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  • Afghanistan half-century up there with the best, says Samuels

    BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – Veteran Marlon Samuels says he rates his career-best unbeaten half-century in Monday’s final Twenty20 International highly, even though it came against ICC Associate side Afghanistan.

    The stylish right-hander was at his sublime best, carving out an 89 off 66 deliveries to help West Indies to a comfortable seven-wicket victory at Warner Park and a clean sweep of the three-match series against the minnows.

    “As I always say, making a 90 and the team wins is very important. It means a lot to me,” the Jamaican said afterwards.

    “I think I’ll rate it at the top regardless of the team I’m playing against because I [made] 80, 85 against better teams but I’ll still put it at the top because given the situation if I had gotten out you never know what could have happened.”

    With West Indies set 147 for victory, Samuels found himself at the crease as early as the first over of the innings after Chadwick Walton was dismissed off the second ball without scoring.

    The 36-year-old punched nine fours and three sixes, adding 61 for the second wicket with opener Evin Lewis (19) before putting on a further 65 in an unbroken fourth wicket stand with Jason Mohammed who ended unbeaten on 23.

    Samuels said with the loss of the early wicket, his role had become even more pivotal in the innings.

    “I’ve been batting well, playing the role the team requires and the teams asks me to play,” he explained.

    “[If we lose] early wickets, [I have] go out there and build a partnership, bring [the innings] back together. Get a good start, go out there and step on the gas a little bit and still control the innings.

    “It worked out good for us in the end and it’s just for me to continue to play a mature innings in the middle for the team.”

    Samuels, voted Man-of-the-Match and Man-of-the-Series, said the series win was also important for the side especially since it now comprised some inexperienced players.

    “We are still the World champions – two times,” he said.

    “We’ve got some new players but nevertheless they are coming through and learning fast and it’s good that some of them are getting the opportunity to know that T20s are like regardless of it’s against South Africa or Afghanistan whichever team.”

  • Vintage Samuels sees Windies to clean sweep

    BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – Veteran Marlon Samuels dominated with a classy career-best half-century as West Indies brushed aside minnows Afghanistan by seven wickets in the final Twenty20 International to sweep the three-match series here Monday night.

    Chasing an uncomplicated 147 for victory at Warner Park, the hosts reached their target with four balls to spare, with the right-handed Samuels finishing unbeaten on a superb 89 from 66 deliveries to earn Man-of-the-Match and Man-of-the-Series honours.

    Jason Mohammed ended on 23 not out, adding 65 with Samuels in unbroken fourth wicket stand which required 39 balls.

    Outstanding rookie seamer Kesrick Williams had earlier grabbed three for 34 to help restrict Afghanistan to 146 for six off their 20 overs, after the Asian side threatened a large total following a frenetic start.

    Mohammad Nabi blasted 38 off 30 deliveries while opener Noor Ali’s exciting cameo 35 required all of 19 balls. Wicketkeeper Shafiqullah chimed in with an entertaining 25 off 15 balls.

    Williams finished the series with eight wickets following a similar three-wicket haul in Saturday’s second T20 and two wickets in the opener last Friday.

    Afghanistan were in early trouble after opting to bat when opener Javed Ahmadi perished without scoring to the second ball he faced, plumb lbw to leg-spinner Samuel Badree in the second over with the score on 14.

    Noor Ali counter-attacked, hammering five fours and two sixes – including three consecutive boundaries off wayward seamer Jerome Taylor in the third over which leaked 13 runs.

    In the following over, the right-hander cleared the ropes at long-off with Badree and then swept him square for four as Afghanistan raced to 40 for one after just four overs.

    But Williams struck in his first over, bowling Noor Ali with his final delivery as the batsman improvised too far across his stumps and medium pacer Rovman Powell also got lucky in his first over, having captain Asghar Stanikzai caught at mid-wicket by Williams for 13.

    Stumbling at 57 for three in the ninth over, Afghanistan were propelled by two key partnerships. Nabi thumped a pair of four and sixes in adding 39 with Karim Janat (8) for the fourth wicket while Shafiqullah carved out three fours and a six in putting on 30 for the sixth wicket with Najibullah Zadran (10 not out).

    West Indies’ run chase began disastrously when Chadwick Walton drove the second ball of the innings from left-arm speedster Shapoor Zadran to extra cover to depart without scoring.

    Samuels arrived, however, to destroy any hopes the Afghans harboured of pulling off a consolation win.

    Playing with gay abandon and with his trademark power and timing on full display, the Jamaican struck nine fours and three sixes, while adding 61 for the second wicket with Evin Lewis (19) and another precious half-century with Mohammed.

    Dropped on 40 off a stinging caught and bowled chance off off-spinner Nabi at 60 for one in the 10th over, Samuels went on to raise his 10th T20I half-century off 46 balls with a pulled four through mid-wicket off seamer Janat in the 14th over.

    He lost Lewis also in the 10th, lbw to one speared into leg stump from Nabi and saw the back of Lendl Simmons for 15 in the 13th over, holing out to long-off off leg-spinner Rashid Khan.

    With his half-century out of the way, Samuels upped the tempo, lashing consecutive sixes off Nabi in the 16th over which cost 16 runs and his third six a couple overs later off Janat, saw him tie his previous career-best of 85, as West Indies cruised towards victory.

    The hosts won the opener last Friday by six wickets and the second match on Saturday by 29 runs under Duckworth/Lewis in a rain-hit affair.

    They face Afghanistan again on Friday in St Lucia in the first One-Day International of a three-match series.

    AFGHANISTAN

    Noor Ali Zadran b Williams 35

    Javed Ahmadi lbw b Badree 0

    *Asghar Stanikzai c Williams b Powell 13

    Mohammad Nabi c Powell b Williams 38

    Karim Janat c Lewis b Taylor 8

    +Shafiqullah b Williams 25

    Najibullah Zadran not out 10

    Gulbadin Naib not out 7

    Extras (lb3, w7) 10

    TOTAL (6 wkts, 20 overs) 146

    Did not bat: Rashid Khan, Shapoor Zadran, Amir Hamza

    Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Javed Ahmadi), 2-45 (Noor Ali Zadran), 3-57 (Asghar Stanikzai), 4-96 (Mohammad Nabi), 5-108 (Karim Janat), 6-138 (Shafiqullah)

    Bowling: Taylor 4-0-33-1 (w1), Badree 4-0-26-1 (w1), Williams 4-0-34-3, Brathwaite 1-0-3-0, Powell 3-0-20-1, Narine 4-0-27-0 (w1).

    WEST INDIES

    +C Walton c sub (Samiullah Shenwari) b Shapoor Zadran 0

    E Lewis lbw b Mohammad Nabi  19

    M Samuels not out  89

    L Simmons c Najibullah Zadran b Rashid Khan 15

    J Mohammed not out 23

    Extras (w1) 1

    TOTAL (3 wkts, 19.2 overs) 147

    Did not bat: R Powell, *C Brathwaite, J Taylor, S Narine, S Badree, K Williams.

    Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Walton), 2-61 (Lewis), 3-82 (Simmons)

    Bowling: Shapoor Zadran 3.2-0-27-1 (w1), Mohammad Nabi 4-0-31-1, Amir Hamza 4-0-24-0, Karim Janat 4-0-41-0, Rashid Khan 4-0-22-1.

    Result: West Indies won by seven wickets.

    Series: West Indies won three-match series 3-0.

    Man-of-the-Match: Marlon Samuels.

    Man-of-the-Series: Marlon Samuels.

    Toss: Afghanistan.

    Umpires: Joel Wilson, Leslie Reifer Jr; TV – Nigel Duguid.

  • Windies Squad to face Afghanistan in ODI Series

    ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Selection Panel of Cricket West Indies has named the Windies 13-man squad for the upcoming One-Day Internationals against Afghanistan.

    The squad includes one uncapped player in this format – Roston Chase, the 25-year-old allrounder. He made his international debut last year and has so far played 10 Test matches with 728 runs, including three centuries.

    The ODI Series will be played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia on June 9, 11 and 14. First ball in the day/night matches is 2:30pm (1:30pm Jamaica Time).

    FULL SQUAD

    Jason Holder (captain)

    Devendra Bishoo

    Jonathan Carter

    Roston Chase

    Miguel Cummins

    Shannon Gabriel

    Shai Hope

    Alzarri Joseph

    Evin Lewis

    Jason Mohammed

    Ashley Nurse

    Kieran Powell

    Rovman Powell

    Quotes from Courtney Browne, CWI Chairman of Selectors

    On the composition of the squad: Roston Chase is the one new player in the squad. He was considered before for ODI selection, primarily because of his all-round ability.  With his prolific run scoring in the last Test series and his continued steady all-round performances in the PCL we now feel it’s time to introduce him to ODI cricket. He was not among the leading runscorers in the Super50 tournament earlier this year, but we believe with his skill set and the way he has been playing he could be an asset. His outstanding efforts with the bat could not be ignored any longer coupled with his useful bowling can only add value to our squad.

    On the bowling attack: Our bowling attack remains the same with four seamers and two specialist spinners. With Roston now adding an additional spinning option for the captain, this offers further variety to the bowling attack. This gives the team the option of playing an additional fast bowler if required.

    On conditions in St Lucia: Over the last few years, the pitch has produced good bounce and carry for faster bowlers. If the pitches stay true to form we can expect to see that extra bit of assistance for our pace attack.

    MATCH SCHEDULE

    Friday, June 9: 1st ODI — Daren Sammy Cricket Ground

    Sunday, June 11: 2nd ODI — Daren Sammy Cricket Ground

    Wednesday, June 14: 3rd ODI — Daren Sammy Cricket Ground

  • Windies clinch series with easy win in rain-hit affair

    BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – West Indies easily beat an out-of-sorts Afghanistan by 29 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis system in a low-keyed, rain-hit affair, to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series here Saturday night.

    In a contest reduced to 15 overs per side at Warner Park, West Indies rallied to 112 for three with Chadwick Walton top-scoring with 29, his opening partner Lewis getting 25 and Marlon Samuels, 22.

    Set a revised target of 123, Afghanistan never looked the part and faded quickly without so much as a whimper to end on 93 all out with nine balls remaining.

    Seamer Kesrick Williams finished with three for 11 to take Man-of-the-Match honours while captain and medium pacer Carlos Brathwaite claimed two for 26.

    West Indies, who won Friday’s opener by six wickets, will now look to make a clean sweep of the series in the final match on Monday at the same venue.

    Saturday’s win broke a losing slide for the reigning World champions who had lost back-to-back T20 series to Pakistan in the last 10 months.

    Opting to bat first, West Indies were away to a flier as Walton and Lewis put on 42 off 27 deliveries.

    The right-handed Walton faced 17 deliveries and struck four fours and one six before holing out to long-on off off-spinner Mohammad Nabi in the fifth over.

    Lewis, who blasted a four and a six in a 28-ball knock, put on a further 32 for the second wicket with Samuels before he perished in the 10th over, pulling seamer Karim Janat into the deep.

    West Indies had reached 79 for two after 11 overs when heavy rain caused a near two-hour break in the innings.

    With just four overs left to face after a revision of overs on resumption, the hosts managed to add only 33 runs as the Afghan bowlers kept their wits about them under pressure.

    Afghanistan appeared to lack a clear plan for their run chase and quickly lost Gulbadin Naib in the third over for 12, bowled by leg-spinner Samuel Badree with the score on 15.

    Williams then struck twice in the following over – the first of his spell – to further set back the visitors.

    First, he had opener Noor Ali Zadran caught at short fine leg by Jerome Taylor for six after being tucked up by a short ball and off the very next delivery, claimed Samiullah Shenwari without scoring to a catch at the wicket.

    Tottering on 19 for three, Afghanistan continued to lose wickets steadily. Mohammad Nabi stylishly cut off-spinner Sunil Narine behind square for four in the seventh over but was then run out five balls in the same over looking for a non-existent single.

    And captain Asghar Stanikzai perished two balls later in the following over from Brathwaite when he tugged a short ball to Lendl Simmons running around from mid-wicket to mid-on, after clearing the ropes at mid-wicket with the previous delivery.

    Three more wickets fell for 14 runs in the space of 18 balls to leave Afghanistan in danger of their lowest-ever T20 total at 55 for eight in the 11th over.

    But top-scorer Karim Janat struck a four and two sixes in a 15-ball 20, putting on 30 off 10 balls for the ninth wicket with Dawlat Zadran (9).

    The charge, however, came a little too late and though the 12th over from Brathwaite leaked 18 runs, the required run rate remained onerous at 13 and in the end proved overwhelming.

    WEST INDIES

    +C Walton c Noor Ali Zadran b Mohammad Nabi 29

    E Lewis c Gulbadin Naib b Karim Janat 25

    M Samuels c Najibullah Zadran b Gulbadin Naib 22

    L Simmons not out 17

    *C Brathwaite not out 8

    Extras (b2, lb2, w7) 11

    TOTAL (3 wkts, 15 overs) 112

    Did not bat: J Mohammed, R Powell, J Taylor, S Narine, S Badree, K Williams

    Fall of wickets: 1-42 (Walton), 2-74 (Lewis), 3-97 (Samuels)

    Bowling: Dawlat Zadran 3-0-33-0 (w2), Karim Janat 3-0-19-1 (w1), Amir Hamza 2-0-11-0, Mohammad Nabi 2-0-21-1, Rashid Khan 3-0-14-0, Gulbadin Naib 2-0-10-1.

    AFGHANISTAN (target: 123 off 15 overs)

    Gulbadin Naib b Badree 12

    Noor Ali Zadran c Taylor b Williams 6

    *Asghar Stanikzai c Simmons b Brathwaite 9

    Samiullah Shenwari c wkp Walton b Williams 0

    Mohammad Nabi run out 8

    Karim Janat c Brathwaite b Williams 20

    +Shafiqullah run out 1

    Najibullah Zadran b Brathwaite 11

    Rashid Khan b Narine 2

    Dawlat Zadran b Taylor 9

    Amir Hamza not out 6

    Extras (b4, lb4, w1) 9

    TOTAL (all out; 13.3 overs)  93

    Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Gulbadin Naib), 2-19 (Noor Ali Zadran), 3-19 (Samiullah Shenwari), 4-34 (Mohammad Nabi), 5-40 (Asghar Stanikzai), 6-41 (Shafiqullah), 7-52 (Najibullah Zadran), 8-55 (Rashid Khan), 9-85 (Dawlat Zadran), 10-93 (Karim Janat)

    Bowling: Badree 3-0-11-1, Taylor 2-0-13-1 (w1), Williams 2.3-0-11-3, Narine 3-0-24-1, Brathwaite 3-0-26-2.

    Result: West Indies won by 29 runs (D/L).

    Series: West Indies lead three-match series 2-0.

    Man-of-the-Match: Kesrick Williams.

    Toss: West Indies.

    Umpires: Joel Wilson, Gregory Brathwaite; TV – Nigel Duguid.

  • Sunil Narine spins Windies to a 1-0 lead

    BASSETERRE, St Kitts, Jun 2, CMC – West Indies lacked the clinical edge but still did enough to breeze past minnows Afghanistan by six wickets in the opening Twenty20 International here Friday night, and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

    Asked to bowl first at Warner Park, the Windies restricted the Afghans for a paltry 110 off their 20 overs, with off-spinner Sunil Narine claiming three for 11 and seamers Carlos Brathwaite (2-16) and Kesrick Williams (2-19) picking up two wickets apiece.

    The 18-year-old Rashid Khan, batting at number seven, top-scored with 33 off 27 while number 10 Amir Hamza chipped in with 21. However, they were the only two to pass 20 and only two of three in double figures.

    With the visitors slumping quickly at 58 for eight in the 14th over, they came together to rescue the innings in a ninth-wicket stand of 36.

    In reply, West Indies suffered a few hiccups in losing four wickets but still got home with time, effort and 21 balls to spare.

    Veteran right-hander Marlon Samuels struck a top score of 35 from 36 deliveries while openers Evin Lewis (26) and Chadwick Walton (22) both got starts but failed to carry on.

    Rashid Khan proved a handful with his leg-spin conceding just 14 runs from his four overs and taking one wicket but was unable to make major inroads into the innings.’

    Beaten the last time the two teams met at last year’s T20 World Cup in India, West Indies ensured there was no such embarrassment this time around, even though their batsmen made heavy weather of an uncomplicated target.

    Lewis and Walton looked at ease as they gave West Indies a handy starting by putting on 33 of 21 balls for the first wicket.

    Walton had struck five fours in a 15-ball knock when he pulled left-arm seamer Shapoor Zadran low to mid-wicket where Usman Ghani held the catch.

    The left-handed Lewis, who clobbered three sixes and a four off 16 balls, put on a further 30 for the second wicket with Samuels before holing out in the deep on the leg-side off an innocuous delivery from medium pacer Karim Janat.

    Lendl Simmons (6) never got the measure of Rashid Khan and after clearing the ropes back overhead with the bowler, missed a swipe at the next delivery and was bowled in the ninth over.

    Samuels looked in great touch, smashing the fourth ball he received from left-arm spinner Amir Hamza for a giant six over long on before slapping Janat for an imperious off-side boundary and then another huge leg-side six, off back-to-back balls in the eighth over.

    He should have been there at the end but also gifted his wicket, missing a wild swing at Shapoor on the seamer’s return for a final spell, and was spectacularly bowled off the first ball of the 15th over.

    Jason Mohammed, completely bemused by Rashid Khan and put down on one at slip by captain Asghar Stanikzai, then held his nerve to see the Windies to victory with 18 not out.

    Earlier, the Windies had a great start when leg-spinner Samuel Badree bowled opener Gulbadin Naib for 12 in the fourth over at 21 for one and Usman Ghani was run out for eight in a terrible mix up in the following over with five runs added.

    Wickets then fell steadily and when Narine struck twice in the 12th over to remove Samiullah Shenwari (7) and Shafiqullah (0), and then prised out Najibullah Zadran (4) in his following over, Afghanistan were against the ropes.

    But Rashid Khan rallied the innings, belting two fours and two sixes as the visitors gathered 48 runs from the last five overs.

    AFGHANISTAN

    Usman Ghani run out 8

    Gulbadin Naib b Badree 12

    *Asghar Stanikzai c & b Williams 5

    Karim Janat c wkp Walton b Brathwaite 8

    Samiullah Shenwari lbw b Narine 7

    Mohammad Nabi c Taylor b Brathwaite 2

    Rashid Khan c Narine b Taylor 33

    +Shafiqullah c & b Narine 0

    Najibullah Zadran c wkp Walton b Narine 4

    Amir Hamza c wkp Walton b Williams 21

    Shapoor Zadran not out 1

    Extras (b4, lb3, w2) 9

    TOTAL (all out, 20 overs) 110

    Fall of wickets: 1-21 (Gulbadin Naib), 2-26 (Usman Ghani), 3-26 (Asghar Stanikzai), 4-42 (Karim Janat), 5-46 (Mohammad Nabi), 6-46 (Samiullah Shenwari), 7-46 (Shafiqullah), 8-58 (Najibullah Zadran), 9-94 (Rashid Khan), 10-110 (Amir Hamza)

    Bowling: Taylor 4-0-38-1 (w1), Badree 4-0-19-1, Williams 4-1-19-2(w1), Narine 4-0-11-3, Brathwaite 4-0-16-2.

    WEST INDIES

    +C Walton c Usman Ghani b Shapoor Zadran 22

    E Lewis c Samiullah Shenwari b Karim Janat 26

    M Samuels b Shapoor Zadran 35

    L Simmons b Rashid Khan 6

    J Mohammed not out 18

    R Powell not out 2

    Extras (lb1, w4) 5

    TOTAL (4 wkts, 16.3 overs) 114

    Did not bat: *C Brathwaite, J Taylor, S Narine, S Badree, K Williams.

    Fall of wickets: 1-33 (Walton), 2-63 (Lewis), 3-82 (Simmons), 4-99 (Samuels)

    Bowling: Shapoor Zadran 3.3-0-30-2 (w2), Mohammad Nabi 3-0-23-0, Amir Hamza 4-0-24-0, Rashid Khan 4-0-14-1 (w2), Karim Janat 1-0-12-1, Samiullah Shenwari 1-0-10-0.

    Result: West Indies won by six wickets.

    Series: West Indies lead three-match series 1-0.

    Man-of-the-Match: Sunil Narine.

    Toss: Afghanistan.

    Umpires: G Brathwaite, N Duguid; TV – J Wilson.

  • CWI coverage to reach fans across the world

    BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Cricket West Indies (CWI) today announced details of the live ball-by-ball coverage of the upcoming series between the Windies and Afghanistan in the West Indies.

    The coverage is being produced by CWI and fans across the Caribbean will be able to see all the matches via Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) stations in their home territory. Spectators outside the region may view  the matches on Sony in Asia (except in Afghanistan), Moby in Afghanistan, and Fox in Australia.

    Nelecia Yeates, Commercial Manager, CWI, outlined details of the broadcast.

    “CWI has made a commitment to ensure the matches are seen by our audience and we are delighted that we can provide our valued fans with top-quality coverage of the series between our world champions, Windies, and the Afghanistan team,” Yeates said.

    “This tour is historic for the visiting team and we made sure that it can be accessed by our fans in the region and around the cricketing world. Through our partners CMC, the matches will be available to 15 stations in our region. We also have global partners and the coverage will reach several million viewers.”

    CWI has assembled an experienced and knowledgeable commentary panel, headed by Sir Curtly Ambrose, the legendary former West Indies fast bowler. Jeff Dujon, one the greatest wicket-keepers in the history of the sport, is also part of the expert panel. The other members are: Fazeer Mohammed and Barry Wilkinson, two well-respected broadcasters.

    The series opens on Friday (today) with the first T20 International at Warner Park in St Kitts. First ball is 7:30pm (6:30pm Jamaica Time). The tour will feature three T20s at Warner Park and three One-Day Internationals at Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.

  • PREVIEW: Windies looking to dominate minnows

    BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – West Indies will be seeking to impose their superiority on minnows Afghanistan and rekindle their winning touch, when they meet the Asian side in the first of three Twenty20 Internationals here Friday night.

    The reigning champions in the format have looked anything but over the last 10 months with six defeats in their last seven matches but the Afghanistan assignment presents the opportunity for the Caribbean side to turn their fortunes around.

    West Indies boast a strong squad for the series with some of the world’s leading T20 specialists in batsmen Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons and Marlon Samuels, along with spinners Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree all involved.

    Captain Carlos Brathwaite said here Thursday even though they were not taking the Afghans for granted, they were confident of imposing themselves on the series.

    “We need to get back on the winning track. We pride ourselves in our T20 cricket and as usual we want to go out there and give the fans a spectacle, playing that Caribbean way, playing that exciting way to get fans off their seat,” the all-rounder said.

    “We are not underestimating Afghanistan, they were actually the only team to beat us in the recent World Cup triumph so we’re not underestimating them.

    “We are focussing on ourselves, we want to get back to the winning ways we are capable of and individually a lot of guys have stuff to prove in West Indies colours and I’m sure everyone is ready and raring to go.”

    Since their triumph at the T20 World Cup in India last year April, the Windies have declined steadily. In fact, they were swept 3-0 by Pakistan last September in the United Arab Emirates and were beaten again by Pakistan, 3-1 in a four-match series in the Caribbean two months ago.

    The problem in both series lay squarely at the feet of the Windies batting. In the UAE, they never mustered above 115 batting first and 144 chasing while in the Caribbean, they stumbled to totals of 111 and 124 batting first.

    They successfully chased 137 in the third T20I but failed to overhaul 132 in the second game, and Brathwaite said they were aware of where they had gone wrong against the Pakistanis.

    “We definitely spoke about our batting – batting in partnerships. I don’t think we did that well enough in the Pakistan series,” the 28-year-old pointed out.

    “The one game we did put up a good batting performance we came up trumps so that’s something we’ve definitely spoken about.

    “With regards to the bowling, I think we ticked all our boxes in the Pakistan series. However, we think we can improve on our fielding and we pride ourselves as an energetic fielding team, making stops and turning half-chances into chances and breaking crucial partnerships.

    “That’s something we want to improve on going into this series and I know once we play our best cricket, fans will be happy and eventually, if we play our best cricket we should also win and the aim of the series is to come out on top.”

    Several members of the squad are coming off stints in the Indian Premier League, including Pollard and Simmons who were members of eventual champions Mumbai Indians.

    Both players were among the runs with Pollard gathering nearly 400 and Simmons getting two half-centuries.

    Brathwaite, who made limited appearances for Delhi Daredevils, said he was hopeful the Trinidadian duo could bring their winning touch to the Windies side.

    “We also have two guys who just experienced winning a competition … in Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard so we’re banking on their recent triumphs as well to bring some sort of extra motivating factor to the team,” he said.

    “They always say winning is a habit and they’ve gotten accustomed to winning as they just won the IPL and we want to get back on the winning path as well. We all have things to play for and we all have motivating factors but hopefully those two can use their recent triumphs as an extra motivating factor to spur on the team to what we want to be a successful series win.”

    Afghanistan, coached by Phil Simmons who was axed as West Indies head coach last September, have been impressive in their recent outings going unbeaten in their last 11 T20 Internationals.

    The match is set for Warner Park at 7:30 pm.

    SQUADS:

    WEST INDIES – Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Samuel Badree, Ronsford Beaton, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams.

    AFGHANISTAN – Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Noor Ali Zadran, Javid Ahmadi, Usman Ghani, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Najeeb Zadran, Gulbaddin Naib, Rashid Khan Arman, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Shapoor Zadran, Amira Hamza Hotak, Farid Malik, Dawlat Zadran, Karim Janat.

  • Cricket West Indies rebrands with new website and celebrates 91 years

    St John’s, ANTIGUA – Cricket West Indies (CWI) will begin its 91st year today, with a new name and website as part of a comprehensive rebranding programme.  From today the West Indies Cricket Board will be renamed Cricket West Indies and formally recognise all representative teams as the WINDIES.

    CEO Johnny Grave, commented:

    “Cricket West Indies better reflects how the organisation operates, as there are many different stakeholders who we work in partnership with, under the unifying aim of improving cricket at all levels within the region.  We plan to work even more closely with them over the next few years and consultation will begin immediately as we develop a new strategic plan for 2018-2023.”

    President Dave Cameron added:

    “Whilst the Board of Directors has an important role, we feel that the new name is more inclusive and appropriate, as we want to recognise the valuable role that our players, territorial boards, staff, supporters, governments, coaches, match officials and volunteers, play in the organisation.  For Cricket West Indies to operate effectively and efficiently we need all of our stakeholders to work in partnership and the name change is an important first step in our strategy.”

    The WINDIES name has long been associated with the representative teams within International cricket and this new brand will be used on all team playing shirts along with a new website focused on providing all WINDIES supporters more user-friendly information including live scores, team updates, videos and player information.

    The new website is www.cricketwestindies.org and the new match centre will launch on www.windiescricket.com ahead of the first International T20 against Afghanistan on Friday, June 2.

  • Cummins, Cottrell can’t stop Afghans in warm-up win

    BASSETERRE, St Kitts, May 31, CMC – Twenty20 World Cup star, Johnson Charles, stroked a half-century but was the only bright spark as Afghanistan opened their limited overs tour of the Caribbean with a 12-run victory over the WICB President’s XI here Tuesday night.

    Chasing a modest 116 at Warner Park, the President’s XI could only muster 103 for nine off their 20 overs, with opener Charles gathering a typically robust 53 off 44 deliveries.

    However, the right-hander was the only batsman to pass 15 and just one of three in double figures, as the run chase lost impetus in the middle overs.

    They were slumping at 31 for three in the seventh before Johnson combined with wicketkeeper Devon Thomas (13) in a 40-run fourth wicket stand to revive the innings.

    The hosts were then seemingly well poised at 71 for three in the 14th but once Charles, who struck five fours and two sixes, became the second of off-spinner Mohammad Nabi’s two wickets, the innings fell away with six wickets falling for 30 runs.

    Teenaged leg-spinner Rashid Khan was the best bowler with three for 11 from his four overs while left-arm spinner Amir Hamza chipped in with two for 17.

    Earlier, Afghanistan rallied to 115 for nine off their 20 overs, with opener Usman Ghani top-scoring with 33 from 34 deliveries with four fours and a six.

    Fast bowlers Miguel Cummins (3-19) and Sheldon Cottrell (3-24) finished with three wickets apiece while left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul picked up two for 25.

    The Afghans face West Indies in the first Twenty20 International of the three-match series here on Friday at 7:30 pm (Eastern Caribbean time).

    Scores:

    AFGHANISTAN 115 for nine off 20 overs (Usman Ghani 36; Miguel Cummins 3-19, Sheldon Cottrell 3-24, Veerasammy Permaul 2-24)

    PRESIDENT’S XI 103 for nine off 20 overs (Johnson Charles 53; Rahmat Shah 3-11, Amir Hamza 2-17, Amir Hamza 2-17)

    AFGHANISTAN
    U Ghani c wk Thomas b M Cummins 33
    G Naib b S Cottrell 10
    M Stanikzai* b M Cummins 4
    S Shinwari b M Cummins 8
    M Nabi c Cummins b V Permaul 14
    K Janat lbw b A Nurse 6
    S Shafaq+ c Reifer b V Permaul 15
    N Zadran b S Cottrell 15
    R Khan c Charles b S Cottrell 0
    A Hotak not out 7
    S Zadran not out 0
    Total: 115/9 (20 Overs)
    Fall of Wickets: Samiullah Shenwari 1-17, Asghar Stanikzai 2-37, Shafiqullah Shafiq 3-56, Usman Ghani 4-57, Karim Janat 5-71, Mahammad Nabi 6-83, Najibullaah Zadran 7-95, Rahmah Shah 8-96, Shapoor Zadran 9-115.
    WICB President’s XI Bowling: S Cottrell 4-0-24-3-0, K Mayers 2-0-12-0, M Cummins 4-0-19-3, R Reifer 2-0-11-0, Ashley Nurse 4-0-23-1, V Permaul 4-0-25-2.

    WEST INDIES
    J Charles c S Zadran b M Nabi 53
    A Fletcher c S Shenwari b A Hamza 4
    N Pooran c A Stanikzai b M Nabi 1
    J Carter b A Hamza 1
    D Thomas+ b R Shah 13
    R Reifer run out (Shafaq) 13
    A Nurse* LBW R Shah 0
    K Mayers b R Shah 8
    V Permaul c M Nabi b S Zadran 7
    S Cottrell not out 1
    M Cummins not out 1
    Total: 103/9 (20 Overs)
    Fall of Wickets: Andre Fletcher 1-18, Nicholas Pooran 2-29, Johnathan Carter 3-31, Delorn Johnson 4-71, Devon Thomas 5-73, Ashley Nurse 6-73, Raymon Reifer 7-93, Kyle Mayers 8-95, Veersammy Permaul 9-101.
    Afghanistan Bowling: S Zadran 4-0-32-1, A Hamza 4-0-17-2, K Janat 4-0-23-0, M Nabi 4-0-20-2, R Khan 4-0-11-3.

    Result: Afghanistan won by 12 runs
    Man of the Match: Rashid Khan
    Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite, Nigel Duguid
    Reserve umpire: Leslie Reifer Jr.

  • Stuart Law is the new Men’s Head Coach

    ST JOHN’s, Antigua – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has appointed Australian, Stuart Law as Head Coach for the West Indies Senior Men’s Team.

    In a career spanning almost 30 years as a professional coach and player, Stuart was the batting coach for the Australian men’s team to Sri Lanka in 2016. Before that he was part of the coaching staff for Bangladesh Under 19, Queensland Bulls, Brisbane Heat and had stints as High Performance Coach for Cricket Australia and head coach for Sri Lanka and Bangladesh senior teams.

    In his role as Head Coach his core functions will include improved team results while providing leadership to players and team management. He completes the senior technical team headed by newly-appointed Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams and Chairman of Selectors, Courtney Browne.

    His professional playing career was over a ten-year period where he played in one Test for Australia and 54 one-day-internationals. He had a successful first class tenure with Queensland, Essex, Lancashire and Derbyshire.

    Stuart is touted as the most successful captain in Australia’s domestic cricket with five first class and two one day titles and additionally scoring the most runs at that level – 27,080 in 367 matches. Stuart has the distinction as being named one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1998 and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007.

    Stuart is happy to be a part of the West Indies set up at this time. “I am excited at the opportunity to contribute to what I think is an interesting time for West Indies. I think this assignment has come at an important time of my career.”

    Outgoing Director of Cricket, Richard Pybus who sat as part of the selection panel says, “We are delighted to welcome Stuart to West Indies Cricket, he comes at an exciting and critical time in the development of the WI men’s team, with the emergence of some outstanding young talent, as seen in the most recent test series against Pakistan. He has great experience and breadth of knowledge as a player and coach and his cross-cultural experience and winning attitude will be key assets in the development of the team. “

    Stuart’s appointment becomes effective Wednesday, February 15 and he has a two-year contract.