West Indies century-maker Rovman Powell admits he has spent the last few months away from the team working out a susceptibility to wrist spin.

The 28-year-old returned to the regional squad with a bang on Wednesday, blasting the first T20I century of his career, and third for a West Indian player, with 107 in a 20-runs win against England.  The crucial innings, along with 70 from vice-captain Nicholas Pooran anchored the team’s effort in taking a 2-1 series lead.

In the batsman’s previous appearance, against Pakistan, he averaged 16.5 in three games where he had real issues navigating wrist spinner Shadab Khan.

“I think it’s been overall improvement, I can strike the ball well but I also have a little problem with wrist spin.  Every time I start my innings they come and bowl wrist spin.

I went away and for the last six, seven months and I’ve been working on wrist spin and trying to open up the offside and I think that showed today," Powell said after the game.

Powell played a watchful innings in seeing off dangerous England spinner Adil Rashid, who claimed 2 for 24 in the previous match of the series.

“We know Rashid is the most threatening of all the bowlers, so all we did is see if we can get 24 or 30 off him, that’s good, just to limit his wicket count and take our chances against the other bowlers for the other 16 overs.”

England's stand-in captain Moeen Ali has praised the side's three debutants in Wednesday's 20-run loss to West Indies with Phil Salt shining with a quickfire half-century.

West Indies took the game away from the tourists with a stunning 224-5 headlined by Rovman Powell's hundred where he combined with Nicholas Pooran for a 122-run third-wicket stand.

England, who were without skipper Eoin Morgan after he felt his thigh in the warm-up, fell short in reply at 204-9.

Tom Banton blazed 73 from 39 balls at the top of the order, while debutant Salt came in at six but managed 57 from 24 deliveries to keep England in the game.

Salt was one of five changes from the second T20I and one of three debutants, alongside allrounder George Garton and Harry Brook.

"We were done a little bit with Morgs going down and playing three debutants but they played really well," Ali said after the game.

"A fantastic partnership took the game away from us but proud of the way the boys batted at the end."

Sam Billings was unwell and Chris Jordan rested, while Saqib Mahmood and Liam Dawson dropped out with England offering opportunities throughout the five-game series.

England's Test squad returned home following their 4-0 Ashes defeat, rather than link up with the T20I squad, meaning Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan and Mark Wood are absent for the series.

But Ali said the tour had offered some opportunities to explore their white-ball depth.

"We've got guys putting their hands up, Bants was outstanding today, great for his confidence going forward," Ali said.

"We are confident in our side and we said from the start it would be a brilliant series."

Garton took the early wicket of Brandon King but finished with 57-1 from his four overs, while Brook only managed 10 from 13 balls batting at seven.

A ruthless century from Rovman Powell gave the West Indies the perfect base to secure a 20-run win in the third T20I against England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados to go 2-1 up in the five-match series.

Powell became only the third West Indian to score a T20I century after Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle as he hit an incredible 107 from 53 balls, including 10 sixes. His partnership of 122 with Nicholas Pooran (70) set the hosts on their way to a daunting total of 224-5 from their 20 overs, though England and in particular Tom Banton (73 from 39 balls) and debutant Phil Salt (57 from 24 balls) put up a spirited chase.

Brandon King (10) fell to George Garton - also making his first appearance - in the second over as the Sussex bowler found the top of off stump, before Shai Hope went for just four after clipping a Liam Livingstone delivery against his own leg pad, which sent the ball into the air for a simple catch for wicketkeeper Banton.

Pooran and Powell then set about hitting England's attack all over the park, before the partnership was finally broken in the 17th over when Pooran hit Adil Rashid straight to the waiting Livingstone. Powell reached his century before also hitting a shot to Livingstone, this time off the final ball of Reece Topley's spell.

Jason Roy (19) tried to get England's chase going with a couple of big sixes but soon mishit a Romario Shepherd ball to the waiting hands of Jason Holder, though things looked promising for the tourists as they reached 61-1 at the end of the powerplay, seven runs ahead of the West Indies at the same stage.

Banton and James Vince kept the required rate within reach early on until the latter fell at the end of the eighth over as he hit Akeal Hosein to Kieron Pollard for 16. Stand-in captain Moeen Ali fell for a second-ball duck, dangerman Livingstone could only manage 11, and after Banton was caught by Holder off the bowling of Pollard, Salt and another debutant Harry Brook (10) tried to get the innings back on track before Brook was sent packing by Holder.

Salt's knock before he was bowled by Shepherd in the final over provided a hint of what he can bring to this England team in future, but on this night it was not a victory as the West Indies closed their opponent's innings at 204-9 to edge ahead again in the series.

Ka-Powell

Powell only averages 22.00 from his 26 T20I innings, but did a good impression of the legendary Gayle here as he hit England all over the Kensington Oval.

As well as reaching comfortably his highest score in T20Is, he also did so with a strike rate of 201.88, significantly above his average of 130.81.

England's bowling attack left battered and bruised

Rashid (25-1) and Topley (30-1) might consider themselves to have performed pretty well considering what happened their their team-mates at the hands of Pooran and Powell in particular.

Garton took an early wicket on debut but ended with figures of 57-1, while Livingstone came away with 42-1 from just three overs, and Tymal Mills took 52-1 from his four. Ali also bowled a single over for 14 runs and no wicket.

Paul Collingwood says the England players deserve "medals" rather than criticism for getting through a miserable Ashes series as they were "sitting ducks” in Australia.

The tourists were subjected to a 4-0 hammering as Pat Cummins' side exploited their batting frailties Down Under.

Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Jonny Bairstow were among the England players who travelled to Australia soon after missing out on T20 World Cup glory in the United Arab Emirates.

England were also devoid of match practice with the red ball before doing battle with Australia.

Collingwood, England's assistant coach, says the strains of having to contend with bio-secure bubbles and such a demanding schedule meant they never really stood a chance of regaining the urn.

He said: "Yes, we made mistakes, 100 per cent we made selection mistakes, we made toss mistakes, but the fact we actually turned up and agreed a five-match Ashes series, the guys should be given medals for that.

"It would've been much better if we'd done two matches and then three next year. That would've been a great compromise.

"But no, Australia were not bothered that they were going to receive an England team who were mentally fatigued, they just wanted to get the product out there. They just wanted the Ashes. We were sitting ducks."

He added: "Resilience is a major quality you need to have when you go to Australia, and if your resilience is removed – because of the conditions you've been in – that has an effect.

"These guys don't deserve criticism. They should be told 'well done' for even going. It's the equivalent of the England football team being asked to go to a World Cup, then from that bubble into the Euros. Would you expect a performance in that scenario? It's ludicrous."

Collingwood, who has stepped up for head coach duties for the ongoing T20I series against West Indies, is concerned about the long-term effects being restricted to bubble environments will have on players.

"You can't even explain what it's like until you experience it," he said.

"Take someone like Chris Woakes, the most loveable and down-to-earth guy. I have seen him in some serious mental states. We have seen Ben Stokes, someone we consider to be the most mentally tough cricketer in the world, hit by this.

"I just hope there are no ramifications moving forward, because when they come, they won't be obvious next week or the week after. These are things that might come out down the line. That's what scares me."

Rovman Powell scored a magnificent 100 as the West Indies amassed 224-5 in the third T20 International in the Betway Series against England at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Wednesday evening.

Powell scored 107 from just 53 with four fours and 10 sixes as he became only the third West Indian batsman behind Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis to score a hundred in a T20 International. His 50 came up off just 31 balls as he dominated England’s bowlers.

Coming to the crease with the West Indies 48-2 after the home side lost the wickets of Brandon King for 10 and Shai Hope for four, Powell and Nicholas Pooran put on a West Indies record 122 runs for the third wicket.

Pooran was also in belligerent form scoring 70 from 43 balls with four fours and five sixes as quickly as he scored, Powell was quicker.

The 100-run partnership came up in just 56 balls with Powell getting 71 of them. The Jamaican’s 100 came up off 51 balls and became only the third West Indies batsman to score a century in a T20 International. Only Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis have achieved that prior to Powell’s innings.

He hit a six off the 52 bowled by Reece Topley but was out next ball going for another big hit.

Fabian Allen was out first ball of the 20th over bowled by Tymal Mills but Captain Kieron Pollard, who made nine from four balls and Romario Shepherd 11 from five took the West Indies to their highest ever T20 score against England.

West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder believes he could be getting back to approaching his best form, partly due to a change in mentality, after a tumultuous past year of cricket.

The 30-year-old was replaced as captain of the team, in March, before finding himself controversially left out of the 15-man squad for the team to last year’s World Cup.  Despite the turmoil, the player has, however, managed to put in consistent performance, particularly with the ball.

Against England, Holder recently achieved a new milestone after taking career-best figures of 4 for 7 against in the ongoing series.  In two matches, he has taken six wickets and looked an assured presence for the team on the field.  The all-rounder admits, these days, he is in a different frame of mind.

“In the recent past…I’ve probably been overthinking it too much.  I’ve been working on some things technically as well from both the batting and bowling standpoint.  Honestly speaking, I would have studied it a little too much in the game and not been as clear as I wanted to be,” Holder told members of the media on Tuesday.   

“So, I’ve tried to iron out a few things mentally and trying to be a lot more focused and committed to what I want to do on a given day and try not to focus on just having a perfect technique,” he added.

The former captain believes it has been a difficult period for the entire group.

“There’s been a lot on my mind in the last year.  I’m just trying to find ways to shut some of it out and try to narrow in and focus on what’s needed.  I think the group has that challenge as well, we are working hard.  Anybody that says we are not working hard enough, I would always challenge that, but there is a lot more to cricket and sport than just working hard.”

Experienced fast bowler Kemar Roach, Nkrumah Bonner and Brandon King have been included in a West Indies squad named for their white-ball tour of India next month.

A century from Matthew Nandu and half-centuries from Shaqkere Parris and Kevin Wickham led West Indies U19s to a comprehensive victory of 169 runs over Papua New Guinea in the Plate Quarter-Final Round of the tournament of the ICC U19 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday.

Nandu scored 128 as the West Indies made 317-6, their highest score of the tournament.

The 18-year-old Guyanese faced 134 balls and hit 15 fours and two sixes in his match-winning knock. He shared in an opening stand of 155 with Parris before the latter was dismissed by Rasan Kevau for 64 from 89 balls with eight fours and two sixes.

Teddy Bishop and Nandu took the score to 191 when Bishop was bowled by Patrick Nou for 15.

Wickham joined Nandu at the crease and together mounted a third-wicket stand of 107 that took the West Indies to 298 when the Caribbean youngsters suffered a late middle-order collapse.

The drama unfolded in the 49th over when Boio Ray removed Nandu with the second ball, Rivaldo Clarke first ball and then with the fifth ball of the over dismissed Jordan Johnson, who also failed to score.

It was left to Wickham, who remained unbeaten on 61, to take the West Indies past 300.

Ray finished with figures of 3-43 and was PNG’s best bowler.

Needing 318 for an unlikely victory, PNG were bowled out for 148 in 37.4 overs. Aue Oru top-scored with an unbeaten 27 while Peter Karoho contributed 21. Barnabas Maha made 15 as Nandu took 2-14, McKenny Clarke 2-34 and Isai Thorne (2-30) combined to destroy the PNG batting.

Simon Harmer has been named in the South Africa squad for the tour of New Zealand, more than six years after his last Test appearance.

The off-spinner has been added to a 17-man squad in place of George Linde, who is unavailable because of his impending wedding, while Prenelan Subrayen is also out due to a groin injury.

Harmer has not played for the Proteas at Test level since the tour of India in 2015, with his fifth and most recent appearance coming in Nagpur in November that year.

The 32-year-old signed a Kolpak deal with Essex in 2017 as his international opportunities appeared limited and promptly helped the club to their first County Championship title in 25 years, taking 72 wickets including a career-best 8-36 performance against Warwickshire.

Overall, he has taken 303 wickets in 61 matches since his last Test outing, more than any other bowler across the County Championship and Bob Willis Trophy in that period.

Harmer is the third former Kolpak player to earn a recall since the system ended after the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union at the end of January last year, after Wayne Parnell and Duanne Olivier.

Twenty-three-year-old Lutho Sipamla has also been included for the two-match series that begins in Christchurch on February 16.

Victor Mpitsang, Cricket South Africa's convenor of selectors, said: "Our Test team has been successful under the strong leadership of Dean Elgar and his deputy, Temba Bavuma, and have returned good results in recent times. We are confident that they will continue in the same vein, as they head off to New Zealand.

"The inclusions of Simon and Lutho reaffirm our intentions as a panel, to reward excellence on the field and the pair have let their work speak on their behalf this past season.

"We wish Dean, coach Mark Boucher and the team all the best for the series and safe travels."

India captain Rohit Sharma has been passed fit to lead the team for the upcoming series against the West Indies in February.

The 34-year-old batsman is only just recovering from injury, having missed out on the team’s most recent tour of South Africa, which ended in a disappointing 3-0 loss.

According to reports, the batsman is already back in training and will be ready to go for the T20 and perhaps ODI series.  The series will get underway on February 6th, while the T20 series gets underway on February 16th.  Rohit is recovering from a left hamstring injury.  In the past, the player has captained India vs the West Indies in three matches in 2018.  India won the series 3-0.  Overall, in 17 T20Is India has won 10 and lost 6.

"Rohit is fit and available for the series against the West Indies," a BCCI source was quoted as saying.

"By the time the West Indies series starts, it will be more than seven and half weeks of rehabilitation and recuperation for Rohit.

The West Indies are expected to head to India immediately after the England tour.

 

 

West Indies Women opened their tour of South Africa on a winning note when they defeated a South Africa Women's XI by 53 runs in a warm-up match at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

Batting first, West Indies Women posted 202 all out from 46.5 overs. Shemaine Campbelle top-scored with 42 off 48 deliveries, which included 5-fours, followed by Rashada Williams with 30 off 73, inclusive of 3-fours. Nadine de Klerk returned the best bowling figures for the South Africa Women's XI with 7-0-27-3, followed by Tumi Sekhukhune with 5-1-20-2.

Tazmin Brits and Delmari Tucker top-scored for the South Africa Women's XI, with 32 and 24 respectively. Bowling for West Indies Women, Cherry Ann Fraser caused a middle-order collapse in her spell, finishing with 4-0-11-3, While Shamilia Connell wrapped up the innings with 2-0-13-2 and a direct-hit run-out.

West Indies Women's Head Coach Courtney Walsh was pleased with the performance but says the preparations are not completed with a win.

"I thought the girls did well, it was good to get out in the middle and play today. We haven't played a lot of cricket of late so even though it was a practice match, the atmosphere and the execution went pretty well. Most of the girls had decent knocks and a decent bowl as well. What I was most impressed was the two Super-Over practice scenarios we had as well, with how precise and good the execution was. This win will give us confidence going into the series (yes) but also for the World Cup."

West Indies will return to the Imperial Wanderers Stadium on Friday, for the first of four One Day Internationals against South Africa Women. It is a day/night fixture with first ball at 2 pm (8 am Eastern Caribbean/7 am Jamaica).

 

One of the key things that fans of West Indies cricket over the last few years have wanted from the regional team is consistency.

There are periods where the team is clicking at all levels, as evidenced by a dominant 4-1 T20I series win over Australia in July 2021 but there are also periods where the team just can’t seem to buy a win.

The Caribbean side are currently locked 1-1 in a five-match T20I series with England and Jason Holder, in a press conference today, pleaded for the team to strive for consistency.

“We’ve just got to keep challenging ourselves to play a complete game. If we can be a lot more clinical and consistent, we can make our lives a whole lot easier. The challenge for each and every individual is to seek consistency. I think consistency is something that we’ve been talking about for years and it’s just time we start heading in the right direction and progressing. I just want to see progression and development, consistently,” he said.

The former West Indies Test and ODI skipper, who has so far taken figures of 4-7 and 2-25, in the first two games of the series, also said that with a relatively young squad, he has to take on a leadership role even without the captaincy.

“I just try to give anything to the team that I think will benefit us. We have a relatively inexperienced group so I just try to help out as much as I can and give what advice I can give. I don’t think it’s a situation where I have to give too much information because that becomes clouded for individuals, so I keep it as simple as possible. Anything I pick up I pass it on to the captain and then obviously to individual players but I think my role is just to help guide and nurture the young talent that we have,” Holder added.

There are three games remaining in the series, but Holder wants the team to take a game-by-game approach rather than looking to the future too soon.

“I’m just focused on what’s ahead tomorrow. Tomorrow is our next encounter so there’s no point in looking at the last three matches before we get to the one tomorrow,” he said.

In the second T20I the regional team’s fielding left a lot to be desired and Holder echoed the same sentiments.

“I don’t think we were good enough in the field in the last encounter and that probably hurt us in the end,” Holder added.

The West Indies can, hopefully, have a better day in the field tomorrow when they take on England in the third T20I at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo’s Fortune Barishal suffered their second straight loss, this time at the hands of the Comilla Victorians, as action in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) continued Tuesday in Mirpur.

After winning the toss and electing to field first, Fortune Barishal thought they held the Victorians to a manageable target when they restricted them to 158-7 off their 20 overs.

Bangladesh test opener Mahmudul Hasan Joy was the main scorer for the Victorians with 48, while Afghanistan all-rounder Karim Janat supported well with 29.

Bravo was the pick of the Barishal bowlers with 3-30 off his four overs, while captain Shakib Al Hasan took 2-25 off his four.

Barishal’s reply never truly got out of first gear with only three batsmen reaching double figures on their way to being bowled out for just 95 in 17.3 overs, losing by 63 runs.

Najmul Hosain Shanto (36), Towhid Hridoy (19), and Nurul Hasan (17) were the only batsmen to pass 10.

Gayle, who batted at number five, could only manage seven before he was dismissed by man-of-the-match, Nahidul Islam.

Islam was the pick of the bowlers for Comilla with a miserly 3-5 off four overs, while Tanvir Islam, Janat, and Shohidul Islam all took two wickets each.

Comilla Victorians now have two wins from two games to sit at the top of the table while Fortune Barishal sits third with one win and two losses.

 

 

David Warner and Mitchell Marsh have been left out of Australia's new-look squad to take on Sri Lanka in next month's T20 series.

Australia will also be without coach Justin Langer for the five-match series, with the 51-year-old being given a break after a busy period.

Assistant Andrew McDonald will act as head coach for the series, which runs from February 11 to 20.

While Australia will be without two of their T20 World Cup stars in Warner and Marsh, Josh Hazlewood is back involved after returning from injury.

Ben McDermott, who impressed during the Big Bash League campaign, is also included in the 16-man squad that was named on Tuesday.

"I don't think that I wasn't ready to play for Australia before, but I certainly feel ready now," said McDermott, who has already made 19 appearances for his country. 

"I feel like I'm at the top of my game. I've developed a lot of learnings through some experiences. 

"They haven't all been good ones, I won't shy away from that, but I've definitely learned from those experiences and hopefully I come back well."

The other members of Australia's successful World Cup campaign to miss out on selection are Mitchell Swepson, Daniel Sams, Dan Christian and Nathan Ellis

National selectors chair George Bailey said: "This squad will begin preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup defence at home later this year and includes several players who have an early chance to impress in these five matches against a quality opposition."

Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Josh Inglis, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa

A strong all-around performance from Andre Russell helped Minister Group Dhaka to their first win in the Bangladesh Premier League on Monday when they defeated Fortune Barishul by four wickets at Mirpur.

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