West Indies middle-order batsman, Nkrumah Bonner, says the team’s batting line-up must find a way to get stuck in against Sri Lanka, particularly the spinners if they are to find a way to be compete in the ongoing series.

The Caribbean team is currently 1-0 down after suffering a lop-sided defeat to Sri Lanka in the first Test.  In the end, the regional team lost by 187 runs, but that could have been even worse were it not for a 100-run partnership between Bonner and Joshua Da Silva.  The duo were the only ones to get above the half-century mark and to say the majority of other batsmen found the going difficult would be an understatement.

 Sri Lanka’s spinners were aggressive throughout, with left-arm orthodox Praveen Jayawickrama (4 for 40 runs) and off-spinner Ramesh Mendis (3 for 75) doing the damage in the first innings. In the second innings, it was left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya who grabbed an impressive 5 for 46 and Mendis (4 for 64) and Jayawickrama (1 for 28) also doing more damage.

Bonner, who looked much more comfortable after making an adjustment for the second innings, after being dismissed for just 1 from 11 balls in the first, believes that coping with the spinners comes down to better footwork.

"These are small things we need work on if we want to be more sure in our defense, and when we attack,” Bonner said.

"It's difficult when players don't get a start. In the first innings, the ball was holding and spinning. It was a different challenge in the second innings when the ball was sliding at times, and spinning too. We have to come up with smart tactics in order to play all the left-arm spinners."

The West Indies and Sri Lanka will face off in the second Test, beginning on Sunday.

West Indies T20 star Chris Gayle plans to be at the ICC Cricket World Cup next year, but this time around more than likely as a spectator in the stands.

The 42-year-old ball-smasher was widely expected to retire following last month’s failed ICC T20 World Cup campaign but announced on that occasion that plans might have been underway for a farewell fixture, in his home country Jamaica, at Sabina Park.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has since confirmed that the match will come during the upcoming series against Ireland in January.  Gayle, the format’s top runs scorer and holder of more than a few records, admits he is looking forward to the game.

"It's doubtful you will see me playing for West Indies again in international cricket. We have something planned against Ireland. I am just waiting for the board to finalise things. And once we get a date, we would find out what it is. It should be back home in Jamaica, Sabina Park. Final international run so I’m looking forward to it," Gayle told EspnCricinfo.

Following the team’s unceremonious exit from the World Cup the player had mused about wanting to go to another tournament, it appears that might still very much be in the plans.

 "I will be in Australia one way or the other next year.  I will be there because I haven’t been there in some time. The World Cup will be in Australia so I would be there. You know, it might take some extra effort. Sit in the stands, have a cold one and says ‘Hi guys, I’m here. I ain’t leaving. So yeah, I am looking forward to it."

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has taken the decision to abandon the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021, which had been taking place in Zimbabwe due to uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus.

Global concerns regarding the emergence of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 has seen travel restrictions imposed for several African countries, including Zimbabwe.  Those conditions would make travel difficult for players involved in the event.

The tournament was expected to provide the final three spots for the ICC Women's World Cup in New Zealand next year as and also decide the remaining two spots for the next cycle of the ICC Women's Championship.

The places will now be decided based on team rankings, in keeping with the tournament's playing conditions.

As a result, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the West Indies will now progress to the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, with Sri Lanka and Ireland occupying the other slots for the 2022-25 cycle of the ICC Women's Championship.

On Saturday, the scheduled games were already underway with Zimbabwe facing Pakistan and USA taking on Thailand.  The West Indies were scheduled to face Sri Lanka but that game was called off after a member of the Sri Lanka support staff tested positive for the virus.  The event was later abandoned.  In their first encounter, the Windies Women cruised to a six-wicket win over Ireland.

West Indies T20 star Chris Gayle believes some of the format’s openers have taken some of the excitement out of the game in recent times, after what he believes has been a more cautious approach to the powerplay.

The towering left-hander has made his name at the top of the batting order by taking apart opposition bowlers.  As such, the batsman’s feats in the shortest format are unequalled, having racked up a world-leading 14,000 plus runs in an explosive career.  In recent years, however, strategic adjustments have seen a few batsmen opt for a more considered approach to the innings.

Gayle believes such adjustments have made T20 cricket less explosive in the first six overs and as such less entertaining.    

''I think, with T10 cricket, that's how T20 cricket started. From the first over, batters used to go but T20 cricket has slowed down dramatically and T10 cricket has now raised the bar a bit,'' Gayle, who is currently taking part in the Abu Dhabi T10 League,” said.

''They're killing the entertainment in T20 cricket, straight up, because in those first six overs, we can get more as openers but guys are taking their own time,” he added.

''Sometimes they bat to get a score and they take away from the fire they should be bringing to the batting department in the first six overs, but T10 is spot on and hopefully, we'll see more T10 coming around.''

Several newcomers including Justin Greaves, Gudakesh Motie and Odean Smith have been called to the West Indies squads that will play three One Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals in Pakistan from December 13-22 at the National Stadium in Karachi, Cricket West Indies announced today.

Meanwhile, Jason Holder is being rested for this tour due to workload management and Fabian Allen and Obed McCoy are unavailable due to injury and rehabilitation. Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell and Lendl Simmons are all unavailable due to personal reasons, CWI said.

Greaves, Motie and Smith have been called up for the ODIs along with middle-order batsman Shamarh Brooks.

Smith and Motie are also selected in the T20I squad for the first time, along with left-arm fast-bowling all-rounder Dominic Drakes. Motie was a travelling reserve for the recent ICC T20 World Cup, while Drakes and Smith were net bowlers before the start of the tournament

“There are a number of talented newcomers in each format that will have the opportunity to show what they are capable of at the international level,” said Chief Selector Roger Harper.

“Justin Greaves is a very talented player, had a good CG Insurance Super50 tournament and performed well in the President’s XI match against Ireland in 2020. Odean Smith really grabbed our attention in the last CPL. His pace was never in question, however, he has added greater control and has displayed the ability to be a wicket-taker.”

Brooks gets called after his performances in the last Super 50 Cup.

“Shamarh Brooks batted well in the CG Insurance Super50 Cup and followed that up with good performances in the CPL,” Harper explained.

“He will lend greater depth to the batting line-up. Gudakesh Motie has been rewarded for his outstanding performance in the CG Insurance Super50, followed up by his showing in the CPL. Dominic Drakes has the potential to be an outstanding all-rounder as he displayed during the last CPL.

 “The ODIs in Pakistan are part of the ICC ODI Super League where points gained work towards qualification for the ICC World Cup 2023. So these ODI’s are very important to us and are being treated as such.”

The ODI Series will be West Indies fourth series of 12 in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League in which the top seven teams can secure automatic qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India. West Indies currently lie in eighth position out of 13 teams and have the opportunity to move above Pakistan into seventh position.

The full squads are as follows:

One-Day Internationals: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Shai Hope (Vice-Captain), Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Anderson Phillip, Nicholas Pooran, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith and Hayden Walsh Jr.

 T20 Internationals: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran (Vice-Captain), Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Oshane Thomas and Hayden Walsh Jr.

TOUR SCHEDULE
December 13 – 1st T20I, Karachi
December 14 – 2nd T20I, Karachi
December 16 – 3rd T20I, Karachi
December 18 – 1st ODI, Karachi
December 20 – 2nd ODI, Karachi
December 22 – 3rd ODI, Karachi

 

West Indies batsman, Nkrumah Bonner, says the team will need to come up with a plan to cope with Sri Lanka’s spin attack if they are to get a better result in the second Test match of the series this weekend.

Bonner was one of the few batsmen to provide any resistance against the spin onslaught from the hosts.

He compiled an unbeaten 68 in the second innings in which the Windies were bowled out for 160 to lose the game by 187 runs.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, the Jamaican top-order batsman said the Caribbean side will need to get together and devise a plan to counter the Sri Lankan spinners.

“Moving forward, we have to come up with small tactics for when we’re playing the off-spinners or the left-arm spinners. That’s something we’re going to sit down as a team and look at,” said Bonner.

The Windies problems against spin are mental rather than physical, according to Bonner.

“It’s mental for us. Everybody has the ability to play spin but we need to be clear on how we want to play against them. Obviously, the Sri Lankan spinners got the better of us in this match. We’re trying to work on that in training to try to give a better showing in the next match,” he said

Bonner also spoke about how the Windies can improve their approach to playing spin, given the fact that it is the biggest threat in sub-continent conditions.

“We have to be more precise with our footwork, whether we’re going to come forward or go back. There are some small things we want to work on if we want to be more assured when we’re defending and when we’re attacking,” he said.

The second test match begins Sunday at 11:30 pm local time.

West Indies wicket-keeper batsman, Joshua Da Silva, believes application at the crease will be the key for the Caribbean side for the remainder of their Test series against Sri Lanka.

The Windies lost the first test to the Sri Lankans by 187 runs in Galle while only managing to score 230 and 160 in their two turns at the wicket.

The problem, according to Da Silva, was a technical one.

“We played a bit too far in front of us, especially in the first innings,” he said.

Da Silva was one of the bright spots in the second innings, making a well-played 54 off 125 balls as part of a 100-run partnership with Nkrumah Bonner, who remained not out at the end on 68.

Speaking after the match, Da Silva highlighted the difficulty of the conditions that the batsmen faced.

“Conditions were challenging. The pitch was turning a lot and the straighter ball was sliding on a bit so it was a difficult new-ball wicket but once the ball got a bit softer, it was a bit easier and we were able to get more on top of the bowlers,” he said.

The Trinidadian also gave some insight into what led to the big second innings partnership with Bonner that saw them take the score from 18-6 to 118-7.

“Well, when I got into the wicket with Bonner we had to rebuild. We had to think about how we were going to get out of a bit of a collapse so we just wanted to bat balls and both of us wanted to be at the wicket at the end of the day,” said Da Silva.

He also said that Sri Lanka didn’t do anything the Windies didn’t expect going into the game.

“They just played the cricket they know how to play. They used their spinners wisely and they batted well in the conditions they know how to bat very well. They used their home advantage,” he said.

Finally, Da Silva explained what needs to change for the West Indies to turn the series around.

“I just think the boys need to fight. We need to believe in ourselves. Nobody goes out there to fail. Everybody’s trying their best so just a bit of application and give yourself some time. You have a lot more time than you think,” he said.

The Windies will be looking to even the series in the second test which begins on Sunday at 11:30 pm local time.

 

 

 

Sri Lanka completed a comprehensive 187-run victory over the West Indies at Galle on Thursday despite defiant half-centuries from Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua da Silva.

Cricket commentator and analyst, Fazeer Mohammed, believes using an official international fixture to bid farewell to legendary T20 batsman Chris Gayle could set a bad precedent.

The 42-year-old batsman was widely expected to call time on his career following an unsuccessful ICC T20 World Cup campaign.  Following the team’s elimination from the tournament, however, the big-hitting left-hander suggested that he may be given one more game, at Sabina Park, in his home country of Jamaica, to bid a final farewell to international cricket.

The suggestion has divided opinion.  While some believe that paying tribute to a player who has scored the most runs ever in the format, with 14,321, others believe he should simply have moved on following the end of the tournament.  In the past, the regional board has been accused of not honouring players that have made a huge mark for the West Indies, but some insist an exception should not be made for Gayle if his form does not merit a place in the squad.  Mohammed, however, believes the solution could lie somewhere in-between.

“It’s another thing to see a situation where a player has basically called for a farewell, called for an opportunity to play a final match,” Mohammed told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“Gayle also wanted to play a last Test in Jamaica thankfully that was not granted because I think that is going down a road where players of a certain stature are making demands, which I don’t think should be entertained as far as the international structure of cricket,” he added.

“Are you saying somebody is going to be left out on merit to accommodate somebody’s farewell? Give him a testimonial, in the same way, you see in other countries…but I think it’s a dangerous precedent where someone is allowed to play an official international match as a farewell if they don’t deserve that place on merit.”

 

West Indies middle-order batsman, Nkrumah Bonner, admits the team is disappointed with another poor showing at the crease but believes it remains possible to escape the current predicament.

Heading into the final day, the Windies are 52 for 6 and chasing a massive total of 296.  Bonner (18) and Joshua Da Silva (15) are the batsmen currently at the crease and will both be hoping to be the start of an unlikely recovery.

Earlier, in pursuit of Sri Lanka’s second innings total of 191 for 4 declared, the West Indies experienced a shocking top-order capitulation that left them struggling at 18 for 6 after just 13 overs.

Spin bowling continued to be the major issue for the batsmen with Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Kyle Mayer, and Jason Holder all failing to pick the straighter deliveries.  Similar to the first innings, it was the loopy offspin of Mendis that the team continued to struggle to negotiate, as he claimed four in the second innings to take his tally to seven.

“I think everyone is disappointed but it’s the nature of the sport.  People will get out in cricket, that will happen.  It’s just up to me and Josh and the rest of the batters to get the job done,” Bonner said.

The West Indies had also found themselves in trouble in the first innings before a 62 runs late innings partnership between Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers brought some stability to the innings.

“We have about 640 balls to bat tomorrow.  If me and Josh can face the majority of the balls.  Obviously, we want to play each ball on its merit, respect the bowler.”

 

The West Indies will be praying for a lot more rain come Thursday as they stare defeat squarely in the face after slumping to 52-6 in their second innings still needing 296 runs for what would be an improbable, if not impossible victory.

After rain delayed the start of the fourth day of the Test, the West Indies resuming from their overnight score of 224-9, were eventually bowled out for 230 when Praveen Jayawickrama trapped Shannon Gabriel lbw for 2 leaving Joshua Da Silva not out on 15.

Jayawickrama finished with figures of 4-40 from 19.5 overs to be the best of Sri Lanka’s bowlers.

Leading by 156 on first innings, Sri Lanka led by Captain Dimuth Karunaratne’s 83 and Angelo Matthews unbeaten 69, raced to 191-4 in 40.5 overs, setting West Indies a target of 348.

The pair put on 123 for the third-wicket that effectively batted the West Indies out of the match.

Rahkeem Cornwall took 2-60 while Jomel Warrican finished with 2-42.

Batting a second time the West Indies batsmen were bamboozled by the Sri Lankan spinners crumbling to 18-5 by midway the 12th over.

Ramesh Mendis did most of the damage taking 4-17. He was supported by Lasith Embuldeniya, who took 2-18.

They did meet some late resistance, though, as Da Silva and Nkrumah Bonner, the only batsmen to reach double figures, have so far but on 38 for the seventh wicket. The former is not out in 15 while Bonner is on 18. They will be hoping to bat throughout Thursday’s final day with hopeful eyes on the clouds above.

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite has admitted it was a tough situation for debutant Jeremy Solozano who was forced out of the opening Test after sustaining an injury.

Solozano, who was expected to partner Brathwaite at the top of the order, had to be stretchered off on the first day of the opening Test after being hit flush on the helmet by a pull shot from Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne.

The young batsman was taken to the hospital for scans and remained overnight for observation, but the tests showed no further damage.  The player will, however, remain on concussion protocol for the next few days.  Solozano was replaced in the line-up by Shai Hope.

“It was a tough situation, but at least we heard he’s doing good, his scans came back good, and we’ll be supporting him 100 percent,” Brathwaite said.

As per CWI’s concussion policy, Solozano is expected to miss a minimum of seven (7) days. During this time, he will be monitored and evaluated before he can return.  The second match between the teams will take place between November 28 and December 3.

 

 

Only four overs of play were possible after lunch as the West Indies continued their fightback on day three of the first of their three-test series against hosts Sri Lanka.

After starting the day on 113-6, a strong partnership between former captain, Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers propelled the Windies to 163-6 before Mayers was deceived by off-spinner, Dhananjaya de Silva, and lobbed a catch to captain, Dimuth Karunaratne, at short cover for a top score of 45.

Holder was next to go, caught at point by Dushmantha Chameera off the bowling of Praveen Jayawickrama for 36 with the score on 175.

He tried to play a cut shot off a ball that got some extra bounce and ended up lobbing the ball in the air to Chameera, who took a good catch diving to his right.

Rakheem Cornwall then joined wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva at the crease and the two steadied the ship, bringing the score up to 224 before Cornwall went, caught by Ramesh Mendis, off the bowling of pacer Suranga Lakmal for 38.

Cornwall’s wicket fell on the last ball of the 80th over and the rest of the day’s play was washed out by rain.

The West Indies will start day four on 224-9, still 162 runs behind Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 386 with Joshua da Silva at the crease on 11 and Shannon Gabriel yet to score.

 

West Indies were in a world of trouble at the end of day two of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle on Monday. Chasing a target of 386, the West Indies slumped to 113-6 at stumps still 273 runs behind on a day that promised much but instead descended into disaster.

An unbeaten century by Dimuth Karunaratne and half-centuries from Pathum Nissanka and Dhananjaya de Silva put Sri Lanka in a position of strength at 267-3 at stumps of the opening day of the first Test against the West Indies in Galle on Sunday.

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