West Indies coach Phil Simmonds expects improved bowling performances from spinner Gudakesh Motie in the future after a fruitless debut with the ball against Bangladesh last week.

Overall, the spinner ended the opening Test with no wicket from 16 overs and conceded 43 runs.  The debut stood a far way from his performances in the West Indies Championship this season where he claimed 17 wickets in five matches, earning the attention of the West Indies selectors.

The 27-year-old did, however, make some sort of contribution with the bat after making 23 unbeaten from 21 deliveries, in the first innings.

“He scored a 100 in the Championship, so he can hold the bat and he can score like we saw but his bowling is going to improve,” Simmons said, following the first Test.

“I think when you play in your first Test match there’s always nerves, there’s a lot of things, but his bowling is going to improve,” he added.

While, for the most part, it was the pace bowlers who dominated affairs, Bangladesh spinner Mehidy Hasan claimed 4 for 59 in the first innings to put some pressure on the West Indies batting line-up.  West Indies and Bangladesh will face off in the second and final Test on Friday.

A knee injury has ruled former West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard out of the remainder of Surrey’s Vitality Blast campaign.

The 35-year-old suffered the issue early in the campaign and underwent surgery on Tuesday morning, ruling him out for between four and six weeks.

Pollard scored 99 runs and took a single wicket in six matches for Surrey, who started the campaign with eight wins and a no result from their first nine games to go top of the South Group.

"This is hugely frustrating as we have been a dominant force and I felt I was part of something special," said Pollard in an interview on Tuesday.

“I wish the lads all the best for the rest of the campaign whilst I get myself fit and firing again," he added.

Pollard retired from international cricket in April of this year after representing the West Indies in 123 One-Day Internationals and 101 T20 Internationals, since his international debut against South Africa in 2007.

Pollard also holds the current record for most T20 matches played with 598, 60 ahead of former West Indies teammate Dwayne Bravo and 126 ahead of former Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik.

 

New coach Chris Silverwood celebrated a first ODI series victory with Sri Lanka as his team secured an unassailable 3-1 lead over Australia in Colombo.

It ended Sri Lanka's 30-year wait since their last home triumph in a bilateral ODI series against Australia.

Defeat to Australia in the Ashes scuppered Silverwood's hopes of remaining in charge of England earlier this year, but his new team got the better of the men in yellow on Tuesday.

Replying to Sri Lanka's 258 all out, Australia could only manage 254, losing Matthew Kuhnemann to the last ball of their innings when five runs were required for victory.

Charith Asalanka made a maiden ODI hundred to anchor the home team's innings, reaching 110 before he holed out just inside the deep midwicket boundary, Aaron Finch taking the catch off Pat Cummins' bowling.

Asalanka lived dangerously early on, with a delivery from Cummins seemingly skimming the stumps but not removing the bails; however, he soon found form and hoisted Cummins for six shortly before being the eighth man out. Sri Lanka's main failing was in slumping from 256-7 after 47.3 overs to their final total.

They had recovered well from 34-3, thanks to Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva (60) putting on 101 for the fourth wicket, but Australia fancied their task in the chase despite losing captain Finch for a duck in the third over.

The tourists were firmly in the hunt while David Warner remained at the crease, but somebody else needed to step up when the opener fell for 99 to leave Australia 192-7 in the 38th over.

Cummins, the Test captain, accepted the invitation but was pinned lbw for 35 by Chamika Karunaratne late in the 49th over. Kuhnemann made it a desperately difficult final over for Dasun Shanaka, taking 14 from the bowler's first five deliveries; however, the Australia tail-ender hoisted the next delivery high and into the grateful hands of century-maker Asalanka.


Long wait comes to an end

Aravinda de Silva was the star man when Sri Lanka won their three-match home ODI series against Australia in 1992, and it has been three decades of waiting for another such triumph to come around. Now the target for Silverwood will be to deliver performances such as these on a consistent basis.

Now Australia face questions

Sri Lanka made a mess of each end of their batting innings, but the middle order held up. Tuesday's success was a third successive ODI match win over Australia in ODIs, the first time Sri Lanka have achieved that since a three-game streak in February and March 2012.

Australia, who lost 2-1 to Pakistan in April, have lost back-to-back series in the format for the first time since March 2020.

Eoin Morgan has been hailed as an "unbelievable leader" by Liam Livingstone, who assures the England captain is just "one score away" from finding form.

Morgan has guided England's white-ball sides through a transformative period since taking the captaincy in 2014.

The 35-year-old guided England to a dramatic World Cup triumph over New Zealand in the 50-over format in 2019, having taking his side to the T20 World Cup final three years before.

Another semi-final appearance came at the T20 World Cup in 2021, where England were defeated by New Zealand.

Matthew Mott has since taken the white-ball coaching role with England, who have defeated the Netherlands twice in as many ODIs to secure an unassailable 2-0 series lead before the final match on Wednesday.

While the likes of Phil Salt, Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan have delivered in the Amsterdam suburbs, Morgan has not scored a run across the two games.

Morgan has passed 50 just once in his last eight ODI innings since scoring 106 against Ireland in February 2020, but Livingstone voiced his support for the England skipper.

"The thing that has been forgotten is Morgs is an unbelievable leader," Livingstone told Sky Sports. "He is the leader of our team and everybody knows he is only one score away.

"I'm sure that score will come very soon and he'll be off and running again."

England blasted a world-record ODI score of 498 in the first match against the Netherlands, with Buttler smashing the second-fastest 50-over century for his country in just 47 balls.

All three of the fastest 50-over hundreds for England have come from Buttler, and Livingstone says he is learning every time he bats with the wicket-keeper.

"To watch Jos go about his business, it was nice to have him on my side this time round," Livingstone added, having played against Buttler in the Indian Premier League this year.

"It was pretty special to watch, especially from the other end.

"It's been great fun. It was nice to obviously break the world record on Friday, the lads have put in some really good cricket, it has been a great standard and hopefully it's the same again [on Wednesday]."

The Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG), home of West Indies Cricket, is entering the final phase for major development planning which will transform the ICC accredited facility into a truly state of the art cricket and cultural heritage centre, Cricket West Indies announced on Friday.

Infrastructural work and rehabilitation are expected to commence later this year that will see CCG become a world class centre of cricket with linkages to several other smaller cricket academies across the region.

CCG will be able to adequately host training camps and player remedial work as well as stage international matches at all levels. This will include an Emerging Players Academy and the construction of an ultra-modern indoor/outdoor facility with several inputs for players’ preparation, including medical, training, fitness, and gym facilities.

“A strategic approach to master planning of the facility is well underway, and we are stepping into a new frontier as we seek to make CCG the 'flagship’ where players from the grassroots to the international level can develop and hone their technical and mental skills. We envision the CCG of the future as a truly world-class facility with all the amenities,” said Nelecia Yeates, General Manager of CCG.

“Fans attending matches at the ‘new CCG’ will also have an exceptional spectator experience. We will leave no stone unturned as we hold firm to the commitment and belief that all islands of the Caribbean can be the birthplace of greatness in our sport, both on the off the field,” Yeates added.

As part of the redevelopment project for the 20-acre facility, CCG has announced the appointment of a design collective consisting of CJC + Associates Inc., KSS Design Group Ltd and Melon Design Architecture to design and develop a transformational high-performance, world-class concept master plan.

“We were hugely impressed by the quality of all the responses for our Request for Proposals. But the level of information showcased in the design collective proposal was both impressive and inspiring. The winners have shown exceptional talent and promise, and aligned well with CWI’s vision to create a uniquely West Indian and world class cricket and heritage centre,” said Ricky Skerritt, President of CWI and Chairman of CCG.

“It is a huge achievement and opportunity, yet a humbling experience to be selected the winners, even more so with the high standard of entries as was expressed by the client,” said Colin John Jenkins on behalf of the design collective (CJC+ Associates Inc., KSS Design Group Ltd and Melon Design Architecture).

Within the next few months, Jenkins and the design collective team are expected to submit draft master plans to CCG and CWI for final design and costing approval.

 

West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons has praised Captain Kraigg Brathwaite’s determination after the team’s seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Sunday.

In the first innings, Brathwaite made 94 off 268 balls, batting for 400 minutes in the process.

“There’s not much to tell as a batsman because I think everybody’s seen his determination and unique style,” Simmons said in an interview after the match.

“He doesn’t have a problem being there for five days and doing his job which is unique because a lot of batsmen nowadays want to play shots and be done with it but, from his point of view, he wants to be there all the time for his team and that rolls into the captaincy,” he added.

Since being named permanent Captain in March 2021, Brathwaite has led the team to a series win against England and drawn series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“He seems to be growing into the role as we go along,” Simmons said.

“He’s not loud but the players know what he wants in his unique way. He makes them understand what he wants from them,” he added.

Brathwaite’s next assignment will be to lead the team to victory in the second test against Bangladesh which begins on Friday at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St. Lucia.

 

A motivational team talk from Brendon McCullum inspired England to their thrilling chase at Trent Bridge against New Zealand, with Ben Foakes likening the message to a battle cry.

England managed a fourth-innings chase of 279 in the opening Test against the Black Caps at Lord's, with Joe Root posting a majestic unbeaten 115 to guide his team to victory.

More heroics were to follow in Nottingham when England had to chase 299 on day five.

Jonny Bairstow smashed England's second-fastest Test century as Ben Stokes' side plundered in the last session to secure an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

McCullum's coaching methods, which are said to focus on mentality as opposed to technique during the match, have been praised, and Foakes credited his coach's team talk before the final session.

"Baz's team talk at tea – it was like William Wallace!" Foakes said to ESPNcricinfo, referencing the famous Scot who battled in the First War of Scottish Independence and was depicted in the film 'Braveheart'.

"After he was done, everyone was desperate to get out there.

"The traditional Test approach in that situation would be 'see how it goes, see how many wickets we've got left, then if the situation isn't there, do we shut up shop?'

"He was like, 'Nah, we're not doing that. We're winning this game. If we don't, so be it – we've done it the right way. It doesn't matter if we don't win this game.' And it took the pressure off."

Foakes has taken the gloves for England, with new captain Stokes repeatedly expressing his support for who he feels is the best wicket-keeper in the world, and the Surrey star has subsequently delivered.

He has also experienced an upturn in his batting, scoring an unbeaten fourth-innings 32 alongside Root at Lord's before managing 56 and 12 not out at Trent Bridge to see England over the line.

England will look to complete the series sweep against New Zealand at Headingley starting on Thursday, and Foakes says the leadership of Stokes and McCullum has reinvigorated his enjoyment of cricket.

"It has changed the way I look at Test cricket," Foakes added. "With playing for England, there are obviously a lot of pressures, a lot of criticisms and things like that.

"If you think about that too much, it weighs on you. But over the last two weeks, it's clear to see the positives and how amazing playing for England can be.

"Baz and Stokesy, the way they are, promote that. When I think about it, my approach to Test cricket has always just been about endurance, mentally slow for a reason, and meant to be calculated.

"When you play for England, there is another side to it – the entertainment factor. I guess it's similar to the game a year ago [at Lord's, where England declined to chase 273 in 75 overs]: we could have gone for the win, but didn't.

"For pure entertainment value, within the crowd and at home, even if you lose that game at Trent Bridge, you're probably doing more for Test cricket.

"There's a balance in the game and trying to improve the viewership of it as well."

Windies fast bowler Kemar Roach has admitted to feeling a tremendous sense of pride after joining legendary pace bowler Michael Holding on 249 Test wickets on the all-time West Indies Test wickets list.

On Saturday, the 33-year-old put in another stirring performance against one of his favourite opponents, Bangladesh.  The bowler’s 10th five-wicket haul, on this occasion figures of 5 for 54, not only left the West Indies on the verge of winning the first Test but represented a huge personal milestone.

His latest tally sees the bowler now tied for 6th all-time on the list of the regional team’s top wicket-takers, shoulder to shoulder with the revered Holding, and 10 behind Joel Garner for 5th.  The significance of the moment was not lost on the player, who made his Test debut against the same opponents in 2009.

 “I’m proud.  I’m proud to know how I started, obviously, I came into the team under very difficult conditions, and to build a career and get among the greats is a good feeling,” Roach said.

“I’m one for stats, I love my stats.  I'm always checking once I'm not playing, so it’s always good to be among the greats,” he added.

With more left in the tank, the bowler has targeted the 300 wickets milestone, which would put him 9 behind spinner Lance Gibbs and fifth on the all-time list.

“I’d love 300 Test wickets.  I’m at 249, I have about two to three more years left in me, so that’s the target.”

The West Indies are on the brink of victory after Saturday's day three of the first Test against Bangladesh thanks to an excellent spell of bowling from Kemar Roach at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua.

Bangladesh carried on from their overnight 50-2 to reach 245 all out off 90.5 overs thanks to Captain Shakib Al Hasan who got his second fifty in the match with 63 and wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan who got 64. Opener Mahmudul Hasan Joy earlier got 42.

Roach, who now has 249 Test wickets, was brilliant for the hosts with 5-53 off 24.5 overs while Alzarri Joseph and Kyle Mayers supported well with 3-55 from 19 overs and 2-30 from 13 overs, respectively.

The hosts, needing 84 to win, got off to a terrible start and were 9-3 after four overs, losing captain Kraigg Brathwaite, Nkrumah Bonner, and Raymon Reifer in quick succession.

Opener John Campbell (28 not out) and vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood (17 not out) then combined to ensure the hosts lost no more wickets, ending the day 49-3 off 15 overs, needing a further 35 runs for a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Khaled Ahmed took all three wickets for Bangladesh.

Eddie Jones finds it laughable to hear Gareth Southgate coming in for heavy criticism after the England football team's poor Nations League results.

England rugby union head coach Jones says those rushing to judge Southgate's aptitude as boss of the Three Lions are showing they have short memories.

Southgate led England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and to the Euro 2020 final, but two defeats to Hungary either side of draws with Germany and Italy have led to a backlash.

There has been a clamour among some impatient supporters for Southgate to be replaced before the World Cup gets under way in November.

Jones said he "100 per cent" understood the position in which Southgate finds himself, having faced flak himself over England's rugby results.

He also pointed to the upturn in English cricketing fortunes this month as another sign of how fickle England fans can be, with the team emerging from a desperate rut in the Test game and suddenly being hailed as world-beaters.

"I find English sport amusing in that way," Jones said.

"English cricket two weeks ago didn't know what they were doing, complete debacle. They win two Tests, and now where can they go? They can go to Australia and they can beat Australia in the Ashes with 10 men, they're that good now.

"And English football, they were the darlings, and they lose a couple of games and you can see their players are probably struggling after a hard season, and now they're the worst thing since sliced bread.

"So everyone takes a turn in the chair. We've had our turn in the chair, and hopefully we'll move to a chair on the more comfortable side now."

Jones and Southgate have previously met to exchange coaching ideas, and both will hope those pay off in the big tournaments that lie ahead.

England's rugby side suffered a dismal Six Nations at the start of the year and travel to face Australia in three Tests next month.

Speaking on BBC 5 Live Sport, Jones said his team were in a rebuilding process, with the focus on shaping a unit to be competitive at the Rugby World Cup next year in France.

"There's always criticism when you don't win – particularly when you're with England there's a lot of criticism – but we know we've got to go through the process of rebuilding the team and sometimes that's a bit uncomfortable," Jones said.

He said the Australia series was an "opportunity to create new history", but there will be a poignant reunion Down Under for Australian Jones, too.

"I haven't been back to Australia since 2019, so I get to see my mother, who's now 97, and she rang me this morning and said, 'Make sure you win'," Jones said. "So you can see where I get my competitive spirit from."

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite has expressed disappointment on missing out on triple figures against Bangladesh but was satisfied in playing a crucial innings on day 2 of the second Test.

The opening batsman crafted a resilient 94 from 268 balls, a resilient 400 minutes that went a long way towards anchoring the team’s total of 265 and a first-innings lead.

Just short of a deserved 11th Test century, the batsman was, however, deceived by Khaled Ahmed and sent back to the pavilion just four short of the coveted total.

“Obviously, I was a little disappointed but I’m happy that the team has formed a lead and it will be key for us to start well tomorrow,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Friday.

“The most important thing was to build a foundation for me, and my team and I was happy with the time I spent.  So well done to the team for getting a lead,” he added.

The West Indies will enter the third day with a lead of 112 runs, after ending the day on 52 for 2.

 

West Indies Women stars Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews, and Stafanie Taylor will lead the inaugural three teams of the Women’s Caribbean Premier League, which is expected to bowl off in August.

The three-team tournament will take place in  St Kitts and Nevis and feature the Barbados Royals, Guyana Amazon Warriors, and Trinbago Knight Riders franchises.  Matthews will be captain of the Royals, Taylor the Guyana Amazon Warriors, and Dottin the Trinbago Knight Riders.

The players taking part in the competition were drafted from a pool put together by Cricket West Indies (CWI’s) selection committee out of which 33 were picked.  Each team will have the option of signing three overseas players which will bring the total squad size to 14.

 

The first Test between the West Indies and Bangladesh is evenly poised after Friday’s day two at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua.

The hosts carried on from their overnight 95-2 to be bowled out for 265 after 112.5 overs.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite carried on from his 42 on day one to eventually be dismissed for a marathon 94 off 268 balls including nine fours.

Vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood also showed good form with a 139-ball 63, also including nine boundaries.

Off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz led the way with the ball, with 4-59 off 22.5 overs, while pacers Ebadot Hossain and Khaled Ahmed ended with figures of 2-65 off 28 overs and 2-59 off 22 overs, respectively.

Bangladesh then struggled to 50-2 off 20 overs, trailing the Windies by 112 runs at the close, with Mahmudul Hasan Joy (18) and Najmul Hossain Shanto (8) at the crease. Alzarri Joseph took both wickets for the West Indies.

 

An excellent all-round display from Trinidadian Sunil Narine propelled Surrey to a seven-wicket win over Middlesex in their Vitality Blast South Group fixture at the Oval on Friday.

Surrey won the toss and elected to field first, restricting Middlesex to 155-8 off their 20 overs.

Luke Hollman (31), captain Stephen Eskinazi (25), and wicketkeeper/batsman John Simpson (25) were the chief scorers against Narine (2-27 off four overs) and Barbados-born England all-rounder Chris Jordan (2-27 off four overs).

Narine then top-scored with 51 not out off just 29 balls, including two fours and four sixes, while engaging in a match-winning 73-run fourth-wicket partnership with England test batsman Ollie Pope (37 not out).

Opener Will Jacks earlier smashed a 20-ball 43 for Surrey who easily reached 158-3 off just 15.1 overs to secure victory.

Surrey, also the team of former West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard, now lead the South Group with 15 points from eight games after seven wins and one no result.

 

 

Eoin Morgan labelled Jos Buttler as the world's best white-ball cricketer after England posted a world-record ODI score in their 232-run thrashing of the Netherlands.

Buttler was at his destructive best in a spectacular unbeaten 162. He hit the second-fastest ODI hundred for England from 47 balls, facing just one delivery less than he did when setting that record.

The wicketkeeper-batter brought up his 150 from just 65 deliveries as England broke their own record of 481-6 with 498-4 in the Amsterdam suburbs on Friday.

Phil Salt (122) hit his maiden ODI century, while Dawid Malan (125) also reached three figures for the first time in this format as England bludgeoned the Netherlands attack in the first of three ODIs, racking up 26 sixes.

Liam Livingstone struck 50 in just 17 balls as he went agonisingly close to breaking AB de Villiers' record of 16 en route to 66 not out, England falling just two shy of the first score of 500 in ODI cricket and setting a total that also marked a List A record.

The Netherlands' chase was an exercise in futility and they were bowled out for 266.

England captain Morgan said of Buttler's showing: "It's incredible to watch, it's not something we ever get sick of, it's not something that we take for granted.

"It is amazing cricket. It is the reason why he's probably the best white-ball cricketer in the world at the minute."

Asked if he is in the form of his life, Buttler said: "Certainly feels that way. The IPL couldn't have gone better for me, certainly that gives you a hell of a lot of confidence. It was a good wicket, we got a great start and that gave us the licence to really attack."

On missing out on the fastest 150, he joked: "I'd take it at the start of the day."

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