A remarkable run chase from the Barbados Royals ensured they ended their 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign with a victory against the Saint Lucia Kings at Warner Park on Sunday.

Roston Chase scored an unbeaten 45 in an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 61 with Keron Kottoy, who remained not out in 19, helped steer Jahmar Hamilton’s WIBest ‘B’ side to a three-wicket win over WIBest ‘A’ on today’s final day of their four-day match at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes a change of approach by his team’s batsmen is largely responsible for five of them averaging over 50 for the just-concluded series against Sri Lanka. Kraigg Brathwaite, Nkrumah Bonner, Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder and Rahkeem Cornwall hit that significant milestone during the series that ended in a stalemate between the two cricketing nations.

It was the first time since 2012, that West Indies batsmen have been able to achieve that feat and only the second time since 1995.

Brathwaite, who started off the series with scores of three and 23 in the first Test, finished strong with his ninth Test century, 126, and a second innings score of 85 that spiralled his average in the series to an excellent 59.25.

Kyle Mayers, perhaps the most consistent of the West Indies batsmen had scores of 49, 55, 45 and 52 for an overall average of 50.25.

Incidentally, these were the two lowest averages of the five batsmen. Nkrumah Bonner, who scored his first Test century in the series, 113 not out, averaged 72 while Jason Holder averaged 69 after scoring 71 not out, 30, 19 and 18 not out.

Rahkeem Cornwall had only two turns at-bat and he made them count. His 61 and 73 gave him an average of 67, to round out an impressive all-round performance from the West Indies despite the fact that they were unable to force a win in any of the two Tests.

Simmons, though, was pleased with what he observed.

“Everybody is looking to occupy the crease. People are working to bat for long periods and our depth goes deeper because Alzarri Joseph and Rahkeem Cornwall have shown within the last three series that they can bat and they can provide that 50-100-run partnerships that later down can take us to 350 to 400s,” said the West Indies head coach.

He was particularly pleased with Cornwall’s performance with the bat. Already, a crucial member of the bowling attack, Cornwall enhanced his reputation as a genuine allrounder.

“It was great to see Rahkeem’s batting coming to the fore, and in all, the batting has shown up in the last four Test matches and this is a great thing because, before that, the bowling was carrying us,” Simmons said.

The last time the West Indies had five batsmen averaging over 50 in a Test series was back in 2012, when Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kieran Powell and Denesh Ramdin all surpassed the milestone. Chanderpaul averaged over 300 for the series.

Before that, six West Indies batsmen - Chanderpaul, Junior Murray, Winston Benjamin, Jimmy Adams, Brian Lara and Sherwin Campbell - all averaged over 50 runs an innings against New Zealand in 1995.

 

 

The first Sandals Test match is intriguingly poised with one day left to play at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Sri Lanka dominated the fourth day on Wednesday and scored 476 in the second innings – with a patient, maiden century on debut by Pathum Nissanka (103) and Niroshan Dickwella (96).

The pair added a record 179 for the sixth wicket and Nissanka became the first Sri Lankan to make a century away from home in his first match. He eventually fell to a catch by Kemar Roach from the bowling of off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, who ended with 3-137 off a marathon 42.5 overs.

Roach had the best figures of 3-74 off 27 overs to end the match with six wickets – following up his 3-47 off 16 overs in the first innings.

This left the West Indies with a victory target of 375. They reached 34-1 at the close and will require another 341 to win on the final day with nine wickets in hand. Nkrumah Bonner will resume Thursday on 15 not out and with him captain Kraigg Brathwaite on eight not out.

The match resumes on Thursday at 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time).

A 90-run eighth-wicket partnership between Rahkeem Cornwall and Joshua Da Silva gave the West Indies a 99-run lead and a nice cushion over Sri Lanka at stumps on the second day of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

Cornwall was unbeaten on 60, his first half-century in Test cricket as the West Indies closed the day on 268 for 8 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 169. Kemar Roach is on four, the two have added seven runs for the ninth wicket so far and will be hoping to add a few more come tomorrow.

Cornwall and da Silva came together after Suranga Lakmal had bowled Jason Holder for 19 for his fifth wicket of the match and have the West Indies at 171 for 7, just two runs ahead of Sri Lanka’s first innings total.

However, by the time da Silva got out caught behind for 46 trying to uppercut Dushmantha Chameera, they had stretched the lead to a healthy 91. Cornwall’s innings was a mix of stern defence and big-hitting for his highest Test score that included nine fours and two sixes and seemed at ease against both pace and spin.

Da Silva, who playing in just his fourth Test, featured in yet another lower-order recovery for the West Indies, was more sedate soaking up deliveries while wearing down the Sri Lankan bowlers. His 46 took 124 deliveries from which he hit five fours.

It was a welcome partnership for the West Indies, who were restricted by some disciplined bowling from the Sri Lankans.

A number of their batsmen got starts but each failed to carry on, pried out by penetrative bowling from Lakmal, who exhibited accurate pace and swing while claiming the wickets of Brathwaite for 3, Mayers for 45, Jermaine Blackwood for 2, Alzarri Joseph for a duck and Jason Holder to return figures of 5-45.

Chameera also claimed the wicket of John Campbell for 42 to end with 2-71.

 

 

The West Indies have named 26 players to participate in a “Best v Best” four-day practice match in preparation for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.

Kraigg Brathwaite has praised his team for their discipline and resilience following the West Indies’ thrilling 17-run victory over Bangladesh today that sealed a 2-0 series win.

Chasing 231 with more than four sessions to play, Bangladesh were bowled out for 213 with less than 10-minutes to go on the penultimate day of the match. Rahkeem Cornwall was the hero of the piece taking 4-105 and nine-wickets in the match.

Brathwaite, who captained the team following the withdrawal of Jason Holder and several senior team members, said the victory was due to a collective effort from a group of players, who were not expected to win.

“People wrote us off. But we kept it simple, enjoyed it, and we proved them wrong,” said the proud captain afterwards.

“I would say it's a team effort. The one-day team not doing well, but we wanted to here. We had a plan, enjoyed it, and happy to win the series.”

The Barbadian opener, who had scores of 47 and 6 in the match, perhaps his biggest contribution with the ball taking 3 for 25 including the openers Tamim Iqbal for 50 and Soumya Sarkar, who enjoyed an opening stand of 59 that threatened to wrest the match from the West Indies.

“I wasn't surprised with my wickets of the openers,” he said, “wanted to come on, keep it tight. Nice, it's a series win in Asia since 2012.”

He expressed his gratitude for being selected to lead the team and how the players responded to his leadership.

 “Very thankful to God for the opportunity to captain West Indies. (The) boys stuck to their plans, they were very disciplined. Very proud of the boys. Means everything back home. Cricket means everything to us. People will be proud,” he said.

Man-of-the-math Rahkeem Cornwall took four wickets today, spurring West Indies to a nail-biting 17-run against Bangladesh inside four days to sweep the closely fought Test series 2-0.

West Indies spinner, Rahkeem Cornwall, has already made a massive contribution with the ball after claiming five wickets against Bangladesh on day three of the second Test but has already targeted having a say with the bat as well, should he get the opportunity.

Cornwall, who has previously shown himself to be a good striker of the ball, particularly in the cricket's shortest format, is yet to translate any of that skill in recent Test team call-ups.  In five innings so far, Cornwall has a high of 10 runs, which he scored against England in July.

In Bangladesh, Cornwall, batting far down the order, scored 2 in the first innings of the first Test and ended without scoring in the second.  He added 4 not out in the first innings of the second Test.  If he is called upon, for Saturday’s fourth day, the bowler could be looking to free his arms for a useful total.

“Once I get the opportunity I would always love to contribute with the bat,” Cornwall said following day three.

“I don’t think my batting ability is showing at the moment, but I think runs are around the corner for me.  I just have to keep putting in the work with the coaches and when my opportunity comes I make good use if it.”

Spinner Rahkeem Cornwall claimed a five-for to put the West Indies in a strong position but Bangladesh struck back immediately to leave the second Test delicately poised at the end of the third day.

By the final session of the day, the West Indies had dismissed the hosts for 296 to begin the second innings with a 113-run lead.  However, they ended the day at 41 for 3, having lost captain Kraigg Brathwaite (6), John Campbell (18), and Shayne Mosely (7) before long.

The West Indies captain was the first casualty, miscuing a shot off Nayeem Hasan, which caught the top of his gloves before being taken by wicketkeeper Liton Das.  Shayne Moseley then departed after edging to second slip, in the process becoming Mehidy Hasan’s 100th Test wicket.  Brathwaite’s opening partner Campbell was then dismissed in bizarre fashion, with the ball spinning back off the ground to hit the stumps after he had attempted to play a defensive stroke.

Earlier, Das and Mehidy, who got together before lunch, played out a crucial session after the break – with the team still over fifty short of avoiding the follow-on and looking at one point like they would have headed in that direction.  Eventually, the two accounted for a valuable 126-run partnership and looked set to potentially cause even more severe damage.

Cornwall, however, ensured it would not be the case.  Having earlier removed both captain Mominul Haque (21) a confident-looking Mushfiqur Rahim (54) and Mohammad Mithun (15), earlier, he put an end to the partnership after removing Das.  The batsman took the dreaded walk after getting an edge off an attempted paddle, for 71.  Cornwall added No. 9 Nayeem Hasan to complete his tally.  It was pace bowler Shannon Gabriel who accounted for Mehidy after an attempted drive.

Cornwall ended the innings with figures of 5 for 74, while Gabriel ended with 3 for 70.  Nkrumah Bonner (8) and Jomel Warrican (2) will be the batsman resuming the day at the crease for the West Indies on the fourth day.

 

West Indies spinner, Rahkeem Cornwall, is looking for a solid first hour from set batsmen Kyle Mayers and Nkrumah Bonner, and the team battles to save the match against Bangladesh on the final day.

At stumps, the West Indies needed another 285 to overhaul the home team for victory.  Although it is the West Indies that holds the record for the highest fourth innings, which was 418 against Australia in 2002, few would bet on the current inexperienced campaigners going anywhere close.

With the team scoring below 250 in seven of its last 12 innings, the team could be forgiven to ensure that it simply did not lose the first test.  In order to secure a result, however, Cornwall believes the first hour of the final day will be crucial and looks to the batsmen continuing to stymie the Bangladesh bowling attack.

“Two guys are crease, set.  They just have to come out again tomorrow and start over again,” Cornwall said at the end of the day’s play.

“The first hour is going to be crucial and we can just take it from there.”

For his part, Cornwall has had a tidy bowling effort, claiming 3 for 81 in the second innings and 2 for 114 in the first.  

 

West Indies stand-in captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, has backed off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall to make a telling impact in the upcoming Test against Bangladesh.

The spinner showed himself to be in good form after claiming five wickets against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI last week.  Outside of taking the wickets, Cornwall proved hard to get away and boasted an economic rate of 2.82.  Brathwaite backed the spinner to carry that form into the series, on a pitch that is suited for spinners.

“He did a very good job in the practice game, created a lot of pressure, bowling dot balls and such.  I think he’ll do well in the series.  He’s a quality off-spinner, we all know this,” Brathwaite told members of the media via an online press conference on Tuesday.

“We just need to stick to our plans, support him in the field, support all the bowlers not only Rahkeem but we look forward to him doing well this series, all the bowlers."

Cornwall’s best performance so far for the West Indies came in Asia when he claimed 7 for 75 in an innings against Afghanistan and claimed 10 wickets overall.  The West Indies will begin the first Test against Bangladesh at 10:30 pm on Tuesday (9:30 pm ECT).

 

Off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall grabbed a five-wicket haul as the West Indies dismissed Bangladesh Cricket Board XI for 160, before ending the day at 175 for 5, when they batted again, on day two of the three-day warm-up match.

In the morning session, Cornwall got the key wicket of Mohammad Naim, who was bowled five runs short of a half-century, before later accounting for Yasir Ali. His victims also included Akbar Ali, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, and Khaled Ahmed.

A left-arm spinner, Jomel Warrican, also had a splendid showing as he swept through the middle order.  Warrican took the wickets of Shahadat Hossain, captain Nurul Hasan, and Towhid Hridoy.

Batting a second time, the West Indies lost Shayne Moseley first ball, but his opening partner John Campbell and Nkrumah Bonner carried the team to 130 for 1 with a solid second-wicket partnership.  Campbell’s dismissal on 68, off the bowling of Saif Hassan, then prompted a collapse.  Jermaine Blackwood (4), Kyle Mayers (8), and Kavem Hodge (19) all departed without really settling in at the crease.  At the close of play, Bonner remained unbeaten on 80, with Joshua Da Silva yet to score at the other end. 

The West Indies will head into the third day and final with an overall lead of 276.

West Indies spinner, Rahkeem Cornwall, believes the unusually long preparation time before the start of the Bangladesh Test series has been beneficial for players needing to get used to ‘difficult’ conditions.

The regional team arrived in Bangladesh on January 10 and was required to quarantine for 7 days based on the country’s COVID-19 protocols.  Since clearing that hurdle, however, the Test team has been free to train and will not start the series until February 1.

The Asian team is known for being particularly difficult to beat on their home turf and easily dispatched the West Indies 2-0 on their last visit in 2018.  One of those advantages is said to be the team’s pitches.

“It has helped (extra time) you have to adapt to these conditions. These conditions are difficult to play in, so the more time we get to understand the conditions is the better it is for us,” Cornwall said.

“It spins a bit more here.  It is always going to be drier than the Caribbean.  So, we just have to adapt to it and play to the best of our ability,” he added.

The inexperienced West Indies team will be hoping for a better showing than in the recently concluded One Day International (ODI) series where the team was summarily swept aside 3-0.  The ODI batting line-up found the top class Bangladesh spinners on the surfaces a difficult task to cope with.   

West Indies spinner Rahkeem Cornwall is eager to make use of what could be a solid opportunity on the upcoming tour of Bangladesh, which will provide conditions more suited to spin bowling.

Amidst a flurry of withdrawals, Cornwall was one of the current members of the squad to readily accept the invitation to tour the Asian country next month.

The 27-year-old has been part of the West Indies squad since being invited to the England tour with the team in July.  He then traveled to New Zealand with the team for the tour that took place in December.

Cornwall has, however, had a difficult time making an impact.  Called to the first-team squad for the third Test in England, the spinner bowled 46 overs but did get a wicket.  He was not added to the first team for the New Zealand tour.  On the slower, more spin-friendly matches in Bangladesh, however, the player hopes to have a much bigger impact.

“I think I’m in a good space and we know Bangladesh is known for being more conducive to spin, so I just have to set my mind for a next bubble and go out there and perform the way I should,” Cornwall told the Antigua Observer.

“I went on two tours in England and New Zealand and there was nothing there for spinners and after playing three Test matches, I finally got something that suits me and I hope I can go there and perform,” he added.

Cornwall will have good memories of performing in Asia, as he claimed his career-best figures of 7 for 75 against Bangladesh last year.

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