U-19 cricketers Nandu & Thorne return home with invaluable experience

Guyanese Under-19 players, Matthew Nandu and Isai Thorne returned home on Sunday, September 19, 2021, after participating in the just-concluded West Indies tour of England. The two players proudly touched down on home soil after impressive performances in England.
Although West Indies won only two of six matches in the Youth ODI series, both players made noteworthy contributions to the West Indies challenging efforts. Matthew Nandu finished on a high by registering consecutive half centuries in two of the five matches he played. In his penultimate match, Nandu stroked 51, then in the final match followed up with a superb knock of 80 and bowling returns of 2 for 35, as West Indies won their second match of the series to restore some regional pride.
Young fast bowling sensation Isai Thorne was also impressive: At the tender age of 16, he demonstrated the ability, skill and mental tenacity to become an outstanding West Indies fast bowler. Evidently, Thorne received the full confidence of his captain and coach by twice being given the opportunity to bowl the total allotment of overs for a bowler. In two of the four matches he played, Thorne grabbed three wickets to finish the series with 8 wickets and leave a buzz of high expectations.
The members of the GCB expect that the unwavering commitment of Nandu and Thorne coupled with their ability and skill will make them forces to be reckoned with in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2022 and beyond. The GCB will continue to provide the necessary support to these two and other players to ensure their competitive readiness for the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2022.

Late surge from Windies bowlers leaves 1st Test hanging in the balance

Attritional batting from England’s top three and a fluent 98-run partnership between Ben Stokes and Zak Crawley took England into a strong position before a late flurry of wickets put the visitors in charge heading into the fifth day.

Having weathered a tough period the previous evening, England openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley resumed, faced with the task of eliminating the first-innings deficit. Both batted with determination and patience but struggled to score freely, particularly from Roston Chase’s off-spin. Something had to give at some point though, and eventually Burns was dismissed for 42 as he failed to get on top of a cut shot and spooned a short and wide ball from Chase to point.

Sibley continued to battle through, finally reaching his half-century from 161 deliveries with just four boundaries. The very next ball he was bowled by Shannon Gabriel, but he earned a reprieve as replays showed the bowler to have over-stepped. He lasted only two more balls before feathering a catch through to Shane Dowrich down the leg side with England just one run behind West Indies.

Zak Crawley

Joe Denly and Zak Crawley took the hosts into the lead, with the 22-year-old Crawley using his feet well to get on top of Chase. Denly was dismissed for 29 – the 14th time in 28 Test innings that he has fallen between 15 and 40 – as some extra bounce from the spinner causing him to chip a catch to short mid-wicket.

England’s most dominant period of the match thus far followed, as Ben Stokes and Crawley accelerated as they looked to build the lead into something substantial. Their partnership was worth 98 in 25.1 overs by the time Jason Holder found Stokes’ outside edge, with the lead having stretched to 135.

But the skipper’s wicket brought two more, as Alzarri Joseph struck twice to remove first Crawley – the ball bouncing steeply to take the shoulder of the bat – and then Buttler – driving loosely to a ball which tailed back into him – to put the visitors back on top.

Ollie Pope and Dom Bess looked to offer some resistance, but the pair were both bowled by Shannon Gabriel in the same over to leave England with just two wickets in hand and the lead worth 170 at stumps. Jofra Archer and Mark Wood remained unbeaten at the close, on 5* and 1* respectively.

(International Cricket Council Report) 

Resilient half-centuries from Braithwaite and Dowrich hands West Indies advantage

Opener Kraig Braithwaite and wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich made welcome returns to form with resilient half-centuries on day three of the first Test against England to hand West Indies the advantage as they posted a 114-run lead after being dismissed for 318.

However England’s openers, Rory Burns and Dom Sibley withstood a superb spell of new-ball bowling to reduce that lead to 99 at the close of play.

When play had resumed earlier, Brathwaite and Shai Hope continued their stubborn resistance before James Anderson and Ben Stokes eventually made breakthroughs.

Hope in particular had a hard time of it and struggled for the majority of his innings and even got a reprieve after Jofra Archer had trapped him lbw only to have overstepped. However Hope fell in the very next over edging Dom Bess’ to be caught at slip.

Kraig Braithwaite made a resilient 65. (Cricket West Indies photos)

Braithwaite on the other hand showed great concentration and patience to bring up his first half-century in almost two years just before lunch. He didn’t last to the lunch break though as he was given out lbw to an inswinger from Stokes, a decision which he reviewed but lost.

Shamarh Brooks and Roston Chase strung together a good partnership as they both defended well and Brooks looked set when he feathered an edge through to Jos Buttler, which brought Jermaine Blackwood to the crease. It was a brief stay as Blackwood became Bess’ second victim with a reckless charge down the pitch.

Enter Dowrich; he joined Chase to take West Indies safely to tea. Together the pair put on 81, the highest partnership, either side of tea as England laboured for a wicket.

It was Anderson who eventually found success with the new ball, trapping Chase lbw but West Indies were already on top by this point.

Stokes reached 150 Test wickets by taking Jason Holder cheaply and Alzarri Joseph after the latter had threatened with a couple of boundaries.

He also got the key wicket of Dowrich for 61, who edged through to Jos Buttler, before Mark Wood bowled Gabriel to leave West Indies with a first-innings lead of 114 at 318.

When England resume tomorrow, they will be on 15 without loss and 99 runs behind with Sibley and Rory Burns on 5 and 10 respectively.

England 15 for 0 (Sibley 5, Burns 10) and 204 trail West Indies 314 (Brathwaite 65, Dowrich 61, Stokes 4-49) by 99 runs.

Holder’s career-best 6-42 helps West Indies skittle England for 204

West Indies skipper Jason Holder led from the front with the ball as his seventh five-wicket haul and career best figures of 6-42, along with Shannon Gabriel’s 4-62 restricted England for 204 in their first innings. At the close of play West Indies were on 57-1 in reply.

When play resumed, opener Rory Burns (20 overnight) and Joe Denly (14) found the going tough as Gabriel bowled with plenty of pace and menace.

Gabriel didn’t take long to get going and produced a superb delivery, one that swung back through Denly’s defense to bowl him for 18. In his very next over, the burly fast bowler accounted for Burns, trapping him in front of leg stump to leave England on 51-3.

Joe Denly is bowled by Shannon Gabriel (CWI Photos)

From thereon, Holder took over and had Zak Crawley LBW for an enterprising 10, he didn’t have to wait long for a second, as he had Ollie Pope edging behind for 12 with England looking wobbly at 87-5.

However stand-in England captain Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler brought a brief respite with a 67-run partnership.

Eventual top-scorer Stokes fell seven runs short of his half-century as Holder had him dismissed edging to wicket-keeper Shane Dowrich. The West Indies captain then made it two wickets in two overs as he sent Buttler back to the pavilion in similar fashion.

With England looking in danger of being bowled out for under 200 runs, Dom Bess hit a counter-attacking 31 not out but ran out of partners as Jofra Archer and Mark Wood both fell to the rampant Holder.

James Anderson provided some support to Bess, and the pair combined for a vital 30-run stand for the last wicket before Gabriel bowled Anderson with a full, straight ball as England were bowled out for 204 to signal an early tea.

The West Indies opening duo of Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell effected a steady start to the visitors’ reply after tea.

Campbell survived a couple of early scares, twice reviewing successfully before being given out leg-before to Anderson.

Mark Wood delivered a fierce spell of fast bowling to Brathwaite and new batsman Shai Hope, but they both were solid in defence and saw West Indies safely to the close of play, bad light for the second day in a row causing a premature end to the day’s play. West Indies will resume tomorrow on 57/1.

England 35-1 vs West Indies after rain & bad light mars the return of International Cricket

The first day of the first test between England and the West Indies was cut short by rain and bad light as international cricket made it’s return at the Ageas Bowl in Hampshire. England. When the umpires decided to call it a day after just 17.4 overs of play, England were on 35-1 after losing the early wicket of Dom Sibley.

After rain made the two sides wait for three hours to get started, the West Indians and Englishmen stood in a semi-circle around the pitch to observe a minute’s silence for those who perished in the Covid-19 pandemic and in honour of West Indies Legend Sir Everton Weekes, who died on July 1.

Following the minute’s silence, the players accompanied by umpires Richard Kettleborough and Richard Illingworth took up their respective field positions and all dropped to one knee, with the West Indies players raising a black gloved hand. The England opening pair, Rory Burns and Dom Sibley, knelt at the crease with the rest of the England players and support staff kneeling at the boundary in resounding solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The day’s play was reduced to three short periods of play possible. England had won the toss and stand-in captain Ben Stokes elected to bat with Rory Burns and Joe Denly leading a recovery of sorts after the loss of Sibley after a mere 10 balls into the innings.

Dom Sibley is bowled by Shannon Gabriel (Cricket West Indies photo)

West Indies pace Roach opened the bowling and immediately found movement off the seam, while in his first over back in action, Shannon Gabriel swung one off the seam which Sibley left alone, only to have his off stump rattled.

Gabriel consistently hit 90mph/145kph during his five-over spell and almost had Denly caught behind in his fifth over, through an edge which flew through the gap at fourth-slip.

Having weathered Roach and Gabriel, the pair of Burns and Denly found the going slightly easier against Alzarri Joseph before bad light brought the game to a halt at tea.

A further bout of drizzle and dark clouds kept the teams off the field until umpires Kettleborough and Illingworth called it a day.

When play resumes tomorrow, opener Burns will be on 20 (55 deliveries, 4×3) while Denly is on 14 (48 deliveries, 4×3). Bowling for the West Indies, Roach was the most economical with figures of 0-2 from six overs (4 maidens) while Gabriel picked up the only wicket (1-19 from 5 overs). Jason Holder got in three overs with one maiden and conceded three runs while Alzarri Joseph’s fourth over was interrupted and ended the day with figures of 0-11 (3.4 overs, 1 maiden).

First ball tomorrow is set for 11:00hrs (6:00hrs Guyana Time).

Gabriel named in West Indies Test squad to face England

The highly rated fast bowler Shannon Gabriel has been listed in the 15-man West Indies Test squad for the ongoing Sandals Tour of England 2020. This was revealed by Cricket West Indies in a press release on Thursday afternoon.

Gabriel who was among the reserves proved his fitness in the two inter-squad warm-up matches with impressive performances. The robust fast bowler was in a race for fitness following ankle surgery earlier this year.

Commenting on Gabriel’s inclusion, CWI Head Selector Roger Harper noted; “I am delighted that we are able to add Shannon to the Test squad. He has shown that he is fit and ready, he will add experience, firepower and potency to the bowling unit.”

The release further read: Gabriel, the powerfully-built, six-footer has made a full recovery from the ankle surgery. On tour he has bowled in three innings and grabbed eight wickets for 122 runs. The 32-year-old is one of the most experienced members of the squad. He made his Test debut at Lord’s on May 17, 2012 and has so far played 45 matches. He has 133 wickets, placing him at Number 15 in the West Indies all-time list of Test match wicket-takers.

His career-best performance came two years ago at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Saint Lucia when he took 8-62 against Sri Lanka to end with match figures of 13-121. He enters the upcoming series in the Top 20 of the International Cricket Council’s Test bowling rankings.

West Indies will travel from Manchester to Southampton on Friday as they continue preparations in a bid to retain the Wisden Trophy in the #RaiseTheBat Test Series. The first Test will be played at the Ageas Bowl, starting Wednesday, July 8. First ball daily is 11am (6am Guyana Time)

Test Squad: Jason Holder (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach

Reserves: Sunil Ambris, Joshua DaSilva, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican