West Indies middle-order batsman, Nkrumah Bonner, has recalled drawing inspiration from gritty India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara in wake of the team’s recent triumph over Bangladesh.

Pujara earned widespread commendation for a gutsy performance against Australia last month, where the India batman took hits to the head, elbows, hands, and ribs.  In total, ten balls crashed into him throughout his 211-ball innings.  His stubborn 56, however, was crucial to a historic win for an understrength India, in Australia.

Bonner may not have had to put up with as much physical punishment from the Bangladesh bowlers, but certainly showed plenty of determination in his gritty 86 from 245.  The knock, alongside a cracking 212 from Kyle Mayers, was critical in anchoring an understrength West Indies to a surprise win, in Bangladesh.  Bonner admits he has been taking close note of the India batsman and tries to emulate a few of his qualities.

“I like to see how he goes about his batting.  I think he is very tough mentally and it’s something that I’ve taken from him,” Bonner told members of the media, via a Zoom press conference on Tuesday.

“There is nothing that really troubles him, so I idolize him a lot,” he added.

 

 

West Indies batsman, Nkrumah Bonner, admits that it was disappointing to miss out on what would have been a debut century against Bangladesh but is far more satisfied with a surprise victory for the team.

The 32-year-old Bonner stroked a solid 86 from 245 balls, as part of a match-defining partnership with Kyle Mayers, who managed an unbeaten double century to steer the West Indies to a historic victory.

Mayers and Bonner remained unbeatable for the first two sessions but after cutting loose for a 6 off Taijul Islam, Bonner was dismissed lbw the very next delivery, after missing a flatter length delivery from the spinner.

“Personal milestones are always good but obviously we know that we do everything for the team,” Bonner told members of the media via a Zoom press conference.

“Obviously it would be good to make a 100 on debut but it wasn’t mean to be and I’m really just happy that we won the game,” he added.

Though Bonner did not get to triple digits on debut he still managed to make it into the record books.  The 216 runs partnership with Bonner was the second-highest partnership by Test debutants, behind Pakistan's Abdul Kadir and Khalid Ibadulla, who put on 249 back in 1964.

West Indies batsmen Rovman Powell and Lendl Simmons remained unbeaten to steer the Northern Warriors to an eight-wicket win over the Dehli Bulls, to claim the Abu Dhabi T10 title, on Saturday.

After winning the toss, the Warriors restricted the Bulls to 81 for 9 in 10 overs.  Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Evin Lewis got things off to a flier, after scoring 16 runs off the first over.  The innings soon lost momentum after Gurbaz’s mistimed shot was taken at cover and Lewis was gobbled up by Powell.  In the end, Mohammad Nabi top-scored with a 10-ball 21 for the Bulls.  Maheesh Theekshana starred with the ball for the Warriors after claiming 3 for 14.

In pursuit of a gettable target, Warriors skipper and in-form batsman Nicholas Pooran took responsibility by promoting himself up the order.  He was, however, dismissed lbw by Fidel Edwards on 12.  Simmons and Waseem Muhammad, however, kept the scoreboard ticking over.  Opener Muhammad scored 27 off 22 but was dismissed before Powell (16 from 8) and Simmons (14 from 12) finished the proceedings.

Powell hit the winning runs with a huge six with 10 balls left.  Theekshana received the Man of the Match award while Pooran was named Man of the Series.  Northern Warriors are the first team to win the trophy twice.

 

 

Former West Indies and Barbados fast bowler, Ezra Moseley, was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Saturday, in Barbados.

According to reports, Moseley, who celebrated his 63rd birthday in January, was struck from his bicycle by an SUV early in the morning.

Moseley was one of several players slapped with a lifetime ban after taking part in the West Indies rebel tour of South Africa in 1982-83.  The ban was, however, later lifted and he went on to represent the West Indies in two Tests, in 1990, in England, at the age of 32, and also played in nine One-Day Internationals.

Later on, Moseley served as a national selector for the Barbados senior men’s team, the successful Barbados women’s team, and was also an assistant coach for the West Indies’ women’s team.

 

 

West Indies spinner, Rahkeem Cornwall, is looking for a solid first hour from set batsmen Kyle Mayers and Nkrumah Bonner, and the team battles to save the match against Bangladesh on the final day.

At stumps, the West Indies needed another 285 to overhaul the home team for victory.  Although it is the West Indies that holds the record for the highest fourth innings, which was 418 against Australia in 2002, few would bet on the current inexperienced campaigners going anywhere close.

With the team scoring below 250 in seven of its last 12 innings, the team could be forgiven to ensure that it simply did not lose the first test.  In order to secure a result, however, Cornwall believes the first hour of the final day will be crucial and looks to the batsmen continuing to stymie the Bangladesh bowling attack.

“Two guys are crease, set.  They just have to come out again tomorrow and start over again,” Cornwall said at the end of the day’s play.

“The first hour is going to be crucial and we can just take it from there.”

For his part, Cornwall has had a tidy bowling effort, claiming 3 for 81 in the second innings and 2 for 114 in the first.  

 

West Indies batsmen Nkrumah Bonner and Kyle Mayers cobbled together an unbroken 51-run partnership, for the moment staving off a relentless Mehidy Hasan, as the team closed day four at 110 for 3, still needing another 285 for victory against Bangladesh.

Mehidy, who punished the Caribbean team with a first-innings century, tore through the top half of the Windies batting order after claiming 3 for 52 to close the evening session.  The spinner struck for Bangladesh after a solid start from the West Indies, which saw skipper Kraigg Brathwaite and left-hander John Campbell post 39 runs in an hour for the first wicket.

Early on, Campbell was more than ready and willing to deploy the sweep shot against the spinners.  He cashed in for four 4s, in his 23, but was eventually undone after missing one from Mehidy and being trapped lbw.  Brathwaite, in the meantime, showed solid footwork against the spin but was let down by hard hands after a defensive stroke offered against Mehidy went bat-pad to short leg and was gobbled up by Yasir Ali.

Shayne Mosely contributed 12 before also being trapped lbw, which meant the West Indies lost three wickets for 20 runs and found themselves struggling at 59-3.

Coming together to stabilize the innings, Bonner and Mayers used different tactics to see out the day.  Mayers was more aggressive for an unbeaten 37, while the more watchful Bonner accumulated 15 from 63.

In the morning session, Bangladesh skipper Momimul Haque registered his 10th Test century as they declared at 223-8. He was the second wicket for fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who bagged 2-37.

 Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican was again the most successful bowler with 3-57 off 17.5 overs, to end with match figures of 7-190 off 65.5 overs. He bowled well in tandem with off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, who picked up 3-81 off 27 overs. He took 2-144 off 42.2 overs in the first innings.

Former West Indies fast bowler, Franklyn Rose, has defended recent comments made by WI captain Jason Holder who suggested some past players were guilty of being overly critical without being constructive.

In addressing recent criticism aimed in his direction by legendary fast bowler Sir Andy Roberts, Holder insisted he respected the former players a great deal.  He, however, believes a great deal more could be achieved with a direct dialogue between the past and present players.

Rose, who is also well-known for pulling no punches in his analysis, agreed with the captain’s assessment.

“We’re all passionate about the game and we are all disappointed in the performance of West Indies cricket, but it seems as if some of the past players live to see the guys fail,” Rose told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“We should be supporting the guys.  Give them a call, send them a text message.  Give them a few words of encouragement,” he added.

“When I used to play Malcolm Marshall was my coach and I was honoured to be a part of that team.  So, I would always try to impress as a fast bowler, impress the great Malcolm Marshall.  I think if some of these past players would pick up their phones and send a message or words of encouragement to these guys, I think it would play a big part (in their development).”

 

 

 

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.

 

West Indies captain, Jason Holder, admits he is disappointed by questions about his commitment to the team, which have come to the fore following his decision not to take part in the ongoing tour of Bangladesh.

Holder was one of 12 first-team players to opt-out of the tour, citing health and safety concerns as the primary reasons.  The player and others opting out of the tour were roundly criticised in some quarters, with Holder taking the brunt as the leader of the unit.

From his perspective, however, Holder believes he has more than proved his commitment to West Indies cricket over the years.

“A lot of people just don’t understand.  I would hate to think people would question my commitment to West Indies cricket,” Holder told the Mason and Guest radio program. 

“Over the last five, six, seven years I’ve been on the road.  Eight years consistently I’ve played for the West Indies.  I’ve had tons of opportunities to go abroad and play domestic, T20 leagues.  I could have done county cricket, well I have done it, but I’ve had opportunities to go around the world and I’ve always put West Indies cricket first,” he added.

“So, for people to come now and question my commitment that shows me that people just don’t understand.  My reasons for not going to Bangladesh, yes I had concerns over the integrity of the bubble, but it was mostly mental fatigue.”

West Indies captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, has targeted forming crucial partnerships as the team continues its pursuit of Bangladesh’s first innings total when play resumes on day 3.

The opening batsman has led by example for far, as he dug in for a patient 49 of 81 balls to anchor the early chase of Bangladesh’s first innings score of 430.

In terms of building partnerships, however, the team has already had some early wobbles with John Campbell (3) and Shayne Moseley (2) being sent back to the pavilion early.  Both were dismissed by Mustafizur Rahman.

Brathwaite will no doubt be hoping that Nkrumah Bonner, who had a solid showing in the three-day warm-up match against the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI, will be part of the first significant partnership of the innings.  Bonner has so far stroked a watchful 17 from 58 balls.

“It’s key to get runs on the board.  We did well getting to 70-odd for two and we just have to look to build partnerships tomorrow,” Brathwaite said at the end of play.

“I’m looking for a big first innings, which will be crucial, a big first-innings total on the board,” he added.

The batsman believes the team should be aided by a pitch that is good for batting, which he expects to hold up.

“I thought it (pitch) played well today.  Not much spin, some balls did spin but the bounce is quite true, it’s not too low.  I think it will hold up for the next day, day and a half and possibly, day four, day five, it will start to wear a little bit,” he added.

 

England batsman, Tom Banton, believes rising West Indies star Nicholas Pooran could be the best six-hitter in the game at the moment.

The 25-year-old has seen his stock rise after a big-hitting display in the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year, a trend that he has continued in the Abu Dhabi T10 league.  In a league with the likes of his West Indian compatriot Chris Gayle and Chris Lynn, it is Pooran who leads the way with 33 sixes and 21 fours in 9 matches.

In fact, Nicholas Pooran has scored more runs from fours and sixes than Gayle - his 89 off 24 balls for Northern Warriors against Bangla Tigers last month included 84 runs from boundaries, while Gayle chalked up 78 in his savage 84 off just 22 balls on Wednesday.

"He's different level that guy," Banton said in an interview with ESPNcricinfo

"Anyone that bowls to him, he'll get hold of. I reckon he's the best in the world at the minute at [hitting sixes],” he added.

"We're actually playing them in a few days' time so I'm going to try and talk to him and actually see what he does. He probably doesn't do anything different to anyone else, he's just a lot better than everyone else."

Pooran’s Northern Warriors are currently second in the Super League standings but are at the top of group A.

West Indies left-arm spinner, Jomel Warrican, has credited discipline, accuracy, and strong field setting as crucial factors that enabled a three-wicket haul on day one of the first Test against Bangladesh, in Chittagong, on Tuesday.

At stumps, Warrican had claimed figures of the 3 for 58 as Bangladesh ended the day on 242 for 5.  Another wicket was claimed by pace bowler Kemar Roach with a run out accounting for the other.

The spinner could indeed have plenty of reason to delight in the field placing, and performance for that matter, as two of his wickets resulted from catches.  Firstly, John Campbell took a sharp catch at short midwicket after Mominul Haque lost some patience and failed to keep a lofted drive down.  The other was a brilliant catch at slip by Raheem Cornwall, after Mushfiqur Rahim attempted a defensive stroke that carried to the fielder.  In-between, the bowler ended the run of a dangerous looking Shadman Islam, when the batsman was given lbw just before tea.

“Being disciplined and accurate at the same time, as well as setting the right field,” Warrican responded when asked about the keys to his opening day success.

“I thought it best to bring them on the front foot as much as possible because when they play back they have a lot of time.  The more you bring them on the front foot is the more you ask questions,” he added.  

 

West Indies stand-in captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, has backed off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall to make a telling impact in the upcoming Test against Bangladesh.

The spinner showed himself to be in good form after claiming five wickets against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI last week.  Outside of taking the wickets, Cornwall proved hard to get away and boasted an economic rate of 2.82.  Brathwaite backed the spinner to carry that form into the series, on a pitch that is suited for spinners.

“He did a very good job in the practice game, created a lot of pressure, bowling dot balls and such.  I think he’ll do well in the series.  He’s a quality off-spinner, we all know this,” Brathwaite told members of the media via an online press conference on Tuesday.

“We just need to stick to our plans, support him in the field, support all the bowlers not only Rahkeem but we look forward to him doing well this series, all the bowlers."

Cornwall’s best performance so far for the West Indies came in Asia when he claimed 7 for 75 in an innings against Afghanistan and claimed 10 wickets overall.  The West Indies will begin the first Test against Bangladesh at 10:30 pm on Tuesday (9:30 pm ECT).

 

West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, insists the team must be ready to take advantage of any rustiness on the part of the Bangladesh team but insists the hosts are firm favourites heading into the series.

The Bangladesh team has not played a Test since February when they faced Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.  The West Indies has in the meantime, played two-Test series against England and then New Zealand.

Relying on that statistic would, however, be slightly misleading as several of the West Indies' first-team players opted out of the tour, leaving the unit to rely on more inexperienced players for the tour.  In such circumstances and Bangladesh’s home record, Simmons is skeptical of there being any advantage but hopes the team will be able to captilise once there is.

“There could be a little bit of vulnerability early in the Test because they haven’t played any international Test cricket for a year now and getting back into it might expose some vulnerability early on," Simmons told members of the media.

“I’m sure that, that would be taken care of because they have a fairly experienced team, with the likes of Tamim and Shakib.  The experience is there so it might not last too long, but if it does happen, we have to take that opportunity and seize on it,” he added.

“Bangladesh will always have the edge no matter who they are playing at home.  They are a very strong side when they play at home.  So, they will always have the edge even when they haven’t played any cricket for a year.”

Bangladesh won the previous series, which consisted of three ODI matches, against the West Indies 3-0.

 

 

 

Former West Indies Under-19 captain, Emmanuel Stewart, hopes to insert himself in the debate for selection in what he believes could be a big year for regional cricket.

The 21-year-old Windwards Islands Volcanoes batsman was part of the squad that contested the 2018 Under-19 World Cup.  Since making his First-Class debut in 2019, for the Volcanoes, he had made three half-centuries in 9 matches.

For the upcoming season, the middle-order batsman will once again form part of the Windward Islands squad looking to claim a 5th Regional Super50 crown.  With plenty of international cricket on the horizon this year, including Caribbean tours for Sri Lanka, Australia, and Pakistan, Stewart knows a solid season could place him squarely in the thoughts of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selectors.

“I think it’s an important year for cricket in the Caribbean, a lot of teams are touring the Caribbean,” Stewart told Grenada’s Talksport.

“So, I think what I have control over is my performance and once I continue putting the numbers up, then that is the most I can do,” he added.

“As long as I continue playing, I will continue putting my focus on those numbers and keep progressing for the Windwards and hopefully eventually the West Indies too.”

 

 

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