West Indies middle-order batsman, Shimron Hetmyer, while happy for a second chance at the Indian Premier League, isn’t focusing on the lucrative, high-profile show, in which his price tag suggests he needs to play a starring role.

Hetmyer was discarded by the Royal Challengers Bangalore after just one season but scored a brilliant century in the first One-Day International against India, as well as a few attractive-looking cameos in T20 Internationals against the same team, inclusive of his first half-century.

The left-hander went for US1.1 million to the Capitals at the IPL draft but wasn’t paying any attention to it, choosing instead to focus on the final game his Windies side have against India on Sunday.

The teams go into that third ODI locked at a game apiece.

“I wasn’t really looking too far ahead about it (auction). Really and truly I was just thinking all about the West Indies,” he said.

Hetmyer believes it is what has happened while playing with the Windies that makes him an attractive sell in the IPL and he doesn’t want to quickly forget that.

“They have brought me [here] and made me the person I am today so all thanks to the West Indies for just giving me the chance to represent [them]. I just do my thing and it’s all for the team,” he said.

Windies fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell is raring to go after he landed a million-dollar contract from the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) earlier this week.

Cottrell entered the draft at a base price of US$70,400 but found himself the subject of a bidding war, with Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab displaying more than just a passing interest.

That interest catapulted his value to US$1.2 million with Kings XI eventually coming out tops.

“I’m really looking forward [to] that,” the Jamaican left-armer said following the auction.

“I am very thankful and humbled at the same time, and just to play alongside Chris (Gayle) and Nicholas (Pooran), KL Rahul – just some of the names – I’m very elated.”

Cottrell  earned his place among the elites of T20 cricket after a year in which he bagged 30 wickets from 23 One-Day Internationals and 14 from 12 T20 Internationals.

Even a disastrous World Cup campaign for the West Indies did little to stop his momentum, the pacer collecting 12 scalps despite.

Though his good bowling has not resulted in many wins for the West Indies, Cottrell doesn’t believe he could have achieved what he has this season without his teammates.

“Without my teammates [and] West Indies, I wouldn’t have made it here in my personal view,” he pointed out. “They have backed me 100 per cent and I just want to tell them thanks.”

Before all that though, Cottrell will be eyeing another good performance for the West Indies in the deciding game of three-match ODI series against India in a few hours time.  

 

West Indies limited-overs captain Kieron Pollard has placed the blame for a six-wicket defeat to India in the first T20 international of their tour of India squarely at the feet of the bowlers.

The West Indies, sent into bat in the first game of a three-match series, batted well to score 207-4 from their 20 overs, but found the big total not enough, as India romped to 209-4 in 18.4 overs.

For the West Indies, Evin Lewis scored 40 from 17 deliveries, Brandon King announced himself with 31 from 23 balls, and Shimron Hetmyer notched his first half-century in international T20s with 56 from 41. Pollard scored 37 from 19, Jason Holder had a worldwind 24 not out from nine balls, while Denesh Ramdin ended unbeaten on 11 from seven.

In reply, KL Rahul slammed 62 from 40 deliveries, while India captain Virat Kohli was imperious with 94 not out from 50 deliveries.

“Batters had a good effort. You'd take 208 ten out of 10 times,” said Pollard after the game.

“We lost due to the extras column,” said Pollard.

In a bowling innings where Kesrick Williams had none for 60 in 3.4 overs, and Holder struggled, going wicketless for 46 runs, it was still the extras column that was problematic for the skipper. While Sheldon Cottrell was good, taking 1-24 from his four overs, and Khary Pierre took two wickets for 44, the 23 extras, stemming from 11 illegal deliveries, the West Indies racked up was too much.

“Nearly two and a half overs of extra deliveries. Yes, it was a batting wicket, but if we executed our plans better, it could've been a different story,” said Pollard.

Despite the loss and the manner of defeat, Pollard believes the outing was good for the West Indies and showed they were not far away from being a very good T20 side.

“There are only two areas where we lost the game in. Usually we tend to focus on negatives, but a lot of positives to take away today. King and Hetmyer showed great intent. Fielders did well. In the end, we need to improve, and we will win if we learn to tick more boxes. Can't fault the effort of the guys."

The West Indies will look to get the formula right on Sunday when they again go up against India in a bid to even the series at The Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.

Windies star Chris Gayle will feature for the Chattogram Challengers in the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), contradicting recent reports that he was set for an extended spell away from the game.

The 40-year-old, who has expressed frustration with a lean spell of form in recent weeks, turned down a chance to represent the West Indies during the series against Afghanistan.  The player also insisted that he would not take part in the Australia Big Bash and claimed he was surprised to be listed in one of the teams for the BPL.

Chattogram insisted, however, that the player was due to appear at the tournament after being in contact with his agent.  It seems the club has now resolved the issue, insisting the player will appear for the second half of the tournament.

 "Chris Gayle has a hamstring niggle," Chattogram's managing director KM Rifatuzzaman told ESPNCricinfo.

"He will need a bit of time to be completely fit. He was always going to play in the BPL and even though we will not have him for the entire campaign, he will be available in the latter part," he added.

Gayle’s agent Rudradeep Banerjee confirmed that the player would be traveling to Bangladesh.

"In the MSL he picked up a niggle for which his doctor has advised him rest of at least two weeks," Banerjee said.

"That kind of puts him out for December. He would be free for maybe a game or two, but then to fly into Dhaka and back to West Indies doesn't make sense,” he added.

"If he would have been fit, he would have played the first leg, would have gone home on December 23 and come back again on January 4."

 

 

West Indies Emerging Players captain Yannic Cariah has revealed that self-belief was key to the team unlikely triumph in the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 competition on Sunday.

At the start of the tournament, few would have given the unit hastily stitched together by Cricket West Indies a shot to win the it all.  In fact, the idea behind the Floyd Reifer-coached unit was to give player that had been rejected by their regional squads a chance to gain valuable experience.  On Sunday, a 205 runs thrashing of the Leeward Islands in the final proved they were just as good as anyone else.

After several strong performances, the team’s run in the tournament seemed to be at an end following a crushing defeat to the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force just a week ago, however, another unlikely scenario, a loss for the Guyana Jaguars to the United States, put them squarely back in contention for the top prize.

“I told the guys once we got through the semifinals, we would win the tournament because I know the caliber of players that we have.  We have a balanced team and the belief that everyone has is incredible,” Cariah said in a post-match interview.

“I have to thank the coaches, the staff who gave us the support that we needed.  Men played with niggles, men played under the weather and we still came out on top, that a fantastic achievement,” he added.

 

A four-four from spinner Kevin Sinclair and three from Yannic Cariah led the West Indies Emerging Players to a crushing 205 runs victory over and to the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain on Sunday.

Sent in to bat, Leonardo Julien smashed an enterprising 83 from 85 runs as the Emerging Players piled up a daunting 293 for 7 in their 50 overs.  In their turn at the crease, the Hurricanes never got going as they were scuttled out for just 88.

Opening with Kimani Meluis, Julien got Emerging players off to a solid start before, Meluis was caught for 28 by Kacey Carty off the bowling of Jacques Taylor.  He went on to put on another 84 for the second wicket with man-of-the-match Cariah, who made 34 from 51 before being run out.  Julien was dismissed, caught by Thomas off the bowling of  Sheeno Berridge, with Emerging Players well poised at 163 for 3.  Rolando Cato (31), Kevin Sinclair (28) and Dominic Drakes (38) put on another 97 at the bottom of the order.

Chasing the big target, the Leewards were on the back foot also immediately after losing opener Montcin Hodge for one run with just 11 on the board.  When his partner Kieran Powell (13) followed soon after, caught by Da Silva off the bowling of Kevin Sinclair the writing was on the wall for the Leewards.  Amir Jangoo provided the most resistance with 20 from 43 deliveries but his innings was brought to an end by Cariah.

 

Windies star Chris Gayle extended hearty congratulations to Australian David Warner who continued his purple patch of form with an unbeaten 335 during the second Test match against Pakistan at Adelaide Oval.

The knock elevated Warner to exclusive company become one of 31 players to ever achieve the feat.   The left-hander also became the second-highest scorer ever for Australia behind Matthew Hayden’s 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003.  Gayle, who also features prominently on the list, had scored 333 against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2010, congratulated the Australian batsman via social media platform Twitter.

“Welcome to the Triple club, @davidwarner31 - Top stuff,” Gayle tweeted.

Warner, who served a 12-month ban from the sports after being punished for ball-tampering, beat Donald Bradman’s record of 299, set against South Africa in 1931-32, for the highest test score at the Adelaide Oval.  The player also produced the biggest innings ever in the day-night Test cricket format.  Australia captain Tim Paine declared at 589-3 on day two against Pakistan.

 

 

 

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.

Rahkeem Cornwall’s 10-wicket haul in a nine-wicket win for the West Indies over Afghanistan in Lucknow, India, while a great start, is just one part of the game the all-rounder wants to get right for the regional side.

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.

Rahkeem Cornwall has downplayed the idea that there was a magical formula for his performance on the first day of a one-off Test match against Afghanistan in Lucknow, India.

Jamaica middle-order batsman Rovman Powell slammed a brutal 106 in just 40 balls but could not prevent a 13-runs loss to the Leeward Islands, who booked a spot in the semi-finals of the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup, on Sunday.

The Scorpions were set 256 to win, on the back of a patient 105 from Kieran Powell, but crucially needed to achieve the target inside 31 overs to overhaul their opponents’ NRR.  The Scorpions found their runs chase way off target after finding themselves at 25 for three in the fifth over, after losing top order batsmen Assad Fudadin, Aldane Thomas and Nkrumah Bonner.

Powell, however, kept the Scorpions in touch with an explosive display of batting, reaching his second hundred of the tournament from 38 balls with two runs into the leg-side off Quinton Boatswain.  Jamaica’s chances went up in smoke, however, when Powell was caught behind off Boatswain in the same over he got to the third hundred of his Super50 Cup career.

Boatswain was the pick of the Leewards bowlers after claiming figures of 4 for 85.

In their turn at the crease, the Leewards were in early trouble after losing opener Montcin Hodge for 10, with 27 on the board.  Amir Jangoo joined Powell at the crease, however, and pair put on a match-winning 154 for the second wicket.

The Hurricanes will play hosts Trinidad & Tobago Red Force in the second semi-final on Friday at the Queen’s Park Oval in the Trinidad capital of Port of Spain, where the first semi-final, a day earlier, will feature Group A winners Barbados Pride and either Guyana Jaguars or West Indies Emerging Players, one of which will be the runners-up in Group B.

India skipper Virat Kohli has rejected comparisons between his current Test squad and the all-conquering West Indies team of the 1970s, insisting there was a long way to go yet.

India wrapped up yet another dominant showing when they became the first team ever to complete four successive innings victories in the five-day format, to finish off Bangladesh in their maiden pink-ball Test.  The win was India’s seventh consecutive Test victory - the most they have had in succession. 

Prior to the Bangladesh series, India beat West Indies 2-0 and registered a 3-0 whitewash over South Africa. The victory margins were 318 runs, 257 runs, 203 runs, an innings, and 137 runs, and an innings and 202 runs.  Despite dominating their opposition and a run-away lead at the top of the newly implemented ICC Test Championships, Kohli believes comparisons to the West Indies teams are premature.

“I can only say we are at the top of our game. You can’t judge a team’s dominance with seven games. You’re talking about a West Indies side which did it for 15 years,” Kohli said after the match.

“You can ask me this question when we all are close to retiring. How the decade has gone playing together ... Not after seven games. Seven years yes, but not seven games,” he added.

“I think there is still time (to compare). But we are quite excited about the way we are playing and what the challenges are. Going forward, we will play in New Zealand now. The frame of mind is to get to the next series in Test cricket. It’s not like we are finished playing at home ... Let’s see what happens abroad.”

The West Indies Women continued their recent struggles against India after going down by five runs in a rain-affected T20I fixture at Providence Stadium in Guyana.

Only 18 overs were possible after a steady downpour held up the start of play.  When the teams did take the pitch, it was the Windies Women who won the toss and opted to field.  Middle-order batsman Pooja Vastrakar was the only player to score double figures with 10 as the team had a balanced scoring act to speed to 50 for 7 off their 9 overs.

Hayley Matthews was the pick of the Windies bowlers after claiming figures 3 for 13.  Afy Fletcher and Sheneta Grimmond were also among the wickets after claiming two each.

In response, Matthews also starred at the top of the order after making 11 from 14 balls, with Chinelle Henry also adding an identical total.  Natasha McLean also contributed 10 from 9 balls but the team eventually fell short as they ran out of overs.  Anuja Patil was the best bowler for India after claiming 2 for 8.  The result marked a fourth consecutive loss for the regional team who have been unable to keep pace with India for either the T20 or previously played ODI series.

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