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.

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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).

Ross Taylor to bolster Guyana Amazon Warriors in CPL 2020

Following the completion of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 Player Draft, all franchise squads have been completed with a number of overseas and Caribbean signings boosting each side.

Perennial bridesmaids, the Guyana Amazon Warriors have stuck with 13 players from last year’s squad which went undefeated during the round robin stage. However, they have added massive firepower to an already rampant batting line-up in the form of New Zealander Ross Taylor who is known for his swashbuckling approach to batting. Afghanistan’s 20-year-old right arm medium-fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq has also been added to the Warriors roster while Imran Tahir, Chris Green, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Sherfane Rutherford have all been retained. Youngsters Ashmead Nedd and Kevin Sinclair have also made the cut.

Over in the Trinbago Knight Riders franchise, India’s Pravin Tambe is set to play in the CPL after being signed, a first for any Indian player. They have also retained Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed and have signed New Zealand wicketkeeper Tim Seifert and Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza.

Defending champions, the Barbados Tridents, will have a dangerous spin duo after the acquisition of Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan who will partner with Hayden Walsh Jr. Meanwhile Englishman Alex Hales and Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis will also be part of the team. The other overseas signings are England’s Harry Gurney and Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz.

The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots have signed Australian duo Chris Lynn and Ben Dunk along with Ish Sodhi and Sohail Tanvir.

South African Rassie van der Dussen returns to the Patriots after a fruitful 2018 while Fabian Allen, Evin Lewis, Sheldon Cottrell and captain Rayad Emrit all make returns.

After a horrorshow in 2019, the Jamaica Tallawahs have called up Carlos Brathwaite who was released by the Patriots. Nepalese leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and South African left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi will also don the Tallawahs kit this year. Pakistani all-rounder Asif Ali also joins the line-up and leading run-scorer from last season, Glenn Phillips will suit up once again.

Andre Russell, Rovman Powell, and Oshane Thomas are among the locals who have been retained.

CPL 2020 Squads

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