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.

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.

Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has insisted it will be important for the team to carefully plan its approach in what could be a tricky upcoming series against Afghanistan.

The Pollard-led regional squad will square off against the Rashid Khan-led Afghans in three One Day Internationals (ODI) and three T20 internationals.  Despite being ranked just above the hosts in the ICC ODI standings, the Afghans hold an advantage in recent results after winning three of the last six encounters.  The Asian team has often taken advantage of the Windies noted weakness against spin bowling, a fact not lost on the Windies skipper.

 "Rashid Khan is a world-class bowler. It was seen by all of us and all around the world. Again there is no secret about it. Nabi himself has been doing well, he is a classical off-spinner. Mujeeb has done well for himself," Pollard said ahead of the match.

"We as a team, we have to plan how we are going to structure our fifty overs of batting and then our fifty overs of bowling. Each and every one of us is a good player in his own right and must show what we have to offer," he added.

 The team will bowl off the series on Wednesday at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium, in Lucknow.

Legendary West Indies batsman Sir Viv Richards believes newly appointed skipper Kieron Pollard was kept out of leadership roles because of politics.

The 32-year-old Pollard was recently appointed both captain of the One Day International and T20 squads, replacing Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite respectively.  While heartily agreeing with the move, Richards believes it was a long time in coming.

“I’ve always felt he should have been [appointed] a bit earlier,” Richards said in an interview with the Line And Length cricket podcast.

“I guess the politics with the last regime and the things that obviously went down in India, and some of these guys, in my opinion, were blacklisted from playing the role that they should and helping to move the team forward, and I think because of those political issues, it didn’t quite help the progress,” he added.

Pollard was part of a one-day squad that infamously walked out of the team’s tour of India in 2014.  A new Cricket West Indies governance body, led by Ricky Skerritt, deposed the Cameron-led administration earlier this year.  The change in the administration led to a number of adjustments, which included a new selection panel in addition to Pollard’s elevation to the leadership posts.

Newly appointed Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has promised to reject the idea of insularity, an accusation traditionally leveled at numerous regional team selection panels.

As captain of the One Day International and T20 teams, Pollard will assist a panel that has often been accused of favouring players from different regions of the Caribbean, based on its composition at the time.  Despite being an allegation that has never quite been proven, it has clearly caught the attention of the new skipper.

“One of the major things we (selectors) talked about is the insularity that has been going on in the Caribbean and it is something we want to [stamp out],” Pollard said in a recent interview.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, which part of the islands you’re from, once your performance is there, once you fit into the dynamics of the team, [once] you fit into what we’re looking for, you’re going to be selected.

“[The fact] that sometimes you veer to where you’re from is unfortunate, maybe as a home captain or coach, but at the end of the day we will try to pick the best team.

“Me, knowing myself and how I go about things – and this is something I’ve been preaching since the franchise system started in the Caribbean T20 before the CPL – the bigger picture is the cricket and whichever persons are doing well, they’re going to be selected.”

Pollard replaced Jason Holder as ODI captain and Carlos Brathwaite as T20 captain.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) have announced the team of the tournament. This has been selected by Tom Moody, Hero CPL’s Director – International Cricket, along with the commentary team – Mark Butcher, Danny Morrison, Dirk Nannes, Ian Bishop and Daren Ganga.

The team will be captained by Shoaib Malik (313 runs at 78.25) who successfully led the Guyana Amazon Warriors to a record 10 victories in the group stages to leave his team unbeaten in the tournament thus far. He is joined by fellow Amazon Warriors, Brandon King (453 runs at 56.62) and Imran Tahir (15 wickets at 11.53) who have both played an integral part in the Guyana franchise’s record breaking tournament.

The sole representative from the Jamaica Tallawahs is Glenn Phillips (374 runs at 37.40) who will also be the wicket keeper for the team. Phillips was the leading light for the Tallawahs who had a tricky season, but the Kiwi ‘keeper-batsman did brilliantly at the top of the order.

The Trinbago Knight Riders have two players in the team, Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard. Simmons (429 runs at 42.90) was a late replacement in the Knight Riders squad but has done a superb job at the top or the order as his team made the playoffs once again. Pollard (349 runs at 58.16 and 6 wickets at 29.66) stepped up to the captaincy after Dwayne Bravo pulled out of the tournament through injury and has led from the front with both bat and ball.

The Barbados Tridents have three players who make the team. Jason Holder (14 wickets at 23.07) and Harry Gurney (10 wickets at 16.3) both getting the nod. Holder and Gurney have been superb with the new ball for the Tridents as their team finished second in the points table. The other member of the Tridents who is selected is Hayden Walsh Jr (21 wickets a 12.19) who has claimed five wickets in one innings and four in another as the USA spinner had a breakout season.

The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots have representation from Fabian Allen (218 runs at 27.25) and Sheldon Cottrell (12 wickets at 19.25). Allen has scored his runs at a remarkable strike rate of 177.23 during the 2019 Hero CPL and has also been one of the fielders of the tournament. Cottrell has been saluting his way to success once again as he starred with the new ball and at the death for the Patriots.

The Head Coach of the year is Johan Botha who has taken Guyana Amazon Warriors into the CPL final with 11 straight wins. The 12th and 13th men are also from Amazon Warriors, with Chris Green (13 wickets at 20) and Chandrapaul Hemraj (298 runs at 27.09, 5 wickets at 17.2) making up the rest of the squad.

 

HERO CPL TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT

 

  1. Lendl Simmons – Trinbago Knight Riders
  2. Brandon King – Guyana Amazon Warriors
  3. Glenn Phillips * (WK) – Jamaica Tallawahs
  4. Shoaib Malik * (C) – Guyana Amazon Warriors
  5. Fabian Allen – St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
  6. Kieron Pollard – Trinbago Knight Riders
  7. Jason Holder – Barbados Tridents
  8. Hayden Walsh Jr – Barbados Tridents
  9. Imran Tahir *– Guyana Amazon Warriors
  10. Harry Gurney * – Barbados Tridents
  11. Sheldon Cottrell – St Kitts & Nevis Patriots

 

12th man: Chris Green * – Guyana Amazon Warriors

13th man: Chandrapaul Hemraj – Guyana Amazon Warriors

Head Coach: Johan Botha – Guyana Amazon Warriors

 

* Overseas player

Trinbago Knight Rider skipper Kieron Pollard has lamented a substandard showing from the team for the CPL semi-final against Barbados Tridents, insisting they did not deserve to progress based on the showing.

The Jason Holder-led Tridents secured a nail-biting 12-run win over the hosts, who had their sights set on a third consecutive CPL final. 

Set 161 for victory, the Knightriders seemed in a comfortable position at 110 for 5 but a calamitous run out for the team’s skipper, Pollard, precipitated a late-innings collapse.  Trinbago’s profligacy could in effect also be traced back to the Trident’s batting innings where Johnson Charles was dropped twice.  Charles went on to score 35 from 41 balls, the top scorer for the team.

“When you look at our performance throughout the season, I think we deserved to lose this game tonight. You can't turn up in a semi-final and drop a couple catches like that, simple errors, and not execute in a big game like that,” Pollard said following the match.

“It’s sort of what our season has been like in terms of not executing we and it cost us in the end.”

The Tridents will play the unbeaten Guyana Amazon Warriors in Saturday’s final at the Brian Lara Stadium, in Trinidad.

 

Guyana Amazon Warriors extended their perfect 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign to eight wins from eight matches with a 19-run win over defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders at the Queen’s Park Oval despite Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo briefly threatening to pull off an outrageous heist.

The Knight Riders appeared dead and buried at 91/4 with just six overs remaining and still needing 95 more to overhaul the Warriors 185/6. But Pollard and Bravo went on a ferocious six-hitting spree that almost dragged the unlikeliest of wins out of the fire for TKR.

They came up short, though, with Keemo Paul’s 19th over in which only singles came from the last five balls easing the Warriors’ fraying nerves before Tahir bowled Pollard for a sensational 71 from 38 balls with three balls to go and 21 still needed to at last finish the contest. The final winning margin of 19 runs also highlighted the significance of Romario Shepherd’s late cameo with the bat in the Warriors’ innings – he smashed 32* from 13, with two sixes and a four to finish it off as 25 came from Chris Jordan’s closing over.

Yet another win for the Warriors means they have now guaranteed themselves top spot in the regular season with two games to spare, while the Knight Riders still have work to do to secure their own place in the top two and the safety net of a place in Qualifier 1. One win from their two remaining games will do it.

Having muscled their way to 185/6 despite a troubling mid-innings wobble, the Warriors then strangled the Knight Riders top order through their battery of spinners.

Chris Green once again led the way, bowling his four overs off the reel at the top of the innings, removing the dangerous Colin Munro and Lendl Simmons, and returning figures of 2/18.

Imran Tahir did for Mark Deyal and Shoaib Malik had Denesh Ramdin caught in the deep off a slog-sweep to leave TKR reeling at 53/4.

Not even Pollard could rescue the Knight Riders from there, although he gave it a real crack. He shared a swashbuckling 125-run stand with Bravo, who himself cleared the ropes six times in a 46-ball 58 not out, but the required rate continued to climb throughout the partnership. Even when 57 runs were plundered in four overs from the 15th to the 18th.

Paul’s nerveless 19th over was ultimately key, and across the 40 overs the Warriors were deserving winners.

A 98-run second-wicket stand between Chrandrapaul Hemraj and Shimron Hetmyer then Shepherd’s late fireworks lifted the Warriors to their commanding total.

After the early loss of Brandon King, falling straight after taking Khary Pierre for 10 runs in two balls to start the third over, Hemraj took stock and then took charge.

Only 35/1 was on the board after the powerplay but the boundaries started to flow – for Hemraj in particular, who smashed four Hero Maximums and reached a 34-ball half-century with back-to-back fours off Jordan.

When Hemraj was caught behind off a wide Javon Searles yorker for 66, Hetmyer exploded into life in thrilling yet sadly for the Warriors all too brief fashion.

Searles’ next over started with the wicket of Nicholas Pooran and ended with that of Hetmyer slicing to Pierre at deep point. In between came 17 runs as Hetmyer flayed two fours and a gorgeous six carved high and handsome over backward point.

The failed attempt to repeat the dose saw Hetmyer depart the scene furious with himself and two short of a half-century.

The Warriors innings threatened to subside at that point in the face of some fine bowling from Ali Khan (1/23) in particular.

From 111/1 and 136/3, the Warriors found themselves 143/6 when Malik and Sherfane Rutherford fell to catches in the deep having added just a single between them.

But Shepherd ensured the Warriors would get up past not just 160 but also 180. He flayed a couple of early boundaries through the offside, but it was the two Hero Maximums and one-bounce four with which he finished the innings – 25 in all coming from Jordan’s closing over – that would ultimately take the Warriors out of Pollard and the Knight Riders’ reach.

Trinidadian allrounder Kieron Pollard said he is honoured to lead the West Indies One Day International and T20 teams. The 32-year-old Pollard replaces Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite who led the ODI and T20 teams respectively.

Defending Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) champions Trinbago Knight Riders made it three wins from three in their season-opening home stint after cruising past St Lucia Zouks’ 167 for 5 with seven wickets and 13 balls to spare.

Very different yet equally impressive half-centuries from the explosive Lendl Simmons and ice-cool Denesh Ramdin ensured a mid-range target never really posed much of a threat. Simmons set the tone with a six straight back over Thisara Perera’s head from just the second ball of the innings, with Sunil Narine adding another Hero Maximum as 14 came from the opening over.

With the boundaries coming so regularly, even the loss of Narine and Tion Webster in the space of nine balls, the latter caught at point from Fawad Ahmed’s first ball of the day, did nothing to stem the flow.

Ramdin had been understandably content to play second fiddle to Simmons for the most part but he cut loose once the partnership reached 50, taking Fawad Ahmed for 10 in two balls as 17 runs came from the 11th over of the innings.

Simmons continued the boundary spree with his fifth Hero Maximum, powered down the ground off Kavem Hodge, but the bowler had instant revenge as Simmons ran past a wide to be comprehensively stumped by Andre Fletcher.

The target was by now down to 62 from 52, though, and with Kieron Pollard striding to the middle to join Ramdin there was little reason for optimism from the Zouks.

All that remained to be determined was whether Ramdin could complete his 50 before Pollard finished the game, and back-to-back fours through midwicket and point took him to 47 and the victory target down to seven at the start of the 18th over.

He duly got to the landmark with a clip for two that brought the scores level, and the Zouks’ day to forget ended with a wide outside off to hand TKR the winning run.

The Zouks innings, just as in their opening match against Guyana Amazon Warriors, was given a stunning start by Rahkeem Cornwall. He followed up a 14-ball 36 in that game with 33 from 12.

His departure, trapped plumb in front on the sweep by Narine, brought an inevitable slowing of the rate.

Fletcher struggled to cut loose in a frustrating 32-ball stay that brought him 26 runs while Najibullah Zadran’s promising cameo was ended at 26 from 17 balls when he picked out Javon Searles on the long-off boundary from a Mohammad Hasnain slower ball.

Daren Sammy smashed back-to-back sixes in his 16 from 13, while John Campbell did start to find the boundary towards the back end of the innings but once again it felt like the Zouks had failed to take full advantage of the early momentum the innings had been given by their big opener.

 

 

Windies batsman Kieron Pollard is poised to become the new captain of the regional team in both the T20 and ODI formats, numerous reports have claimed.

The 32-year-old Pollard, long thought of as a viable alternative for the post, is set to replace Jason Holder as head of the ODI team and Carlos Brathwaite as skipper of the T20 squad.  Holder was appointed the head of the regional team in 2014, with Brathwaite appointed as leader in the shorter format in 2016 after an outstanding performance at the World Cup.

 Neither captain has performed particularly well, however, with Holder losing 24 of 54 matches played and Brathwaite managing just a 33 percent win ratio.

Pollard has, however, not been a regular participant for the Windies squad in recent years, particularly in the ODI format where he last appeared for the team in 2016.  The player had, however, been named as a reserve for the 2019 World Cup but failed to make an appearance, as the regional team managed just one win and an eighth-place finish. 

Pollard made his T20 debut on June 2008 against Australia but was overlooked for several years after disputes with the regional board. He was, however, re­called to the West Indies team for the T20 internationals against Indian last month.

 

Trinbago Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard hailed the impact of mystery spinner Sunil Narine, who fired up the team with a fast and furious start at the top of the order in a 22-runs win over rivals Jamaica Tallawahs on Friday.

Narine, who is better known for his exploits with the ball, was just as dangerous with the bat this time around, cracking 46 from just 22.  The knock, which included 3 sixes and four 4s got the hosts off to a strong start en route to a sizeable 191 for 4. 

Narine was given excellent support at the other end by Tian Webster who batted straight through the innings with 66 from 49 balls.  The two put on a damaging 74 runs on the board for the second wicket, helping to offset the early loss of Lendl Simmons who was sent packing for 11 runs.  In response, man-of-the-match Narine claimed 2 for 23 as the Tallawahs eventually crumbled at 169 for 6.

Pollard, who added 33 from 21 for TKR, believes the contribution of the pair was crucial to the team’s success.

“I thought the guys played well, we asked for a start and yes we lost the early wicket but it shows the confidence of Sunil Narine, he walked in and just changed the momentum immediately and that first 6 overs is where we stamped our authority,” Pollard said following the match.

For the most part, the defending champions TKR kept the explosive Tallawahs from really going after the steep target, with the timely dismissals of Chris Gayle (28), Glenn Phillips (6) and Ravmon Powell (1).  Andre Russell scored a brisk 44 from 24 but was in the end left with too much to do.

“We sat and we tried to analyse the Tallawahs line-up.  We had specific plans for certain batsmen and I just asked the guys to back themselves and execute…again it wouldn’t have been possible without Narine but also the way young Webster batted.”

 

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