The Barbados Pride, defending champions Guyana Harpy Eagles and the Windward Islands Volcanoes all look set to close out round three of the 2024 West Indies Championship with outright wins while the Trinidad & Tobago Red Force are locked in an interesting battle with the Leeward Islands Hurricanes ahead of Saturday’s fourth and final day.

First at Sabina Park where the Pride had the Jamaica Scorpions reeling in their second innings at 220-8 off 63 overs at stumps, a lead of just 100 runs.

The Pride had earlier amassed 389 all out off 120 overs after starting the day 315-6. Kraigg Brathwaite, who entered Friday 129* wound up making 142 while Shane Dowrich finished with 44 after entering the day 19*.

Derval Green ended up with 4-78 off 31 overs while Peat Salmon picked up 3-94 from 34 overs for the hosts.

Jamaica’s second innings saw a number of batsmen get off to good starts but none were able to get a big score. Abhijai Mansingh has led the way with 54, his fourth first-class fifty, while Leroy Lugg (43), Kirk McKenzie (39) and Carlos Brown (35) also chipped in.

Debutant Shaquille Cumberbatch has led the charge with the ball for the Pride with 4-22 off nine overs while Kevin Wickham has picked up 2-26 from seven overs.

Full Scores: Jamaica Scorpions 269 all out off 78.4 overs (Romaine Morris 97*, Carlos Brown 40, Kirk McKenzie 40, Jomel Warrican 5-62, Jair McAllister 3-69) & 220-8 off 63 overs (Abhijai Mansingh 54, Leroy Lugg 43, Kirk McKenzie 39, Carlos Brown 35, Shaquille Cumberbatch 4-22, Kevin Wickham 2-26)

Barbados Pride 389 all out off 120 overs (Kraigg Brathwaite 142, Kevin Wickham 63, Shane Dowrich 44, Jonathan Drakes 31, Derval Green 4-78, Peat Salmon 3-94)

Elsewhere in Jamaica, at Chedwin Park in St. Catherine to be exact, the Combined Campuses and Colleges ended day three 271-6 in their second innings, leading the Windward Islands Volcanoes by just 80 runs.

The Windwards, after entering Friday 359-8 off 100 overs, went on to post an imposing 395 all out off 105.4 overs in their first innings.

Kavem Hodge, who entered the day 131*, carried his bat through the innings on his way to a career best 158* off 251 balls including 16 fours and a six.

Romario Greaves ended up with 5-142 off 38 overs for the CCC.

With the bat, Jonathan Carter almost got his second century of the season, being dismissed for 94 to lead the CCC second innings scoring, so far.

Greaves, who is having a fine all-round showing, ended day three on 62* off 117 balls including five fours and two sixes.

Earlier, opener Damel Evelyn followed up his 43 in the first innings with 56 in the second.

Shamar Springer has taken 2-33 in 13 overs for the Volcanoes.

Full Scores: Combined Campuses & Colleges 204 all out off 71.3 overs (Demario Richards 46, Damel Evelyn 43, Darel Cyrus 6-72, Gilon Tyson 3-32) & 271-6 off 81 overs (Jonathan Carter 94, Romario Greaves 62*, Damel Evelyn 56, Shamar Springer 2-33)

Windward Islands Volcanoes 395 all out off 105.4 overs (Kavem Hodge 158*, Sunil Ambris 120, Romario Greaves 5-142, Jediah Blades 2-35, Govasta Edmond 2-54)

Moving to the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua where the defending champions, Guyana Harpy Eagles, are on the brink of a dominant victory over the West Indies Academy.

The Harpy Eagles entered Friday 165-5 off 65 overs, leading the Academy by 178 runs. They went on to pile up a massive 415-7 declared leaving the Academy needing a massive 429 to win.

Kevin Sinclair, the hero with the ball in the first innings, led the way with a magnificent 165* off 182 balls, his first century in first-class cricket, including 26 fours. Kemol Savory also batted well for a 68-ball 58 including eight fours and a six.

Ronaldo Ali Mohamed and Veerasammy Permaul also provided useful cameos at the end of the innings with 318 and 29*, respectively.

Ashmead Nedd was the pick of the bowlers for the Academy with 5-97 off 45 overs.

At stumps, the Academy reached 161-7 off 40 overs, needing a further 268 runs for victory on Saturday.

West Indies Under-19 representative Jordan Johnson led the way with 54 against 3-32 off eight overs from Isai Thorne, who also represented the West Indies at the recently concluded ICC U-19 World Cup in South Africa. Sinclair has also picked up 2-30 from 11 overs in the second innings.

Full Scores: Guyana Harpy Eagles 175 all out off 54.3 overs (Ronaldo Ali Mohamed 30, Matthew Nandu 28, Joshua James 4-43, Johann Layne 2-27, Joshua Bishop 2-31) & 415-7 dec. off 112.1 overs (Kevin Sinclair 165*, Kemol Savory 58, Kevlon Anderson 49, Ashmead Nedd 5-97)

West Indies Academy 162 all out off 49 overs (Rashawn Worrell 58, Joshua Bishop 51, Kevin Sinclair 4-45, Veerasammy Permaul 3-15, Gudakesh Motie 3-31) & 161-7 off 40 overs (Jordan Johnson 54, Carlon Bowen-Tuckett 34, Isai Thorne 3-32, Kevin Sinclair 2-30)

Finally, we go to Warner Park in St. Kitts where the Trinidad & Tobago Red Force were 285-6 at stumps on day three, leading the Leeward Islands Hurricanes by 104 runs.

The Red Force entered the day 48-0 off 18 overs replying to the Hurricanes first innings total of 318.

Jyd Goolie continued his good form with the bat this season with 64 to lead the Red Force charge so far.

Jason Mohammed (49), Tion Webster (38), Cephas Cooper (36), Terrance Hinds (34) and Captain Joshua Da Silva (32) all got starts but weren’t able to carry on to a big score.

Rakheem Cornwall has led the Hurricanes bowling do far with 3-56 off 29 overs while Jeremiah Louis has picked up 2-70 from 18 overs.

Full Scores: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force 137 all out off 60.2 overs (Jyd Goolie 30, Collin Archibald 3-28, Jeremiah Louis 3-38, Rakheem Cornwall 2-5, Daniel Doram 2-32) & 285-6 off 108 overs (Jyd Goolie 64, Jason Mohammed 49, Tion Webster 38, Cephas Cooper 36, Terrance Hinds 34, Joshua Da Silva 32, Rakheem Cornwall 3-56)

Leeward Islands Hurricanes 318 all out off 98.2 overs (Jewel Andrew 87, Kieran Powell 65, Jeremiah Louis 41, Mikyle Louis 32, Anderson Phillip 4-62, Brian Charles 3-81)

 

West Indies Test Captain Kraigg Brathwaite returned to form with an unbeaten 129 to put the Barbados Pride in a strong position after day two of their 2024 West Indies Championship third round fixture against the Jamaica Scorpions at Sabina Park.

The Pride were 315-6 off 97 overs at stumps, leading the hosts by 46 runs after starting Thursday 15-0 off seven overs.

Brathwaite, who entered this game with just 27 runs from four innings this season, batted in his customary relaxed fashion to end day two 129* off 290 balls including 13 fours.

Kevin Wickham provided excellent support for his skipper with 63, his second half-century of the season along with a hundred in round one against the CCC. His knock lasted 92 balls and included six fours.

Former West Indies wicket-keeper Shane Dowrich was the other not out batsman at stumps with 19.

Derval Green has so far taken 2-38 from 19 overs for the Scorpions.

Full Scores: Jamaica Scorpions 269 all out off 78.4 overs (Romaine Morris 97*, Carlos Brown 40, Kirk McKenzie 40, Jomel Warrican 5-62, Jair McAllister 3-69)

Barbados Pride 315-6 off 97 overs (Kraigg Brathwaite 129*, Kevin Wickham 63, Jonathan Drakes 31, Derval Green 2-38)

Ryan John continued his impressive run of form at the top of the West Indies Championship, as his four-wicket haul, backed by a solid opening partnership between Jeremy Solozano and Kimani Melius, placed Windward Islands Volcanoes in the early ascendancy on the opening day of their encounter against Barbados Pride on Wednesday.

With both teams coming off handsome victories over Jamaica Scorpions and Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners respectively, this was expected to be an entertaining clash, and it has so far delivered accordingly at Kensington Park, in Jamaica.

John, who took a five-wicket haul in his match figures of 6-64 against the Scorpions, grabbed 4-47 in 16 overs to restrict Barbados Pride to 214 in just under 50 overs. Kevin Wickham, who scored 139 in Pride’s first round win, was again atop the batting chart with 74 off 104 balls, including 10 fours.

Solozano, unbeaten on 63 off 110 balls, including eight fours and captain Melius, unbeaten on 52 off 114 balls, including four boundaries, then guided Volcanoes to 123, 91 runs away from first innings honours with all 10 wickets still intact.

Scores: Barbados Pride 214 all out (49.5 overs); Windward Islands Volcanoes 123 without loss (37.0 overs) trail by 91 runs.

Barbados Pride’s batting performance was a stark contrast of their rendition against CCC Marooners, as the top-order, which includes captain Kraigg Brathwaite, failed to impress after being asked to take first strike.

Brathwaite (two), Zachary McCaskie (five) and Shayne Moseley (six), all went cheaply, as John knocked down the stumps of McCaskie and Moseley. Jonathan Drakes tried to repair the innings with Wickham, but was run out for 12, while Roshon Primus (12), also had a brief stay in the middle.

Wickham eventually got some assistance from wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dorwich (37) to gradually repair the damage, before John and Darel Cyrus accounted for both.

Jomel Warrican with a 23-ball 21, was the next best scorer of the Pride’s topsy-turvy innings.

John’s four-wicket haul was supported by Cyrus and Shamar Springer, who ended with 2-41 and 2-61 respectively.

It seems there was nothing the Volcanoes could do wrong on the day and their turn at bat demonstrated just that. The left-hand, right-hand combination of Solozano and Melius frustrated the Pride bowlers, as both patiently and skillfully constructed their innings and, more importantly, laid a solid platform on which they can build, on Thursday’s second day.

Barbados Pride opened their West Indies Championship account in a dazzling manner, as they wrapped up a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners in a lopsided contest at Chedwin Park, in Jamaica, on Saturday.

Despite a well-played 72 by Shamarh Brooks and 47 from Demario Richards, the Marooners, resuming their second innings at 96-2, crumbled for 193, as they again failed to contend with the Holder, who took 5-69 and Warrican, who took 3-16, to end with match figures of 8-140 and 7-45 respectively.

Requiring a mere 34 for victory, Zachary McCaskie, unbeaten on 28, and Shayne Moseley, unbeaten on seven, easily surpassed the target in just under five overs.

The win which came inside four days –after the first day was lost to a wet outfield caused by a ruptured water main –was also spurred by Kevin Wickham’s 139 and Jonathan Drakes’ 84, which laid the foundation for the massive target, that was well defended by the bowlers.

Scores: Barbados Pride 344-8 dec & 35-1; Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners 185 & 193

Brooks and Shatrughan Rambaran resumed the Marooners second innings on 44 and 15 respectively, with the latter only adding eight to his overnight score before being bowled by Chaim Holder.

Captain Jonathan Carter’s stay in the middle was short-lived as he was removed by Chemar Holder for one. However, Brooks and Richards, formed a tidy fifth-wicket partnership that briefly threatened to make things interesting, as they kept the Pride bowlers at bay with solid defensive strokes, while also pouncing on the loose deliveries to erase the deficit and gift Marooners a slender lead.

When Chaim Holder accounted for both, they would have hoped that the remaining batsmen would have added to the tally and possibly give their bowlers something to work with in the Pride’s second turn at bat. But it was not to be, as Chaim Holder completed his second First Class five-wicket haul when he had Romario Greaves (two) trapped in front, while Warrican snared the last three wickets.

Though they lost captain Kraigg Brathwaite for naught three balls into the innings, the Pride were never in any danger and McCaskie quickly wrapped things up with five boundaries in his 14-ball 28, while Moseley held the other end.

Meanwhile, the contest between Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and reigning champions Guyana Harpy Eagles was abandoned after no play was again possible for a third straight day at Conaree Cricket Centre, in St Kitts.

Scores: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force 215 for four (Jason Mohammed 100 not out, Tion Webster 50, Amir Jangoo 27, Vikash Mohan 20 not out; Ronsford Beaton 2-39, Veerasammy Permaul 2-42) vs Guyana Harpy Eagles.

Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners are faced with an uphill task, after Kevin Wickham’s 139 piloted Barbados Pride to a massive 344-8 declared on Thursday’s second day of their West Indies Championship encounter at Chedwin Park, in Jamaica.

The 20-year-old Wickham smashed nine sixes and eight fours on his way to a third First Class century in a 135-ball innings. He was well supported by Jonathan Drakes, whose 84 off 99 balls, included 12 boundaries.

Marooners in their reply, ended the day on 10-1, still 334 runs behind Barbados Pride heading into Friday’s third day.

Scores: Barbados Pride 344-8 (72.2 overs); Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners 10-1 (18 overs)

After losing Wednesday’s first day due to a wet outfield caused by a ruptured water main, Barbados Pride wasted little time to establish a solid footing in their innings, as they declared intentions of securing a result in the contest.

Despite losing captain Kraigg Brathwaite (seven) and Shayne Moseley (10) cheaply, Zachary McCaskie (30) gradually steadied things, before Drakes and Wickham took the Marooners bowlers to task with a healthy fourth-wicket stand.

The foundation left by both was so healthy that it mattered little that Roshan Primus (five) and Akeem Jordan (14) failed to contribute meaningfully to the innings. However, wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dorwich added a 50-ball 41, including five fours and a solitary six, with the declaration coming shortly after his dismissal.

Romario Greaves (2-54), Jediah Blades (2-64), Zishan Motara (2-68), led the Marooners bowling.

Meanwhile, Jordan removed Kirstan Kallicharan (seven) to put the Marooners under early pressure in their turn at bat.

Having watched the Kraigg Brathwaite-captained Test team defy the odds in the second of their two-match series against Australia, West Indies One-Day International captain Shai Hope is optimistic that his unit will not only continue that momentum, but more importantly, replicate the feat in their three-match series.

There was much talk about the Test team and its seven uncapped players, among them rising fast bowler Shamar Joseph, who braved a toe injury to snare a seven-wicket haul and lead West Indies to a famous eight-run win –their first in Australia in 27 years.

With the excitement of that victory still very much fresh in the air, Hope and is unit, which includes five players from the Test squad, is intent on extending the celebrations.

The three-match series bowls off on Thursday at 10:30pm.

“It was a very inspiring win that they had in the last Test. It’s great momentum for us, of course it’s a different format, but great signs for us to continue what happened in the last Test in this ODI series,” Hope said in a pre-game press conference.

“It (the mood in the camp) is pretty good. Everyone's up and ready to roll. Seeing some of these grounds here in Australia, that in itself (makes you) want to play cricket so the guys are upbeat and ready to go,” he added.

It was a mixed bag for West Indies last year where results are concerned with their failed World Cup qualifying campaign and a loss to India at the height of their disappointments. However, they rebounded with 3-0 and 2-1 series victories over United Arab Emirates (UAE) and England, followed by a stalemate with South Africa.

Despite the fact that they have won seven of 12 ODIs last year, Hope is mindful that West Indies is yet to beat Australia in a series in almost three decades.

“Like we always say in the dressing room, every game matters, not necessarily about series or an opponent. You have to take every single game as a final and it's nice to see that the guys are really taken to the new system and the we're trying to play our cricket. So yeah, it's just one game at a time and then the results will take care of themselves,” Hope noted.

That said, Hope welcomed the challenge for his fairly inexperienced squad, which includes eight players with 10 or less ODIs under their belts, as they commence the rebuilding phase to towards possible qualification for the next ODI World Cup in four years. Teddy Bishop and Tevin Imlach are both uncapped.

“Yeah, it's I think it's great to widen that pool and what is a better way to start a career than here in Australia for some of the guys. But yes, I think four years seems like a long time, but it really isn't and as much games as these guys can play over that span, I think it's going to widen the pool and then give us a headache when that time comes to hopefully select a strong squad, and then they would also gain a lot more experience with that time,” Hope, who has been at the helm for almost a year declared.

WEST INDIES – Shai Hope (captain), Alzarri Joseph, Alick Athanaze, Teddy Bishop, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge, Tevin Imlach, Gudakesh Motie, Kjorn Ottley, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.

AUSTRALIA – Steve Smith (captain), Travis Head, Sean Abbott, Xavier Bartlett, Nathan Ellis, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Lance Morris, Matt Short, Adam Zampa

Cricket West Indies has lauded its Test team after it secured a historic victory against Australia, marking the first since 1997 that the Caribbean senior side was achieving victory in that country. This remarkable achievement, it said, signals the relevance of West Indies cricket on the global test stage and underscores its unwavering commitment to excellence.

The history-making performance came on the back Shamar Joseph’s seven-wicket haul in Australia’s second innings that spurred the West Indies to a pulsating eight-run victory. Joseph finished with figures of 7-68 from 11.5 overs bowled on the trot. The bowler, playing in only his second Test, was awarded Player of the Series for the 13 wickets he took during the two-Test series.

Commenting on the achievement, Dr. Kishore Shallow, President of Cricket West Indies, remarked "This victory is a testament to the indomitable spirit of West Indies cricket. It demonstrates our ability to rise above adversity and justly be among the world's cricketing elite.

"Captain Kraigg Brathwaite's exemplary leadership has been instrumental in guiding our team through challenges and victories alike. His resilience, determination, and unwavering dedication to the cause have inspired this young team and every member of our cricketing fraternity."

Dr Shallow also heaped praise upon the 24-year-old Joseph whose performance was key to the West Indies victory, stating, "The stellar performance of debutant Shamar Joseph is a shining example of the talent and potential within our ranks. His remarkable contribution underscores the depth of talent in West Indies cricket and bodes well for the future of our sport.”

As the Caribbean celebrates this historic accomplishment, Cricket West Indies extended its gratitude to its players, coaching staff, and support personnel for their tremendous efforts and hard work. In addition, heartfelt appreciation is offered to the loyal fans, stakeholders, and partners whose unwavering support continues to fuel West Indies cricket.

Cricket West Indies said remains steadfast in its commitment to nurturing talent, fostering inclusivity, and upholding the rich legacy of West Indies cricket. “Together, we embark on a new chapter filled with promise, excitement, and endless possibilities.”

The Gabba in Brisbane witnessed an extraordinary display of courage and skill as Shamar Joseph, nursing an injured toe, produced an astounding seven-wicket haul that propelled the West Indies to a historic eight-run victory over Australia in the second Test at the Gabba in Brisbane.

The young fast bowler's seven-wicket haul on the fourth day turned the tide, securing not only the Test match but also tied the series 1-1. It was the West Indies first Test victory in Australia since 1997. Joseph, who had figures of 1-56 and 7-68 in the match, took total of 13 wickets during the two Tests and was awarded the Richie Benaud Medal as Player of the Series.

Riding the high of his extraordinary feat, the 24-year-old Guyanese fast bowler, who bowled unchanged for 11.5 overs on the final day, expressed gratitude for his teammates' support and the medical intervention that enabled him to play through the pain after being struck on the big toe by a Mitchell Starc yorker the night before.

The young bowler, who had contemplated skipping the remainder of the match, said he stuck to the basics that brought him the rewards.

"Shout out for my teammates for their support. I wasn't even going to come to the ground today. But the doctor did something to my toe. I don't know what he did. But it worked. I just stuck to the basics. Stuck to the top of off. I feel like we win the entire series by winning this Test. Shout out to my teammates for their support. I cried for my five-wicket haul but I'm so happy now. I'm not even tired. I would have kept bowling," exclaimed Joseph.

The elation was shared by the West Indies captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, who seized the opportunity to respond to criticism from retired Australian Test cricketer Rodney Hogg. Hogg had labeled the West Indies team as 'pathetic and hapless.' Brathwaite, flexing his biceps, challenged Hogg's assessment and credited it as motivation for his team's spirited fightback.

"We won a Test match in Australia. It does a lot for West Indies cricket. It means a lot. It's been a number of years since we've won a Test match here. But my message to the group is that this is the beginning. It's amazing, we enjoy this, but this has to continue. I'm extremely proud,” Brathwaite declared.

“I must say we had two words that inspired us in this Test match. Mr. Rodney Hogg said that we were 'pathetic and hopeless.' That was our inspiration. We wanted to show the world we're not pathetic.”

Brathwaite then singled out Joseph for his remarkable performance.

“I knew I had Shamar probably an hour before play. The doctor said he got an injection and he's quite good and then he told me he's going to do it. I had to back him. He's a superstar and I know he'll do great things for West Indies in the future. Just his belief. It's a great example for this team to follow. As I said, this is the beginning. We have to continue and play with heart and keep fighting for West Indies. I would love more Test cricket for sure," declared Brathwaite.

The final day's play saw Steven Smith standing as the lone barrier against Joseph's onslaught. Smith's unbeaten 91, however, wasn't enough to save Australia as Joseph dismissed key batters in quick succession, setting up an intense and nail-biting finish.

 Resuming from their overnight total of 60-3 with Steve Smith on 30 and Cameron Green on nine, Australia appeared to be cruising towards the target of 216 at 113 for 2 until Joseph struck with the wickets of Cameron Green and Travis Head in consecutive deliveries.

He then dismissed Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey as Australia lost 4 for 23.

Joseph claimed his second five-wicket haul in as many matches by dismissing Mitchell Starc, who had briefly counterattacked.

Joseph, who had sunk to his knees with his head on the ground pushed through the pain and exhaustion to nick off Pat Cummins.

The umpires extended play 20 minutes after Joseph dismissed Cummins, but neither he or Alzarri Joseph could not get through Smith and Lyon. After the break Alzarri dismissed Lyon with Australia still needing 27.

Joseph would not be denied and flattened Josh Hazlewood’s off stump too see the underdogs claim a famous victory.

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite found solace in the efforts of his bowlers but lamented the lacklustre performance of his batters as they succumbed to a 10-wicket defeat against Australia in the first Test at Adelaide.

Brathwaite particularly lauded the impact of debutant Shamar Joseph, expressing confidence in the young cricketer's bright future in Test cricket.

As the West Indies resumed from their overnight score of 73-6, hopes for a resilient batting display were dashed. The team was eventually bowled out for 120, with Alzarri Joseph's 16 and Shamar Joseph's 15 offering some resistance. The standout performances of the Joseph duo forced Australia to bat again.

Australia swiftly achieved their target, scoring 26-0 and securing a resounding 10-wicket victory. Brathwaite acknowledged the success of his bowlers in restricting Australia within 300 runs but underscored the need for improvement in the batting department.

"Bowlers did well to bowl out Australia inside 300. Batters did not get going. As batsmen, it is good for guys to get a feel of playing cricket and what it is like to play the No. 1 team. It is about learning how to score and how to put away the bad ball," Brathwaite remarked, emphasizing the importance of a swift learning curve.

Praising debutant Shamar Joseph, who took 5-94 in Australia’s first innings and had scores of 36 and 15, Brathwaite commented on the youngster's infectious energy and humor, foreseeing a promising future for him in Test cricket. He noted, "[Shamar] is full of energy. Makes me laugh. Has a bright future and also scores runs."

During the Test, Shamar Joseph became the first player in Test history to

The match concluded with Australia's 10-wicket victory before lunch on the third day. Josh Hazelwood, with career-best match figures, played a pivotal role. However, the highlight came when Shamar Joseph, on his debut, drew blood from Usman Khawaja with a bouncer, forcing him to retire hurt.

Shamar Joseph's impact wasn't limited to bowling; he showcased his batting prowess at No. 11. His partnership with Kemar Roach added crucial runs, signaling a potential promotion in the batting order for Joseph in the future.

In a dramatic turn of events, Shamar Joseph, who had dismissed Steven Smith with his first ball in Test cricket, continued to leave an indelible mark on his debut. Despite not being given the new ball, he eventually entered the attack and produced a memorable bouncer that forced Khawaja to retire hurt.

The second Test is scheduled to begin in Brisbane on January 25, promising another exciting encounter, this time under the lights in a day-night format. West Indies will be eager to bounce back, with Shamar Joseph's impactful debut providing a glimmer of hope for the Caribbean side.

Australia’s Josh Hazelwood was the best of the bowlers following up his four-wicket haul in the West Indies’ first innings with remarkable figures of 5-35 in the second innings for overall match figures of 9-79.

For his score of 119 that helped the hosts establish a crucial 95-run lead on first innings, Travis Head was named Player of the Match.

Scores in the match: West Indies 188 and 120 v Australia 283 and 26-0.

With Shamar Joseph, Kavem Hodge and Justin Greaves all set to make their Test debuts, West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite stressed the importance of discipline to his young charges, as the Caribbean side heads into a tough two-match series against Test world champions Australia in Adelaide.

Having travelled with seven uncapped players in their 15-man squad, it was always expected that West Indies would field at least three debutants in the series, which forms part of the ICC Test Championships, and with Joseph, Hodge and Greaves all showing their worth in the drawn three-day warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI, it comes as no surprise that they secured spots in the starting team.

In fact, only five members of the current squad -Brathwaite, Joshua Da Silva, Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph and Tagenarine Chanderpaul -were a part of the squad that toured Australia last summer, while Chanderpaul (eight), Gudakesh Motie (four), Alick Athanaze (two), and Kirk McKenzie (one) have a mere 15 Tests between them, which underscores the inexperience of the current West Indies outfit.

Still, Brathwaite, who is only 13 Tests away from the 100-mark milestone, is backing his side to prove competitive against the formidable Australians, provided they maintain their discipline for long periods.

The Domincan-born Hodge and Barbadian Greaves will bat at five and six behind Brathwaite and the left-handed trio of Chanderpaul, McKenzie, and Athanaze, while Shamar Joseph will join Roach and vice-captain Alzarri Joseph in a three-pronged pace attack.

"All I want to see from the team is fight. Obviously, we have a lot of guys that are relatively new to Test cricket, and they have got to show their worth to the world. It is understandable that we are the underdogs, but my thing for the guys is show the world what you can do and make West Indians proud," Brathwaite said. 

"We're obviously playing against the number one team, but I believe we do have the potential. It all revolves around discipline - how long we can be disciplined for as a bowling unit, because we don't want to go in fours and fives obviously. So, once we can be disciplined and obviously put partnerships on the board, anything is possible. But we've got to work extremely hard, and we have to believe in ourselves," he added.

Brathwaite is well aware that they are faced with a daunting task of trying to secure West Indies first win in Australia in over 27 years, but he is hopeful that the knowledge imparted by Brian Lara at training over the past few days, will serve as inspiration to spur the debutants, in particular, to great heights in Adelaide.

"It's always amazing to have Brian around. He has a good set of runs here at Adelaide, so if he could give some of the guys [an idea of how to score] that would be great. But obviously, his wisdom is always good, his advice. He's been through many situations, especially here in Australia and against Australia. My advice to the guys will always be to tap into him," Brathwaite said.

The opening Test will be live on SportsMax this evening from 7:30E Caribbean (6:30 JA).

West Indies XI: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanaze, Kavem Hodge, Justin Greaves, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Gudakesh Motie, Alzarri Joseph, Shamar Joseph, Kemar Roach

Australia XI: Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

West Indies Captain Kraigg Brathwaite says he’s pleased with the team’s preparation ahead of the first Test against Australia set to begin on Tuesday in Adelaide.

The tourists played to a draw in their lone three-day warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI on Friday.

“We as a team are very pleased. The facilities here are outstanding and the boys made good use of it,” the skipper said in an interview after Friday’s final day.

The team had some excellent individual performances throughout the three days including Brathwaite himself getting 52 in the first innings.

He didn’t bat in the second, however, giving the opportunity to wicket-keeper Joshua Da Silva to get some time out in the middle at the top of the order. Da Silva grabbed it with both hands, producing a well-composed 105.

“Felt good. It was important for Joshua to get some batting in the second innings so it was a very good game for us,” Brathwaite said.

Brathwaite also singled out the performances of Justin Greaves and Kavem Hodge in the game. Greaves had scores of 65 and 41* and took two wickets in the match while Hodge had scores of 52 and 99.

“He’s a quality cricketer. I’m not surprised by what he did and I look forward to his future in West Indies cricket,” he said of Greaves.

“Very pleased with the hunger he showed to come again in the second innings and do it. That’s what we want in this team,” Brathwaite said about Hodge.

The team has been in Australia since late December, something Brathwaite believes has helped them to better acclimatize to the conditions.

“I think it’s very good. We would have flown a number of hours to get here so I think initially getting here and getting accustomed to the time zone and getting over jet lag was quite important,” he said.

“Having the time, as well, to practice here in Adelaide and get accustomed to the pitches and stuff was great for us,” he added.

“Quite clear,” was Brathwaite’s response to questions about the XI for the first Test.

“Very happy with how all the guys went about this camp and this game and, obviously, it’s time next week to make the West Indies proud,” he said.

 

Joshua Da Silva wrapped up West Indies' on-field preparations to cross swords with Australia in a two-Test series by hitting a century in their drawn three-day warm-up contest against a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide.

Kavem Hodge, who is one of seven uncapped players in the 15-man squad, did his chances of a debut no harm with 99, before being bowled by spinner Doug Warren agonisingly close to reaching three figures. Hodge was desperately unlucky when a ball spun out of the rough, hit the right-hander's back leg and bounced onto the stumps.

Another uncapped player, Justin Greaves hit an unbeaten 41 to go with his first-innings 65, which helped West Indies to 315-5 declared in their second visit to the middle, and a sizeable lead of 392. However, they were unable to complete what would have been a confidence-boosting victory, as Cricket Australia held firm for the stalemate at 149-5.

Scores: West Indies 251 for 8 (Greaves 65, Hodge 52, Brathwaite 52) and 315 for 5 dec (Da Silva 105, Hodge 99) drew with Cricket Australia XI 174 (Ward 50) and 149 for 5 (Sinclair 3-38)

There do, however, remain some concerns for the Caribbean side, as Kirk McKenzie and Alick Athanaze, the men likely to bat numbers three and four, both failed again. McKenzie only mustered scores of 23 and nine, while Athanaze went without scoring in the first innings and posted only 15 in the second.

West Indies need more out of the pair in the upcoming two-Test series -which will be contested for the Frank Worrell Trophy as part of the ICC Test Championships -given they are likely to field debutants in Hodge and Greaves at numbers five and six.

The CA XI were able to hold on for 39 overs to draw the game. West Indies off-spinning all-rounder Kevin Sinclair, famous for his somersault celebrations after wickets, claimed three wickets for 38 runs. That will help his case for a Test call-up, as he battles with Greaves for a spot in the Kraigg Brathwaite-led side.

Still, with all of seven uncapped players in their 15-man squad, the possibility exists that Head coach Andre Coley will have to play at least three debutants against a formidable Australia outfit at Adelaide Oval

That lack of top-level experience highlights the predicament Test cricket finds itself in, with Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers the latest West Indies players to prioritise Twenty20 leagues over the five-day format.

There is no doubt that half-century knocks by Kavem Hodge and Justin Greaves in the ongoing three-day warm-up match against Cricket Australia’s XI, have put them at the front of the line to earn their first Test cap, but both remain grounded and focused on the immediate task at hand.

In fact, while both admit that it would be a dream come through to earn their first Test cap in the upcoming two-match series against Australia, they were quick to point out that readiness will be key should Head coach Andre Coley call upon them.

Greaves and Hodge, who are among seven uncapped players in the 15-man squad Down Under, posted scores of 65 and 52 respectively, on the first day of the warm-up contest to assist West Indies to 251-8 declared in Adelaide. Cricket Australia's XI were 52-1 at the time of writing.

After captain Kraigg Brathwaite scored 52 at the top, the Caribbean side lost wickets in quick succession, before Greaves and Hodges anchored the innings with a 120-run, fifth wicket stand, which unfortunately, was followed by another collapse.

Still, Greaves, who recently recovered from a hamstring injury took the positives from the innings, which obviously was his partnership with Hodge.

“It has been an enjoyable one (journey); sometimes plagued by injury, but you know, just try to make the most of it when you get opportunity on the field. So, to be on my first Test tour is great and I'm really looking forward to it. Spending some time with Kevin in the middle last season as well, gave me a bit of confidence up in the middle and our thing is always just try to be as positive as possible,” Greaves said.

The 29-year-old right hand batsman, while declaring that he still enjoys bowling, pointed out that even with runs on the board, it offered very little comfort about whether or not he will get the nod next week.

“No, not really. Just taking it one game at a time. You know, coming here, you just wanted to be able to get into your work and if you're selected for that first Test, you know, just make sure you're prepared,” the Barbados-born Greaves said.

“Anyone coming up in the Caribbean playing cricket, dreams of playing Test, so if I'm selected for the first Test, receiving a cap is always a very big thing. So, for me, being in this group, I've played with most of the guys as I've been travelling a bit in the Caribbean, but I am just trying to enjoy my game as much as possible,” he added.

The Dominican-born Hodge, 30, echoed similar sentiments.

“It was really nice to get some time out in the middle, as a batsman you know that is worth its weight in gold, so I'm really happy for that.

“The partnership with Justin, we understand each other's game pretty well; obviously spending some time in the middle at this level is pretty good and we're really happy for that. It's just unfortunate that we couldn't push on and bat out the rest of the day. But you know, you know, we have a lot of positives from that inning,” Hodge shared.

And like Greaves, Hodge remained modest when asked if he believes the opportunity to possibly earn his first Test cap comes at a time when he is ready.

“Yeah, I'm a firm believer that everything happens on its own timing and what's meant to be, will be. For me, it's just a matter of being ready, whenever that time comes and you know, control what I can control. So, like I said, my big, my biggest thing is just preparing and making the most of whenever the opportunity is there,” the right-hand batsman, who also bowls slow left-arm orthodox spin, declared.

“It would mean a lot to me, obviously, you know, as a little boy growing up, I wanted to play Test cricket, so it's been a dream of mine, and it would definitely be a dream come true. So, until then, you know I'm keeping my fingers crossed and just try and be ready for it,” Hodge ended.

West Indies' batting frailties were again exposed, as they stumbled against an inexperienced Cricket Australia XI on the first of a three-day warm-up match in Adelaide.

Despite getting some positive starts, West Indies batsmen were unable to push on against a CA XI that does not feature any players with Test experience, which basically underscores the Caribbean side's chances, or lack thereof, heading into the first Test against Australia next week.

Scores: West Indies 251 for 8 (Greaves 65, Hodge 52, Brathwaite 52, Haskett 3-57) vs Cricket Australia XI

After opting to take first strike on a dry Karen Rolton wicket, captain Kraigg Brathwaite, who showed class in their previous Test Down Under last summer, led from the front with his 52 at the top.

Kavem Hodge and Justin Greaves, both showed Head coach Andre Coley that they are ready for a Test debut, as they scored 52 and 62 respectively.

But amidst the positives, were also concerns for the Regional side. Top-order batters Kirk McKenzie (23) and Alick Athanaze (zero) were both bounced out, in dismissals that will no doubt catch the attention of Australia's seamers.

Brathwaite's dismissal also raised eyebrows. He was caught trying to paddle-sweep Doug Warren in a half-hearted shot that capped a collapse of three wickets for three runs.

Another collapse of four wickets for eight runs, came late in the day around the second new ball, after Hodge and Greaves steadied the innings and took the score to 223 for 4.

Liam Haskett led the CA XI's bowling attack with three for 57, while rising New South Wales talent Jack Nisbet finished with two for 50, and Victorian spinner Warren claimed two for 47. Between them, the three bowlers have played a total of nine first-class matches.

That adds impetus to the genuine concerns over the form of the once-proud team from the Caribbean headed into the two-Test series. They will field at least three debutants in next Wednesday's first Test in Adelaide, with seven uncapped players in their 15-man squad.

Former captain Jason Holder and all-rounder Kyle Mayers both opted out of the tour to pursue Twenty20 opportunities.

West Indies were beaten convincingly in two Tests in Australia last summer, with only five players from that tour in the current squad.

West Indies Test head coach Andre Coley says they will be using the opening practice match on their tour of Australia to tighten up in both the batting and bowling departments, as they brace for what will be a tough two-match Test Series Down Under.

The Caribbean side’s preparations for the series, which is part of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), will hit another gear when they engage a young Cricket Australia XI in a three-day, practice match at Karen Rolton Oval, on Wednesday.

Coley, working with a fairly inexperienced 15-man squad which boast seven uncapped players, expressed pleasure with how things are coming together, and is optimistic that his team can find success on this occasion. It has been well over 20 years since West Indies las won a Test series in Australia dating back to a 1992-93 series, which they won 2-1.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite is one of only five members of the squad returning to Australia, along with long-standing pacer Kemar Roach, vice-captain Alzarri Joseph, wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua Da Silva and opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul. The seven debutants are opener Zachary McCaskie, Tevin Imlach, all-rounders Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge, Kevin Sinclair, Akeem Jordan and Shamar Joseph.

“Everybody wants to do well here, whether they have had experience of playing here in the past, or it is their first trip. It has been a good experience watching them get over the jetlag and then get into the work, whatever it has been on a specific day, and the focus has been good,” Coley shared in a Cricket West Indies (CWI) interview ahead of the warm-up game.

The practice match does not have first-class status, which means both teams can rotate more than 11 players through their line-ups, and this provides Coley the opportunity to better observe the new players in action.

“When you think about Test matches, it’s really important that you are able to bat a day to be able to set up the game from a batting standpoint. On the flipside of that it’s pretty simple for me, if you can get the opposition out before the end of a day’s play, so for me, those are easy markers,” he said.

“How we go about it as a batting and bowling group is where it becomes more specific as it relates to the roles and the different skill sets that each player brings to the table. But we are looking to keep it really, really simple, and these are some of the markers that we are looking to get out of the game,” Coley added.

That said, Coley pointed to the progress made in their build up to the Test match. The first Test is scheduled for January 17 in Adelaide, with the second set to take place on January 25 at The Gabba.

“I am happy with the progress we have made. It has been a gradual adjustment (to the conditions), but at the end of the day, regardless of how the pitch plays and what response we get from the pitch when bowling, each player has to adapt to what is in front of him,” Coley declared.

He continued: “Sometimes the pitch has little to do with it, as opposed to being locked in to what is in front of you. I think we have covered that pretty well in the batting, and similarly, adjusting to bowling lengths and what we want to achieve.

“The ability to hit specific areas has been good, as well as getting a general feel for how the ball moves around in the atmosphere from a fielding standpoint, we have been able to spend some time on that.”

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