West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said that while he could pinpoint a great many things his side got wrong during a one-sided affair against Sri Lanka at Hambantota on Wednesday, he would not go into the business of scapegoating but would talk to his team about what transpired.

Sri Lanka won the game by 161 runs but more importantly, the hosts now hold an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match ODI series.

The hosts benefitted from centuries of 127  and 119 from opener Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis respectively, the pair helping them to a mammoth 345-8 from their 50 overs. The West Indies did not get close, as only Shai Hope, 51, and Roston Chase, 31, offered any resistance.

The visitors would end on 184 all out against the bowling of Wanindu Hasaranga, 3-30, Lakshan Sandakan, 3-57, and Nuwan Pradeep, 2-37. There was also a wicket for Angelo Matthews, 1-20.

But Pollard did point out that things could have been different had he not dropped Mendis early in the innings and maybe, the series would now be different.

"It was the start we were looking forward to, getting two wickets early. But I put the catch of Kusal Mendis down, otherwise they would have been three down,” said Pollard.

In addition, Pollard believes his side did not have faith in the plans they made.

“We didn't stick to our plans long enough. I don't think we were up to the international standard today. Well bowled to them and well played to them,” he said.

Pollard will now look toward the final game of the series to see if the West Indies can win one.

“We weren't there in all three departments today. We can pinpoint a lot of things but I don't want to go into a lot of details. We'll do that as a team. I cop this one on the chin and we move on to Kandy."

Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis combined for a 239-run third-wicket stand to set Sri Lanka on course to thrash West Indies on Wednesday and clinch their three-match ODI series.

Sri Lanka were in complete control of the second one-dayer after opener Fernando (127) and Mendis (119) produced a dominant early showing, teeing up a 161-run triumph in Hambantota.

The hosts did not hit a single six but posted 345-8, the biggest total in men's ODI history not to include a maximum.

And the Windies never looked capable of causing Sri Lanka serious trouble with the bat, opener Shai Hope's knock of 51 their best effort as they were bowled out for an underwhelming 184 with 65 balls remaining.

The tourists' day had started in positive enough fashion, with Kieron Pollard winning the toss, choosing to bowl and then seeing Sheldon Cottrell (4-67) remove home captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera from consecutive deliveries in only the third over.

But that was just about as good as it got, with Fernando and Mendis subsequently combining for their devastating, match-turning partnership.

They stood together for 228 balls until Alzarri Joseph (3-57) finally made a breakthrough in the 41st over, as Mendis, who survived an early drop from Pollard, top-edged for a comfortable Hope take.

Although Joseph took out both Fernando and Angelo Mathews in his next over, the scoreboard had long since got away from the Windies, and scoring remained steady throughout the remainder of the innings.

The reply was initially solid enough, but Hope left partner Sunil Ambris (17) high and dry for a run out.

Mathews got Hope, and then Wanindu Hasaranga (3-30) came to the fore, his haul including a golden duck for Windies skipper Pollard.

Only brief floodlight failure after the eighth wicket delayed Sri Lanka's progress, with the final two dismissals arriving within four balls of the restart courtesy of Nuwan Pradeep (2-37) and Lakshan Sandakan (3-57).

The West Indies, despite coming up short in the series opener against Sri Lanka, will have plenty of positives to take into a must-win second ODI against the hosts, at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

The regional team would have been encouraged by its batting, despite the failures of the middle order, with most of the top four coming good before the lower order showed a lot of grit in laying the finishing touches to an innings that had lost significant steam.  Their bowlers couldn’t quite haul them to victory, but they pushed Sri Lanka to the limit, making the home team earn their win.

Sri Lanka will also have been encouraged, most notably the number of contributions they received from all around the batting order.  Now, the key for them would be to retain that level of consistency and seal the series, something they haven’t been quite adept at doing in the recent past.  But with the familiarity of home, and a hard-earned win to boot, they sure do have the belief that it can be done.

The West Indies team has been fined for a slow over rate in the one-run loss to Sri Lanka, in the first One Day International (ODI), in Colombo on Saturday.

The sanctions were imposed after the Kieron Pollard-led side was found to be two overs short of the target, even with time allowances considered.  Pollard pleaded guilty to the charges, which will negate the need for a formal hearing.

According to Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to minimum over-rate offences, players are fined 20 per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time.

The charges were brought by on-field umpires Paul Wilson and Ruchira Palliyaguruge, third umpire Marais Erasmus and fourth official Lyndon Hannibal.  Earlier, South Africa and Australia played the Johannesburg T20I where the visitors Australia claimed a big victory by 107 runs.

After that match, South African players faced 20% fine of their match fees for maintaining a slow over-rate. The hosts were one over short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration.

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy is reportedly set to be named an honourary citizen of Pakistan.

The 36-year-old allrounder has become a popular figure in the country, where he has captained Pakistan Super League (PSL) Peshawar Zalmi to the title.  The player has, however, been recognized for an even more important contribution and that is his prominent role in advocating for the return of international cricket to Pakistan.

The country was blacklisted as a destination for international cricket in 2009 after a horrific attack on the Sri Lankan team bus outside the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.  International cricket, however, returned to the country in 2017, with Test cricket returning last year.

Sammy was the first player to agree to tour Pakistan when the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) attempted to bring the PSL final to the country.

When an ICC World XI was lined up to tour Pakistan for three T20Is in September 2017, it was Sammy who spoke as part of that squad to the other tourists as part of a security briefing.

The idea of honourary citizenship was first broached by Javed Afridi, the owner of Peshawar Zalmi.  The PCB then followed up with the federal government and the honour was accepted.  Sammy will also receive the Nishan-e-Pakistan, the country's top civilian award, on March 23 in Islamabad.

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.

Guyanese prodigy, Shimron Hetmyer, has earned a recall to the West Indies squad scheduled to play against Sri Lanka in two Twenty20 Internationals on March 4 and six after the completion of the current One-Day International between the teams.

Hetmyer and Evin Lewis were spectacularly dropped after an announcement they had both failed fitness tests Cricket West Indies selectors had implemented as a requirement for selection.

There is still no recall for Lewis, who had, not long before, overcome poor form in typically destructive fashion.

The squad also includes a recall for Andre Russell and Oshane Thomas.

Allrounder Russell, 31,  hasn't played for the Caribbean side since pulling up short midway through the 50-over World Cup in June 2019. However, he has taken part in other matches, most notably in the Bangladesh Premier League in December and January

Russell is a two-time ICC T20 World Cup winner, having played a crucial role in the triumphs back in 2012 in Sri Lanka and 2016 in India. He has successfully completed the Cricket West Indies (CWI) return-to-play assessment programme under the supervision of CWI Medical Team in his native Jamaica. He has so far played 47 T20Is for the West Indies.

Fast bowler Thomas, who turned 23 earlier this week, is selected after making a full recovery from a car accident in Jamaica recently. Additionally, wicket-keeper/batsman Shai Hope has been included alongside left-arm spinner Fabian Allen.

Commenting on the squad, CWI lead selector Roger Harper said: “Shimron Hetmyer missed out on selection for the ODI squad. He has since attained the required fitness level, becoming available for selection and has been included.

"Andre Russell is back in the squad, having been cleared by the medical panel and successfully completing CWI’s return-to-play protocol. Andre will add potency to every department of the team. Oshane Thomas appears to be focused and raring to go. He will add pace and penetration to the bowling unit.”

Harper added: “Shai Hope provides an opening option and cover as a back-up wicket-keeper also. Fabian Allen returns from the injury he sustained in the series against Afghanistan late last year. He will provide a spin-bowling option as well as adding depth to the batting group.”

Looking ahead to the T20I matches, Harper outlined that he will have one eye on the ICC T20 World Cup to be played in Australia later this year. West Indies are the defending champions and the only team to lift the trophy twice.

“I look forward to the team building on its recent performances and winning the T20 series in Sri Lanka. This is another opportunity for the team to build on its strengths and identify areas that need improvement while continuing the process of building up with the aim of peaking for the T20 World Cup in October,” said Harper.

The two T20Is will be played at the Pallakele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

West Indies and Sri Lanka are now contesting a three-match ODI series. Sri Lanka won the first match today by a wicket in Colombo.

The second match is in Hambantota on Wednesday.

 

West Indies T20I squad

Kieron Pollard (capt), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams.

 

IN: Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Fabian Allen, Shai Hope.

 

OUT: Evin Lewis, Khary Pierre, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd.

Wanindu Hasaranga inspired Sri Lanka to a dramatic one-wicket win in the first ODI against West Indies with the highest successful chase at Colombo.

The Windies had set the hosts 290 to win the opening match of the three-game series, Shai Hope leading the way with 115 as he scored his ninth ODI century.

It was a target that looked like it could well be beyond Sri Lanka after their innings lost impetus following a 111-run first-wicket partnership between Avishka Fernando (50) and captain Dimuth Karunaratne (52).

Thisara Perera played an in important role with a 22-ball 32, but when he 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.

Former Trinidad and Tobago Red Force captain Denesh Ramdin has lashed out at what he claims is a toxic environment under coach Mervyn Dillon.

The 32-year-old batsman was one of five players dropped from the Red Force squad, after a disastrous showing against Barbados Pride last weekend, in the West Indies Championships. Ramdin made a pair of ducks in a 299 runs loss.  The team will take on the Leeward Islands Hurricanes this weekend.

The out of favour Windies player, however, revealed that the issues with the coach seem to spread deeper than just the one game.

“The coach does not want me on the team. We don’t talk, probably a good morning here or there but we don’t communicate,” Ramdin said in an interview with the T&T Guardian.

“It all started last year in St Kitts when we needed 140 runs from 15 overs and I was batting at the time. I called off the game because the next three batsmen to come after me was very young and it would have been difficult to get that score. I was told he left the ground and called the chairman of selectors (Anthony Gray) and the president of the board (Azim Bassarath) to get me fired,” he added.

According to the player, he has officially filed a complaint with the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) but was told the situation could not be assessed immediately.

“I have complained to the board because this can’t be good for the team. The environment there is not good at all. The players on the team are not comfortable and this cannot be good for the young cricketers on the team.”

 

 

With the Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia set to begin for the West Indies on Saturday with a game against Thailand, the team’s captain Stafanie Taylor is in a nostalgic mood.

Taylor remembers four years ago when the West Indies lifted the trophy after an unlikely victory against Australia in the final.

“Winning the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had in my career, and I’d love nothing more than to win it all over again,” said Taylor.

The West Indies women have gone through some lean times since that victory but played solidly enough to make it to the semi-final in 2018.

Since then, the team has struggled even more but Taylor, having had the experience of winning this competition before, believes her team can overcome the odds and do so again.

“I have played a lot of games over the years but the memories of India 2016 stand out so much.

Looking back on it, I’m just hoping that we can replicate it again this year – both the feeling that we had as a team and the impact that individual players had on the tournament from start to finish,” she said.

Taylor went on to explain that the will to win the competition in 2016 was great and the team played each delivery of each match as if it were the most important of their careers. That attitude, she says needs to be replicated if the underdogs are to make a repeat of grabbing a second T20 World Cup title.

“Four years ago was a perfect storm for us. We really wanted to win, and I think we left all we had on the field throughout the tournament, especially in the final against Australia.

We had never made it beyond the semi-finals before, while they were looking to win the title for the fourth successive time, so we knew it would be a really big challenge for us.

But we went out there and did it for our country, creating memories that we won’t forget,” said Taylor.

“This time around, we just need to do that again, play our game and push until the last ball to see how far that can take us. Winning the title and bringing the trophy back to the West Indies would be success for us.”

Dimuth Karunaratne has returned to the Sri Lanka ODI squad and will captain the side in their home series against West Indies, while Lahiru Thirimanne has been dropped.

Skipper Karunaratne was one of 10 players who opted out of the last Sri Lanka ODI group that travelled to Pakistan in September amid security concerns.

He is back in the 15-man squad to take on West Indies at home, though, with Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews among the other key players to return.

Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella is recalled and in contention to make his first ODI appearance for a year.

Sri Lanka lost the Pakistan series 2-0 under the stewardship of Thirimanne, who is not selected this time around after contributing just 36 runs in two games.

Minod Bhanuka, Oshada Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Angelo Perera also miss out, while Danushka Gunathilaka is injured.

The first ODI match against West Indies will take place in Colombo on Saturday.

Three ODI contests will be followed by two T20 games against West Indies in March, a month in which Sri Lanka will also host a two-Test series against England.


Sri Lanka ODI squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera, Shehan Jayasuriya, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara.

Jamaica 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake is expected to enjoy a change of pace when he appears for a West Indies legends team at the Road Safety World Series next month.

The tournament will include five nations: India, West Indies, South Africa, Australia, and Sri Lanka.  The competition will feature 11 matches, which will be held at the Wankhede Stadium, DY Stadium, MCA Stadium, CCI Ground, and the Brabourne Stadium. The finals will be played at the Brabourne Stadium on the 22nd of March.

The sprinter, an avid cricket fan, will rub shoulders with the likes of Windies legends Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.  The other teams will also have some of their legends on display.  The India squad will be led by the Sachin Tendulkar and include Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh.  Brett Lee will captain the Australian Legends side. Jonty Rhodes will be the leader of the South African Legends, and Tillakaratne Dilshan will represent the Sri Lanka Legends.

Blake, more known for his exploits on the track, has run the second-fastest times ever recorded over the 100m and 200m and won silver medals in both events at the London 2012 Olympic Games behind more celebrated compatriot Usain Bolt.

The tournament is geared towards bringing attention to road safety, a major issue that affects the country.

 

Schedule

Match 1: March 7, 2020

India Legends vs West Indies Legends

Wankhede (Mumbai)

 

Match 2: March 8, 2020

Australia Legends vs Sri Lanka Legends

Wankhede (Mumbai)

 

Match 3: March 10, 2020

India Legends vs Sri Lanka Legends

DY Patil (Navi Mumbai)

 

Match 4: March 11, 2020

West Indies Legends vs South Africa Legends

DY Patil (Navi Mumbai)

 

Match 5: March 13, 2020

South Africa Legends vs Sri Lanka Legends

DY Patil (Navi Mumbai)

 

Match 6: March 14, 2020

India Legends vs South Africa Legends

MCA Stadium (Pune)

 

Match 7: March 16, 2020

Australia Legends vs West Indies Legends

MCA Stadium (Pune)

 

Match 8: March 17, 2020

West Indies Legends vs Sri Lanka Legends

MCA Stadium (Pune)

 

Match 9: March 19, 2020

Australia Legends vs South Africa Legends

DY Patil (Navi Mumbai)

 

Match 10: March 20, 2020

India Legends vs Australia Legends

MCA Stadium (Pune)

 

Match 11: March 22, 2020

FINAL (TBC vs TBC)

Brabourne Stadium (CCI, Mumbai)

West Indies paceman Oshane Thomas has avoided serious injury in a car accident.

Thomas was taken to hospital after he was involved in a crash in Jamaica on Sunday.

The quick's agent, Mark Neita, told the Jamaica Observer that Thomas is "at home resting" after being taken to hospital.

Thomas, who turned 23 on Tuesday, has played 20 ODIs and 10 Twenty20 Internationals for the Windies.

The West Indies Players' Association released a statement saying: "The West Indies Players’ Association [WIPA] extends best wishes to West Indies and Jamaica fast bowler Oshane Thomas who was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Sunday, February 16 in Jamaica.

"Thomas was reportedly involved in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 2000 near Old Harbour in St. Catherine and was taken to hospital.

"WIPA's executive and staff would like to extend our sympathies to Oshane. We wish for him a speedy and full recovery."

West Indies women will get their T20 World Cup in Australia off to a start this Saturday with an opener against Thailand but have much improvement to make if they are to reach the heady heights they have in recent times.

There will be two groups of five competing for progress to the semi-finals, with the top two from each group making it through.

The West Indies find themselves in Group B along with England, South Africa, Pakistan and Thailand.

West Indies had a successful tournament in 2018, reaching the semi-finals before being knocked out by the eventual champions Australia. Whilst their form in the format has not been ideal over the last few years, they still have some of the most exciting players in the tournament lining up for them.

Deandra Dottin is among the best attacking batters in the world, particularly if she's facing spin - in the last two years she scores at 8 runs per over against spinners, and only gets out every 38 balls.

With ball in hand, captain Stafanie Taylor will be looking to Shakera Selman to make inroads at the top of the inning - nobody swings the ball more than her over the last two years of T20I cricket, and on the hard fast pitches of Australia, movement through the air will be crucial.

If all goes to plan, West Indies will be more than confident of progressing to the knockout stages.

England made the final in the last edition of the T20 World Cup before, like West Indies, being eliminated by Australia. Heather Knight's side are still somewhat in transition, but a new-found balance relying on Nat Sciver to bowl four overs has allowed them to play an extra specialist batsman - it's given the batting line-up some serious oomph. On the bowling side of things, Sophie Ecclestone is a very important part of the English attack. A tall left-arm orthodox spinner, no player has taken more wickets for England in T20Is since the start of 2018 than Ecclestone, with 35 wickets in that time at an average of 16.82. Offering control as well as attacking threat, she'll be the likely fulcrum of the England attack. Knight will see anything but progress from the group as abject failure, and they'll be eager to go all the way.

Pakistan bowl 76 per cent spin over the last two years - that’s the most of any team in the world during that period. Much like Bangladesh in Group A, this does at least give them a clear blueprint to work to a basic structure they can focus on in the absence of many acclaimed stars. If they have one standout player it's Bismah Maroof, who has notched up 782 T20I runs in the last two years, comfortably the most of any Pakistan batter and the 11th most for anyone in the world. If anyone in Pakistan green is going to spring a shock on the opposition, it'll be her.

In contrast to Pakistan, 76 per cent of the deliveries sent down from South Africa over the last two years, come from pace bowlers, the most of any side in the competition. They were a disappointment at the last T20 World Cup, not reaching the semi-finals. Their bowling is mixed, but their batting is likely to focus around a few key individuals, and one in particular. Alyssa Healy is renowned as an absolute colossus, but Chloe Tryon - at least statistically - is almost keeping pace with her. A powerful left-hander, Tryon is particularly effective against spin bowling, rocketing along at 8.6 runs per over (compared to 7.6 runs per over against seamers). The South African has a particular preference for hitting off spinners, scoring 180  from 113 deliveries against off-break bowlers in T20I cricket. Given how much spin is bowled in T20 cricket, this sets Tryon apart, her strength and power meaning that she doesn’t need pace on the ball to cause damage - South Africa will be looking to her to really lift the scoring rate when she’s at the crease.

Thailand are the most notable presence at this T20 World Cup, an unfamiliar presence in top-level cricket for both men and women. However, much of their success in recent years and in qualification is down to Nattaya Boochatham. A skilful right-arm seamer, Boochatham has taken a lot of wickets since the start of 2018; in fact, in that time period, only Poonam Yadav has taken more international T20 wickets than Boochatham. Undoubtedly, this has been given a boost by the standard of opposition that Thailand have been facing, but it’s been Boochatham who has done the damage in those matches. If Thailand are going to lay a glove on any side at this tournament, she’ll have to be at her best.

Darren Bravo marked his return with a stroke-filled century as West Indies had their first warm-up match on the ongoing tour against the Sri Lanka Cricket XI on Monday at the P Sara Oval.

The experienced left-hander hit 14 fours and a six in an even 100 – before he retired. He faced just 88 balls and played a number of powerful shots on both side of the wicket but was particularly eye-catching driving through the covers. His effort helped the West Indies post 282 all out off 48.4 overs.

The score, however, wasn’t enough as the Sri Lanka XI made 283-8 off 47.3 overs.

Bravo shared in two crucial partnerships as the West Indies batsmen looked to get valuable time in the middle ahead of the ODI series, which starts on Saturday. He added 113 with Sunil Ambris, who made 41 off 63 balls with six boundaries.

After Ambris fell, Nicholas Pooran joined Bravo and the pair of left-handers dominated the bowling with a stand of 79 in just 12 overs. Pooran, who made his maiden international century against Sri Lanka at last year’s World Cup, scored 41 off 38 balls, with two fours and two huge sixes. In the backend Fabian Allen (28) and Jason Holder (22) played cameos to boost the total.

“My goal was to spend at much time as possible at the crease. I had a particular game plan and it worked out so I’m confident going into the One-Day Series, later this week,” said Bravo.

In the second half of the match, left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell (2-22) was sensational with the new ball to have the home side two wickets down in the first over.

Left-arm spinner Fabian Allen (2-62) and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh (2-52) both bowled well but they were trumped by a brilliant knock of 120 from former Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga, who hit 16 fours and a six off 124 balls.

The West Indies will remain in Colombo this week, where they will have another warm-up match against the SLC XI on Thursday.

The first ODI is at the Sinhalese Sports Club on Saturday.

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