West Indies legend, Sir Andy Roberts, has called for more aggression from the Caribbean fast bowlers ahead of the third and decisive Test against England, which bowls off in Grenada on Wednesday.

So far, bowlers have rarely managed to gain the ascendancy with the two previous pitches in Antigua and Barbados offering very little in the way of assistance.  In the previous Test, a total of 1,238 runs were scored, including a deflating 507 for 9 declared scored by England in the first innings.

If the West Indies are to break the deadlock on the back of two prior draws, Roberts believes the region’s pace bowlers must give more effort at the crease to unsettle the English batsmen.

“Aggressive doesn’t mean you have to be up in somebody’s face, but you can be aggressive in your approach, you can be aggressive in your steering because that’s one of the things I did. I never swore but when I looked at you and I see you turn away, then I say ‘yes, I have you because you can’t look me in the eye’, and that is what is required,” Roberts told the Good Morning Jojo Radio program.

“I see many West Indian fast bowlers going back to the days of Mervyn Dillion, Reon King, and when they get hit for boundaries they smile, they don’t get upset,” he added.

“The ball doesn’t come off the pitch faster than you release it, so if you’re a fast bowler then it means you’re a fast bowler, you can’t be a fast bowler and a fast-medium bowler. What is being taught today is line and length and bowl fourth and fifth stump outside the off stump, but instead of attacking the batsman, attacking the stumps, they are bowling outside of off stump, which is what they practice so sometimes it seems as though the coaches are at fault sometimes. In order to get the best out of the fast bowlers, you have to encourage them to bowl fast.”

West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews insists the team remains aware of the strong form of South Africa Women heading into Wednesday's crucial encounter but insists the unit can take encouragement based on recent head-to-head performances.

Finding themselves plagued with issues of inconsistency all tournament, the West Indies Women will face South Africa in a must-win encounter at Basin Reserve.  On the back of a devastating loss to previously winless Pakistan, the team currently finds itself in the last semi-final spot and must hope for other results to go their way.  The team has played one more game than England.

The South Africans have on the other hand been in solid form, with their only loss so far coming against top-ranked Australia, who are yet to lose a match.

“They’ve obviously been playing very good cricket.  The only team that has beaten them is Australia, but at the same time we have played a lot of cricket against South Africa over the last few months,” Matthews told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“We played them at home in a series last year and before coming here (World Cup) we had a pretty good series as well, unfortunately, we lost the series but if a few things had gone our way, the rain-affected it and stuff like that, it would have looked like a different result,” she added.

“We know they have some dangerous players and we know all of them really well, we know what we need to do in this match as well.  What’s going to be really important against them is getting some runs on the board.”

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite insists he has not completely turned his back on the shorter formats of cricket, despite sole dedication to red-ball cricket for the past several years.

Few can argue that the format has certainly suited the opener.  On Saturday, against England, Brathwaite scored his 10th international century, and the batsman has been far and away the team’s most consistent player over the last five years.  Overall, it is Brathwaite who has scored the most runs during the period with 1730.

Brathwaite has never played a T20 international for the West Indies and has not played a One Day International since 2017.  The formats could, however, pique his interest in the future.

“It’s just unfortunate that every time we have a Test series it’s during our 50 over tournament.  So, I don’t get an opportunity to perform in that format,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Saturday.

“I still love to play 50 over cricket, it’s an aspiration of mine but obviously Test cricket I have been fighting hard for the last few years and I really enjoy it, the grind, but at some point, I would love to get back into ODI cricket,” he added.

“T20 as well, obviously you get into 50 over and show progress there and then get into T20.  It will be tough but I’m still looking to get there.”

 

Jamaica international Leon Bailey made another appearance from the bench in Aston Villa's 1-0 loss to Arsenal on Saturday, amidst recent reports the forward has been unhappy with the substitute role.

Since returning from a long layoff due to injury last month, the player has been sparingly used by Aston Villa head coach Steven Gerrard.  In total the player has appeared from the bench in five of seven games, failing to feature at all in the other two.

In total Bailey has played 91 minutes, his longest spell of 21 minutes came against Arsenal on Saturday, which was equalled his time against West Ham last week.  It’s a situation his agent and stepfather Craig Butler insists has left the player feeling unhappy.

“He doesn’t like the bench, never will like the bench because he’s the type of guy that always wants to play. He’s been on the bench a couple of times and it really got him riled,” Butler was quoted as saying recently.

Bailey is expected to return to international duty for Jamaica next week, having missed the previous round with a troublesome thigh injury.  Jamaica, who are already eliminated from the competition, will face El Salvador and Canada.

West Indies all-rounder, Hayley Matthews, was pleased with the team’s narrow win over Bangladesh on Friday but admits they must find a way to produce more with the bat to have a real chance of competing for the ICC Women's World Cup.

On Friday, the Caribbean team managed to secure their third win of the campaign with a narrow four-wicket victory over Bangladesh, but the team’s performance at the crease made it far from a straightforward affair.

Batting first, the Windies Women could only put up 140 for 9 on the board, but that was in large part due to wicketkeeper Shemaine Campbelle’s staunch 53 in the middle order.  At one point, the team found itself at 70 for 7 before gritty middle and lower order resistance presented a defendable target.

In fact, despite being third in the table, the West Indies have the second-worst run net run rate in the standings, just ahead of last place Pakistan.  Ahead of the Pakistan encounter, Matthews knows the team needs to improve, even after the euphoria of the much-needed win over Bangladesh.

“Just looking at it everyone knew we didn’t get enough runs on the board.  We definitely need to be doing better in that aspect.  At the same time, we knew we could have gone out there and defended the runs by bowling in the right areas.  Keeping the stumps in play was very, very important," Matthews told members of the media.

“We managed to do that well today, but at the same time we definitely need to do better with the bat if we’re going to have any chance at this World Cup.”

The West Indies Women did very little with the bat but came up trumps with the ball to successfully defend a measle total against Bangladesh for a four-run win, in a thrilling final over at the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup on Friday.

Despite only being able to post 140/9 from their 50 overs at Bay Oval, the Caribbean side was able to use all their experience to bowl Bangladesh out for 136 in reply for their third win of the tournament.

Needing eight runs from the final six balls, with just one wicket in hand, Bangladesh were held in check by West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor who once again came up with a big-time performance as Fariha Trisna fell for a duck on the third ball of the over to hand West Indies a narrow win.

All-rounder Hayley Matthews (4/14), who received player of the match honours, and Afy Fletcher (3/29) that did the majority of the damage with the ball, but the team would have been nowhere without a strong effort at the crease from wicketkeeper Shemaine Campbelle (53*) who propped up a batting innings that had failed to spark.

Bangladesh spinners Salma Khatun (2/23) and Akter (2/23) were the top bowlers for the South Asian team, while skipper Nigar Sultana (25) was the equal top-scorer in a low-scoring innings.

The win sees West Indies jump to third on the standings with three victories from five games, while Bangladesh remain seventh.

For the Caribbean team, Campbelle's half-century was the sole highlight, as Deandra Dottin (17), Matthews (18), and Taylor (4) all fell cheaply.  With the team desperate for early wickets to defend the small total it was Matthews that took up the challenge, trapping Shamima Sultana Lbw for a duck in the opening over of the chase.

Fargana Hoque (23) and Sultana looked assured at the crease as they took the score along to 60/2, but Fletcher's three-wicket haul during the middle overs turned the game on its head as the score quickly went to 60/5.

Matthews returned to pick up two more wickets - including the key scalp of Sultana - before Taylor came through with the goods in the final over to seal the result.

 

West Indies pace bowler, Shamilia Connell, insists there is no chance of the team underestimating Bangladesh ahead of a crucial ICC Women’s World Cup match-up on Thursday.

The West Indies got off to a strong start to the tournament with wins over hosts New Zealand and England but crushing losses to India and Australia, in subsequent matches, has since halted that momentum.

With three games remaining the team sits just outside of the semi-final slots and, as such, a win against currently 7th place Bangladesh could be crucial to the Caribbean’s team’s chances of advancing to the final four.

“We can see that they are very competitive, so we are just going to go out there and give our best.  We are not going to underestimate them.  We are just going to go out there and play our game,” Connell told members of the media on Thursday.

“We see that they have been putting on some very good scores and they beat Pakistan.  Pakistan was one of the teams we were looking to give them a challenge, but we will be going out there to play our A-Game,” she added.

Bangladesh secured their first win of the tournament after beating Pakistan by 9 runs on Sunday.  After today’s encounter, the West Indies will have matches against Pakistan and South Africa who are yet to lose a match.

 

 

West Indies Women all-rounder, Hayley Matthews, insists the team is not yet feeling any pressure despite suffering a second consecutive loss at the ICC Women’s World Cup on Monday.

Against top-ranked Australia, the Windies found very little joy and suffered a lopsided 7-wickets loss in their fourth match of the tournament.  Prior to that, the team struggled to deal with India’s powerful batting line-up in a 155-run defeat.

The results stand in sharp contrast to the Caribbean women's heady start to the tournament, which featured victories over New Zealand and England.  It is those victories, however, that Matthews believes stands the team in good stead, despite its recent patch of bad form.

“Coming into this tournament we knew our first four games were likely going to be the hardest.  We kind of said to ourselves if we can get two or three wins out of these four games we would be in a strong position and we’ve done exactly that,” Matthews told members of the media.

“Looking at the rest of the games, these are games we should expect to win and the good thing about it is that things are still in our hands. If we go out there and we can win all three of our games we will be qualifying for the semi-finals,” she added.

The West Indies will face Bangladesh, Pakistan, and South Africa in their remaining three matches.

“I don’t think there is much pressure at the moment.  We know we have the kind of team that once we go out there and play our best cricket we will get the wins.”

 

 

 

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite hopes to see a more efficient performance from the bowling line-up as the team eyes pulling ahead of England when the three-match Test series resumes on Monday.

In the opening match, a total of 1,182 runs were scored over five days in a stern examination of bowlers from both teams.  Things did not start out that way, however, as the Windies took four wickets at the top of the first innings only for Jonny Bairstow to lead England’s recovery in the middle overs.

“I think we just have to be a bit more disciplined in the middle periods, probably a little tighter, under three runs an over, I think.  Creating that pressure will help to get more wickets in the middle overs,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Tuesday.

The West Indies will have fond recent memories of facing the English in Barbados having secured a massive 381 run win when the teams last met at the venue in 2019.  Brathwaite was quick to point out, however, that the team would not be preoccupied with history.

 “I think it’s history, to be honest, and we really have to look more to the future and be more disciplined.  I think we can draw from some things we did well, so of the players for sure, but I think we have to buckle down and start fresh.”

West Indies Women captain Stafanie Taylor insists she is not overly perturbed by her recent struggles to find form at the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup.

The all-rounder, who has third-most runs in the history of women’s One Day International (ODI) cricket, has found scoring to be a scarce commodity at the tournament so far. 

In three matches to date, Taylor has managed just 31 runs for an average of 10.33 well below her overall tournament average of 37.  With those figures in mind, it's hardly a surprise that the player has hardly managed to spend any time at the crease.  In total, Taylor has been at the crease for just 1 hour and 11 minutes, the fifth most in the batting order.

“It’s not something that I’m worried about, yes, my form is a bit down.  But I think it happens to the best of players,” Taylor told members of the media on Saturday.

“For me, it's about going back to have a look at some footage and keep reminding myself that I am good enough to get out of any rut.  Right now, I’m just trying to stay positive because the team is doing well.  Today was probably just one of those days but I’m just trying not to pressure myself too much because I don’t have the form that I would like,” she added.

Taylor’s best performance came against New Zealand where she scored 30 runs from 47 balls.  The West Indies Women will next be in action against Australia on Monday.

Brilliant centuries from Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur fueled India Women to a massive win over West Indies Women at the ICC Women’s World Cup on Saturday.

The loss was the first for the Caribbean team who began the tournament with wins over New Zealand and England.  The powerful combination of Mandhana and Kaur, however, typified an attacking India and set the Windies a daunting 318 for a third straight win, which would always have been a difficult scenario.

In pursuit, the West Indies did, however, get off to a flyer with opener Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews smashing the India bowlers around the ground.  Suffering from back issues Dottin was particularly aggressive as she looked to deal in boundaries to avoid scampering between the wickets.  In fact, the all-rounder reached her fifty in just 35 balls and the Windies were 81 without loss at the end of the Powerplay.

Spinner Sneh Rana, however, eventually got the breakthrough as Dottin's miscalculated sweep attempt was caught.  Facing the massive target, wickets continued to tumble for the West Indies with Meghna Singh joining Rana in the attack to pick up the wickets of Kycia Knight and Stafanie Taylor.  Rana then dismissed Matthews.

With the required run-rate around seven, the pressure of run-scoring got to the rest of the Windies batting line-up, which saw the team bundled out for just 162, still 156 runs short.

Earlier Mandhana smashed 123 from 119 balls and Harmanpreet contributed 109 from just 107 deliveries.  Their partnership was the highest by any Indian duo at a Women's Cricket World Cup, beating Thirush Kamini and Punam Raut's 175-run opening stand against the West Indies at the 2013 edition of the tournament.

West Indies pace bowler Shakera Selman has hailed the growth of all-rounder Deandra Dottin and the prominent role she continues to play not just on the pitch but increasingly these days also off it.

With three One Day International 100s to her name, the 30-year-old has been undoubtedly been one of the team’s most influential players since making her debut in 2008.  On the back of recent performances, which were critical in the team’s wins over New Zealand and then England, it is clear that that much hasn’t changed.  But at least some things have

According to Selman, in addition to her on-field heroics, Dottin, like so many great players, has matured not just into the role of serving as a role model for the next generation, but also in terms of imparting tactical know-how whenever possible.

“Deandra has grown tremendously as a leader over the past few years.  She was the vice-captain when we were back in England in 2020 and I think given that responsibility she has grown tremendously,” Selman told members of the media on Friday.

“We’ve seen helping a lot with the youngsters, she is a bit aggressive and that helps in the field, helps as a batter.  She is always offering advice to all the youngsters, even the senior players.  Now she is in conversation with Stafanie Taylor on the field when we are trying to make crucial decisions,” she added.

Dottin and the West Indies will look for a third straight win in a row when they take on India on Friday night at 8:00 pm.   

 

West Indies Women head coach Courtney Walsh insists he has been satisfied with the team’s overall performance at the ICC World Cup so far but admits they are yet to put together the perfect game.

The Windies Women have started their campaign in New Zealand in spectacular fashion with a narrow win over the hosts, followed up by a similar triumph against defending champions England.

The performances have, however, been far from spotless.  The Windies are arguably yet to see the best of stars Stafanie Taylor or Deandra Dottin with the bat and their performances in the field have vacillated between exceptional and middling.  Ahead of the team’s encounter against India at 8:00 pm, tomorrow Walsh admits a bigger margin of victory would be welcome, but it’s the team’s fighting spirit that has in his mind been the positive feature so far.

“It’s good to be winning these close games but I think the fighting spirit the ladies have been showing is what has been the most encouraging,” Walsh told members of the media on Wednesday.

“In two close games, you have to be proud of how the ladies have performed.  The beauty about it is that everyone has chipped in so far in the two games,” he added.

After two matches the Windies Women are in third position behind Australia and New Zealand, with only the top four teams advancing to the semi-finals.

“I’m very happy that we’ve had the results that we want in the first two games.  I’m hoping that it can continue for the rest of the tournament.  So, I’m really happy with how the ladies are playing, everybody has played a part in the team process, good batting, good bowling, good catching.  It’s not the perfect game as yet we still have areas to improve upon.”

Veteran West Indies Women’s spinner and vice-captain Anisa Mohammed has hailed the match-changing impact of all-rounder Deandra Dottin on the back of the team’s second straight win at the ICC Women’s World Cup.

By her normal standards, Dottin has had an average start to the tournament with the bat, scoring just 43 in two matches.  An abundance of caution in regard to a recent shoulder injury also means the player has not bowled a lot of overs either.  Despite that, however, Dottin has a knack for showing up when her team needs her.

On Wednesday, with England off to a solid start in pursuit of a below-par West Indies score of 225 for 6, Dottin flew high, at full stretch and with one hand, to pluck a hard cut shot from opener Laura Winfield-Hill out of the sky and give the team a crucial breakthrough.

In the team’s first match, against New Zealand, with the hosts needing just six in the last over Dottin, who had not bowled for the whole match, demanded the ball and promptly took two wickets and effected a run out to secure a dramatic win for the team.

“Deandra is one of the persons that set a high standard for herself in whatever aspect of the game she plays…I think that was a crucial moment in the game,” Mohammed told members of the media.

“Deandra is a game-changer, whether it is with bat or ball or in the field.  It was a spectacular catch and I know we can expect more from Deandra.”

A cracking half-century from Shemaine Campbelle and a decisive late-match spell from experienced spinner Anisa Mohammed propelled the West Indies Women to a narrow 7-run win over England and a second straight win at the ICC Women’s World Cup.

In a game that featured several swings in momentum, England seemed on course for victory after Sophie Ecclestone and Kate Cross combined to put on 61 for the ninth wicket.

In the last three overs, England needed just nine runs for victory and still had two wickets in hand.  In the 48th over Eccelstone went after Mohammed who missed a return catch but inadvertently run out Cross at the non-striker's end.  The experienced Anya Shrubsole was then bowled by the spinner to leave England all out on 218 and set off jubilant celebrations.

In their turn at the crease, the West Indies were off to an excellent start and seemed set for a big target with openers Hayley Matthews (45) and Deandra Dottin (31) putting 81 on the board, with 58 of those runs coming during the opening powerplay.

England spinner Ecclestone, however, was introduced into the attack with great effect and turned the match on its head during an eventful 21st over as the West Indies lost three wickets in five deliveries.

Matthews was the first to go after edging Ecclestone to Anya Shrubsole and Dottin was run out three balls later, courtesy of some excellent fielding from the experienced Danni Wyatt.

The West Indies then lost skipper Stafanie Taylor first ball as Ecclestone gave England the ascendancy, but Campbelle and Chedean Nation (49*) launched a furious fightback with an impressive 123-run stand for the fifth wicket.  

Campbelle eventually fell to Nat Sciver in the penultimate over, but the West Indies had recovered sufficiently from a mid-innings collapse eventually ending with a score of 225 for 6.  Ecclestone ended with figures of 3 for 20.

The win moved the Caribbean team up to second in the table, while England will have plenty of work to do if they are to repeat their 2017 heroics.

 

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