A solid performance with bat and ball saw the Lucknow Super Giants seal a 12-run win against Sunrisers Hyderabad at DY Patil Stadium.

Super Giants captain KL Rahul (68) and Deepak Hooda (51) were the standout performers in the Lucknow innings as they set their opponents 170 to win.

Sunrisers had looked in a strong position to chase down that total at 143-4 with just under three overs left, only for a late collapse to see them fall well short.

The Super Giants were three down within the first five overs, with two wickets for Washington Sundar (2-28) in his first seven balls, claiming Quinton de Kock and Evin Lewis for a single run each, then, immediately after hitting a big six, Manish Pandey (11) could only find Bhuvneshwar Kumar from Romario Shepherd's delivery to leave them 27-3.

Hooda came to the crease and rescued things with Rahul, putting on a partnership of 87 before the former fell to Shepherd, with Thangarasu Natarajan (2-26) taking the late wickets of Rahul and Krunal Pandya (6) to seemingly limit Lucknow.

However, Abhishek Sharma (13) and Kane Williamson (16) failed to eat much into the target, and despite solid efforts from Rahul Tripathi (44) and Nicholas Pooran (34), Hyderabad ultimately fell short, with Jason Holder (3-34) taking three wickets for just three runs in the final over.

Skipper leads the way with the bat

Rahul and Hooda were the only batsmen for the victors to score 20 or more runs, but that was all that was needed after their efforts, with the captain hitting six fours and one six.

Hooda struck three fours and three sixes, and grabbed his second half-century of the IPL season so far.

Bowling attack comes to the fore

This was a classic case of the batsmen setting a defendable total, but then the bowlers having to earn their place by seizing control back late on.

Avesh Khan impressed with 4-24 from his four overs, including taking both Sunrisers openers, while Krunal (2-27) and Holder performed crucially at the death.

Four-time Caribbean Premier League Champions Trinbago Knight Riders have signed Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell and middle-order batsman Nicholas Pooran for the 2022 season.

Rohit Sharma declared "experimentation is overrated" ahead of India's three-match T20 International series against West Indies.

With another T20 World Cup on the horizon in Australia this year, India and the Windies are determined to show what they are capable of after failing in the 2021 tournament.

Rohit led India to a 3-0 ODI clean sweep of West Indies this month and their expectant supporters will be demanding another whitewash.

India have won eight of their past nine matches against the Windies in the shortest format heading into the series-opener at Eden Gardens on Wednesday.

Washington Sundar and KL Rahul miss out due to hamstring injuries, while Axar Patel will not feature in the series as he is in the final stage of his rehabilitation after recently recovering from coronavirus.

Skipper Rohit is no mood to experiment as he looks to continue the white-ball momentum.

He said: "I feel the word experimentation is overrated, in my terms. We are trying to find those holes that are there in the squad and try and fill that gap. So whatever it takes, we will try and do that.

"All these guys [the fringe players] are very young and haven't played a lot of cricket. We need to give them the assurity and the game time.

"Once we have that, then we can try out things. Until then, whatever little holes we have in our squad, we have to try and fill that."

The Windies were outplayed in the 50-over format, but beat England 3-2 in a thrilling T20I series on home soil last month and named an unchanged squad to face India.

 

Rohit backs Kohli 

It is over two years since Virat Kohli score an international hundred, but Rohit says the former captain should not be questioned. 

The opener said: "If you guys [the media] can keep quiet for a while, I think he'll be alright. We don't need to do too much talking from your side, then everything will be taken care of. He is in a great mental space from whatever I see of him.

"He has been part of this international team for more than a decade. If someone has spent that much time in international cricket, they know how to handle the pressure situations, the environment, everything. It all starts from you guys. If you guys can keep it quiet for a bit, then everything will fall into place."

Pollard fit to lead tourists

Kieron Pollard was an injury doubt after suffering a niggle in the ODI series, but the captain confirmed he will be fit for the start of this series.

Pollard will be hoping former skipper Jason Holder can conjure up more heroics after his stunning exploits with the ball in the decider against England in Barbados last month.

The all-rounder took four wickets in as many balls in the final over to finish with figure of 5-27.

Cricket West Indies (CWI)has offered congratulations to the West Indies players chosen in the auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which was conducted in Bengaluru on Saturday and Sunday.

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and allrounder Jason Holder have achieved career-best rankings in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings after helping the West Indies to a series-deciding 17-run victory in the fifth Betway T20 International against England at Kensington Oval last Sunday.

In the latest weekly update to the men’s rankings, which considers performances in the last three matches of the series, Hosein moved up 15 places to 18th position after a haul of 4-30 that helped him finish with six wickets in three matches.

“It’s not something I pay close attention to. However, when I play or train, it’s always about aiming to become the best,” Hosein said while speaking with CWI Media.

“It’s about having that mindset of wanting to improve and wanting to be at the top, so definitely it is an aspiration of mine to be the number one bowler in the world someday. Therefore, this move means a lot to me. It shows that my hard work is paying off and that I will be rewarded if I perform well. It’s definitely a good feeling.”

Holder was the star performer with the unique feat of grabbing four wickets in four balls in front of his home crowd. He finished with figures of 5-27 – the best in a T20I at the historic venue. This took his tally to nine wickets in those three matches, as he advanced three places to 23rd with a massive gain of 20 rating points. Overall, he took 15 wickets in the five matches, a new record for the most in a bilateral series, and was named the Player-of-the-Series.

Left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell (up 10 places to 31st) is another West Indies bowler to move up in Wednesday’s update while England spinner Moeen Ali (up three places to 32nd) and Liam Livingston (up 33 places to 68th) have also advanced.

In the ranking for batters, Nicholas Pooran is up eight places to 18th after scoring 113 runs in the three matches including a knock of 70, while opener Brandon King (up 25 places to 58th) and West Indies captain Kieron Pollard (up 15 places to 60th) have also advanced. King made a stylish 52 not out in the first match as West Indies won easily, while Pollard had a crucial 41 not out off 25 balls in the final match.

“This definitely means a lot to me, because I put a lot of work into my craft. I work day in and day out, so moving up the rankings is important. The ultimate goal is to be the best. I do pay attention to it (the rankings) because it is a good way to track your growth,” Pooran said.

Rovman Powell made the most of his return to the team with a brilliant 107 in the third matchmaking him the third West Indian to record a century in this format. He followed up with 35 not out off 17 balls in the last game.

Speaking at the end of the enthralling series, West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick said the improvement shown was extremely pleasing.

“After the last couple of months that we’ve had, it’s really pleasing that we’ve won a series. Improvement for me is actually more important than winning the series because you’ve got to focus on getting to the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 and doing a lot better than we did in the last one,” he said.

“The crowds coming back to the stadium is very important. The players were a lot freer this time around. The bubble was still there but a lot more relaxed and you could see the players responding to it so credit to the medical staff of the Cricket West Indies.

“Akeal Hosein was really brilliant for us when the chips were down along with Fabian Allen. They turned the tide, put England under pressure, continued to get wickets and that’s all we can ask, that people put their hands up when they need to and lead and fight and battle.”

It was a special Sunday night at the Kensington Oval in Barbados as the West Indies defeated England by 17 runs in the fifth T20 International to win the Betway series 3-2.

Former West Indies Test and ODI captain Jason Holder was the hero of the day with four wickets in four balls in the final over as the West Indies defended their score of 179-4.

Not surprisingly, Holder was chuffed.

“What a real night last night. I just want to thank each and every fan that came to the stadium yesterday. It was a wonderful feeling seeing everyone back in the stands cheering," he while speaking with the media Monday morning. "Special thank you also to the supporters who travelled all the way from England to support their team. I think both teams played a really good series and it’s good to see the way it ended.”

Holder, who was voted Man-of-the-Series after an excellent return of 15 wickets in five matches, was pleased with the attitude of the team that saw them bounce back from a disappointing 2-1 ODI series defeat to Ireland earlier in January.

“I think it’s been great. After the start we had against Ireland in Jamaica and everybody was really down and deflated, to see the way we bounced back against England, it just shows the character in the dressing room. I think we really pulled together and it’s the first time in a long time it’s felt that close in the dressing room. It’s a great feeling,” he said.

“Hopefully we can continue this and build something special. I think this group has to be the group now, with such young and talented players, to become even closer and get better. I think if we do that, the future of West Indies cricket would be in good hands.”

The West Indies next assignment will be a white-ball tour of India where they will play three ODIs and three T20Is beginning on February 6.

“I think this series is a big series. India, for me, is the best all-round cricket team in the world and they’ve proven that over the last couple of years so to go in their backyard and beat them is not going to be an easy feat but it’s not impossible,” Holder said.

Jason Holder sensationally came up trumps at the end as he took four wickets in succession to help secure the West Indies a 17-run victory over England in the final T20I that sealed a 3-2 series win.

West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard had won the toss and elected to bat, with the hosts posting 179-4, with England falling short in reply, bowled out for 162 in the 20th over with Player of the Match Holder (27-5) decisive with a double hat-trick in the final over.

After an encouraging start, West Indies did suffer a minor wobble as they lost wickets in consecutive overs, with Kyle Mayers (31) and Romario Shepherd (six) falling in the sixth and seventh, giving England a boost.

Brandon King (34) was the next to go as he was caught at the rope, and Nicholas Pooran (21) was dismissed in the 14th over, with West Indies looking solid if unspectacular ahead of the final five overs of their batting innings.

It was then that they really picked up the slack, with Pollard (41 not out) and Rovman Powell (35 not out) accumulating runs at a much greater rate, their fifth-wicket stand of 74 ultimately integral in the grand scheme of things.

The total of 180 certainly did not look unassailable for England and they reached the halfway stage at 86-2 having only lost Jason Roy (eight) and Tom Banton (16), with James Vince in fine form.

The wickets of Moeen Ali (14) and Liam Livingstone (six) followed just a few minutes apart, and while Vince (55) reached his half-century, he too departed in the 14th as a top-edged slog fell short of the boundary from Akeal Hosein (30-4).

The excellent Sam Billings (41) at least got England into a position where they were still alive in the final over, but they could not meet their target of 20 in six balls as Holder's incredible haul clinched the series.

Holder's historic heroics

Having almost looked without hope, England did make things a little tense towards the end – but what a performance from Holder.

Just when West Indies needed the ultimate display of experience, Holder took over in style. His hat-trick was the Windies' first in men's T20Is, and then he went one better. It was a truly memorable end to the series.

Billings deserving of praise

Although he was not England's highest scorer, Billings did play a vital role in keeping them in contention.

His 41 off 28 balls meant England were still in the hunt in the final over. A poorer showing could have seen them fold much earlier – he can leave with his head held high.

West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder believes he could be getting back to approaching his best form, partly due to a change in mentality, after a tumultuous past year of cricket.

The 30-year-old was replaced as captain of the team, in March, before finding himself controversially left out of the 15-man squad for the team to last year’s World Cup.  Despite the turmoil, the player has, however, managed to put in consistent performance, particularly with the ball.

Against England, Holder recently achieved a new milestone after taking career-best figures of 4 for 7 against in the ongoing series.  In two matches, he has taken six wickets and looked an assured presence for the team on the field.  The all-rounder admits, these days, he is in a different frame of mind.

“In the recent past…I’ve probably been overthinking it too much.  I’ve been working on some things technically as well from both the batting and bowling standpoint.  Honestly speaking, I would have studied it a little too much in the game and not been as clear as I wanted to be,” Holder told members of the media on Tuesday.   

“So, I’ve tried to iron out a few things mentally and trying to be a lot more focused and committed to what I want to do on a given day and try not to focus on just having a perfect technique,” he added.

The former captain believes it has been a difficult period for the entire group.

“There’s been a lot on my mind in the last year.  I’m just trying to find ways to shut some of it out and try to narrow in and focus on what’s needed.  I think the group has that challenge as well, we are working hard.  Anybody that says we are not working hard enough, I would always challenge that, but there is a lot more to cricket and sport than just working hard.”

One of the key things that fans of West Indies cricket over the last few years have wanted from the regional team is consistency.

There are periods where the team is clicking at all levels, as evidenced by a dominant 4-1 T20I series win over Australia in July 2021 but there are also periods where the team just can’t seem to buy a win.

The Caribbean side are currently locked 1-1 in a five-match T20I series with England and Jason Holder, in a press conference today, pleaded for the team to strive for consistency.

“We’ve just got to keep challenging ourselves to play a complete game. If we can be a lot more clinical and consistent, we can make our lives a whole lot easier. The challenge for each and every individual is to seek consistency. I think consistency is something that we’ve been talking about for years and it’s just time we start heading in the right direction and progressing. I just want to see progression and development, consistently,” he said.

The former West Indies Test and ODI skipper, who has so far taken figures of 4-7 and 2-25, in the first two games of the series, also said that with a relatively young squad, he has to take on a leadership role even without the captaincy.

“I just try to give anything to the team that I think will benefit us. We have a relatively inexperienced group so I just try to help out as much as I can and give what advice I can give. I don’t think it’s a situation where I have to give too much information because that becomes clouded for individuals, so I keep it as simple as possible. Anything I pick up I pass it on to the captain and then obviously to individual players but I think my role is just to help guide and nurture the young talent that we have,” Holder added.

There are three games remaining in the series, but Holder wants the team to take a game-by-game approach rather than looking to the future too soon.

“I’m just focused on what’s ahead tomorrow. Tomorrow is our next encounter so there’s no point in looking at the last three matches before we get to the one tomorrow,” he said.

In the second T20I the regional team’s fielding left a lot to be desired and Holder echoed the same sentiments.

“I don’t think we were good enough in the field in the last encounter and that probably hurt us in the end,” Holder added.

The West Indies can, hopefully, have a better day in the field tomorrow when they take on England in the third T20I at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only four overs of play were possible after lunch as the West Indies continued their fightback on day three of the first of their three-test series against hosts Sri Lanka.

After starting the day on 113-6, a strong partnership between former captain, Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers propelled the Windies to 163-6 before Mayers was deceived by off-spinner, Dhananjaya de Silva, and lobbed a catch to captain, Dimuth Karunaratne, at short cover for a top score of 45.

Holder was next to go, caught at point by Dushmantha Chameera off the bowling of Praveen Jayawickrama for 36 with the score on 175.

He tried to play a cut shot off a ball that got some extra bounce and ended up lobbing the ball in the air to Chameera, who took a good catch diving to his right.

Rakheem Cornwall then joined wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva at the crease and the two steadied the ship, bringing the score up to 224 before Cornwall went, caught by Ramesh Mendis, off the bowling of pacer Suranga Lakmal for 38.

Cornwall’s wicket fell on the last ball of the 80th over and the rest of the day’s play was washed out by rain.

The West Indies will start day four on 224-9, still 162 runs behind Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 386 with Joshua da Silva at the crease on 11 and Shannon Gabriel yet to score.

 

West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite is expecting a strong performance from the team’s pace bowlers in Sri Lanka, despite conditions on the subcontinent tending to favour spin bowlers.

The last time the regional team faced Sri Lanka away, in 2015, it was the part-time spin of Brathwaite that stole of as the batsman claimed six wickets in an innings.  The frontline pace bowlers Kemar Roach (2), Jason Holder (3), Shannon Gabriel (1) failed to have a huge impact on the series, with the exception of Jerome Taylor who claimed 6 over two games.

Although the captain admits the surface is likely to favour spinners, Brathwaite is confident the Windies quicks will have a big role to play.

We haven’t been there as yet to see the surface but there’s always a role for the fast bowlers.  Shannon Gabriel really led the way in Bangladesh in the first Test, bowling with some good pace, then Kemar Roach getting an early wicket in the morning was very crucial.  Obviously, Jason wasn’t there but is always crucial.  So, I do believe that possibly there being spin-friendly pitches, I think the pace bowlers will do well.

“I can see them getting wickets.  It’s really about building pressure but seamers are very important and obviously, Shannon will bring some aggression and I look forward to seeing the guys operating.”

Former West Indies captain has been included in the West Indies T20 World Cup squad as a replacement for injured left-arm fast bowler Obed McCoy.

As the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup draws ever closer, some observers are still in disbelief at the squad Cricket West Indies selectors have chosen to defend the title the West Indies won in 2016.

Among them is Sir Vivian Richards, a man considered by many to be the greatest batsman of all time and one of the most destructive.

Richards, who played on the West Indies teams that won the Prudential World Cup in 1975 and 1979, said he still cannot believe that former West Indies captain Jason Holder, was not among the 15-man squad named for the world cup.

Holder, who played well in the recent CPL and took 16 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL this season, was only named among the four reserve players who will travel with the team to the United Arab Emirates where the West Indies will begin the defence of their title on October 23.

The decision by the selectors doesn’t sit well with the Master Blaster.

“I felt maybe it could have been a misprint and then hearing the news as well you think you were not hearing right at that particular time,” Sir Vivian told the Antigua Observer.

“We may have our issues with Jason when he was in charge as captain of the team, but we can never doubt the individual’s ability and his talent and I just felt sad that someone with such ability couldn’t make a West Indies T20, so that suggests to me that we must be seriously blessed with talented individuals the calibre of Jason Holder.”

Despite his misgivings, Richards urged fans to get behind the team as it goes for a third world title having won the tournament in 2012 and 2016.

West Indies open their defence against England in Dubai.

 

Punjab Kings propelled themselves back into Indian Premier League play-off contention by beating bottom side Sunrisers Hyderabad by five runs on Saturday.

In a low-scoring match between the IPL's bottom two sides, Jason Holder's 47 not out was not enough for the Sunrisers to claim just a second win of the season.

Aiden Markram (27) top scored for Punjab, with captain KL Rahul (21) the only other player to knock off over 20 runs.

Holder was crucial to keeping Punjab to 125-7, as he took three wickets for 19 runs from his four overs, yet Mohammed Shami took the huge wickets of David Warner and Kane Williamson in his first two overs to deal the Sunrisers a blow.

The Sunrisers were reduced to just 20 runs in the powerplay, the lowest total in their IPL history, and despite Holder's unbeaten stand, which included five sixes, they did not have enough to get over the line.

Punjab's win takes them onto eight points, level with three other teams all hunting a play-off spot.

Holder's heroics not enough

There was no doubting who the star of the show was on Saturday, with West Indies international Holder brilliant with both the bat and ball. Yet his efforts proved fruitless, with Nathan Ellis managing to keep him at bay in the final over. 

"It is a tough loss. We left a little bit too much in the back end to do. That's how the game plays. We were behind the eight ball. I just wanted to give myself a chance and strike well," said Holder.

Shami and Bishnoi strike

The Sunrisers' confidence was knocked early by Shami (2-14), as he dismissed Warner (2) and Williamson (1) to stifle the chase before it had even got started.

Ravi Bishnoi then added three wickets for just 24 runs to apply further pressure, skittling through Hyderabad's middle order.

Legendary WI fast bowler Andy Roberts is convinced the Cricket West Indies panel of selectors made a grave error by omitting all-rounder Jason Holder from the final 15-man World Cup squad.

Despite being better known for his exploits in the red-ball format, Holder’s exclusion from the first-team squad and selection as a reserve for the tournament caused shock and dismay across the Caribbean, following the announcement of the final squad next week.

In international T20 cricket to date, Holder has managed 27 matches with an average of 16.75 in 18 innings, added to that he has claimed 22 wickets.  In the Indian Premier League last season, however, he put on several strong performances during his time with Sunrisers Hyderabad and also had a strong showing against Sri Lanka in the series of practice games.  He did, however, struggled against Pakistan and has also failed to make a telling impact in the CPL.  For Roberts, however, the player's proven quality should have been enough to see him added to the starting team.

“I was shocked because he is the best cricketer we have in the region, bar none,” Roberts told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“I’d pick him as one of the first choices for the World Cup, what is he doing in the reserves.  It embarrassing for us to see how we could treat our best cricketer. Jason Holder is our best cricketer," he added.

Holder has been consistently ranked as the top, or second-best Test cricket all-rounder for the last couple of years but has not displayed that kind of dominance over the shorter formats.

 

 

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