Following his epic unbeaten maiden Test century in Grenada on Saturday, West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua da Silva has come in for lavish praise from compatriot Brian Lara, one of the greatest batsmen of all time.

In a marathon innings lasting 257 balls, the 23-year-old da Silva scored 100 not out as the West Indies chasing England’s first innings score of 204, made 297 all out in the third and final Apex test in Grenada.

He was the sheet anchor in key partnerships of 33 with Kyle Mayers, 49 with Alzarri Joseph, 68 with Kemar Roach and 52 with Jayden Seales to help the West Indies recover from a precarious 95-6 into a position of ascendancy.

For Lara, it was a joy to watch.

“The discipline and mental strength this young man showed was admirable. The partnerships with the lower order to get us into this winning position is what Test cricket is all about,” said Lara, who is currently in India as the batting coach for IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The man who scored a mammoth 11953 runs from 131 Tests for the West Indies also lavished praise for da Silva’s teammates as well.

“It will be remiss of me not to congratulate all the batters and bowlers that fought throughout the series culminating into this on the brink of a series win against England. I salute the captain for his tenacity throughout the series with the bat and his leadership,” said the proud West Indies icon.

“To all players and staff, I commend you and at the same time urge you to continue working on having the appetite to go out there on the battlefield for all five days of a Test match giving your all each and every single time you don the burgundy cap. At the end, you will lose some, draw some and win a lot more but more importantly, you will understand what Test cricket is all about.”

At the time of publication, the West Indies were chasing 28 runs for victory after bowling England out for 120 on Sunday.

Kyle Mayers took a career-best  5-18, Kemar Roach 2-10 while there was a wicket each for Jayden Seales and Alzarri Joseph.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Experienced fast bowler Kemar Roach, Nkrumah Bonner and Brandon King have been included in a West Indies squad named for their white-ball tour of India next month.

West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite is expecting a strong performance from the team’s pace bowlers in Sri Lanka, despite conditions on the subcontinent tending to favour spin bowlers.

The last time the regional team faced Sri Lanka away, in 2015, it was the part-time spin of Brathwaite that stole of as the batsman claimed six wickets in an innings.  The frontline pace bowlers Kemar Roach (2), Jason Holder (3), Shannon Gabriel (1) failed to have a huge impact on the series, with the exception of Jerome Taylor who claimed 6 over two games.

Although the captain admits the surface is likely to favour spinners, Brathwaite is confident the Windies quicks will have a big role to play.

We haven’t been there as yet to see the surface but there’s always a role for the fast bowlers.  Shannon Gabriel really led the way in Bangladesh in the first Test, bowling with some good pace, then Kemar Roach getting an early wicket in the morning was very crucial.  Obviously, Jason wasn’t there but is always crucial.  So, I do believe that possibly there being spin-friendly pitches, I think the pace bowlers will do well.

“I can see them getting wickets.  It’s really about building pressure but seamers are very important and obviously, Shannon will bring some aggression and I look forward to seeing the guys operating.”

Half-centuries from Babar Azam and Fawad Alam wrested the early initiative from the West Indies and put Pakistan in a position of strength at the end of the first day of the second Betway Test at Sabina Park on Friday.

Kemar Roach has high hopes for protege Jayden Seales and says the future of the West Indies bowling is bright.

“We are sorry!”

Those were the words of Captain Kraigg Brathwaite after the West Indies humiliating 158-run defeat to South Africa inside four days at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St Lucia on Monday.

The West Indies, resuming from their overnight score of 15 without loss in pursuit of 324, were bundled out for 165 thanks mainly to the bowling of left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, who took 5-36, including a hat-trick that saw the home side slide from 104-3 to 104-6.

Kagiso Rabada was also among the wickets, taking 3-44 as the West Indies batting one man short, fell for 165.

Kieran Powell, who scored 51, Kyle Mayers 34 and Kemar Roach and Jermaine Blackwood, who scored 27 and 25, respectively got into double figures.

Brathwaite, who made scores of 0 and 6, laid the blame squarely at the feet of the batsmen, himself included, for the poor performance of the team who did not score more than 170 runs in any of their four innings. The batting was especially embarrassing coming off much better performances against Bangladesh in Bangladesh and the home series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

In the first Test, the West Indies had scores of 97 and 162 and followed those weak scores with 149 and 165 in the second Test capitulation. Confronted with that reality in the post-match media conference, the disappointed captain could not hide from the truth.

“As batsmen, we know we went wrong. We didn’t bat well,” said Brathwaite, who revealed that they had planned to bat better and having consistent partnerships during the series against the South African bowling attack but said they have to come back better for the next series.

“We are very sorry. Obviously, the fans look forward to the West Indies doing well and we were disappointing,” he said.

“Sometimes it’s not about winning but you still want to see the fight and we didn’t show the fans that fight. Myself included, we have to come back better and make the fans proud.”

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa batsman Rassie van der Dussen clean bowled by Kemar Roach after letting a straight one go.

West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach has backed the team to recover mentally for the second Test, following a disappointing start to the series against South Africa.

The visiting Proteas handed their hosts a deflating innings and 63 runs defeat in the first Test in St Lucia.  In total, the Windies managed just 259 in both innings after scoring just 97 in the first.  South Africa was tasked with batting once and 322 was comfortable enough to win the game.

The manner of the defeat was perhaps all the more surprising as the team headed into the series on the back of an exceptional away performance against Bangladesh and a solid home showing against Sri Lanka.  Roach has, however, backed the unit to recover its fortitude quickly ahead of the second Test.

“I know the guys had their batting meeting.  I’m sure they spoke about what is required to put on a better showing in the second Test match,” Roach told members of the media.

“The dressing room is good, relaxed.  We have had a good year of Test cricket.  One bad match doesn’t make us a bad team.  It about us remaining positive, trust our process, gain some confidence for the second Test match and take it from there.”

Despite being shot out twice for less than 300 runs at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in the first Test against South Africa last week, West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach says pitches like the one they played on will help West Indies cricket in the long run.

On a grassy surface that offered bounce and pace to fast bowlers, South Africa bowled the West Indies out for scores of 97 and 162 while securing victory by an innings and 63 runs inside three days. South Africa made 322 in their only turn at-bat.

However, according to Roach, who took 2-64 from the 20 overs he bowled, said pitches like the one they played on will ultimately benefit the players in the region.

“I think the pitches benefit us in the long run, especially when we go on tours to South Africa and Australia where the bounce is a lot more,” Roach said.

“We wouldn’t be unfamiliar when we go to these countries. I think it’s good to have a pitch like this in the Caribbean we can prepare ourselves for these overseas tours.”

The bowler, who is a few days shy of his 33rd birthday, had a successful stint in May with Surrey in the English County Championship where he took 22 wickets at an average of 20.54. Among the 22 wickets were nine that he took in his final match against Middlesex.

He said the pitches he played on were different in nature to the one in St Lucia.

“Pitches don’t bounce much in England. There is a lot of movement because of the atmosphere and the amount of grass they put on the pitch,” he said, adding that he believes he and his teammates will need to adjust their game to suit the surface.

“The pitch in St Lucia bounced a lot more than I have seen in a while. It reminds me of a wicket in Australia or probably South Africa, so it’s about us adapting. It’s about taking on the challenge and trying to be as positive as we can.”

The West Indies will see how much they have adjusted to the St Lucia pitch when the second Betway Test begins on Friday.

 

Teams led by middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood and wicketkeeper/batsman Jahmar Hamilton will face off in the first of two ‘Best v Best’ matches set to begin Monday morning at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground as the West Indies ramp up preparations for the upcoming series against South Africa.

 

West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach ended his five-game stint in the English County Championship on a high on Saturday taking nine wickets in Surrey’s drawn match with Middlesex.

Kemar Roach took career-best figures of 8-40 and 10 wickets in the match as Surrey defeated Hampshire by an innings and 289 runs in their English County Cricket match that ended on Friday.

Roach began the match taking 2-40 in Hampshire’s first innings of 92 all out. However, it was Jordan Clarke who did the bulk of the damage taking 6-21. Lewis McManus top-scored with 31 for Hampshire in their innings that lasted just 34.3 overs.

The situation would only become even direr for Hampshire as 215 from Hashim Amla, 131 from Ollie Pope 131 and knocks of 80 and 78 from Jamie Smith and Roy Burns, respectively, propelled Surrey to 560 for 7 declared.

Roach then moved in for the kill.

Getting prodigious swing both ways, the Barbadian took three in eight balls towards the end of his first spell, two in seven in his second, and three in 13 in his third as Hampshire folded for 179 in their second turn at-bat. 

“It was going conventionally, not reversing," Roach said.

"The way I gripped the ball was a little looser today. It was overcast conditions so the ball was going to do something once you put it in the right areas and stayed strong at the crease. The guys worked incredibly well on the ball and the information I got on the field about different batsmen and their weaknesses worked fantastically."

Once again, McManus was Hampshire’s top scorer with 51.

Roach’s 10-80 was also a career-best for the veteran West Indies pace bowler.

The first Sandals Test match is intriguingly poised with one day left to play at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Sri Lanka dominated the fourth day on Wednesday and scored 476 in the second innings – with a patient, maiden century on debut by Pathum Nissanka (103) and Niroshan Dickwella (96).

The pair added a record 179 for the sixth wicket and Nissanka became the first Sri Lankan to make a century away from home in his first match. He eventually fell to a catch by Kemar Roach from the bowling of off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, who ended with 3-137 off a marathon 42.5 overs.

Roach had the best figures of 3-74 off 27 overs to end the match with six wickets – following up his 3-47 off 16 overs in the first innings.

This left the West Indies with a victory target of 375. They reached 34-1 at the close and will require another 341 to win on the final day with nine wickets in hand. Nkrumah Bonner will resume Thursday on 15 not out and with him captain Kraigg Brathwaite on eight not out.

The match resumes on Thursday at 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time).

in the hunt for victory seam bowler Kyle Mayers captured his first Test wickets to break a century partnership which kept West Indies chances alive on the third day of the first Sandals Test match on Tuesday at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

With Sri Lanka on 170-1, a half-hour after tea, Mayers produced two brilliant outswingers – to remove Oshada Fernando for 91 with his first delivery and then Dinesh Chandimal for four in his next over. Both were caught behind by 'keeper Joshua Da Silva.

Kemar Roach added the wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne for 76 a few overs later as Sri Lanka lost three wickets for 19 runs in the space of 45 balls. Mayers finished the day with 2-10 off four overs while Roach has 2-28 – overall figures of 5-75 in the match so far.

Thirimanne and Fernando added a superb partnership of 162 – a record for the second wicket at this venue. It surpassed the previous record of 136 between Simon Katich and Ricky Ponting of Australia in 2008. Then, Dhananjaya de Silva ended the day 46 not out and Pathum Nissanka, unbeaten on 21, to see Sri Lanka to the close on 255-4. The overall lead is 153 with two days left to play.

Speaking on the Sandals Players Zone, Mayers said he was delighted to make a contribution with the ball, as he started his career as a bowling all-rounder.

“I’m happy to get my first Test wicket I like to be in the game – I’m that kind of person. I like to win games for my side, so bowling, batting, fielding – any part of cricket at all I can play to win the game for my side, I will do that. I think the wicket is a good one – it has flattened out nicely. Obviously, they had the upper hand, but the game is still evenly poised. We’re still in the game,” he said.

The match resumes on Wednesday at 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time).

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