West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, has backed the team's strike bowler Shannon Gabriel to bounce back following a poor showing against Sri Lanka in the first Test.

The 32-year-old pace bowler had a first Test to forget, failing to claim a wicket for the entire match.  Overall, he ended with figures of 0 for 89 in 27 overs.  The bowler last went wicketless in a match last year, in the second Test against England where he ended 0 for 122.

In assessing the player’s most recent performances, however, Simmons dismissed Gabriel’s first-match struggles as just a blip and looked forward to a much better showing in the second Test.

“I thought in Bangladesh, he bowled exceptionally well in both Test matches and he was the main one, on the occasion in the first Test, who turned things around with his spell in the evening,” Simmons said in an assessment of the player’s recent form.

“He had a bad game and bowlers have that. Two of the main bowlers did not have a good game but that’s one game,” he added.

“I think he has been unsung, in New Zealand he was unsung, in Bangladesh he was unsung, so, one bad game does not change him being the strike bowler.”

In New Zealand, despite a tough series for the regional team, Gabriel, who was the pick of the bowlers, extracted plenty of pace and bounce from the surface to claim six wickets in two matches, where New Zealand only batted once.

 

 

Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, and Rovman Powell are among 19 West Indies players who have been shortlisted for the Indian Premier League draft set for Chennai on February 18 at the ITC Grand Chola.

Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua Da Silva just missed out on their maiden Test centuries while Alzarri Joseph produced his second-highest score as the West Indies dominated play on Friday’s second day of the second Test against Bangladesh at Dhaka.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons hopes the relative experience of the Test team, compared to the One Day International (ODI) unit, will make for a more competitive showing against Bangladesh when the series bowls off next week.

World-class spinner Shakib Al Hasan and a full-strength Bangladesh made short work of the regional team in a lopsided 3-0 sweep of the ODI series last week.  The Windies went into the series without several of its regular first-team players who pulled out of the tour for various reasons.

The ODI team, which was captained by Jason Mohammed, was the hardest hit, however, with at least eight players making their international team debut.  With more proven campaigners like bowlers Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel, and batsmen Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood, the Test team should be in better shape, in terms of experience in any case.

“It’s a big difference, we may have one, maybe two debutants for this Test series, whereas we had 10 for the ODI series.  So, it’s a huge difference,” Simmons said.

“The good thing is that those guys have been down here before.  On the last tour down here, Kraigg (Brathwaite) was captain, and Shannon and Roach were here.  So, it’s good to have that kind of experience going into a Test series,” he added.

The West will play Bangladesh in a two-Test series, which begins on February 2nd.  The second Test will take place between February 10th to 15th.

 

Shannon Gabriel took his 150th Test wicket in his 50th Test match while Chemar Holder bowled well for his two wickets on debut but it was Henry Nicholls who stole the show with an unbeaten 117 at stumps on day one of the second Test in Wellington on Thursday night (Caribbean time).

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was closing in on his 22nd Test hundred, as the home side emerged on top at stumps of the opening day of the first Test against West Indies.

West Indies bowlers once again showed a lack of a cutting edge as their three-day match against New Zealand ‘A’ petered out to a dull draw at the John Davies Oval at Queenstown on Sunday.

West Indies captain has fallen two places in the latest ICC Test bowling rankings released Wednesday following his side’s massive loss to England in the third and final match in the #Raisethebat series.

The West Indies lost the series 2-1 and relinquished the Wisden Trophy they won in the Caribbean in early 2019.

Holder’s ranking took a hit after his underwhelming showing at Old Trafford where he took only two wickets for 107 runs as the West Indies fell to defeat by 269 runs.

At the end of the second Test that was also played at Old Trafford, Holder had 834 ranking points. However, having underperformed with the ball in the final Test, the Barbadian lost 24 ranking points, which triggered his fall down the rankings.

However, he maintains his number 2 ranking in the all-rounder rankings behind England’s Ben Stokes.

Meanwhile, Kemar Roach, who took his 200th Test wicket in the final Test in which he snared four wickets, collected four ranking points to move up a spot from 16th in the rankings.

Shannon Gabriel holds firm at 19. Chase is at 31.

Stuart Broad wrested the momentum of the deciding third test back in England’s favour Saturday by smashing a counterattacking 62 before the team was dismissed by the West Indies for 369 to bring up lunch on day two.

Resuming on 258-4, England lost a wicket in four consecutive overs to collapse to 280-8, with Ollie Pope falling first and failing to add to his overnight score of 91.

The collapse brought Broad to the middle and the left-hander hit the Windies’ bowlers to all parts of Old Trafford, reaching his half-century in 33 balls — putting him tied for third place in the all-time list of England’s fastest test fifties.

Broad’s 45-ball innings ended when he holed out in the deep off an ambitious swept volley, but by then he had frustrated the West Indies and put England back in charge of a series currently poised at 1-1.

His potentially game-changing ninth-wicket partnership with Dom Bess was worth 76 runs, with Broad hitting nine fours and a six.

Bess was left stranded on 18 after Anderson was the last man out for 11. England added 111 runs in the session.

Earlier, Pope was dropped at slip off Shannon Gabriel before the same paceman got one through the gate his very next over.

Chris Woakes (1) then slashed at a wide ball onto his stumps to give fast bowler Kemar Roach his 200th test wicket.

Jos Buttler, who resumed on 56, was out for 67 when he edged Gabriel to Jason Holder at second slip and the West Indies captain also pouched a catch to remove Jofra Archer (3) off the bowling of Roach.

Roach had team-best figures of 4-72.

The Windies, who won the first test in Southampton before losing the second match in Manchester, are looking to capture a test series in England for the first time since 1988.

The West Indies performed admirably with the ball and in the field, despite a 162-over-long sojourn thanks to some dogged batting from England after two days of the second #raisethebat Test at Old Trafford on Friday.

England skipper Joe Root gave the signal to declare the innings on 469-9 just about an hour before close of play but before that, the side’s vice-captain, Ben Stokes, 176, and opener Dom Dibley, 120, made the West Indies toil.

Chase, himself, bowled a mammoth 44 overs to claim 5-143, while pacers Kemar Roach, 2-58, Alzarri Joseph and Holder, 1-70, offered support with their wickets.

In reply, the West Indies have already lost the services of John Campbell, after Sam Curran trapped him leg before for 12. Opener Kraigg Brathwaite, 6, and Joseph, the night watchman, 14, are the batsmen at the crease, with the West Indies 32-1.

“Most teams being out there for 160-odd overs you would begin to see the tiredness and the lines and lengths start to go wrong, but we didn’t let it get away from us. We still kept the run rate to under three and that was our aim from the beginning,” said Chase.

A large part of that were the 32 overs bowled by Roach. The pacer went at a miserly 1.76 runs per over even though he didn’t get among the wickets til late in the day when he had Stokes caught behind attempting a reverse sweep, and Woakes caught at slip with a peach of a delivery with the very next ball.

“We didn’t get wickets in clusters or really fast like we did in the first game but we stuck to the game plan and stuck to the task,” said Chase.

The West Indies were in for a surprise after believing they could get the most out of the wicket on day one under gloomy skies and with some moisture from rainy days still affecting the pitch.

“I thought the conditions played a big role in us deciding to bowl first. Outside was very overcast and dark, the lights were on before play even started, and having the success we had in the first game as well, everyone was down for the decision to bowl first. But as I said, the English batters played tremendously so kudos to them,” said Chase.

There were a few instances when things looked to be falling apart for the West Indies toward the end of the England innings.

Roach dropped a catch, pushing his effort over the ropes for six, Shannon Gabriel missed an easy run out, having caught the return but failed to make contact with the stumps, as well as a couple of other misfields.

Those instances, though, Chase explained are bound to occur after such a long time in the field.

We made a few blunders in the field which is going to happen when you’re out there for that long because your body is under tremendous strain but all in all I think it was a good effort from the guys,” said Chase.

West Indies vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite has downplayed concerns over the fitness of pacer Shannon Gabriel, who had to go off for part of the first day of the second Test in the #RaiseTheBat series being held at Old Trafford, Manchester.

West Indies captain Jason Holder has moved up a place to the number-two spot in the Reliance ICC Test rankings for bowlers.

Still with eight wickets in hand, England have fought their way back into the first Test at the Ageas Bowl after openers Rory Burns, 42, and Dom Sibley, 50, slowly chipped away at the West Indies' 114-run lead, removing altogether just after lunch.

Burns was the only dismissal in the morning session on Saturday, caught by John Campbell at backward point off Roston Chase for a 104-ball 42.

Sibley got to his 50 off 164 deliveries but lost out to Shannon Gabriel soon after.

Joe Denly, 20, and Zack Crawley, 7, are the men at the crease with England 125-2.

England had resumed its second innings on 15-0 at the empty Rose Bowl in reply to West Indies' first-innings total of 318. Progress was slow in the morning with at one point only three runs off nine overs, and 64 runs from 30 overs overall in the session.

England scored 204 in its first innings of the rain-affected test.

West Indies captain Jason Holder has hailed the outstanding efforts of returning pace bowler Shannon Gabriel, who formed the perfect partner in excoriating the England batting line-up, in the first Test at the Rose Bowl, on Thursday.

Holder claimed an impressive 6 for 42 and Gabriel 4 for 62, as England were dismissed for 204, in the first innings.  Gabriel’s performance is all the more impressive with the series being the player’s first competitive match since recovering from ankle surgery last year.

In truth, concerns regarding Gabriel’s overall match fitness had quickly evaporated when he removed England opener Dom Sibley and provided plenty of deliveries that teased the edge of the batsmen in the first session.  He went on to account for, Rory Burns, Sibley's opening partner, Joe Denly, and James Anderson at the bottom of the order.

“Shannon was outstanding.  He came in after not playing cricket for a while, coming back off injury.  He is one of those players we try to manage as best as we possibly can,” Holder said following the end of the day’s play.

“He is a strike force for us, he is a weapon.  I think we were able to use him in short bursts where he can run in and express himself.  To me his consistency was good, and he looked good.”

In reply, the West Indies were 57 for 1 at the end of play, with John Campbell the batsman dismissed, on 28, by Anderson.

 

West Indies captain Jason Holder took a career-best 6-42 as England was bowled out for 204 on the second overcast day of the first test at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday.

Shannon Gabriel nabbed the first three wickets, Holder the next six including England counterpart Ben Stokes for a team-best 43, and Gabriel grabbed the last wicket to finish with 4-62.

England, at 174-9, didn’t look like reaching 200 but Dom Bess hit 31 not out and shared 30 with fast bowler James Anderson, the last man out.

An early tea was taken with England set to repay the West Indies' batting lineup in ideal bowling conditions.

Gabriel and Holder reduced England to 106-5 at lunch.

But the break enlivened Stokes and Jos Buttler, who came out punchy and riding some luck.

Stokes, dropped on 14 by Kemar Roach on the run, was dropped again on 32 off Roach to a simpler chance by Shamarh Brooks at extra cover.

Stokes and Buttler combined for 67 and 13 boundaries in the empty arena until Holder drew Stokes forward on 43 and earned an edge behind.

Buttler, on 35, was out to another seaming ball by Holder and a low, one-handed catch behind by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich.

When Jofra Archer was out for a duck after a West Indies review showed his front pad blocked his leg stump, Holder had his fifth wicket and taken 3-1 in 14 balls.

The five-wicket haul was Holder’s seventh, and sixth in his last 10 tests.

Mark Wood on 5 slashed at Holder straight to Shai Hope at gully, and Holder would finish the innings with career-best figures of 20-6-42-6.

Bess and Anderson gave England a little lift to get past 200, but Anderson lost his off stump trying to defend Gabriel, who removed opener Rory Burns (30) and Joe Denly (18) in the morning.

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