before the latter thick-edged Seales on to leg stump, with Ben Foakes then adding 42 in his first Test since last year's tour of India in a sixth-wicket stand of 99.

Foakes was pinned lbw to break that partnership but the wicket of Bairstow, who deviated superbly between attack and defence in facing 216 balls, consistently punishing wide deliveries, proved elusive.

There were shades of the SCG in January as he wildly celebrated a richly deserved century and, with Bairstow and Chris Woakes (24 not out) bringing up a 50 partnership in the final over, England's hopes of gaining a better result than the draw they claimed in Sydney will be increasing.

Bairstow is England's glue once again

Having missed England's fifth Test with Australia in Hobart, Bairstow made it back-to-back hundreds in the longest format by following up his Sydney effort with another shining performance.

Sustained partnerships have been tough to come by for England in recent times, but when they have put them together, Bairstow has often been involved. Indeed, five of the last seven 50 partnerships for England have included Bairstow.

Windies face brick wall

The Windies would have hoped to make inroads with the second new ball in the final overs of the day. They failed to do so. The last 10 overs saw England add 33 runs without loss, and there will surely be concern among the hosts over how they let a seemingly dominant position slip.

West Indies fast bowler, Chinelle Henry, insists the team is determined to take things one game at a time after a dizzying start to the ICC Women's World Cup, which saw them net a thrilling win over hosts New Zealand.

On the back of a fine century from opener Hayley Matthews and crunch-death bowling from all-rounder Deandra Dottin, the team snatched a narrow 3-run win over the Kiwis in their first match. 

The Windies return to action Tuesday, at 5:00 pm, for the first time since that game, and Henry insists they will head into the contest grounded and focused on the task at hand.  England will be looking to get on the board after losing their first encounter against Australia.

“For us, it really is game by game. That first game against New Zealand - Yes, we had discussions with the coaching staff. We had discussions with everybody - but as a team, you know going out there we just had the discussions among ourselves that doesn't matter what happened,” Henry said on Monday.

“We just have - once everybody takes up the responsibility that I am going to do it for the team, then collectively we will just - we all will do it for the team. And I think that's the mentality we have brought into this team going into this World Cup - that if every single player put up their hand and be like, okay, today's my day, then when all 11 players come together collectively, we will and can beat anything.”

Tuesday marks the start of the three-Test Apex series between the West Indies and England. The visitors have not won a Test series in the Caribbean since their3-0 triumph in 2004, the same series in which Brian Lara scored a world record 400 not out in the fourth Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

In 2019, when the teams last met in the Caribbean, the hosts secured a 2-1 series win and West Indies head coach Phil Simmons wants his team to keep the trend alive.

“We’re looking to play the cricket that we know will put us in a position to win the series. We’re trying to make sure we’re ready for everything England can throw at us,” the Trinidadian head coach said during a pre-match press conference on Monday while indicating that it will critical for the hosts to build strong opening partnerships when they bat.

In that series, Captain Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell shared opening stands of 53, 52, 70, 17 not out, 57 and five and they will once again be entrusted with the responsibility.

“The last time we beat England here, the opening pair was Kraigg and John Campbell. Let’s hope that’s a good omen for us because they gave the team some good starts. We’ve been talking about getting a good start and making sure that the top four put things together and not leave it for the middle and lower order,” Simmons said.

“That’s been the focus of our camp leading up to this series. We need batsmen to bat long so the bowlers can have something to work with and I think the camp went well so I expect good things from them.”

The absence of James Anderson and Stuart Broad from the England team has been a big talking point ever since their squad was announced, but Simmons says he is more interested in who they do have.

“We keep harping on no Broad and Anderson but when you don’t have the experience, you have young players who are hungry to make their name and that is something that you have to guard against too. They have quality bowlers who we still have to bat well against,” he said.

Simmons also spoke about the importance of having one specialist spinner in their squad, Veerasammy Permaul.

“Your spinner, at least in the first couple of days, will always play that holding role. Permaul has been bowling really well so, hopefully, by the time we get to the fourth day he will come into play and possibly be a match-winner for us,” Simmons said.

Simmons also mentioned the conditions he expects at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

“It looks like it’s going to be a good wicket. We’re going to have to work hard for our runs but also work hard for our wickets,” he said.

At the conclusion of the Test match, the teams move on to the Kensington Oval in Barbados for the second Test set to start on March 16. The final Test is scheduled to be played at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada beginning on March 24.

 

 

 

 

Cricket icons Sir Vivian Richards and Lord Ian Botham unveiled the new Richards-Botham trophy which will be won by the victors in Test Series between West Indies and England Men’s Team.

The trophy pays tribute to two all-time greats – whose rivalry and friendship embodies the close relationship and mutual respect between the two sides. The unveiling ceremony was held on Sunday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua ahead of the first Apex Test match which starts on Tuesday, March 8.

The sparkling new trophy symbolizes “Courage. Friendship. Respect” – values that represent the Test cricketing rivalry between West Indies and England, and of two legends who best define them – Sir Vivian Richards and Lord Ian Botham.

It has an ultra-modern design and consists of an upside-down cup, based on a Georgian rummer, with the joining sphere a cricket ball. One end is a rummer for drinking rum and the other a wine/ale goblet. The rummer has palm fronds and the ale cup has willow leaves. The ceremonial idea is that the winning team holding the trophy would have the rummer that represents their team face upward while they held it and it would be ceremoniously turned over when the other team wins.

Test matches between these two rivals date back to 1928 when West Indies made their first trip to England. The teams, under the captaincy of Kraigg Brathwaite and Joe Root, will renew the rivalry with the Apex Test Series.

“It’s a truly special feeling to have the fantastic trophy named in honour of my great friend Ian and myself. We played a lot together and built a great friendship on and off the cricket field,” said Sir Vivian. “As I said earlier, I am truly delighted to know that the game that I have shown my love for all my life is naming such a prestigious award in recognition of what I managed to achieve. It’s a beautiful trophy and I want to again thank everyone who came up with this idea and contributed to its creation."

Botham said he was honoured to have a trophy in his name.

“It’s a great idea and a truly lovely trophy. It really stands out and I’m honoured to have my name on the trophy alongside my friend Sir Viv,” he said.

“The captain who picks up the trophy at the end of the upcoming series will be a happy man.”

Meanwhile, West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite said he was eager to get going on Tuesday in what he expects to be a closely contested series.

“We’re really excited and ready for the upcoming Apex Test Series against England. This is going to be an amazing three weeks of cricket,” Brathwaite said.

“It’s extra special too that we’re playing for the new Richards-Botham trophy, a fitting tribute to these two great men. We want to be the first team to get our hands on it and celebrate with our fans.”

England’s captain Joe Root believes the trophy named in honour of the two greats is a fitting tribute to the rivalry between the two teams.

“Test series between England and West Indies are iconic, and to have a trophy named after arguably the two most outstanding England and West Indies cricketers of all-time in Lord Ian Botham and Sir Vivian Richards is a fitting tribute for this great rivalry. We are enthused about the next month of competition, and we hope to make the England fans proud by lifting the Richards-Botham trophy,” he said.

The Apex Test Series will feature three Test matches. The first at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, the second Apex Test will be played at Kensington Oval, Barbados from March 16-20, with the climax in the third Apex Test at the Grenada National Stadium, Grenada on March 24-28

England seamer Ollie Robinson has been ruled out of the first Test against West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Robinson is struggling with a back spasm and has not recovered in time to play in Antigua.

The uncapped Saqib Mahmood has taken Robinson's place in a 12-man squad for the opening game in a three-match series.

Mark Wood had been feeling unwell this week, but the paceman has been included in the squad.

With James Anderson and Stuart Broad overlooked for the tour, the likes of Craig Overton and Mahmood will be determined to make their mark.

The tourists will name their side at the toss on Tuesday as they attempt to restore some pride following a 4-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia.

 

England squad for the first Test:

Joe Root (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Jamaica Reggae Girl, Khadija Shaw, didn’t find the back of the net but Manchester City Women ended the streak of Chelsea Women to claim the Women's League Cup on Saturday.

The win was the first in three years for the sky blues who had to come from behind to claim the title.  Chelsea took the lead through Sam Kerr in the first half, but a furious rally from the Citizens in the second turned the game on its head.   After the interval Caroline Weir arrived late in the box with a tidy put away to pull the team’s level.

Nine minutes later, the travelling City fans, although fewer in number, had cause to celebrate again as Ellen White turned in the second from close range.

Weir put the match out of reach with another fine finish which flew into the top corner.  The trophy was the team’s first since they won the FA Cup in 2020.  The win also represented the first in four attempts against Chelsea this season, after losing both league meetings and a rescheduled 2021 FA Cup semi-final in October.

 

Ben Stokes believes he let both himself and England down during the 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia.

The all-rounder, who averaged only 23.60 with the bat and took four wickets, said Joe Root’s side have taken some "hard lessons" from the chastening defeat Down Under.

Stokes helped to salvage a draw with a half-century in both innings in the fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but England suffered a brutal series hammering.

The vice-captain, who returned in Australia following a break to protect his mental health while also recovering from a finger injury, is determined to make amends in the upcoming series against West Indies.

"Looking back on Australia, we've had some honest reflections not only as a team but individuals as well," the 30-year-old said.

"I personally felt I let the team down with more than just performances, I would have liked to have been in better physical shape.

"When I look back on it, I felt I let myself down, but the thing that really grinds me the most and hurts me the most is that I let a lot of other people down and I never want to feel that way again. 

"Everyone's taken some good hard lessons from Australia."

England travelled to the Caribbean without legendary bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, while head coach Chris Silverwood lost his job after the drubbing in Australia.

Stokes is fully behind captain Joe Root and says there is no point discussing the absence of Anderson and Broad.

"It's not all on the captain. Joe is 100 per cent the man to lead this team forward, and I'll be right behind him every step of the way,” he added.

"There's obviously been a big change with Stuart and Jimmy [being dropped,] but, with all due respect to them, they're not here and what we can concentrate on are the guys who are, and the opportunity they now have.

"We have made a real effort to make sure that from the top, the most experienced guy, Joe, to the guys who haven’t even played yet, we are valued just as much as each other. 

"When it comes to guys who are about to make their debut or haven't played much, there is that extra responsibility on the senior guys to help them through that.

"I don't see it as a negative whatsoever. The only thing for us now is [to be] positive, because there were a lot of negatives in Australia and it was a s*** place to be."

The first Test in the three-match series against West Indies start in Antigua on Tuesday.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad are the most successful pace bowling duo in the history of Test Cricket with 1,177 wickets in 321 matches between them.

Against the West Indies, the pair has 160 wickets in 41 matches. With that being said, many were surprised when the England squad for their three-match Test series against the Windies was announced with Broad and Anderson nowhere to be found.

West Indies pace bowler Kemar Roach was no exception.

“Quite surprising,” Roach said in a pre-match press conference on Saturday.

“I thought that both of them would definitely still be involved but decisions have been made on that end,” he added.

Obviously, the absence of the two is a big plus for the Caribbean side, a sentiment Roach also shared.

“I think it’s a slight advantage for us, obviously with those experienced players missing so there’s a hole for England to fill. Robinson, Wood, and Woakes are fantastic bowlers and we take them seriously but once we get our plans right, I think we’ll be in good shape going into this series.”

Since his debut in 2009, Roach has taken 231 wickets in Test cricket with England being his favourite opponent as 50 of those have come against them.

“For me, England is our biggest series. We play the most test matches against England, having three, so, at home, obviously, there’s a confidence factor and you want to perform well against England. I’m always looking to go hard and put on my best performances against them.”

Roach will, hopefully, have his chance to add to those 50 wickets when the teams square off in the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua starting on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

Nat Sciver's unbeaten century went in vain as Australia managed to defend a total of 311 against arch-rivals England in their opening match at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022.

After a thriller in the opening day of the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup, fans were treated to yet another close encounter. Defending 311, Australia managed to hold their nerve with England needing 16 off the last over. Jess Jonassen gave away just three runs as the Aussies put their first points on board in the World Cup standings.

While several Aussie bowlers chipped in with wickets, it was Alana King who turned the game in the middle overs with three wickets, including the important scalp of Tammy Beaumont.            LoadureFullscreen

Chasing a daunting target of 311, Australia, through Megan Schutt, dented England early in the innings with the wicket of Lauren Winfield-Hill for a duck. Annabel Sutherland took a brilliant diving catch, plucking the ball inches off the ground to give the Aussies the early breakthrough.

England captain Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont took a couple of overs to get their eye in but made up for it in the Powerplay, finishing on 53/1 at the end of 10 overs.

Beaumont raced to a fifty off 54 deliveries but Knight fell 10 runs short of the milestone – Tahlia McGrath forced a soft dismissal as the skipper was caught at covers, thus ending a brilliant 92-run partnership between the pair.

Nat Sciver and Beaumont had to rebuild the innings again after the dismissal, but the wicket of the England opener pegged them back. With a brilliant leg break that would have made the late Shane Warne proud, Alana King beat Beaumont in the air and off the surface and Alyssa Healy did the rest behind the stumps.

One brought two for King as Amy Jones departed soon without troubling the scorers much. At the other end, Sciver brought up her half-century but kept losing partners, Danni Wyatt this time departing for 7.

Sciver and Sophia Dunkley led England's recovery with a 55-run stand for the sixth wicket. It looked like the partnership could take England home but King once again broke through, bowling Dunkley around the legs.

With Katherine Brunt keeping her company, Sciver put the foot on the accelerator as the required rate climbed to almost 10 and brought up her 100.

With the equation down to 26 off the last two, McGrath and Jess Jonassen held their nerve. The former gave away just 10 from the penultimate over and Jonassen picked two wickets in the final over, including a stunning return grab to dismiss Brunt, as England fell 12 runs short.

Earlier in the day, a 196-run stand for the second wicket between Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning formed the crux of the innings. Haynes went on to make a brilliant 130 – her second ODI century – while Lanning was dismissed for 86 by Katherine Brunt.

 

The four-day warm-up match between the CWI President’s XI and England ended in a draw on Friday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.

After continuing from their overnight 77-3 in their second innings, the tourists ended up declaring at 164-4 to set the President’s XI a target of 367 to win.

Dan Lawrence (48) and Ben Foakes (44 not out) were England’s main scorers in their second innings.

The President’s XI found themselves in early trouble at 25-4 before eventually ending up 123-7 when play was called off. Keacy Carty (49) narrowly missed out on his second fifty of the game while Jeremy Solozano contributed 32, against two wickets each from Craig Overton, Jack Leach, and Ben Stokes as well as some hostile bowling from Mark Wood.

Final Scores: England 466-6 declared and 164-4 declared, CWI President’s XI 264 all out and 123-7.

England will now turn their attention to the first Test against the West Indies starting on Tuesday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

 

 

England will go into the final day of their four-day warm-up fixture against the CWI President’s XI in a commanding position.

Then tourists ended day three on 77-3 in their second innings, a lead of 279 runs on the President’s XI. Zak Crawley (34), Alex Lees (10) and Ben Stokes (19) are the batsmen out for England with Shermon Lewis, Bryan Charles and Colin Archibald getting the wickets.

Earlier, the CWI President’s XI resuming from their overnight 48-2, were eventually bowled out for 263 to trail the touring English by 203 runs on first innings.

The bulk of the scoring was done by Barbadian all-rounder Raymon Reifer, who scored a well-compiled 103.

Reifer’s hundred came off 183 balls and included 15 fours and two sixes.

Keacy Carty also added 57 for the President’s XI against 4-62 off 28 overs from left-arm spinner Jack Leach and 2-26 off five overs from the off-spin of Dan Lawrence.

England have lost Luke Cowan-Dickie for the remainder of the Six Nations due to a knee injury and Ireland prop Andrew Porter will also play no further part in the tournament.

Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter on Thursday confirmed Cowan-Dickie could be out for the rest of the season as he requires surgery.

The hooker did the damage in a 23-19 win over Wales at Twickenham last weekend and England forwards coach Richard Cockerill says his absence is a blow for the Red Rose in their quest to win the title.

Cockerill said: "We're disappointed for him, for Exeter and obviously ourselves. He's a really important player to the team and a leader to the group as well.

"So it's a bit of a blow to the team, but we've got cover and that's the game isn't it, players get injured, you have to deal with that and someone else gets an opportunity.

"Jamie [George] is a fantastic player; he's proven that for the last 10 years or so. He did a great job when he came on at the weekend and I'm sure he’s looking forward to doing that again."

Ireland will have to do without Porter when they travel Twickenham to face Eddie Jones' side a week on Saturday.

The prop sustained an ankle injury during the 57-6 round three rout of Italy, which left Ireland just a point behind leaders France in second place.

Ireland are hopeful centre Robbie Henshaw is passed fit to take on England after he suffered a head injury in the thrashing of the Azzurri.

England batsman Jason Roy has pulled out of this year's Indian Premier League for personal reasons.

The 31-year-old had been due to play for new franchise Gujarat Titans in the competition, which runs from March 26 to May 29.

However, Roy announced in a statement on his personal Instagram account on Tuesday that he will no longer be taking part in a blow for the Titans.

It is the second time Roy has pulled out of the competition, having also done so in 2020 after being picked by Delhi Capitals.

Roy, who welcomed his second child in January, said: "It's with a heavy heart I have decided to pull out of this year's tournament.

"I want to thank the management and the captain Hardik [Pandya] for putting your faith in me and picking me in the auction.

"However, with everything going on in the world over the last 3 years, it's added up and taken its toll on me. I feel it's only right I spend some quality time with my family. 

"As well as spending time working on myself and my game over the next couple of months leading in to a very busy year.

"I will be following each game of the Titans and backing them to lift the trophy in their first year of the tournament.

"Thank you everyone for the continued support and I hope you can all respect and appreciate my decision."

Roy played in the Pakistan Super League last month and is in contention to feature for England in the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

England opener Zak Crawley insists he never feared for his Test career despite enduring a "horrible" run of form in 2021.

Crawley was dropped for parts of a year that saw him register just 173 runs at an average of 10.81.

A 77 in Sydney against Australia in January helped England to salvage draw in the fourth Ashes Test and avoid a series whitewash.

Crawley, who turned 24 this month, is hoping to build on that as England play West Indies in three Test matches with a new-look group after eight players were dropped.

"No, I didn't fear it was finished," Crawley told Sky Sports when asked if he was worried about his Test career. "I knew I was young and I always believed in myself.

"It was a horrible year last year in terms of the stats, but I thought it was a bit misleading actually – I felt like I was a bit unlucky with conditions in some places when I got a chance.

"So now when conditions are hopefully in my favour I need to make sure I cash in and make up for that

"You learn a lot more from your failures than your successes and I learned an awful lot about myself last year.

"I think I'm a lot better player for it – there are no certainties in life but I feel good about my game at the moment and hopefully I’ll score good runs in this series

"It still wasn't the runs I wanted but the way that I played [against Australia], I was pleased with. It's given me a platform to kick on from. I feel I understand my game a lot more now, after having a tough year.

"You create your own luck. Obviously, people trusted in me again and I'm looking to repay them and score a lot of runs for them this year and for England in general.

"I think we're going to have a good year and hopefully I can be a big part of that."

The first Test at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium starts on March 8.

England will be led by interim coach Paul Collingwood after Chris Silverwood was dismissed in the wake of the 4-0 Ashes loss.

"There's a lot of excitement about this series, we're loving being here in the Caribbean – it's a great place to travel to and play," added Crawley.

"We're really looking forward to the series and we're a positive group at the moment.

"It's pretty easy [to put the Ashes behind you]. We know what when wrong, we've analysed what we did wrong and we're looking to move forwards now. 

"You learn a lot in general from losing actually and it gives you a chance to bounce back strongly. I think we will during this series and in the coming year."

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