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Lendl Simmons revealed his "old-school" approach had been pivotal to his match-winning knock in West Indies' Twenty20 victory over India in Thiruvananthapuram.

Simmons' unbeaten 67 from 45 balls helped the Windies to an eight-wicket triumph, ensuring the series will go to a decider as he capitalised on being dropped with just six runs to his name in one of several fielding errors to irk India captain Virat Kohli.

Despite a slow start, Simmons soon accelerated through the gears and his eye-catching outing included four fours and the same number of sixes.

As he was presented with the player of the match award, Simmons said the pacing of his innings was all part of the plan.

"I like playing against India, it's a good challenge," he said, having been ably assisted by Evin Lewis (40), Nicholas Pooran (38 not out) and Shimron Hetmyer (23).

"I haven't played international cricket for a while, so I'm enjoying it. I didn't start how I wanted to. My partners can go from ball one, but I am a bit old school.

"With experience, you know your game, and I understand my role. It was easier to bat after the powerplay, getting the odd boundary.

"Pooran and Hetmyer were getting boundaries easily so I played the different role."

A frustrated Kohli conceded his side had come up short with their total of 170-7 but felt their complacency in the field had been telling.

"I think we were good for 16 overs while batting, but then in the last four overs we got only 30. We need to focus on that," he said.

"But if we field so poorly, no amount of runs will be enough. We were poor in the field in the last two games.

"We dropped two catches in one over. Imagine if they lost two wickets in the same over.

"Everyone saw we need to be braver with our fielding. Do or die game coming up in Mumbai [on Wednesday]."

Lendl Simmons guided West Indies to an eight-wicket thumping of India in the second Twenty20 international in Thiruvananthapuram, setting up a series decider in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Simmons finished unbeaten on 67 from 45 balls, having received able support from Evin Lewis (40), Shimron Hetmyer (23) and the returning Nicholas Pooran (38 not out) as the Windies reached a target of 171 with nine deliveries unused.

Shivam Dube had earlier compiled a maiden half-century for the hosts, impressing with 54 from 30 balls after being surprisingly promoted to number three, yet Virat Kohli's men were ultimately overpowered as West Indies hit 12 sixes to India's five.

The tourists were 26 without loss after five overs, but they accelerated in devastating fashion thereafter to win with ease.

Simmons was the star turn, hitting four fours and as many sixes as he took full advantage of being dropped by Washington Sundar on six, while Pooran scored at a strike-rate of 211 on his comeback from a four-match ban for ball-tampering.

Lewis and Hetmyer also provided the necessary impetus to get the Windies ahead of the required rate, the latter thumping three maximums before falling victim to a stunning Virat Kohli catch at long-on, which saw India's captain take the ball on the run before contorting his body superbly to avoid touching the boundary rope.

India were left to rue Sundar putting down a routine chance off Bhuvneshwar Kumar to give Simmons an early life, though, and Lewis was also dropped on 17 by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Dube, who cleared the ropes four times, and Pant (33 not out) were the only home batsmen to make significant contributions to a score of 170-7, as the Windies' attack kept things relatively tight despite conceding a glut of extras.

Many of the big-name West Indies T20 players, including Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo, have been axed from their teams in the Pakistan Super League ahead of its February 2020 start during Saturday’s draft in Lahore.

West Indies limited-overs captain Kieron Pollard has placed the blame for a six-wicket defeat to India in the first T20 international of their tour of India squarely at the feet of the bowlers.

The West Indies, sent into bat in the first game of a three-match series, batted well to score 207-4 from their 20 overs, but found the big total not enough, as India romped to 209-4 in 18.4 overs.

For the West Indies, Evin Lewis scored 40 from 17 deliveries, Brandon King announced himself with 31 from 23 balls, and Shimron Hetmyer notched his first half-century in international T20s with 56 from 41. Pollard scored 37 from 19, Jason Holder had a worldwind 24 not out from nine balls, while Denesh Ramdin ended unbeaten on 11 from seven.

In reply, KL Rahul slammed 62 from 40 deliveries, while India captain Virat Kohli was imperious with 94 not out from 50 deliveries.

“Batters had a good effort. You'd take 208 ten out of 10 times,” said Pollard after the game.

“We lost due to the extras column,” said Pollard.

In a bowling innings where Kesrick Williams had none for 60 in 3.4 overs, and Holder struggled, going wicketless for 46 runs, it was still the extras column that was problematic for the skipper. While Sheldon Cottrell was good, taking 1-24 from his four overs, and Khary Pierre took two wickets for 44, the 23 extras, stemming from 11 illegal deliveries, the West Indies racked up was too much.

“Nearly two and a half overs of extra deliveries. Yes, it was a batting wicket, but if we executed our plans better, it could've been a different story,” said Pollard.

Despite the loss and the manner of defeat, Pollard believes the outing was good for the West Indies and showed they were not far away from being a very good T20 side.

“There are only two areas where we lost the game in. Usually we tend to focus on negatives, but a lot of positives to take away today. King and Hetmyer showed great intent. Fielders did well. In the end, we need to improve, and we will win if we learn to tick more boxes. Can't fault the effort of the guys."

The West Indies will look to get the formula right on Sunday when they again go up against India in a bid to even the series at The Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.

Captain Virat Kohli led from the front, hitting an unbeaten 94, as India overhauled West Indies' total of 207-5 with ease to record a six-wicket win in the Twenty20 series opener.

While not at his fluent best in the early stages, Kohli picked up the pace in the second half of India’s impressive run chase, rushing his side over the line with eight balls to spare in Hyderabad.

The right-hander was afforded time to get his eye in by the efforts of team-mate KL Rahul, who passed 1,000 runs in the format at international level during his knock of 62.

West Indies had cleared the boundary 15 times to set what appeared to be a stiff target at the halfway stage, Shimron Hetmyer leading the onslaught with 56. His maiden international T20 half-century was not without the odd slice of luck, however, as India missed a number of opportunities in the field.

The home team failed to take three successive chances at the start of the 17th over, allowing West Indies to post the second highest total by a touring team in a T20 fixture on Indian soil.

Evin Lewis (40) and Brandon King (31) added 51 for the second wicket, while captain Kieron Pollard weighed in with 37 from 19 deliveries, matching Hetmyer’s tally of four sixes.

Jason Holder managed two maximums himself in the final over as he contributed 24 not out, though he was on the receiving end of some heavy hitting during an India reply that overcame the early setback of losing Rohit Sharma for eight.

Rahul - back at the top of the order in place of the injured Shikhar Dhawan - helped put on a century stand with his skipper before becoming the second batsman to fall to left-arm spinner Khary Pierre (2-44).

Still, by that stage Kohli had moved through the gears as he motored towards the target. Kesrick Williams came in for some particularly heavy punishment, leaking 60 runs from his 3.4 overs, as India prevailed in the first of three T20 matches between the sides.

Brian Lara would have loved Australia to have given David Warner a greater opportunity to break his record for the most runs scored in a Test innings.

Warner struck a sublime unbeaten 335 in the second-Test hammering of Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval last week, with only Matthew Hayden (380) above him in the list of highest scores by an Australian.

However, Warner did not get the chance to beat the legendary Lara's overall benchmark of 400 not out achieved against England in April 2004 after captain Tim Paine declared, not wanting to risk the potential for adverse weather scuppering the team's chances of victory.

Lara understands Paine's thought process behind the decision, but he was disappointed Warner was not afforded more time to have a go at his record.

"Well I was hoping that they would give him an opportunity to at least go for it," he told Omnisport.

"I know Australia, first and foremost, want to put themselves in the best possible position to win the game. 

"But looking at the end of it, in hindsight, you're winning with a day to spare. It would have been nice to see someone have a go at it. 

"It is always tricky, you never know what is going to happen when you start approaching a total such as that. I remember doing it the first time in 1994 [375 not out against England], how nervous you can get. 

"But so be it, they won the Test which is the most important thing. He batted well, put his team in a great position. 

"What I like about him is he's an attacking player, which is great. You want an attacking player to be on or around such a record."

Cricket West Indies has appointed experienced coach Monty Desai to the post of West Indies Men’s Batting Coach.

Windies star Chris Gayle will feature for the Chattogram Challengers in the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), contradicting recent reports that he was set for an extended spell away from the game.

The 40-year-old, who has expressed frustration with a lean spell of form in recent weeks, turned down a chance to represent the West Indies during the series against Afghanistan.  The player also insisted that he would not take part in the Australia Big Bash and claimed he was surprised to be listed in one of the teams for the BPL.

Chattogram insisted, however, that the player was due to appear at the tournament after being in contact with his agent.  It seems the club has now resolved the issue, insisting the player will appear for the second half of the tournament.

 "Chris Gayle has a hamstring niggle," Chattogram's managing director KM Rifatuzzaman told ESPNCricinfo.

"He will need a bit of time to be completely fit. He was always going to play in the BPL and even though we will not have him for the entire campaign, he will be available in the latter part," he added.

Gayle’s agent Rudradeep Banerjee confirmed that the player would be traveling to Bangladesh.

"In the MSL he picked up a niggle for which his doctor has advised him rest of at least two weeks," Banerjee said.

"That kind of puts him out for December. He would be free for maybe a game or two, but then to fly into Dhaka and back to West Indies doesn't make sense,” he added.

"If he would have been fit, he would have played the first leg, would have gone home on December 23 and come back again on January 4."

 

 

West Indies Test captain Jason Holder wants his side to be among the best in the world by July 2021 and goes further to expect a top-five ranking by then.

There was a time when that kind of brash talk would have been expected from a West Indian but not given the kind of lean times the region has had with bat and ball in the last 25 years.

Holder was speaking after the West Indies won its first Test match under new coach Phil Simmons in Lucknow, India, beating Afghanistan by nine wickets.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) started the World Test Championship on August 1, 2019, creating a league for the top nine Test-playing teams over two years with the top two teams qualifying for a World Test League Championship Final. The World Test Championship begins again in July of 2021.

That being said, the West Indies did not start their World Test Championship campaign very well, losing to India in the Caribbean in a largely one-sided affair.

But now, with the dominance the West Indies showed against Afghanistan, despite it not being a World Test Championship encounter, hope abounds once again.

"I think by the end of the Test Championship, I don't see it being impossible for us to be fourth or fifth in the world," said Holder.

"That would be a significant achievement in a two-year period. We've got some tough series coming up. We've got England, then South Africa coming to the Caribbean, then we've got New Zealand… all good cricket sides. But I don't think it's beyond us to beat them. We've just got to make sure we keep building and developing. Once we do that, we can compete with any side in the world. A realistic target in two years would be to be ranked three or four in the world."

According to Holder, while the game was not part of the World Test Championship, there was enough shown by the West Indies to offer a road map of what needed to be done to get into the top five.

"I've said it in the last couple of series we've played: more responsibility needs to be taken by our batters," Holder said.

"Once they do that and take the bull by the horns, I think our bowling attack has shown it can compete with any attack in the world. We've shown glimpses of brilliance, which is all well and good, but consistency is the name of the game. In order to be a world-class team, you have to be consistent with your batting. You have to get 20 wickets of course, but you have to set it up with the bat. First innings' count for a lot. If we can put teams under pressure with our first innings scores, more often than not, West Indies will be up there among the top-ranked sides in the world."

West Indies Emerging Players captain Yannic Cariah has revealed that self-belief was key to the team unlikely triumph in the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 competition on Sunday.

At the start of the tournament, few would have given the unit hastily stitched together by Cricket West Indies a shot to win the it all.  In fact, the idea behind the Floyd Reifer-coached unit was to give player that had been rejected by their regional squads a chance to gain valuable experience.  On Sunday, a 205 runs thrashing of the Leeward Islands in the final proved they were just as good as anyone else.

After several strong performances, the team’s run in the tournament seemed to be at an end following a crushing defeat to the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force just a week ago, however, another unlikely scenario, a loss for the Guyana Jaguars to the United States, put them squarely back in contention for the top prize.

“I told the guys once we got through the semifinals, we would win the tournament because I know the caliber of players that we have.  We have a balanced team and the belief that everyone has is incredible,” Cariah said in a post-match interview.

“I have to thank the coaches, the staff who gave us the support that we needed.  Men played with niggles, men played under the weather and we still came out on top, that a fantastic achievement,” he added.

 

A four-four from spinner Kevin Sinclair and three from Yannic Cariah led the West Indies Emerging Players to a crushing 205 runs victory over and to the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain on Sunday.

Sent in to bat, Leonardo Julien smashed an enterprising 83 from 85 runs as the Emerging Players piled up a daunting 293 for 7 in their 50 overs.  In their turn at the crease, the Hurricanes never got going as they were scuttled out for just 88.

Opening with Kimani Meluis, Julien got Emerging players off to a solid start before, Meluis was caught for 28 by Kacey Carty off the bowling of Jacques Taylor.  He went on to put on another 84 for the second wicket with man-of-the-match Cariah, who made 34 from 51 before being run out.  Julien was dismissed, caught by Thomas off the bowling of  Sheeno Berridge, with Emerging Players well poised at 163 for 3.  Rolando Cato (31), Kevin Sinclair (28) and Dominic Drakes (38) put on another 97 at the bottom of the order.

Chasing the big target, the Leewards were on the back foot also immediately after losing opener Montcin Hodge for one run with just 11 on the board.  When his partner Kieran Powell (13) followed soon after, caught by Da Silva off the bowling of Kevin Sinclair the writing was on the wall for the Leewards.  Amir Jangoo provided the most resistance with 20 from 43 deliveries but his innings was brought to an end by Cariah.

 

Windies star Chris Gayle extended hearty congratulations to Australian David Warner who continued his purple patch of form with an unbeaten 335 during the second Test match against Pakistan at Adelaide Oval.

The knock elevated Warner to exclusive company become one of 31 players to ever achieve the feat.   The left-hander also became the second-highest scorer ever for Australia behind Matthew Hayden’s 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003.  Gayle, who also features prominently on the list, had scored 333 against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2010, congratulated the Australian batsman via social media platform Twitter.

“Welcome to the Triple club, @davidwarner31 - Top stuff,” Gayle tweeted.

Warner, who served a 12-month ban from the sports after being punished for ball-tampering, beat Donald Bradman’s record of 299, set against South Africa in 1931-32, for the highest test score at the Adelaide Oval.  The player also produced the biggest innings ever in the day-night Test cricket format.  Australia captain Tim Paine declared at 589-3 on day two against Pakistan.

 

 

 

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