The Jermaine Blackwood-led WI Best A find themselves in a commanding position at the end of the first day of their four-day match against Jahmar Hamilton’s WI Best B at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St Lucia.

At stumps, WI Best ‘B’ are 44-4 from the 15 overs they faced, 220 runs behind WI Best ‘A’ who scored 264 all out.

Blackwood led from the front scoring 85 while Shai Hope got 79 as the WI Best A got to 254 for 5 before collapsing to 264 all. Roston Chase did the late damage taking 4-44 from 11.3 overs.

Earlier, Chemar Holder took 3 for 44, to keep the batters in check after John Campbell and Hope got the WI Best A to a fast start, racing to 47-0 after just 10 overs with Jayden Searles and Preston McSween bearing the brunt of the onslaught.

Chemar Holder broke the partnership with the score at 62 when he got Campbell for 20.

Darren Bravo and Hope added 42 before Holder dismissed Bravo for seven and Kyle Mayers in consecutive deliveries as WI Best A slipped to 104 for 3.

At 123 for 3, Searles for Hope for 79.

Meanwhile, Blackwood, who was on eight when Hope got out, put together a 54-run stand with Joshua Da Silva, who was eventually bowled by Jomel Warrican for 13.

Kavem Hodge and Blackwood then took the score to 254 when the captain fell for 85 and triggered a collapse as Chase knifed through the lower order and saw the side lose their last five wickets for 10 runs.

When the B side batted, they lost Kieran Powell for 22, Shayne Moseley for 1, Nkrumah Bonner for a duck and Shamarh Brooks for 13 as Keon Harding took 2-23, Nial Smith 1-5 and Shannon Gabriel 1-15.

Teams led by middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood and wicketkeeper/batsman Jahmar Hamilton will face off in the first of two ‘Best v Best’ matches set to begin Monday morning at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground as the West Indies ramp up preparations for the upcoming series against South Africa.

Cricket West Indies has awarded first-time international retainer contracts to Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Akeal Hosein and Kyle Mayers while newly-appointed Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo received International contracts for red-ball and white-ball cricket, respectively.

A total of 18 players have been offered contracts for the upcoming 2021-22 season which runs from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022.

Meanwhile, Roston Chase, Shamarh Brooks and Shane Dowrich are among several who have lost their retainer contracts. Also losing their contracts were Sunil Ambris, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd and Oshane Thomas.

“Contracts offered for the 2021-22 period sees 18 players being retained, a decrease of four from last year. Jason Holder is the only player to retain his all-format contract due to his strong Test and T20I performances during the evaluation period,” CWI Lead Selector Roger Harper confirmed.

“There are several new players offered red-ball contracts earned by their strong performances during the last period. A number of players were not retained because they did not meet the minimum requirements.”

CWI Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams was pleased for the players who were retained.

“I am happy for all the players who have been offered retainer contracts for the upcoming period. Especially pleasing was the number of players who were awarded first-time contracts in recognition of their performances during the period under review,” he said.

“I know that the 11 players who have lost their international retainers will be striving and fighting hard to get back into the teams and earn their central contracts back next year.  These players, along with our T20 specialists, will ensure that we have genuine competition for places that will push everyone to attain higher standards of performance.”

The evaluation period for the 2021-22 contracts covered performances and statistics from April 1, 2020, to April 1, 2021 (this was also supported by statistics from the previous 2019-2020 evaluation period). This allows for all players to be appraised immediately after the evaluation period and provides a notice period before new contracts on July 1, 2021.

Below are the players who have been awarded retainer contracts.

All-Format Contracts: Jason Holder.

Red Ball Contracts: Kraigg Brathwaite, Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner*, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva*, Shannon Gabriel, Kyle Mayers* and Kemar Roach.

White Ball Contracts: Kieron Pollard, Fabien Allen, Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein*, Evin Lewis, Alzarri Joseph, Nicholas Pooran and Hayden Walsh Jr.

*Players offered contracts for the first time in 2021-2022

Players who are no longer receiving international retainer contracts are:

All Format Contracts: Roston Chase.

Red Ball Contracts: Shamarh Brooks and Shane Dowrich.

White Ball Contracts: Sunil Ambris, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd and Oshane Thomas.

 All players who are no longer on International retainer contracts are offered an A* grade Regional Franchise Contract for the following year.

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.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons believes the team needs to improve in all areas going forward and especially if they are to win the second Test against Bangladesh set for the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday.

West Indies middle-order batsman, Jermaine Blackwood, admits to being disappointed with not registering triple digits in the first innings against Bangladesh.

The in-form Blackwood scored a solid 68 from 146 deliveries, before being caught by Liton Das off the bowling of Mehidy Hasan.  Prior to his dismissal, Blackwood formed part of a crucial partnership with Joshua Da Silva worth 99 runs, which formed the bedrock of the team’s 259 first innings score.

 The batsman, however, seemed well settled before getting a feather touch to a length delivery that seemed to just be spinning past the batsman.

“It was very frustrating because I’ve told myself that I really want to convert more of these half-centuries into centuries,” Blackwood said, following the day’s play.

“I’m stepping in the right direction, but I was very disappointed with the way that I got out.  But, I guess next innings I just have to hold down my head and bat in the same fashion,” he added.

The West Indies still trail Bangladesh by 218 runs.  Mehidy ended the innings with a tidy 4 for 58, with Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, and Nayeem Hasan claiming two wickets apiece. Windies captain Kraigg Brathwaite top scored with 76.

 

Bangladesh kept a firm grip on the first Test against the West Indies on Friday, leading by 218 runs with seven second-innings wickets still in hand at Chattogram.

In-form West Indies middle-order batsman, Jermaine Blackwood, has credited brief advice received from top-class India batsman Virat Kohli as helpful in changing his mindset towards scoring runs.

The 29-year-old scored his first century against England in 2015, a plucky 112 unbeaten in a draw in Antigua.  Following that impressive achievement, however, Blackwood seemed unable to cross the double-digit threshold.  In fact, before finally breaking the streak with 104 against New Zealand, in December, Blackwood had managed to score 10 half-centuries in-between but always fell short of a triple-digit score.

Included in that number were some figures frustratingly well clear of the 50 mark, but falling just short of the 100 mark, when for all intents and purposed the batsman seemed well set to do so.  The tally includes three scores in the 90s.  He scored 92 against Sri Lanka, in Galle, in 2015; 95 against Pakistan, in Abu Dhabi, in 2016, and 95 against England, in Southampton, in July of last year.  Prior to that, Blackwood also registered 85 against England, in Bridgetown, in May 2015.  During India’s tour of the West Indies, Blackwood took the opportunity to seek the advice of run-machine Kohli when the two briefly interacted off the pitch.

“I just asked him how come all the time I score so many half-centuries and just one century, and he just replied, ‘What did you do when you scored the century? How many deliveries did you face?’ I said I faced 212, and he said that’s it, once you can bat some balls you will score runs,” Blackwood recalled.

“I took a lot from that and I’ve always told myself, after that conversation, once I can bat over 200 balls or 300, I’m going to score runs.  Once I’m there, the way I bat, I’m going to score runs regardless of who I’m playing against or where I’m playing.”

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