Defiant second innings batting from man-of-the-match Nkrumah Bonner and Jason Holder helped the West Indies salvage a draw on day five of the first Apex Test match against England at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Saturday.

England’s unbeaten pair of captain Joe Root (84) and Zak Crawley (117) started the day attempting to add on to England’s overnight 217-1 and eventually got to 225 before Crawley became the first scalp of the day, falling to Holder for 121.

Root carried on and brought up his 24th Test match hundred, the second-most by an Englishman only behind former skipper Alastair Cook’s 33.

Dan Lawrence, who joined Root after Crawley’s dismissal, made a breezy 37 before he was removed by Alzarri Joseph to leave England 295-3 off 78.3 overs.

With a declaration looming, England’s batsmen tried to step up their scoring rate but kept losing wickets quickly, including Root for 109 and Ben Stokes for 13.

Joseph finished with 3-78 off 23.2 overs while Kemar Roach picked up 2-53 off 19 overs.

They eventually declared on 349-6, leaving the West Indies needing 286 for victory.

The West Indies started their pursuit just before lunch, eventually reaching 4-0 at the break.

After lunch, Captain Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell continued their fruitful partnership at the top of the order with a second 50 partnership of the match.

They got to 59-0 before Brathwaite was trapped in front by Stokes for 33. Campbell was then dismissed in the next over by Jack Leach for 22 to leave the hosts in a spot of bother at 59-2.

Shamarh Brooks (5) and Jermaine Blackwood (2) then quickly became Leach’s next two victims to leave the West Indies struggling at 67-4 in the 35th over.

Thankfully for the West Indies, Bonner (38) and Holder (37) safely negotiated the final 36.3 overs to lead the West Indies to 147-4 off 70.1 overs.

Jack Leach was the pick of the England bowlers with 3-57 off 30.1 overs.

Final Scores: England 311 and 349-6 declared, West Indies 375 and 147-4.

The second test gets underway on March 16th in Barbados.

 

 

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

India are champions of the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup for a fifth time after a four-wicket win over England in the final at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua on Saturday.

Despite a near flawless 95 off 116 balls including 12 fours from James Rew, England had a disappointing outing with the bat, being bowled out for 189 off just 44.5 overs.

James Sales was the next highest scorer for the English with 34 not out off 65 balls.

All-rounder Raj Bawa led the way for India with the ball with 5-31 off 9.5 overs, the best figures in the history of U-19 World Cup finals.

Bawa was supported well by Ravi Kumar who narrowly missed out on a five-wicket haul of his own, taking 4-34 off his nine overs.

After an indifferent start to the reply, an unbeaten 50 off 54 balls from Nishant Sindhu helped guide India to their target, finishing 195-6 off 47.4 overs.

Vice-captain Shaik Rasheed earlier got an even 50 off 84 balls for the Indians while Bawa also contributed 35.

Joshua Boyden, Tom Aspinwall and James Sales all took two wickets each for England.

Bawa was voted player of the match while South Africa's Dewald Brevis was voted player of the tournament after scoring 506 runs in six innings, the most runs in an Under-19 World Cup.

India secured a comprehensive 96-run win over Australia at the Coolidge Cricket Ground on Wednesday to set up an encounter with England in the final of the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup on Saturday.

After winning the toss and batting first on a batting-friendly pitch, the Indians made good use of their opportunity to post 290-5 off their 50 overs.

Captain Yash Dhull was the star with a stroke-filled 110 off 110 balls with 10 fours and a six while Shaik Rasheed supported his skipper well with a well-made 94 off 108 balls with eight fours and a six.

Australia’s bowling unit didn’t have much success with Jack Nisbet and William Salzmann being the only wicket-takers with 2-41 from nine overs and 2-57 from 10 overs, respectively.

Lachlan Shaw was Australia’s main run-scorer in a futile chase with 51 while Corey Miller got 38.

Campbell Kellaway was the only other Australian batsman to get to 30 as the Aussies were routed for 194 in just 41.2 overs.

Vicky Ostwal was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 3-42 from his 10 overs while Nishant Sandhi and Ravi Kumar took two wickets each.

The final between India and England will take place at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Saturday while Afghanistan and Australia will contest the 3rd place playoff on Friday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.

India are four-time winners of the event (2000, 2008, 2012, 2018) while England’s only title came in 1998.

England advanced to the final of the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup with a nail-biting 15-run win over Afghanistan in their Super League semi-final at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds in Antigua today.

In the rain-affected 47-overs per side encounter, England set a score of 231-6 off their 47 overs.

George Bell with 56 not out off 67 balls and Alex Horton with 53 not out off 36 balls were the main contributors for the English.

Opener George Thomas also got a half-century for England, 50 off 69 balls.

Naveed Zadran and Noor Ahmad took two wickets each for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan looked comfortable for the majority of their chase, reaching 94-2 in the 24th over before a flurry of wickets put them in a spot of bother.

The Asian outfit continued to battle and found themselves needing 18 off two overs with four wickets in hand before England leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed took three wickets in the penultimate and 46th over to pretty much end all hopes for the Afghans.

Eventually, Afghanistan ended 215-9 off their 47 overs.

Allah Noor with 60 and Mohammad Ishaq with 43 were the top scorers for Afghanistan against Ahmed’s 4-41 off six overs.

England will now face the winners of tomorrow’s second semi-final between Australia and India in the final to be played on February 5th.

West Indies Under-19s will play Papua New Guinea Under-19s on Wednesday in Trinidad & Tobago in a quarter-final of the ICC Men's Under-19 Cricket World Cup Plate Tournament.

West Indies Women won the fifth and final CG Insurance One-Day International against South Africa Women on Sunday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. After the full 100 overs, the match was tied – a run out off the last ball left South Africa on 192-7 off their 50 overs in reply to West Indies 192-5.

The match then went to the one-over eliminator and the home team scored 7-1 after the visitors made 6-0.

West Indies made their highest score of the series, thanks to a career-best knock from Rashada Williams – playing her fifth match.

The opening batter, top-scored with 78 not out off 138 balls as she batted through the innings. Then, off-spinner Sheneta Grimmond took a career-best 4-33 off her 10 overs in her sixth match, as South Africa slipped from 111-0 to 143-6 in the space of 13 overs.

“It was a great finish and I’m happy I played my part in today’s win. We really wanted to win, and we gave it all we had. The end was amazing with the run out off the last ball. We didn’t panic, we were focused, we kept our nerve in the ‘super over’ and it felt great to win,” said Grimmond, who was named CG Insurance Player-of-the-Match.

Match Summary: West Indies Women 192-5 off 50 overs (Rashada Williams 78 not out, Hayley Matthews 48; Nadine de Klerk 3-33) South Africa Women 192-7 off 50 overs (Lizelle Lee 61, Tazmin Brits 48, Mignon du Preez 46; Sheneta Grimmond 4-33, Qiana Joseph 2-29)

Opening batter Rashada Williams unveiled a wide range of shots in a determined knock for West Indies Women but the home side could not stave off defeat against South Africa Women on Thursday.

West Indies Women finished the CG Insurance One Day International Series against Pakistan Women with a 3-2 series victory, despite losing the fifth and final match by 22 runs via the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern Method on Sunday.

Hayley Matthews scored an unbeaten century on Monday as the West Indies Women beat Pakistan Women by eight wickets at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in their five-match CG Insurance ODI Series.

Captain Stafanie Taylor took four wickets and scored an unbeaten 43 to lead the West Indies Women to a six-wicket victory over Pakistan Women at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua Sunday.

Player of the match Shamilla Connell took three wickets and two wickets from Aaliyah Alleyne helped West Indies Women to a 10-run victory over Pakistan Women at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Wednesday.

Chasing 137 for victory after the West Indies made 136 for 6 from their 20 overs, Connell and Alleyne combined to restrict Pakistan to 126 for 6 despite an unbeaten 45 from Ayesha Naseem and 24 not out from Fatima Sana.

Together, the pair mounted an unbroken seventh-wicket partnership of 69 from 45 balls, rescuing Pakistan from a precarious 57-6.

Connell did the early damage bowling both openers, Javeria Rauf and Captain Javeria Khan for 5 and 7, respectively, with only 14 runs on the board. Hayley Matthews made it 23 for 3 when she dismissed Muneeba Ali for 9.

Connell took her third when she bowled Nida Dar for 9.

Alleyne then bowled Aliya Riaz for 8 and Iram Javid for 11 as Pakistan slipped further to 57-6 in the 13th over.

However, that would be the last of the success for the West Indies Women who toiled in vain while trying to break the partnership between Naseem who hit two fours and a six in her 33-ball knock.

At the other end, Sana proved just as difficult to dislodge as she scored her runs from 21 deliveries.

Connell returned 3-21 while Alleyne took 2-23.

Earlier, the West Indies got their total courtesy of an opening stand of 65 between Matthews and Deandra Dottin, who scored 32 and 31, respectively.

Both openers were dismissed in the space of two balls as the West Indies Women slipped from 65-0 to 67-2. Captain Stafanie Taylor went for 11 with the score at 93 and the scoring slowed.

Kyshona Knight scored 23, Chedean Knight, 14, and Kycia Knight 15, helping the West Indies closed on 136 for 6.

Dar was tight taking 2-15 and Sana took 2-32.

 

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite said he wanted to lead from the front as his side played to a draw against Sri Lanka in the second and final Test of the 2021 Sandals Series at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua today.

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