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  • 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:


    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.


    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:


    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.


    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.

  • Peters eyeing debut in upcoming World Cup

    SOUTHAMPTON, England, CMC – Rookie Akeira Peters says she is thrilled with her selection to the West Indies side for the upcoming ICC Women’s World Cup, and is hoping to leave her mark on the tournament.

    The 23-year-old all-rounder was one of four newcomers named in the 15-member squad for the June 24 to July 23 campaign here, where West Indies enter as one of the favourites.

    “This opportunity means a great deal. Of course it’s a pleasure to be representing the region so it’s a great opportunity for me to go out there and showcase my talent. I was very happy I was selected and I am grateful for the opportunity,” the Grenadian said during the ongoing preparation camp at the Ageas Bowl here.

    “I hope that I get the opportunity to play and in doing that I can accomplish my task, whatever is given to me and as a result I can help the team in whatever way I can.”

    Peters, a left-handed batsman who bowls right-arm seam, has picked on potential after enduring an ordinary Regional Super50 Championship earlier this year for Windward Islands.

    She along with fellow uncapped players in Qiana Joseph, Felicia Walters and Reniece Boyce join a side boasting international stars like captain Stafanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews, and noted there had been no problems fitting into the squad.

    “So far it has been really great. The girls are very warm and welcoming and they help you in anyway they can so it’s been really good so far,” he pointed out.

    Peters said the road to international colours had been a difficult one and believes if she makes her debut in the tournament, it would be a fitting way to crown her journey.

    “It’s been quite difficult sometimes. Having to go to work from 7 am and finishing four o’clock, five o’clock sometimes, and you go to the park and you only get a couple hours because it gets dark so it has been kind of difficult,” she explained.

    “However, whenever I got the opportunity I would use the time wisely and push some work and ensure I got what I planned to do on that day done.”

    She added: “It would mean a great deal [to play a World Cup match]. I don’t how to express myself … it would be such an exciting feeling.”

    West Indies Women play official warm-up matches against Pakistan on June 20 and against South Africa two days later, before opening their campaign with a clash with reigning champions Australia on June 26.

  • Skipper Brathwaite thrilled by Windies professionalism

    BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite has praised his side’s professionalism, after they trounced Afghanistan by seven wickets in Monday’s final Twenty20 International and complete a 3-0 series whitewash.

    Entering the series as heavy favourites to beat the ICC Associate nation, West Indies imposed their superiority to reduce each of the three games to a no-contest as they pulled off convincing victories in each.

    The gulf between the two teams was especially evident in the final game as right-hander Marlon Samuels produced a stroke-filled career-best unbeaten 89 as the Windies easily chased down 147 to win by seven wickets.

    “Marlon showed his experience, showed his class and he brought us home and the manner in which he did it was very, very clinical and it is very pleasing,” Brathwaite said.

    “You talk about being professional … and when you have teams on the back foot about keeping them there and that’s exactly what we did … so it’s very, very pleasing to come away three-nil.”

    He continued: “It would have been very easy to take a foot off the pedal and take this game for granted, lose the game, win the series 2-1 and be happy but the professionalism shown today was very commendable, very admirable and kudos to my team for bringing home the series in a whitewash.”

    Opting to bat first, Afghanistan posted the highest total of the series and when Chadwick Walton fell to the second delivery of the run chase without a run on the board, the Windies faced a challenging time.

    But Samuels arrived to see off the Afghan challening with a stroke-filled innings, that ensured there was no upset.

    “The pitch was a lot better for batting than the first two games so we had to make some minor adjustments,” Brathwite explained.

    “They got up to a score that we think if we had executed our skills a little better we could have got them for 10 runs less but nevertheless the score was on the board, it was manageable and going into the half-time break, I asked that one of the batters raise their hand, not only get a score but get a big score and come not out in a winning cause.”

    Brathwaite, however, reserved special praise for his bowlers who he said were superb throughout the series in keeping Afghanistan’s dangerous batsmen under tight rein.

    “The bowling performance and the consistency, that is something we asked for so that one box was ticked,” he said.

    “We (bowlers) did very well against Pakistan [in the recent series], we continually kept them down to 130 and as a bowling unit we strived to replicate what we did in that series.

    “I don’t want to single out one moment of brilliance because those moments of brilliance don’t come unless there is a solid base and I think that throughout the three games, bowlers put the team on that solid footing … which made the moments of brilliance actually brilliant.”

  • 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.”