West Indies captain Kieron Pollard believes there were a number of missteps that led to his side’s one-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in Colombo on Saturday.

The West Indies, thanks to a century from Shai Hope at the top of the order, scored 289-7 before going from losing positions to winning positions and back again, as Sri Lanka got to 290-9 with five balls to spare.

According to Pollard, after leaving a few runs with the bat, the West Indies were also not at their very best with the ball and coughed up too many presents for the Sri Lankans.

But Pollard did enjoy the game, saying it was well contested by both teams.

“Good game of cricket came down to the last over with the crowd on its feet,” he said.

“Normally guys like me and Pooran finish it off but it couldn't happen today. Couple of soft dismissals in the middle really set us back,” said Pollard.

“I think we bowled too many bad balls in the start, gave them too many freebies, that's where we lost the game. Our discipline was not there,” he said.

Sri Lanka started well with a 111-run first-wicket partnership between Avishka Fernando (50) and captain Dimuth Karunaratne (52).

The Windies fought back brilliantly but Thisara Perera played an important innings, slamming a 22-ball 32. When Perera was caught off the bowling of Alzarri Joseph, the match was very much in the balance with Sri Lanka on 253-7.

However, Hasaranga (42 off 39) produced a performance that belied his ODI average of 14.37 to get Sri Lanka over the finish line.

Hasaranga's ability to find the rope – he struck a quartet of fours and one maximum – and inaccurate death bowling from the Windies left the scores level going into the final over.

A direct-hit run out from Sunil Ambris to remove Lakshan Sandakan frayed the nerves a little, but the one run Sri Lanka needed came from a Keemo Paul no-ball off the next delivery as if to highlight the way little mistakes had cost the Caribbean side.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes players must adjust quickly to conditions on the subcontinent when the team takes on Sri Lanka in the upcoming One Day International (ODI) series in Colombo.

Three changes have been made to the squad that recently played against Ireland in the Caribbean, with Darren Bravo, Rovman Powell and Fabien Allen returning to the squad.  With the exception of Bravo, Jason Holder, and captain Kieron Pollard very few of the team have experience playing in Asia.

“The most important thing is for us to adjust quickly to the conditions, that’s why we’ll go in there a few days early,” Simmons said.

“How we played in Lucknow against Afghanistan is the kind of wicket we’re going to be getting there and we need to play in the same way and to train in the same way,” he added.

“We need the same attitude that we played against India.  I think if we can get the attitude right we will come out on top in the series.”

The ODIs will be played at Sinhalese Sports Club; the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota; and the Pallakele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. The ODIs will be followed by two T20 Internationals in Kandy.

West Indies limited-overs captain Kieron Pollard has signed for Northants Steelbacks who play in the Vitality T20 Blast this summer.

Rain wreaked havoc as the second Twenty20 international between West Indies and Ireland was washed out in Basseterre on Saturday.

No result was declared after the game was called off approaching 22:00 local time – Ireland boasting a 1-0 lead in the three-game series.

Career-best figures from captain Kieron Pollard helped restrict Ireland to 147-9 from 19 overs, with a rain delay leading to a reduction in overs.

Confidence was high in the Ireland camp after their memorable four-run triumph in the opening T20I in Grenada.

But Pollard claimed 4-25 from four overs – the 10th best performance for the Windies in T20I history, dismissing Gareth Delany (44), skipper Andy Balbirnie (36), Gary Wilson (5) and George Dockrell (2).

Sheldon Cottrell (2-10) and Romario Shepherd (1-38) also chopped in with wickets for the Windies.

West Indies managed to start their run chase and they reached 16-1 after Lendl Simmons (10) fell victim to Paul Stirling (1-11) before the rain set in for good.

Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has pointed out running between the wickets as a key area of concern for the team, on the back of a surprise four-runs loss to Ireland in the opening T20 international.

On the back of a brisk 95 off 47 balls, which included an explosive eight 6s, the Irish posted 208 for 7.  The Windies, led by Evin Lewis’ 53 and a decent all-round team batting performance, made a good chase of the target before running out of enough balls to get there.

In analyzing the match, Pollard commended the bowlers for recovering from a poor start and the batsmen for making a competitive chase of the target.  He, however, believes the team could have done more running between the crease.

“When we were batting we did not have the urgency running between the wickets.  We know we are a good power-hitting team but when the singles are there and the twos are there we need to run hard between the wickets,” Pollard said.

“When Ireland were batting they hit the ball to our fieldsmen and they ran and that is something we did not do,” he added.

In their total, the Windies amassed 142 boundaries with 55 singles as compared to Ireland’s 124 boundary runs and 74 singles.

 

Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has heaped praise on recently returned all-rounder Dwyane Bravo, despite the player experiencing mixed fortunes in a rare T20 international loss against Ireland in Grenada on Tuesday. 

The 36-year-old, who has been out of competitive action at the highest level for several months, got off to a rocky start when he entered the bowling attack in the 5th over.  The bowler conceded 17 runs but recovered to end with 2 for 28, in the end playing a pivotal role in restricting Ireland to 208 for 7.

At one point, on the back of 94 from Paul Sterling and 48 from Kevin O’Brien, the Irish, who set the record for the highest power play score in T20 cricket, seemed set for a much bigger score.

“I thought he was fantastic.  After going for 17 or 18 in his first over a lot of chatter would have been about what’s going on with Bravo, he’s back and he’s expensive but it goes to show the importance of experience in T20 cricket.  You don’t lose a game in an over and he came back to get two crucial wickets,” Pollard said following the match.

Bravo accounted for the wickets of O’Brien, where he got the crucial breakthrough, and later removed Garth Delany.  Pollard also commended spinner Hayden Walsh.

“Hayden Walsh in all the carnage that was taking place as well, he bowled two overs on a trot and he was consistent with his line and length.”

 

 

 

Windies skipper Kieron Pollard seemed to make good on his promise to take ‘tough decisions’ after being dissatisfied with the team’s performance in the second ODI against Ireland.

Top-order batsman Shimron Hetmyer was dropped from the team’s line-up for the third One Day International (ODI) against Ireland, on the back of what has been general frustration with the looseness of his stroke play in the first two matches of the series.

On Sunday, however, the skipper seemed to make it clear the move was just a temporary one with Hetmyer expected to return to the team’s line-up later this week.  In the two ODI games played, Hetmyer made 14 runs and was caught on both occasions after questionable shots.

“We spoke about working hard and the discipline and what is required for the team.  He is a very important player for us and it is a discussion that we had.  We need him to settle down and bat the way that we know he can bat.  In India he did it very well for us,” Pollard said following the match.

“These things happen, it just goes to show the dynamics of the team we have, Sunil coming in and getting that opportunity as well.  We want guys to be very, very hungry because there are other guys knocking on the door so we can’t relax and take anything for granted,” he added.

“At the end of the day, all is well that ends well.  He is a jovial guy.  He has helped out throughout the day and we look forward to him making runs in the T20 series.”

Windies coach Phil Simmons is standing firmly behind the comments of his captain, Kieron Pollard and demanding that his young charges play a ‘complete’ game of cricket against Ireland when the final ODI of their Colonial Medical Insurance series bowls off on Sunday.

“I think the message is for us to play a complete game and not just bowl well, or bat well, or field well and finish the series 3-0, because 3-0 is always better than 2-1.

The West Indies took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series on Thursday when they inched over the line in a one-wicket victory at Kensington Oval. At the same venue, the West Indies had shown chinks in their armour in a more dominant display, running out five-wicket winners on that occasion.

Alzarri Joseph had earned man-of-the-match honours in both games, bagging 4-37 and 4-32 to keep the West Indies’ targets relatively low.

“I’m happy with Alzarri, not just on the pitch but the way he prepares, the way he talks about cricket and about bowling. He seems to be maturing very quickly and it showed in the two games and the way he bowled,” said Simmons regarding those two performances.

Despite the good bowling of the West Indies, the batting has left much to be desired with only Evin Lewis, 99 not out, and Nicholas Pooran, 52, showing a real willingness to bat deep into an innings.

“That’s the crux of the matter here. We need to finish well and play a properly constructed, complete, 100 overs,” said Simmons.

Pollard had been a little more caustic, saying the West Indies top order needed to stop wasting good form with poor approaches to batting.

“We can’t continue to just give away our hand just like that when you have form and confidence because it will come back to bite you,” said Pollard, who seemed to be wagging his finger at the talented Shimron Hetmyer.

Hetmyer had lost his wicket for six, having faced just six deliveries before firing an injudicious pull shot that landed safely in the gloves of Irish wicketkeeper, Lorcan Tucker.

“The batsmen need to go back to what we were doing in India and how we were putting scores together, creating a platform for the big hitters down the bottom. We need to make sure that we do that in this coming game,” said Simmons.

West Indies Captain Kieron Pollard is tired of inconsistencies in his side and has, in not so many words, told his top-order batsmen they will have to shape up or ship out.

“So sometimes you might have to make tough decisions in certain scenarios,” said Pollard after a lower-order fightback and some luck gave his team a one-wicket victory over Ireland and a series win in their Colonial Medical Insurance One-Day International series at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Thursday.

Batting first, Ireland had scored 237-9 from their 50 overs and should have had an uphill task to stave of a series defeat in the second game.

However, there was to be no joy for the West Indies’ powerful top order with only Shai Hope, 25, getting into double figures.

Evin Lewis, 7, Shimron Hetmyer, 6, and Brandon King, 0, all falling cheaply.

It took Nicholas Pooran, 52, and Pollard, 40, to stage a sort of comeback that was finished by lower-order batsmen Khary Pierre (18), Hayden Walsh Jr, 46 not out, Alzarri Joseph (16) and Sheldon Cottrell, 7 not out.

The group would score more than 90 runs among them to take the West Indies over the line in a thriller that ended with the penultimate ball of the West Indies innings inching over the ropes thanks to Cottrell’s lofted cover drive.

Pollard was not happy.

“Thank God for small mercies. It took a total team effort for us to get to 237 so, again, we take the win but again we didn’t tick many of the boxes that we spoke about,” said Pollard.

The skipper did like some things about the game though, praising Alzarri Joseph for his four-wicket haul, Cottrell for his three, and Romario Shepherd for keeping the pressure on, despite it being his debut.

Pollard was also happy with the way the team fought to stay in the game for long enough to benefit from what was a lucky final few deliveries.

“Nicholas [Pooran], he got a pretty decent delivery and you can’t fault him but there were some very soft dismissals in our top order and when you look at it you see where we talk about it and guys keep giving it away,” said Pollard.

“A lot of conversations need to take place. At the end of the day we came up with the victory but again, still not happy,” said Pollard.

“We can’t continue to just give away our hand just like that when you have form and confidence because it will come back to bite you,” said Pollard.

Most egregious of the men who gave it away at the top of the order was, once again, Shimron Hetmyer, who went for a pull shot off the bowling of Barry McCarthy having faced just six balls. There was a little extra bounce and Hetmyer, not yet sure what was happening with the pitch, could only manage to top edge the delivery for a grateful Lorcan Tucker.

According to Pollard, there can be no excuses for the top order, bearing in mind the way the lower order approached the game.

“That innings from young Walsh, new in international cricket, and the mettle that he showed in that partnership with Khary Pierre and then Alzarri Joseph, those couple of fours, these guys sticking in there and I hope each and every one of us, the guys that got out before, watch how the lower order went about it. It was a simple case of occupying the crease and playing high-percentage cricket. These are conversations we are trying to have and if the lower order can do it, then the top order has no excuses,” said the skipper.

“A lot of conversations need to take place. At the end of the day, we came up with the victory but again, still not happy.”

West Indies paceman Alzarri Joseph is not done with Ireland just yet, even though his Caribbean side took an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match Colonial Medical Insurance One-Day International Series being held in the region.

Joseph starred with the ball again but had a vital innings with the bat to help the West Indies pull off a one-wicket victory against Ireland at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Thursday.

Choosing to bat first for the second game in a row, the first was a five-wicket loss, Ireland showed they can bat in posting a total of 237-9, thanks, in large part, to Paul Stirling’s 63 at the top of the order. In reply, the West Indies barely got over the line, scoring 242-9, getting to the target with one ball to go.

When Ireland batted, Joseph played chief tormentor for the second game in a row, bagging 4-32, to leave the potential for a big innings from the visitors in tatters.

Joseph was backed up by pace teammate, Sheldon Cottrell, who ended with 3-51.

Joseph was also good with the bat, scoring an important 16 before a mistimed pull off a slower ball from Mark Adair, ended his evening.

Despite the win, Joseph sent a subtle warning to the visitors.

“The win means a lot to everyone, but it's not finished, we have one game to go," said Joseph, after he was awarded his second man-of-the-match honour in as many games.

The young paceman said he was relieved to have come away from the game with a win, but for the first time in his fledgeling career, spoke, for the first time, about his batting.

“We wanted to bat sensibly and get to the score. When I went out to bat, there were a lot of balls to get there and I was looking to play every ball on merit,” said Joseph.

While Joseph is excited about his personal performance, he is also aware that there were others who stood up to be counted.

"Relieved about the win but it's a team game, we all put in the effort,” he said.

Joseph bowled a fuller length to the Irish in this game than he did in the first where he bagged 4-34, explaining that he had read something different from this pitch.

“The wicket was a bit more even than the first game, so I assessed early and bowled to the plan.”

When Joseph spoke about the four-wicket haul he enjoyed in the first ODI against Ireland, he alluded to how much work he had put into getting back to international cricket and his captain, Kieron Pollard, confirmed as much on Thursday, saying he was happy for the young man.

“Alzarri Joseph again the pick of the bowlers getting another four-wicket haul. He continues to show again, his hard work is paying off so congratulations to him,” said Pollard.

 

West Indies paceman Alzarri Joseph is happy to have started the year with a bang after his 4-32 helped the West Indies to a dominant performance in the first game of a three-match One-Day International series against Ireland in the Caribbean.

Joseph, who has been in and out of the West Indies team with injury and because of dips in form, led the attack for a West Indies side that would end up five-wicket winners in a game Ireland never got the handle of.

Choosing to bat, Ireland were in early trouble after Joseph removed the openers, Paul Stirling (15) and Gareth Delany (19) before returning to rip the heat of the middle order with the wickets of Kyle O’Brien (4) and Lorcan Tucket (31).

The visitors to the Kensington Oval in Barbados were eventually rolled for just 180 in 46.1 overs before an unbeaten 99 from opener Evin Lewis made victory secure for the West Indies, who scored 184-5 in just 33.2 overs.

"For me, it's a really good start to the year," said Joseph after receiving his man-of-the-match award on Tuesday.

According to Joseph, the coaching of former West Indies fast bowler Winston Benajmin has been instrumental to any improvement he has shown recently.

“Winston Benjamin, whenever I have something going on, I turn to him for advice,” said Joseph.

Despite the influence of Benjamin on his fledgeling career, Joseph is also very aware that there is something else that is key to his development as a consistently good bowler.

"It's just about putting in the hard work in training and doing the yards,” he said.

After the preparation is done, the actual execution may not be that interesting, as his captain, Kieron Pollard, has consistently said.

“Success is boring.”

“I kind of had an idea of how I wanted to bowl today, and I just kept it simple and bowled to my plans," explained Joseph.

Given the two T20 World Cups under the belt of the West Indies, it may be no surprise that the Caribbean side has dominated ESPN’s best XI in the format over the last decade.

ESPN had come up with a list of its best XI in Test, One-Day and T20 Internationals and while there were no West Indians in the two longer formats of the game, they may have made up for it in the shortest.

At the top of the order comes Chris Gayle, T20’s all-time leading run-scorer. Interestingly, the opening spots have been covered by the West Indies with Sunil Narine earning a pick for his innovative pinch-hitting at the top of the order.

India’s Virat Kohli comes at number three in the batting line-up, with South Africa’s AB de Villiers locking down number four.

At five, ESPN has gone with another Indian in veteran Mahendra Singh Doni before turning again to the Caribbean where West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell can decide who bats six and seven.

At number eight, the best in the world this decade, according to the writers at ESPN, comes Dwayne Bravo before the leg-spin option of Rashid Khan. Narine, is, of course, the other spinner in the side.

Sri Lankan great, Lasith Malinga makes the best team of the decade next, while Jasprith Bumrah finds his way into the side as the second seamer. The two are seen as the best death bowlers in the world because of their ability to bowl Yorkers.

Nicholas Pooran was always a talented batsman but fell off the wagon after a car crash left him unable to walk for six months.

His return to international cricket has revitalized a West Indies batting line-up accused of being altogether too inconsistent.

Pooran though, averaging 52 from his 19 games since his return to cricket, has helped to give his side the confidence that makes a dangerous side with the bat.

While that revival isn’t complete, Pooran is grateful that he has come this far and is thanking his skipper, Kieron Pollard, for making it possible.

“He’s been like a big brother to me, a father-figure. He’s been there since I returned to cricket. He gave me opportunity. I’m thankful for that,” said Pooran.

Pooran has already begun repaying Pollard the faith he put in him, scoring 29 not out off 23 balls, 75 off 47 balls and 89 off 64 balls in a recently concluded ODI series against India.

But it isn’t just off the field that Pollard has been there for Pooran, as batting with his father figure has helped him as well.

In the final ODI against India on Sunday, Pollard batted with the West Indies middle order to help them post a challenging 315-5, himself ending unbeaten on 74.

“We play with each other, with the same club, same franchise back home. So we had a good understanding of the wicket and the situation in the game and just executed our skills,” said Pooran, who scored 89 from 64 deliveries in a partnership that took the West Indies from 144-4 in the 32nd over to 279-5 in the 48th when he finally got out.

“We know how to complement each other. Polly was stronger to the spinners, so we allowed him to attack Kuldeep (Yadav) and I would try and play more shots to the pacers. It worked out,” said Pooran.

The middle-order batting has shown some improvement, but the ease with which India got to 316-6, doing so in the 49th over, winning their second series against the Windies at home this month, suggests there is still work to be done.

“Definitely we were on a team-building (mode). India are one of the strongest teams in the world. They proved that again today in the T20I and ODI series. At least we came here and we showed fight,” said Pooran.

Pooran, no stranger to adversity after fighting his way back to fitness after his accident, strongly believes the West Indies are on their way back to being the best team in the world.

“There are better things to come. We are taking it day-by-day and eventually we’ll get where we want to get,” he said.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is taking a positive outlook on his team’s four-wicket loss to India in Cuttack on Sunday.

Virat Kohli made a 55th ODI half-century following fireworks from Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard as India pulled off a big run chase to beat West Indies by four wickets and win the series 2-1.

Pooran (89 from 64 balls) and Pollard (74 not out off 51) bludgeoned 118 runs off the last 10 overs to get the Windies up to an imposing 315-5 at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Sunday.

That was not sufficient for the tourists to secure a first bilateral ODI series win over India for 13 years, though, as the second-ranked side in the world reached their target in the penultimate over.

Rohit Sharma hit a run-a-ball 63, while KL Rahul (77) and Kohli (85) also made half-centuries before Ravindra Jadeja (39no) and Shardul Thakur (17no) finished off the job. 

Keemo Paul was the pick of the bowlers with 3-59 and Shai Hope became the second-fastest to 3000 ODI runs, but that was scant consolation for Pollard's men.

The Windies got off to steady start after being put in by Kohli and Evin Lewis fell for a scratchy 21 before Hope was bowled playing across the line to a delivery from Mohammed Shami.

Shimron Hetmyer (37) struck a couple of lusty sixes but became Navdeep Saini's first ODI victim after he was put down by Rishabh Pant and Roston Chase (38) lost his off stump to a yorker from the debutant.

Pooran, also dropped by Pant, and Pollard cut loose with a devastating late onslaught, the former reaching his half-century with a second six in an expensive over from Kuldeep Yadav.

The majestic Pooran missed out on his hundred when he was removed by Shardul in the 48th over, but Pollard swelled his tally of sixes to seven to leave India facing a big run chase.

Rohit and Rahul - centurions in the second ODI - made a great start, the former stepping on the accelerator with a six and four in the fourth over from Jason Holder as the openers scored at around a run a ball for the first 15 overs.

Rahul was the first to reach his half-century after the 100 stand was brought up and Rohit moved to his 43rd ODI fifty, but was gone after edging Holder behind.

The elegant Rahul gloved Alzarri Joseph to Hope and India were 201-4 with 15 overs to bowl after Paul removed Shreyas Iyer and Pant in successive overs.

Kohli coasted to his half-century from only 51 with an array of sublime strokes and positive running, with India needing 79 for victory off the last 10 overs, but there was stunned silence when he chopped on attempting to drive Paul through the off side.

India required 30 from 23 balls when Kohli trudged off, but Shardul hooked Sheldon Cottrell for six in a 48th over that cost 15 runs and Jadeja showed his all-round class as India got home with eight balls to spare.

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