A cracking half-century from Shemaine Campbelle and a decisive late-match spell from experienced spinner Anisa Mohammed propelled the West Indies Women to a narrow 7-run win over England and a second straight win at the ICC Women’s World Cup.

In a game that featured several swings in momentum, England seemed on course for victory after Sophie Ecclestone and Kate Cross combined to put on 61 for the ninth wicket.

In the last three overs, England needed just nine runs for victory and still had two wickets in hand.  In the 48th over Eccelstone went after Mohammed who missed a return catch but inadvertently run out Cross at the non-striker's end.  The experienced Anya Shrubsole was then bowled by the spinner to leave England all out on 218 and set off jubilant celebrations.

In their turn at the crease, the West Indies were off to an excellent start and seemed set for a big target with openers Hayley Matthews (45) and Deandra Dottin (31) putting 81 on the board, with 58 of those runs coming during the opening powerplay.

England spinner Ecclestone, however, was introduced into the attack with great effect and turned the match on its head during an eventful 21st over as the West Indies lost three wickets in five deliveries.

Matthews was the first to go after edging Ecclestone to Anya Shrubsole and Dottin was run out three balls later, courtesy of some excellent fielding from the experienced Danni Wyatt.

The West Indies then lost skipper Stafanie Taylor first ball as Ecclestone gave England the ascendancy, but Campbelle and Chedean Nation (49*) launched a furious fightback with an impressive 123-run stand for the fifth wicket.  

Campbelle eventually fell to Nat Sciver in the penultimate over, but the West Indies had recovered sufficiently from a mid-innings collapse eventually ending with a score of 225 for 6.  Ecclestone ended with figures of 3 for 20.

The win moved the Caribbean team up to second in the table, while England will have plenty of work to do if they are to repeat their 2017 heroics.

 

West Indies fast bowler, Chinelle Henry, insists the team is determined to take things one game at a time after a dizzying start to the ICC Women's World Cup, which saw them net a thrilling win over hosts New Zealand.

On the back of a fine century from opener Hayley Matthews and crunch-death bowling from all-rounder Deandra Dottin, the team snatched a narrow 3-run win over the Kiwis in their first match. 

The Windies return to action Tuesday, at 5:00 pm, for the first time since that game, and Henry insists they will head into the contest grounded and focused on the task at hand.  England will be looking to get on the board after losing their first encounter against Australia.

“For us, it really is game by game. That first game against New Zealand - Yes, we had discussions with the coaching staff. We had discussions with everybody - but as a team, you know going out there we just had the discussions among ourselves that doesn't matter what happened,” Henry said on Monday.

“We just have - once everybody takes up the responsibility that I am going to do it for the team, then collectively we will just - we all will do it for the team. And I think that's the mentality we have brought into this team going into this World Cup - that if every single player put up their hand and be like, okay, today's my day, then when all 11 players come together collectively, we will and can beat anything.”

A former member of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) has been ordered to play former West Indies cricketer Dinanath Ramnarine US$122,768.85 in damages for a 2016 Facebook post, which was found to be libelous.

Rafi Ali who was president of the Esmeralda Cricket Club and a nominated member of the TTCB made the comments while Ramnarine was a member of the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago.

In addressing the matter, Master of the High Court Martha Alexander insisted that Ali acted deliberately, jeeringly, and maliciously.  She believed the judgment would “serve to caution any defendant who uses Facebook or any other social media platform to libel and destroy a claimant’s reputation that he will feel the punitive arm of the court acting to deter such behaviour.”

She added that Ali’s Facebook statement was posted to destroy Ramnarine’s reputation.

“And the court must send a message that such reckless abuse of social media platforms must stop.  The defendant before this court will not be allowed to use Facebook to boost his popularity at the claimant’s expense or ‘to sell another man’s reputation for profit.”

The fees amounted to US$114,382 in damages, plus interest and an additional US$8,386 in legal fees.

West Indies middle-order batsman Nkrumah Bonner insists the approach toward England will be the same despite the visitors missing two of their most experienced fast bowlers in Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

The duo was unexpectedly dropped for the tour of the Caribbean, albeit being England’s leading wicket-takers. Since 2004, Anderson has played 22 matches against the West Indies and taken 87 wickets, the most by any England player, 36 of those wickets have come in 10 matches in the Caribbean.  His best figures of 7 for 49 also came against the West Indies in 2017.

 Broad, who first featured against the West Indies in 2009, has gone on to take 73 wickets.  Despite the absence of the two dominant bowlers that have wreaked havoc in the team's batting line-up over the years, however, Bonner insists the team’s mental approach will not be different as the English still have plenty of firepower.

“It’s a Test match nevertheless, whether Anderson or Broad are playing.  Obviously, they still have quality bowlers and the same application is required,” Bonner told members of the media on Saturday.

“In every series, it’s the same approach and this one will be no different,” he added.

Bonner insists he is looking forward to the challenge of facing England.

“After coming from India, I played some four-day games in Barbados.  I was able to spend some time at the crease and obviously coming into this camp I’ve done a lot of hard work as well, and I’m looking forward to playing against England.  It will be an important series for us.”

 

 

West Indies Women all-rounder Hayley Matthews is hopeful that a stunning upset of New Zealand to bowl off the ICC Women’s World Cup will give the team plenty of momentum moving forward.

In a magnificent player-of-the-match performance, Matthews put together a shot-filled 119 from 128 and claimed bowling figures of 2 for 41 to anchor the West Indies in a nail-biting 3-run win over the hosts.

Prior to the win, the team had not defeated New Zealand in the format since 2014 and it was only their second win in 7 meetings between the teams at the tournament.  The innings, her third ODI century and first at the World Cup, also represented a career run high for Matthews and was the team’s fourth-highest total at the World Cup.

For a team that few would have listed among the favourites, it was a solid start to the tournament.  

“It’s exactly what we were looking to come out here and do, get off to a really good start and hopefully we can carry this momentum into the rest of the tournament,” Matthews said, following the match.

Matthews seemed to be set to bat in the middle order for the World Cup, after several strong performances in that position heading into the tournament.  The player was, however, promoted back to the spot she had previously occupied after an injury to Rashada Williams.

“I didn’t know how I felt about it at first, seeing I was pretty comfortable at 5 but I’m the type of player that whatever the team needs, I’m looking to try and do.  It seemed to work out all right."

  

A brilliant century from Hayley Matthews and miraculous death bowling from Deandra Dottin led the West Indies Women to a stunning 3-run victory over New Zealand to open the ICC Women’s World Cup at Mount Maunganui on Friday.

In a wonderful advert for women's cricket, the all-around entertaining affair got the thrilling ending it merited.  With the West Indies needing to defend just 6 runs in the last over, Dottin, who has hardly been seen with the ball over the last few months, stepped up to take 2 for 2, and also effected a run-out, to finally wrap up brave New Zealand resistance in her only over of the match. 

The result meant the West Indies had successfully defended 259 for 9, their third-highest total ever recorded at the tournament.

Earlier, a brilliant 119 of 128 from Matthews, who was named the player of the match, set the stage for the West Indies triumph.  Unexpectedly returning to the top of the order after Rashada Williams was ruled out of the match due to concussion protocol, Matthews hit 16 fours and a six, dispatching New Zealand’s bowlers to all parts of the ground while proving to be the stable catalyst the West Indies needed.

Dottin, who opened with Matthews, had promised a similar type of performance but was sent packing after hitting three fours and skying another attempt to Jess Kerr after playing across the line off Lea Tahuhu. 

With Kycia Knight then departing for just 5, Matthews formed a crucial 66-run partnership with captain Stafanie Taylor, which helped the West Indies reach 100 at a steady five runs an over.  The partnership was broken when Taylor was caught behind after clipping off Tahuhu. 

It was, however, one only of three partnerships Matthews would be involved in as she also paired with Shemaine Campbelle and Chedean Nation to glue the team’s innings together. 

Matthews was eventually dismissed going after Kerr as Hannah Rowe held on to the catch in the deep.  Nation's 46-ball 36 and then Anisa Mohammed's six-ball 11, however, added valuable runs for the team at the end of the innings.  Tahuhu was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with 3 for 57, while Kerr claimed 2 for 43.

In pursuit, Sophie Devine struck a magnificent century to keep New Zealand's chase on track, for the most part, and Katey Martin and Kerr's quickfire 40-run partnership brought it down to run-a-ball for the last over before the timely intervention of Dottin.

Legendary West Indies bowler Sir Andy Roberts has expressed concern that the current generation of players is suffering from a lack of genuine pace.

In his heyday, Roberts was part of a generation of fierce West Indian pace bowlers, a line-up which also included the likes of Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Colin Croft, and Malcolm Marshall, who were all known for terrorizing opposition batsmen with brutally quick deliveries.

While admitting that the up-and-coming pace bowlers can at times reach top speeds, Roberts does not believe the performances have been sustained for long enough periods of time.

“What West Indies has been lacking for a while is a genuine fast bowler.  We have fast bowlers, but we don’t have anyone of genuine pace who at night the batsmen can’t see because you are thinking of tomorrow.  We haven’t had that for a long time,” Roberts told the Mason and Guest radio program.

The former quick believes a part of the issue has to do with the workload required to sustain top speeds throughout a game.

“Fast bowling is hard work, and a lot of people don’t like to work hard.  They believe that the ball comes quicker off the pitch than when you release it.  They are not prepared to put in the hard work, the donkey work," he added.

“I find that our fast bowlers can’t bowl fast for more than 2 or 3 overs.  It’s because they’re not strong enough, their legs are not strong enough.” 

Windies paceman Shannon Gabriel is currently the fastest of the current crop, but Roberts believes, even for him, there is a significant drop-off in pace the longer the bowler plays in a match.

“It’s your legs that carry you through as a fast bowler not just your chest…when Shannon Gabriel was bowling in the 90s, he bowled a number of balls 92, 95 but that was between 10 and 11 o clock between 2 and 3 o clock it's down to high 80s.  Why, because his legs aren’t strong enough.”

Windies opener Jeremy Solozano was run-out on his return to the crease as the West Indies President’s XI found themselves in early trouble, in pursuit of England’s sizable first-innings total, on day 2 of a four-day warm-up match at Coolidge.

The team’s ambitions of getting off to good start in their quest to match England’s first innings total of 466 for 6 declared was immediately put in check after a mix-up between Solozano and opening partner Shane Moseley saw the latter sent back to the pavilion for just 16.

Moseley did not last much longer as he was dismissed for 20 after wildly pursuing a delivery from spinner Jack Leach, which left the team struggling at 48 for 2 at the end of play.  Keacy Carty (8) and Devon Thomas (1) were the not-out batsmen at the crease heading into Thursday's day three.

Earlier, damaging knocks from Dan Lawrence and Jonny Bairstow underpinned England's solid total.  After resuming the day at 251 for 4, Bairstow and Lawrence pushed the team past the first session without losing a wicket.  Lawrence departed soon after the resumption, however, after he was caught at first slip, on 87, after edging a delivery from Colin Archibald.

Bairstow took over after lunch, pushing the score to 339 for 5, along with Ben Foakes before the latter was dismissed, for 25, after going after a short ball from Shermon Lewis.

Woakes then joined Bairstow at the crease to add a useful 49 for 91 deliveries before the team declared.  Bairstow remained unbeaten on106 from 158.  For the West Indies, Lewis ended with 2 for 75, while Archibald claimed 1 for 67.

 

Off-spinner Bryan Charles claimed a three-for to lead the resistance for West Indies President’s XI, amidst a trio of England half-centuries on day one of the four-day warm-up match at Coolidge.

Opener Alex Lees top-scored with a solid 65 off 214, and partner Zak Crawley made 62, with an additional half-century from England captain Joe Root, who added 54 from 105, as England closed the opening day on 251 for 4. 

After winning the toss and choosing to bat Lees and Crawley had England off to a comfortable start, until the partnership of 88 without loss was broken by Charles who had the batsman bowled.  Root joined Lees at the crease and the pair carried the total to 186 for 1, before Root had his stumps swept away by Shermon Lewis.  Lees' steady innings came to an end a few overs later when he was bowled around the legs by Charles.  All-rounder Ben Stokes never really got settled and was out caught at the slips after flashing at a Charles delivery, having made just 11 from 29.

Jonny Bairstow joined Dan Lawrence at the crease and the two saw out the rest of the day without further incident.  Charles ended the day with figures of 3 for 88, while Lewis ended with 1 for 48.

Leeward Island Hurricanes batsman Devon Thomas has earmarked the upcoming West Indies President’s XI match as another opportunity to showcase his ability with improved consistency.

The 32-year-old top-order batsman has been one of the outstanding players in the West Indies Championship so far.  After two rounds, the player’s 242 runs scored at an average of 80.66 puts him second behind West Indies red ball captain Kraigg Brathwaite, who has scored 341 so far.

The Leeward Hurricanes have won one match and lost one match so far, his highest score of 112 critical in a fightback against Barbados.  Despite his exploits, he was not named to the West Indies squad to face England in the first Test but did find his name among those taking part in a 12-man President’s XI squad.

“I’m just looking at it as getting the opportunity to play some cricket, so I give thanks for that. I was motivated since last year during the 2020/21 season and I just (took) it over into 2022 and try to do a lot better and be a bit more consistent. I am trying to stay in the moment and trying to be more consistent,” Thomas told the Antigua Observer.

“I had a goal before the match where I was looking for 150 runs, but I got a bit close to that. It could have been more, but I was pleased at the end of the day. I think we had good performances in both games but we were short of a player in the first game when Jerimiah Louis came down with a sickness and we played with 10 men throughout the whole game.”

The CWI President’s XI squad will play England in a four-day warm-up match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) starting March 1.

West Indies pace bowler Shannon Gabriel remains very much a part of the plans of the new Desmond Haynes-led selection panel despite not being selected in the squad for the first Test against England.

The 33-year-old pace bowler, who has been playing for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the West Indies Championship, was not named among the 15-man squad for the first Test or Presidents XI.  His omission is, however, due to sustaining a hamstring injury.

“Shannon was injured in the game that he played in Trinidad.  We were told by the medical panel that he is having a bit of a problem with his hamstring and would not be fit for selection,” Haynes told members of the media on Wednesday.

“Shannon did very well against England the last tour here.  He’s probably our fastest bowler and we are hoping to get him fit so that he can be on the park."

Overall Gabriel has taken 37 wickets against England in 11 matches and took 5 for 25 and overall figures of 9 for 137 when he face England in 2020.  The English went on to win the series 2-1.  Concerns have been raised over the player’s workload in recent times after the fast bowler has found himself sidelined by a few injuries.

Out-of-favour West Indies opening batsman Kieran Powell has admitted it was a disappointment to not at least be considered for the CWI President’s XI squad ahead of the upcoming four-match Test series against England.

The 31-year-old left-hander missed out on a chance under the new selection panel, after being skipped over in favour of Jamaica batsman John Campbell.  Powell, who last played for the West Indies last August against Pakistan, has scored 144 runs in two matches for the Leeward Islands in the West Indies Championship, the seventh-best so far.

Campbell has in the meantime scored 213.  With performances, the batsman believes there could also have been some consideration for Leewards no. 3 Devon Thomas who has scored 242, the second most behind West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite, who has 341.

“I definitely thought that if I didn’t make the Test squad I would make the President’s XI based on the performances, but I saw Devon Thomas batting the way that nobody else in the Caribbean batted in those two games and if the team is going to be selected on performances, the way that he has played is second to none so you would like to think that he would have gotten into this squad,” Powell told the Mason and Guest radio show.

Despite not making the squad, however, Powell was pleased with his start to the season and expressed disappointment at the competition going on a break during the England tour.

“I’m pretty happy with where I was able to get to.  I’m very disappointed the season was halted after two matches because you would have seen cricket not being played for two years and guys were so excited to get back out there and the level of cricket the Leewards played in those games, we had some tough decisions against Barbados and a few things could have gone our way.”

 

Former West Indies batsman, Carlisle Best, insists he does not understand the reluctance by Cricket West Indies (CWI) to part ways with team captain Kieron Pollard and coach Phil Simmons given the team’s recent poor run of performances.

Simmons, who was appointed a coach of the team in 2019, and Pollard, who was appointed West Indies white-ball captain that same year, have come under immense pressure in recent months, following a string of bad results and poor performances.

An aging Windies squad put in a poorly, lackluster showing at last year’s T20 World Cup, where they exited meekly, and followed that up with a historical One Day International series loss to Ireland and 3-0 T20 series sweep at the hands of Pakistan.

The team rallied to beat England 3-2 in a T20 series against England last month but were defeated 6-0 overall, 3-0 (ODI), 3-0 (T20I), in their most recent tour of India.  In particular,  the batting form of the team has been lambasted with many believing there to be an overall lack of concentration or engagement.  Best believes given the results the leaders of the squad have to be judged on what they have accomplished to date.

“What kind of leader is not going to be accountable for the results that occur under his stewardship,” Best told the Mason and Guest radio show. 

“If we are going forward, we have to focus primarily on performances and those performances have to be result oriented…Do we want a winning team and can we find that winning formula, certainly we do not have that formula now with either captain Pollard or coach Simmons. It’s as simple as that,” he added.

“The writing was on the wall a long time ago when he made the comment publicly that IPL and Trinidad came before West Indies cricket that is well documented and yet he finds himself as a Putin of West Indies cricket.”

West Indies lead selector, Desmond Haynes, insists fixing the squad’s issues at the top of the order will be a priority for the new panel.

The team’s struggles, particularly at the top of the order, have been well documented in recent times.  The issue of finding a consistent partner for team captain Kraigg Brathwaite is one of the primary concerns.

Over the last five years, Brathwaite, who has scored 2188 in 40 matches during that time, has been consistent but it has proven to be somewhat of a carousel in terms of finding an opening pairing with Kieron Powell, John Campbell, and Shai Hope all being trailed for the spot at various times.

In November, Jeremy Solozano was also set to be trialed in the position, against Sri Lanka, but did not get the opportunity after being struck on the helmet while fielding.  Ahead of the England series, Haynes and the selectors have decided to turn back to Campbell who was dropped from the team in June of last year.

The batsman has had a strong start to the West Indies Championship after scoring 213 runs in two matches so far.  Since 2019, Campbell has played 15 matches for the West Indies scoring 640 runs.

“There was good discussion regarding the opening.  That in itself is something we want to resolve shortly.  I think in all the good teams you find they have good opening batsmen so we are hoping to get our opening batsmen some confidence and make sure they can do the job for us,” Haynes told members of the media on Tuesday.

“I think we went with Campbell not just because he got the 100 but talking to the captain and him batting with Campbell in the games that he has played, we had a bit of success there,” he added.

“It was a bit unfortunate for Jeremy but we decided we would put him in the president’s XI’s game where the selectors could have another look at him because it was a bit unfortunate because after being struck on the head he didn’t get a chance to play in Sri Lanka.  

West Indies batsman Rovman Powell believes a nice understanding at the crease is developing between himself and vice-captain Nicholas Pooran after putting together another strong partnership, albeit this time in a losing effort.

India wrapped up the three-match T20 series with an 8 run win over the West Indies, after setting a more than competitive 186 for 5 in the first innings.  Thanks to the efforts of Powell and Pooran, however, the team managed to get close to the score on the back of their 100-run partnership, in 60 balls.

It was the second time in just a few weeks the duo was combining to good effect.  Against England in the third T20 international, the duo combined for 122 for 67.  In fact, Pooran and Powell have been one of the most productive partnerships over the last four years, scoring 346 in 7 innings.

“Me and Pooran, from the last series, we have been developing a nice little bromance, a nice little partnership in a sense with him batting 3 and me batting four.  It’s important for us at that point, at that position, where we bat three and four to get partnerships,” Pooran told members of the media, following the match.

“We got another partnership of 100 plus today, it’s for us to take all the things we did right today and improve the stuff that needs to improve going forward.”

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