West Indies batsmen Kyle Mayers and Sharmarh Brooks each scored a century to secure a 20-run win over The Netherlands and complete a 3-0 series whitewash in Amstelveen on Saturday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, for the first time all series, the Caribbean team posted 308 for 5 in their 50 overs at the crease.  The Windies had lost opener Shai Hope with 58 runs on the board after he was caught by Vivian Kingma off the bowling of Ryan Klein.

Mayers and Brooks, however, came together for a damaging 184-run partnership that powered the regional team to a comfortable 242 before Mayers was dismissed by Ryan Klein.  From there the team would suffer a mini-collapse of sorts with captain Nicholas Pooran (7), and Brandon King (10) both going cheaply.

In response, Vikramjit Singh and Max O'Dowd each put on a half-century to open the innings as the team got to 97 with loss before Mayers struck to remove Singh.  O'Dowd went on to put 89 on the board,  forming the backbone of the innings but The Netherlands continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and ended all-out at 288.

 Shermon Lewis was the pick of the Windies bowlers after taking 3 for 36, while Akeal Hosein and Hayden Walsh each took two wickets.

 

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran has praised the team for doing a lot of the right things on the current tour of The Netherlands after securing an unassailable 2-0 series lead on Thursday.

On the back of another strong performance from Brandon King, who scored an unbeaten 91, led the Windies to a 5 wicket win at Amstelveen.  For the second game in a row the regional team chased down a figure just above 200, but the pursuit was not without its difficulties.

Also, for the second game in a row, the top order suffered somewhat of a collapse as the team lost its first three wickets for 48 runs.

“We came to Amsterdam to get victories and to be successful and I feel like we are doing a lot of the right things,” Pooran said following the match.

“Obviously, it’s a game of cricket and you can’t have the perfect game all the time…I saw with the batting that we had a bit of a collapse but then a wonderful partnership at the end and that is what we want as a team.”

The third and final match between the teams takes place on Saturday.

West Indies batsman Brandon King insists he is simply looking to cash in on his recent purple patch after scoring another half-century against New Zealand on Thursday.

After entering the batting line-up at six, with the team struggling at 4 for 60, King made a valuable 91 not out to guide the Windies to a 5 wicket win at Amstelveen.

The half-century was King’s second of the series, having scored 58 in the first match.  Overall, in the last nine matches, King has averaged 41.57 and hopes to keep accumulating high scores.

“As cricketers when times are good you have to try and cash in and score as many runs as possible,” King said following the match.

“I feel good out there so I’m trying to capitalize on that good form,” he added.

Over the past several series, King has shifted places in the team’s batting line-up, batting at 5 against The Neverlands, 2 in the previous series against India, and 4 against Ireland.  Despite having success down the order in the ongoing series, King believes that versatility is one of his strengths.”

“A part of my strength is adapting and doing what is needed for the team.  I can bat anywhere in the top 6.  This was a new role given to me but it’s not unfamiliar I am a middle-order batsman first and foremost.”

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran has expressed delight with the team’s development of strong batting partnerships in a 7 wicket win over the Netherlands, in Amstelveen, on Tuesday.

In the end, the West Indies got to the line with quite a few deliveries to spare, in large part due to a steady 119 by opening batsman Shai Hope.  Hope, however, also received plenty of support at the top of the order, including a 120-run partnership with Sharmarh Brooks for the first wicket.

Nkrumah Bonner didn’t add much to the total in the way o partnerships, after being dismissed without scoring and Pooran might also have done better after adding just 7.  However, another strong partnership between Hope and Brandon King, who added 116 for the fourth wicket, saw the team well over the line.  King added 58 for a maiden half-century.

“The way the batsmen went about it, the opening partnership of 100 plus, that was fantastic.  That’s something we have been working on as a team, just trying to build partnerships,” Pooran said, following the match.

“Hope was excellent, as usual, Sharmarh Brooks got the opportunity to bat and grabbed it with both hands.  Brandon King came and also did well in the end there, he didn’t leave it for anyone.  Kudos to King and Hope for bringing the game home for us,” he added.

 

 Legendary West Indies batsman Viv Richards is confident Nicholas Pooran was the right choice for captain of the One Day  International squad and has backed the player to do well in the position.

Pooran was named as the replacement for all-rounder Kieron Pollard last week, following the latter’s surprise decision to retire from international cricket a few weeks ago.  The decision to appoint the 25-year-old by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) panel of selectors hardly came as a surprise as the players was already being groomed for the position.

Pooran, who had served as Pollard’s vice-captain over the last year, took charge of the team for a series against India earlier this year.  For Richards who himself captained the team between 1980 and 1991, the choice was an obvious one.

“There wasn’t any other choice in my opinion. I think the young man is pretty studious about what he wants to get done. He takes his cricket pretty studiously and I am a fan of Nicholas Pooran,” Richards told the Antigua Observer.

The Master Blaster believes the player has come a long way since making his debut for the team in 2016 and has now blossomed into the role.

“Early in his career I guess there was some immaturity … but having been through the mill and where he’s at now, I think he is the perfect choice as captain.”

West Indies T20 star Chris Gayle has revealed that he skipped this season’s India Premier League (IPL) draft because he did feel like he was getting the respect he deserved.

The 42-year-old has been one of the tournament’s most successful and recognisable players since first appearing at the tournament in 2009.  The batsman, however, struggled to find his way last season while representing the Punjab Kings, managing just 193 runs from 10 games.

In addition, the batsman also made the headline after being surprisingly dropped on his birthday and eventually left the tournament early.  In the previous season, Gayle eventually scored an impressive 288 in 7 games but was left out of the team for the first 6 matches.

“For the last couple of years, the way the IPL went about, I felt like I wasn’t treated properly.  So I thought ‘okay, you (Gayle) didn’t get the respect you deserved after you did so much for the sport and IPL,” Gayle told The Mirror UK.

“So, I said ‘okay, that’s it, I’m not going to bother to enter the draft,’ so I left it as it is. There is always going to be life after cricket so I’m just trying to adapt to normality,” he added.

Much like his international career, however, Gayle does not believe his tenure in the IPL is over and claims he could return next season.

“Next year I’m coming back, they need me! I’ve represented three teams in the IPL, Kolkata, RCB, and Punjab. Between RCB and Punjab, I would love to get a title, with one of those two teams. I had a great stint with RCB where I was more successful within the IPL and Punjab, they’ve been good. I love to explore and I love challenges so let’s see what happens,” the 42-year-old said.

The India tour of the West Indies is expected to bowl off on July 22, with matches scheduled to take place in Trinidad, St Kitts, and the United States.

According to reports, the tour is expected to consist of three ODIs and five T20Is and should be the first major test for new West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran.  Pooran took charge of the team last week, following the retirement of all-rounder Kieron Pollard.

The first of the five-match T20I matches will be played at the Brian Charles Lara Stadium on July 29, and that should be followed by two encounters at Warner Park in St Kitts and Nevis between August 1 and 2.

The last two matches will also be held on back-to-back days, but that venue will be in Florida on August 6 and 7.

Things will get underway with the 50-over matches, which will be conducted at Trinidad’s Queen Park Oval on July 22, 24, and 27.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons insists he understands and respects the decision of recently retired captain Kieron Pollard but insists the player’s passion and desire will be sorely missed.

After nearly 16-years representing the regional team and three years in charge of both the One Day International (ODI) and T20 squads, the 34-year-old Pollard announced his decision to step away from international cricket last week.

“Skipper it is sad to see you retire from the maroon shirt so early…I completely understand,” Simmons said, addressing the issue via Facebook.

“Your ability to give players your backing and trust to deliver and your strong leadership both on and off the field was a joy to work with,” he added.

Pollard took charge of both squads in 2019 and experienced mixed fortunes during his tenure.  The T20 squad lost 21 of 39 matches and had a disastrous defense of its World Cup title.  The ODI squad on the other hand fared better, winning 13 and losing 11 of 21 matches played.  Still, Simmons hailed Pollard as a positive force for pushing players to reach their full potential and having a genuine desire to see the team do well.

“Your passion for pushing players to build on skills and knowledge of the game and more. Your unwillingness to settle for mediocrity was a pleasure to work with,” Simmons said.

“Your undoubted passion for the game and especially the Maroon Shirt together with your desire to bring success to the West Indies cricket team henceforth Cricket West Indies will be missed. You will be missed.”

Recently retired West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has faced his fair share of critics but ends his international career with one of the highest win percentages of any captain to lead the One Day International (ODI) team in the last 20 years.

The 34-year-old, who took charge of the ODI team in September 2019, called time on an international career that spanned some 16 years and a three-year spell in charge of two regional teams.  In ODI’s, Pollard led the team for 24 games, winning 13, losing 11, and drawing none for a win percentage of 54.17.

 Alone that would not seem so impressive, turns out that’s not so bad, as far as West Indies captains go.  Pollard’s win percentage puts him ahead of Dwayne Bravo (44.44), Darren Sammy (36.00), and Jason Holder (27.91).  The big-hitters win percentage also puts him above the like of legends Brian Lara, who won 47.20 percent of his games, and Chris Gayle who had a 32.08 win ratio.

His success rate for T20s has been much less than the ODI’s.  Pollard’s 33.33-win ratio puts him well behind Sammy at 59.57, Bravo at 50 percent, Gayle at 41.18 percent, and Carlos Braithwaite at 36.67.

West Indies legend, Sir Andy Roberts, has called for more aggression from the Caribbean fast bowlers ahead of the third and decisive Test against England, which bowls off in Grenada on Wednesday.

So far, bowlers have rarely managed to gain the ascendancy with the two previous pitches in Antigua and Barbados offering very little in the way of assistance.  In the previous Test, a total of 1,238 runs were scored, including a deflating 507 for 9 declared scored by England in the first innings.

If the West Indies are to break the deadlock on the back of two prior draws, Roberts believes the region’s pace bowlers must give more effort at the crease to unsettle the English batsmen.

“Aggressive doesn’t mean you have to be up in somebody’s face, but you can be aggressive in your approach, you can be aggressive in your steering because that’s one of the things I did. I never swore but when I looked at you and I see you turn away, then I say ‘yes, I have you because you can’t look me in the eye’, and that is what is required,” Roberts told the Good Morning Jojo Radio program.

“I see many West Indian fast bowlers going back to the days of Mervyn Dillion, Reon King, and when they get hit for boundaries they smile, they don’t get upset,” he added.

“The ball doesn’t come off the pitch faster than you release it, so if you’re a fast bowler then it means you’re a fast bowler, you can’t be a fast bowler and a fast-medium bowler. What is being taught today is line and length and bowl fourth and fifth stump outside the off stump, but instead of attacking the batsman, attacking the stumps, they are bowling outside of off stump, which is what they practice so sometimes it seems as though the coaches are at fault sometimes. In order to get the best out of the fast bowlers, you have to encourage them to bowl fast.”

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite insists he has not completely turned his back on the shorter formats of cricket, despite sole dedication to red-ball cricket for the past several years.

Few can argue that the format has certainly suited the opener.  On Saturday, against England, Brathwaite scored his 10th international century, and the batsman has been far and away the team’s most consistent player over the last five years.  Overall, it is Brathwaite who has scored the most runs during the period with 1730.

Brathwaite has never played a T20 international for the West Indies and has not played a One Day International since 2017.  The formats could, however, pique his interest in the future.

“It’s just unfortunate that every time we have a Test series it’s during our 50 over tournament.  So, I don’t get an opportunity to perform in that format,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Saturday.

“I still love to play 50 over cricket, it’s an aspiration of mine but obviously Test cricket I have been fighting hard for the last few years and I really enjoy it, the grind, but at some point, I would love to get back into ODI cricket,” he added.

“T20 as well, obviously you get into 50 over and show progress there and then get into T20.  It will be tough but I’m still looking to get there.”

 

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite hopes to see a more efficient performance from the bowling line-up as the team eyes pulling ahead of England when the three-match Test series resumes on Monday.

In the opening match, a total of 1,182 runs were scored over five days in a stern examination of bowlers from both teams.  Things did not start out that way, however, as the Windies took four wickets at the top of the first innings only for Jonny Bairstow to lead England’s recovery in the middle overs.

“I think we just have to be a bit more disciplined in the middle periods, probably a little tighter, under three runs an over, I think.  Creating that pressure will help to get more wickets in the middle overs,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Tuesday.

The West Indies will have fond recent memories of facing the English in Barbados having secured a massive 381 run win when the teams last met at the venue in 2019.  Brathwaite was quick to point out, however, that the team would not be preoccupied with history.

 “I think it’s history, to be honest, and we really have to look more to the future and be more disciplined.  I think we can draw from some things we did well, so of the players for sure, but I think we have to buckle down and start fresh.”

Brilliant centuries from Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur fueled India Women to a massive win over West Indies Women at the ICC Women’s World Cup on Saturday.

The loss was the first for the Caribbean team who began the tournament with wins over New Zealand and England.  The powerful combination of Mandhana and Kaur, however, typified an attacking India and set the Windies a daunting 318 for a third straight win, which would always have been a difficult scenario.

In pursuit, the West Indies did, however, get off to a flyer with opener Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews smashing the India bowlers around the ground.  Suffering from back issues Dottin was particularly aggressive as she looked to deal in boundaries to avoid scampering between the wickets.  In fact, the all-rounder reached her fifty in just 35 balls and the Windies were 81 without loss at the end of the Powerplay.

Spinner Sneh Rana, however, eventually got the breakthrough as Dottin's miscalculated sweep attempt was caught.  Facing the massive target, wickets continued to tumble for the West Indies with Meghna Singh joining Rana in the attack to pick up the wickets of Kycia Knight and Stafanie Taylor.  Rana then dismissed Matthews.

With the required run-rate around seven, the pressure of run-scoring got to the rest of the Windies batting line-up, which saw the team bundled out for just 162, still 156 runs short.

Earlier Mandhana smashed 123 from 119 balls and Harmanpreet contributed 109 from just 107 deliveries.  Their partnership was the highest by any Indian duo at a Women's Cricket World Cup, beating Thirush Kamini and Punam Raut's 175-run opening stand against the West Indies at the 2013 edition of the tournament.

West Indies pace bowler Shakera Selman has hailed the growth of all-rounder Deandra Dottin and the prominent role she continues to play not just on the pitch but increasingly these days also off it.

With three One Day International 100s to her name, the 30-year-old has been undoubtedly been one of the team’s most influential players since making her debut in 2008.  On the back of recent performances, which were critical in the team’s wins over New Zealand and then England, it is clear that that much hasn’t changed.  But at least some things have

According to Selman, in addition to her on-field heroics, Dottin, like so many great players, has matured not just into the role of serving as a role model for the next generation, but also in terms of imparting tactical know-how whenever possible.

“Deandra has grown tremendously as a leader over the past few years.  She was the vice-captain when we were back in England in 2020 and I think given that responsibility she has grown tremendously,” Selman told members of the media on Friday.

“We’ve seen helping a lot with the youngsters, she is a bit aggressive and that helps in the field, helps as a batter.  She is always offering advice to all the youngsters, even the senior players.  Now she is in conversation with Stafanie Taylor on the field when we are trying to make crucial decisions,” she added.

Dottin and the West Indies will look for a third straight win in a row when they take on India on Friday night at 8:00 pm.   

 

Veteran West Indies Women’s spinner and vice-captain Anisa Mohammed has hailed the match-changing impact of all-rounder Deandra Dottin on the back of the team’s second straight win at the ICC Women’s World Cup.

By her normal standards, Dottin has had an average start to the tournament with the bat, scoring just 43 in two matches.  An abundance of caution in regard to a recent shoulder injury also means the player has not bowled a lot of overs either.  Despite that, however, Dottin has a knack for showing up when her team needs her.

On Wednesday, with England off to a solid start in pursuit of a below-par West Indies score of 225 for 6, Dottin flew high, at full stretch and with one hand, to pluck a hard cut shot from opener Laura Winfield-Hill out of the sky and give the team a crucial breakthrough.

In the team’s first match, against New Zealand, with the hosts needing just six in the last over Dottin, who had not bowled for the whole match, demanded the ball and promptly took two wickets and effected a run out to secure a dramatic win for the team.

“Deandra is one of the persons that set a high standard for herself in whatever aspect of the game she plays…I think that was a crucial moment in the game,” Mohammed told members of the media.

“Deandra is a game-changer, whether it is with bat or ball or in the field.  It was a spectacular catch and I know we can expect more from Deandra.”

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