Barbados Tridents skipper Jason Holder has heaped praises on leg spinner Hayden Walsh Jr whose devastating spell proved crucial in an important win over Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Thursday.

Walsh Jr claimed three wickets in four balls for the first five-wicket haul of the season.  In a match-altering spell, the spinner removed the dangerous Kieron Pollard for 3 before adding the scalp of Jimmy Neesham and Seekkuge Prasanna in consecutive deliveries.  Earlier Walsh also removed Denesh Ramdin and Darren Bravo, who looked set to give the Knight Riders a boost in their run chase after carving out a patient 28 from 24.

“I’m proud of Hayden.  He’s had a difficult time in West Indies cricket, he’s been in and out of a few franchises and he hasn’t had a chance to really get a good run of games,” Holder said.

“I spoke to him before the tournament and I backed him and gave him all the confidence.  We wanted a local leg spinner and he was one of the guys I was really looking for and we got him.  I’m just happy to see him come in and deliver.  I'm just really proud of him,” Holder added.

 

Guyana Amazon Warriors opened a three-point lead at the top of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) table as they extended their perfect start to the season to six matches and guaranteed a playoff spot with a rain-affected victory over Barbados Tridents at the Kensington Oval.

The Warriors dismissed the Tridents for just 138, Chris Green taking the last four wickets to fall and conceding just 14 runs in his 3.2 overs, before reaching 77/2 after 10 overs of the run-chase when heavy rain held up play for an hour. When play resumed, the Warriors’ target of 62 from the last 60 balls had been reduced to 20 from 24.

They added four from the 11th over before the rain returned again to finish things off with the Warriors 81/2 and still comfortably clear of a DLS par score of 69. 

The one over possible after the initial rain delay did at least allow Brandon King to complete a fine half-century having been left stranded on 49 not out when the players had first left the field..

He and Chandrapaul Hemraj had been watchful at the start of the Warriors’ initial pursuit of 139 for victory but still took the score past 50 in the Powerplay as King in particular began to cut loose.

King took Ashley Nurse for 10 in two balls as the spinner’s first over leaked 15 runs, while King smashed his second Hero Maximum from the final ball of the sixth over as Jason Holder dropped short.

That took the total and partnership to 52 before Nurse’s problems continued in the field as he put down a simple chance offered by King on 30. Two balls later, King planted his third six of the night over midwicket.

There was some respite for the Tridents when Hemraj chipped a return catch to Sandeep Lamichhane for 20 and Shimron Hetmyer was very smartly caught and bowled by JP Duminy for just 2 but by then the required rate was already down to just a run a ball.

King continued to impress, taking Lamichhane for back-to-back boundaries to end the tenth over and, as it turned out, the contest as the initial drizzle turned quickly into something more substantial.

With 77/2 on the board, the Warriors were 16 ahead of the DLS par score of 61, with the only minor disappointment for them being King left stranded one short of a half-century on 49* from 30 balls. Something he rectified when they returned to the field. 

Earlier, The Tridents lost regular wickets throughout a rather frenetic innings, which meant even when the run-rate was healthy – 63 runs came in the six-over Powerplay at the top of the innings – their position was always fragile.

Unsurprisingly, the run-rate slowed as the hosts were forced to keep one eye on their wickets in hand.

And even that approach didn’t work out in the end, Green taking the last four wickets of the innings to leave the Tridents well short.

The tone was set in the very first over, a slightly wild effort from Keemo Paul that brought 17 runs, but also the crucial wicket of Johnson Charles as he sliced a wide ball all the way to Imran Tahir at third-man.

Justin Greaves, so impressive on debut, got a couple of good-looking boundaries away but holed out off Romario Shepherd for 11. That too was a recurring theme. Alex Hales looked good for his 24 before picking out deep midwicket from the first ball of Tahir’s second over, while Jason Holder, Leniko Boucher, Raymon Reifer, and Lamichhane all fell going for big shots early in their innings.

Even Duminy, who held the whole thing together with a 32-ball 38 featuring two fours and two Hero Maximums, was caught in the deep attempting to pull Green over square-leg.

Jonathan Carter was undone by a fine leg-break from Tahir, lbw after a lengthy deliberation from the umpire, while Nurse was smartly stumped by Nicholas Pooran to help Green on his way to figures of 4/14.

That represented the second-best bowling return of the 2019 Hero CPL – only Green’s team-mate Shepherd has done better, with 4/13 against these same opponents in Match Six.

A steady showing from the Windies Women top order saw the team coast to a 45-run win, which wrapped up the T20 series against Ireland at the Pembroke Cricket Club on Tuesday.

Hayley Matthews cracked a timely 33 from 32 balls, Britney Cooper added 20 from 11 and Stacy-Ann King 34 from 33, their efforts forming the base of the Windies total of 157 for 6.  For the Irish, who struggled to remain competitive, it was captain Kim Garth who did most of the damage with the ball after claiming 3 for 22.

In response, it was Garth who showed up to be counted for Irish again with the bat, her unbeaten 51 runs from 48 balls threatening to keep the match competitive.  In the end, however, opener Mary Waldron, who crafted 25 from 28, proved to be the only support Garth would get.  With the exception of Gaby Lewis, who crafted 11 from 11, the rest of the Ireland team would fail to get into double figures.

  King and Afy Fletcher got the majority of the wickets for the West Indies after claiming two each.  King captured 2 for 15, while Fletcher ended with 2 for 20.  The Windies Women will take a 2-0 lead into their final fixture against the Irish on Wednesday.

Burgeoning Windies talent Shimron Hetmyer admits to being thrilled to represent the region at the upcoming ICC World Cup but confesses such an early breakthrough has come as a surprise.

Fast-becoming a real favourite among Caribbean fans, the 22-year-old Guyanese native made his ODI debut two years ago against New Zealand in Whangarei.  Despite having only 25 appearances, few would have imagined a Windies squad without the former Under-19 captain.

“I always dreamt about playing in a World Cup for the West Indies, but I never thought I would be playing for the West Indies this young and at the World Cup as well.  It’s a fantastic feeling for me and I will do everything possible to make sure the West Indies win the World Cup,” Hetmyer said in a recent interview.

“Actually being part of the West Indies team for about three years now is fantastic for me. I’m just trying to grow from strength to strength in whatever way. I was in the IPL, CPL and just before that we were playing England in the Caribbean, thus far it's been great,” he added.

Despite fighting a battle with inconsistent performance and on occasion, questionable stroke play, few can argue about the impact Hetmyer has made with the regional team.

In his 25 appearances, the top order batsman has an average of 40.86, with four centuries to his credit. Overall, Hetmyer is the 5th quickest to score three ODI centuries.

 

Jamaica international Leon Bailey is expected to represent his nation at the upcoming CONCACAF Gold, as a protracted dispute with the national football governing body seems to have come to an end.

The 22-year-old Bailey had previously turned down numerous invitations to represent the Caribbean nation, the most recent coming in October of last year.  On that occasion Bailey had agreed to play against Bonaire but later refused after his brother Kyle was not invited to the squad.

According to both parties, however, the impasse seems to be at an end with the player potentially making his debut against the USA in an upcoming friendly international.

“Chris Samuda worked hard with some things and the minister has also given her support. We love our country and we want to play for our country,” Bailey’s agent and guardian Craig Butler said.

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts also confirmed that things have been smoothed over.

“Leon Bailey will be called because the coach and I have had discussions recently, and he will be invited both for the friendly in the U.S. and also for the Gold Cup tournament,” Ricketts said.

“I think that coach (Donovan) Duckie has interest for the brother (Kyle) for the Olympic squad because he did indicate to me that he has an interest in inviting him for the Olympic squad,” he added.

“We are looking forward to having them here, and we just hope that we will be able to put the past behind us and just restart the whole thing of just having him (Bailey) in the national set-up.”

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