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.

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."

While the West Indies were expected to dominate their one-off Test against Afghanistan in Lucknow, India, they still had to do it and it was important to their skipper, Jason Holder, that the year ended with his side tasting some success.

The West Indies, playing in a one-off Test after T20 and ODI series against Afghanistan, were emphatic nine-wicket winners after bowling out the hosts for 187 and 120 while scoring 277 and 31-1.

The results were brought about by Rahkeem Cornwall’s 7-75 and 3-46, as well as Shamarh Brooks first-innings knock of 111.

“Really important win, you know. We had a tough series against India. Was important to finish the year well,” said Holder after his West Indies side finished the game inside three days.

Holder also pointed out that there was a certain type of unity within the West Indies squad that he believed would hold them in good stead for bigger challenges on the horizon.

“We've got a good group going. The whole management staff has been excellent. We've got good unity, we have a one-team motif. Once we love one another, the job becomes much easier on the cricket field. Hope it continues," he said.

Holder was also pleased with the way the new players in the side have come on and held their hands up to be counted when the going gets tough.

“Very pleasing to see new guys come in and take the opportunity. Shamarh did that. He scored a fifty in the last innings and followed it with a hundred here. It was full of class. And then Rahkeem getting seven in the first innings, in just his second Test, is amazing,” said Holder.

West Indies needed just an hour to complete a nine-wicket rout of Afghanistan on day three of the one-off Test in Lucknow.

Resuming on 109-7, Afghanistan only lasted another 7.1 overs as Windies captain Jason Holder claimed the remaining three wickets on Friday.

Afghanistan were skittled for 120 – a lead of just 31 – after Holder (3-20) sent Rashid Khan (1), Yamin Ahmadzai (1) and Afsar Zazai (7) back to the pavilion.

The Windies then eased to victory, despite Amir Hamza (1-5) getting Kraigg Brathwaite (8) caught behind, as John Campbell (19 not out) and Shai Hope (6 not out) led the team to 33-1.

Shamarh Brooks' maiden Test century and a 10-wicket haul from Rahkeem Cornwall had put the Windies in complete control on day two.

"I'm delighted with my performance," Cornwall said after being named man of the match. "Playing for West Indies was my dream as a youngster and now 10 wickets in a Test match is amazing."

Sir Vivian Richards is in full support of the appointment of Kieron Pollard as white-ball captain of the West Indies, saying the veteran all-rounder brings more aggression to the role than the two men he replaced.

Pollard, who opened his account as ODI captain on Wednesday with an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Lucknow, India, has had the eye of Richards for the last five years, ever since he won the CPL with the Barbados Tridents.

"I've always admired his captaincy,” said Richards, who has been one of those to have noted a tendency towards passiveness in previous West Indies sides.

Jason Holder, the West Indies Test captain and previous ODI captain, has been criticized for not being aggressive enough on occasion and going into defensive mode too quickly.

“I've always felt that when he played the first CPL T20 at home, he was the best captain,” said Richards.

“I think Barbados Tridents went on to win it [in 2014], and he was the best captain in my opinion, more proactive than the rest of the captains we would have seen,” said Richards.

 I think he's in a good place," he said.

Richards also believes Pollard will benefit from having more talent around him than did his predecessors, Holder and Carlos Brathwaite, former captain of the T20 side.

“There's enough good players around him that can help out as well,” said Richards, referring to newcomers like Brandon King and Hayden Walsh Jr.

Pollard's first course of action as ODI captain was to marshall his troops into dismissing Bangladesh for 194 in 45.2 overs, courtesy of Jason Holder, 2-21, Romario Shepherd, 2-32, Roston Chase 2-31, Sheldon Cottrell, 1-33, and Hayden Walsh Jr, 1-33, sharing the workload. The West Indies batters then made simple work of the total, getting to 197-3 three balls into the 47th over.

Roston Chase, 94, and Shai Hope, 77, were the major contributors to the innings.

West Indies Test captain, Jason Holder, believes the time is ripe for him to make his mark in the shortest form of the game he has risen to the top of in its more traditional form.

There was no room for veteran Windies opener Chris Gayle as the new Cricket West Indies selection panel named squads for all three formats for the team’s series against Afghanistan.

The 40-year-old batsman was expected to retire from the sport following this year’s World Cup but had a change of heart.  The player had also targeted the India home tour as possibly his final appearance for the regional team but insisted following the series that he had not retired.

Despite the absence of the talismanic player, however, there are several noted returnees.  As expected, having been appointed captain of the ODI and T20 teams Kieron Pollard returns to the white ball team for the first time in three years.  Pollard replaced Holder as captain of the ODI team and Carlos Brathwaite as leader of the T20 team.  While Holder has been included in all three formats, Brathwaite has been dropped from the squad. 

Fresh off successful campaigns in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Guyana Amazon Warriors opening batsman Brandon King and Barbados Tridents spinner Hayden Walsh Jr have been included in the T20 and ODI formats.  Lendl Simmons, who also put together a solid campaign for Trinbago Knightriders, has also been included in the T20 squad. 

Promising young pace bowler Alzarri Josephs, who missed the World Cup due to injury, will also return to the team for all three formats.

 

Test squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Shai Hope, John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamrah 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 Jr., Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph, Romario Shepherd.

T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Brandon King, Fabian Allen, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr., Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Kesrick Williams, Alzarri Joseph.

After a slow start to the their Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign, the Barbados Tridents winning their second title would have been a long shot at any betting house.

But it wasn’t for their skipper Jason Holder, who says the team stuck together and that everybody understood their roles and went out and did it.

At different points throughout this season, The Tridents had special performances from Ashley Nurse, Raymon Reifer, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Harry Gurney, Holder and Hayden Walsh Jr.

According to thr skipper, he could not have asked more from the all-round effort his team produced to turn around a season that began with four losses in the first six games.

“The coaching staff has been outstanding, each and every player has really pulled their wait. I asked the guys to focus on their particular roles and to put everything together and I couldn’t ask for anything else,” said Holder.

“We all spend a lot of time together. This team is exceptional. That togetherness has gone a long way towards achieving these results,” said Holder.

Jonathan Carter is a man that believes in himself and his half century in the final of the Hero Caribbean Premier League final on Saturday suggested a player that is assured and stable.

But there had been questions about his place in the Barbados Tridents team that won their second CPL title on Saturday night, beating the Guyana Amazon Warriors by 27 runs.

Carter slammed four fours and went over the ropes a further four times to score his 51 from 27 balls, saying that assuredeness came from the support of his captain Jason Holder and his coach Phil Simmons.

“When you have a friend like Jason, a captain, who has confidence in you, it gives you the all-clear to go out there and do what you have to do,” said Carter.

“He believes in me, and also coach Simmons. He’s been very influential in the knocks I have been playing this year so I would just like to thank them for that. Thank you Jason, thank you Phil,” said Carter.

Carter was scoring his second half century of the competition, having failed to get over the milestone in every season prior.

Carter also scored 51 against the Trinbago Knight Riders in a game his team won, and also had handy scores of 30 and 49.

Carter also won the prize for the catch of the tournament, a diving one-handed effort that got rid of St Lucia Zouks captain Darren Sammy in match number 17 of the tournament.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) have announced the team of the tournament. This has been selected by Tom Moody, Hero CPL’s Director – International Cricket, along with the commentary team – Mark Butcher, Danny Morrison, Dirk Nannes, Ian Bishop and Daren Ganga.

The team will be captained by Shoaib Malik (313 runs at 78.25) who successfully led the Guyana Amazon Warriors to a record 10 victories in the group stages to leave his team unbeaten in the tournament thus far. He is joined by fellow Amazon Warriors, Brandon King (453 runs at 56.62) and Imran Tahir (15 wickets at 11.53) who have both played an integral part in the Guyana franchise’s record breaking tournament.

The sole representative from the Jamaica Tallawahs is Glenn Phillips (374 runs at 37.40) who will also be the wicket keeper for the team. Phillips was the leading light for the Tallawahs who had a tricky season, but the Kiwi ‘keeper-batsman did brilliantly at the top of the order.

The Trinbago Knight Riders have two players in the team, Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard. Simmons (429 runs at 42.90) was a late replacement in the Knight Riders squad but has done a superb job at the top or the order as his team made the playoffs once again. Pollard (349 runs at 58.16 and 6 wickets at 29.66) stepped up to the captaincy after Dwayne Bravo pulled out of the tournament through injury and has led from the front with both bat and ball.

The Barbados Tridents have three players who make the team. Jason Holder (14 wickets at 23.07) and Harry Gurney (10 wickets at 16.3) both getting the nod. Holder and Gurney have been superb with the new ball for the Tridents as their team finished second in the points table. The other member of the Tridents who is selected is Hayden Walsh Jr (21 wickets a 12.19) who has claimed five wickets in one innings and four in another as the USA spinner had a breakout season.

The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots have representation from Fabian Allen (218 runs at 27.25) and Sheldon Cottrell (12 wickets at 19.25). Allen has scored his runs at a remarkable strike rate of 177.23 during the 2019 Hero CPL and has also been one of the fielders of the tournament. Cottrell has been saluting his way to success once again as he starred with the new ball and at the death for the Patriots.

The Head Coach of the year is Johan Botha who has taken Guyana Amazon Warriors into the CPL final with 11 straight wins. The 12th and 13th men are also from Amazon Warriors, with Chris Green (13 wickets at 20) and Chandrapaul Hemraj (298 runs at 27.09, 5 wickets at 17.2) making up the rest of the squad.

 

HERO CPL TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT

 

  1. Lendl Simmons – Trinbago Knight Riders
  2. Brandon King – Guyana Amazon Warriors
  3. Glenn Phillips * (WK) – Jamaica Tallawahs
  4. Shoaib Malik * (C) – Guyana Amazon Warriors
  5. Fabian Allen – St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
  6. Kieron Pollard – Trinbago Knight Riders
  7. Jason Holder – Barbados Tridents
  8. Hayden Walsh Jr – Barbados Tridents
  9. Imran Tahir *– Guyana Amazon Warriors
  10. Harry Gurney * – Barbados Tridents
  11. Sheldon Cottrell – St Kitts & Nevis Patriots

 

12th man: Chris Green * – Guyana Amazon Warriors

13th man: Chandrapaul Hemraj – Guyana Amazon Warriors

Head Coach: Johan Botha – Guyana Amazon Warriors

 

* Overseas player

Trinbago Knight Rider skipper Kieron Pollard has lamented a substandard showing from the team for the CPL semi-final against Barbados Tridents, insisting they did not deserve to progress based on the showing.

The Jason Holder-led Tridents secured a nail-biting 12-run win over the hosts, who had their sights set on a third consecutive CPL final. 

Set 161 for victory, the Knightriders seemed in a comfortable position at 110 for 5 but a calamitous run out for the team’s skipper, Pollard, precipitated a late-innings collapse.  Trinbago’s profligacy could in effect also be traced back to the Trident’s batting innings where Johnson Charles was dropped twice.  Charles went on to score 35 from 41 balls, the top scorer for the team.

“When you look at our performance throughout the season, I think we deserved to lose this game tonight. You can't turn up in a semi-final and drop a couple catches like that, simple errors, and not execute in a big game like that,” Pollard said following the match.

“It’s sort of what our season has been like in terms of not executing we and it cost us in the end.”

The Tridents will play the unbeaten Guyana Amazon Warriors in Saturday’s final at the Brian Lara Stadium, in Trinidad.

 

Three wickets in an over from Hayden Walsh Jr and a superb spell from Harry Gurney turned the Barbados Tridents’ whole season around as they defended 141 for 6 to defeat St Lucia Zouks and grab the final 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in a winner-takes-all clash at the Kensington Oval.

The Tridents looked to be heading out of the competition when the Zouks had got the target down to 31 runs from 28 balls with six wickets in hand, but Gurney then dismissed Hardus Viljoen before Walsh Jr’s three-wicket burst in the next over made it four wickets in eight balls and turned the match on its head.

Their total looked slightly short at the halfway stage, but with the pressure of a win-or-bust situation, and a pitch offering some assistance to the bowlers, it always promised to be a nervous run-chase for the Zouks.

Nevertheless, the Tridents’ hopes were already fading fast when the asking rate for the Zouks dropped below a run a ball within the powerplay despite the loss of openers Andre Fletcher and Rahkeem Cornwall.

Colin Ingram and Colin de Grandhomme kept the hammer down and got the Zouks so far ahead of the rate that even when they fell in successive overs control of the chase was still firmly in the visitors’ hands.

But first Gurney, and then most dramatically Walsh Jr, changed that with dizzying speed. Viljoen had smashed Gurney for six the ball before his dismissal, making the English left-armer’s slower ball bouncer an even bolder choice. But it did the job with Viljoen early on his shot and gloving through to Johnson Charles.

That triggered a startling collapse, with the Zouks losing their last six wickets for six runs in barely three overs to tumble out of the tournament.

Walsh Jr had Chris Barnwell, Daren Sammy and Krishmar Santokie caught on the boundary in his third over, while Gurney returned to finish off a superb spell of bowling in which he used the helpful conditions expertly by having Kesrick Williams caught on the fence from another deceptive slower ball. He finished with 3 for 17 from four high-quality overs.

It was Walsh Jr who had the last word, bagging his fourth wicket of the night and tournament-leading 14th of the 2019 Hero CPL to finish off the game and send the Tridents into the playoffs.

It was a fine effort from the Tridents after the heartbreak of the one-run defeat to St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 24 hours earlier that had turned this game into a must-win.

Even on a pitch offering a bit for the bowlers, 141 for 6 still felt short of what the Tridents would have hoped for after getting over the loss of Alex Hales to Santokie’s slower ball for a duck to post 48 for 1 in the powerplay. With Charles looking in imperious form and the classy Shakib Al Hasan another major headache for the Zouks, a total in excess of 160 looked on the cards.

Shakib, though, fell just as he was starting to really get going, drilling a slog-sweep off Fawad Ahmed but picking out Ingram who held a stinging catch at deep midwicket.

Charles fell three short of a half-century having hit four fours and two sixes in a 36-ball stay. No other Trident was able to match his ball-striking.

JP Duminy, a record-breaker earlier in the week, made 13 from 18 here before edging the excellent Santokie behind, while there was to be no repeat of last night’s Raymon Reifer fireworks as he holed out for just 3.

 

 

Windies batsman Kieron Pollard is poised to become the new captain of the regional team in both the T20 and ODI formats, numerous reports have claimed.

The 32-year-old Pollard, long thought of as a viable alternative for the post, is set to replace Jason Holder as head of the ODI team and Carlos Brathwaite as skipper of the T20 squad.  Holder was appointed the head of the regional team in 2014, with Brathwaite appointed as leader in the shorter format in 2016 after an outstanding performance at the World Cup.

 Neither captain has performed particularly well, however, with Holder losing 24 of 54 matches played and Brathwaite managing just a 33 percent win ratio.

Pollard has, however, not been a regular participant for the Windies squad in recent years, particularly in the ODI format where he last appeared for the team in 2016.  The player had, however, been named as a reserve for the 2019 World Cup but failed to make an appearance, as the regional team managed just one win and an eighth-place finish. 

Pollard made his T20 debut on June 2008 against Australia but was overlooked for several years after disputes with the regional board. He was, however, re­called to the West Indies team for the T20 internationals against Indian last month.

 

Windies skipper Jason Holder admits there is no easy solution to the batting afflictions currently suffered by the regional team, following yet another disappointing display against India in the second and final Test.

The regional team found themselves on the wrong end of a 257 runs defeat at the hands of India, on Monday, which followed a 318 loss in the first Test last week.  The result meant the Windies failed to win a match against India for the entire tour.

Both Test matches featured a substandard batting display from the hosts, who for example struggled to get 100 in the second innings of the first Test and 117 in the first innings of the second match.  India pace bowler Jaspit Bumrah proved to be particularly effective after taking 13 wickets in two Tests at an average of 9.23. 

"I’m obviously disappointed, we didn't play a complete game of cricket in any of the games. We need to put up the scores and fight out those tough periods.  It’s a tough question on how to fix the batting. It’s an individual thing,” Holder said.

“We need to take ownership of our performances,” he added.

The captain was quit to admit that he did not believe the team had a lot of choices as it relates to outside batting talent with which to improve the squad.

"The situation we are in the Caribbean...we are not really spoiled for choices in terms of batsmen coming through,” Holder said.

"We've got to put things in place and to make sure we keep developing players and make sure players are doing the right things to be successful.”

 

 

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