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  • Law hoping for dominant Windies batting in series decider

    GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – Head coach Stuart Law said West Indies were still searching for the ideal batting performance against minnows Afghanistan as they looked to turn the page on a couple of ordinary efforts, with a win in Wednesday’s series decider.

    The Australian conceded that his side had been far from convincing in the two opening matches despite winning the second on Sunday but said the final game presented an opportunity for the Caribbean side’s batsmen to “step up.”

    “It’s a fresh pitch. It’s a must-win game for both teams so exciting cricket to be played,” Law said here.

    “Our batters have got to step up. Someone in the top six I would like to see go on and get a hundred. Twenties and 30s aren’t getting us many results that we’d like.

    “I’d like to see 80s to hundreds [and] 120s, and really kill the game for us and let our bowlers loose with a total on the board. That would be outstanding.”

    West Indies suffered a humiliating defeat in the opener last Friday when they were beaten by 63 runs, after failing to chase down a modest 213 for victory at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground.

    They were 68 for two in the 23rd over but crashed to 149 all out, with 18-year-old leg-spinner Rashid Khan claiming seven for 18 – the fourth best figures in one-day history.

    “We probably haven’t performed as well as we know we can,” Law conceded.

    “That first night I thought we did OK to restrict them to just over 200. We probably should have restricted them to 150, 175 just through some lax bowling [we allowed them to score more].

    “We did not approach the game with as much gusto as we needed and a guy like Rashid, he had a night out that’s for sure. He bowls very well and is difficult to face under lights. You can’t see the rotation of the ball under lights and that makes it even harder.”

    After watching their bowlers stun the Afghans for just 135 in the second game, the Windies batsmen made heavy weather of the target, losing six wickets before stumbling home in the 40th over.

    Khan was once again among the wickets with three for 26 but Shai Hope, batting at number three, top-scored with an unbeaten 48 to see West Indies to safety.

    Law said West Indies had shown a huge improvement in their approach to the second game and even though the batting lacked conviction, there were indications improvement was on the horizon.

    “Bowling them out for 135 was a tremendous effort. Our batters once again they looked shaky [but] we showed signs we can cope with the leg-spin,” Law pointed out.

    “Shai Hope batted tremendously well, Evin Lewis got us off to a great start and then Jason Holder and Rovman Powell came in and finished up a good night’s work.

    “However, there are still plenty of areas to improve on and looking forward to Wednesday … I’m looking forward to seeing our boys play a good, positive game of cricket.”

  • Windies level series with attritional win

    GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – West Indies won to level the three-match series with minnows Afghanistan but the inertia remained, as they were forced to labour before pulling off an attritional four-wicket victory in the second One-Day International here Sunday.

    Their bowling proved more clinical than in Friday’s opening game, scuttling out the Afghans for a paltry 135 off 37.3 overs, after the visitors opted to bat first at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground.

    Gulbadin Naib top-scored with 51 batting at number eight but no other batsman passed 20, as West Indies quicks turned the screws on the innings. At one stage, Afghanistan were staring down the barrel at 51 for six in the 17th but recovered through Naib’s enterprise.

    The fast bowling trio of Alzarri Joseph (2-15), Shannon Gabriel (2-25) and captain Jason Holder (2-38), along with off-spinner Ashley Nurse (2-33) all picked up two wickets each.

    In reply, West Indies were hardly convincing as they stumbled and stuttered to their target in the 40th over.

    Shai Hope kept his nerves to top score with an unbeaten 48 and earn Man-of-the-Match honours while opener Evin Lewis chipped in with 33.

    Eighteen-year-old leg-spinner Rashid Khan once again caused some consternation in the Windies batting, finishing with three for 26 from his 10 overs while seamer Naib caimed two for 15.

    Unlike in the opening loss on Friday, the Windies were given a breezy start this time around as Lewis and Kieran Powell (12) put on 40 off 41 balls for the first wicket.

    At the interval, the Windies had reached 37 without loss off just six overs but lost Powell to the fifth delivery after the resumption, caught at slip by Mohammad Nabi off Khan in the bowler’s first over.

    With Khan weaving his magic, Powell’s dismissal triggered a slide where four wickets perished for 32 runs to leave the Windies wobbling at 72 for four in the 18th over.

    The left-handed Lewis faced 36 balls and struck five fours but was Khan’s second victim, lbw on the back foot to a googly which beat his uncertain prod at 55 for two.

    Left-hander Jonathan Carter lasted eight balls for his two before edging an ill-judged cut behind off Naib and Jason Mohammed slapped an innocuous ball from the same bowler a couple of overs later to Samiullah Shenwari at point, to also fall for two.

    But the stylish Hope, unflustered in his approach, anchored two small partnerships to stem the flow of wickets – putting on 26 for the fifth with Roston Chase (8) before adding a further 25 with Rovman Powell (17).

    Hope consumed 77 deliveries and counted three fours and ended just short of a well-deserved second ODI half-century.

    Chase, dismissed first ball on debut to Khan last Friday, found himself once against the mercy of the same bowler – drawn from the crease and smartly stumped at 98 for five in the 25th over.

    Powell, meanwhile, belted two lusty boundaries before perishing to a catch in the deep off Nabi as he again swung for the fences.

    By that time, however, West Indies were within touching distance of victory and Holder hastened the end with 11 not out from 10 balls.

    The Afghans had earlier watched their top order wiped out as they slumped badly in the face of lively pace bowling from the Windies.

    Holder knocked over Noor Ali Zadran for eight at 21 for one in the eighth over and Javed Ahmadi was run out for nine in the same over with three runs added, in an awful mixup with Rahmat Shah (1).

    Rahmat and Samiullah Shenwari (2) perished in successive overs from Gabriel and wickets continued to tumble until Naib arrived to thump two fours and two sixes in a 73-ball innings.

    He put on 30 for the seventh wicket with wicketkeeper Afsar Zazai (9) and 31 for the ninth with tail-ender Dawlat Zadran (9).

    The decisive third ODI is set for Wednesday at the same venue.

  • Afghanistan win toss, batting vs Windies in 2nd ODI at Daren Sammy Cricket Ground

    CASTRIES, St Kitts – Afghanistan will bat, after they won the toss against Windies in the second One-Day International at Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.

    Details on the match are available at the Match Centre: http://cricketwestindies.org

    Windies made one change with allrounder Rovman Powell replacing fast bowler Miguel Cummins.

    Afghanistan lead the three-match series 1-0, following their victory in the first match in Friday night.

    TEAMS:

    WINDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Kieran Powell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wicket-keeper, Jason Mohammed, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Rovman Powell, Ashley Nurse, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph; 12th man: Devendra Bishoo

    AFGHANISTAN – Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Noor Ali Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Gulbudin Naib, Rashid Khan, Hamza Hotak, Dawlat Zadran, Afsar Zazai (wicket-keeper); 12th man: Shapoor Zadran.

    MATCH OFFICIALS

    Umpires: Nigel Duguid, Chettithody Shamshuddin

    TV umpire: Joel Wilson

    Fourth official: Leslie Reifer Jr.

    Match referee: Jeff Crowe

  • Difficult conditions will create better players: Drakes

    SOUTHAMPTON, England, Jun 10, CMC – West Indies Women’s head coach, Vasbert Drakes, believes the challenging English conditions confronting his side will make for better players once they can learn from the experience.

    The reigning Twenty20 champions are currently undergoing a training camp at the Ageas Bowl here in preparation for the ICC Women’s World Cup starting June 24, and have so far encountered a mix of sunshine, rain and chilly weather symptomatic of the the early England summer.

    Drakes said not only would the unpredictable conditions create better players but better persons, as the experiences would bring critical qualities to the fore.

    “Day by day we are starting to understand that we are playing in different conditions and it will define you as a person because you are going to need a lot of character,” Drakes explained.

    “You’re going to need a lot of determination and you’re going to need that strong will and character to prevail in these conditions. Hopefully as we progress in our training sessions, we [will] see a lot of improvement and learning taking place.”

    West Indies Women have struggled in the two warm-up games to date – against a strong England XI last Wednesday and Southern Vipers on Friday.

    In both contests, the Caribbean side were easily outplayed as they battled to come to grips with the different pitches, moving ball and the climatic conditions.

    Drakes said he was not overly worried at this stage as the squad was still undergoing the acclimatisation process.

    “In the last couple of days you get some sunny patches but also you get a lot of breeze at the ground and it has been challenging for them,” he pointed out.

    “For a lot of them, this is the first opportunity to play in England and it’s just the process of that acclimatisation period. They are aware of the fact that if you’re going to play cricket up here, these are the things you have to be mentally aware of and obviously prepare for.”

    West Indies have installed as one of the favourites for the upcoming tournament, especially after having won the T20 title last year in India and also having reached the final of the last 50-overs World Cup four years ago.

    And even though the confidence in the squad remained high, Drakes said it was important they paid attention to the fundamentals in order to win matches.

    “We’ve tried to manage [expectations] in the sense that we are playing cricket and we are looking to win,” he stressed.

    “There’s no doubt about that but to win a cricket game we have to make sure we are ticking the necessary boxes and we’re going to take it step by step.

    “There are some areas we are paying attention to and hopefully as coaches we will be able to pass on that information that would allow them to develop the skills that would allow them to cope in the competition in England and by extention, win cricket games.”

    He added: “Like anything else, we are looking to do well. The intention is to win so we’ll see how it goes.”

    West Indies face reigning champions Australia Women in their opening match on June 26.

  • Holder urges under-performing Windies to improve

    GROS ISLET, South Africa, CMC – Captain Jason Holder has minced no words in his assessment of West Indies’ stunning defeat to minnows Afghanistan, describing the performance as “poor” and calling on his embattled side to change their mental approach for Sunday’s must-win encounter.

    The Caribbean side produced a dreadful performance in Friday’s opening One-Day International at the Darren Sammy National Stadium, crashing to a shocking 63-run defeat to the ICC Associate nation.

    Chasing a modest 213 for victory, West Indies were embarrassingly bundled out for 149, with 18-year-old leg-spinner Rashid Khan picking up seven for 18 – the fourth-best figures in ODI history.

    “I think Afghanistan played better cricket and they deserved to win the game,” Holder said in a frank interview.

    “When we look back on our performances, I don’t think we were as energetic as we wanted to be in the field. We lapsed a bit in the end. I felt the bowlers did a reasonable job but when we batted, we were in no uncertain words, poor.

    “We’ve got to be better as international cricketers. I just felt we didn’t show that intent up front. I think the pitch was a very good pitch, it was not one that hampered stroke-play so I think we all have to be accountable for our actions as batsmen and now going forward into this game on Sunday – a must-win game – we just need to put things right.”

    West Indies were heavily favoured to make a clean sweep of the series against a side with little experience against major Test-playing nations.

    But opener Javed Ahmadi struck a career-best 81 to lift the visitors up to 212 for six off their 50 overs, aided by some loose bowling at the back end of the inings which saw 52 runs coming off the last six overs.

    In reply, the Windies struggled to score from the outset and after crawling to 52 for two after the first 20 overs, lost their last eight wickets for 81 runs.

    Holder said it was clear his players needed to make adjustments to their mental approach.

    “It’s more of a mindset. I think we’ve got to adjust our minds to the fact we are playing a very important series against Afghanistan,” the Barbadian all-rounder explained.

    “I think we just lacked energy at many stages of the game, especially in the field, and it’s something we’ve been talking about in the dressing room for a while, so I think if we can improve our attitudes and body language on the field – look more alive during the innings – I think that would go a long way and then obviously we can trasncend that into our batting.”

    He added: “The intent wasn’t there when we batted. I think we can put the Afghans under a little more pressure when they bowl to us and just try to stamp our authority on the game.”

    He was quick, however, to praise his bowlers even though pointing out they could have had more of an impact earlier in the Afghanistan innings.

    “We could probably look for a little more wickets in the middle overs. I think things kind of  meandered in the middle and we just tried to push through the overs,” Holder noted.

    “We were always behind in terms of over-rate. If we could be ahead of the game a bit earlier, it gives us a bit more cushion as the game goes on. Those are a few areas I can point out [where we need to improve] but I am still pleased with the way the guys bowled.”

    The second ODI is set to bowl off at 2:30 pm.

  • Rashid Khan spins the Windies to defeat in 1st ODI

    GROS ISLET, St Lucia, Jun 9, CMC – Scoreboard of the opening day/night One-Day International between West Indies and Afghanistan at the Darren Sammy National Stadium here Friday:

    AFGHANISTAN

    Noor Ali Zadran c wkp Hope b Holder 5

    Javed Ahmadi c wkp Hope b Cummins 81

    Rahmat Shah c Carter b Gabriel 17

    *Asghar Stanikzai lbw b Nurse 2

    Samiullah Shenwari c Holder b Nurse  22

    Mohammad Nabi not out 27

    +Afsar Zazai c Chase b Joseph 13

    Gulbadin Naib not out 41

    Extras (w4) 4

    TOTAL (6 wkts, 50 overs) 212

    Did not bat: Rashid Khan, Amir Hamza, Dawlat Zadran.

    Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Noor Ali Zadran, 5.1 overs), 2-68 (Rahmat Shah, 20.5), 3-87 (Asghar Stanikzai, 25.1), 4-131 (Javed Ahmadi, 36.4), 5-131 (Samiullah Shenwari, 37.5), 6-154 (Afsar Zazai, 42.4)

    Bowling: Gabriel 8-2-21-1, Holder 10-0-65-1, Cummins 10-1-32-1 (w3), Joseph 10-0-52-1 (w1), Nurse 10-1-34-2, Chase 2-0-8-0.

    WEST INDIES

    E Lewis c Amir Hamza b Gulbadin Naib 21

    K Powell lbw b Dawlat Zadran 2

    +S Hope c Mohammad Nabi b Rashid Khan 35

    J Mohammed c Mohammad Nabi b Rashid Khan 7

    R Chase lbw b Rashid Khan 0

    J Carter c sub (Shafiqullah) b Dawlat Zadran 19

    *J Holder b Rashid Khan 0

    A Nurse lbw b Rashid Khan 12

    A Joseph lbw b Rashid Khan 27

    M Cummins b Rashid Khan 5

    S Gabriel not out 2

    Extras (lb2, w17) 19

    TOTAL (all out; 44.4 overs) 149

    Fall of wickets: 1-3 (Powell, 2.1 overs), 2-41 (Lewis, 15.2), 3-68 (Mohammed, 22.1), 4-68 (Chase, 22.2), 5-70 (Hope, 24.3), 6-70 (Holder, 24.4), 7-90 (Nurse, 29), 8-135 (Carter, 39.2), 9-144 (Joseph, 42.4), 10-149 (Cummins, 44.4)

    Bowling: Dawlat Zadran 8-1-25-2 (w3), Mohammad Nabi 10-0-34-0 (w3), Amir Hamza 9-0-28-0 (w1), Gulbadin Naib 8-0-31-1 (w4), Samiullah Shenwari 1-0-11-0 (w1), Rashid Khan 8.4-1-18-7 (w3).

    Result: Afghanistan won by 63 runs.

    Series: Afghanistan lead three-match series 1-0.

    Man-of-the-Match: Rashid Khan.

    Toss: Afghanistan.

    Umpires: C Shamshuddin, J Wilson; TV – LS Reifer.

  • Windies lose second straight in warm-up

    SOUTHAMPTON, England, Jun 9, CMC – West Indies Women hit another stumbling block in their preparation for this month’s ICC Women World Cup when they suffered their second defeat in three days with a 80-run loss to Southern Vipers here Friday.

    Asked to chase an imposing 296 at the Ageas Bowl, the Caribbean side could only muster 215 for nine off their 50 overs in yet another disappointing batting display.

    Chedean Nation top-scored with 59, former skipper Merissa Aguilleira chipped in with a breezy 52 while Deandra Dottin struck a typically cameo 40 and Kyshona Knight, 28.

    Left-arm seamer Natasha Farrant did the damage for Vipers with four for 24 from her 10 overs while seamers Sophie Devine (2-23) and Ellen Burt (2-36) ended with two wickets apiece.

    New Zealand international Devine had earlier stroked a quick-fire century to propel Vipers to their eventual score after being sent in.

    The right-hander slammed 126 from just 68 deliveries while fellow countrywoman Amy Satterthwaite supported with a patient 55.

    Vipers received their early momentum from Satterthwaite who faced 79 balls and struck five fours, putting on 70 for the second wicket with Katie George (14) and 43 for the third wicket with Devine.

    West Indies bowlers were then put to the sword by Devine who stroked 11 fours and 10 sixes as Vipers scored quickly in the latter end of the innings.

    In reply, the Windies slumped to 22 for three in the ninth over before being rallied by two half-century stands.

    Firstly, Knight added 58 for the fourth wicket with Dottin who stroked seven fours and a six in a 36-ball knock. When both fell in the space of 17 deliveries to leave the innings on 98 for five in the 22nd over, Nation and Aguilleira put on 82 for the sixth wicket to pull their side around.

    Nation faced 64 deliveries and counted four fours and three sixes while Aguilleira hit six fours and a six in a 48-ball innings.

    Once Aguilleira perished in the 36th over, however, the innings declined rapidly to leave Vipers in control.

    The Women’s World Cup runs from June 24 to July 23.

  • Afghanistan win toss, batting vs Windies in first ODI at Daren Sammy Cricket Ground

    CASTRIES, St Kitts – Afghanistan will bat, after they won the toss against Windies in the first One-Day International at Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.

    Windies handed an ODI debut to allrounder Roston Chase. The 25-year-old is the 178th player to represent the Windies in this format.

    Details on the match are available at the Match Centre: http://cricketwestindies.org

    TEAMS:

    WINDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Kieran Powell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wicket-keeper, Jason Mohammed, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Ashley Nurse, Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph; 12th man: Rovman Powell.

    AFGHANISTAN – Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Noor Ali Zadran, Javid Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Gulbudin Naib, Rashid Khan, Hamza Hotak, Dawlat Zadran, Afsar Zazai (wicket-keeper); 12th man: Shapoor Zadran.

    MATCH OFFICIALS

    Umpires: Joel Wilson, Chettithody Shamshuddin

    TV umpire: Leslie Reifer Jr.

    Fourth official: Nigel Duguid

    Match referee: Jeff Crowe

  • Chase taking fresh guard in new format

    GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – Rising Test star Roston Chase said Wednesday he would not take his form in the recent Pakistan series for granted, as he looked to make his mark in the One-Day International series against Afghanistan starting here Friday.

    The right-handed Chase is the only uncapped player in the 13-man squad named for the three-match series scheduled for the Darren Sammy National Stadium, called up on the virtue of his heaving scoring in the recent three-Test series in the Caribbean.

    But the Barbadian said he was under no illusions that his form in the longer format would automatically translate into ODIs.

    “I’m confident coming in, having that series against Pakistan but this is a different format,” he noted.

    “I can’t really take that for granted. I now have to find my feet and work out what are the dos and don’ts at this level.”

    Chase finished as the leading scorer in the Pakistan series, amassing 403 runs at an average of 100, including two hundreds and two half-centuries.

    The performance came against the backdrop of his maiden Test hundred against India last year when he helped West Indies pull off a battling draw on a difficult last day wicket at Sabina Park.

    Chase, who averages only 25 in List A cricket, said he did not intend to make major changes to his approach to batting in the one-day format.

    “I think the main thing to focus on is not really changing my game too much because it’s one-day cricket,” he pointed out.

    “[It’s] not thinking about just fours and sixes but rotating the strike as I usually do and putting away the bad balls. That’s the main thing for me.”

    He added: “But if the team requires me to play a different role, I am more than happy to play the role the team requires me to do at that point in time.

    Since his last competitive innings almost a month ago, Chase has spent the time at home improving his fitness and making minor adjustments to his technique.

    And he said he hoped the improvements would further enhance his game as he looked forward to his one-day career.

    “I’ve been mainly doing some gym work and fitness work but in the batting department I’ve just been working on being a bit more forceful with some balls I’ve picked up the line of early,” the 25-year-old noted.

    “[I’m] just looking to be a little more aggressive but not too overly aggressive and just get my footwork [together] and just using the wrists a lot more to manoevre the ball into the gaps.”

  • Runs for Taylor but Windies fizzle in warm-up

    LOUGHBOROUGH, England, Jun 7, CMC – West Indies Women captain Stafanie Taylor showed early glimpses of form but the Caribbean side lost a warm-up match to a strong England Women XI here Wednesday, as they continued to gear up for the ICC Women’s World Cup later this month.

    The right-hander, who struggled somewhat in this year’s Regional Super50 Championship, struck an attractive 60 as the tourists were dismissed for a disappointing 150 off 49.3 overs at Loughborough University.

    Veteran Deandra Dottin chipped in with 25 and opener Hayley Matthews, 22, but they were three of only four to reach double figures.

    Matthews put on 39 for the first wicket with the uncapped Felicia Walters (12) before she was bowled by seamer Anya Shrubsole, leading to a slide where four wickets fell for 15 runs to leave the Windies Women on 54 for four in the 22nd over.

    However, Taylor and Dottin then combined to revive the innings in a 54-run stand. Taylor faced 86 balls and counted five fours and a six while Dottin struck two fours and a six in 50-ball knock.

    Once Dottin perished in the 39th over, however, the innings declined again as the last five wickets tumbled for 25 runs.

    Seamer Natalie Sciver finished with four for 39 while off-spinner Danielle Hazell picked up three for 21.

    In reply, England easily overhauled their target but batted the full 50 overs, to finish on 281 for seven.

    Dottin claimed two for 14 with her medium pace while leg-spinner Afy Fletcher finished two for 32.

    The game was part of the Caribbean side’s ongoing preparation camp before the ICC Women’s World Cup bowls off from June 24 to July 23.