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.

Darren Bravo, Fabien Allen and Rovman Powell have been recalled to a 15-member West Indies squad that will play in the upcoming One-Day International (ODI) Series against Sri Lanka later this month.

President of Cricket West Indies Ricky Skerritt has welcomed the news that Dwayne Bravo’s has announced that he had ended his retirement from  International Twenty 20 cricket.

Out of favour Windies batsman, Darren Bravo has admitted an authoritative start to the Colonial Insurance Super50 was a relief after struggling at find form in recent months.

Bravo cracked an unbeaten 115 off 127 balls, anchoring the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in an eight-wickets win over the Windward Island Volcanoes.  The middle-order batsman was ably partnered by Jeremy Solozano who also got to the century mark, scoring 102 from 118 balls.

In an impressive knock, Bravo sent the ball racing to the boundary on five occasions and cleared the rope eight times.  It was a welcome sight for the out of form batsman, who was dropped from the West Indies squad after failing to make any significant or consistent impact at the crease for the past several months.

“I think this innings went a long way for me,” Bravo said following the match.

 “I just needed to back myself in the best possible way.  I know as long as I spent time out in the middle things were going to get easier and that is what I did.”

Bravo who received man-of-the-match honours insisted that patience and communication had been key in the record stand with Solozano.

Darren Bravo has been left out of West Indies' squad for the one-off Test with Afghanistan, while spinner Hayden Walsh has been called up for the one-day internationals and Twenty20s.

Phil Simmons, who on Monday was appointed as coach for a second time, will be in charge for a trio of Twenty20s, three ODIs and a Test, which take place in India next month.

The squads for the three formats were revealed on Tuesday and Bravo will not feature in the Test match having managed a combined 47 with the bat across four innings against India in August.

Alzarri Joseph, Shane Dowrich, Sunil Ambris and Jomel Warrican have been brought in, with Shannon Gabriel missing out through injury and wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton omitted.

Leg-break bowler Walsh, who has represented the United States in both ODIs and T20s this year, has received a first West Indies call-up for the limited-overs squads.

He has been rewarded for taking 22 wickets for the Barbados Tridents at the Caribbean Premier League, while opener Brandon King, the competition's leading scorer, has also been included.

Kieron Pollard will captain the team for the ODIs and T20s, but Chris Gayle remains absent despite having made a U-turn over his retirement.

 

West Indies Test squad: Jason Holder (captain), Shai Hope, John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Sunil Ambris, Jomel Warrican, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph.

ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sunil Ambris, Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph, Romario Shepherd.

T20 squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Brandon King, Fabian Allen, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh, Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Kesrick Williams, Alzarri Joseph.

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.

Test players Darren Bravo and John Campbell have been included in a 14-member West Indies “A” squad for the three-day, Tour Match against India, starting Saturday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua.

Windies legend Curtly Ambrose has admitted to being concerned by the form of top-order batsman Darren Bravo, heading into the ICC World Cup later this month.

The 30-year-old Bravo, who only recently rejoined the team following a two-year break, showed plenty of grit in a surprise Test series win for the Windies against England two months ago.  The batsman also made a decent contribution in the preceding ODI series averaging 31.5, including one half-century in two games.

The Trinidad and Tobago national has, however, struggled to continue that traction in the current tri-nation series.  In four matches so far the batsman’s highest score has been 17.  It is those statistics that have Ambrose concerned.

“We must really be concerned about his form because we need him to really come to the party and produce the runs that we know he is capable of doing,” Ambrose said.

“Because as we go deep into this World Cup and in order to get out of the group stages, we can’t rely on one, two or three players. We need a whole team to click or most of the team to click, for us to get out of the group stages,” he added.

“So I am concerned about Darren Bravo’s form but I feel that he’s good enough to get out of that slump and produce the runs for us.”

Windies top order batsman Darren Bravo insists self-belief will be key to the team’s chances of success if they are to mount a strong challenge at next month’s ICC World Cup. 

The 30-year-old Bravo was part of a Windies squad that recently went toe to toe with a top-ranked England team, earning a highly credible 2-2 draw.  The batsman, who only recently returned to the team, has admitted the experience has been a major confidence booster for the unit.

“We are capable of winning the World Cup, but the team must concentrate on the plans we have made as a unit which will be the most important thing,” Bravo told Barbados Today. “We are not going to focus very much on the opposition. We have certain plans and roles we have to execute. Once we get them right I believe the results will take care of themselves. No one gave us a chance against England and we went out there and proved that we can beat the best team in the world. We just got to continue to believe in ourselves and anything is possible,” he added.

The talented batsman only recently returned to the squad after an extended absence, following a feud with former CWI boss Dave Cameron.  The player insists his loyalties have always been to represent the West Indies and is happy to be back in the fold.

“As a kid growing up my dream was always to play 100 Test matches for the West Indies and that is still my ultimate goal. I guess I have some work to put in to achieve my dream. I will be doing whatever I have to do whenever I am given the opportunity to play for the West Indies. I have to try to be as consistent as possible. I want to cement my role in the team and try to win matches for the West Indies.”

Veteran opener, Christopher Henry Gayle, now has 24 centuries under his belt after smashing 135 off 128 deliveries to lead the Windies to 360 for 8 in the first One Day International of series against England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. 

 

Darren Bravo one of the heroes for the Windies in their massive 10-wicket win over England in Antigua on Saturday, has declared that he is available for the Caribbean side in all formats of the game.

Windies top order batsman Darren Bravo insists the team has no intentions of taking its foot off the throat of English opposition, despite securing an unassailable 2-0 lead and the Wisden Trophy on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Bravo played a starring role, albeit in typically different circumstances, as his gritty half-century off a marathon 216 balls provided the backbone for a hard-fought 10-wicket win at North Sound in Antigua. 

The win followed up on another convincing performance in the first Test, which featured a 381-run win in Bridgetown to set the cat among the pigeons.  Heading into the series it was England, the world’s number three ranked Test team that was expected to dominate a Windies team several places below them.  Despite having proven the pundits, and almost everyone for that matter, wrong, Bravo insists the regional team will remain focused on finishing the job.

“I don’t think we can take any Test match lightly. We are trying to make our way back up the Test rankings and that is of paramount importance for us.  We are going to train hard and plan the way we have been planning in the first two Test matches,” Bravo said following the match.

“Before the start of the series the first thing the coach said is we want to win this series 3-0.  There is still motivation there and I don’t see any reason we can’t do it,” he added.

 “It’s going to be tough, I don’t think England will lie down and play dead they are going to come at us and we are looking forward to it.”

Kemar Roach and Jason Holder took four wickets apiece as the magnificent West Indies tore through brittle England yet again to seal a crushing, series-clinching 10-wicket victory on day three in Antigua. 

When Kemar Roach launched into a delivery from James Anderson only to find a tall Ben Stokes at second slip latching onto a flier, the crowd at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium stood and applauded. 

West Indies dug in on a testing pitch to open up a potentially series-winning lead on day two of the second Test against England in Antigua.

Kraigg Brathwaite (49), John Campbell (47) and Shai Hope (44) made contributions at the top of the order on a North Sound track with such variable bounce.

Darren Bravo dropped anchor to frustrate the tourists with a patient unbeaten 33 from 165 deliveries and Jason Holder was still there on 19 when the Windies closed on 272-6 - leading by 85 runs.

The excellent Stuart Broad was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-42 from 28 overs after having no luck in the opening session, with Jos Buttler dropping a simple chance to remove John Campbell.

England, who had Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps with Ben Foakes sent for an X-ray on his right hand, will have to produce something special to keep the series alive after toiling on a warm Friday.

Broad was desperately unfortunate to see a miserly, probing morning spell go without reward as Campbell survived a DRS appeal for caught behind, before Buttler dropped a regulation chance offered by the West Indies opener at third slip.

Campbell made the most of those and other slices of good fortune to strike some confident blows through the covers on his way to 47, but Buttler partially atoned for his earlier error, with Ben Stokes the beneficiary.

That was England's only breakthrough before lunch, as Brathwaite's opening stand of 70 with Campbell and an additional 63 alongside Hope for the second wicket placed a sizable dent in the tourists' first-innings total of 187.

But Brathwaite and Hope also fell just short of half-centuries – Moeen Ali (2-54) having the former caught at short leg by substitute Keaton Jennings.

Broad then deployed leg-cutters to fine effect, seeing Hope caught at the wicket and uprooting Roston Chase's off stump in the same over with one that kept wickedly low.

James Anderson was furious when Rory Burns grassed Shimron Hetmyer at extra cover off his bowling and had barely calmed down when he superbly caught the dangerous batsman in the deep off Moeen for 21.

West Indies were a run behind and five down at that stage and Bravo and first-Test centurion Shane Dowrich rode their luck in getting through to tea.

It was Broad who ended a 50-run stand to reduce the Windies to 236-6, a brute of a delivery rapping Dowrich (31) on the gloves and looping to Buttler in the slips, before England wasted a review when Bravo was struck on the pad by Stokes.

The watchful Bravo and Holder stood firm as England continued to probe without further reward, leaving the Windies in a strong position at stumps.

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