On the back of a vintage display of power hitting from Captain Kieron Pollard and some responsible batting from Nicholas Pooran, defending champions MI New York booked a spot in the 2024 Major League Cricket Playoffs with a four-wicket win over the Los Angeles Knight Riders at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, Texas on Sunday.

Both teams entered Sunday’s clash knowing a win would be good enough for them to join the San Francisco Unicorns, Washington Freedom and Texas Super Kings in the playoffs.

After winning the toss and electing to field first, MI New York restricted the LA Knight Riders to 130 all out off 19.1 overs.

The hard-hitting Andre Russell did the bulk of the scoring for the Sunil Narine-led knight Riders with 35 while Jason Roy hit 27 at the top of the innings.

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan was the pick of the New York bowlers with 3-22 from his four overs while Nosthush Kenjige and Trent Boult supported well with two wickets, each.

MI New York then needed only 17 overs to reach 134-6 and book their spot in the playoffs after winning just one of their first six games of the season.

Nicholas Pooran led the way with 35 off 28 balls but it was Pollard’s blistering 33* off just 12 balls that sealed victory.

Pooran’s knock included two fours and as many sixes while Pollard hit two fours and three sixes.

Dewald Brevis also chipped in with a 19-ball 27.

Narine took 2-24 from his four overs for the Knight Riders.

Full Scores:

LA Knight Riders 130 all out off 19.1 overs (Andre Russell 35, Jason Roy 27, Rashid Khan 3-22, Nosthush Kenjige 2-22, Trent Boult 2-38)

MI New York 134-6 off 17 overs (Nicholas Pooran 35, Kieron Pollard 33*, Dewald Brevis 27, Sunil Narine 2-24)

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Pooran hit 62* to lead defending champions MI New York to a six-wicket win over the Seattle Orcas to kick off the second edition of Major League Cricket at Church Street Park in Morrisville on Friday.

After winning the toss and electing to field first, the MI New York bowlers dominated the Orcas batting, restricting them to 108 all out off 19.1 overs.

Shubham Ranjane (35), Harmeet Singh (20) and Aaron Jones (12) were the only batsmen to reach double figures for the Orcas against 3-22 and 3-25 from eight overs combined from superstars Rashid Khan and Trent Boult, respectively.

Captain Kieron Pollard also chipped in with 2-11 from his 2.1 overs.

It then took MI New York only 14.2 overs to reach 111-4 with Pooran finishing 62* off 37 balls, his 41st T20 half-century.

His knock included seven fours and two sixes.

Full Scores:

Seattle Orcas 108 all out off 19.1 overs (Shubham Ranjane 35, Rashid Khan 3-22, Trent Boult 3-25)

MI New York 111-4 off 14.2 overs (Nicholas Pooran 62*, Cameron Gannon 2-40)

Cricket West Indies (CWI) vice president Azim Bassarath has declared his intentions to join the effort to possibly coerce spinner Sunil Narine to come out of international retirement for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to be hosted in the Caribbean and United States.

Bassarath's declaration follows that of West Indies T20 captain Rovman Powell, who has led the charge of trying to get Narine back to the regional setup ahead of the June 1-29 global showpiece.

Narine, 35, confirmed his retirement from the international game last November. However, after a stellar 56-ball 109 for Kolkota Knight Riders (KKR) against Rajasthan Royals in an IPL tie on April 16, Powell said he’s been trying to coax Narine to rejoin the squad for the past year “but he’s blocked out everyone.”

At the same time, the Jamaican revealed that he sought the assistance of Nicholas Pooran and retired international stars Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo to convince their compatriot to return. Former maroon fast bowler Tony Gray also believes Narine would be a welcomed addition to Darren Sammy's side to challenge for a third T20 World Cup title.

West Indies won the 2012 and 2016 editions of the tournament.

After KKR's IPL win against the Lucknow Super Giants on April 14, Narine when asked about the possibility of returning to the West Indies team by former West Indies teammate Samuel Badree, pointed out that “I will be watching from home, Badree.”

However, Narine in another interview on Tuesday, appeared to soften his stance about making the proverbial U-turn, when he said, “It is what it is, but we'll have to see what the future holds.”

Bassarath explained that he has tried unsuccessfully to make contact with Narine, but he intends to keep at it.

“I haven’t spoken to him [Narine], and he hasn’t spoken to me. Everybody is asking for him to change his mind and come represent West Indies, at least for this last chance. It is my intention to give him a shout, and if I have to beg him to come back and make himself available to play in this tournament. Because this is what the people need," he said in a T&T Newsday article.

Bassarath, the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) president Bassarath also revealed that he reached out to Queen’s Park Cricket Club president Nigel Camacho – Narine’s domestic club – for help.

“I have also spoken to the QPCC president, and he indicated to me that he will also reach out to Sunil to see if he can change his mind to come on board," he shared.

West Indies are set to open their T20 World Cup campaign against Papa New Guinea in Guyana, on June 2.  Afghanistan, New Zealand, and Uganda are the other teams in the group.

In a thrilling turn of events at the 2024 draft of The Hundred, five West Indies power-hitting batters clinched top-bracket contracts, setting the stage for an electrifying season ahead. The draft, held on Wednesday, saw these dynamic players securing lucrative deals worth £125,000 each, promising an explosive display of cricketing prowess when the latest season of The Hundred kicks off on July 23.

The Northern Superchargers made the headlines by selecting Nicholas Pooran as their first pick, highlighting the team's strategic focus on acquiring top-tier talent. Pooran's exceptional batting prowess and aggressive style make him a formidable force on the field, adding depth and flair to the Superchargers' lineup.

London Spirit secured the services of two West Indian powerhouses, with Andre Russell and Shimron Hetmyer joining their ranks. Known for their ability to smash boundaries with ease, Russell and Hetmyer are expected to bring an exciting brand of cricket to the Spirit camp, captivating fans with their explosive stroke play.

Meanwhile, Southern Brave strengthened their batting lineup by acquiring the services of Kieron Pollard, adding the experienced all-rounder's firepower to their arsenal. Pollard's ability to turn the game on its head with his big-hitting prowess makes him a valuable asset for the Brave as they aim for glory in The Hundred.

Rovman Powell emerged as a top pick for Trent Rockets, further solidifying the West Indian presence in the tournament. Powell's aggressive batting style and knack for scoring quick runs make him a perfect fit for the Rockets' lineup, providing the team with a dynamic middle-order batsman capable of changing the course of a game single-handedly.

While the draft brought joy to these five West Indian stars, there was disappointment for Trinidad and Tobago's mystery spinner Sunil Narine, who went undrafted. Despite his absence from the draft, Narine remains a formidable force in the world of cricket, with his unique bowling skills and all-round abilities.

Power hitter Kieron Pollard upstaged Babar Azam's landmark outing in Lahore, as Karachi Kings cruised to an emphatic seven-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi on Wednesday.

Chasing 155, Pollard bludgeoned an unbeaten 49 off 21 balls with four towering sixes and four boundaries to take Kings home in 16.5 overs for their first win in the tournament.

Babar's landmark 271st T20 in which he became the fastest batter to reach 10,000 runs saw Zalmi getting bowled out for 154 in 19.5 overs after the Kings won the toss and elected to field.

Babar followed his half-century in the first game against Quetta Gladiators with a knock of 72 off 51 balls, but his effort went in vain for the second successive game.

Zalmi's innings revolved around Babar's brilliance after it lost three wickets inside the batting powerplay with Shoaib Malik dismissing Saim Ayub off the first ball with a full-pitched delivery that didn't turn much. Hasan Ali, playing against his former franchise, also had a dream start when he knocked back Tom Kohler-Cadmore's off stump off his first ball.

Babar revived the innings with Rovman Powell (39) in a 68-run stand and Asif Ali scored 23 before Peshawar lost its last six wickets for only 18 runs in the last four overs. Powell top-edged a reverse sweep against left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz a while Asif holed out at long-on.

Left-arm fast bowler Mir Hamza (3-28), who bowled to hard lengths with the new ball, chipped in with the wickets of Aamer Jamal and then took a fine return catch to dismiss Babar in his last over as the Zalmi innings folded quickly.

Pollard brought an early finish when he smashed three straight sixes and two fours in a 27-run over against Afghanistan's left-arm wrist spinner Waqar Salamkheil, one of the two changes Zalmi made after losing the first match by 16 runs. Salamkheil conceded 54 off his four overs and got Malik stumped for run-a-ball 29.

James Vince remained unbeaten on 38 and ended up denying Pollard a chance at a much-deserved half-century when he drove Luke Wood (2-20) for the winning boundary in the 17th over.

Kings, who lost their first game against Multan Sultans by 55 runs, have two points from two games while Zalmi is still looking for their first win.

 

The boys in Maroon benefitted from a session with former West Indies all-rounder Pollard. With plenty of experience in international cricket and high-octane global T20 leagues, Pollard was able to share his words of wisdom with the upcoming cricketers from the region.

Pollard featured in 123 ODIs for West Indies and scored 2706 runs at a strike rate of 94.41. He also scored three centuries and 13 fifties. In the T20I format, the all-rounder scored 1569 runs at a strike rate of 135.14. He also picked 55 ODI and 42 T20I wickets.

He was a part of the West Indies side that lifted the 2012 ICC Men's T20 World Cup and has also come through the ranks, playing the U19 World Cup in 2006.

Youngster Jordan Johnson thanked Pollard for his encouragement, "We'd like to thank you guys for coming up, and giving us your words of encouragement and motivation. And I hope that they'll use it to the best of their abilities. To help us throughout the World Cup. Thank you!"

West Indies begin their campaign on the opening day of the tournament, taking against hosts South Africa in Potchefstroom. Apart from the Proteas, they'll go up against England and Scotland in their group.

 

Heinrich Klaasen was at his belligerent best to help Durban’s Super Giants secure an 11-run win over Kieron Pollard’s MI Cape Town via the DLS method in the Betway SA T20 at Kinsmead in Durban on Thursday.

MI Cape Town first posted a formidable 207-5 from their 20 overs after being put in to bat by the Super Giants.

Opener Ryan Rickleton hit six fours and six sixes on his way to an excellent top score of 87 from 51 balls while Pollard, who replaced the injured Rashid Khan ad Captain for the tournament, hit a brutal 31 from 14 balls including four fours and a six in the latter part of the innings.

Guyanese all-rounder Keemo Paul took 2-31 from his four overs for the Super Giants.

The chase got off to a less than impressive start as Durban lost Quinton De Kock (5) and Wiaan Milder (5) within the first three overs with 12 runs on the board.

A 40-run third wicket partnership between opener Matthew Breetzke and Paul steadied proceedings a bit before Paul fell off the bowling of English speedster Ollie Stone for 15.

His wicket brought Klaasen to the crease and he put the team on his back with a magnificent 35-ball 85 including four fours and eight massive sixes.

Breetzke ended up making 39 off 24 balls.

The wickets of those two along with Nicholas Pooran for just 11 meant that the Super Giants were 177-6 off 16.3 overs when the rains came and ended play for the day.

Thankfully for the Super Giants, the Duckworth Lewis Stern par score was 166 at the time.

South African ace Kagiso Rabada took 2-23 from three overs for MI Cape Town.

 

Former West Indies captain Kieron Pollard will lead MI Cape Town's hunt for glory in the second edition of South Africa's Premier Twenty20 League, SA20, while in his absence from the International League (ILT20), compatriot Nicholas Pooran will lead MI Emirates.

Pollard's appointment at MI Cape Town comes as Rashid Khan, who led the team last season, has been ruled out of the upcoming season, as he continues to recover from a back surgery. The ace leg spinner was named in the Afghanistan squad on January 6 for their three-match T20I series in India, but is unlikely to play, according to a statement from his cricket board (ACB). Khan also missed Afghanistan's most recent T20I series in the UAE and the Big Bash League (BBL).

As such, the powerfully built Pollard has not only been drafted to make his debut in the SA20 but will lead from the front given his experience as a five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) Champion, a two-time Champions League (CLT20) Champion, and a Major League (MLC) Champion, across the Mumbai Indians franchises.

The explosive middle-order batsman was also retained by MI Emirates for the upcoming ILT20 campaign, but with its dates clashing with the SA20's, Pooran has been given the reins of MI Emirates captaincy. It remains to be seen whether Pollard will join MI Emirates for the last leg of the ILT20 in the UAE.

Pollard was recently in action for New York Strikers in the Abu Dhabi T10 league, where his side lost the final to Deccan Gladiators.

Pooran, who also plays with Pollard at Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), recently declined his West Indies central contract to become a free agent.

The left-hand batsman, who is also a former West Indies white-ball captain, Pooran was unveiled as Durban's Super Giants' wildcard pick in September 2023, and is likely to play three matches in the SA20 before linking up with MI Emirates for the second season of the ILT20.

The one-month SA20 will run from January 10 to February 10, and the ILT20 from January 19 to February 17. The two leagues will also clash with New Zealand's Super Smash and the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

Former West Indies captain Kieron Pollard will join the England coaching team for the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Pollard becomes part of the England set-up specifically as an assistant coach for the June tournament.

The 36-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago will provide expertise of Caribbean conditions with the competition being co-hosted by the West Indies and the United States.

Former Somerset all-rounder Pollard helped the West Indies win the T20 World Cup in 2012 and has played a record 600-plus matches in the format.

The ninth edition of the T20 World Cup will be held between June 4 and June 30 next year, with the final to be staged at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

England will defend the title they won for the second time in Australia 13 months ago in a tournament expanded from 16 to 20 teams.

Former West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is set to start a new chapter in his decorated cricketing career, as he is expected to join reigning Twenty20 World champions England as a batting consultant ahead of their title defence in the Caribbean and the United States, next year.

According to media reports, Pollard, 36, is expected to impart knowledge of Caribbean conditions and pitches to the England, for the showpiece tournament scheduled for June 4-30.

With the region notorious in recent years for its low, slow pitches, conditions are expected to play a key role in the tournament, and, as such, Pollard's experience of same, will be an asset for England.

The Trinidadian's appointment is expected to flawless, as he is already acquainted with current England captain Jos Buttler with whom he played during a couple of stints with county Somerset, and others, who he would have rubbed shoulders with, in franchise tournaments.

Pollard, who retired from international cricket last year, after a T20 series away to India two months prior. Still, the powerfully built player continues to feature in the global short-format franchise leagues, recently leading New York Strikers to victory in the Abu Dhabi T10.

His vast experience in the T20 format, will also be of value to England, as Pollard has 123 One-Day International and 101 T20 International appearances under his built. Overall, he has featured in 537 T20s, scoring over 12,000 runs, with 300 wickets from his part-time bowling.

Pollard was at the helm when West Indies copped the T20 World Cup title in 2021, to go along with the 2016 title won by a Darren Sammy-led team which he was a part of.

Deccan Gladiators' hopes of a hat-trick of Abu Dhabi T10 titles were dashed by New York Strikers, who put in a fantastic bowling display led by Sunil Narine in the final to romp home by seven wickets with four balls in hand on Saturday.

Big scores had gone down as the tournament wore on, but Gladiators' 91 for 5 after being sent in appeared insufficient for the big occasion. It proved to be exactly that, despite Strikers being 7 for 2 in 1.1 overs, with openers Muhammad Waseem and Rahmanullah Gurbaz dismissed cheaply.

Niroshan Dickwella and Asif Ali, the Player of the Match, put the innings back on track, before Dickwella was sent back by Andre Russell for a 12-ball 14. From there on, it was all about Asif and captain Kieron Pollard, who put up 56 runs together without much scoreboard pressure to weigh them down.

Asif scored 48 not out in 25 balls with two fours and four sixes, and Pollard chipped in with 22 not out in 13, with a four and six, as Strikers won the title.

The win was set up by the bowlers, though. Gladiators had a decent opening stand of 28 with Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Nicholas Pooran, the No. 1 and No. 3 on the tournament run-scorers' list, but Narine broke through in the third over with Kohler-Cadmore's wicket for a seven-ball 13. Pooran fell to George Scrimshaw two balls later, and Gladiators were suddenly 28 for 2, which became 36 for 3, 41 for 4, and 57 for 5 after 7.1 overs, with Narine returning 2 for 6 from his two overs without conceding a single boundary.

Russell, who finished with an unbeaten 30 from 18 balls with two fours and two sixes, and David Wiese, 20 not out from 11, with a four and two sixes, completed the innings with some momentum, but it was too few for Gladiators to defend on the night.

 

Akeal Hosein's sensational 5 for 6 in two overs dismantled Samp Army as New York Strikers posted a 41-run win in Qualifier 1 to storm into the Abu Dhabi T10 final at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Friday.

Defending 121, the Strikers' left-arm spinner picked up a hat-trick in the first over of the innings, dismissing Andries Gous, Dewald Brevis and Ibrahim Zadran, to leave Samp Army reeling at 1 for 3.

In his second over, he removed the opposition captain Faf du Plessis and Najibullah Zadran in space of three balls to further rattle Samp Army.

Jason Holder's 22 of 11 and Qais Ahmad's unbeaten 31 off 13 at No.10 meant Samp Army huffed and puffed to 80 for 9.

Earlier, opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz's blazing 56 off 28 set the tone for Strikers to post a competitive 121 for 5. His knock included four fours and five sixes.

In the end, Asif Ali smashed three fours in his unbeaten seven-ball knock of 17 to further lift Strikers.

Samp Army will have a second chance to make the final when they play the winner of the Eliminator between Bangla Tigers and Deccan Gladiators in Qualifier 2 later today.

At the time of publishing, the Tigers were 78-4 off seven overs batting first.

 

West Indies T20 sensation, Nicholas Pooran, was unveiled as the Durban's Super Giants wildcard pick ahead of the SA20 auction that took place in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

This will be Pooran's first time playing the tournament and he will represent the same owners he plays for in the Indian Premier League.

The 27-year old delivered a recent reminder of his capabilities with a 51-ball hundred at the Caribbean Premier League where his team, Trinbago Knight Riders, was part of the final.

He was the highest scorer in the inaugural Major League Cricket tournament in the USA earlier this year, a performance that helped the team he was captaining, MI New York, win the title.

In all, Pooran has 5861 T20 runs at a strike rate of 144 across a career that spans 292 matches and 10 years.

Fellow West Indians Kieron Pollard and Romario Shepherd were also snapped up at the auction. Pollard will play the first three matches for MI Cape Town as cover for Rashid Khan while Shepherd, who was instrumental in helping the Guyana Amazon Warriors claim their maiden CPL title, will suit up for the Joburg Super Kings.

Trinbago Knight Riders improved their playoff hopes, as they secured a valuable 42-run win over Barbados Royals in the 2023 Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL) at Queen’s Park Oval on Wednesday.

After Rovman Powell again won the toss and opted to field first, the Royals bowlers were fairly steady up front, but later found Nicholas Pooran in defiant mode, as the left-hander literally batted them out of the game with a superb unbeaten century.

Pooran’s 53-ball 102, which included 10 sixes and five fours, propelled Knight Riders to a daunting 208-6 from their allotment, before skilled bowling from Waqar Salamkheil (2-18) and Akeal Hosein (2-21), coupled with some poor shot selections from Royals batsmen at times, sealed the deal.

Despite a well-played 45-ball 70 by Kyle Mayers, his best score so far this season, the Royals were restricted to 166. Mayers hammered four sixes and seven fours in his knock.

Scores: Trinbago Knight Riders 208-6 (20 overs); Barbados Royals 166-7 (20 overs)

Sent to bat in front a pack stadium bursting at its seams with a sea of red, the vociferous Knight Riders crowd faced early disappointment when Roelof van der Merwe took a brilliant catch on the boundary ropes to remove Mark Deyal (six) off Mayers bowling.

From 20-1, Pooran and Martin Guptill added 56 for the second wicket, which was inevitably gifted to the Royals, as the New Zealander advanced but failed to get bat on an arm ball from Rahkeem Cornwall and was stumped for 37.

It quickly became 78-3 as a mix-up between Pooran and captain Kieron Pollard resulted in the latter being run out by Mayers.

However, Pooran soldiered on and took the score past the 100-run mark with Lorcan Tucker (eight), before being joined by Andre Russell for an 82-run fifth-wicket partnership.

The two frustrated the Royals bowling with Russell smashing four sixes and two fours in his 22-ball knock, which unfortunately came to an end when he was given out on review for a faint edge.

Pooran eventually pushed past the century milestone, his second in this format, and with it, placed the Knight Riders in the driver’s seat for the two points.

In response, Barbados Royals lost their previous match winner Cornwall (four) cheaply on this occasion, as he went caught by Sunil Narine off Hosein in the third over.

Mayers and Laurie Evans (20) gradually restored the innings, as they added 41 for the second wicket and when the latter fell, it brought captain Powell to the middle.

But Powell’s stay was brief, as he went for nine and Mayers and Alick Athanaze (seven) followed soon after, and from there, the Royals never recovered.

 Jason Holder, who was given a reprieve off a Narine no-ball, failed to capitalise on the second chance and only mustered 19, while Van der Merwe’s quick-fire unbeaten 20 off nine balls, including a massive six and two fours, was not enough.

The win means Trinbago Knight Riders inched up to second on nine points, same as leaders Guyana Amazon Warriors, but the four-time champions have played two games more.

St Lucia Kings (eight points), Barbados Royals (seven points), Jamaica Tallawahs (five points) and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots (two points), complete the table.

The battle for the playoff spots will be intensified when action resumes on Saturday. At that time, Patriots will oppose Kings and Knight Riders against Tallawahs, with a contest between Guyana Amazon Warriors women and Trinbago Knight Riders women, smacked in between.

Trinbago Knight Riders recorded a dramatic two-run win over defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs in the 2023 Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Sunday.

 Jamaica Tallawahs won the toss and chose to field first, producing a disciplined bowling performance to restrict Trinbago Knight Riders to 142-8 after 20 overs. Kelvin Pitman, making his CPL debut, had an outstanding game as he took three wickets, including that of the opposing captain, Kieron Pollard.

The Tallawahs would have a bright start to their chase but would lose four wickets in the first 10 overs to find themselves in trouble. Waqar Salamkheil and Andre Russell, would prove decisive, taking five wickets between them and restricting runs as the Tallawahs faltered to 140-7, losing by just 2 runs.

The Jamaican franchise got off to an ideal start to the game with experienced seamer Mohammad Amir delivering an opening maiden over.

Openers Martin Guptil and Mark Deyal would however bat through the Powerplay and build a solid foundation to the Knight Riders innings with a 58-run partnership. The complexion of the tie would then completely change as the Knight Riders lost three wickets, including that of Nicholas Pooran, for just five runs. Kelvin Pitman, on debut for the Tallawahs, took two of those wickets within the same over in a brilliant display. The Knight Riders attempts to accelerate the scoring were derailed as they would lose five wickets in the last five overs to finish on 142-8.

Jamaica Tallawahs opened their chase with captain Brandon King and Alex Hales, the duo also batting through the powerplay as they put on a 57-run partnership.

Brandon King lost his wicket to the leg spin of Salamkheil; Jermaine Blackwood was also dismissed four balls later to a super Nicholas Pooran catch, and when Shamarh Brooks departed the very next ball, the Tallawahs looked in trouble at 58-3. More wickets would tumble and despite a late flurry of runs from Chris Green and Imad Wasim, they would ultimately lose by two runs in a nail-biting finish.

 Trinbago Knight Riders will look to continue their winning form as they play their next four games in front of a home crowd.
Scores: Trinbago Knight Riders 142-8 (Pollard 33, Tucker 30, Deyal 30; Amir 3-20, Pitman 3-27) beat Jamaica Tallawahs 140-7 (King 36, Green 32; Russell 3-34, Salamkheil 2-21) by two runs

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