Man-of-the-math Rahkeem Cornwall took four wickets today, spurring West Indies to a nail-biting 17-run against Bangladesh inside four days to sweep the closely fought Test series 2-0.

Ravichandran Ashwin claimed his second successive five-wicket haul as India skittled England out cheaply on day two to put themselves in total command of the second Test.

Fifteen wickets tumbled on what look more like a final-day pitch at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday, with Moeen Ali (4-128) and Olly Stone both striking twice to bowl India out for 329.

The tourists, leading the four-match series 1-0, were dismissed for only 134 in reply, giving India a first-innings lead of 195 runs in Chennai.

Jack Leach got rid of Shubman Gill but first-innings centurion Rohit Sharma was unbeaten on 25 at stumps, with in complete control on 54-1 - leading by 249 runs.

Ashwin followed up his six-wicket haul in the second innings of the first Test by taking 5-43 in a brilliant exhibition of spin bowling in dream conditions for the spinner, who generated sharp turn and bounce.

Ishant Sharma (2-22) trapped Rory Burns leg before without scoring and Dom Sibley fell for 16 after India added only 29 runs to their overnight total of 300-6.

Debutant Axar Patel (2-40) claimed the huge scalp of in-form England captain Joe Root, caught by Ashwin at short fine leg for only six to become the spinner's first Test victim.

England were reeling on 39-4 after Ashwin got big turn and bounce to see the back of Dan Lawrence and there were more roars from a crowd of 10,000 when the wily tweaker bowled Ben Stokes (18) early in the afternoon session.

Ollie Pope made 22 before falling to Mohammed Siraj and although Ben Foakes (42 not out) played superbly against the spinners, England were all out from 59.5 overs when Stuart Broad was cleaned up by Ashwin.

Leach snared Gill lbw and Rohit successfully reviewed after he was given out in the same fashion but got an inside edge, while also possibly getting away with it when he padded up not offering a shot, but India are well on course to level the series.

West Indies spinner, Rahkeem Cornwall, has already made a massive contribution with the ball after claiming five wickets against Bangladesh on day three of the second Test but has already targeted having a say with the bat as well, should he get the opportunity.

Cornwall, who has previously shown himself to be a good striker of the ball, particularly in the cricket's shortest format, is yet to translate any of that skill in recent Test team call-ups.  In five innings so far, Cornwall has a high of 10 runs, which he scored against England in July.

In Bangladesh, Cornwall, batting far down the order, scored 2 in the first innings of the first Test and ended without scoring in the second.  He added 4 not out in the first innings of the second Test.  If he is called upon, for Saturday’s fourth day, the bowler could be looking to free his arms for a useful total.

“Once I get the opportunity I would always love to contribute with the bat,” Cornwall said following day three.

“I don’t think my batting ability is showing at the moment, but I think runs are around the corner for me.  I just have to keep putting in the work with the coaches and when my opportunity comes I make good use if it.”

Guyana Jaguars roared to a five-wicket victory over the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, thanks to a brilliant century from the bat of captain Leon Johnson, in the CG Insurance Super50 Cup, at the Coolidge Cricket Ground on Friday night.

The Hurricanes openers posted the highest first-wicket partnership of the tournament so far, after Kieran Powell and Ross Powell had a slow but steady start of 152 in 31 overs.

Ross Powell made 61, which included eight fours, but became the first victim of left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie, who took 4-45 and won the CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match award.

Kieran Powell looked well set to reach triple figures, but on 94 he smacked a drive to Johnson, at extra cover, to give Motie his second wicket. The knock came off just 97 deliveries, with four fours and four sixes.

There was little resistance left as the Leewards Hurricanes finished their 50 overs on 244-9. Motie was the pick of the Jaguars bowlers, while seamer Nial Smith had 3-47 also from 9 overs.

Assad Fudadin and Chanderpaul Hemraj started a cautious run-chase, as they posted 45 before Hemraj was dismissed for 24 off 22 balls. Shimron Hetmyer was run out for nine from a brilliant diving throw-in from Hayden Walsh Jr at point.

But it was the partnership of the most experienced players, captain Johnson and Chris Barnwell that took the game away from the Hurricanes. Barnwell was the aggressor, striking three sixes and a boundary on his way to a valiant 49 before Sheeno Berridge caught him slashing behind.

Johnson soldiered on despite battling cramps. He eventually brought up his second List A century in style with a drive to mid-off for a boundary. With Romario Shepherd at the other end, the pair rotated the strike to lead the Jaguars to the second victory of the tournament with 2.1 overs remaining.

Spinner Rahkeem Cornwall claimed a five-for to put the West Indies in a strong position but Bangladesh struck back immediately to leave the second Test delicately poised at the end of the third day.

By the final session of the day, the West Indies had dismissed the hosts for 296 to begin the second innings with a 113-run lead.  However, they ended the day at 41 for 3, having lost captain Kraigg Brathwaite (6), John Campbell (18), and Shayne Mosely (7) before long.

The West Indies captain was the first casualty, miscuing a shot off Nayeem Hasan, which caught the top of his gloves before being taken by wicketkeeper Liton Das.  Shayne Moseley then departed after edging to second slip, in the process becoming Mehidy Hasan’s 100th Test wicket.  Brathwaite’s opening partner Campbell was then dismissed in bizarre fashion, with the ball spinning back off the ground to hit the stumps after he had attempted to play a defensive stroke.

Earlier, Das and Mehidy, who got together before lunch, played out a crucial session after the break – with the team still over fifty short of avoiding the follow-on and looking at one point like they would have headed in that direction.  Eventually, the two accounted for a valuable 126-run partnership and looked set to potentially cause even more severe damage.

Cornwall, however, ensured it would not be the case.  Having earlier removed both captain Mominul Haque (21) a confident-looking Mushfiqur Rahim (54) and Mohammad Mithun (15), earlier, he put an end to the partnership after removing Das.  The batsman took the dreaded walk after getting an edge off an attempted paddle, for 71.  Cornwall added No. 9 Nayeem Hasan to complete his tally.  It was pace bowler Shannon Gabriel who accounted for Mehidy after an attempted drive.

Cornwall ended the innings with figures of 5 for 74, while Gabriel ended with 3 for 70.  Nkrumah Bonner (8) and Jomel Warrican (2) will be the batsman resuming the day at the crease for the West Indies on the fourth day.

 

West Indies legend, Clive Lloyd, is hopeful the region will not soon be locked in a battle for the services of burgeoning talent who may be tempted by the prospect of playing in big-money T20 leagues.

Since the advent of the cash-rich shortest format of the sport, the top Caribbean players have often found themselves caught between representing the regional team and earning from the major payday provided by the global T20 calendar.

With the emergence of a new generation of talented West Indies players, the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, and particularly more recently Kyle Mayers, Nkrumah Bonner, and Joshua Da Silva, Lloyd is already worried Cricket West Indies could find itself in a similar position to several years ago.

“I impress on the board and all those that are in charge, to make sure that these guys stick with our cricket,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

 “We can’t afford to lose another three guys because I know the IPL fellows are going to come knocking and it’s very difficult for them to say no,” he added.

“They have a lot of T20 games in which they will be able to make money, but the point is the other countries seem to be able to harness their talent.  They go to those places and play but when international cricket is being played, they are back there.  Let’s just hope that we keep these young men we are grooming that we work hard with and they’ve now come to fruition; so that the captain or whoever will have people to call on.  If you keep losing players, it’s like digging a hole to fill a hole.”

Fast bowling great Sir Curtly Ambrose believes some West Indies players who opted out of the tour of Bangladesh could come to regret their decisions not to go because of how well the team is performing there.

West Indies fast bowler, Alzarri Joseph, is confident that he will eventually get to triple digits after another close miss against Bangladesh on Thursday.

The 24-year-old racked up an impressive 82 from 108 balls, as part of staunch mid-lower order resistance, en route to the Windies posting a satisfactory first innings score of 409.  In the end, Joseph’s aggressive innings was ended when he was caught by Liton Das as he attempted to pull away Abu Jayed.

His total proved a handy one for the team, who will count any runs from the bowler as a huge bonus.  For Joseph, however, a player who prides himself on his batting, it was the second time he was coming close to making his first Test century.

Against New Zealand, in December, Joseph put together a commendable 86, which remains his highest score to date.

“It’s disappointing not to get 100 but I’ve been working hard on my batting, so there will be other opportunities to get that total,” he added.

“When I came to the crease it was just to spend some time and support Josh (Joshua Da Silva) at the crease."

Together Joseph and Da Silva put together an important 7th wicket partnership.

 

  

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.

West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua Da Silva dedicated his performance against Bangladesh today to Andrea Bharratt, the young woman, who recently was abducted and murdered in Trinidad and Tobago.

The 23-year-old woman was abducted on January 29 and her body was found on February 4 in the Heights of Aripo in the twin-island republic. Police have taken into custody a man who they said is linked to several sex crimes committed in that country.

The tragic news has shaken many in the country, including Da Silva, who is on duty for the West Indies, thousands of miles away in Bangladesh.

Wearing a black armband, the 22-year-old batsman scored 92 on Friday as the West Indies made 409 all out. He featured in partnerships of 88 with Nkrumah Bonner and 118 with Alzarri Joseph that put the Caribbean side in a strong position going into Saturday’s third day.

In a post on his Instagram page afterwards, he explained the reason behind wearing the armband.

“Today was for Andrea and the women of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said while calling for more to be done to protect his country’s women from violence.

“We have been silent and we have allowed too many tragedies to pass in vain. Silence and inactivity are not acceptable anymore. Our voices must be heard and our women must be respected and protected.

“More must be done to educate and teach our men to end the violence against women. I stand in solidarity with the people of Trinidad and Tobago and with the Bharratt family. Justice for Andrea.”

Andrea Bharratt's funeral was held earlier today.

 

 

 

Joe Root urged Dom Bess to find consistency after he was left out of the England squad for the second Test against India.

The tourists have opted for a new-look bowling attack in the second meeting at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, despite winning the opening match of the series by 227 runs at the same venue.

Bess drops out of the reckoning, with James Anderson and the injured Jofra Archer also missing out, paving the way for Stuart Broad to come back in and Moeen Ali to return.

Having taken five wickets in the four-match series opener and scored 59 runs with the bat, Bess was offered some words of advice by captain Root.

"It wasn't an easy decision; Dom's contributed fantastically well in these three games and has made a real impact," Root said.

"With him missing out, the message for him is to keep working at that consistency of his game, delivering that skill time and time again. We talk about building pressure over long periods of time and I think, as well as he has done, that is one area that he can improve on.

"But he is very young, very much at the start of things and this doesn't mean that he is going to be pushed back down the pecking order.

"It gives him an opportunity to step out of Test cricket, the harshest of environments, especially in these conditions against a team that plays spin so well, to take stock and work at his game.

"It gives Moeen a chance to come back into things, with all his experience. He's someone who is bowling very well in practice.

"It was a very difficult decision to make, I'm sure Bessy will be frustrated about it but that's good as well. You want that competition for places, you want guys to be playing all the time and be amongst it all

"That's certainly how he goes about his cricket. He's a wholehearted player and I expect a response from him."

Root is certainly well placed to talk about consistency, having once again underlined his brilliance last time out when he clocked up a first-innings double century in his 100th Test appearance to continue riding the wave of his fine showing against Sri Lanka.

The 30-year-old has piled on 684 runs in his previous three matches, which equates to 39 per cent of his side's total runs in Test cricket in 2021. 

Fans hoping to see the Yorkshireman showcasing his skills in the Indian Premier League will once again be disappointed this year, but Root does want to get involved in the future.

"It was a very difficult decision," he said regarding his decision not to register. 

"At some point in my career I'm desperate to try and be part of an IPL season and hopefully a few more beyond that as well.

"It's something I'd love to experience and love to be a part of, but with the amount of cricket – and Test cricket in particular – this year, I didn’t feel like it was the right time.

"I didn’t feel like I could throw all my energy into it, which I think it deserves. And I don’t think it would set English cricket up best with what's to come.

"It's a very difficult decision and hopefully next year there's an opportunity to be a part of the IPL."

The atmosphere at games is one of the IPL's most appealing qualities and the famously vociferous India fans will have a chance to make themselves heard in the second Test, with 15,000 allowed in.

Asked if he thinks it will change the dynamic of the contest, Root said: "Yes, I do. I think it will improve it massively

"I think having an atmosphere within a stadium is a massive part of international cricket.

"What makes it special, in many ways, is that interaction between the fans and the players. It makes those big moments, that noise and the build-up… it adds to it all

"Obviously, we know how passionate India is about cricket. It's a big part of life in many ways here and we're all excited about that.

"We want to be playing on the biggest stage in front of people. We're looking forward to that atmosphere and it's going to add to what has already started off as a brilliant series for us."

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.

England will have a new-look bowling attack on duty for the second Test as they go up against an India side determined to bounce back in the series.

James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Dom Bess were all part of the XI that helped England become the first visiting nation to win a Test at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai since Pakistan in 1999, ending an eight-game unbeaten streak for the hosts.

However, none of the trio will be involved when the two teams face each other again at the same venue.

While Archer is ruled out with an elbow injury, Anderson has been rested and Bess left out of a 12-man squad. Stuart Broad seems certain to play, with the other seam-bowling spot between Chris Woakes and Olly Stone. Moeen Ali will be the second spinner; the all-rounder has not featured in Test cricket since August 2019.

Captain Joe Root admitted it was not an easy decision to give Anderson a break considering how well he performed in the opener, but England had to look at the bigger picture during such a busy year.

"Everyone's heart was in favour of him being available for this game but also you have to look at the bigger picture and ideally if he is available for two of the last three, that is a huge asset for us with the way he is bowling and his reputation, as well as his numbers and the way he has performed in recent games," Root told the media.

India, meanwhile, head into this match under pressure; they have only ever lost the first two games of a home Test series against England once previously, when they went on to suffer a 3-1 defeat in 1976-77.

Virat Kohli pointed to a failure by the bowling unit to keep England's scoring rate in check in the aftermath of the opening defeat, with slow-bowling duo Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem struggling to provide support for pacemen Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma, as well as frontline spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

Axar Patel missed that match due to a knee injury but came through a fitness test on Thursday. Kuldeep Yadav could also get an opportunity on a pitch that, according to Ajinkya Rahane, will spin from the outset.

"I am sure it will turn from day one," Rahane said on the eve of the game. "We will have to wait and see how it behaves in the first session and take it from there."

In a boost for India, there will be fans present for the second of four matches in the series. The ground is allowed to be 50 per cent full, though there will be social distancing measures in place amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


Captain Kohli in the spotlight

India have now lost four Tests in a row under Kohli, who departed the tour of Australia after his side had been shot out for 36 to lose the series opener in Adelaide. He returned home for the birth of his first child, with stand-in Rahane then leading the side to a 2-1 triumph.

Kohli made scores of 11 and 72 upon his return to the XI, but those numbers were not enough to stop him slipping to fifth in the International Cricket Council's Test rankings for batsmen.

Root keeps on digging in

Root underpinned England's triumph last time out with a double hundred in a mammoth first innings of 578, in the process continuing his stunning run of form following on from a hugely successful tour to Sri Lanka.

The right-handed batsman has managed 684 runs in his previous three matches, which equates to 39 per cent of his side's total runs in Test cricket in 2021. There have been useful contributions from his top-order colleagues so far overseas, but no other batsman has reached three figures in an innings during the calendar year.

Key match facts

- England have only managed to register one Test series win in India since their 2-1 tour win in 1984-85 - their successful tour in 2012 being the solitary triumph during that period (D1 L4).
- India still lead the head-to-head record with England in Tests played at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, winning five compared to the visitors' tally of four after the series opener (D1).
- England have managed to record six overseas Test wins in succession ahead of this match – victory in this game will equal their longest ever run in the format (seven in a row between 1911 and 1914).
- Rishabh Pant has a batting strike rate of 70.6 in Test cricket, only two men (with a minimum of 600 runs scored) have higher rates for India (Virender Sehwag at 82, plus Kapil Dev at 81)
- Broad (517) is three scalps away from going into sixth place on the all-time leading Test wicket-takers list, jumping above Courtney Walsh (519); the Englishman has picked up 41 wickets at an average of 14.5 since the start of 2020.

Evin Lewis’ better than a run-a-ball century helped the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force romp to a five-wicket victory with 55 balls to spare over the Jamaica Scorpions at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium today.

West Indies middle-order batsman, Nkrumah Bonner, insists he always puts pressure on himself to do well, after scoring another half-century against Bangladesh on day one of the second Test.

On the back of a patient 86, which proved crucial to the Windies in their first Test win, Bonner once against set himself up to be the lynchpin of the innings.  At the close of the first day’s play, the batsman remained unbeaten on a watchful 74 from 173 balls.

Bonner’s stand brought stability back to the innings after the Windies lost three wickets for 29 runs after lunch.  The team had gone to lunch at 84 for 1, with Brathwaite on 36 and Shayne Moseley on six.

“For me, every innings that I play, I put pressure on myself,” Bonner told windiescricket following the innings.

“We get paid to make runs and to be consistent and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.”

Bonner, who will resume batting with Joshua Da Silva on the second day, admits the team suffered from early mishaps but has targeted making around 350 from the first innings.

“We had a few soft dismissals, but that’s the nature of the game, me and Josh are there now, and we still have others to come, so we will have to just bat as long as possible.”

 

 

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