Toss: West Indies won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Umpires: Aleem Dar & Langton Rusere
What Actually Happened
Winner: Sri Lanka won by 20 runs
Scores: Sri Lanka 189/3West Indies 169/8
Player of the Match:Charith Asalanka 68 (41)
Andre Russell (4-0-33-2)
Wanindu Hasaranga (4-0-19-2)
Charith Asalanka 68 (44)
Shimron Hetmyer 81* (54)
Moments of The Day: Sri Lanka Batted Better, Fielded Better, Bowled Better
Everyone from Sri Lanka contributed today. Kusal Perera 29 (21) & Pathum Nissanka 51 (41) gave them yet another bright start, but it was Asalanka’a clinical timing and Shanaka’s finishing 25* (14) that gave SL an above-par sore.
In every one of these quick summaries, we have mentioned Hasaranga. Sometimes he has contributed with the bat, sometimes with the ball, and sometimes both. Oh and the fielding is pretty good as well. Here is how he fared in the tournament, definitely a player of the tournament contender:
71 & 1/12
6 & 0/29
4 & 2/22
4 & 3/20
34 & 3/21
In a must win crunch game, 8 out of the 10 West Indian batters, most of them legends, scored in the single digits. Only the young guns, Nicholas Pooran (age 26) scored 46 (34) and Shimron Hetmyer (age 24) made sure West Indies at least competed. Hetmyer did not give up till the very end, bringing the target down to 35 in 6 balls.
Honorable Mention: Rajapaksa’s diving catch to dismiss Roston Chase & Karunatne’s running catch to dismiss Holder were outstanding
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: The Sun Sets For the Legends
Darren Sammy had repeatedly set on air that these group of West Indian players were aware that this tournament would define their legacies, especially Chris Gayle & Dwayne Bravo. However, Gayle went out for 1 & Bravo for 2 (and only one wicket at an economy rate of 10.50). Bravo is officially retiring from international duty after this World Cup and one can only assume the same with Chris Gayle.
Pollard is still staying although his captaincy status depends on the board. With Pooran, Hetmyer, & Holder (only 29 years old), the leadership group for the next generation is there but rebuilding needs to start now.
In any case, thank you Legends. We love you for all you have given this sport. They have defined the T20 format and made it their own.
West Indies Vs Bangladesh Quick Review — Nicholas Pooran’s quickfire 40, Jason Holder’s all-round package (and height), and Andre Russell’s death bowling ensured West Indies do not go out without a fight, unlike Bangladesh.
Toss: Bangladesh won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, UAE
Umpires: Adrian Holdstock & Rod Tucker
What Actually Happened
Winner: West Indies won by 3 runs
Scores: West Indies 142/7 – Bangladesh 139/5
Player of the Match: Nicholas Pooran 40 (22)
Shoriful Islam (4-0-20-2), Mahedi Hasan (4-0-20-2)
Jason Holder (4-0-22-1)
Nicholas Pooran 40 (22)
Liton Das 44 (43)
Moments of The Day: Jason Holder’s Selection Inspires Dispirited West Indies
After 12.4 overs, West Indies were going nowhere at 62/4 and Roston Chase replicating Simmons’ role from their previous game. Then came in Nicholas Pooran, a man with more ducks this year than any decent size lake. Today he repaid the faith to the West Indies selectors for keeping faith in him and scored a game changing 40 with 4 sixes. When Harsha Bhogle asked what was the difference between his ball striking and the rest struggling, he said, “That is just my talent.”
Jason Holder, who replaced injured Obed McCoy, was my player of the game today. 15* (5) including 2 sixes at the end, an opening spell of 4-0-22-1, and 2 catches – including Liton Das’ catch (that only a man of his height could have caught). Why wasn’t he selected in the original squad again?
Liton Das finally found some runs and steadied the innings with 44 (43), but captain Mahmudullah took it up another notch. He scored a quickfire 31* (24) before Russell defended 12 runs in the final over.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Shakib Al Hasan Injured, Pollard Goes Off, Bangladesh Almost Out
This match had more comedy of errors than actual cricket. Not one broken dream, but four or five. Here they are:
One of the more curious moments of this game was when Kieron Pollard went out when he was struggling at 8 (16) Some people prematurely declared it as a ‘retired out.’ However, it looked like the heat got to Pollard and he had ‘retired ill.’ Fortunately for the Windies, he came back just in time and hit the last ball to the fence. As it turned out those six runs proved to be extra crucial in the context of the match.
The next ball, Russell was run-out at the non-striker’s catch without facing a ball.
My Broken Cricket Dream of the day was the abysmal quality of fielding. Both sides dropped easy chances and missed stumping cost Bangladesh as well. Bangladesh could have 2 wins out of 3 in the Super 12s, but due to their fielding, they are 0 out of 0.
Shakib Al Hasan might have suffered a hamstring injury but he bowled through the pain. He was sent as a pinch hitter to fully optimize his stay. However, he had middling returns today. Bangladesh are almost out of the tournament, but Shakib’s injury makes situations even worse.
Aiden Markram 51* (26), Rassie van der Dussen 43* (51), Reeza Hendricks 39* (30)
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: West Indies Get Simmoned
Lendl Simmons has been one of the stars for West Indies for a decade. Even though he has been in and out, he has played some important knocks like in the 2016 Cricket World Cup semi-final.
Today, though, was not his day. Like really. After West Indies were out for 55 against England, WI needed an anchor, but 16 (35) without any boundaries is not inspiring stuff. He could not Tewatia out of this situation, unfortunately.
Moments of The Day: Bowlers, Markram Take South Africa Home
Simmons was slow due to disciplined South African bowling with Rabada (4-0-27-1), Nortje (4-0-14-1), Maharaj (4-0-24-2), and Pretorius (2-0-17-3). Only Shamsi, their best T20I bowler, was expensive.
South Africa’s top order made sure there were no hiccups after Buman’s early run-out. Reeza Hendricks took the challenge as QDK’s replacement with a 39 (30). After the strong start, van der Dussen and Aiden Markram changed the game. While Rassie was the anchor, it was Markram’s 51 (26) with 4 sixes that took them home.
The Elephant in the Room: Quinton de Kock Controversy
Temba Bavuma contended that today was the most difficult day of his captaincy due to off the field stories.
We will break this down in three parts: (1) How it began, (2) What prompted QDK’s actions, and (3) his recent apology.
How It Began
South Africa has had a tough history to contend with. Apartheid, cricket suspension, transformations, quota, and the 2015 World Cup Semi-Final. This year, the hearings from former South African colored players and Mark Boucher’s inner rooms racist pasts have unraveled South African cricket even further.
To honor the Black Lives Matter moment, most teams were taking a knee unanimously. However, in South Africa’s first game, the reaction was not unified – knees, fists, or no reaction.
II. QDK Reacts on CSA Mandate
Just a few hours before the game, Cricket South Africa mandated each player requiring them to take the knee. This unsettled Quinton de Kock, after which he made himself ‘unavailable for personal reasons.’
Reeza Hendricks replaced him as a keeper and Klassen as a keeper. Social media went against QDK, calling him a racist.
Several questions here – (1) Was it right for Quinton de Kock to give up on the team right regardless of the reason? End of QDK’s international career? Supporting a movement is okay, but requiring an action – is that a bit too much? After all, not saying anything is freedom of speech/expression in itself.
III. The Statement
Quinton de Kock presented a heartfelt statement (if you have not read it yet, please read the 3 pages below). He has agreed to take the knee if it educates the public in a positive manner and furthermore,
I love every one of my teammates…Bavuma is a flipping amazing leader….if he/team/South Africa will have me, I would love nothing more than to play for my country again.”
– Quinton de Kock
T20 World Cup Points Table, Stat Alert
No need to go elsewhere for the Points Table, Highest Run Scorer, Highest Wicket Taker, Most Catches, and Most Dismissals. We will keep updating it in every article!
Musfiqur Rahim – 135 runs (Bangladesh, 5 Matches)
Shakib Al Hasan – 11 wickets (Bangladesh, 4 Matches)
Calum MacLeod – 6 catches (Scotland, 5 Matches)
Nurul Hasan, Matthew Cross (Bangladesh/Scotland) – 5 dismissals
Group 1 Table
Net Run Rate
2. Sri Lanka
4. South Africa
6. West Indies
T20 World Cup 2021 Group 1 Points Table
Group 2 Table
Net Run Rate
4. New Zealand
T20 World Cup 2021 Group 2 Points Table
Also, if you have not yet read our T20 World Cup Previews, here is a list of all of them! Check them out and share ahead:
Toss: England won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE
Umpires: Aleem Dar & Marais Erasmus
What Actually Happened
Winner: England won by 6 wickets
Scores: West Indies 55/10 – England 56/4
Player of the Match: Moeen Ali 2/17
Adil Rashid (2.2-0-2-4)
Akeal Hosein (4-0-24-2)
Chris Gayle – 13 (13)
Jos Buttler – 24 (22)
Moments of The Day: England All the Way
Moeen Ali reaps rewards – Moeen has had an interesting 2 years since COVID. Travelled for 2 years with the squad, did not get much game time. Got exactly one match in the Indian Test series, where he performed well before he was sent home due to miscommunication. A brilliant IPL with CSK at #3, where his role in England T20s was undefined. Finally a Test retirement after the India-England home series. In this game, he opened the bowling, bowled 4 overs in a row, bagged two wickets (including a maiden), batted at #4, and a difficult running catch. Perfect day out for Moeen.
Tymal Mills comes back to the international side after 4-5 years and makes an immediate impression with 4-0-17-2. What a story since his Hundred performances.
Akeal Hosein‘s bowling and marvelous catch captures West Indies’ disciplined fielding effort. Although they got out for a low total, it was good to see that they did not give up. Attacking field settings by Pollard as well.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: West Indies’ Worst Batting Effort
West Indies’ 55 all-out was the third lowest in all T20 World Cups, their 2nd lowest overall, their first loss to England in 6 attempts at T20 World Cups, and their biggest defeat in T20Is.
Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2021)—The party is back in town once again!
The West Indies have just finished a marathon 14 game home T20I season against South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan.
It is now time for the domestic West Indies T20 league and for fringe players to make their cases. In the first 3 days of CPL 2021, we have had so many great moments—Dre Russ’s 14-ball 50, TKR already losing a game, Faf’s comeback from concussion, Sherfane Rutherford’s magnificent form, Tims (David & Seifert) having breakout seasons, and experienced Amir-Udana-Rampaul-Tahir topping the bowling charts so far. If you haven’t been watching, this is time to switch your TVs back on, especially with the T20 World Cup approaching soon.
Here is everything you need to know about CPL 2021.
Barbados Tridents & Saint Lucia Zouks no more, we now have Barbados Royals (from Rajasthan Royals) & Saint Lucia Kings (from Punjab Kings).
The Indian Premier League is slowly taking over the world.
*Teams highlighted in their respective jersey colors
Trinbago Knight Riders
West Indies Internationals: Kieron Pollard (C), Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin (WK), Ravi Rampaul, Jayden Seales, Akeal Hosein, Khary Pierre, Anderson Phillip
West Indies Domestic: Leonardo Julien (WK), Tion Webster
Foreign Recruits: Ali Khan (USA), Colin Munro, Tim Seifert (NZ), Isuru Udana (SL), Yasir Shah (Pakistan)
Coaching Staff: Imran Jan
I am looking forward to the New Zealand duo Munro & Seifert along with the fast bowling trio – experienced Rampaul, promising Seales, & energetic Ali Khan.
Trinbago Knight Riders Expected XI:
Lendl Simmons, 2. Tim Seifert, 3. Colin Munro, 4. Darren Bravo, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Sunil Narine, 7. Denesh Ramdin, 8. Ravi Rampaul/Isuru Udana, 9. Jayden Seales, 10. Ali Khan, 11. Akeal Hosein
West Indies Internationals: Jason Holder (C), Johnson Charles (WK), Shai Hope (WK), Kyle Mayers, Ashley Nurse, Raymon Reifer, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.
West Indies Domestic: Joshua Bishop, Justin Greaves, Nyeem Young
Foreign Recruits: Azam Khan – WK, Mohammad Amir (Pakistan), Jake Lintott (England), Smit Patel – WK (USA/ former India), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka), Glenn Phillips – WK (New Zealand)
Coaching Staff: Trevor Penney
I am lookingforward to theforeign contingent. Jake Lintott had a successful Hundred season, Glenn Phillips & Azam Khan are power hitters, while Perera & Amir have reputation and experience on their side.
West Indies Internationals: Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Andre Fletcher, Alzarri Joseph, Obed McCoy, Keemo Paul, Kesrick Williams
West Indies Domestic: Kadeem Alleyne, Keron Cottoy, Mark Deyal, Javelle Glen, Jeavor Royal
Foreign Recruits: Faf du Plessis – C (South Africa), Tim David (Singapore), Samit Patel (England), Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz (Pakistan)
Coaching Staff: Andy Flower
I am looking forward to the West Indies internationals. Roston Chase, Cornwall, Kesrick Williams, Paul are not in the current T20I plan for the West Indies and Joseph, McCoy, and Paul are still on the fringes. This CPL season will show who gets in and who does not to the T20 World Cup squad. Also hope that Faf du Plessis has recovered from the concussion.
Saint Lucia Kings Expected XI:
Faf du Plessis, 2. Andre Fletcher, 3. Rahkeem Cornwall, 4. Roston Chase, 5. Tim David, 6. Samit Patel, 7. Keemo Paul, 8. Kesrick Williams, 9. Usman Qadir/Wahab Riaz, 10. Obed McCoy, 11. Alzarri Joseph
St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots
West Indies Internationals: Dwayne Bravo (C), Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Joshua Da Silva (WK), Rayad Emrit, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Sherfane Rutherford, Devon Thomas
West Indies Domestic: Colin Archibald, Dominic Drakes, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Mikyle Louis
Foreign Recruits: Asif Ali (Pakistan), Ravi Bopara (England), Fawad Ahmed (Australia), Paul van Meekeren
Coaching Staff: Simon Helmot
I am looking forward to Evin Lewis & Fabian Allen. They have been the two standout performers in the last three home T20I series. Can they continue their good form?
St. Kitts & Patriots Expected XI:
Devon Thomas, 2. Evin Lewis, 3. Chris Gayle, 4. Sherfane Rutherford, 5. Ravi Bopara, 6. Asif Ali, 7. Joshua Da Silva, 8. Dwayne Bravo, 9. Fabian Allen, 10. Fawad Ahmed, 11. Sheldon Cottrell
West Indies Internationals: Rovman Powell (C), Carlos Brathwaite, Andre Russell, Shamarh Brooks, Fidel Edwards, Jason Mohmammed, Veerasammy Permaul, Chadwick Walton (WK)
Foreign Recruits: Haider Ali (Pakistan), Ryan Persaud (USA), Migael Pretorius (South Africa), Qais Ahmad (Afghanistan)
Coaching Staff: Floyd Reifer
I am looking forward to the star-studded lower middle order—Powell, Brathwaite, and Russell. 255/5 in their opening game already shows the potential of this team.
Jamaica Tallawahs Expected XI:
Chadwick Walton (WK), 2. Kennar Lewis, 3. Haider Ali, 4. Shamarh Brooks, 5. Rovmann Powell, 6. Andre russell, 7. Carlos Brathwaite, 8. Chris Green, 9. Veerasammy Permaul, 10. Fidel Edwards, 11. Qais Ahmed
Key Match Ups To Watch Out For
Huge CPL season ahead for Andre Fletcher – The Spice Man came back to the West Indies T20I side on a back of a good BBL and Big Bash tournament. However, his form in the international arena dropped off. Johnson Charles & Brandon King are contenders for the reserve opener spot if Fletcher does not have a good show here.
Warriors show glimpse of West Indies’ future – Brandon King, Pooran, Hetmyer, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair may form the core of a future West Indies team without Gayle, Pollard, or Bravo.
Can Trinbago Knight Riders do it again? Last season TKR won 12 games on a trot to dominate CPL 2020. With a similar composition of their squad, can they make it 5 trophies?
Caribbean Premier League 2021 Predictions
Finally here are my predictions.
My prediction for the team to lift the CPL 2021 trophy is….Jamaica Tallawahs with the Top 4 of Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, and Trinbago Knight Riders.
Most Runs: Evin Lewis
Most Wickets: Obed McCoy
Emerging Player: Rohail Nazir
Surprise Package: Tim David/Jake Lintott
Broken Cricket Dream: Final CPL edition for Shoaib Malik?
Here were my Caribbean Premier League – CPL 2021 Predictions. What did you think? What are YOUR predictions? Comment Below!
Time for the West Indies T20 World Cup Squad, a team everyone has a time for. Last week, we analyzed 2016 World T20 finalists, England & their potential 44 players vying for the 23-men T20 World Cup squad. Today we look at their counterparts at the final who lifted the trophy.
In the last two decades, there was an impression that West Indies cricket was dying. Reminiscing at the 1908s generation was fans’ favorite pastime. Well, guess what?
I believe the 2000s T20 generation will be looked just as fondly as the 2-time 50 over winning generation or even more if they complete their hat-trick of T20 World Cup victories this time around (2012, 2016, 2021?)
West Indies T20 World Cup Squad – Player By Player Analysis
In order to pick the destructive West IndiesT20 World Cup Squad, we specifically pay attention to the Average + Strike Rate score for the batters along with the Economy Rate for the bowlers. A Lendl Simmons (high average, decent strike rate) is just as important as an Andre Russell (decent average, high strike rate) to this squad.
Incumbent: Currently in West Indies’ T20I XI
Reserve: May have played for West Indies in the last two years but does not make their first XI
Out of Squad: Might have represented West Indies earlier or about to breakthrough, but have not been in the West Indies squad in the last couple of T20I series.
🟩 Plays the first match in the T20 World Cup (17 October-14 November)
🟨 Boards the plane to UAE but might not get a look-into the XI
🟧 Wildcard Entry: Not in the current scheme of things but a good performance in the CPL (26 August-15 September) or IPL (19 September-15 October), and they might be back in the conversation.
🟥 Most likely not going to make it, but in COVID-19 World, anything is possible. They are next in the pecking order in case something out of the blue happens.
Over the past year, at the end of every series, we did a “World T20 World Cup Watch,” where a 23-men squad was chosen after latest performance. You can check them below.
The Spiceman Andre Fletcher received the well-deserved call-up to the Windies side on the back of his T20 league exploits. However, he has looked out of touch in the last three series (poor run – 9, 4, 6, 12, 0, 14*, 17*). The 17* with 2 sixes in the first over in the rain truncated game against Pakistan might have just saved his spot
Last Played T20I For West Indies:November 29, 2020
Will he play the IPL?No.
CPL Team: Guyana Amazon Warriors
King rose to a West Indies cap on the back of a brilliant run in the 2019 CPL (most runs scored – 496 runs), helping Guyana qualify for the final. However, he has yet to light international cricket on fire.
Last Played T20I For West Indies:September 26, 2016
Will he play the IPL?No.
CPL Team: Barbados Royals
Provided the starts for WI in the 2016 T20 World Cup, but has been out of the international arena since. 3rd highest run-scorer in CPL 2019 after Brandon King & Lendl Simmons, he is also third in the running for the reserve opener after King & Simmons.
4 decades, 2 World Cups, 42 international hundreds, 22 T20 tons, best of 117 175*, 215, 333 across formats, 14000 T20 runs. The Boss. Universe Boss. Doubt him at your own peril. In his own words, “Soon to 42. You guys should be happy to see Chris Gayle still on the field. Just respect the Universe Boss and let him have some fun.”
Since his coming of age in the 2019 Cricket World Cup, Pooran has underwhelmed Since IPL 2021, he has endured several run-outs, ducks of all kind, and has been unable to finish matches. Pollard & team management back their vice-captain, and he is just beginning to come back to form. Hope he is peaking at the right time. Should definitely make the XI on pedigree. You can read his inspirational story of pain & hope here.
Replicating Brian Lara’s technique, unfortunately Darren Bravo has not been able to replicate his international career, apart from a few important overseas centuries. Much improved T20 player, where does he bat with Gayle at #3? He batted at #8 in his last WI outing…
Seen around the world in the PSL, BBL, PSL, and IPL, he is a hot commodity in the T20 circuit. Gun fielder as well, does he make the 23-squad as an X-factor?
West Indies T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – Middle Order
Makes Team:Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran
Out of Team:Darren Bravo, Sherfane Rutherford
It was clearly evident with the #4 experiment involving Simmons, Holder, & Fletcher, West Indies are trying to find a Marlon Samuels-esque insurance policy, especially a right handed middle order (to separate Lewis, Gayle, Pooran, Hetmyer) who is a part-time spinner (for UAE conditions).
The weakest area for the West Indies, most of these players below are highly unlikely to make the World Cup squad.
Will he play the IPL?Yes., IPL Team: Kolkata Knight Riders
CPL Team: Trinbago Knight Riders
He is welcome to the West Indies team if he chooses to/when he regains confidence. His international career has been thwarted by suspect action, but his T20 career has revived due to batting abilities. Great against spin, poor against pace, he has been found out at the IPL. One final flourish? Surely he makes the 23?
Last Played T20I For West Indies:April 2, 2018 (ODI: July 23, 2021)
Will he play the IPL?No.
CPL Team: Jamaica Tallawahs
Mohammed’s career is quite interesting. Debuting in 2011, he has only played 35 ODIs and 9 T20Is. Yet his performances in Regional Super50 competition merited his comeback to the extent that he even captained the West Indies as late as December 2020 in the ODI series against Bangladesh. Senior player, off-spinner – looks like Samuels on paper, but not enough international performances.
Last Played T20I For West Indies:Yet to Play (Test: June 20, 2021)
Will he play the IPL?No.
CPL Team: Saint Lucia Kings
Senior play in Tests and until recently in Jason Holder’s ‘engine room,’ Chase’s form has dropped off since the COVID break. However, he has started to play T20s and will play in the CPL. In UAE conditions, a mature batter & off-spinner like him might be an interesting choice.
29 (14), 8*(8), 19* (13), 14* (9), 34* (12), 21* (6). Fabian Allen has been a revelation as a finisher in the last four series starting from the 3 consecutive sixes against Sri Lanka. Left arm off spinner, West Indies’ best fielder (sorry Hayden), and wonderful celebration, Allen makes it to the XI without a doubt.
West Indies T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – Spinning All-Rounders
Makes Team:Fabian Allen, Sunil Narine, 1 out of Jason Mohammed, Rakheem Cornwall, Roston Chase
Out of Team:2 out of Jason Mohammed, Rakheem Cornwall, Roston Chase
Finishers/Medium Pace All-Rounders
Teams are lucky to have one legend. Apart from Gayle, this section gives 3-4 more legends to the West Indies. Luxury of riches in the fast bowling all-rounder department.
Since his captaincy stint, Pollard has entered his best phase. Taking TKR to an undefeated run to victory in the CPL, he is now a lot more mature in reading the game situation, a characteristic most other WI batters lack. He can hit it out of the ground or soak in the pressure when needed. Brilliant fielder and has the partnership breaking golden arm as well.
Will he play the IPL?Yes.IPL Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad
CPL Team: Barbados Royals
From restarting Test cricket in England post COVID break with a magnificent chase to losing his Test captaincy, he has seen all the ups and downs in the last two years. A couple of knocksunder pressure in IPL 2020, and he found his way back to the T20I side. Blocking Hasaranga in the penultimate over to save Allen was one of his recent highlights although the #4 experiment has failed. Has also had a few good bowling spells. Should make the 23-men squad, but does he make your XI?
Will he play the IPL?Yes.IPL Team: Kolkata Knight Riders
CPL Team: Jamaica Tallawahs
The highest AVE+SR for any WI batter, he will be disappointed with his low average & 50+ scores in T20I. The most destructive finisher & one of the longest hitter of the ball, he makes it to the XI. Death bowling skills is a definite plus. Needs to learn to trust batting partners in the final over and take singles/doubles.
Will he play the IPL?Yes.IPL Team: Chennai Super Kings
CPL Team: St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots
133 T20 wickets more than the next in the list, Imran Tahir, Bravo has conquered all the leagues around the world. Retiring and coming back, it seems that he has finally played his final T20I game at home. Still going strong with a career-best 4/19 against South Africa along with a 47* (34) at #5 against Australia. One final stretch for the great man.
Apart from “Remember the Name” & “Dream is Diminished,” not much of note in between for Carlos. Still possesses the X-factor and is playing in leagues like the Hundred. Since there are plenty of allrounders, the real question is, “Do the selectors remember his name?”
Known for his massive six hitting ability, Powell has been on the West Indies radar for a while, even scoring an ODI 100. He is one of the players on the fringes and this CPL will be an outright audition for him.
Skiddy bowler and useful hitter down the order, he is one of West Indies’ brightest prospects. From the 2016 U-19 World Cup fame, he rose through the ranks, even receiving the 2019 T20 Player of the Year for the West Indies. Can the 23-year old make the squad or is it too soon?
Last Played T20I For West Indies:November 29, 2020
Will he play the IPL?No.
CPL Team: Barbados Royals
A left field choice. From the da Silva-Bonner-Mayers Bangladesh fame, Mayers’ career has only gone up. 210* on debut second innings chase, he has also forced his way to the second string ODI squad. A good show with the ball in the Test against South Africa, and now you have a good all-round package. Will probably not make this squad but good to have him as cover.
West Indies T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – Medium Pace All-Rounders/Finishers
Makes Team: Kieron Pollard, Jason Holder, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul
Out of Team: Carlos Brathwaite, Kyle Mayers
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McCoy has overtaken him in the pecking order, but still remains effective. Salute celebration, good fielding abilities, he should make it in the squad. Was on the receiving end of Tewatia’s special in IPL 2020 at UAE.
Remarkable comeback story. Debuting back in 2003, he left to England around 2012 after 165 Test wickets & 60 ODI wickets, employing his trade for Hampshire. Now back to the T20I side as a 39-year-old, he hasn’t been at his best. However, a slingy fast bowler is never a bad thing as long as he is fit.
Last Played T20I For West Indies:Have not Played Yet (ODI: July 25, 2021)
Will he play the IPL?No.
CPL Team: Jamaica Tallawahs
One of the breakthrough stars of the 2016 U-19 World Cup, he was soon fast tracked to the Test & ODI arena. Although he has yet to debut in T20Is, his 6/12 remains the best figures for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Has also shown maturity with the bat with 86 (Test) & 29* (ODI) recently. He has the potential, but might be a toss off between him and Oshane Thomas.
Ex-USA international (born in U.S. Virgin Islands) with Antiguan father & uncle, who both competed at the first class level. In-and-out recently, his Player of the Series performance against Australia should safely put him in the West Indies T20 World Cup squad.
West Indies T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – Spinners
Makes Team:Hayden Walsh Jr., Akeal Hosein, Kevin Sinclair
Out of Team:Khary Pierre
37-42. Ashley Nurse, Joshua de Silva, Chemar Holder, Jayden Seales, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel
West Indies T20 World Cup Squad
Here is the moment of truth. Based on our player-by-player analysis above, here is Broken Cricket Dreams’ Predicted XI and West Indies T20 World Cup squad.
West Indies now have a good mix of youth & experience. Along with the legends (Gayle, Pollard, Russell, Bravo), there is the next batch of players (Lewis, Pooran, Allen) and the 2016 U-19 World Cup generation (Hetmyer, Joseph, McCoy, Paul).
PSL finished its post-COVID leg of the tournament, and the IPL will soon have its post-COVID leg in the UAE ending just a few days before the T20 World Cup begins. The BCCI has even proposed a 10-team IPL or two IPLs in a year from next year.
Where does this stop? T10 & T20 leagues are popping left and right. Tournaments beginning, stopping, and resuming whenever they feel like. What is the result? Debatable rotation policies, career-threatening injuries, early retirements, and players choosing leagues over international cricket.
Champions League T20 (CLT20) was an intriguing experiment held between 2009-2014 that unearthed stars like Kieron Pollard. Modeled on European football, what could possibly go wrong when the best T20 teams in the world competed together?
Yet, even with such good intentions, the tournament failed—Cluttered international calendar, revenue shortfall, growing success of the IPL, and the initial failure of other leagues were prominent factors.
The strength of the IPL contract meant that if a player represented multiple teams that qualified, they would be obligated to play for their IPL team.
By 2013-14, it was evident that the Indian Premier League was miles ahead. In 2013 (MI vs RR) & 2014 (CSK vs KKR) editions, both finalists were IPL teams. In 2014, 3 out of the 4 semifinalists were IPL teams (KXIP). The domestic teams from Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka, and South Africa failed to get this far after a decent show between 2009-2012.
CLT20 catered towards the IPL, and that is why it failed.
Why is the Revival of the Champions League Needed?
Seven years later, it is time to rethink the T20 calendar. The Big Bash is now a decade old. CPL & BPL are 8 years strong. PSL is 5 years old, and even Sri Lanka, South Africa, and England have formed stable leagues.
Half a decade ago, there were just a few T20 specialists—Brendon McCullum, Brad Hodge, AB De Villiers, Yusuf Pathan, and the World Cup winning West Indies generation. Now we have T20 specialists everywhere like Babar Azam, Tom Banton, Finn Allen, Dawid Malan, Tim Seifert, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, James Vince, Alex Hales, Paul Stirling, David Wiese, Rovman Powell—talented players that do not make the XI or even squads of the IPL teams.
Last year, Trinbago Knight Riders were undefeated to their CPL title –12 consecutive wins. Imagine a TKR versus Mumbai Indians Champions League battle? Will be a cracker of the contest if it is a fair contest—Which team does Trinbago’s captain Pollard play for?
How Can The International and T20 Calendar Coexist?
Here are some possible solutions:
If the player is contracted by a national team, they should be obligated to represent their domestic T20 league in case of a conflict. Hence, Pollard would play for TKR instead of MI.
For a nationally contracted player, maximum of 3 leagues per year should be enforced. This would keep conflicts to a minimum.
Boards should accept responsibility and postpone the league till next year’s window in case the league is suspended.
This would lead to an interesting mix of international players in the leagues. Since NZ/Australia do not play much between June-October, players might choose IPL-the Hundred/CPL-BBL, while English players might choose PSL-IPL-The Hundred.
The Ideal Cricket Calendar
ICC has announced its tournament calendar for the next eight years. Each year, either a T20 WC, ODI WC, World Test Championship Final, or Champions Trophy will occur. A couple of months should be sidelined as the pinnacle of the international calendar.
Here is how the T20 calendar stands so far:
Bangladesh Premier League (BPL)
January – February
Pakistan Super League (PSL)
February – March
Indian Premier League (IPL)
March – May
Global T20 Canada (GT20)
June – July
T20 Vitality Blast
July – September
July – August
Caribbean Premier League (CPL)
August – September
Shpageeza Cricket League/ Afghanistan Premier League (APL)
September – October
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
November – December
Lanka Premier League (LPL)
November – December
Mzansi Super League (MSL)
November – December
December – January
Big Bash League (BBL)
December – February
If the Champions League needs to be revived, September-October is an ideal month subject to the dates of world tournaments that year.
The debate between T20 leagues and international cricket is over. The leagues are here to stay, so why not coexist in a peaceful manner? At the moment, everything is disorganized, so why not organize it for the greater good of cricket.
Champions League History (2009-2014)
# of Teams (# of Nations)
New South Wales (AUS)
Trinidad and Tobago (WI)
New South Wales, Victorian Bushrangers (AUS) Sussex Sharks, Somerset Sabres (ENG) Deccan Chargers, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils (IND) Otago Volts (NZ) Cape Cobras, Diamond Eagles (SA) Trinidad and Tobago (WI) Wayamba (SL)
Chennai Super Kings (IND)
Victorian Bushrangers, Southern Redbacks (AUS) Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore (IND) Central Districts Stags (NZ) Warriors, Highveld Lions (SA) Wayamba Elevens (SL) Guyana (WI)
Mumbai Indians (IND)
Royal Challengers Bangalore (IND)
Southern Redbacks, New South Wales Blues (AUS) Somerset (England) Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians (IND) Warriors, Cape Cobras (SA) Trinidad and Tobago (WI)
Bangladesh tours of New Zealand & Sri Lanka review.
It seemed that instead of a complete tour, Bangladesh played several small series over the last few months. The Tigers played 3-match ODI & T20I series in New Zealand, then a 2-match Test series in Sri Lanka, followed by 3 ODIs at home against the same opposition.
The last couple of months can be summed up with a disappointment for Bangladesh but some positive news at the end for the currently #1 ranked team in the ODI Super League. Good finds by the Kiwis and Lankans as well.
There were numerous moments in this Bangladesh tours of New Zealand & Sri Lanka. Here are the major takeaways.
Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, & Daryl Mitchellsolidified their places during this tour
After his Test ton against Pakistan, Mitchell scored 100* (92) in the 3rd ODI, pushing New Zealand to 318/6. Quickfire 34* (16) in the rain-curtailed 2nd T20I as well. It is a shame that he is not a regular due to the rich presence of Colin de Grandhomme & Mitchell Santner.
Devon Conway has now conquered Test cricket with a double century at Lord’s, but before that his debut ODI series against Bangladesh included a fifty and a maiden century—126 in the 3rd ODI. Highest scorer in both the ODI & T20I series and donned the gloves as well.
Glenn Phillips finished the first T20I with a blistering 24* (10) along with a 58* (23) in the 2nd T20I, rescuing NZ from 55-3 in 6.1 overs to 173/5 in 17.5 overs.
New Zealand are now unearthing fast bowlers & youngsters at an alarming rate. Tim Seifert, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Blundell & Devon Conway have all performed in the past season, and the Kiwis can now add Finn Allen & Will Young to that list after the T20I series.
Prior to the T20I series, Will Young had a total of 60 runs in 2 Tests & 2 ODIs. He announced himself with 53 (30) with four sixes in the first T20I to cement his place in the T20I squad for the near future.
Finn Allen’s blistering 71* (29) was an innings of a lifetime. 10 fours, 3 sixes, and an 85 run partnership with Martin Guptill in just 5.4 overs. The Kiwis ended with 141/4 in a ten-over game. Bangladesh?—76 all out.
The return of Martin Guptill & Tim Southee
In Williamson’s absence, Latham captained the ODI series while Tim Southee took the T20I reigns. Latham justified his selection with a match winning 110* (108) in a successful 272 run-chase.
With youngsters knocking on the doors, several questions on the seniors. Ross Taylor is already out of the T20I squad with the influx of talent, and Guptill & Southee were under the scanner.
After the successful Australia series, Guptill responded with scores of 38, 20, 26, 35, 21, & 44 in this series. Does not look ultra-impressive but strike rates of 200.00, 83.33, 92.85, 129.62, 116.66, & 231.57 were exactly the kind of starts New Zealand expect from Guptill. Needs to convert soon though.
Southee’s 3/15 in the 3rd T20I removed any hope for Bangladesh’s chase. Ended as the highest wicket-taker in the T20I series and now performing in the England Tests. 2nd wind for the 32 year old?
Anyway, these were just the major moments. Comeback for Adam Milne along with good outings for Jimmy Neesham, Todd Astle (4/13), Ish Sodhi (4/28), Matt Henry (4/27), Lockie Ferguson.
Batting, Youngsters, & Overseas Victories a Concern For Bangladesh
From March 20th to May 23rd, Bangladesh lost 6 consecutive matches in New Zealand & lost the Test series 0-1 in Sri Lanka. Over the two Tests, Bangladesh were on the field for 4-5 days, which contributed to mental fatigue. These overseas series really hurt Bangladesh’s confidence, and even though they finally won the home ODI series that followed, they did not play well according to captain Tamim Iqbal.
Apart from the 2nd ODI & 2nd T20I against NZ, Bangladesh’s score read 131/10 (41.5), 154/10 in 42.4 (after being 8/102), 6/59 (7.5), & 76/10 (9.3). In the Sri Lanka ODI series, Rahim-Mahmudlluah rescued Bangaldesh from 99/4 (22.6), 74/4 (15.4), and 84/4 in 23.2 (en route 189/10). Top order issues galore.
19,0, 21, 0, 4, 6,0, 0, 25 read Liton Das’ limited overs scores – 4 ducks. Test scores of 50, 8 & 17 not much better. I really hope Liton Das has a Rohit Sharma-esque 2013 resurrection given his immense talent. Six years since his debut, Das averages 20.83 (T20I), 28.78 (ODI), & 28.35 (Tests) in 117 innings. Only 3 centuries and 15 fifties. Cannot depend on Tamim Iqbal forever, especially with Mohammad Naim & Soumya Sarkar blowing hot and cold.
The M Factor & Absence of Shakib Al Hasan Felt Dearly
Although Shakib Al Hasan returned in the Sri Lanka ODI series, he was sorely missed in the New Zealand leg. In the spin bowling department, there were brief sparks, but not much else, from Nasum Ahmed & name twins—Mahedi Hasan & Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who bowled in tandem. Lacking in control & consistency.
At one point, Sri Lanka used to have the M Factor. In the Sri Lanka ODI series, Bangladesh unleashed the M Factor of their own—Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, & Mustafizur Rahman.
Opening the bowling, Mehidy’s miserly 4/30 & 3/28 were match-winning spells. Bodes well if 2023 World Cup in India has these slow pitches.
Although not back at his best yet, Mustafizur Rahman is slowly getting there (see Jarrod Kimber’s analysis here). His slow off-cutters are back and his 6-1-16-3 in the 2nd ODI was especially good (to go with 9-0-34-3 in first ODI).
Highest run-scorer at #4 since the 2015 World Cup, Mushfiqur Rahim has to be one of the most underrated players of this era. This series showed exactly why with his 84 (87) & 125 (127) sealing the deal for Bangladesh.
Captains Tamim Iqbal & Mominul Haque provide consistency. Looks like the split captaincy is working. Adding to Najmul Hossain Shanto’s 163, Mominul scored a defiant ton in Sri Lanka, while Tamim has a few 50s (92 & 90 in SL Tests) on these two tours. Only if the team starts winning now…
It looked like Bangladesh had turned a corner in the 2015 World Cup with a pace attack of Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, & Taskin Ahmed. Taskin’s decline was heartbreaking but he is back among the wickets with 8 wickets in the Test series. With decent find in 20-year old Shoriful Islam, a lineup of Mustafizur-Mehidy-Taskin-Saifuddin-Shoriful-Shakib might be exactly what the Tigers need.
Karunatarane (244, 118, 66) Thirimanne (58, 140), Dhananjaya de Silva (166, 41), Niroshan Dickwella (31, 77*) had dream batting days that took Sri Lanka to scores of 684/8d, 493/7d, 194/9d. They did not get bowled out even once.
Dusmantha Chameera has one of Sri Lanka’s bright stars amidst their downfall. He improved over the course of thh ODI series with figures of 1/39, 3/44, and a match-winning spell of 9-1-16-5. Winning hand by new-ODI captain Kusal Perera in the final ODI as well – 120 (122).
Here are my early squad predictions for the 23-member T20I World Cup Squad based on the NZ-Ban T20I series. Kane Williamson’s spot in danger?
Martin Guptill, 2. Tim Seifert (WK), 3. Kane Williamson*, 4. Devon Conway, 5. Glenn Phillips, 6. Colin de Grandhomme, 7. Mitchell Santner, 8. Tim Southee, 9. Trent Boult, 10. Lockie Ferguson, 11. Ish Sodhi
Squad: 12. Finn Allen, 13. Will Young, 14. Jimmy Neesham, 15. Daryl Mitchell, 16. Kyle Jamieson, 17. Todd Astle, 18. Hamish Bennett, 19. Blair Tickner, 20. Jacob Duffy, 21. Mark Chapman, 22. Ross Taylor, 23. Doug Bracewell/Scott Kuggeleijn
Tamim Iqbal, 2. Liton Das, 3. Soumya Sarkar, 4. Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Shakib Al Hasan, 6. Mahmudullah, 7. Afif Hossain, 8. Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9. Mohammad Saifuddin, 10. Mustafizur Rahman, 11. Taskin Ahmed
Squad: 12. Mohammad Naim, 13. Najmul Hossain Shanto, 14. Mosaddek Hossain, 15. Mahedi Hasan, 16. Nasum Ahmed, 17. Shoriful Islam, 18. Rubel Hossain, 19. Mohammad Mithun, 20. Al-Amin Hossain, 21. Hasan Mahmud, 22. Abu Haider, 23. Sabbir Rahman
Here are the awards for Bangladesh Tours of New Zealand & Sri Lanka.
Taskin Ahmed in Sri Lanka
Daryl Mitchell, Will Young
Broken Cricket Dream
Bangladesh cricket on a downfall?
BJ Watling to retire; Ross Taylor’s retirement on the way?
Flat Road Pitches in the first Test
Thisara Perera retires
Where Do They Go From Here?
Although Bangladesh had a tough two months, they are sitting at the top of the ODI Super League Table with 5 wins from 9 matches. New Zealand are on #5 (3/3) and Sri Lanka are struggling at #13 (1/6). Bangladesh have no upcoming series for a while.
New Zealand are currently in England for 2 Tests & World Test Championship final. Apart from the forthcoming T20 leagues, the Kiwis have no assignments till the T20 World Cup in October-November. After the World Cup, New Zealand has a short limited overs tour of Australia in January 2022.
Sri Lanka travel to England for 3 T20Is & 3 ODIs in June followed by a home series against India for 3 ODIs & 3 T20Is in July. Later in February Sri Lanka will follow NZ’s suit and travel to Australia for 5 T20Is.
Comment below for your favorite moments in Bangladesh tours of New Zealand & Sri Lanka! Subscribe for more below! Share with your friends as well! Here is our Facebook& Twitter pages.
Moments of The Day: Rayudu’s Hitting & Pollard’s Epic All-Round Show
Here are my moments of today:
Faf du Plessis-Moeen Ali’s consistency at the top drives CSK. After Ruturaj departed for 4, onus was on Faf-Moeen to repeat what they have done all-tournament, and they did not disappoint. Aggressive 108 partnership in 61 balls, with both amassing fifties set the tone for the carnage to follow.
Ambati Rayudu’s free-flowing nature gets CSK past 200. Rayudu’s career has perhaps been the greatest Broken Dream in recent Indian cricket. At an ODI overage of 47.05 with 3 centuries & 10 fifties, it is a shame he only played 55 ODIs and was dropped at the eve of the 2019 World Cup. 2004 India U-19 member, in-and-out of the international team, run-ins with the management, the Indian Cricket League stint—he has seen it all, but this innings was the most fluent I have ever seen him play. He had a really good IPL as an opener a couple of seasons back, and this 72* (27) in the middle order showed his versatility. 7 sixes, 4 fours, 102* (49) partnership where ‘finisher’ Jadeja ended with 22* (22). Brilliant.
Pollard can do no wrong. When Faf & Moeen were galloping along, Pollard was given the ball in the 11th over. He delivered right away with medium-pace dibbly-dobblies, taking back-to-back wickets of du Plessis & Suresh Raina. When Pollard came in to bat, Mumbai Indians still needed 138 in 62 balls. After getting an eye in, he was just 3 (5). In came Jadeja, Pollard smashed 3 sixes in 4 balls and never looked back.
Definitely one of the best IPL all-round shows of all-time.
Honorable Mention: Hardik Pandya’s cameo with back-to-back sixes brings MI closer; Sam Curran almost brings CSK back into the game with yorkers at the death; Quinton de Kock-Rohit Sharma set 71-run opening partnership for MI
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Du Plessis Drops Catch, What?
There are two ways at looking at this game: 1. Brilliant game between the two best sides of the IPL that added another classic to its memories; 2. Good game, but CSK’s faults gave Pollard and co enough opportunity to bounce back. Here are chances CSK gave away.
Sam Curran has just delivered a 2-run/wicket over in the 17th and Chennai are back in it. Shardul Thakur gives up a couple of boundaries but CSK hold the upper-hand with 34 needed in 14. Thakur bowls, Pollard swipes, Faf runs in and drops it. Straight through his fingers.2 runs taken. Pollard still alive. The game changing moment.
Shardul Thakur & Lungi Ngidi’s expensive figures gives MI the advantage. Thakur finished with 4-0-56-1 while Ngidi ended with 4-0-62-0, including the full-toss filled last over.
Why did the field not come in with 2 needed in 1 ball?Usually in a close game, some time is taken and field is brought it before the last ball, but completely opposite in this case. Would not have mattered given how Pollard was batting, but this was just too easy for him.
Suresh Raina’s IPL is going downhill after the 54 in the opening game. He has scored 69 runs at 17.25 in the other 5 matches he had a bat.
IPL 2021 Points Table, Orange Cap, & Purple Cap Leaders
No need to go elsewhere for the Points Table, Orange Cap, & Purple Cap. We will keep updating it in every article!
Shikhar Dhawan – 380 runs (PBKS, 8 matches)
Harshal Patel – 17 wickets (RCB, 7 matches)
Net Run Rate
1. Delhi Capitals
2. Chennai Super Kings
3. Royal Challengers Bangalore
4. Mumbai Indians
5. Rajasthan Royals
6. Punjab Kings
7. Kolkata Knight Riders
8. Sunrisers Hyderabad
IPL 2021 Points Table
Also, if you have not yet read our IPL Previews, here is a list of all of them! Check them out and share ahead:
Kemar Roach – 9 wickets (best innings 3/47, best match 6/121, 23.55 average, 73 overs bowled)
Suranga Lakmal – 11 wickets (best innings 5/47, best match 6/156, 1 5-fer, 21.45 average, 92 overs bowled)
West Indies Vs Sri Lanka 2021 Test Series Stats
1. A Tale of Three Captains: Holder, Pollard, Brathwaite
After West Indies’ remarkable victory against Bangladesh, stand-in Kraigg Brathwaite was made the permanent captain, replacing Jason Holder. Any claims of clash of egos, however, was much unfounded. Each of them contributed with the bat and Holder was even vocal on the field. Here is how they performed:
Pollard:38 (11) w/ 6 sixes in 1st T20I, 53* (42) in 3rd ODI
Brathwaite:In Bangladesh, he scored 76 & 20 and 47 & 6. Stable but no daddy hundreds. This time, he made amends with 126 (311) & 85 (196). His 813 minutes marathon effort broke the all-time West Indies record, surpassing the likes of Darren Bravo, Brian Lara, Desmond Haynes, & Gordon Greenidge.
Holder: He might not be the captain of the West Indies, but showed that he is still the #1 Test All-Rounder in the world. With 5/72 & 5th day match-saving contributions of 18* and 71* in the two Tests, his calm influence was evident. In the T20Is, scores of 29* and 14* might not look like much, but defending Hasaranga in the 18th over, so Fabian Allen could finish it off with 3 sixes was one of my moments of the series.
2. The Return of Hope to West Indies Cricket
110, 84, & 64—Hope is back. With 10 centuries, 19 50s, & 53.74 average, he is one of best ODI batsman in recent times along with Babar Azam & Virat Kohli. With John Campbell struggling for runs, expect a Test recall.
When Hope does not score a ton, Evin Lewis will. Returned with 65 & 103. When neither of them scored a hundred, Darren Bravo came back with a ton.
Their strike rates were in question, but healthy top order partnerships is the positive for the Windies.
3. Nkrumah Bonner-Kyle Mayers Partnership No Fluke
At the age of 32, Bonner has toiled hard enough in first class cricket. Bonner narrowly missed his ton in Bangladesh with 86 & 90 in Bangladesh, but his dream came true with a 113* in the first test.
A couple of 50s for Kyle Mayers & handy partnerships with Joshua de Silva shows that the Bangladesh tour was no fluke.
4. A Word on Rakheem Cornwall
Time to appreciate Rakheem Cornwall. Bowled his heart out in the spinning pitches of Bangladesh, and without his counter-attacking knocks of 61 & 73, West Indians might have lost 0-2 against Sri Lanka at home. Let Rakheem be Rakheem.
Suranga Lakmal could have easily slotted in one of the great Sri Lankan teams of the past. Unfortunately, after Herath’s retirement, he has to single handedly carry the Sri Lankan bowling on his shoulders. Highest wicket-taker across both sides and bowling 92 overs as a fast bowler in 2 tests—Commendable effort.
2. Hasaranga & Nissanka the Find For Sri Lanka
While Embuldeniya & Axar Patel bamboozled the English sides, the West Indies struggled against Hasaranga. If Sri Lanka are to progress further, watch out for the Embuldeniya-Hasaranga-Dhananjaya partnership.
Test century (103) on debut—Pathum Nissanka —take a bow! Followed it up with a 50 in the next innings. With Oshada Fernando also in good touch, finally good signs for Sri Lanka.
Talent ✔. Next goal — consistency.
3. Thirimanne Delivers A Decade Later
Thirimanne averages 25.87 now after a decade and 40 Tests to his name. Finally some consistency in the last four Tests with 2 centuries, 3 fifties (on this tour), a 43 & a 39.
Sri Lanka might have found a stable line up in Karunaratne, Thirimanne, Nissanka, Fernando, Mathews, and Dickwella. Speaking of Dickwella, so close yet so far. Scored his highest score of 92 (after 43 Tests). Brilliant character.
Great Test cricket in recent times, and the West Indies Vs Sri Lanka series lived up to the billing—first 0-0 draw in the last 5 years. Sri Lanka follow this with two Test matches against Bangladesh in April at home(to complete matches from the pandemic).
With neither side qualifying for the WTC final, the next major tournament is the T20I World Cup. Gayle, Hetmyer, Pooran, Pollard, Bravo & Russell have reached for the IPL, while Sri Lanka has zero players in the IPL (once Sangakkara-Jayawardene used to captain IPL teams). In June, Sri Lanka will travel to England for 3 T20Is & 3 ODIs to prepare for the World Cup.
Finally, in Jan-Feb of 2022, England tour West Indies for 5 T20Is & 3 Tests, returning their generous favor of restarting cricket last summer.
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