West Indies batsman Shamarh Brooks has credited the team’s determination to put in the hard yards early on as crucial to earning a 5-wicket win over New Zealand in the opening One Day International (ODI) on Wednesday.

Brooks was deservedly named man-of-the-match, in large part due to compiling a steady 79 from 91, which underpinned much of the West Indies' success in responding to the New Zealand total.

The player's efforts were all the more impressive after the Kiwis struggled to come to grips with a difficult surface, where Kane Williamson had the highest score with 34.

Brooks, however, had plenty of support, particularly from Windies skipper Nicholas Pooran who was uncharacteristically restrained in a knock of 28 from 47.

“It was just getting the start, that was ideal.  As I said before the wicket wasn’t the easiest to bat on but the longer we spent out there is the easier it got,” Brooks said in assessing the situation.

“I told him (Pooran) that we had never had a partnership in this form of cricket and that I was looking forward to it.  So, we just put our heads together, as I said it was tough going at the start but Nicky put down his head.  It was a bit out of character because he is normally very fluid and plays a lot of shots but it was very good in the end.”

 

West Indies spinner, Yannic Cariah, revelled in a successful debut after doing his part in an impressive team bowling performance that helped secure a crucial One Day International (ODI) win over New Zealand on Wednesday.

After receiving his debut cap at the Kensington Oval, ahead of the first ODI in the series, Cariah finished with figures of 1 for 49 in 9 overs.  The spinner accounted for the wicket of Michael Bracewell who was dismissed lbw.

The 30-year-old player, a regular in the region’s A-Team, was added to the squad after Gudakesh Motie failed to fully recover from a fractured thumb, which he sustained during the ODI series against India last month.

“It was a great feeling, I worked very hard to reach here.  It took longer than I expected but I’m grateful to finally have the opportunity and I’ve enjoyed it so far,” Cariah said of his debut.

Another debutant Kevin Sinclair also reaped success after taking 1 for 37 in the bowling unit's overall strong performance.  The charge was led by Akeal Hosein’s 3 for 28 and Alzarri Joseph’s 3 for 36.  All-rounder Jason Holder also chipped in with 2 for 39.

“I think we utilized the wicket well.  I think Akeal bowled, Sinclair bowled well and all the bowlers, in particular, bowled well.  We set up a good chase.”

A classy half-century from West Indies batsman Sharmarh Brooks anchored the team to a five-wicket win over New Zealand and a 1-0 series lead at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Wednesday.

Chasing 190 to win, Brooks put together a responsible 79  from 91 deliveries and formed part of a crucial partnership with Windies captain Nicholas Pooran.  The pair put on 75 for the fourth wicket, with Pooran getting 28 from 47.  

In pursuit of the total, New Zealand struck an early blow after removing Kyle Mayers for 6.  Shai Hope blasted an aggressive looking 26 off 24 but was eventually caught by Tom Latham off the bowling of Tim Southee.  Kacey Carty then struggled to 11 from 22 before being mopped up lbw by Mitchell Santner.

Pooran then combined with Brooks to push the score to 149 for 4.  After several rain interruptions, Brooks was dismissed shortly after the third time the teams re-took the pitch.  The batsman was finally out after edging to Latham off the bowling of Trent Boult.  Pooran perished a few overs later but with the damage done Jermaine Blackwood (12) then combined with Jason Holder (13) to see the Windies easy over the line at 193 for 5, with 66 balls remaining.

Boult and Southee took two wickets each for New Zealand.

Earlier after winning the toss and choosing to field Akeal Hosein led a stifling spell by the Windies bowlers, who took wickets at crucial points to ensure New Zealand never got momentum.  Hosein picked up figures of 3 for 28, with Windies pace bowler Alzarri Josephs also claiming 3 for 36.

West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood admits he is over the moon to be back in the One Day International (ODI) set-up for the first time in almost 8 years.

The stylish 30-year-old batsman has evolved as a red ball specialist over the last few years but was called into the team after recently returning Shimron Hetmyer pulled out of the squad due to personal reasons and allrounder Keemo Paul was ruled out with an injury.

The aggressive batsman has only ever played two ODIs and has a high score of 11 but has long been proposed as an option for the format because of his aggressive scoring instincts.  In Test cricket, he averages 31.29 and has three half centuries.

Blackwood is ever to prove that he has improved much as a batsman since his previous two appearances.

“I was over the moon.  I’ve always been telling myself that I wanted to come back into the team and make a difference, so right now I have the opportunity to do just that,” Blackwood said.

“My game has developed a lot.  I haven’t played regional 50 over cricket in three years because of West Indies duties but in-between that I’ve played a bit and I’ve scored some 100s batting at the top of the order and at number three.  So, I have the experience batting the new ball and the old ball.”

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran has admitted the absence of frontline spinner Gudakesh Motie will be a huge blow for the team ahead of a crucial upcoming One Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand.

The 27-year-old spinner has not played since the first ODI against India where he fractured his thumb while fielding.  As a result, the player missed the second and third matches and the entire T20 series against India and New Zealand.   

With the three matches against New Zealand being the West Indies’ last remaining three fixtures in the ICC ODI Super League, and with the prospect to secure automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC World Cup in India on the line, Pooran would love to have all his best players available.  He has, however, expressed confidence that the team can make do with the available players.

“It’s a blow for us, especially looking at his performances in the Bangladesh series and how well he bowled in that first game against India,” Pooran told members of the media on Tuesday.

“I thought we were starting to get that chemistry between both him and Akeal (Hosein) they are two of the better spinners in the Caribbean but it is what it is,” he added.

“We hope he will recover and soon be available to us but having said that Kevin Sinclair is here, Yannic Cariah has gotten picked and we are backing them to deliver 100 percent.”

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz have been booked to tackle top Asian team South Korea, in a friendly international at the Hwaseong Sports Complex, in South Korea, on September 3rd.

The match, which will be a first-ever meeting between the two teams, will also be the first for the Jamaica national team since successfully qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup last month.  The team was doing so for the second straight tournament.

South Korea, who are the number 18th ranked team in the world, will pose a stern test for the Jamaicans who recently achieved a high of 42.  The South Koreans have also put together strong performances in 2022 after finishing second at the AFC Women's Asian Cup.

With the match occurring on a FIFA International match date, both teams are expected to have their full complement of players available for selection.

Jamaica sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has put together one of the most exceptional seasons in track and field history, after dominating the 100m at the World Championships, and clocking a number of blistering times, she has just one objective left, to keep running fast.  

Earlier this week, the sprinter clocked a speedy 10.62 at the Monaco Diamond League meet.  The time was the athlete’s best this season and just two hundredths of a second outside her personal best.  Even more remarkable was the fact that the performance marked the sprinter’s 6th sub-10.7 time this season, the most by any female athlete in history.

Despite all that she has achieved so far, the sprinter is not quite ready to end the season just yet.

“To be able to run 10.6 consistently means a lot to me. It is remarkable. It is very hard to keep the speed at this high level,” Fraser-Pryce said.

“It is important for me to deliver fast times because I´m looking forward for myself to having a great season,” she added.

“I´m in my late thirties, and I think I feel like I have more to give. I look forward to doing my Personal Best for the rest of the season and running fast.

“As a sprinter, you always want to run on the fast track. The only target I have for the rest of the season is just to run fast. Now, we break, and then we come again. Not sure about Lausanne yet.”

With five events to go Fraser-Pryce is also in contention for the 100m Diamond League title.

Top Turkish club Galatasaray are rumoured to be interested in acquiring the services of Jamaica international Shamar Nicholson.

The 25-year-old forward only recently secured a move to Russian club Spartak Moscow last summer from Belgian team Charleroi FC for 8m euros and has a contract until 2026.

The current situation with Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, which has led to the club being suspended from all European competition, could see the player being allowed to leave the team.

Initially, the club had expressed an interest in both Mauro Icardi, who was expected to leave PSG, and Andrea Belotti, who left Torino, but either deal materialised.  So far this season, Nicholson has played 98 minutes in 3 games but failed to score a goal.

Last season, Nicholson, who played a total of 34 matches with Charleroi and Spartak Moscow jerseys, scored 21 goals and made 7 assists.

New Zealand batsman Glenn Phillips struck a magnificent half century to underpin a record 215 and series win against the West Indies at Sabina Park, in Jamaica, on Friday.

Phillips, who played several years for the country’s Jamaica Tallawahs franchise in the CPL, looked right at home as he blasted 76 from 31 deliveries.  The batsman was aided in the carnage by Daryl Mitchell who made 48 from 20 as the pair put on 83 for the fourth wicket.

No Windies bowler, in particular, did well against the onslaught with Obed McKoy claiming the best bowling figures with 3 for 40. 

In reply, the West Indies never looked like making a game of the run chase.  They managed just 125 for 9 in reply, lacking the partnerships that underpinned New Zealand's record innings, which was the most by a visiting team in the Caribbean.

With the top order vanishing in dizzying fashion, the Windies did not get a decent partnership until lower down the innings.  The best two were 35 for the seventh wicket between Romario Shepherd and Rovman Powell, but that came when the Windies were 40 for 6 and well out of the game. Hayden Walsh and Obed McCoy put on 38 in an unbroken stand for the last wicket.

Mitchell Santner and Michael Bracewell did the damage for New Zealand with the ball, both finishing with 3 for 15.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has named a majority locally based squad for the country’s upcoming three-game mini tournament in Austria.

The football competition, which will take place at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, has been put on by Qatar as part of their preparations for the FIFA World Cup later this year.

In addition to Qatar, the Reggae will be joined at the tournament by Morocco and African nation Ghana, who will also be making an appearance in Qatar for the global football showpiece.

 Of the 27 players named in the Jamaica squad, 20 ply their trade in the country’s local league.  The exceptions are experienced defender Adrian Mariappa who will join from Australia’s McArthur FC, Jevani Brown who represents EFL League One club Exeter City, Oquassa Chong (Esbjerb fb), Venton Evans (Greenville Triumph) Damani Osei                    
(Santa Clara), Jourdain Fletcher (Gokulam Kerala) and Maliek Howell (University of Memphis).

The Reggae Boyz will tackle Ghana on August 20, followed by matches against Morocco on the 23rd and Qatar on the 26th.  The team will be coached by Merron Gordon who will be assisted by Vassell Reynolds.

  

Full squad

Kemar Foster         Waterhouse FC

Amal Knight            Harbour View FC

Eric Edwards               Arnett Gardens FC

Colorado Murray      Harbour View FC

Trayvone Reid           Harbour View FC

Ricardo Thomas        Waterhouse FC

Ky-Mani Campbell        Waterhouse FC

Richard King                 Cavalier SC

Denardo Thomas         Waterhouse FC

Demario Phillips               Dunbeholden FC

Fabion McCarthy         Dunbeholden FC

Nickoy Christian             Dunbeholden FC

Ramone Howell             Waterhouse FC

Ronaldo Webster            Cavalier SC

Jourdain Fletcher             Gokulam Kerala

Maliek Howell               University of Memphis

Earl Simpson                  Arnett Gardens FC

Odane Pennycooke       Tivoli Gardens FC

Tarick Ximines                Mount Pleasant FC

Alwayne Harvey           Mount Pleasant FC

Adrian Marriapa.             McAuthur FC

Damani Osei.                     Santa Clara Broncos         

Shamari Dyer                      Harbour View           

Oquassa Chong                    Esbjerb fb

Venton Evans                           Greenville Triumph                 

Jevani Brown                          Exeter City

Nicholas Hamilton               Harbour View FC

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran believes the team is improving despite a fourth straight T20 international loss to open the series against New Zealand.

Following a difficult 4-1 series loss to top team India, the team narrowly lost its opening match against the Kiwis by 13 runs, thanks in large part to the late-innings heroics of Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith.

Chasing a decent total of 185, the West Indies lost wickets in clusters in the middle overs but Shepherd and Smith added 58 for the seventh wicket.  Having cracked a score of 150 just once in the previous series, Pooran found some encouragement in the team’s opener, despite the result.

“I’m happy we are starting to find our template.  We know scores above 175, 180 can be tricky for us but we can see that we are actually starting to bat deep,” Pooran said, following the match.

“Guys are actually starting to play the situation a bit smarter.  Today Jason was in that position with Shamarh Brooks.  I thought both of them batted really well, they just never got that big over that was required, having said that, I think the template is coming nicely,” he added.

The West Indies and New Zealand will play the second match of the series on Friday.

 

West Indies coach Phil Simmons insists the team will have to make do with the players that are available as the unit continues to suffer the absence of a few high-profile players.

Chief among that group is Sunil Narine, who was once ranked as the world’s number one spinner and a regular feature in T20 leagues around the world.  Narine has not appeared in a match for the team since 2019.  Also missing are the likes of big-hitter Andre Russell and Evin Lewis who have not featured for the team since last year’s T20 World Cup.  Russell has been unavailable while Lewis has not taken the required fitness tests to be included in the team selections.

All three players have, however, continued to take part in the lucrative T20 leagues around the world, despite not playing for the regional team since last year's World cup debacle.  Simmons admits that not having all the players the team would love to have available is not the ideal scenario but expects the cricketers to be motivated to play for the West Indies.

“I’ve made it a point of duty, anywhere that I’ve gone, I don’t think you should be begging people to play for their country,” Simmons told members of the media on Tuesday.

“I think if you want to represent the West Indies, you make yourself available for West Indies cricket,” he added.

“Life has changed in that people have the opportunity to go to different places, if they pick that over the West Indies then that’s how it is, but it doesn’t make sense me going out there and begging you to play for the West Indies because I don’t know if you will come with as strong a heart as I want you to have.”

The West Indies are currently trailing New Zealand 1-0 in the ongoing T20 series.

 

Promising top-order batsman Evin Lewis continues to remain ineligible for selection to the West Indies squad after reportedly not taking the required fitness tests ahead of the New Zealand series.

Once considered a replacement built in the mold of T20 Chris Gayle for the shorter formats, the big-hitting left-hander has not appeared for the regional team since November of last year when they faced Australia in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

The issues first began for the 30-year-old in 2020 when it was announced that Lewis along with another batsman Shimron Hetmyer had failed a fitness test ahead of the team’s tour of Sri Lanka.

Lewis, however, rebounded strongly to put in a strong performance against Sri Lanka in March of last year, scoring his fourth ODI century.  On that occasion, the player credited a renewed commitment to fitness and gym work as a key part of his success.  The player went on to score 432 runs in another 15 T20 matches with an average of 31 but has not been seen in the maroon colours since the team’s failed World Cup title defense.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors Desmond Haynes confirmed that that absence would continue as the player did not complete a test for the upcoming series against New Zealand, as has been the case for a number of recent series.

 

 

 

West Indies T20 opening batsman Brandon King is confident ahead of the team’s upcoming series against New Zealand and ready to draw on his previous experiences against the team.

The Windies will be eager to bounce back from a difficult loss in the previous series against India, but could also find the going tough against a full-strength New Zealand, the world’s 5th ranked team.

New Zealand has won the last two series against the West Indies both taking place in New Zealand.  King took part in the last series but scored just 24 runs in the three matches.  Against India, however, the player tallied a decent 101 runs in three matches.

“They’re a world-renowned team, their bowling attack is very good, but I have played them before so I have that experience to draw on,” King told members of the press on Tuesday.

“I think my game has also improved.  I’m in a better place to face the challenges, so I back myself.”

 

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah successfully completed the sprint double at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games after dominating the women’s 200m on Saturday.

Days after claiming her first 100m title at the Games, the Jamaican stormed away from the field to stop the clock at 22.02 a new Games record.  The sprinter got off to a solid start and nearly covered the field by the curve before pulling away down the stretch.

Nigeria’s Favour Ofili was second in 22.51, with Namibia’s Christine Mboma third in 22.80.  The second Jamaican in the race Natalliah Whyte missed out on the medal podium after finishing fourth in 23.06.    

 

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