Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood both hit centuries to keep England's bowlers largely at bay as the West Indies held solid for much of day three.

Brathwaite and Shamarh Brooks headed out in the first session with the Windies on 71-1, but the latter fell on 39 inside the opening 30 minutes of the day when he sliced Jack Leach's delivery to Chris Woakes.

Ben Stokes struck shortly after coming into England's attack midway through the session, dismissing Nkrumah Bonner for nine lbw, as the tourists look set to enjoy another fine day after declaring on 509-7 on Thursday.

Stokes should have had Blackwood lbw, only for the umpire to decline their appeals, with Joe Root choosing not to review. 

That was swiftly proved a mistake, with the replay showing the ball would have hit halfway up leg stump, Blackwood then surviving an lbw review for what could have been Saqib Mahmood's first Test wicket.

Braithwaite and Blackwood made the most of their fortune, frustrating England throughout the second session to reach tea at 196-3, on 79 and 50 respectively.

Windies skipper Brathwaite nudged Leach for two to bring up his century from 278 balls, and his control remained as he allowed Blackwood to stake centre stage.

Blackwood picked off some sloppy Stokes deliveries, though he very nearly edged Leach to Dan Lawrence before he clipped England's spinner for a single to bring up his third Test ton.

His stand finally came to an end on 102, when Lawrence trapped him lbw but, despite a late review against Alzarri Joseph, West Indies held on to reach stumps on 288-4.

Brilliant Braithwaite leads by example

Braithwaite was quite simply sensational, with his 109 not out coming from 337 deliveries so far, and he will be there again at the start of day four.

He now has 10 Test centuries, with three of those having come against England.

A long day for England's bowlers

News of Mark Wood's tour-ending injury came at the start of the day and it was a difficult time for England's bowlers.

Leach has already bowled 44 overs, but has just one wicket to show for it, while Stokes has an economical 1-34 to show for his efforts, though it took a cameo from Lawrence (1-8) to make the late breakthrough.

England fast bowler Mark Wood will miss the rest of the West Indies Test series and his Indian Premier League stint with the Lucknow Giants due to an elbow injury.

Wood, 32, bowled 17 overs in the first Test in Antigua before suffering an issue with his right elbow and subsequently underwent two scans since arriving in Barbados for England's second outing.

Those scans have confirmed a problem with his bowling arm and he will now return to England for "a specialist opinion regarding the management of his injury".

The Durham quick will take an "indefinite break from cricket until more information is determined from the elbow specialist", which leaves him unable to feature in the third Test that starts on March 24 in Grenada.

Wood has also been ruled out of contention for the IPL with the Giants, who paid £735,000 for Wood in the auction and start their IPL campaign against fellow debutants Gujarat Titans on 28 March.

England, who are already without injured duo Olly Stone and Jofra Archer, are yet to confirm whether they will call up a fast-bowling replacement, with Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson likely to return soon.

Wood was the pick of England's bowlers in the poor series against Australia, finishing as Joe Root's leading wicket-taker with 17 dismissals, including his first Ashes five-for, during his four appearances in the five-Test series.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ben Stokes plundered an electric century as England put a big total on the board in their first innings on day two of the second Test against West Indies in Bridgetown.

Stokes reached his 11th Test hundred off just 114 balls as he and Joe Root (153) carried on where the tourists had left off on day one.

West Indies were able to navigate 27 overs of their own before the close of play for the loss of just one wicket, but remain 436 runs behind at 71-1 going into the third day.

It was a flawless first session for England, with Stokes coming in after Dan Lawrence (91) lost his wicket off the final ball of the opening day.

Stokes and Root stepped up the run rate, with the former in particular firing boundaries as often as he could, and the duo put on a further 125 before lunch, with Root reaching his 150.

The England captain was out shortly after the second session began after Kemar Roach trapped him lbw, which took the bowler ahead of Sir Garry Sobers into seventh on his country's list of all-time wicket-takers.

Jonny Bairstow added 20 before going for a big shot off Alzarri Joseph that was caught by Nkrumah Bonner in the deep, and then Stokes soon followed as he put his foot down even further, hitting Kraigg Brathwaite for back-to-back sixes, only to hit the next one straight to Shamarh Brooks to end with 120 to his name.

Ben Foakes (33) and Chris Woakes (41) put on a partnership of 75, but as wickets at the tail-end started to fall, Root decided to declare on 507-9.

Debutant Matt Fisher sensationally took the wicket of John Campbell (four) with just his second ball, forcing an edge through to Foakes.

However, Brathwaite (28 not out) and Brooks (31 not out) managed to see out the remainder of the day, though the former did survive after reviewing an initial 'out' decision for lbw off Jack Leach when on 14. 

Stokes back to his best

What a player Ben Stokes is on this form. He set the tone for the remainder of the England innings after Root et al had laid the groundwork on day one.

He hit a remarkable six sixes in his 120, which arrived in just 128 deliveries. That included scoring 89 from 92 balls in the morning session as he also passed the 5,000 Test runs mark.

Fisher hooks his first wicket

What a way to start your Test career. Fisher bowled an absolute beauty to dismiss Campbell, and though he was not able to add to it before the close of play, ending the day with figures of 1-18, he did threaten more than most.

The Yorkshireman has 63 wickets in first class cricket at an average of 27.52, and has made a good start to putting his name forward as a potential long-term part of England's attack.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

England captain Joe Root hit a masterful century on day one of the second Test against the West Indies at Bridgetown.

Having won the toss and chosen to bat, Root was at the crease early on after Zak Crawley was dismissed for a duck, but was not flustered as he set about giving his team a solid foundation on a flat pitch.

The visitors ended the day on 244-3 with Dan Lawrence contributing an excellent 91, as West Indies struggled to get anything out of the pitch, though things could have been different but for a dropped catch.

England handed debuts to bowlers Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Fisher in place of Mark Wood and Craig Overton, and got off to a shocking start as Crawley was out without scoring after he failed to leave a Jayden Seales delivery, nicking it through to Joshua Da Silva.

Root and Alex Lees steadied the innings as they slowly put together a partnership of 76, though Root was somewhat fortunate to see Da Silva drop him on 34, even if it was a difficult opportunity for the West Indies wicketkeeper down the leg side.

The Yorkshireman reached his 50, only to see Lees fall next ball for 30 to lbw off the bowling of Veerasammy Permaul.

Lawrence was next in and though he started slowly, soon settled in as he began hitting boundaries, including a six off Permaul.

The 24-year-old reached the fourth 50 of his career just before Root sealed his ton, which is the 25th time he has raised his bat to three figures in Test cricket.

After tea, it was all too comfortable for England as Root (119 not out) and Lawrence (91) continued to build on a partnership of 164, before Lawrence hit a Jason Holder delivery straight to Kraigg Brathwaite off the last ball of the day to give the hosts a rare occasion to celebrate.

Root in the form of his life

It must be said that it was a very batsman-friendly pitch on day one at Bridgetown, but Root took full advantage as he put together a very useful knock to surely ensure a big first-innings total for his team.

After scoring 1,708 Test runs in 15 matches in 2021, he has already managed 310 in three and a half in 2022.

This was the fourth Test 100 Root has scored in the West Indies, more than he has managed in any other country apart from England.

Lawrence offers ideal support role

One continuing theme of the recent Ashes series was England players coming in to bat, seemingly trying to settle slowly into their innings, and then getting themselves out before they started scoring any runs.

Lawrence looked to be doing the same here, but once he got his first boundary, looked calm and composed at the crease as he set about assisting Root in building a big total, and managed to reach the highest score of his Test career so far before a disappointing dismissal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Saqib Mahmood will make his Test debut in England's only change for their second match against West Indies, starting on Wednesday at Kensington Oval.

The Lancashire seamer is a like-for-like replacement for the injured Mark Wood, who has been ruled out due to an elbow problem sustained in the first Test.

Joe Root's side played out a draw in that opening contest against Kraigg Brathwaite's hosts in Antigua and have moved on to Barbados for the second of three tussles for the Richards-Botham Trophy.

Centuries for captain Root, Jonny Bairstow and Zak Crawley were stymied by a superb display from Nkrumah Bonner and Wood's injury, on the back of Ollie Robinson being ruled out for the opener.

Root admitted that while Durham bowler Wood would be a loss, he had little doubts about 25-year-old Mahmood's potential.

"He's very mature for a guy who hasn't played a huge amount of international cricket, and he has an understanding of how he wants to operate," Root said.

"He's been very impressive. He's got a slightly different trajectory and will give us a point of difference. He has done that when he's played in other formats.

"Clearly he has good control, especially if the ball moves with reverse swing."

West Indies batsman Bonner, whose recent emergence as a Test player has followed a false start in international cricket in the T20I format 10 years ago, is relishing another battle after his man-of-the-match performance.

"During that 10-year period when I was out, there was a lot of work I put in mentally, physically and technically, and I'm really happy to be reaping the rewards now," Bonner said, quoted by BBC Sport.

"I'm more experienced now, I understand my game a lot better. I always had that belief I could play international cricket.

"Obviously sometimes the belief goes down a little bit, but I kept working and I'm really happy to have come back."

Stokes closes in on select England landmark

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been relatively quiet with bat and ball since returning to the international fold, but he could reach a notable landmark this week.

He needs 84 more to reach 5,000 runs in Test cricket for England; in doing so, he would become just the 23rd player to achieve this feat for the team.

West Indies are one of the three teams against whom he has scored over 1,000 runs.

Roach poised to move up WI rankings

Kemar Roach needs only one more wicket to become the outright seventh-highest wicket taker for West Indies in men's Test cricket.

Roach is level with Garry Sobers on 235 wickets, and the paceman has more wickets against England (54) than against any other team in this format.

Once he moves ahead, he will have sixth-placed Michael Holding in his sights, with 249.

The West Indies now have two wins and two losses at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup after suffering a crushing seven-wicket loss to favourites Australia in Wellington on Monday.

The Caribbean side won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch that seemed to offer both batters and bowlers an opportunity to shine.

Unfortunately, the Windies innings never got out of first gear after losing both Hayley Matthews (0) and Deandra Dottin (16) early.

Captain Stafanie Taylor did her best to bring stability to the innings with a trying 50 off 91 balls but her dismissal in the 41st over signalled the end of the West Indies resistance as they were swiftly bowled out for 131 after 46 overs.

Ellyse Perry was the pick of the Aussie bowlers with 3-22 off eight overs, while Ashleigh Gardner took 3-25 off 10.

Australia then coasted to their fourth straight win, getting to 132-3 off 30.2 overs with Rachel Haynes finishing not out on 83.

The West Indies now find themselves fifth on the points table with four points from four games, while Australia are first with a perfect eight points from their four encounters.

The West Indies will next tackle Bangladesh on Thursday.

Kensington Oval is expected to be a hive of activity for the second Apex Test match, as the historic venue will now be able to operate at full capacity when West Indies host England from March 16-20.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced that the venue will be allowed to return to 100 per cent capacity for fully vaccinated fans, following a decision taken on Monday by the Barbados Government.

Additionally, it was also announced that fans in the ‘Banks Party Stand’, presented by ‘Power By Four’, will no longer be required to take rapid antigen tests to enter, with all fans now just needing to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be able to present their vaccination documentation.

“We are very happy that there is the potential for more West Indies and travelling England fans to attend the 2nd Apex Test match at Kensington Oval. We were almost sold out for the first two days before the decision by the Government of Barbados, which everyone welcomes," said Dominic Warne, WI’s Commercial and Marketing Director.

"Additionally, this will make it a much smoother experience for Banks Party Stand ticket holders, of which there will be more than 1000 per day, following the removal of rapid antigen testing requirements. We’re expecting another dramatic Test match against England and we want as many West Indies fans as possible rallying behind the #MeninMaroon.”

 The three-match Apex Test Series is still level following the draw in the first Apex Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

 

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Men’s Selection Panel has named an unchanged squad for the second Apex Test match against England. The match will be played at Kensington Oval from March 16-20.

The three-match Apex Series is level 0-0 following a draw in the first Apex Test match, which was played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

Nkrumah Bonner was named Player-of-the-Match. He scored a career-best 123 in the first innings and 38 not out in the second innings on the final day.

“It was a hard-fought first match in Antigua and we decided to stick with the same 13 players for the second match in Barbados,” said lead selector Desmond Haynes in explaining the decision not to make any changes ahead of the second Test.

“Bonner demonstrated the way you should play, and we were very pleased with the way he played in the first innings and again in the second innings. It was hard work for all the bowlers, and we were very happy with the way they stuck to the task.”

WEST INDIES TEST SQUAD: Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood (Vice-Captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Veerasammy Permaul, Anderson Phillip, Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales.

Joe Root praised his England team for their performance in a first Test draw with West Indies following a "difficult year".

Captain Root has led England into this series alongside stand-in coach Paul Collingwood after the ECB made widespread changes in response to a dismal Ashes tour.

England had issues throughout their line-up in Australia, and the decision to respond by leaving both Stuart Broad and James Anderson at home for this series was not a popular one.

Fellow bowler Mark Wood was lost to an injury for which he is being assessed in the first Test, too, but England remained the most likely winners in Antigua.

Helped by Root's 109 in a second-innings 349-6 declared, England gave themselves two sessions to bowl out West Indies and threatened to do so when Jack Leach took three wickets in a strong spell.

It was not to be, as West Indies finished on 147-4 – some way short of a target of 286 but not at real risk of defeat.

The post-match outlook from Root was a positive one, however.

"I'm really pleased with the way we played, especially given the position we were in after that first hour," said Root, referring to an alarming first day when England slumped to 48-4 prior to Jonny Bairstow's vital 140.

"The guys stayed calm and showed great maturity to get us to a total, especially off the back of a difficult winter and a difficult year where we've not scored anywhere near enough runs."

Lauding his bowlers, too, Root added: "The way the guys stuck at it, especially having one bowler down as well, showed a huge amount of character and it was a huge step forward in many respects.

"No-one stopped believing or gave up all day. We really did give ourselves the best chance of winning this game."

West Indies great Carlos Brathwaite was not happy with England's tactics after Joe Root waited until there were just five balls remaining before conceding the draw.

After falling to 67-4, West Indies duo Nkrumah Bonner and Jason Holder shut up shop, surviving for a combined 239 deliveries as Jack Leach (3-57) and Ben Stokes (1-24) searched for a miracle.

As the day's remaining overs dwindled, England showed no desire to call it early, drawing criticism from Brathwaite as he spoke about the lack of respect shown by the visitors.

"In my opinion [the match] did [go too long]," Brathwaite told BT Sport. 

"If I were Kraigg Brathwaite, or any of the senior players in our dressing room, I would have found it a bit disrespectful that in the last hour.

"With two set batsmen batting the way that they were, the pitch offering nothing, that England still felt as though they could get six wickets in 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four [overs]... up until five balls left."

Braithwaite went on to say that he feels England would not have handled the situation the same way against more high-profile Test outfits.

"If you want to become a top team, you have to think like a top team," he added. "West Indies may not be there yet, but the mentality has to be. 

"Would England have done that if it were an Ashes Test? Would they have done that against New Zealand, India, Pakistan? I think the answer is no. So why have they done it against us?

"If [West Indies] need any sort of steely determination added, I think that passage of play should have given them it. We are a better team than we're given credit for – this passage of play proves it, and now we have two Test matches to prove we are better than England think we are."

 

 

 

Defiant second innings batting from man-of-the-match Nkrumah Bonner and Jason Holder helped the West Indies salvage a draw on day five of the first Apex Test match against England at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Saturday.

England’s unbeaten pair of captain Joe Root (84) and Zak Crawley (117) started the day attempting to add on to England’s overnight 217-1 and eventually got to 225 before Crawley became the first scalp of the day, falling to Holder for 121.

Root carried on and brought up his 24th Test match hundred, the second-most by an Englishman only behind former skipper Alastair Cook’s 33.

Dan Lawrence, who joined Root after Crawley’s dismissal, made a breezy 37 before he was removed by Alzarri Joseph to leave England 295-3 off 78.3 overs.

With a declaration looming, England’s batsmen tried to step up their scoring rate but kept losing wickets quickly, including Root for 109 and Ben Stokes for 13.

Joseph finished with 3-78 off 23.2 overs while Kemar Roach picked up 2-53 off 19 overs.

They eventually declared on 349-6, leaving the West Indies needing 286 for victory.

The West Indies started their pursuit just before lunch, eventually reaching 4-0 at the break.

After lunch, Captain Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell continued their fruitful partnership at the top of the order with a second 50 partnership of the match.

They got to 59-0 before Brathwaite was trapped in front by Stokes for 33. Campbell was then dismissed in the next over by Jack Leach for 22 to leave the hosts in a spot of bother at 59-2.

Shamarh Brooks (5) and Jermaine Blackwood (2) then quickly became Leach’s next two victims to leave the West Indies struggling at 67-4 in the 35th over.

Thankfully for the West Indies, Bonner (38) and Holder (37) safely negotiated the final 36.3 overs to lead the West Indies to 147-4 off 70.1 overs.

Jack Leach was the pick of the England bowlers with 3-57 off 30.1 overs.

Final Scores: England 311 and 349-6 declared, West Indies 375 and 147-4.

The second test gets underway on March 16th in Barbados.

 

 

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