West Indies captain Kieron Pollard was encouraged by the batting unit’s approach to Friday’s T20 International against India, even if he was admittedly disappointed with the result.

The West Indies found themselves on the losing side of another series, after going down by 8 runs to India on Friday.  The result saw the South Asian team claim an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, after winning the opener by 7 wickets.

This time, however, in pursuit of a solid 186 for 5, the team went a lot closer to the target and was more comfortable in the run chase.  A 100-run partnership from Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell got the team close to India's score, and, in fact, until a miserly 18th over from Harshal Patel it seemed the West Indies were favourites to level the series.

According to the West Indies captain, while the team may have come up just short on runs, the approach was closer to what was required.

“I thought the partnership with him (Rovman Powell) and Pooran almost got us over the line.  Sometimes that’s all we are asking from the guys to bat as deep as possible and for me, I’m pleased, obviously not with the result but with the way they continue to aim for consistency,” he added.

The partnership was the fourth-highest between two Windies players since 2019, adding to an overall 306 scored in 6 matches, whenever the duo of Powell and Pooran has come together during that time.

“Nicholas got another half-century, Powell has gotten two in the last four games, so, we are making progress.”

Rohit Sharma praised India for a "phenomenal finish" as they halted the West Indies' chase on Friday to clinch the Twenty20 series and reach 100 wins in the format.

India won for an eighth consecutive T20I match, a new record for the nation, as they defeated the tourists by seven runs in Kolkata.

After Rohit and Ishan Kishan managed just 21 runs between them, Virat Kohli and player of the match Rishabh Pant settled any anxiety at the crease by scoring 52 each, with eight boundaries apiece.

Pant's half-century came off just 28 deliveries, while Kohli's score took him to within just three runs of equalling Martin Guptill's T20I record of 3,299 runs.

The West Indies mounted a strong chase, with Nicholas Pooran hitting 62 before being caught off Bhuvneshwar Kumar's delivery – a crucial wicket with just 15 balls remaining.

Rovman Powell's 68 dragged them close to a win, but Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar's expert final overs saw India over the line.

"You are always a bit scared when you are playing against these guys. In the end, it was a phenomenal finish," said Rohit.

"Right from the start, we knew it wouldn't be easy. But I am proud we executed our plans under pressure."

Brilliant Bhuvi

The experience of Bhuvneshwar proved key as the West Indies cranked up the pressure. The 32-year-old finished on 1-29 from four overs, giving up just two boundaries and signing off with just four singles and the wicket of Pooran from his final over.

"It was very critical at that point when Bhuvneshwar bowled," said Rohit. "That's where experience comes into play. Bhuvi has been doing it for many years and we believe in him a lot."

No century celebrations for Pollard

Kieron Pollard became the first West Indies player to reach 100 T20I appearances and the ninth overall in international cricket, although he could not mark the occasion by hitting the single six needed to reach a century in the format.

Pollard, who gave up 14 runs in his solitary over and scored three off the bat from as many deliveries, said of the finish: "We cannot call the batters out. We can look at it in different ways how we could have got those eight runs. We are a work in progress."

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Board (KNCB) announced the match schedule for the West Indies Men’s first-ever One Day International (ODI) tour of the Netherlands in 2022.

Despite a 100-run fourth-wicket partnership between Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell, the West Indies lost the second T20 International against India by eight runs at Eden Gardens on Friday. The loss means India takes an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

A dispute over the use of player agents is said to be one of the key issues at the heart of allegations of player victimisation, which roiled West Indies cricket a few weeks ago.

The controversial issue was brought to the fore during the England tour of the Caribbean after all-rounder Odean Smith was dropped from the team ahead of the third T20 international.  Reports of the accusations were initially downplayed by Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerrit and the senior members of the team’s hierarchy as an attempt to distract.

The CWI hierarchy has, however, since met with representatives of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) to address the claims and the body’s Honourary General Secretary Wayne Lewis has confirmed that there are in fact a few issues to resolve.

“There were complaints to WIPA about things that happened, they were uncomfortable because of the situation, they were very unhappy and so we sat with Cricket West Indies and spoke about it,” Lewis told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“The complaint was that members within the cricket West Indies set-up were calling franchises overseas and advising them that particular players would not be given NOCs to play, and we thought that was odd because we have an MOU and a protocol that covers that, that did not include anyone from that area,” he added.

“There were situations where players were encouraged to change their agents to go with an agent of their (CWIs) choice and the players were resisting that because they had their own agents already.  So that made them a little uncomfortable as well, so these issues needed to be addressed, so we did the proper thing by talking to the CWI to get to the bottom of it.”

Lewis revealed that talks between the bodies had continued to be cooperative but that a complete solution on how to address the issue had not yet been reached.

The West Indies squad have flatly rejected the suggestions that Smith's omission from the match was anything other than tactical.

 

The Leeward Islands' top three batsmen Montcin Hodge, Kieran Powell, and Devon Thomas, all registered scores in the 70s as the Hurricanes heaped misery upon Guyana Harpy Eagles on day two of the West Indies Championship at the Queen's Park Oval.

Resuming the day on 116 with loss, already 10 ahead of where they had previously left Guyana all-out, the team added another 36 runs before the Eagles claimed their first wicket. 

Powell was the first to go, after being bowled for 74 by Nial Smith.  But there was no respite, as Thomas joined Hodge at the crease and the two put on a further 85 before Thomas was dismissed for 72.

 Hodge looked well set for a triple-digit tally but only lasted another five overs as he was dismissed for 72 off the bowling of Clinton Pestano, with the team at 246 for 3.  Guyana broke through soon after, with Gudakesh Motie claiming Kofi James for 11.

The Eagles faced another chastening spell at the crease, however, after Jahmar Hamilton and Terance Ward put on an 85 run partnership for the 5th wicket.  Hamilton was eventually dismissed for 48 after being trapped lbw by Smith.  At the close of play, Ward remained unbeaten on 46 with Rahkeem Cornwall on 13.  

The Leewards ended the day on 366 for 5 a lead of 250 runs.

Windies vice-captain Nicholas Pooran insists the team must find a coherent strategy to deal with India’s spinners after being caught in two minds in the opening match of the T20 series.

In the end, the West Indies were comfortably beaten by six wickets but at one point seemed set for a higher total than the 157 for 7 that the team eventually posted.  At 72 for 2, at the start of the 10th over, the West Indies had a set Pooran and Roston Chase at the crease and seemed set to build on a solid enough foundation.

 The introduction of leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, however, threw a wrench into those plans as he immediately removed Chase who struggled to come to grips with the spinner before being dismissed for lbw.  Bishnoi, who ended with 2 for 17, then removed the dangerous Rovman Powell later in the over.  The debutant was the chief but not the team’s only issue as Yuzvendra Chahal had also proven difficult to get away on occasion.

“We played the spinners ok today, we would want to continue that and continue to build partnerships,” Pooran told members of the media following the match.

“We still need to negotiate the spinners a bit better, I think today we were caught in two minds how to go about them.  Whether to attack them or keep them out of the game and we got caught in both minds there.”

Pooran top-scored for the Windies with 65.

 

India have taken a 1-0 T20I series lead over the West Indies after a six-wicket victory in Wednesday's first test in Kolkata.

It was not always plain sailing for India, but in the end they closed out a comfortable victory that owed much to captain Rohit Sharma, debutant Ravi Bishnoi and Suryakumar Yadav.

West Indies had earlier reached 157-7 over their 20 overs, an innings that began poorly as Brandon King fell for just four to Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-31) in the first over – though Kyle Mayers (31) and Nicholas Pooran (61) soon found the tourists some momentum.

After their respective wickets, West Indies really struggled to build up a head of steam again. Bishnoi (2-17) claimed the scalps of Roston Chase (four) and Rovman Powell (two) as the 21-year-old enjoyed a miserly outing on his debut.

Kieron Pollard (24 not out) at least restored a little dignity, but he had little help around him, thus setting India a reachable target.

Rohit's 40 off 19 gave India the start they needed, and Ishan Kishan (35 off 42) proved a solid – if pragmatic – partner until both were undone by Chase's (2-14) bowling.

Fabian Allen (1-23) and Sheldon Cottrell (1-35) then saw to Virat Kohli (17) and Rishabh Pant (eight), respectively, with both batsmen feeling somewhat aggrieved by the decisions.

But any suggestion of West Indies still having a chance were emphatically washed away by Suryakumar (34 not out) and Venkatesh Iyer (24 not out), who eased the hosts over the line at 162-4 with seven balls to spare.

Bishnoi makes his mark

Bishnoi initially looked nervous, throwing three wides in his first over. But he quickly adjusted his focus, posting impressive numbers as he dismissed Chase and Powell.

Speaking afterwards, he said: "The nerves are settled now. I was feeling very good, it's everyone's dream to play for India and I was feeling good. West Indies is one of the best T20 teams and I got the chance to play against them. I'll try to cut down on the wides in the next match!"

Pooran's efforts in vain

Were it not for Pooran's efforts, this would have been an even worse start to the three-match series for the Windies. His 61 with the bat was undoubtedly the highlight of their innings, with Pollard very aware that his side were otherwise disappointing.

Pollard said: "Getting down to the 19th over was good on the part of the bowlers. If I'm being honest, between overs six to 15 we scored too few runs. We were 15-20 runs short."

Middle-order batsman Yannic Cariah and opener Jeremy Solozano were critical in a recovery effort for the T&T Red Force who ended day one of the West Indies Championship match against the Windward Island Volcanoes, at the Brian Lara Stadium, on a promising 217 for 5.

At the close of play, Joshua Da Silva (51) and Terrance Hinds (5) were the not out batsmen at the crease. Hinds came in to bat after team captain Imran Khan retired hurt, after scoring one run, with what looked like a pulled muscle.

Earlier, it was Cariah who yet again anchored another Red Force recovery.  The team found themselves in early trouble following the dismissals of opener Keagan Simmons (8), Isaiah Rajah (0), and Jason Mohammed (0), which left them struggling at 22 for 3.  All three batsmen were sent packing on the back of a brilliant spell from fast bowler Sherman Lewis who ended the day with 3 for 24.

With the team in desperate need, Cariah joined Solozano, who had watched the early carnage from the other end, and the two proceeded to rescue the innings with a patient 112-run stand for the fourth wicket.  The partnership was broken when Solozano was caught, on 66, by Teddy Bishop, after attacking Kenneth Dember.

Cariah then joined up with Da Silva to stage a 59-run partnership before he was trapped lbw by Ryan John.

 

Two three-wicket hauls from Leeward Hurricane bowlers Daniel Doram and Colin Archibald devastated the Guyana Harpy Eagles batting line-up, to claim a strong position on the opening day of the West Indies Championship at Queens Park Oval.

At the close of play, in response to the Eagles being all out for 116, in 34.3 overs, the Leewards were 126 without loss and already leading by 10 runs.  Openers Kieran Powell (55) and Montcin Hodge (51) had each put half-centuries on the board to give the team a solid base heading into the second day.

Earlier, only four Guyana players managed double figures, Anthony Bramble (38), Keemo Paul (20), Clinton Pestano (14), and Veerasammy Permaul (11) in an innings that feature the rapid capitulation of the Eagles batting line-up.  Before Bramble, Guyana's first five batsmen managed a total of 24 runs combined, leaving the team in serious trouble at 37 for 5.

A partnership between Bramble and Keemo Paul, who combined for 50 was the highlight of the innings and briefly added respite.  Paul made 20 from 17 deliveries.

Doram ended the innings with figures of 3 for 16, Archibald 3 for 29, while Alzarri Joseph also claimed two wickets for 26 runs.

 

Rohit Sharma declared "experimentation is overrated" ahead of India's three-match T20 International series against West Indies.

With another T20 World Cup on the horizon in Australia this year, India and the Windies are determined to show what they are capable of after failing in the 2021 tournament.

Rohit led India to a 3-0 ODI clean sweep of West Indies this month and their expectant supporters will be demanding another whitewash.

India have won eight of their past nine matches against the Windies in the shortest format heading into the series-opener at Eden Gardens on Wednesday.

Washington Sundar and KL Rahul miss out due to hamstring injuries, while Axar Patel will not feature in the series as he is in the final stage of his rehabilitation after recently recovering from coronavirus.

Skipper Rohit is no mood to experiment as he looks to continue the white-ball momentum.

He said: "I feel the word experimentation is overrated, in my terms. We are trying to find those holes that are there in the squad and try and fill that gap. So whatever it takes, we will try and do that.

"All these guys [the fringe players] are very young and haven't played a lot of cricket. We need to give them the assurity and the game time.

"Once we have that, then we can try out things. Until then, whatever little holes we have in our squad, we have to try and fill that."

The Windies were outplayed in the 50-over format, but beat England 3-2 in a thrilling T20I series on home soil last month and named an unchanged squad to face India.

 

Rohit backs Kohli 

It is over two years since Virat Kohli score an international hundred, but Rohit says the former captain should not be questioned. 

The opener said: "If you guys [the media] can keep quiet for a while, I think he'll be alright. We don't need to do too much talking from your side, then everything will be taken care of. He is in a great mental space from whatever I see of him.

"He has been part of this international team for more than a decade. If someone has spent that much time in international cricket, they know how to handle the pressure situations, the environment, everything. It all starts from you guys. If you guys can keep it quiet for a bit, then everything will fall into place."

Pollard fit to lead tourists

Kieron Pollard was an injury doubt after suffering a niggle in the ODI series, but the captain confirmed he will be fit for the start of this series.

Pollard will be hoping former skipper Jason Holder can conjure up more heroics after his stunning exploits with the ball in the decider against England in Barbados last month.

The all-rounder took four wickets in as many balls in the final over to finish with figure of 5-27.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard insists the team is nowhere close to being ready to give up on talented batsman Shimron Hetmyer, despite the player’s recently well-documented struggles with fitness.

The 25-year-old batsman was left out of the West Indies' previous series against Ireland and England and also failed to be included in the squad for the ongoing India tour.  The issue stemmed from the fact that the player failed to achieve the basic fitness standards required to be eligible for selection.

It was not the first time Hetmyer had been plagued by the issue as he also failed to get a passing mark in 2020, ahead of the team’s tour of Sri Lanka, and then again later that same year during Sri Lanka’s tour of the West Indies.  The Windies skipper, however, backs the player to get things right in the near future.

"I think the coaches have spoken on their assessment of Shimron. I miss Shimron when he is not around. He is a young player and a superstar in his own right. He will get it right and get back to the West Indies squad pretty soon. I will be looking forward to having him," Pollard told members of the media, ahead of the team’s first T20I against India.

"We know what he can do as an individual and he has a bright future. You can never write off a guy who is 25. My love for Shimron is paramount, and he knows that and we all know that. It is a matter of time for him to do all that is necessary to get back to the team. We will welcome him with open arms."

Stuart Broad has hit out at his omission from England's squad for the upcoming Test series against the West Indies, from which James Anderson is also absent.

England's all-time leading Test wicket-takers Broad and Anderson have been left out of the squad for next month's tour after a dismal Ashes series led to the departure of head coach Chris Silverwood.

Interim managing director of cricket Andrew Strauss, interim coach Paul Collingwood, and head scout James Taylor made up a three-man selection committee ahead of the series, which begins in Antigua on March 8, and have settled on a 16-man squad that does not include either of the seamers.

Despite Strauss contending that there was a way back for both bowlers, who have taken 1,177 Test wickets between them, Broad has used his newspaper column to hit out at the decision.

"I have to confess that I wasn't expecting the phone call I received from Andrew Strauss on Tuesday that started with him saying: 'I've got some bad news'," Broad wrote in the Daily Mail.

"I am waking up more confused and angrier with each passing day. I feel gutted. 

"Do I need to prove myself again? In my mind, I've nothing to prove. I am a proven performer, so it is now about the English cricketing summer and targeting the home series against New Zealand in June."

 

The 35-year-old pace bowler, whose tally of 73 career Test wickets against the West Indies is only beaten by Anderson's 87 amongst active players, also moved to defend his recent England performances and denied that any behind-the-scenes unrest had contributed to the decision.

"I could take being dropped if I had let my standards slip but being overlooked when they haven't is another thing," Broad's column continued.

"I am struggling to put things into context. It's hard to do so when all you've had is a five-minute phone call.

"If I had spoken to one person who had said they agreed with the decision to leave myself and Jimmy out, I could perhaps begin to understand. 

"Do I believe I warrant a place in England's best team? Of course, I do.

"People will ask if there has therefore been some fall-out behind the scenes, a bit of a rumble during the Ashes, but I can categorically say that is not the case. Hence, neither Jimmy nor I saw this coming. We were blindsided."

England's last series win in the West Indies came back in 2003-04.

Vishaul Singh fell just short of a 9th first-class 100 but led a brilliant Guyana Harpy Eagles fightback, which left the game against the Windward Volcanoes very much in the balance heading into Saturday's final day.

At the close of play, the Windwards batting a second time were 157 for 7 with Larry Edward (29) and Kenneth Dember (9) the batsmen at the crease.  Asked to bat again, the Windwards found the going hard early on as the typically dependable Devon Smith was dismissed for a duck in the first over, bowled by Nial Smith.  They lost Teddy Bishop (15), the team’s other opener, soon after, to leave the score at 20 for 2. 

Alrick Athanaze maintained his good form for the match after first hunkering down at the crease with Kavem Hodge to briefly stop the rot.  Hodge was, however, uprooted when he was dismissed lbw off the bowling of Keemo Paul for 15.  Keron Cottoy added 12 before being dismissed by Clinton Pestano and Denis Smith added just four runs before departing two overs later with the score at 77 for 5, after also falling victim to Pestano.

Veerasammy Permaul delivered the crucial wicket of Athanaze, who made 58, in the 29th over with the team struggling at 125 for 7.  Paul, Permaul, and Pestano have so far taken two wickets each with Smith claiming one.

Earlier, resuming the day at 181 – 5, still trailing the Winwards first innings tally of 339 by 155 runs, Singh held the Harpy Eagles innings together along with Paul as the pair put on a solid 146 for the 6th wicket to change the complexion of the match.  Paul was eventually dismissed, after putting 77 on the board, when he was trapped lbw by Kenneth Dember. Singh departed two overs later, just seven runs short of a century when he was stumped by Smith off Dember.  With the score then at 290 for 7, the team added another 37 runs to move to within 12 of the total.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has admitted the team's persistent and obvious struggles with the bat are hurtful, particularly as he believes the unit had started to show improvement last year.

Despite commendable performances from its bowling line-up, the Windies batting line-up continued to struggle for yet another series after going down 3-0 to India on Thursday.  At the crease, in South Asia, the team at times looked ill-prepared or unable to find the resolve or technical ability needed to put partnerships together at crucial times or cope with the India bowlers for any prolonged period.

Similar to its performance against Ireland last month, where they lost an ODI series against that opponent for the first time, the Windies looked, perhaps more than ever, susceptible to losing wickets in huge clusters, which made it impossible to chase even modest targets.  In three matches, the team failed to reach 200 with its highest score of 193 coming in an all-out effort in the second match, in pursuit of 237 for 9.

For the batsmen, it was Jason Holder who led the way with a modest 65 over three matches, followed by Nicholas Pooran with 61, while lower-order all-rounder Odean Smith had 60.  By comparison, India’s top three featured Kuldeep Yadav who made 104 in three matches, Rishabh Pant made 85, while Shreyas Iyer made 80 in just one match.  Overall, the India batting line-up, which chased a low target in the first match, outscored the West Indies line-up by 148 runs.

“This is difficult, the last six games have been difficult in this format.  We started putting things together last year when we played Sri Lanka, it was difficult against Australia, but we started putting things together.  For this (type of performance) to come now, it’s hard to take, it’s hard to take from the batsmen,” Simmons told members of the media on Thursday.

“It’s not outwardly showing, but it’s hurtful and the players know that.  We have to make sure that we do the right things moving forward to get this batting line-up or whoever the batting line-up is to function as a batting line-up, to have big partnerships and assess the thing properly.”

The team’s highest partnership of the series was a 78 run seventh-wicket stand between Fabian Allen and Jason Holder.  Overall, the majority of the team’s biggest partnerships came from batting places below the 5th wicket.

“The mode of dismissals is the biggest issue.  If we are assessing the situation and we are playing according to the situation, and you get out then that’s execution.  But not assessing the situation and knowing what you want to do in the situations and the modes of dismissal it’s hurtful, and it doesn’t make for good watching as we’ve seen.  It’s something the players have to sit and get right as soon as possible.  We can’t keep going like this.”

 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.