Kieron Pollard’s 32 not-out from 22 balls and 2-17 brought a man-of-the-match and 1-0 lead in a three-match T20 series over Afghanistan but the West Indies skipper refuses to sit on his laurels.

Speaking after the first T20 in the series being played in Lucknow, India, Pollard, who led from the front in a 30-run win, said that while he was happy with the performance of the team, work was still left to be done.

"It's always good to contribute but it's always better to contribute in the winning cause,” he said of his own man-of-the-match performance.

“The partnership between Lewis and Hetmyer set it up. It was not one of the easiest wickets to bat on. The balls were coming slow off the wicket. That's when you have to play smart cricket, manoeuvre the fielder,” he said.

In the field, Pollard was also happy with the West Indies, who restricted Afghanistan to just 134-9 after they were set 164 for victory.

“We were a bowler short but the boys stepped up,” he said.

Stepping up was Kesrick Williams, who ended with figures of 3-17, and Hayden Walsh Jr, who bagged 2-34.

But there are still areas the West Indies can tighten up, said Pollard who seems dead set on getting the side to be more aggressive.

“We have another game shortly, so we need to look at the areas to improve upon," said Pollard.

Before the start of the T20 series, the skipper had said he was already preparing the team to defend its T20 World Cup title.

“Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we have to improve on over a period of time,” Pollard had said.

Evin Lewis produced a fiery batting display as West Indies made a winning start to their Twenty20 series against Afghanistan.

After a 3-0 success in the ODI games, the apparent wide gulf between the sides was exposed again as West Indies powered to a 30-run victory.

West Indies posted 164-5 as Lewis flayed Afghanistan for 68 from 41 deliveries, before the minnows were limited to 134-9 in reply.

Curiously, a cloud reportedly made up of insect repellent forced a delayed start to the night match in Lucknow, but there was little holding back Lewis once he found his rhythm.

Despite failing to score a run from the first seven balls he faced, Lewis made up for lost time with a brutal assault of the Afghanistan attack.

He was eventually caught by Mohammad Nabi off Gulbadin Naib, having plundered six sixes and four fours, and captain Kieron Pollard added middle-order impetus with 32 from 22 balls to help West Indies to their competitive total.

Four Afghanistan batsmen went past 20 but Najibullah Zadran top-scored with just 27. Fareed Ahmad was unbeaten on 24 after a late flourish, but momentum was always lacking.

Early wickets fell at a steady rate before four fell for just seven runs as the run rate soared, West Indies quick Kesrick Williams returning of 3-17 from four overs.

Pollard also poached two wickets to swing man-of-the-match honours his way.

The second and third matches in the T20 series take place on Saturday and Sunday before a one-off Test, which gets underway on November 27.

West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran has been handed a four-game ban for ball tampering, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Wednesday.

Pooran admitted changing the condition of the ball as the Windies sealed a whitewash in their three-game ODI series against Afghanistan with a five-wicket victory in Lucknow on Monday.

Video footage showed the 24-year-old scratching the surface of the ball with his thumbnail and he accepted the sanction put forward by match referee Chris Broad, avoiding the need for a formal hearing.

As part of the suspension handed down by the ICC, Pooran will sit out the three Twenty20 internationals against Afghanistan.

Pooran said: "I want to issue a sincere apology to my team-mates, supporters and the Afghanistan team for what transpired on the field of play on Monday in Lucknow.

"I recognise that I made an extreme error in judgement and I fully accept the ICC penalty. I want to assure everyone that this is an isolated incident and it will not be repeated.

"I promise to learn from this and come back stronger and wiser."

A four-for from pace bowler Keon Harding and an unbeaten ton from top-order batsman Joshua Da Silver led the West Indies Emerging Players to a crushing 107 runs win over Windwards Islands at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy on Monday.

The result maintains a strong start for the Emerging Players, which see them surprisingly topping Group B after three games.  After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Emerging Players experienced an early set-back after opener Kimani Melius was dismissed lbw by Kavem Hodge.  A pair of fruitful partnerships, however, quickly steadied the innings.  Da Silva joined Gidron Pope at the crease and the pair repaired some after putting on 89 for the second wicket.  The partnership ended when Pope was bowled by Larry Edwards for 50.

Justin Greave added 46 before being bowled by Bhaskar Yadram and Roland Cato (49) then joined Da Silver to see out the innings.

In response, the Volcanoes were dismal.  Desron Maloney was the first of Harding’s four victims when he was dismissed for 10 with Windwards having 14 runs on the board.  Emmanuel Stewart followed soon after without scoring and Kirk Edwards added just one run before leaving the Windwards in deep trouble at 22 for 3.  Devon Smith (6) and Alick Athanaze (3) continued the tumble of wickets with Kaveem Hodge (28), Keron Cottoy (33) and Shane Shillingford (41) offering the most resistance.  Harding was backed up by Kevin Sinclair who claimed 3 for 19.  Harding claimed 4 for 45.

 

It was not long ago that Roston Chase was seen as one of a growing number of match-winning players in the West Indies ranks.

Since that time, however, Chase has suffered long dips in form and has not done much saving.

Chase, from 22 One Day Internationals averages 28.28 with the bat and has scored 396 runs but has scored just two half-centuries to date.

Against Afghanistan in a recently concluded One Day International in Lucknow, India where the visitors thumped the home team 3-0, he was immense.

Chase began with scoring 94 as the West Indies easily won the first ODI by seven wickets. Earlier he had bowled economically to end with figures of 2-31.

In the second ODI, Chase failed with the bat, only scoring nine as the West Indies only managed 247, but his 3-30 was instrumental in limiting the reply from Afghanistan to 200.

Chase was at it again on Monday,first bowling economically to end with figures of 1-24, before going on to bludgeon the bowlers, scoring 42 from just 32 deliveries to help seal the whitewash with a five-wicket victory.

Speaking after the game, Chase explained that skipper, Kieron Pollard, had reminded him to stay focused on the task ahead of him.

"Skipper told me last night we'll bat in a different position, but he said, 'Don't worry. Just concentrate on your bowling, and if you get a chance to bat, show that’.” Chase explained.

Pollard was referring to the fact that he would bat ahead of Chase in the final ODI for the first time in the series, and that he should not change what he was doing because of it.

“He [Pollard] said, 'Ros, just take over and play at a run-a-ball.' I did that, and put away the boundary balls,” Chase said of his innings.

As for his effectiveness with the ball, Chase says he has begun to understand how to change his pace to deal with different batsmen and, of course, different conditions.

“I was just trying to vary my pace, and the pitch was helping out a lot. Each game, our bowlers came to the party. This is my first series win in five years, and I'm quite happy for that."

West Indies opening batsman Shai Hope played no small part in getting the regional side their first series win in five years.

The batsman, who scored an unbeaten 77, 43, and 109 not-out, said the regional side were at pains to earn a series win and that achieving a whitewash a day after his birthday was special.

“It was a long time coming. We've been waiting for this series win for a long time, so it felt good,” said Hope.

For the series win and the eventual whitewash to come to reality, Hope explained he had to take the responsibility of batting the team into good positions.

“Someone had to put his hand up and bat through the innings,” he said.

“Felt good to be able to do it. It's just about reading the situation, and as long as someone batted through, we were always going to win the game," said Hope.

The West Indies completed a whitewash over Afghanistan with a five-wicket win in Lucknow, India.

Afghanistan, having the best game of the three-match series, scored 249-7 in their 50 overs thanks to Asghar Afghan’s 86 and Hazrafullah Zazai’s 50, Mohammad Nabi, 50, and Najibullah Zadran, 30, but found they were still outgunned after the West Indies cruised to 253-5 in 48.5 overs.

The West Indies total was anchored by Hope’s 145-ball knock. Hope reached the boundary eight times and went over it on a further three occasions and was ably supported by debutant Brandon King, who scored 39, Nicholas Pooran, 21, Kieron Pollard, 32, and Roston Chase, 42.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is of the belief that the regional side has venom in them and needed to show it against Afghanistan, something they achieved after a 3-0 whitewash in their One-Day International that concluded on Monday in Lucknow, India.

"We are thankful to God for giving us this opportunity,” said Pollard.

“We came here with a mission and specific roles for players, and all the players deserve credit,” he said.

“Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we had to improve in a period of time,” said Pollard.

According to the new captain, the team took the chance to show how aggressive they could be and urged them to make that way of playing cricket, habitual.

“This was an opportunity for us to show we have that kind of venom inside us. We knew we had to rally as a team, and we proved we can bat 50 overs, and once we do that, we can win games,” he said.

The West Indies destroyed Afghanistan over a three-game ODI series, winning the first by seven wickets thanks to Shai Hope’s unbeaten 77 and Roston Chase’s 94 before claiming a series-winning 47-run victory, this time courtesy of Evin Lewis’ 54 and Nicholas Pooran’s match-saving 67.

In the final game, playing with Brandon King and Keemo Paul in the line-up, the West Indies restricted Afghanistan to 249-7 despite 50 from Hazratullah Zazai and 86 from Asghar Afghan. In reply the West Indies scored 253-5 with Chase scoring 42, King, 39, Pollard, 32, and Hope, an unbeaten 109.

Despite Hope’s knocks, Chase was named player of the series.

Shai Hope marked turning 26 in style as his 109 not out inspired West Indies to a five-wicket ODI victory over Afghanistan, completing a 3-0 series whitewash.

A day after his birthday, Hope hit eight boundaries and three sixes in a supreme 145-ball innings, though the Windies left it late to secure victory.

Asghar Afghan (86), ably supported by Hazratullah Zazai (50) and Mohammad Nabi (50 no) gave Afghanistan hope of salvaging some pride in the series as they set 249-7 from their innings in Lucknow.

Afghanistan looked well set three overs into West Indies' innings - Mujeeb Ur Rahman taking the wickets of Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer in the space of four deliveries.

But Hope came to the fore, anchoring himself at the crease, with debutant Brandon King (39) providing support before Nicholas Pooran offered a quickfire 21 as the Windies' remaining opener moved beyond 50.

Captain Kieron Pollard provided a useful 32, with Roston Chase (42 no) then coming in to up the run rate.

Hope brought up his seventh ODI century with a tidy single off Rashid Khan, with Chase on hand to wrap up the series in style with a four over short leg with eight deliveries to spare.

India Women defeated West Indies Women by 10 wickets in the second T20 International at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground to take a 2-0 series lead on Sunday.

Anisa Mohammed, the stand-in captain as Stafanie Taylor has been ruled out of the series due to injury, won the toss and elected to bat first. Once again, the runs were hard to come by. as Hayley Matthews and Stacy-Ann King opened the batting.  King was the first to go for 7 followed by Shemaine Campbelle for a four-ball 0.

Chedean Nation steadied the Windes Women’s middle order with Matthews, as the pair added 34 runs before Matthews tried to hit a straight six and was caught in the deep for 23. Nation fell soon after for 32.  Natasha McLean was the only other batter to reach double figures, she made 17.

 The West Indies Women finished their 20 overs on 103 for 7.  Deepti Sharma was the best bowler for India Women with 4 for 10 from her 4 overs.

Shafali Verma for the second match in a row took a liking to the Windies Women’s bowling and the pitch at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground. The fifteen-year-old struck her second consecutive half-century to lead the Indians to victory in the eleventh over.

Verma finished on 69 not out and with her was Smriti Mandhana on 30 not out. India won the match reaching 104 without loss in 10.3 overs.

 

Windies Women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor has been ruled out of the remaining series against India after sustaining an injury.

According to official reports, the all-rounder will be sidelined for two weeks after sustaining a "Grade 1 Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain".  Taylor suffered the knee injury during the last game of the ODI series, which India won 2-1.  The player, who was named the player of the series in the three-match ODIs, did not suit up for the team’s second T20I on Sunday.  Instead, spin bowler Anisa Mohammed took over from Taylor as captain with young Guyanese all-rounder Cherry-Ann Fraser named to the squad to replace the stricken star.

"It is very disappointing to lose Stafanie at this crucial time and she will no doubt be missed but her health and recovery are of utmost importance," said CWI chief selector Ann Browne-John.

"We have the ICC T20 World Cup in a few months and it is critical that Stafanie gets the time to recover and return to full fitness."

India defeated Windies in the second ODI by 10 wicket to go ahead 2-0 and claim lead in the five-match series.  The tourists opened with a thumping 84-run victory in the curtain raiser in St. Lucia.

 

 

Roston Chase came to the fore again for West Indies as they beat Afghanistan by 47 runs to claim an unassailable 2-0 lead in their ODI series.

Having starred with the bat in the opening seven-wicket win, scoring 94, Chase showed his talent with the ball as he took 3-30 from his 10 overs in Lucknow

That came after Shai Hope (43) and Evin Lewis (53) put on a 98-run opening partnership for the Windies, with Nicholas Pooran adding 67 down the order to take his side to 247-9.

Afghanistan came up well short in reply, succumbing for 200 to leave them facing a series whitewash with one game to go.

After winning their first match under the new captain-coach partnership of Kieron Pollard and Phil Simmons last time out, the Windies looked assured from the outset on Saturday.

Hope and Lewis laid a solid platform but when they fell in consecutive overs, Afghanistan sensed an opportunity.

Indeed, there were only two other notable contributions from the Windies' batting line-up, Shimron Hetmyer making 34 to play his part.

It was Pooran who provided the most telling knock, though, as he held firm until the final over for his eye-catching 67 from 50 deliveries.

That helped guide his side to a credible total and Pooran even put in a shift at wicketkeeper when Hope went off for treatment midway through Afghanistan's reply. 

It was a reply that faltered almost immediately, Javed Ahmadi out for a duck having faced only four deliveries.

The Asian nation struggled to build any momentum, with Rahmat Shah run out for a 33-run knock that soaked up 54 balls, increasing the required run rate.

Chase accounted for Hazratullah Zazai (23), Ikram Alikhil (19) and Asghar Afghan (3) to keep the Windies well on top.

Najibullah Zadran (56) and Mohammad Nabi (32) provided some lower-order resistance to extend the contest, but they fell to consecutive balls in separate overs as Afghanistan's hopes faded away. 

Out of favour Windies batsman, Darren Bravo has admitted an authoritative start to the Colonial Insurance Super50 was a relief after struggling at find form in recent months.

Bravo cracked an unbeaten 115 off 127 balls, anchoring the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in an eight-wickets win over the Windward Island Volcanoes.  The middle-order batsman was ably partnered by Jeremy Solozano who also got to the century mark, scoring 102 from 118 balls.

In an impressive knock, Bravo sent the ball racing to the boundary on five occasions and cleared the rope eight times.  It was a welcome sight for the out of form batsman, who was dropped from the West Indies squad after failing to make any significant or consistent impact at the crease for the past several months.

“I think this innings went a long way for me,” Bravo said following the match.

 “I just needed to back myself in the best possible way.  I know as long as I spent time out in the middle things were going to get easier and that is what I did.”

Bravo who received man-of-the-match honours insisted that patience and communication had been key in the record stand with Solozano.

Windies Women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor cracked a patient half-century but could not prevent a 6-wicket loss for the regional team as India claimed the three-match One Day International (ODI) series 2-1.

The 28-year-old all-rounder cracked 79 from 112 balls, which played a major role in rescuing the struggling Windies who were at one point hobbling along at 50 for 4.  Taylor first partnered with Kyshona Knight to steady the ship with a 34-run stand, before paring up with Stacy-Ann King to put 96 runs on the board.

The team looked set to climb over 200 but a late flurry of wickets, including that of Taylor’s, stymied those efforts.  With runs hard to come by the Windies total of 194 seemed likely to be a challenging target.  Openers Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana, however, in effect, made the total look like a walk in the park.

 The prodigious pair put on 141 in 25 overs for the first wicket, each bringing up sublime half-centuries. Mandhana was the more aggressive of the two, striking three sixes in her 63-ball 74, a knock which earned her the Player of the Match award. With the stroke which brought her to 50, she crossed the milestone of 2000 ODI runs, reaching the mark in just 51 innings, the third-fastest in women’s cricket. It was some return from injury.

 

 

Sir Vivian Richards is in full support of the appointment of Kieron Pollard as white-ball captain of the West Indies, saying the veteran all-rounder brings more aggression to the role than the two men he replaced.

Pollard, who opened his account as ODI captain on Wednesday with an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Lucknow, India, has had the eye of Richards for the last five years, ever since he won the CPL with the Barbados Tridents.

"I've always admired his captaincy,” said Richards, who has been one of those to have noted a tendency towards passiveness in previous West Indies sides.

Jason Holder, the West Indies Test captain and previous ODI captain, has been criticized for not being aggressive enough on occasion and going into defensive mode too quickly.

“I've always felt that when he played the first CPL T20 at home, he was the best captain,” said Richards.

“I think Barbados Tridents went on to win it [in 2014], and he was the best captain in my opinion, more proactive than the rest of the captains we would have seen,” said Richards.

 I think he's in a good place," he said.

Richards also believes Pollard will benefit from having more talent around him than did his predecessors, Holder and Carlos Brathwaite, former captain of the T20 side.

“There's enough good players around him that can help out as well,” said Richards, referring to newcomers like Brandon King and Hayden Walsh Jr.

Pollard's first course of action as ODI captain was to marshall his troops into dismissing Bangladesh for 194 in 45.2 overs, courtesy of Jason Holder, 2-21, Romario Shepherd, 2-32, Roston Chase 2-31, Sheldon Cottrell, 1-33, and Hayden Walsh Jr, 1-33, sharing the workload. The West Indies batters then made simple work of the total, getting to 197-3 three balls into the 47th over.

Roston Chase, 94, and Shai Hope, 77, were the major contributors to the innings.

Kieron Pollard lauded Roston Chase and Shai Hope after their efforts with the bat helped West Indies to a seven-wicket ODI win over Afghanistan in Lucknow. 

Chase made his highest score in the format with a fine 94 that included 11 boundaries, with Hope having laid the foundation for a successful chase with an unbeaten 77.

The pair's 163-run stand did most of the work as the Windies overhauled Afghanistan's 194 all out with 21 balls to spare, the hosts having collapsed from 126-2.

And Pollard was delighted to see Chase and Hope lead the way, helping to assuage some of the captain's concerns over his side's batting performances in the 50-over format.

"Losing early wickets and not batting 50 overs is something that has been haunting us for a long time," he said, while also reserving praise for bowlers Romario Shepherd (2-31) and Hayden Walsh (1-33)

"Two guys showed the way – Hope and Chase. Both of them are class batsmen, kudos to them for batting well and getting us a victory.

"We've been talking about how we want to play cricket. Express ourselves, who better than Jason Holder, who continues to prove he wants to be the number one in this format.

"Then Shepherd and Hayden Walsh were superb. We want to play every game with the same intensity."

The second match takes place at the same venue on Monday.

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