On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these trending issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah

 Big names in Windies T20 and ODI squads; execution will be the key.

Last Friday, West Indies named T20I and ODI squads as they get ready for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka beginning on March 3 in Antigua. These matches will serve as preparation for the team that hopes to successfully defend the ICC T20 World Cup title in India later this year. On paper, the team looks strong. However, teamwork will be among the keys to success for Kieron Pollard’s men.

The recall of Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards did not come as a surprise as the selectors believe both still have a lot to offer. The 41-year-old Gayle last played for the Windies in 2019 when he scored 72 against India in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The Universe Boss is heading into the series against Sri Lanka in good form. Before he returned to the Caribbean, Gayle had scores of 39 and 68, playing for the Quetta Gladiators against the Karachi Kings and Lahore Qualanders, respectively.

Gayle’s experience will prove invaluable to the West Indies having scored 13,691 runs in T20I with 22 hundreds. His influence in the dressing room is also expected to be a significant factor.

Edwards returns to the team after an absence of nine years but at 39, he is still able to generate 90mph deliveries that CWI will hope he uses to add to his 26 T20I scalps.

Experience aside, the selectors have included a number of younger players who are expecting to make their debuts during the series. Guyana’s Kevin Sinclair and Trinidad’s Akeal Hosein impressed with recent performances in Bangladesh and during the CG Insurance Super 50 competition.

Both players played in the finals of the Super 50 tournament on which the 21-year-old Sinclair picked up five wickets and scored 47 runs for the Guyana Jaguars. Hosein impressed for the Trinidad Red Force taking eight wickets at a miserly economy rate of 4.18.

The mixture of youth and experience will need a strong leader and the West Indies are blessed with that in the form of Kieron Pollard, who in recent months, won the CPL and the Super50 and had a leadership role in the Mumbai Indians winning the IPL late last year.

His wisdom, experience and will to win will be key to any success the Windies have against the Sri Lankans and future series.

“Winning is the only thing,” he said after claiming the Super50 title on Saturday. It is imperative his team believes that as well.

 

 Red Force too hot to handle!

The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force won all seven of their matches to lift the Sir Clive Lloyd Trophy on Saturday after smashing the Guyana Jaguars by 152 runs in the final at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.

The aptly named Red Force scored an imposing 362-5 and then restricted Jaguars to 210 from 43.5 overs.

It was an all-around team effort that resulted in the domination of a strong Jaguars team.

Lendl Simmons saved his best performance with the bat for the final scoring 146, the highest score in a 50-over final and he was supported by Evin Lewis’ 57, 47 from Dwayne Bravo and a quick-fire 39 from Nicholas Pooran.

Their bowlers, led by Ravi Rampaul’s 4-52 and Jayden Seales, who picked up 3-40 and Anderson Phillip 2-40 decimated the opponent’s batting notwithstanding a courageous unbeaten 97 from Raymon Reifer.

The team’s dominance came down to the consistency of each member. Jason Mohammed was the highest run-scorer with 327. He scored a century (122) and averaged an excellent 81.75 for the tournament. Lewis, who had a high score of 107, was the second-highest run-scorer with 318 at an average of 45.42.

Simmons was also among the top-five run-scorer for the 2020 champions and was the only batsman with more than one century in the tournament.

The veteran Ravi Rampaul’s 14 wickets were the second-best haul for the tournament, just three behind fellow finalist Gudakesh Motie’s 17 for the Jaguars.  However, all their bowlers contributed to the team’s success this season.

Leave the NBA logo as it is else change it to Michael Jordan!

The NBA logo is a timeless classic, a representation of love and respect for the game. It remains a silhouette of Lakers great Jerry West since 1969.

However, in recent times, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has called for it to be changed to an image of late Laker great Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January 2020, and whose contributions to the game cannot be accurately quantified.

“Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says,” Irving said on Instagram.

Irving’s call has been endorsed by Bryant’s widow Vanessa.

 While I understand the call for the change, it must be noted the G.O.A.T discussion in the NBA starts and ends with Michael Jordan, a person who Kobe admired greatly.  Having played 15 seasons and winning six championships with the Bulls, he should be considered as the logo replacement.

Apart from the statistics which are compelling - 11 All-Star teams, 5 MVP awards, 10 scoring titles – Jordan’s killer instinct and obsession with winning are qualities that embody the NBA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lendl Simmons played a dream innings to provide the perfect platform for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force to outplay Guyana Jaguars in the final of the CG Insurance Super50.

On a warm and calm Saturday night, captain Kieron Pollard had the honour of lifting the Sir Clive Lloyd trophy as his team accomplished the stated mission and showcased their dominance – winning all seven matches.

Simmons made a monumental 146 as the Red Force made a whopping 362-5 off their 50 overs. He hit 15 fours and seven sixes off 145 balls to register the highest score of this year’s tournament, as well as the highest score by a Trinidadian in the 46 years of the event – surpassing the 134 made by Denesh Ramdin in 2013. It was his second century of this year’s tournament and lifted the Trinis to their second-highest score of all time. He was named the CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match.

Such heroics left the Jaguars with a mammoth target and they fell well short, being bowled out for 210 off 43.5 overs. Left-hander Raymon Reifer played brilliantly to end on 97 not out, to follow up his 90 in the semi-final against the Windwards Volcanoes on Thursday night. Fast bowler Ravi Rampaul was again on song with 4-52 off his 10 overs, his second four-for in as many matches, and took him to his 100th List A wicket for Trinidad and Tobago.

Jayden Seales, the 19-year-old pacer brought into the match specifically unsettle the Guyanese, bowled with sustained pace and hostility to end with three wickets – two of which were caught on the leg-side as batsmen attempted hook shots.

Captain Pollard was full of praise for his team and said they were delighted to win all seven matches and take the title.

When Trinidad and Tobago batted, Simmons shared several big partnerships. He added 121 in just 19.1 overs with Evin Lewis (57) and 100 with Darren Bravo (47). After they fell, Simmons shared a third-wicket of 57 in four overs with Nicholas Pooran who entertained with 39 off 15 balls, including four sixes.

In Guyana Jaguars turn at the crease, they were totally blown away by Rampaul and Seales and were tottering at 55-6 at the end of the powerplay. Reifer offered strong rearguard action as he faced 112 balls and hit seven fours and three sixes. He shared a ninth-wicket stand of 71 with Gudakesh Motie (28) which took the score over the 200-mark.

But he was left just short of his maiden century when he exposed last man Nial Smith to a rampaging Seales who cleaned him up with the perfect Yorker, which capped off the perfect match in a perfect campaign.

 

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force captain, Kieron Pollard, believes the team’s all-round balance should be enough to deliver a 13th regional 50-over title, with a win over Guyana Jaguars, in the final of the CG Insurance Super50, on Saturday.

A dominant Red Force squad has certainly set the marker as the team to beat this season, and a seventh straight win will cap a flawless performance.  In advancing to the final, the Red Force coasted to a comfortable 6 wicket win over the Jamaica Scorpions with 47 balls remaining.

In fact, it is the Red Force who handed today’s opponents, the Guyana Jaguars, their only loss of the season so far, on that occasion also a comfortable win.  Pollard believes the team’s dominance so far has been down to getting the personnel just right.

“In terms of personnel, I think we have the right mix – in terms of experience, in terms of youth, in terms of wicket-taking ability, in terms of flexibility in the batting order and stuff like that,” Pollard said.

“We tried to cover all bases and it has shown that each and every individual that has come into the team has done well despite their varying roles. We’re very flexible in what we’re doing and we take everything on a game-by-game sort of basis.”

Guyana Jaguars captain, Leon Johnson, believes the team’s performance in the field will be critical if they are to secure an upset win over the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the final of CG Insurance Super50 final, on Saturday.

Although the Red Force has clearly been the team of the tournament so far, with six straight wins, The Jaguars not been too far behind with five wins.  In fact, the team’s lone loss came against the T&T Red Force in the 13th match of the season, a six-wicket defeat at Coolidge.

On that occasion, on the back of an unbeaten 82 from Jason Mohammed and 58 from Darren Bravo, the Red Force cruised to a comfortable win.  Johnson is confident of turning the tables this time around.

“The mood is good in the camp. Obviously, Trinidad are unbeaten and have played good cricket but I think once we execute our plans well, it will be a good game of cricket,” Mohammed said.

“I don’t see why the Jaguars shouldn’t come out on top. I think fielding will be a major aspect; obviously, to win a championship against a quality Red Force we need to be exceptional in the field.”

It will be a battle of the Southern Caribbean for the Sir Clive Lloyd trophy, when Guyana Jaguars face-off with the unbeaten Trinidad & Tobago Red Force in the CG Insurance Super50 Final on Saturday, after the Guyanese comfortably defeated the Windward Islands Volcanoes in the second semi-final.

Playing on Thursday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Guyana’s victory was first set up by a magnificent century from Shimron Hetmyer, who was deservedly named the CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match.  He scored his seventh List A century of 112 and it came off 80 balls with 11 fours and five sixes. He was well supported by Raymon Reifer who made a career-best 90 off 104 balls with eight fours and three sixes.

The left-handed pair boosted the Jaguars to 305 for 7 – the third 300-plus total in the tournament. Then, under the floodlights, leading wicket-taker Gudakesh Motie (53 for 4) led the charge with the ball as the Windwards were routed for 210 all out in 46.4 overs.

The Jaguars started poorly with the bat and were forced into errors courtesy of some outstanding bowling by the Volcanoes. They initially slumped to 63 for 4 in the 12th over as skipper Leon Johnson was out first ball after he top-edged an attempted hook off pacer Ray Jordan – who had an inspired first spell of 12 for 3. It was Kevin Stoute who took a stupendous catch. to dismiss Johnson, as he ran in from the fence at long-leg and dived full stretch.

One run later, Hetmyer (12) was dropped by wicket-keeper Emmanuel Stewart. This proved to be the game-changing moment as in partnership with Reifer, who was playing his first game of competition, Hetmyer procured a regional List A record fifth-wicket partnership of 194. The total eclipsed the previous mark of 159 unbroken between Devon Thomas and Jahmar Hamilton for the Leeward Islands against Combined Campuses & Colleges at Conaree, St Kitts in Super50 2019.

Although the Windwards kept the Jaguars from scoring an even bigger score by conceding only 49 scored in the final 10 overs, they never looked capable of chasing the target. No one supported top-scoring opener Alick Athanaze, who made a patient 58.

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force made it six wins in a row, as they produced a commanding performance to power past the Jamaica Scorpions and into the CG Insurance Super50 final.

This victory was set up by three key efforts,  Ravi Rampaul started with the ball and was then complemented by Lendl Simmons and Nicholas Pooran with the bat.

Firstly Rampaul, in claiming his second CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match award of the tournament, with figures of 29 for 4, played a key role in restricting the Scorpions to a below-par score of 255-7 on a very good batting surface.

In reply, batting second for the sixth consecutive match, Simmons (63) scored his 27th List A half-century to set the perfect platform, before Pooran’s unbeaten innings of 54, his 11th List A half-century, finished things off in style with eight overs to spare.

Earlier on, Jamaica lost the early wicket of Aldaine Thomas but after that John Campbell (88) and Brandon King (58) played well. When they reached 95-1 in the 22nd over, King smashed Jason Mohammed for a big straight six to bring up his second half-century of the tournament.

The Red Force would strike five overs later with the Scorpions, at 113-2 in the 27th over, when King gave Anderson Phillip his second wicket, playing back to a delivery that kept a bit low. The wicket ended the 108-run second-wicket alliance between Campbell and King.

At 168-2 in the 35th over, the Scorpions looked set for a big final charge. However, the Campbell/McCarthy third-wicket partnership of 58 runs would end as McCarthy (35) presented a catch off veteran leg-spinner Imran Khan to Rampaul at leg on.

Attempting to defend that total, the Scorpions almost got a perfect start in the first over, but Nkrumah Bonner dropped a difficult long-on boundary catch from Simmons off Scorpions off-spinner Jamie Merchant. When Red Force were 29-0 in the fifth over, Evin Lewis (14) was also dropped by Campbell at first slip, again by the unlucky Merchant. As the big-hitting opening duo raced to their 50-partnership in the eighth over, those missed catches were even more critical.

Leading up to the 25th over, Jamaica got three wickets, the last of which when Simmons (68) skied a catch off Allen to Bonner at the long-on boundary. Despite T&T further losing Jason Mohammed (41), who was bowled by Odean Smith, Pooran (54 not out) was joined by captain Pollard (36 not out) who quickly hit five massive sixes to celebrate the win in style and get ready for Saturday's grand final.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force recorded their fifth win in a row to end the preliminary round of the CG Insurance Super50 Cup with a perfect record and 20 points.

Evin Lewis’ better than a run-a-ball century helped the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force romp to a five-wicket victory with 55 balls to spare over the Jamaica Scorpions at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium today.

The CG Insurance Super50 Cup bowls off on Sunday, February 7 with the Leewards Hurricanes taking on the Windwards Volcanoes at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, only 19 matches will be played in the tournament scheduled to conclude on February 27.

According to Cricket West Indies, the health risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruption to all domestic cricket since late March 2020, with no competitive cricket allowed regionally except for an abridged version of the Caribbean Premier League which took place last August in Trinidad.

This year’s annual CG Insurance Super50 Cup will provide a platform for the region’s six major cricketing rivals to clash in 19 action-packed 50-over matches starting from Sunday, February 7 when Leeward Islands Hurricanes host the Windward Islands Volcanoes.

The tournament will come to an exciting climax when the new champions are crowned on Saturday, February 27.

The 2019-20 champions, West Indies Emerging Players, are unable to defend their 2019 trophy due to COVID-19 constraints, however, several of those players now feature in the squads of the six competing franchise teams, one of which will emerge as the CG Insurance Super50 Cup champions.

Each team will play each other on a round-robin basis with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals and the opportunity to reach the grand final.

Matches will be played at Antigua’s two international cricket venues - the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) and the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium (SVRS). There will be 13 matches at CCG including the semi-finals and final, and six matches at SVRS.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said it was good to have regional cricket back after a one-year break.

"It is very good that cricket is coming back to the Caribbean ... players will get the opportunity to showcase their skills and entertain our fans. It has been a trying 2020 for cricketers and the whole Caribbean, so it is really good that we have the CG Insurance Super50 Cup being played at this time and hopefully it can unearth some new talent,” he said.

CWI has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sport in Antigua & Barbuda to orchestrate logistics and agree the safety and medical protocols for the commencement and duration of the tournament.

All players, support staff, match officials and supporting professionals will be tested with negative COVID-19 results before their arrival into Antigua. Players, support staff and match officials will operate within a bio-secure bubble and will be tested at regular intervals during the tournament with assistance from the local Ministry of Health and CARPHA.

 

“A huge amount of planning and work has been put in to ensure that the Super50 Cup can return and CWI would like to offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, title partners CG Insurance, our host broadcasters ESPN Caribbean and our colleagues at the Leeward Islands Cricket Board and the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association, for all of their support in helping to stage the tournament during these unprecedented times,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.

Meanwhile, Naz Farrow, CEO of CG Insurance said the company was happy to be able to continue supporting regional cricket.

“CG Insurance is proud to sponsor the CWI Super50 Cup and thrilled to be a part of the first tournament of 2021. We are happy to support the many players and organizers involved and recognize the major efforts that have gone into the preparation of this event during these unique times. By partnering with the CWI series, we have the opportunity to support our various Caribbean nations and to showcase that we are stronger together,” he said.

The CG Insurance Super50 Cup is the marquee 50-over event in the West Indies featuring the six long-standing territorial rivals– Barbados Pride, Guyana Jaguars, Jamaica Scorpions, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, and the Windward Islands Volcanoes.

This is the second edition of the Super50 Cup featuring CG Insurance as title sponsors, and the event promises to stage big performances and memorable moments as the teams go in pursuit of winning the coveted CG Insurance Super50 Cup and being awarded the Sir Clive Lloyd Trophy.

Below is the match schedule for the CG Insurance Super50 Cup

 

Sun, Feb 7 - Leewards Hurricanes v Windwards Volcanoes (day match)  - CCG

Mon, Feb 8 - Guyana Jaguars v Barbados Pride - CCG

Wed, Feb 10 - Leewards Hurricanes v Barbados Pride - CCG

Thur, Feb 11 - Jamaica Scorpions v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force - SVRS

Fri, Feb 12 - Leewards Hurricanes v Guyana Jaguars - CCG

Sat, Feb 13 - Windwards Volcanoes v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force - CCG

Sun, Feb 14 - Jamaica Scorpions v Guyana Jaguars - CCG

Mon, Feb 15 - Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Barbados Pride - SVRS

Tue, Feb 16 - Windwards Volcanoes v Jamaica Scorpions - CCG

Wed, Feb 17 - Leewards Hurricanes v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force - CCG

Thu, Feb 18 - Windwards Volcanoes v Barbados Pride - SVRS

Fri, Feb 19 - Leewards Hurricanes v Jamaica Scorpions - SVRS

Sat, Feb 20 - Guyana Jaguars v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force - CCG

 

Sun, Feb 21 - Barbados Pride v Jamaica Scorpions - CCG

Mon, Feb 22 – Windwards Volcanoes v Guyana Jaguars - SVRS

Wed, Feb 24 - SEMI-FINAL 1 - CCG

Thur, Feb 25 - SEMI-FINAL 2 - CCG

Fri, Feb 26 - Fifth placed v Sixth placed -SVRS

Sat, Feb 27 – FINAL - CCG

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