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 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 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.

Despite scoring an unbeaten century for Team Blackwood on day two of the BestvBest match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on Thursday, Nkrumah Bonner said spending time at the crease was more important to him as he prepares for the West Indies’ upcoming tour to Sri Lanka later this year.

Despite a poor run of form with the bat struggling batsmen Kyle Mayers and Nkrumah Bonner are full of confidence and are raring to go ahead of Friday’s second Test against Pakistan at Sabina Park in Kingston.

Middle-order batsman Shamarh Brooks and fast bowler Chemar Holder have been recalled to a 17-man provisional squad for the Betway Test Series against Pakistan, starting on Thursday, August 12. However, there is no room for left-hander Darren Bravo and fast bowler Shannon Gabriel.

Holder made his Test debut against New Zealand last year but has not featured since then. Brooks, meanwhile, also last played against New Zealand and has earned a recall following a polished century in the Best v Best four-day match last week.

“Chemar Holder returns, having recovered from his injury. He will bolster the fast bowling department. Shamarh Brooks batted his way into the provisional squad by scoring an accomplished century. He will certainly add some depth to the squad’s batting,” said Chief Selector Roger Harper in explaining the recall of the two players.

Regarding Gabriel’s omission, Harper said the player is being given time to work on his fitness.

“Shannon Gabriel has been given time to rehab fully and build his conditioning, so he was not part of the preparations for the Test series against Pakistan, which included the Best v Best game. Darren Bravo has been part of the ‘bubble’ from the preparation camp leading into the Betway Test series against South Africa and has been given a break,” Harper said.

“I expect the team to be highly competitive in every department while playing with passion, purpose and determination. I look forward to the batsmen stepping up as they did in the series against Bangladesh and against Sri Lanka earlier this year in Antigua.”

The two-match Betway Test Series will be played at Sabina Park from August 12-16 and August 20-24. The Betway Test Series forms the first of six Series in the new cycle of the International Cricket Council World Test Championship to find the best Test match cricket team in the world.

FULL SQUAD: Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood (Vice-Captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, and Jomel Warrican.

Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje took nine wickets between them as South Africa bowled the West Indies out for 97 shortly after lunch on the opening day of first Betway Test at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St Lucia.

After West Indies won the toss and chose to bat on a grassy pitch, Ngidi playing in his 10th Test match took 5-19 as he tore through the West Indies middle-order that was left exposed after Nortje (4-35) claimed the wickets of both openers – Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite, who each made 15.

Kagiso Rabada removed Nkrumah Bonner for 10 and Nortje took the wicket of Kyle Mayers for 1 to leave the home side 48 for 4 at lunch.

On the resumption, South Africa wrapped up the rest of the West Indies batting as only Jason Holder, 20, and Rahkeem Cornwall, 13, provided any resistance to the accurate South African attack.

The West Indies troubles were compounded by news that Bonner, who was struck on the helmet, the first ball he faced bowled by Nortje, has suffered a concussion and will take no further part in the match. He will be replaced by Kieran Powell.

Cricket West Indies has awarded first-time international retainer contracts to Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Akeal Hosein and Kyle Mayers while newly-appointed Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo received International contracts for red-ball and white-ball cricket, respectively.

A total of 18 players have been offered contracts for the upcoming 2021-22 season which runs from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022.

Meanwhile, Roston Chase, Shamarh Brooks and Shane Dowrich are among several who have lost their retainer contracts. Also losing their contracts were Sunil Ambris, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd and Oshane Thomas.

“Contracts offered for the 2021-22 period sees 18 players being retained, a decrease of four from last year. Jason Holder is the only player to retain his all-format contract due to his strong Test and T20I performances during the evaluation period,” CWI Lead Selector Roger Harper confirmed.

“There are several new players offered red-ball contracts earned by their strong performances during the last period. A number of players were not retained because they did not meet the minimum requirements.”

CWI Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams was pleased for the players who were retained.

“I am happy for all the players who have been offered retainer contracts for the upcoming period. Especially pleasing was the number of players who were awarded first-time contracts in recognition of their performances during the period under review,” he said.

“I know that the 11 players who have lost their international retainers will be striving and fighting hard to get back into the teams and earn their central contracts back next year.  These players, along with our T20 specialists, will ensure that we have genuine competition for places that will push everyone to attain higher standards of performance.”

The evaluation period for the 2021-22 contracts covered performances and statistics from April 1, 2020, to April 1, 2021 (this was also supported by statistics from the previous 2019-2020 evaluation period). This allows for all players to be appraised immediately after the evaluation period and provides a notice period before new contracts on July 1, 2021.

Below are the players who have been awarded retainer contracts.

All-Format Contracts: Jason Holder.

Red Ball Contracts: Kraigg Brathwaite, Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner*, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva*, Shannon Gabriel, Kyle Mayers* and Kemar Roach.

White Ball Contracts: Kieron Pollard, Fabien Allen, Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein*, Evin Lewis, Alzarri Joseph, Nicholas Pooran and Hayden Walsh Jr.

*Players offered contracts for the first time in 2021-2022

Players who are no longer receiving international retainer contracts are:

All Format Contracts: Roston Chase.

Red Ball Contracts: Shamarh Brooks and Shane Dowrich.

White Ball Contracts: Sunil Ambris, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd and Oshane Thomas.

 All players who are no longer on International retainer contracts are offered an A* grade Regional Franchise Contract for the following year.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes a change of approach by his team’s batsmen is largely responsible for five of them averaging over 50 for the just-concluded series against Sri Lanka. Kraigg Brathwaite, Nkrumah Bonner, Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder and Rahkeem Cornwall hit that significant milestone during the series that ended in a stalemate between the two cricketing nations.

It was the first time since 2012, that West Indies batsmen have been able to achieve that feat and only the second time since 1995.

Brathwaite, who started off the series with scores of three and 23 in the first Test, finished strong with his ninth Test century, 126, and a second innings score of 85 that spiralled his average in the series to an excellent 59.25.

Kyle Mayers, perhaps the most consistent of the West Indies batsmen had scores of 49, 55, 45 and 52 for an overall average of 50.25.

Incidentally, these were the two lowest averages of the five batsmen. Nkrumah Bonner, who scored his first Test century in the series, 113 not out, averaged 72 while Jason Holder averaged 69 after scoring 71 not out, 30, 19 and 18 not out.

Rahkeem Cornwall had only two turns at-bat and he made them count. His 61 and 73 gave him an average of 67, to round out an impressive all-round performance from the West Indies despite the fact that they were unable to force a win in any of the two Tests.

Simmons, though, was pleased with what he observed.

“Everybody is looking to occupy the crease. People are working to bat for long periods and our depth goes deeper because Alzarri Joseph and Rahkeem Cornwall have shown within the last three series that they can bat and they can provide that 50-100-run partnerships that later down can take us to 350 to 400s,” said the West Indies head coach.

He was particularly pleased with Cornwall’s performance with the bat. Already, a crucial member of the bowling attack, Cornwall enhanced his reputation as a genuine allrounder.

“It was great to see Rahkeem’s batting coming to the fore, and in all, the batting has shown up in the last four Test matches and this is a great thing because, before that, the bowling was carrying us,” Simmons said.

The last time the West Indies had five batsmen averaging over 50 in a Test series was back in 2012, when Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kieran Powell and Denesh Ramdin all surpassed the milestone. Chanderpaul averaged over 300 for the series.

Before that, six West Indies batsmen - Chanderpaul, Junior Murray, Winston Benjamin, Jimmy Adams, Brian Lara and Sherwin Campbell - all averaged over 50 runs an innings against New Zealand in 1995.

 

 

On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these trending issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah.

 

Bonner’s maiden test century was worth the wait.

West Indies all-rounder Nkrumah Bonner’s maiden century in the first Test against Sri Lanka helped the team play to a draw in the match that looked like it had slipped away from the home team. Batting at number three, the 32-year-old Jamaican scored 113 not out to achieve what he described as his childhood dream.

After winning the toss the home side bowled out Sri Lanka for 169. In reply, the Windies scored 271 for a lead 102 runs. Sri Lanka scored a massive 476 in their second innings which left the home side requiring 375 for an unlikely victory.

Entering the on 34-1, still 340 runs behind, only two results seemed likely – a Sri Lanka win or a draw. Bonner helped to achieve the latter as the West Indies were 236-4 when play was called off.

It is notable that Bonner came into this series in good form from the 2-0 Test series win over Bangladesh earlier in February. He was named Man of the Series having produced scores of 17, 86,90 and 30.

In the West Indies first turn at bat against Sri Lanka, Bonner scored 31 but was not happy with his performance. Recognizing that there was a problem, he sought and received the help that saw him produce his unbeaten century that prevented the West Indies from slipping to defeat.

 T&T’s Soca Warriors victory is exactly what they needed

Trinidad and Tobago’s 3-0 victory over Guyana their opening 2022 CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers on Thursday, was exactly what the team needed to lift their spirits.

 Prior to the match, T&T’s preparations were limited and were forced to play away from home because of their government’s pandemic protocols that kept their borders closed.

 Additionally, T&T has had many off-field issues including a FIFA imposed suspension after a protracted battle with the football’s governing body. Then, just days before the qualifiers were to begin, head coach Terry Fenwick and Director of Communications Shaun Fuentes were alleged to have been involved in a physical altercation.

On form, the team was coming off a 7-0 thrashing from the United States 7-0 in January.

With this in mind, the 3-0 victory over Guyana, was a welcome respite that gave Fenwick his first official win as national coach.

The coach, who said he was incredibly pleased with the team’s performance, will want to keep the momentum in the second qualifier away to Puerto Rico. 

Trinidad and Tobago will be heading into the match against Puerto Rico in high spirits as it would go a long way to shifting the narrative away from off-field woes.

 

Of all the important partnerships that Joshua Da Silva featured in during the West Indies successful Test series against Bangladesh, there was one that the Trinidadian wicketkeeper-batsman said he enjoyed the most.

Nkrumah Bonner’s outstanding Test debut against Bangladesh saw him being awarded the Man-of-the-Series at the conclusion of the second and final Test in Dhaka on Sunday.

Man-of-the-math Rahkeem Cornwall took four wickets today, spurring West Indies to a nail-biting 17-run against Bangladesh inside four days to sweep the closely fought Test series 2-0.

Fast bowling great Sir Curtly Ambrose believes some West Indies players who opted out of the tour of Bangladesh could come to regret their decisions not to go because of how well the team is performing there.

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