David Warner made a blistering half-century and Mitchell Starc starred as Australia beat West Indies by 31 runs at The Gabba to seal a 2-0 Twenty20 International series whitewash.

Holders Australia continued their preparations for the T20 World Cup on home soil with another victory in Brisbane on Friday, Warner making 75 off 41 balls and Tim David 42 from just 20 deliveries in their total of 178-7.

The Windies could only muster 147-8 in reply, Starc the pick of the bowlers with 4-20 and Pat Cummins (2-32) taking his 50th Twenty20 International wicket.

Australia will now travel to Perth for the start of a three-match T20I series against England on Sunday, while West Indies will have to come through their first-round group to qualify for a World Cup Super 12 spot.

The excellent Alzarri Joseph (3-21) dismissed Cameron Green in the second over, but Warner and Aaron Finch got Australia up to 45-1 at the end of the powerplay.

Warner raced to his half-century in 30 balls, but was caught and bowled by Odean Smith in the 12th over after captain Finch fell for a scratchy 15.

Glenn Maxwell was run out for only one and Steve Smith (17) was bowled by Joseph, but David cleared the rope three times in a swashbuckling knock to give Australia some impetus before he was trapped lbw by Obed McCoy (2-33).

Kyle Mayers was brilliantly caught and bowled by Starc in the first over of the Windies' run chase, but Johnson Charles and Brandon King steadied the ship with a stand of 50.

Adam Zampa redeemed himself for dropping Charles on two by getting King (23) stumped and Starc returned to see the back of Nicholas Pooran.

An unconvincing knock from Charles (29) was ended by Green as the wickets continued to tumble, Starc doing the bulk of the damage as Akeal Hosein's knock of 25 came with the Windies never really looking like squaring the series.


Warner sets the tone

Opener Warner was outstanding at the top of the order, laying the foundations for a total that proved to be too big for the Windies to chase down.

He demonstrated his great power and sweet timing, striking three sixes and hitting another 10 boundaries as he registered a brilliant 23rd half-century for his country in the shortest format.

Starc fires, Cummins brings up half-century

Australia will be relying on Starc to be firing on all cylinders when they attempt to retain the World Cup and he bowled beautifully in Brisbane, with a mixture of control and variety.

Cummins was more expensive, but the Test captain reached the 50 T20I wickets landmark in his 44th match.

West Indies all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall treated spectators to an incomparable display of power-hitting after smashing 22 sixes and piling up 205 runs in the USA-based T20 league, Atlanta Open on Thursday.

Representing the Atlanta Fire, the batsman ended unbeaten, as the team racked up a massive 326 for the loss of just a single wicket.  The victims were Square Drive who were defeated by 172 runs after they were restricted to 154 for the loss of eight wickets.

Cornwall’s knock also included 17 fours and came from just 77 deliveries.  The all-rounder recently showed good form in the CPL scoring 242 runs in 9 matches for the Barbados Royals at the top of the order. 

The towering ball-hitter, however, missed out on selection for the West Indies team and headed to the tournament soon after leaving the CPL.  The massive numbers will, however, not go on the record as the Atlanta Open is not an officially sanctioned league.

West Indies Women’s team captain Hayley Matthews believes the ongoing series against New Zealand presents a real opportunity for younger members of the squad to gain valuable experience playing against a quality team.

On Wednesday, the Kiwis took an unassailable 3-1 series lead after beating the West Indies via a tense Super Over.  In the regular innings, the Caribbean team successfully chased down but could not overhaul New Zealand's score of 111.

In the Super Over, Matthews and Natasha McLean put on 15 runs but New Zealand captain Sophie Devine put on a savage display of power hitting, which ended with a last-ball six off Matthew to plunder 17-runs from the over and the series win.

With the likes of Anisa Mohammed, former captain Stafanie Taylor, and the recently retired Deandra Dottin all missing from the squad the team included several developing players and a few returning ones. 

“This is very good for the girls getting the opportunity to go out there and play the highest level of cricket.  To play against an experienced team like New Zealand with a lot of veterans and known campaigners,” Matthews said.

“We do have a lot of injuries but it’s a great opportunity for the girls to get out there be in the deep end, have a good go at international cricket, and hopefully learn a lot,” she added.

With Matthews only recently having taken over the captaincy from Taylor she admits the situation also presents her with a personal opportunity to develop in the role.

“The team has been supporting me really well.  It’s definitely thrown me in the deep end a bit with a lot of the injuries that we have had and not having as much experience on the team but at the same time, I think it’s only going to help me to learn faster and be better as well.  So, I’m just embracing the challenge.”

   

 

South Africa will host England in a rearranged one-day international series early next year.

The two sides were due to contest the three-match series in 2020, but England flew home following the Twenty20 International matches due to concerns about COVID-19.

Temba Bavuma's side will instead face the world champions at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on January 27 and January 29, with the series finishing at the Kimberley Oval on February 1.

The Proteas will also take on West Indies in two Tests, the first starting SuperSport Park on February 28 and the second getting under way at The Wanderers on March 8.

South Africa then face three ODIs and as many T20Is against the Windies before two matches versus the Netherlands in the 50-over format.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Pholetsi Moseki said: "South Africa is fast becoming the home-soul for international cricket. We are a proud cricketing nation, with abundance of talent, grit, and temperament for the game.

"CSA is thrilled to be hosting England, West Indies and the Netherlands, all worthy opponents, in what is billed to be an exciting summer of international cricket.

"This is principally good news to our fans who have been starved of the blend of cricket on offer at stadiums since 2020 pandemic. These bumper fixtures confirm that cricket in South Africa is indeed open for business.

"As we look forward to hosting these cricketing powerhouses, we invite our fans to swell the stadiums in numbers to support the Proteas as they lock horns with the best in the world."

With the T20 World Cup on the horizon, West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph has vowed to keep putting in the hard yards, following a narrow 3-wicket loss to Australia in a practice match on Wednesday.

In an encounter marred by messy fielding from the Caribbean team, Matthew Wade and Mitchell Starc got the Aussies over the line, with a ball remaining, but the last over, bowled by paCer Sheldon Cottrell, was one filled with drama.  Needing just 11 from the last 6, Wade was dropped in the deep by Raymon Reifer off the second ball and an opportunity to stump Starc on his way back for the winning run was also missed out on.

As a result, the Aussies got home at 146 for 7, surpassing the West Indies' first innings tally of 145 for 9.  Aussie captain Aaron Finch batted in the unfamiliar position of 4 but top-scored with a valuable 58.  A visibly disgruntled Cottrell ended with figures of 2 for 49, while Joseph ended with a tidy 2 for 17 and 7 runs with the bat.  The bowler would admittedly have preferred a win but took some solace in a decent outing with the ball.

“For me, it’s always about trying to add that one percent every day.  Keep on trusting the process, keep on training hard and keep doing what I need to do to get the success,” Joseph said following the match.

“It wasn’t the result we wanted but we really fought hard.  We pushed Australia down to the last over, so all in all it was a fairly good performance we just have to go back and see what we can improve for the next game,” he added.

In their turn at the crease, all-rounder Kyle-Mayers led the way for the West Indies at the top of the order, scoring 39 from 36 deliveries before his innings was ended by Pat Cummings.  Reifer contributed a 23-ball 19 from the middle order but no other batsman really got going until Odean Smith’s useful 27 from 17 at the back of the innings.  He was run out by Wade.

It was, however, Josh Hazelwood who did the most damage with the ball for the Aussies as he ended with 3 for 35, while Starc and Cummings each claimed two wickets.

 

Australia captain Aaron Finch declared his side will continue "tinkering" until the start of the T20 World Cup after starring in a three-wicket win over West Indies on Wednesday.

The Windies set a total of 145-9 before reducing Australia to 58-5 within eight overs on the Gold Coast, but Finch (58) and Matthew Wade (39 not out) led the hosts' successful recovery.

Taking an unfamiliar role at number four in the batting order, Finch moved to within 27 runs of becoming the first Australia batsman to score 3,000 runs in T20I history.

The world champions have experimented with their line-up in recent outings, including when Cameron Green opened during last month's tour of India, and Finch expects that to continue. 

"Both teams were sloppy if they are honest with themselves," he said. "But it's good to get across the line.

"We knew that total would be a challenge on that wicket, we did really well early and they took wickets in the middle.

"It would have been nice to get us over the line, I was trying to target the boundary but mishit one. I didn't like getting the first one in the head, but I really enjoy batting in the middle order. 

"It was just something different, we might change it up in the next match. We are going to keep tinkering with things until we get to the World Cup."

Australia will begin their defence of the World Cup against New Zealand on October 22 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

West Indies lost their opening T20 International against Australia in Queensland on Wednesday by three wickets with a ball to spare to go 0-1 down in the two-match series.

Legendary West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose has expressed surprise at the unusual circumstances that have led to the dropping of explosive batsman Shimron Hetmyer ahead of the team’s campaign for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

According to a release issued by Cricket West Indies (CWI), which roiled the cricketing world on Monday, the body opted to replace Hetmyer with Shamarh Brooks after the player missed a rescheduled flight, having been advised of the consequences of doing so.

The release stated that the player's original flight was changed from Saturday to Monday due to family reasons but did not mention if Hetmyer had given a reason for being unable to catch the second flight.

“I must say I am a bit surprised because who wouldn’t want to play in the World Cup tournament and who wouldn’t want to represent their country,” Ambrose told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“What I heard in the media is that he had some family issues.  So, I take it that if you are going to miss playing for your country, or playing at the World Cup then he has some serious issues to deal with.  I reckon that if that’s the case, you want to ensure that whatever issues he has with his family are being sorted, so he has to miss the World Cup.  I wish him well.”

 

West Indies white-ball Captain Nicholas Pooran on Tuesday gave his first reaction to the absence of left-hander Shimron Hetmyer from the squad preparing for their series against Australia and the subsequent ICC T20 World Cup.

Hetmyer was originally named in the 15-man squad for the Australia series and the World Cup before being replaced by Shamarh Brooks on Monday.

The Guyanese batsman, who recently captained the Guyana Amazon Warriors to a playoff appearance in the Caribbean Premier League, was scheduled to travel to Australia to join the squad on Saturday before informing CWI that he would be unable to make the flight.

He was then rebooked for a flight on Monday before, once again, informing the CWI that he wouldn’t be able to make it. CWI’s selection panel then unanimously voted to replace him with Brooks. Before scheduling the Monday flight, he was informed that failure to make the flight would leave CWI no choice but to replace him in the squad.

“To be honest, that’s not my focus at the moment,” Pooran said in a press conference on Tuesday.

“The decision has been made, there are consequences for your actions. At the moment, I just want to focus on why we’re here and how we’re going to achieve our goals. Obviously, we planned with him but, unfortunately, he’s not here and we have to plan differently now,” he added.

“He’s definitely an experienced cricketer,” was Pooran’s reaction when Australian journalists questioned him about Hetmyer’s replacement in the squad, Shamarh Brooks.

“He’s been in our white-ball set up for the last year and has been doing fantastic. He had a really good CPL as well. He has a vital role to play for us,” he added.

Brooks is fresh off a fantastic CPL playoffs where he had scores of 47, 109* and 47 to help the Jamaica Tallawahs win their third CPL title.

 

 

Captain Aaron Finch doubts Cameron Green can force his way into Australia's T20 World Cup squad, even if he dazzles in two warm-up games against West Indies this week.

Green was not included when Australia picked their 15-man group five weeks ago.

The impressive form of the 23-year-old since that selection has caught the eye, with two half-centuries in three innings against India last month showcasing his attacking talent.

Yet Finch sees his squad as being settled, with Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis on the way back to full fitness after respective ankle and side strain injuries.

Asked about Green's prospects of playing in the tournament, Finch said: "I'm not sure at the moment – I don't think so."

This is not to say Finch cannot see Green contributing immensely to Australia in the short and long term, but the World Cup decision has been taken.

"It's just one of those things," said Finch. "He had a really good tour of India, it was good for him to get an opportunity to open the batting, so he'll get more opportunities.

"He'll get an opportunity at some point in this series. The reason we've carried him is to have an extra bowling resource as well.

"Obviously his batting is exceptional, and he shows a lot with the ball. He keeps developing and he keeps improving every time he gets an opportunity."

David Warner and Mitchell Starc have returned to the Australia ranks after missing the short India series.

Australia have won two of their last three men's T20Is against West Indies (L1), including an eight-wicket victory in their most recent meeting last November.

Wednesday's series opener in Carrara will be the fourth men's T20I between the teams in Australia, and the first since West Indies won the last such game in February 2013, having been beaten in their previous two against the hosts.

Finch, Hazlewood, Cottrell closing on landmarks

There is a landmark for Finch to chase, since he is 85 away from becoming the sixth player to score 3,000 runs in men's T20I history and the first from Australia.

The skipper has struggled against the Windies, however, averaging 19.5 in eight previous T20I innings, with a high score of 53 against the Caribbean side.

West Indies have been pushed into a World Cup squad change after batter Shimron Hetmyer failed to make his intended flight, with Shamarh Brooks promoted to take his place.

Brooks is not yet in Australia, where the coming games will see a pace bowler from each side look to reach 50 wickets in T20I matches.

Australia's Josh Hazlewood is on 49, putting him one away from becoming the third Australian man to reach 50 wickets in the short format, after Adam Zampa and Mitchell Starc.

Wednesday's game will be Hazlewood's 34th T20I, and only three quicks have reached 50 wickets in fewer matches: Mark Adair, in 28 matches for Ireland; and Mustafizur Rahman, who reached the mark in 33 games for Bangladesh.

West Indies' Sheldon Cottrell has 48 wickets in the format to date, two short of becoming the fourth men's West Indies bowler to take 50, following Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine.

West Indies have axed Shimron Hetmyer from their T20 World Cup squad after the batter missed his rearranged flight to the tournament.

The 25-year-old was due to travel via New York on Monday but told director of cricket Jimmy Adams he would be unable to reach the Guyana airport in time.

Hetmyer had previously been given permission to delay his departure from Saturday to Monday.

Cricket West Indies said in a statement that Shamarh Brooks would take Hetmyer's place for the tournament in Australia.

Adams said: "Whilst we changed Shimron's flight from Saturday to Monday due to family reasons, it was made clear to him that if there were any further delays and issues with his travel to Australia then we would have no choice but to replace him in the squad, as we are not prepared to compromise the team's ability to prepare for this extremely important global event."

He added: "Shamarh has been a part of our recent T20 international squads and delivered strong performances in the latter stages of the recently concluded CPL [Caribbean Premier League].

"He will fly out as soon as possible this week to Australia and I wish him and all the squad all the very best for the tournament."

West Indies will face Ireland, Scotland and Zimbabwe in the group section of the World Cup, looking to earn a place in the Super 12 stage.

Their opener is a Hobart clash with Scotland on October 17.

Hetmyer has not made a public statement regarding his reason for missing the flight. He said last week that travelling during the recent Caribbean Premier League had been "tough" on him and his family.

Mitchell Marsh will return to the batting order when Australia step up their T20 World Cup preparations against West Indies on Wednesday, captain Aaron Finch has confirmed.

Meanwhile, Marcus Stoinis is expected to return for Sunday's opening T20I against England, having joined Marsh in missing the recent tour of India.

Marsh has not featured since an ODI outing against Zimbabwe in August after sustaining an ankle injury, leaving Cameron Green to deputise throughout last month's 2-1 series defeat in India.

While Marsh will not bowl against the Windies, Finch believes a place at number three is his to lose, saying: "One-hundred per cent, he's made that spot his own in T20 cricket. 

"I think the way that he played in the lead-up and then through the World Cup [last year] is so important for the way that we want to play and gives us a lot of flexibility through that middle order.

"I think he had his second bowl yesterday and he felt really good. He pulled up well from it. So that's a really positive sign.

"I think for the balance of the side, it's better when they [Marsh and Stoinis] are both bowling because you can get caught a little bit short if you go in with five bowlers. But we'll work that out."

Having suffered a side strain in early September, Stoinis has not travelled to the Gold Coast for Australia's meetings with the Windies, but will join the squad in Perth for the first of three matches against England.

Finch is hopeful over Stoinis' fitness, highlighting the role of logistics in that decision as he added: "He's at a level where we think that he'll be fully fit for that first game against England.

"We were just conscious of the travel with a quick turnaround. It can be quite a high-risk game for some guys with some soft tissue injuries so he's just still planning and preparing there. 

"He's such an important part of our side and the make-up of it, especially with his bowling."

While Green performed well in India, recording scores of 62 and 52, Finch doubts whether he can force his way into Australia's 15 for the World Cup if Marsh and Stoinis stay fit.

"I don't think so," Finch added. "It's just one of those things. He had a really good tour of India. It was good for him to get an opportunity to open the batting.

"I think he'll get an opportunity at some point in this series. Obviously his batting is exceptional and he shows a lot with the ball. 

"He keeps improving every time he gets an opportunity but over the next few weeks, he'll get a run, no doubt."

Australia begin their World Cup defence against neighbours New Zealand on October 22

Shamarh Brooks has replaced Shimron Hetmyer in the West Indies squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia, Cricket West Indies announced on Monday. CWI has advised the International Cricket Council (ICC) of the change after Hetmyer missed his re-scheduled flight to Australia.

The flight was rescheduled at the request of the player, who cited family reasons.

According to CWI, with flight availability a real challenge, a seat was found for him to leave Guyana today, Monday, October 3, meaning he would miss the first T20 International (T20I) against Australia on Wednesday, October 5 at the Metricon Stadium.

“This morning, Mr Hetmyer, informed the Director of Cricket that he would not be able to get to the airport in time for his flight this afternoon to New York,” CWI said.

“This afternoon we informed the CWI Board of Directors that the Selection Panel had unanimously decided to replace Shimron Hetmyer with Shamarh Brooks in our T20 World Cup squad,” said CWI Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams.

“​ Whilst we changed Shimron’s flight from Saturday to Monday due to family reasons, it was made clear to him that if there were any further delays and issues with his travel to Australia then we would have no choice but to replace him in the squad, as we are not prepared to compromise the team’s ability to prepare for this extremely important global event.

“Shamarh has been a part of our recent T20 International squads and delivered strong performances in the latter stages of the recently concluded CPL. ​ He will fly out as soon as possible this week to Australia and I wish him and all the squad all the very best for the tournament.”

Brooks has been in good form scoring an unbeaten 109 from 52 balls against the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the semi-final of the 2022 Hero CPL. He scored 47 from 33 in the finals to help the Jamaica Tallawahs win their third title and their first since 2016 on Friday, September 30.

The squad will now be: Nicholas Pooran (Captain), Rovman Powell (Vice-captain), Shamarh Brooks, Yannic Cariah, Johnson Charles, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Raymon Reifer, Odean Smith

Former West Indies fast bowler Tony Gray has questioned the selection of left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell and leg-spinner Yannic Cariah for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

“His involvement in T20 cricket has been non-existent,” Gray said of Cariah on the Mason & Guest radio show in Barbados on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old Trinidadian made his One-Day International debut for the Windies in the recently concluded series against New Zealand in Barbados last month.

“With Cariah, I think the selectors are assessing him on the couple of games he played against New Zealand but those were 50-over games. Where are you going to bat Cariah? He’s a very intelligent player, hard-working. I had him at the Under-19 level and I had to stop him a few times because he would be the one that would over-train and put too much pressure on himself,” added Gray, who represented the region in five Tests and 25 ODIs from 1985-1991.

Cariah has played four T20 matches in his career, the last coming six years ago.

Regarding Cottrell, Gray pointed to his fitness as his main question mark heading into Australia.

“I don’t think Cottrell has been fit enough in recent times to warrant a place on the West Indies team.  When you look at Cottrell in the last 50-over tournament, he was the player of the tournament for the West Indian people. When we look at Cottrell then, he was extremely fit. He was not only brilliant with the ball, but he was also brilliant in the field and took some stunning catches,” Gray said.

“The point I’m trying to make about Cottrell is that if he’s not playing consistently, I’m not sure that he’s going to fare well. We understand that he’s going to be playing on bouncier tracks in Australia and that he has different types of deliveries, but I’ve not seen him enough in recent times to make a determination on his fitness,” he added.

Cottrell has taken 48 wickets in 43 T20 Internationals since his debut in 2014. In the 2022 CPL, he took five wickets in six matches for the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots.

 

Barbadian All-rounder Jason Holder has warned his West Indian teammates against complacency in the qualifying round for the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to commence October 15 in Australia.

The Windies, who won the tournament in 2012 and 2016, will face Scotland, Zimbabwe and Ireland in Group B with the top two teams advancing to the Super 12.

"We've got a task to uphold in terms of qualifying for the main round," Holder said.

"More or less, we have to focus on the qualifier. Ireland, Scotland and Zimbabwe by no means are pushovers. We've got to take it as seriously as we possibly can and just make sure we get into the next phase of the tournament."

Holder, entering his third T20 World Cup believes there are positives to playing in the qualifiers for the regional side.

"I think it's good in a way that we're playing the qualifiers," he said.

 "West Indies teams of the past have proved that we get better as we go along. To have the warm-up phase of the tournament and then to go into the actual group stage after qualification, I think it's going to be to our betterment in the sense we get more cricket. The talent we have got - depth in terms of resources and batting and bowling - we've always been pretty athletic in the field, so I'm looking forward to that challenge."

The team will be looking to rebound from an abysmal 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE where they got just one win in five matches, failing to advance from the Super 12.

 

 

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