West Indies batsman Shamarh Brooks has hailed the telling impact on a new generation of regional cricketers by the late, great Sir Everton Weekes, insisting his legacy would be proudly carried on.

Weekes, who was the only living member of the legendary three Ws, which had also included Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Clyde Walcott, passed away earlier this week at the age of 95.  The on-pitch records written by the iconic cricketer are many and fabled, but tellingly, his impact on the sport did not stop when he retired from it in 1958.

Despite the gulf in years and many generations in-between them, Weekes served as a mentor to 31-year-old Brooks and many others along the way.  Freely dishing out needed advice at cricket grounds he once dominated.

“When I scored my first Test 100 in India, against Afghanistan, I spoke to sir Everton.  And even in first-class cricket if there is a game played at Kensington, he would always be in the president’s suite watching,” Brooks told members of the media.

“We would also be able to go up there either during the game or after the game to have a word with him about what he had seen or what we could do differently or that kind of stuff,” he added. 

According to the player, who pointed out invaluable tips he learned about playing spin, Weekes’ contribution did end when he reached the end of his life on July 1st. 

“It’s sad that a great man is gone but he has left a legacy and hopefully the guys in the team now can carry on that legacy.”

 

West Indies batsman Shamarh Brooks insists the team has no need to fear a powerful England bowling attack, ahead of the upcoming series, once they are willing to apply themselves at the crease.

A lot of the talk so far heading into the England versus West Indies match-up has centered on worries about how the regional team’s often inconsistent batting line-up will fend off an explosively quick Jofra Archer and an experienced England bowling line-up.

The first team’s batting performances in the recent intra-squad preparational matches would not have done much to inspire confidence.  In the final warm-up, a top-five of Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shamarh Brooks, Shai Hope, and Roston Chase subsided to nine for three and 49 for five.

“Some of us got the opportunity to bat at the crease but having said that, it’s still a batsman and bowlers game.  Our bowlers bowled well, especially in the second practice game.  I think they came with a different level of intensity in the last game and it showed in terms of us losing wickets.  That’s the game sometimes but we are still backing our preparation to bring success in the series,” Brooks told members of the media.

“Spending time at the crease will be key, as long as we apply ourselves and spend some time out there it will get easier,” he added.

“Not to put down the England bowling attack but we need as a batting unit to stand up in this series and I know it will make a difference,” he added.

Shayne Moseley followed up his first-innings knock of 40, with a solid unbeaten half-century as the three-day intra-squad match between Brathwaite’s XI and Holder’s XI ended in a draw at the Emirates, Old Trafford on Thursday.

Moseley scored a 142-ball 83 as Holder’s XI chasing 313, closed on 149 for 3. His innings included nine fours and a six.

 Nkrumah Bonner was unbeaten on 24 at the end.

Bowling for Brathwaite’s XI  Raymon Reifer, who had 5 for 60 in the first innings, Oshane Thomas and Keon Harding each had one wicket.

Earlier, Shane Dowrich and Shamarh Brooks scored unbeaten half-centuries as Brathwaite’s XI got to lunch on 231 for 4 on the final morning of the warm-up match against Holder’s XI at Emirates Old Trafford.

The pair posted an unbroken stand of 131 as Brathwaite's XI stretched their overnight lead of 181 to 313 before declaring at lunch.

Resuming on their overnight score 99 for three, Brathwaite’s XI had an early setback when Shannon Gabriel trapped Roston Chase lbw for his overnight score of four. He then sent down a torrent of bouncers to Dowrich as things got tense between the two sides.

Brooks, meanwhile, got off to a slow start but gradually scored at better than a run a ball to go to the break unbeaten on 66 from 99 balls. Dowrich was not out 56 (83 balls) having taken a liking to the spin bowling of Rahkeem Cornwall and Jomel Warrican.

Shane Dowrich and Shamarh Brooks scored unbeaten half-centuries Thursday as Brathwaite’s XI got to lunch on 231 for 4 on the final morning of the warm-up match against Holder’s XI at Emirates Old Trafford.

The pair posted an unbroken stand of 131 before lunch as Brathwaite's XI stretched their overnight lead of 181 to 313.

Resuming on 99 for three, Brathwaite’s XI had an early setback when Shannon Gabriel trapped Roston Chase lbw for his overnight score of four. He then sent down a torrent of bouncers to Dowrich as things got tense between the two sides.

Brooks, meanwhile, got off to a slow start but gradually scored at better than a run a ball to go to the break unbeaten on 66 from 99 balls. Dowrich was not out 56 (83 balls) having taken a liking to the spin bowling of Rahkeem Cornwall and Jomel Warrican.

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.

Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan believes his side can be a much better Test side given the opportunity.

Rashid was speaking after Friday’s demolition at the hands of the West Indies in Lucknow, India.

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.

But according to Rashid, despite the one-sidedness of the affair, there isn’t a big gap between Afghanistan and the better Test-playing nations.

“I think, what I've seen, we've been struggling in the longer formats. Especially in batting. That's the only area we need to improve. Once we do that, we can trouble good sides,” he said.

The Afghanistan skipper believes that his team lacks experience, and with a little more of it, the teams at the top will have to watch out.

“Still early days in our Test careers, only our fourth game, against an experienced Windies. Hope to recover from our mistakes. We want more Tests,” said Rashid.

At the moment, the opportunity for Afghanistan to play more Test cricket and to get that valuable experience is a little beyond them, a situation, Rashid is not happy with.

“Just one Test per year isn't good enough.”

But the talent is there and Rashid is hopeful that the best for Afghanistan, is yet to come.

“Great talent for us in the future. We are not taking our batting innings long. People are getting out for thirties and forties. We need to work on that. Overall, quite disappointing. And we will try to bring the improvements,” said Rashid.

Afghanistan will now turn its attention away from Test cricket for the moment to the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup early next year.

At 31 years old, Shamarh Brooks is playing in just his second Test, but he will not allow that late start to create anxiety that could mean he performs at less than his best for the West Indies.

Shamarh Brooks struck a magnificent maiden Test century before Rahkeem Cornwall claimed a 10-wicket match haul on day two to leave West Indies closing in on victory against Afghanistan.

Brooks showed great skill and application in only his third Test to make 111 after John Campbell fell for 55 as the Windies posted 277 in Lucknow.

Debutant Amir Hamza took 5-74 on a turning pitch to restrict the Windies' lead to 90 runs, but Afghanistan were reduced to 109-7 at stumps - leading by only 19 and facing a heavy defeat.

Cornwall claimed brilliant Test-best figures of 7-75 in only his second international on day one and helped himself to 3-41 on Thursday.

Roston Chase (3-10) also took advantage of spin-friendly conditions at Ekana International Cricket Stadium, striking a big blow by removing Javed Ahmadi for 62 with the final ball of the day.

Campbell and Brooks got Jason Holder's side off to a solid start after resuming on 68-2, but the opener departed when Ihsanullah took a fine catch anticipating the sweep off Hamza to end a stand of 82.

Shimron Hetmyer and Chase also fell before lunch, but Brooks played positively in the morning session, before reigning it in somewhat following the break.

Shane Dowrich (42) offered support to take the Windies into the lead and Brooks attacked Rashid Khan (3-114) after the wicketkeeper-batsman was removed by Zahir Khan.

Elegant Barbados batsman Brooks had struck a six and 15 fours by the time he was bowled by impressive left-armer Hamza.

Just as in their first innings, Afghanistan got off to an encouraging start, but they were 59-4 after losing four wickets for six runs - burly spinner Cornwall taking two in one over.

Ahmadi stood firm as wickets tumbled around him, but Chase produced a devastating late burst and had the opener caught by Cornwall just before the close to leave Afghanistan on the ropes.

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots secured their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in dramatic style as Dominic Drakes bowled Harry Gurney with the final ball of the night to seal a thrilling one-run victory over Barbados Tridents, who now face a winner-takes-all clash with St Lucia Zouks on Sunday after a dramatic batting collapse when victory appeared in their grasp. 

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