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  • PREVIEW: Weather poised to disrupt second ODI

    PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Rain could once again play a decisive role in the second One-Day International of the five-match series between West Indies and India set to bowl off here Sunday.

    The forecast has predicted overnight showers along with heavy rain and  possible thundershowers on
    Sunday, putting in doubt the prospect of a full 50-overs aside contest at Queen’s Park Oval.

    Friday’s opener at the venue was cut short after just over 39 overs of the first innings, as heavy rain wrecked the game and forced a no-result.

    Both players and officials will therefore be keeping an eye on the weather as they look to kickstart a series which holds huge value for West Indies especially.

    The hosts are chasing valuable ratings points to enhance their position in the ICC One-Day International rankings, in order to qualify automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019.

    West Indies are currently ranked ninth on 77 points and need to be in the top eight by the cut off date of September 30.

    Failing that, the two-time former World champions will enter a 10-team playoff next year with the likes Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan, in order to secure one of the two remaining World Cup berths.

    In India, they face opponents ranked third in the world and who were good enough to reach the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in England before losing to Pakistan last Sunday.

    The Caribbean side entered the series as huge underdogs and against the backdrop of a disappointing 1-1 draw in a three-match series against Afghanistan earlier this month but leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo believes the team can still spring a surprise.

    “They are a good experienced team, yes we know,” The Guyanese said.

    “We just have to put our best cricket forward. The team know and I know that if we play our best cricket, that we can do very well in this tournament and we’re looking forward to it.”

    West Indies have endured abysmal ODI form in over the last year with just three wins in 16 outings – including 3-0 whitewashes away to Pakistan and at home in the Caribbean to England.

    Further, West Indies have not beaten India in a bilateral series in 11 years, losing 16 of their lat 26 matches.

    But Bishoo said the Windies were motivated by a desire to do well, especially with the young players looking to make their mark internationally.

    “One of the most important things about our team is that everybody is very hungry … and they want to do well in international cricket,” he pointed out.

    “Going forward, the [hunger] is there so we just have to stay focussed, stay as a team, stay as one unit, keep enjoying our cricket … and try to do well in this tournament.”

    Play on Sunday is scheduled to bowl off at 9 am.

    SQUADS:

    WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Kesrick Williams.

    INDIA – Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Umesh Yadav.

  • Weather wipes out opening ODI

    PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Torrential rain wrecked the opening One-Day International between West Indies and India here Friday, allowing just over three hours play at Queen’s Park Oval.

    Opting to bat first, the visitors had cruised to 199 for three in the 40th over behind half-centuries from openers Shikhar Dhawan (87) and Ajinkya Rahane (62) when rain arrived for the second time around 12:30 pm, to bring a premature end to the contest.

    The adverse weather had halted play 45 minutes earlier with India on 189 for three after 38 overs.

    When the showers abaited late in the afternoon, the game was set to be a 26-over contest with West Indies chasing 194 for victory under Duckworth/Lewis but the rains soon returned, forcing officials to abandon the match.

    Dhawan had earlier extended his prolific ICC Champions Trophy form as he put on an enterprising 132 for the first wicket with Rahane.

    The left-handed Dhawan faced 92 balls and struck eight fours and two sixes while Rahane, a right-hander, counted eight fours in his 78-ball knock.

    Without really taking the bowling by the scruff of the neck, both batsmen played fluently, gathering boundaries off the new-ball pair of captain Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph.

    Dhawan stepped up the pace in the 15th over with two leg-side boundaries off off-spinner Ashley Nurse before caressing seamer Miguel Cummins fine for another four.

    Rahane was the first to his half-century, his 17th in ODIs, with a streaky four to third man off Cummins in the 21st over and Dhawan followed two overs later when he deposited Joseph over the ropes at square leg for the first of his two sixes.

    Just when West Indies seemed to be out of answers, Rahane miscued a drive at a slower ball from Joseph and was caught by Holder at mid-on in the 25th over.

    Dhawan added a further 36 with captain Virat Kohli (32 not out) and seemed to be on marching towards an 11th ODI hundred when he perished tamely in the 32nd over, lbw to leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo playing across the line.

    Left-hander Yuvraj Singh lasted all of 10 deliveries for his four before picking out Evin Lewis at mid-wicket with Holder, leaving India on 185 for three and West Indies with a foothold in the game.

    But only 17 more deliveries were possible before rain intervened to force a no-result.

    The second game of the five-match series will be played here on Sunday.

    INDIA

    A Rahane c Holder b Joseph  62

    S Dhawan lbw b Bishoo 87

    *V Kohli not out 32

    Yuvraj Singh c Lewis b Holder 4

    +MS Dhoni not out 9

    Extras (w5) 5

    TOTAL (3 wkts, 39.2 overs) 199

    Did not bat: K Jadhav, H Pandya, R Ashwin, K Yadav, B Kumar, U Yadav

    Fall of wickets: 1-132 (Rahane, 25 overs), 2-168 (Dhawan, 31.5), 3-185 (Yuvraj Singh, 36.3)

    Bowling: Holder 8-0-34-1 (w1), Joseph 8-0-53-1 (w1), Nurse 4-1-22-0, Cummins 8-0-46-0, Bishoo 10-0-39-1, (w2), Carter 1.2-0-5-0 (w1).

    WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Evin Lewis, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Jason Mohammed, Roston Chase, Jonathan Carter, Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph, Miguel Cummins.

    Result: No result.

    Series: Five-match series tied 0-0.

    Toss: West Indies.

    Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena, Joel Wilson; TV – Chris Gaffaney

  • 1st ODI: West Indies opt to bowl first against India

    Port of Spain, Trinidad – The West Indies won the toss in the first One Day International and elected to bowl first.

    West Indies XI: Jason Holder (captain), Kieran Powell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wicket-keeper, Jason Mohammed, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Ashley Nurse, Miguel Cummins, Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph; 12th man: Rovman Powell.

    India XI: Virat Kohli (captain), MS Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav; 12th man: Rishabh Pant.

    Umpires: Joel Wilson, Kumar Dharmasena

    TV umpire: Chris Gaffaney

    Fourth official: Nigel Duguid

    Match referee: David Boon

  • PREVIEW: Windies focussed on performance not India controversy

    PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jun 22, CMC – West Indies are not taking any comfort from coaching controversy overshadowing India’s trip to the Caribbean, as they look to turn the tables on the powerhouses in the opening One-Day International of the five-match series bowling off here Friday.

    Head coach Anil Kumble, who oversaw India’s recent ICC Champion’s Trophy campaign when they reached the final before losing to Pakistan, dramatically stepped aside this week citing an untenable relationship with captan Virat Kohli.

    And with all eyes focussed on the side for possible fall-out during the series, West Indies captain Jason Holder said his side would be focussing on their execution and not on India’s internal problems.

    “That’s no concern for me. At the end of the day, we’ve still got to play cricket. We’ve got to focus on West Indies and what’s best for us,” Holder told a media throng here Thursday.

    “India will deal with their own problems. We’ve just got to face them and play them.”

    He added: “Once we do the right things and execute our plans, we have a good chance of beating India. But we have to play cricket on the day.

    “We set out our plans – batting, bowling and also in the field. I think once we hit those targets, more often than not we will end up on the winning side.

    “In the past we let ourselves down in the field – our batting hasn’t been the most consistent and those are obviously areas we need to address.”

    West Indies have kept the same 13 from the recent Afghanistan series but will be hoping for a diametrically opposite performance to the one that saw them struggle to a 1-1 draw in the three-match series in St Lucia.

    The hosts crashed to a shocking 63-run defeat in the opener and then struggled to overhaul a modest target of 136 in the second ODI before winning in the 40th over.

    Once again, the Windies batting lay at fault. Not a single batsman scored a half-century and for the exception of Shai Hope, very few displayed any enterprise against the then ICC Associate side.

    Holder said a lack of experience in batting had led to their recent woes and contended that once the young team found their footing, performances would improve.

    “Experience counts a lot for it. The more we play together as a unit, the more guys will understand the international circuit and how the one-day game has transitioned,” the all-rounder explained.

    “If you look at our team, most of the guys are now budding, looking to make their mark on the international circuit so I believe if we stay together and we start to get some performances, have a solid foundation, hit some targets in terms of minimum standards – and once we hit them consistently then we can improve.”

    West Indies enter the game on backs of a poor run, without a win in their last five series and having won just three of their last 16 ODIs.

    The record has seen them lose pace in the race for automatic qualfiication for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, where they need to be in the top eight in the ICC rankings by September 30.

    West Indies are currently ranked ninth and need a positive result in the series against India to gain valuable rankings points.

    SQUADS:

    WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Kesrick Williams.

    INDIA – Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Umesh Yadav.

  • Fifth defeat leaves wobbly Windies on shaky ground

    OAKHAM, England, CMC – A sensational batting meltdown left West Indies Women with a crushing six-wicket defeat to South Africa Women in their final official warm-up game, and teetering on the brink of turmoil just five days before their opening game of the ICC Cricket World Cup next Monday.

    Opting to bat first at Lime Kilns Ground on Thursday, West Indies stunningly collapsed to 63 all out off 23.5 overs, with opener Hayley Matthews top-scoring with 19 to be one of just three batsmen in double figures.

    The Caribbean side were 60 for three in the 16th over but lost their last seven wickets for three runs in the space of 49 balls, in an astonishing slide.

    Seamer Masabata Klaas grabbed four for 14 to be South Africa’s best bowler.

    In reply, the Proteas lost four wickets en route to their target which they achieved in the 19th over with Laura Wolvaardt hitting 26.

    She put on 45 for the first wicket with Lizelle Lee who made 18 but South Africa then lost four quick wickets for 11 runs, to take some shine of the victory.

    Veteran off-spinner Anisa Mohammed finished with two for six.

    The defeat for West Indies was their second in three days and fifth since they arrived in England nearly four weeks ago to prepare for the June 24 to July 23 showpiece.

    Both captain Stafanie Taylor and batting coach Stuart Williams had underscored the importance of winning both warm-up games but their urging went unheeded as West Indies failed to show any enterprise.

    There was no sign of the collapse to come when the in-form Matthews put on 35 with rookie Felicia Walters (14) for the first wicket in good conditions.

    But once the 19-year-old Matthews played on to left-arm seamer Moseline Daniels in the 11th over after facing 38 balls and striking three fours, the innings fell apart spectacularly.

    Walters followed in the 16th over, playing on to Klaas and three balls later in the same over, Reniece Boyce departed for 10 to a catch at extra cover.

    West Indies had crawled to 60 for three when Deandra Dottin played across one from Klaas and was bowled in the 18thover for six.

    Four balls later in the following over without addition to the total, Chedean Nation drove left-arm speedster Chloe Tryon to extra cover to fall for three and Shanel Daley (0) and former skipper Merissa Aguilleira (1) both perished via the run out route as the Caribbean side capitulated.

    They face Australia in their opening game of the campaign in Taunton.

  • Windies in need of confidence ahead of opener: Drakes

    OAKHAM, England, CMC – Head coach Vasbert Drakes says the challenge for the struggling West Indies Women will be to find confidence, as they desperately search for winning form ahead of opening game of the ICC Women’s World Cup next Monday against reigning champions Australia Women.

    On Thursday, the Caribbean slide plunged to their second loss of the official warm-ups and fifth defeat overall in four weeks, to be without a single win heading into the June 24 to July 23 tournament.

    “Like anything else we wanted to win the cricket game. We wanted to get into the game today. We didn’t do that from a batting perspective,” Drakes said following the four-wicket defeat.

    “We didn’t put the runs on the board to be able to control the game so we’re a little disappointed in today’s effort as a batting unit.”

    He continued: “I don’t think it’s a matter of turning it around, it’s just a matter of getting them to understand what it takes to build a batting innings, construct a score, put a target on the board where we can defend.

    “It’s about building confidence. Certainly over the next couple of days it would be getting them to focus on playing positive cricket, playing brave cricket and also playing smart cricket.”

    West Indies slumped to an embarrassing 63 all out off 23.5 overs after opting to bat first at Lime Kilns Ground. They lost their last seven wickets for three runs in the space of 49 deliveries.

    In-form openers Hayley Matthews (19) and Felicia Walters (14) put on 35 for the first wicket but were two of only three players in double figures.

    Off-spinner Anisa Mohammed then took two wickets as South Africa lost four wickets before reaching their target in the 19th over.

    Drakes said despite the loss, there were signs West Indies had what it took to compete effectively.

    “Felicia is developing nicely and Hayley so far on tour she’s been getting some starts and she knows if she carries on she’s going to put this team in a strong position,” the former West Indies player pointed out.

    “Anisa bowled well today, seemed to have good control. We took some wickets there and created some pressure so it would have been interesting to see if we had a score on the board how the game would have panned out.”

    With captain Stafanie Taylor sitting out the contest with a slight ankle injury, Drakes said it was important to give as many players an opportuity as possible to press their case.

    “We did not play with Stafanie Taylor. We’re still looking at the combinations and giving the ladies opportunities because they haven’t played much cricket back home and obviously to get the opportunity to play cricket here going into competition I think that is a positive for us.”

  • CWI steps up the game with a new match centre online

    Cricket West Indies (CWI) continues to move in the direction of cricket fans and has now gone one step further in providing them with real time information when matches are played.

    Fans logging on to www.cricketwestindies.org can now go to the match centre and get ‘live’ ball by ball scoring updates. These updates also come with commentary which adds to the production and makes it very easy to follow the fortunes of the team.

    One fan from St. Lucia, Sunil Ramdeen was very upbeat about this feature and is looking forward to more from CWI when the regional cricket series begins in November. “I was really surprised at what I saw on the website. The match information centre was really thorough and this was refreshing indeed. I look to follow cricket all over the world, so I am a regular visitor to cricket websites especially those that belong to the national bodies running the sport. I must say that the new website the board has now is really in tune and even better than some of the other countries, especially in the section where we can get live updates. I would normally go to the cricinfo for my updates but since discovering this section during the first match of the Windies versus Afghanistan series, I started using it.”

    Ramdeen, who is the regional director in charge of Public Relations for Sandals added, “we were at the Sandals Box taking in the match in St. Lucia against Afghanistan and when I realised what was going on, I told the guys there and they started to follow the updates, while looking on at the match. The system was speedy and accurate and this helped us follow the game in terms of the stats, as it went along. “Now, CWI must give us this kind of service for the regional matches because they need to understand that for the regional games we don’t have television coverage and recently even no radio coverage. So, this will be helpful when the regional matches come around.”

    Ramdeen ended by saying he is happy with the direction CWI is moving in and he is optimistic for the future. “After all the problems in our cricket, I am seeing not just a levelling off but an upward movement in terms of the administration of our cricket. Look, let’s be fair, the board has had so many issues to deal with, it was always going to be difficult to get into the right direction having to move with all this baggage.

    “I am happy to see that positive things are now coming on stream and I think it all started when the board revealed that they were financially much better off than years ago. This is another plus under the leadership of this current Board, because it showed that they had the skill even in difficult times to take the board out of rough waters.”

  • CWI continues to support the PCL

    Cricket West Indies (CWI) continues to streamline and improve the Professional Cricket League (PCL) in the region for the sake of development of the sport.

    The board’s initial arrangement was to fund the league for a couple years and then let the territories take over but according to CWI director and President of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB), Azim Bassarath, “CWI has and will continue to take care of the PCL financially, in order to keep the players employed and to offer them the comfort of knowing that there is a salary there for them and they can concentrate on their cricket.

    “We have seen so much positives come out of this arrangement that it has been one of the better programmes put in place in West Indies cricket for a very long time now. The idea which was initially touted by the President of CWI, Dave Cameron has really taken off and with stiff economic times being experienced all over the Caribbean, the territories found it difficult to find investors.

    “This by no means indicated that the PCL was not good. In fact, having discussions with investors in my capacity as president of the TTCB, many of them have indicated that the PCL is what would take West Indies cricket right back up the ladder. They have been warning though that we must continue to work the model all the time to make sure we have the right equation in place and we have been doing that at the CWI.”

    This year, the PCL will enter its fourth season, having bowled off in 2014. “We are looking towards another good season in the PCL and what is great to see is that the selectors are paying attention to the players who go out there week after week and represent their franchise. The path is clear for our players. All they need to do is put down the hard work, go out there and perform well and they will be playing for the West Indies.”

    The six franchises, hailing from each of the West Indies territories, compete in the Regional Four-Day Competition yearly.  They are also automatically included in the Regional Super 50 Competition, which takes place during the first quarter of each year.  These competitions are to not only prepare the regional players, but also give the selectors an opportunity to efficiently select the Test and One-Day International squads respectively.

    The franchises are; Guyana Jaguars, Barbados Pride, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, T&T Red Force, Windward Islands Volcanoes, Jamaica Scorpions.

  • Burden on senior players to deliver, says Mohammed

    LEICESTER, England, CMC – If West Indies Women are to have any impact on the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup here, much of the responsibility will rest on the senior players.

    Veteran off-spinner Anisa Mohammed said the senior figures in the squad needed to make their years of experience count in order to turn the Caribbean side into serious contenders in the June 24 to July 23 tournament.

    “Definitely all of the senior players [will have to perform],” said the 28-year-old.

    “Most of us have been around for quite a while. We know that the junior ones will be looking up to us and they’ll be looking to us for support and once everybody sticks to their game plan and just go out and execute on the day – one day at a time – I am pretty sure that it will be a team effort at the end of the day.”

    Mohammed is one of the most senior players in the squad with 101 One-Day International and 89 Twenty20s. She also featured in the last World Cup campaign four years ago when the Windies reached the final and was part of the successful squad which captured the T20 World Cup in India last year.

    The Trinidadian has taken over 100 wickets in each format – 136 in ODIs nd 104 in T20s – making her the most experienced bowler in the side.

    She is joined by the likes of captain Stafanie Taylor and all-rounder Deandra Dottin who have both played 98 ODIs and former skipper Merissa Aguilleira who has played 96 one-dayers.

    Mohammed said the preparation camp in Southampton over the last three weeks had also helped the side tremendously, especially in acclimatising to the unpredictable English weather, and the squad now appeared ready for the World Cup campaign.

    “I think the weather has been really generous to us us lately. We’ve been getting some really good weather conditions,” Mohammed said.

    “There could be times when it can get a bit cold but it is not as cold as when we were in New Zealand a couple years ago but I think the girls are acclimatised to the conditions.”

    West Indies Women face Pakistan in their first official ICC warm-up game on Tuesday here before taking South Africa two days later in the second and final game in Oakham just outside of Leicester.

    They face reigning champions Australia Women in their opening match of the campaign on June 26 in Taunton.

  • Fifties for Taylor, Matthews but Windies lose again

    LEICESTER, England, CMC – Captain Stafanie Taylor and opener Hayley Matthews struck half-centuries but West Indies Women lost for the third time in their build-up to next week’s ICC Women’s World Cup when they went down by five wickets to India Women in a warm-up match here Friday.

    Opting to bat first at Leicester Grammar School, West Indies Women could only muster 174 for nine from their 50 overs with Taylor and Matthews each getting exactly 50.

    In reply, India Women reached their target in the 43rd over courtesy of an unbeaten 77 from 20-year-old left-hander Smriti Mandhana while Mona Meshram got 40 not out.

    Fast bowler Shamilia Connell impressed with three for 42 while off-spinner Hayley Matthews claimed two for 28.

    The defeat follows on the heels of similar results last week to a strong England XI and a Southern Vipers side, leaving the Caribbean side perhaps short of confidence ahead of their first official ICC warm-up game against Pakistan Women next Tuesday.

    West Indies were handed a solid, if sluggish start, by Matthews and the uncapped Felicia Walters who put on 70 from 134 deliveries.

    The enterprising Matthews struck eight fours in a 73-ball knock while Walters’s painstaking 20 required 79 balls and included a single four.

    Matthews’s dismissal in the 23rd over triggered a sharp decline for the Windies as they lost three quick wickets for nine runs in the space of 35 balls.

    Taylor then attempted to prop up the innings, adding 30 for the fourth wicket with Deandra Dottin (6) and a further 35 for the fifth wicket with Merissa Aguilleira (13).

    Once the former skipper was run out in the 42nd over, the Windies lost their last five wickets for just 30 runs.

    Taylor, who struck five fours and a six in breezy 59-ball knock, was sixth out in the 46th over to a catch at the wicket off seamer Jhulan Goswami.

    Connell then blew away India’s top order to leave them 37 for three in the 12th over but Mandhana held the innings together superbly, facing 99 balls and striking nine fours.

    She anchored two crucial partnerships – 43 for the fourth with Harmanpreet Kaur who made 33 from 32 balls and 89 with Meshram in an unbroken sixth wicket stand.