West Indies captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, admits a recurring problem is the team's ability to spend longer at the crease, on the back of a dismal performance against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded tour.

With very few exceptions, the Windies batsmen struggled to make an impact against a crafty Sri Lanka spin attack, which anchored a dominant 2-0 series win for the hosts in Galle.  A closer look at the team’s batting statistics did not make for good reading. 

In two matches, only three batsmen managed a combined total of over 100 runs.  Nkrumah Bonner was the team’s most successful batsman putting up a total of 148, over the two matches, with a high score of 68 and an average of 49.33.  Brathwaite was next with 119, his average working out to 29.75, with a high score of 72.  Jermaine Blackwood was the third batsman to reach triple figures after totalling 109, averaging 27.25 and getting a high score of 44.

By comparison, Sri Lanka had five players total over 100 over both Tests, with two, Dhananjaya de Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne, getting over 200 runs.

When it comes to partnerships, the West Indies had only one that was worth 100 runs, which took place between Bonner and Da Silva in 44 overs.  By comparison, Sri Lanka achieved the feat 6 times.

“Batting-wise we let ourselves down, we just didn’t get big enough totals to cause any pressure on Sri Lanka,” Brathwaite said, following the match.

With the West Indies set to face England in January of next year, the captain believes the team must find ways to work on its concentration if things are to improve.

“Really and truly it all boils down to having the discipline and doing it for long periods.  I don’t think it will change in terms of spin-friendly conditions or batting in the Caribbean,” he added. 

“Wherever you may play, it’s about having that discipline throughout to bat for longer periods, I think that’s what we need.  We are showing that we can do it, but we are not doing it for long enough.”

 

West Indies middle-order batsman, Kyle Mayers, insists the team must keep the pressure on Sri Lanka if they aim to stay in with a chance of levelling the series heading into the fourth day.

Mayers dug in to put on a useful 36 from 64 balls as the Windies secured a narrow lead over the hosts at the end of their first innings, on the third day.

Resuming the day at 69 for 1, the Windies had a strong morning session, but the Sri Lanka spinners struck back to claim the team’s last seven wickets for just 87 runs. 

The Windies began the second innings with a narrow lead of 49 but kept the pressure on by striking twice with two exceptional runouts to leave the hosts at 46 for 2, at the end of the day’s play.  Mayers, who did his part by dismissing the dangerous Dimuth Karunaratne, insists the team must keep that attitude heading into tomorrow.

“We need to keep down the run rate and keep up the pressure,” Mayers said, following the end of play.

“We are ahead in the game now, so if we can stop them from scoring, runs are crucial heading into the last day.  The least amount of runs they get is the better it is for us,” he added.

“So, if we can keep the pressure on and squeeze some wicket out early tomorrow, first hour, I think we will be good.”

The trio of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, and Nicholas Pooran led a list of 9 West Indies players not retained by their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) teams ahead of the upcoming mega auction.

The 38-year-old Bravo, who has been with Chennai Super Kings since 2018, and previously spent four years with the franchise between 2011–2015, was a part of the team’s IPL-winning run last season.  Retention policies, however, forced the team to shed a few of the team’s veteran players.

In addition to Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Josh Hazlewood, Suresh Raina, and Cheteshwar Pujara were also among those released.  In the meantime, the team retained MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, and Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Gayle, Pooran, and Fabian Allen, in the meantime, all played for Punjab King’s XI with Gayle and Pooran having seasons to forget.  Gayle averaged 21.44 in 10 games, while Pooran averaged a measly 7.72 in 12 games.  Punjab retained only Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh and will have a hefty purse for the auction.

In the meantime, only three West Indies players were retained. The Kolkata Knight Riders kept all-rounder Andre Russell and mystery spinner Sunil Narine, while the Mumbai Indians have kept a hold of Kieron Pollard.  Other Windies players released include;

Shimron Hetmyer (Delhi Capitals), Evin Lewis, Oshane Thomas (Rajasthan Royals), Jason Holder, Sherfane Rutherford  (Sunrisers Hyderabad).

A five-wicket haul from spinner Veerasammy Permaul hobbled Sri Lanka to give the West Indies a slender advantage at the close of a rain-affected second day, in Galle, on Tuesday.

Resuming the score with a comfortable overnight total of 113 for 1, the Sri Lankans were 204 all-out just before lunch.  The decision to use left-arm spinners Permaul and Jomel Warrican proved to be a masterstroke that paid rich dividends for the visitors.

Permaul, ended with overall figures of 5 for 35, while Warrican took 4 for 50.  With the other wicket going to Roston Chase on the first day, it was only the fourth time the typically pace-dependent Windies saw their spinners claim 10 wickets in an innings.

In response, the West Indies came up with an all-around solid batting display and put 69 for 1 on the board, leaving the visitor trailing by 135 runs. Jermaine Blackwood, who put 44 on the board from 91 balls was the lone casualty before the rains came.  Blackwood was dismissed lbw after misjudging a Praveen Jayawickrama arm ball. Kraig Brathwaite was unbeaten on 22 off 77 deliveries, and alongside him was Nkrumah Bonner on 1 at the close of play.

 

West Indies left-arm spinner, Veerasammy Permaul, was delighted after taking a maiden five-wicket haul in his 7th match in Test cricket.

Permaul took 5-35 from his 13 overs to help restrict Sri Lanka to 204 all out on day two of the second Test in Galle.

The Guyanese bowler, who is playing in his first Test match since 2015, reacted joyously to his achievement.

“First of all, I’d like to thank God for giving me strength. I’m very overwhelmed. Over the years I’ve been working really hard to get back into the team and now it is paying off,” he said.

Permaul said trying to spin the ball as much as possible served him well in the Sri Lankan conditions.

“I tried to adjust to the conditions and see what pace is good for the wicket. I also tried to spin the ball as much as possible and I think that is what brought me success,” he said.

He also referred to the bowling partnership between himself and fellow left-arm spinner, Barbadian Jomel Warrican, who took 4-50 from his 18.3 overs.

“I think Warrican bowled really well. He was the one that was controlling the scoring rate. He was bowling tight at one end and I was attacking at the other end and that is the key to a good bowling partnership,” he said.

When asked how the Windies bowling performance can carry over into future encounters, Permaul said consistency is key.

“Moving forward, it’s very important that we stay consistent as a bowling unit. Be patient and don’t look for wickets. Try to create opportunities rather than experimenting,” he said.

The West Indies ended day two on 69-1 in their first innings reply to Sri Lanka’s 204 all out with captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, at the crease on 22 and Nkrumah Bonner on one.

Jermaine Blackwood is the only batsman out so far for 44.

 

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.''

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.”

 

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.

 

 

West Indies debutant Jeremy Solozano was taken to the hospital after receiving a blow on the helmet while fielding during the opening day of the Test series against Sri Lanka.

The 26-year-old had to be stretchered off the field after being struck by a pull shot from Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne.  The incident happened during the fourth delivery off spinner Roston Chase’s over that had seen the player deployed at the short-leg position.

Shai Hope was brought in as the replacement after the injured player left the pitch.  Solozano was reportedly responsive while being taken to the hospital and is currently undergoing scans.  Cricket West Indies has promised to give further news on the player’s condition as soon as it becomes available.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first Sri Lanka were 163 for 1 at the end of the second session.  Pace bowler Shannon Gabriel claimed the team’s only wicket so far after dismissing Pathum Nissanka.

West Indies middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood will be looking to score heavily during the team’s upcoming series against Sri Lanka and believes the rest of the team is in a similar mindset.

The last time the batsman was in Sri Lanka for a Test series was in 2015 where he fell just short of a century with 92 in Galle.  His performance was not good when the teams met earlier in the Caribbean this year but believes he can set things right on a ground where he will have good memories.

“To be honest, I try to stick to my strengths.  Now, I’m starting to understand my game a lot better than I did in the past.  I really know my game inside out now,” Blackwood told members of the media.

“The last time I played there I played more attacking to be honest because I was batting at a proper level.  This time around if I get a chance I can bat longer for the team and score more runs.  I not looking to just score a century or a half-century, I’ll be looking to push it beyond that.  So, hopefully, if I get in on this track, I can score a lot of runs for the team.”

In four series to date, the West Indies are yet to win a  match in Sri Lanka.

West Indies newcomer Jeremy Solozano insists the focus will be on ensuring he contributes to the team rather than worry about cementing a spot in the squad, with a potential debut against Sri Lanka on the cards.

The 26-year-old is tipped to make his debut as an opener against Sri Lanka when the series gets underway on Saturday.  The position at the top of the order has been a problematic one for the Caribbean team in recent years.  The struggle has been to find a consistent partner for captain Kraigg Brathwaite. 

The likes of John Campbell, Kieran Powell, Devon Smith, and briefly Shai Hope have all played in the position but failed to deliver the required performances.

With neither Powell nor Campbell in the squad and Hope unlikely to be tried in the slot again it appears to be a golden opportunity for the young opener to stake his claim.  For the moment, however, it isn’t a primary focus.

“I’m feeling confident.  Once given the opportunity I will do my best for the West Indies,” Solozano told members of the media on Friday.

“There’s not really any pressure with the environment I’m in, it’s about going out there to enjoy the game.  I believe once you enjoy your game and training and everything, everything will fall into place,” he added.

A debut against Sri Lanka could be a steep step up for Solozano who has managed just 40 first-class matches with an average of 23.41.

“Once given the opportunity I’ll contribute to the team as much as possible, doing what the team requires in the given situation.”

 

 

 

Page 1 of 19
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.