Coupled by an all-round remarkable bowling display and a masterful 95 from Jermaine Blackwood, West Indies romped to a sensational four-wicket victory over England in the first of their three Tests series. Despite being at one stage 27 for 3 in their chase of 200 runs for victory and with Campbell retiring hurt following a fiery outburst from Archer, West Indies held their nerve with some resolute batting and partnership to achieve their target winning by four wickets. Blackwood shared two important partnerships, 63 with Roston Chase and 68 with wicket keeper Shane Dowrich.
The fluctuating contest was a wonderful start to international cricket that has been threatened by the Coronavirus, however, the only thing missing on a glorious Sunday afternoon was a crowd. Nevertheless, one cannot take away from the victory as West Indies depicted and impressed with attitude, application and determination, as they quickly adapted to the conditions. Blackwood’s resolute 95 was a stark remembrance of his astute batting when West Indies won their first Test against England in 2017. More of a dasher, he was able to curb his exuberance with caution and maturity as he held the innings together. It was rather unfortunate that he didn’t soldier on the record a century. However, it was more than fitting that Holder, the personification of West Indies’ recent revival, was at the crease when victory was sealed, taking the spoils over his opposite number and fellow all rounder Ben Stokes. It was a great Test match and a great week in the circumstances. The better team won without any question. According to Carlos Brathwaite, it was a polished, professional Test unit rather than a bunch of guys put together to play Test cricket for West Indies. To him Blackwood batted eloquently, classy, calmly, and carefree adjectives you don’t normally subscribe to him. In his first Test following surgery in September of 2019, Shannon Gabriel finished with match figures of 9 for 137.
Two SKN and Two TT Players Not Allowed to Travel for CPL Due to Positive COVID-19 Test
The squads for the 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament have been confirmed, with all players and coaching staff now in TT. Five of the six teams had to make changes owing to COVID-19 and travel restrictions. The foreign CPL players are now in a 14-day quarantine which will end just days before the tournament begins on August 18. A CPL release said, “There were three players and one coach who have not been able to travel as a result of the stringent protocols to ensure the safety of the CPL cohort and the population of TT. Every person was tested 72 hours before they travelled in order to ensure that all members of the party were travelling virus-free.” St Kitts and Nevis player Dennis Bulli and the team’s Australian coach Simon Helmot tested positive and were not allowed to travel to TT. Jamaica Tallawahs pair Andre McCarthy and Jeavor Royal were exposed to Bulli and will not play in the tournament. They were replaced by Jermaine Blackwood and Ramaal Lewis. West Indies bowling legend Courtney Walsh will join the Patriots’ coaching staff for Helmot. Michael Hall, CPL tournament operations director, said: “These withdrawals are a sign of the testing protocols that CPL put in place working as they should, and while it is disappointing for the players and coaches involved it is vital that CPL does nothing to compromise the safety of all those involved in the tournament and the public of Trinidad. “There have been other changes to the squads and support staff as a result of other logistical challenges to the difficulty of travelling at the current time.” The Trinbago Knight Riders are the only team that did not have to make changes.
No Wickets for Cornwall. “I don’t Feel Too Bad” he says
Many have questioned the inclusion of Rahkeem Cornwall in the final Test of the #raisethebat Series in Manchester, England after the West Indies were thoroughly beaten by a strong England showing with bat and ball. Cornwall, who went wicketless throughout the game, still feels his inclusion had value. According to the off-spinner, on another occasion, going wicketless does not mean he bowled badly. “I don’t feel too bad about my performance and maybe on a different day wickets would have come my way, but I didn’t get any wickets. I think I bowled pretty well. Opportunities came about but it was just not my day to get wickets,” said Cornwall. Cornwall has not been deterred by his performance in the least and believes there is only better for him to get. “Going forward I just think that I have to work on my game and make sure I can perform under every condition that I might be going to but I wouldn’t say it was a bad tour, I just have to move on and learn from it,” he said
SLFA National Youth League Begins This Weekend
The SLFA National Youth League will get on the way on August 15th 2020. The tournament will feature players in the under 11, under 13 and under 17 divisions. As such, the competition will be played at the following venues:
- The Phillip Marcellin Grounds in Vieux Fort
- The Anse La Raye Playing Field
- The SLFA Technical Center in Dennery North
- The Gros Islet Playing Field
The tournament will get on the way from 10am – 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. All COVID-19 protocols will be strictly implemented. The SLFA National Youth League is expected to be completed by December 31st 2020.
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