Roger Harper, Cricket West Indies’ Chief Selector has expressed concern over the productivity of opening partnerships for the West Indies but laments the fact that no one is really knocking at the door to be selected.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite has had a welcome return to form with two Test half-centuries and a century in his last four Test matches but fellow opener John Campbell has not been inspiring much confidence with his performances.

The Jamaican has scores of 3, 23, 36, 18, 42, 11, 5, and 10 in his last four Tests. His last half-century, 68, was made in the second Test against New Zealand in December last year.

As a result, solid opening partnerships for the Caribbean side have been rare and this is a worry for Harper.

 “I think it has been a concern for a while. It was pleasing to see the captain get some big scores, but we need the partnership, on the whole, to be solid,” Harper said this past week on Mason and Guest.

But while Campbell has been struggling for form, Harper acknowledges that the batsman has been working hard to correct his flaws, like the ones that saw him get out in similar fashion in all four innings in the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka.

 “We were delighted to see Campbell applying himself and being more patient, but we need some more positive returns,” he said.

There are several players who could come in to bolster the batting but recent history does not offer much hope for success. Players like Shai Hope and Shayne Moseley are potential replacements; Hope especially who has shown a welcome return to form in the ODIs against Sri Lanka, but Test cricket is a different prospect for a player who has struggled in that format of the game.

Moseley, who has shown promise, is yet to demonstrate that he is ready after several failures.

“It is something we are looking at. We are looking at our best options. At the moment, from a red ball perspective, we don’t have enough openers who are knocking down the door in terms of performances,” he concluded.

 

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.

 

 

Brathwaite’s XI defeated Chase’s XI by four wickets as the Best vs Best four-day match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua earlier today.

John Campbell scored a patient century today as Chase’s XI reached 280 for 7 at stumps of the first day of the four-day practise match against Brathwaite’s XI at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.

Jermaine Blackwood was the only West Indies batsman to emerge from the West Indies tour of New Zealand with his reputation intact in what was otherwise a disastrous tour in which some batsmen averaged less than the team’s bowlers.

Half centuries from Captain Jason Holder and opener John Campbell helped West Indies extend the second Test in Wellington into a fourth day delaying what appears to be inevitable defeat.

When bad light stopped play on Saturday with just over 17 overs left in the day's play, Holder was unbeaten on 60 and debutant Joshua Da Silva on 25 as the West Indies closed the day on 244 for 6, still trailing New Zealand by 85 runs with only four tail-end wickets in hand.

Earlier, John Campbell made his highest Test score of 68 as the West Indies showed improvement on their embarrassing first innings display.

Resuming on their overnight score of 124 for 8 in reply to New Zealand’s 460, the West Indies added only seven runs to be all out for 131.

Tim Southee had DaSilva caught behind on his overnight score of 3 and bowled Shannon Gabriel for 2 to finish with 5 for 32. Chemar Holder remained unbeaten on 8. Kyle Jamieson, who did most of the damage on Friday, took 5 for 34.

Following on, the West Indies had a much better -looking start getting to 37 when Trent Boult took two wickets in an over to reduce the visitors to 41 for 2. Kraigg Braithwaite had got to 24 when he flicked the New Zealand quick off his legs only to be caught low down at leg gully by a diving Will Young.

Three balls later, Darren Bravo, on four, fended off a short delivery to point where Henry Nicholls took a dolly.

But just as it seemed as if the West Indies were in for another swift capitulation, Campbell and Shamarh Brooks mounted an 89-run stand that took the West Indies to 130 when a length ball from Neil Wagner slanted across Brooks, who went forward to defend only to see the ball take the edge and carry through to wicketkeeper BJ Watling. He made 36.

Roston Chase came and faced seven balls before edging Jamieson to Tom Latham at slip without scoring. Jamieson then bowled bowled Campbell off the inside edge for 68 as the West Indies slipped from 130 for 2 to 134 for 5.

Jermaine Blackwood, whose 69 made up more half the West Indies first innings score, threatened once again to take the attack to the New Zealand bowlers but after racing to 20, he was bowled by Boult trying to slog a ball that swung and smashed into his stumps. The score was then 170 for 6 and the West Indies were sliding towards defeat inside three days when Holder had his best showing of the series.

He and Da Silva have so far added 74 for the seventh wicket and will resume on Sunday hoping to add many much-needed runs to their face-saving stand and perhaps pray for rain.

Boult has so far taken 3 for 75 while Jamieson has 2 for 43 and Wagner 1 for 53.

 

 

 

 

Replying to New Zealand’s daunting score of  519 for 7, the West Indies began mounting a solid response by close of play on the second day of the first Test at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

Asked to face 26 testing overs at the end of the day, the West Indies reached 49 without loss. Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell on 20 and 22, respectively, will resume on Day 3 with the visitors still 470 runs behind a New Zealand total made possible by Kane Williamson’s imperious 251.

Resuming from his overnight score of 97 and New Zealand 243 for 2, the Black Caps captain’s marathon knock was the backbone of the home side’s massive total. Kane faced 412 deliveries in his almost 10 and a half hour stay at the crease.

Ross Taylor, who joined Williamson at the crease at 168 for 2, added seven runs to his overnight score of 31 before becoming Shannon Gabriel’s second victim when he edged to wicketkeeper Shamarh Brooks, who replaced an injured Shane Dowrich.

Williamson dominance of subsequent partnerships of 30 with Henry Nicholls (7); 72 with Tom Blundell (14) and 56 with Daryl Mitchell (9), emphasized his impact on the New Zealand’s innings. His was the last wicket New Zealand to fall when he was caught by Roston Chase at deep midwicket from an Alzarri Joseph after a 94-run seventh-wicket stand of 94 with Kyle Jamieson, who remained unbeaten on 51 when the declaration came.

Williamson’s 251 included 34 fours and two sixes.

Gabriel finished with 3 for 89, while Kemar Roach, who should have got Williamson’s wicket but for a no-ball, returned 3 for 114 from 30 overs. Joseph had figures of 1 for 99.

Former Windies opener Philo Wallace insists opener John Campbell should consider himself lucky as he did not merit selection for the team’s upcoming tour of New Zealand, based on his most recent performance in England.

Campbell, in truth, did indeed struggle to make a strong impression at the crease against England in July.  The left-handed batsman averaged a paltry 16.8 while tallying only 84 runs in six innings as the regional side lost the three-Test series 2-1.  Campbell was caught behind twice, while in the first innings of the final Test he was caught for 32 when attempting to negotiate a steep short delivery from Jofra Archer.  Wallace believes those struggles should have cost the batsman his spot.

“John Campbell is a very lucky man, I wish him all the best but it’s 'very best' in common letters.  He struggled in England and then came back and said why he struggled, and we are taking him for another tour of New Zealand, which is said will be tougher,” Wallace said on the Mason and Guest radio program.

Campbell was far from the only batsman that struggled in England, but Wallace believes that is a part of the broader issue and called for tougher decisions to be made when it comes to selection.

“We pick the same batsmen that struggled in England and are sending them to New Zealand, saying New Zealand is going to be a bit tougher.  How are we going to get these guys to perform?  These guys have no confidence and the selection panel is going back with the same guys tried and tested,” he added.

"There are some players that are biting at the bit to get a play and we are rewarding people with mediocre performances.  They had all the opportunities in England.  The board sent them up there a month before, they played wonderfully well in the first Test, they messed it up in the second and third and you are rewarding them for mediocrity with a tougher Test?”

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has admitted there are some long conversations to be had about the composition of the team’s top order, ahead of the third and final Test against England.

Heading into the series, concerns had been raised about how the team’s top order would fare against an experienced England bowling attack.  So far, they have not proven to be unfounded.  With the exception of Brathwaite, the top team’s top three has failed to fire so far. 

John Campbell and Shai Hope have only managed to muster high scores of 28 and 25, respectively, so far this series, and failed to make it to double digits in two of four innings.  Though offering no confirmation, Simmons admitted it could be time for some changes.

“It’s something that we have to look at over the next couple days and decide which direction we go then,” Simmons told members of the media, via a Zoom press conference.

“They haven’t fired so we have to consider it (changes) over the next couple days,” he added.

The West Indies are in danger of losing the second Test in #raisethebat Series at Old Trafford, in Manchester.

At lunch on the final day, the West Indies have already lost their openers and Shai Hope with just 25 runs on the board but more importantly, still with 74 overs to face and 287 runs to get.

England only batted for 11 overs of the morning session as Ben Stokes went into limited-overs mode to help them push their lead to 311 before a declaration 11 overs into the day.

Stokes was unbeaten on 78 off 57 balls as England declared on 129-3, giving the hosts 85 overs to bowl out the West Indies and tie the three-match series at 1-1. They will have two new balls to get the victory.

Any result looks possible on the final day — as was the case in the first Test in Southampton last week, when the Windies won by four wickets after chasing down 200 for victory.

West Indies' aim will likely be survival, though, with the victory target of 312 unlikely.

Stokes smashed two sixes over long-off as the big-hitting allrounder and England captain Joe Root put on 53 runs in the first 43 balls of the morning before Root was run out for 22 — effectively sacrificing his own wicket to get Stokes back on strike.

Now alongside Ollie Pope (12 not out), Stokes still had time to slog Jason Holder down the ground for another six, pushing the lead past 300, before Root called them back in.

By then, England had made 92 runs off 66 balls.

The second new ball will be available for England after 80 overs.

John Campbell, 4, was the first to go, going caught behind off the bowling of Stuart Broad, while his opening partner Kraigg Brathwaite was trapped on the crease off the bowling of Chris Woakes for 12.

Shai Hope’s struggles with the bat have also continued as Broad got a delivery to nip back at him, taking the top of off stump, with the batsman hapless after his decision to play back to a fullish delivery.

Roston Chase, yest to score, and Shamarh Brooks, 2, are the batsmen at the crease.

The Jamaica Scorpions, with a lead of 167 and just four second-innings wickets to get, are on the verge of a big victory against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes heading into the final day of their 2020 West Indies Championship game at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua & Barbuda.

Scores in the game so far, the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, 260 and 134-6, against the Jamaica Scorpions, 561-9 declared.

After a first-innings performance with the ball that restricted the Hurricanes to 260, thanks to Marquino Mindley’s 5-65 and Derval Green’s 4-84.

The Scorpions responded brilliantly courtesy of 248 from discarded West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood, who slammed 248, and by opener John Campbell, who scored his fifth first-class century, this time scoring 112.

Nkrumah Bonner, 48, and Jamie Merchant, 50 not out, played good supporting roles in helping the Scorpions rack up 561.

On Saturday, despite Montcin Hodge’s unbeaten 60, Green’s 2-49, Mindley’s 1-39, and 3-12 from Jamie Merchant, left the Hurricanes struggling at 134, still some 167 runs away from making the Scorpions bat again.

There may be some light at the end of the tunnel for the Hurricanes with Alzarri Joseph and Jeremiah Louis yet to bat. Joseph scored 89 in the first innings, while Louis also notched a half century, getting to 75 before he was last man out.

Hayden Walsh Jr is also still at the crease with Hodge on 18.

With just 24 runs to get on the third day of their West Indies Championship game against the Jamaica Scorpions, the Guyana Jaguars were always in the driver’s seat though they made heavy weather of it, taking eight overs and losing three wickets at the Trelawny Stadium on Saturday.

The seven-wicket victory was achieved courtesy of a first-day rout from Jaguars spinner Veerasammy Permaul, whose 7-59, left the hosts 216 all out, with just Jermaine Blackwood, 59, really putting up any resistance.

In reply, the Jaguars depended on half centuries from Chanderpaul Hemraj (82) and Vishaul Singh (93) to get to 304 and a healthy lead of 88. That lead was too much for the Scorpions who buckled under the pressure, collapsing for 111, a lead of just 24.

Permaul was back at it again in the second innings, bagging eight wickets this time. Those eight wickets cost just 18 runs to end with figures of 15-77. The other two wickets went to Kevin Sinclair, who ended with 2-26.

For the Scorpions, the only batsman into double figures, John Campbell, scored all of 66 runs as his side meekly gave up the ghost.

Sinclair, nine, Leon Johnson, two, and Tagenarine Chanderpaul, two, all lost their wickets in chase of the minuscule total, with Singh on five and Christopher Barnwell on four, the not out batsmen.

Cricket West Indies has confirmed that the bowling actions of Jamaica Scorpions’ off-spinners John Campbell and Peat Salmon have been deemed to be illegal and, as such, they have been suspended from bowling in domestic West Indies matches with immediate effect.

The Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium will host the next two home matches for the Jamaica Scorpions in the CWI 4-day PCL (Windies Championship).

Rounds five and six will take regional cricket action to fans in western Jamaica February 13 – 16 and February 27 – March 1 as Jamaica host the Leeward Islands and Guyana Jaguars, respectively.

This will be the first time that the venue is being used to host matches in this competition. Sabina Park is listed as the official home ground of the Scorpions but CWI granted permission to play games there as all the standard requirements were met.

Previously, the venue hosted international cricket and West Indies Fist-Class matches.

This season Sabina Park has not been a space with many happy memories for the Scorpions who eked out a draw against the Windward Islands Volcanoes and lost to the Barbados Pride in rounds two and three respectively.

Captain John Campbell, however, is not focusing on the venue.

“It’s all about the quality of the cricket that we play. The location of the ground is of little significance, there are more important factors to consider,” he said.

“The condition of the pitch and outfield, the existing weather conditions, the available players and their health, their form among other things. We focus on the best way to deliver the game plan designed by the coaching staff.”

Scorpions Head Coach Andre Coley complimented his team’s approach to the game which earned them a victory against five-time champion Guyana Jaguars on their home patch.

“We weren’t daunted by the strength of the opponent or their form in this season. The team dug deep and delivered an inspired performance. At times the game was in the balance and we did what was necessary to swing it in our favour,” he said.

“How we want to play won’t change. We must maintain discipline and focus; we have to do the basics perfectly. We observed carefully what inputs and execution made us win so we’ll be repeating those things. There are areas for improvement; we have to post higher first innings totals and the batsmen have to build solid, long-lasting partnerships.

“The big lesson from the victory in our last game is that we are good enough. The team has talent – technically and tactically. Our application must be consistently good if we are going to  secure winning results.”

After four rounds of play, Jamaica currently sits in fifth place with 36.8 points, just a place above the Leeward Islands who anchor the table on 29.2 points.

Scorpions squad: John Campbell – Captain, Assad Fudadin, Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Paul Palmer, Pete Salmon, Denis Smith, Jamie Merchant, Derval Smith, Marquino Mindley, Nicholson Gordon, Patrick Harty and Oraine Williams

LEEWARD ISLANDS HURRICANES: Jahmar Hamilton (captain), Colin Archibald, Sheno Berridge, Rahkeem Cornwall, Nino Henry, Montcin Hodge, Damion Jacobs, Amir Jangoo, Jaison Peters, Kieran Powell, Ross Powell, Devon Thomas, Terance Warde.

 

West Indies opener John Campbell showed signs of form with his fourth first-class hundred of 101 to lead a fight-back for hosts Jamaica Scorpions at Sabina Park after they were forced to follow on against Windward Islands Volcanoes, 167 behind on first innings.

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