Windies middle-order batsman turned opener, Sunil Ambris, is filled with pride at becoming the first man from St Vincent and the Grenadines to score an international century after his heroics for the Windies saw the Caribbean side romping to a five-wicket victory against Ireland in the Walton Tri-Series in Malahide Cricket Ground in Dublin on Saturday. 

St Vincent and the Grenadines batsman Sunil Ambris has scored his maiden One Day International century for the Windies, getting to three figures in a Walton Tri-Series ODI game against Ireland.

A century from Ireland batsman Andy Balbirnie has put the visiting Windies behind the eight-ball during the fourth match of the Walton Tri-Series in Dublin. 

Windies skipper Jason Holder insists the team is determined to put on a much better display in the third One Day International (ODI) against Ireland on Saturday, following a disappointing performance against Bangladesh in the second game.

After getting off to a blazing start with a close to record total of 381 in the first match against Ireland, on the back of centuries from John Campbell and Shai Hope.  The follow-up effort against Bangladesh was far less impressive after the team was dismissed for 264, despite getting off to a solid start.  Holder, however, insisted the team would focus on getting back to basics at the crease.

“I thought we batted really well in the first game and the second game was a little bit tougher in terms of the pace of the wicket and trying to get runs flowing.  We have had a lot of discussions about how we could improve if we find ourselves back in that situation,” Holder said.

“We trying to get 300 plus runs on the board every time that we bat.  Having said that we were just a little bit off the ball in the last game.  This game we are just looking to so do a few things better and get to that 300 mark.”

Windies captain Jason Holder has hailed the contribution of young players John Campbell and Shai Hope who have made promising starts to their careers so far.

The 25-year-old Campbell and 21-year-old Hope put on a world record 349 runs partnership as the team steamrolled Ireland in the opening match of the One Day tri-nation series.  The century was the first for Campbell in six games, but he had otherwise been off to solid start in prior matches, leading to a healthy average of 49.60.

Hope has perhaps been even more impressive as his follow-up century against Bangladesh in a losing effort, carried him to 2056 runs in 51 ODIs, making him one of the quickest Windies players to 2000 runs.

“Both of them have played well (Campbell, Hope) Shai especially, he’s probably been our most consistent player over the last two years.  It’s been really good to see him backing up performance the way he has done,” Holder said.

“I just saw a stat coming up that he is the quickest West Indian to 2000 runs, which is a really phenomenal feat.  I saw the list of guys on the tv and its really good for him to be in that company,” he added.

“If he continues he could be one of our best ODI players to ever play.  Performances like that from young players is something we definitely looking for.”

Top Windies T20 batsman Kieron Pollard will return to his home nation of Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the new Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.

The 31-year-old previously represented the twin-island republic in Twenty20 cricket as part of a national team that contested the now defunct Caribbean Twenty20 league.  Since the inception of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) the big batsman has plied his trade elsewhere.  He spent five seasons with Barbados Tridents and the last one with St Lucia Stars.

Pollard has, however, been named the franchise player for the Trinbago Knight Riders for the upcoming edition of the tournament.

"We are delighted to welcome Pollard back home and it's great to continue our efforts to bring as many Trini boys home as possible," Venky Mysore, the team director, said in a statement.

"I can't wait for the reaction of the fans when Pollard takes the field at our opening game on 4 September."

The Knight Riders, who have won the two previous editions of the tournament, previously had both T&T nationals Darren and Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin and spinner Sunil Narine in its ranks as T&T nationals.  Pollard previously captained the Barbados Tridents.

  Windies all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall has once again launched a bid to improve upon his fitness, generally regarded as a major stumbling block to this inclusion in the senior team.

The 26-year Antiguan native is yet to receive a call to Windies squad, despite consistently performing well at both the regional and Windies A level.  In the most recent Regional Super50 competition, Cornwall took 54 wickets in nine matches at 17.68 apiece to be crowned the competition’s top bowler. 

The Leeward Islands Hurricanes talisman has also dominated at the West Indies A level on both home and overseas tours and currently boasts 256 first-class wickets at an average of 23.

Standing at an estimated 6’5 tall and close to 300 pounds, Cornwall has made several attempts to improve on his overall fitness but is seemingly yet to make any significant progress on achieving the required fitness level.  Cornwall is, however, hoping his latest stint with noted trainer Ronald Rogers will pay dividends.

“Training-wise, I am trying to get as fit as I can because I think I am preparing for India,” Cornwall told the Antigua Observer.

“It’s nothing in terms of getting to a particular weight but just to see how far I can get as quickly as possible between now and June,” he added.

The Windies are expected to host India during a full tour scheduled for June.

“It is something that I am up for and something I am happy about so it’s just up to me now to put in the work.”

Windies top order batsmen Shai Hope and John Campbell set a new world record for an opening partnership, after amassing a jaw-dropping 369 in the first One Day International (ODI) against Ireland, in Dublin, on Sunday.

Campbell, who was recording his maiden ODI century after six appearances, stroked a majestic 179 off 137 balls.  Hope, who was recording a 5th century coming from 50 ODI matches, made seven runs less runs off 152 balls.

The new mark replaced the previous best of 304 set by Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan against Zimbabwe in 2018.  The previous best by a West Indian opening pair was 200, set by Stuart Williams and Shivnarine Chanderpaul against India in 1997.  Overall, the total is the second highest ODI runs partnership for any batting pair, just behind the 372 set by Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle against Zimbabwe in 2015.

The record partnership put the regional team in a strong position against Ireland, after ending the innings with a total of 381 for 3.  The score was also the second highest ODI total posted by the West Indies, just below the 389 set by the regional team against England at the National Stadium in Grenada earlier this year.

With the West Indies allowing a number of its players in the Indian Premier League to remain during a tour of Ireland for a tri-nation series involving Bangladesh, there is a rare opportunity for places at the ICC Cricket World Cup. 

West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick believes the coming tri-series against Ireland and Bangladesh presents an opportunity for the young players to gain experience and for the World-Cup bound players to get some useful match practice.

Four years after suffering a serious car injury, Windies batsman Nicholas Pooran has high hopes of playing a big part for the team at this month’s ICC World Cup in England.

The 23-year-old Trinidad and Tobago native was named as part of a 15-man squad, which will travel to England determined to make a mark on the tournament in a few days’ time.  However, the position he now finds himself in is quite remarkable considering the fact that two years ago he was left to wonder if he would ever walk again.  After returning from training in Port of Spain, Pooran ruptured his left patellar tendon and fractured his ankle.  The injuries left the player sidelined for several months.

“West Indies has a lot of talented players like it has always had. Obviously, things are shaping well for the World Cup and we are looking forward to it. Hope I do a great job,” Pooran said.

“The conditions in England will obviously be colder. The one thing would be to (understand) the conditions and then adjusting (accordingly) to the longer format of the game. This is our job, and this is what we do day in and out, so we have to (realize) the situation and get ready for the World Cup.”

 

Windies all-rounder Andre Russell has admitted he is champing at the bit to get back on the field for the regional team, after recently being included in a 15-man squad for next month’s ICC World Cup.  

The bullish all-rounder has been in fine form for Indian Premier League squad (IPL) Kolkata Knight Riders this season, where he has scored 406 runs from 11 games, at a brilliant strike rate of 209.27. 

Despite having not played in ODI cricket since last year against Bangladesh, the 30-year-old is confident of making an impact in England next month.  Russell was previously called to the ODI squad for the series against England but could not take the field after being hampered by a knee injury.

"I'm so hungry now to represent the West Indies.  The last time I joined the West Indies team was recently, when I had taken two injections to better my knee and it flared up again. I was so upset. I was watching the game against England and couldn't do anything about it,” Russell said.

"I wasn't surprised that I was called to the World Cup squad.  I've been doing well, I've been back and forth with the selectors and the coaches back home. I know once I'm doing my work here and performing, it will lead to national duties. I wasn't focused on the World Cup. I was just making sure that whatever happened here, I was doing my best,” he added.

 

The Windies have a plan to manage the workload of Andre Russell at the ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales next month. 

Mystery spinner, Sunil Narine, who was recently left out of the Windies’ provisional 15-man squad to the World Cup in England next month, is insistent that he is not done with the regional team.

Narine has turned down a number of invitations from Cricket West Indies to be part of Windies One Day International teams for a variety of reasons.

The spinner, who was sidelined from cricket on two occasions because of an illegal action, had once said he wasn’t confident he could bowl 10 overs because of his revamped action.

Narine’s various issues have meant he hasn’t played an ODI for almost three years, dating back to October 2016, and his most recent comments about an injury ruling him out have been met with, scepticism.

That scepticism comes from the fact that Narine is, at the moment, playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, but the spinner claims he cannot manage more than that.

Narine sustained a torn ligament in his right middle finger a few months ago and has since been restricted in the type of deliveries and the number of them, he can bowl.

“I would have loved to play in the World Cup,” said Narine during an interview with ESPNcricinfo.

“I have missed international cricket and I’ve missed representing West Indies. It’s where my heart lies,” he said.

According to Narine, even playing T20 cricket has put a strain on the injury and he can’t get through four overs without work from the physiotherapist.

“I don't feel my finger is quite ready for ODI cricket. I can get through a T20 where I bowl just four overs. But even that isn't easy and I need help from the physio. It's holding me back from playing international cricket. I wouldn't be able to do myself or the team justice,” he said.

Narine believes that despite the scepticism from people in the Caribbean, the selectors and, in essence, Cricket West Indies, are sympathetic to his situation and the entities are well on their way, in terms of an improved relationship.

"I'm really happy that the selectors considered me," said Narine.

"It shows they have faith in me. I haven't played international cricket in so long and this shows how much they want me to come back. It was good to have some conversations with them and I feel we're all on the same page going forward."

Windies batting star Chris Gayle believes the upcoming World Cup will be a wide open one and the regional team could have a good a chance as any to lift the title.

The 39-year-old star batsman believes that the hosts England will start favourite when the tournament bowls off next month, but with other teams know to extract good performances from conditions in England Gayle believes the tournament will be competitive.

“Almost every team has a chance to actually win the World Cup. Everybody puts England as favourites and they are at home.  They have a star-studded team as well, a well-balanced all-around team as well, so you have to give them credit,” Gayle told India Today.

“India always plays well in England, Pakistan always plays well in England so you have to look at those team that always do well in those kinds of conditions.  Australia, you can’t write them off, they're always up there and you can’t write off New Zealand either.  Everybody really and truly has a chance but there is going to be one winner, the West Indies and that goes without saying,” he added.

The big left-hander was confirmed as one of 15 members for the Windies World Cup squad, where he will make a fifth appearance at the tournament.

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