West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran admits the team’s death bowling remains an area of concern following a 120-run defeat and 2-0 series loss to Pakistan in the second game.

Spinner Akeal Hosain and pace bowler Alzarri Josephs both had strong performances, claiming figures of 3 for 52 and 2 for 33 respectively, and the Windies bowling line-up was dominant in patches.  Even so, the last two overs of the innings went for a damaging 27 runs as Pakistan put on 275.

In the previous match, the hosts took 44 from the last four to secure a narrow five-wicket win.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a problem, but we definitely need to review it and keep working.  We know that has been a problem for us in the last couple of months, last couple years actually,” Pooran said, following the match.

“It's a new team as well, the guys are young and inexperienced.  We are in the rebuilding stages and obviously, we can’t get everything right and it (death bowling) is hurting us but having said that we’ll learn from this experience and hopefully we get better with every game we play,” he added.

The West Indies will face Pakistan in the third and final One Day International (ODI) on Sunday.

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran has heaped praises on in-form batsman Shai Hope who scored his 12th One Day International century against Pakistan, albeit in a losing effort.

On Wednesday, Hope maintained a rich vein of form that has seen the batsman score centuries in consecutive series.  Against Pakistan, the opening batsman racked up 127 runs in an innings that featured 15 sumptuous fours.     

Despite occurring in a losing effort, the score saw Hope move past into fourth on the all-time list of most ODI hundreds for the West Indies.  His tally of 12 edged him ahead of the likes of Gordon Greenidge (11), Viv Richards (11), and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (11).  Desmond Haynes (17), Brian Lara (19), and Chris Gayle (25) are the batsmen ahead of Hope.

“He continues to show his class,” Pooran said, following the match.

“He is one of the best batsmen in this format and today was a magnificent innings, especially in those tough conditions he just showed his class today,” he added.

Hope’s cameo led the team to an innings score of 305 but Pakistan successfully chased down the total with four balls remaining.

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran is confident of breaking free of an indifferent run of form at the crease, sooner rather than later.

Since the start of the year, the recently appointed West Indies captain has played in 9 matches, spanning three series.  He has averaged a mere 11.22 with a high score of 34.

Heading into Wednesday’s series against Pakistan, Pooran scored a total of 24 runs in three matches against The Netherlands.  Despite the added responsibility of captaincy, however, Pooran is backing himself to turn things around.

“This isn’t the first time I haven’t scored runs.  If you check my stats I’m always scoring runs so I am not bothered,” Pooran told members of the media on Tuesday.

“I think something big is close.  I’m working very hard and it’s only a matter of time,” he added.

In his career so far, Pooran has only faced Pakistan once scoring 34 unbeaten in 2019.

The Barbados Pride were crowned champions of the West Indies Championship after topping the six-team table at the end of the fifth and final round of play at the Diego Martin Complex on Saturday.

Coming into the final day’s play of their match against Windward Islands Volcanoes, the Bajans led the Leewards Islands Hurricanes on points.  Resuming the day on 109-1 the Pride batted out the final day without much event.  Barbados captain Kraigg Brathwaite scored 109 off 219 balls and ended the season as the leading runscorer in the tournament.  Brathwaite shared in a 95-run partnership with Roston Chase, who made 59 as the team ended on 285-6.

Elsewhere, Guyana Harpy Eagles opener Tevin Imlach put together a resolute half-century, in a predictable draw, as the heavily rain-affected West Indies Championship fixture against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force came to an end at Port of Spain.

Having lost the last two days due to the inclement weather, the Red Force resumed the day at 203 and only added another 10 before the last wicket pair were dismissed.

In their turn at the crease, the Harpy Eagles chased the score with conviction, and Imlach’s 76 from 172 formed the base of the innings.  The team, which ended with a score of 331 all out, also got valuable contributions from Kevin Sinclair, who had 58, and Veerasammy Permaul who scored 47.

For the Red Force, Bryan Charles and Terrance Hinds took three wickets each.  Batting again, Trinidad and Tobago were 25 for 1 at the close of play.  The day’s other match between the Leeward Island Hurricanes and Jamaica Scorpions was called off in the hour after the lunch break, because of persistent rainfall.

West Indies batsmen Kyle Mayers and Sharmarh Brooks each scored a century to secure a 20-run win over The Netherlands and complete a 3-0 series whitewash in Amstelveen on Saturday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, for the first time all series, the Caribbean team posted 308 for 5 in their 50 overs at the crease.  The Windies had lost opener Shai Hope with 58 runs on the board after he was caught by Vivian Kingma off the bowling of Ryan Klein.

Mayers and Brooks, however, came together for a damaging 184-run partnership that powered the regional team to a comfortable 242 before Mayers was dismissed by Ryan Klein.  From there the team would suffer a mini-collapse of sorts with captain Nicholas Pooran (7), and Brandon King (10) both going cheaply.

In response, Vikramjit Singh and Max O'Dowd each put on a half-century to open the innings as the team got to 97 with loss before Mayers struck to remove Singh.  O'Dowd went on to put 89 on the board,  forming the backbone of the innings but The Netherlands continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and ended all-out at 288.

 Shermon Lewis was the pick of the Windies bowlers after taking 3 for 36, while Akeal Hosein and Hayden Walsh each took two wickets.

 

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran has praised the team for doing a lot of the right things on the current tour of The Netherlands after securing an unassailable 2-0 series lead on Thursday.

On the back of another strong performance from Brandon King, who scored an unbeaten 91, led the Windies to a 5 wicket win at Amstelveen.  For the second game in a row the regional team chased down a figure just above 200, but the pursuit was not without its difficulties.

Also, for the second game in a row, the top order suffered somewhat of a collapse as the team lost its first three wickets for 48 runs.

“We came to Amsterdam to get victories and to be successful and I feel like we are doing a lot of the right things,” Pooran said following the match.

“Obviously, it’s a game of cricket and you can’t have the perfect game all the time…I saw with the batting that we had a bit of a collapse but then a wonderful partnership at the end and that is what we want as a team.”

The third and final match between the teams takes place on Saturday.

West Indies batsman Brandon King insists he is simply looking to cash in on his recent purple patch after scoring another half-century against New Zealand on Thursday.

After entering the batting line-up at six, with the team struggling at 4 for 60, King made a valuable 91 not out to guide the Windies to a 5 wicket win at Amstelveen.

The half-century was King’s second of the series, having scored 58 in the first match.  Overall, in the last nine matches, King has averaged 41.57 and hopes to keep accumulating high scores.

“As cricketers when times are good you have to try and cash in and score as many runs as possible,” King said following the match.

“I feel good out there so I’m trying to capitalize on that good form,” he added.

Over the past several series, King has shifted places in the team’s batting line-up, batting at 5 against The Neverlands, 2 in the previous series against India, and 4 against Ireland.  Despite having success down the order in the ongoing series, King believes that versatility is one of his strengths.”

“A part of my strength is adapting and doing what is needed for the team.  I can bat anywhere in the top 6.  This was a new role given to me but it’s not unfamiliar I am a middle-order batsman first and foremost.”

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran has expressed delight with the team’s development of strong batting partnerships in a 7 wicket win over the Netherlands, in Amstelveen, on Tuesday.

In the end, the West Indies got to the line with quite a few deliveries to spare, in large part due to a steady 119 by opening batsman Shai Hope.  Hope, however, also received plenty of support at the top of the order, including a 120-run partnership with Sharmarh Brooks for the first wicket.

Nkrumah Bonner didn’t add much to the total in the way o partnerships, after being dismissed without scoring and Pooran might also have done better after adding just 7.  However, another strong partnership between Hope and Brandon King, who added 116 for the fourth wicket, saw the team well over the line.  King added 58 for a maiden half-century.

“The way the batsmen went about it, the opening partnership of 100 plus, that was fantastic.  That’s something we have been working on as a team, just trying to build partnerships,” Pooran said, following the match.

“Hope was excellent, as usual, Sharmarh Brooks got the opportunity to bat and grabbed it with both hands.  Brandon King came and also did well in the end there, he didn’t leave it for anyone.  Kudos to King and Hope for bringing the game home for us,” he added.

 

 Legendary West Indies batsman Viv Richards is confident Nicholas Pooran was the right choice for captain of the One Day  International squad and has backed the player to do well in the position.

Pooran was named as the replacement for all-rounder Kieron Pollard last week, following the latter’s surprise decision to retire from international cricket a few weeks ago.  The decision to appoint the 25-year-old by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) panel of selectors hardly came as a surprise as the players was already being groomed for the position.

Pooran, who had served as Pollard’s vice-captain over the last year, took charge of the team for a series against India earlier this year.  For Richards who himself captained the team between 1980 and 1991, the choice was an obvious one.

“There wasn’t any other choice in my opinion. I think the young man is pretty studious about what he wants to get done. He takes his cricket pretty studiously and I am a fan of Nicholas Pooran,” Richards told the Antigua Observer.

The Master Blaster believes the player has come a long way since making his debut for the team in 2016 and has now blossomed into the role.

“Early in his career I guess there was some immaturity … but having been through the mill and where he’s at now, I think he is the perfect choice as captain.”

West Indies T20 star Chris Gayle has revealed that he skipped this season’s India Premier League (IPL) draft because he did feel like he was getting the respect he deserved.

The 42-year-old has been one of the tournament’s most successful and recognisable players since first appearing at the tournament in 2009.  The batsman, however, struggled to find his way last season while representing the Punjab Kings, managing just 193 runs from 10 games.

In addition, the batsman also made the headline after being surprisingly dropped on his birthday and eventually left the tournament early.  In the previous season, Gayle eventually scored an impressive 288 in 7 games but was left out of the team for the first 6 matches.

“For the last couple of years, the way the IPL went about, I felt like I wasn’t treated properly.  So I thought ‘okay, you (Gayle) didn’t get the respect you deserved after you did so much for the sport and IPL,” Gayle told The Mirror UK.

“So, I said ‘okay, that’s it, I’m not going to bother to enter the draft,’ so I left it as it is. There is always going to be life after cricket so I’m just trying to adapt to normality,” he added.

Much like his international career, however, Gayle does not believe his tenure in the IPL is over and claims he could return next season.

“Next year I’m coming back, they need me! I’ve represented three teams in the IPL, Kolkata, RCB, and Punjab. Between RCB and Punjab, I would love to get a title, with one of those two teams. I had a great stint with RCB where I was more successful within the IPL and Punjab, they’ve been good. I love to explore and I love challenges so let’s see what happens,” the 42-year-old said.

The India tour of the West Indies is expected to bowl off on July 22, with matches scheduled to take place in Trinidad, St Kitts, and the United States.

According to reports, the tour is expected to consist of three ODIs and five T20Is and should be the first major test for new West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran.  Pooran took charge of the team last week, following the retirement of all-rounder Kieron Pollard.

The first of the five-match T20I matches will be played at the Brian Charles Lara Stadium on July 29, and that should be followed by two encounters at Warner Park in St Kitts and Nevis between August 1 and 2.

The last two matches will also be held on back-to-back days, but that venue will be in Florida on August 6 and 7.

Things will get underway with the 50-over matches, which will be conducted at Trinidad’s Queen Park Oval on July 22, 24, and 27.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons insists he understands and respects the decision of recently retired captain Kieron Pollard but insists the player’s passion and desire will be sorely missed.

After nearly 16-years representing the regional team and three years in charge of both the One Day International (ODI) and T20 squads, the 34-year-old Pollard announced his decision to step away from international cricket last week.

“Skipper it is sad to see you retire from the maroon shirt so early…I completely understand,” Simmons said, addressing the issue via Facebook.

“Your ability to give players your backing and trust to deliver and your strong leadership both on and off the field was a joy to work with,” he added.

Pollard took charge of both squads in 2019 and experienced mixed fortunes during his tenure.  The T20 squad lost 21 of 39 matches and had a disastrous defense of its World Cup title.  The ODI squad on the other hand fared better, winning 13 and losing 11 of 21 matches played.  Still, Simmons hailed Pollard as a positive force for pushing players to reach their full potential and having a genuine desire to see the team do well.

“Your passion for pushing players to build on skills and knowledge of the game and more. Your unwillingness to settle for mediocrity was a pleasure to work with,” Simmons said.

“Your undoubted passion for the game and especially the Maroon Shirt together with your desire to bring success to the West Indies cricket team henceforth Cricket West Indies will be missed. You will be missed.”

Recently retired West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has faced his fair share of critics but ends his international career with one of the highest win percentages of any captain to lead the One Day International (ODI) team in the last 20 years.

The 34-year-old, who took charge of the ODI team in September 2019, called time on an international career that spanned some 16 years and a three-year spell in charge of two regional teams.  In ODI’s, Pollard led the team for 24 games, winning 13, losing 11, and drawing none for a win percentage of 54.17.

 Alone that would not seem so impressive, turns out that’s not so bad, as far as West Indies captains go.  Pollard’s win percentage puts him ahead of Dwayne Bravo (44.44), Darren Sammy (36.00), and Jason Holder (27.91).  The big-hitters win percentage also puts him above the like of legends Brian Lara, who won 47.20 percent of his games, and Chris Gayle who had a 32.08 win ratio.

His success rate for T20s has been much less than the ODI’s.  Pollard’s 33.33-win ratio puts him well behind Sammy at 59.57, Bravo at 50 percent, Gayle at 41.18 percent, and Carlos Braithwaite at 36.67.

West Indies legend, Sir Andy Roberts, has called for more aggression from the Caribbean fast bowlers ahead of the third and decisive Test against England, which bowls off in Grenada on Wednesday.

So far, bowlers have rarely managed to gain the ascendancy with the two previous pitches in Antigua and Barbados offering very little in the way of assistance.  In the previous Test, a total of 1,238 runs were scored, including a deflating 507 for 9 declared scored by England in the first innings.

If the West Indies are to break the deadlock on the back of two prior draws, Roberts believes the region’s pace bowlers must give more effort at the crease to unsettle the English batsmen.

“Aggressive doesn’t mean you have to be up in somebody’s face, but you can be aggressive in your approach, you can be aggressive in your steering because that’s one of the things I did. I never swore but when I looked at you and I see you turn away, then I say ‘yes, I have you because you can’t look me in the eye’, and that is what is required,” Roberts told the Good Morning Jojo Radio program.

“I see many West Indian fast bowlers going back to the days of Mervyn Dillion, Reon King, and when they get hit for boundaries they smile, they don’t get upset,” he added.

“The ball doesn’t come off the pitch faster than you release it, so if you’re a fast bowler then it means you’re a fast bowler, you can’t be a fast bowler and a fast-medium bowler. What is being taught today is line and length and bowl fourth and fifth stump outside the off stump, but instead of attacking the batsman, attacking the stumps, they are bowling outside of off stump, which is what they practice so sometimes it seems as though the coaches are at fault sometimes. In order to get the best out of the fast bowlers, you have to encourage them to bowl fast.”

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite insists he has not completely turned his back on the shorter formats of cricket, despite sole dedication to red-ball cricket for the past several years.

Few can argue that the format has certainly suited the opener.  On Saturday, against England, Brathwaite scored his 10th international century, and the batsman has been far and away the team’s most consistent player over the last five years.  Overall, it is Brathwaite who has scored the most runs during the period with 1730.

Brathwaite has never played a T20 international for the West Indies and has not played a One Day International since 2017.  The formats could, however, pique his interest in the future.

“It’s just unfortunate that every time we have a Test series it’s during our 50 over tournament.  So, I don’t get an opportunity to perform in that format,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Saturday.

“I still love to play 50 over cricket, it’s an aspiration of mine but obviously Test cricket I have been fighting hard for the last few years and I really enjoy it, the grind, but at some point, I would love to get back into ODI cricket,” he added.

“T20 as well, obviously you get into 50 over and show progress there and then get into T20.  It will be tough but I’m still looking to get there.”

 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.