While the West Indies were expected to dominate their one-off Test against Afghanistan in Lucknow, India, they still had to do it and it was important to their skipper, Jason Holder, that the year ended with his side tasting some success.

The West Indies, playing in a one-off Test after T20 and ODI series against Afghanistan, were emphatic nine-wicket winners after bowling out the hosts for 187 and 120 while scoring 277 and 31-1.

The results were brought about by Rahkeem Cornwall’s 7-75 and 3-46, as well as Shamarh Brooks first-innings knock of 111.

“Really important win, you know. We had a tough series against India. Was important to finish the year well,” said Holder after his West Indies side finished the game inside three days.

Holder also pointed out that there was a certain type of unity within the West Indies squad that he believed would hold them in good stead for bigger challenges on the horizon.

“We've got a good group going. The whole management staff has been excellent. We've got good unity, we have a one-team motif. Once we love one another, the job becomes much easier on the cricket field. Hope it continues," he said.

Holder was also pleased with the way the new players in the side have come on and held their hands up to be counted when the going gets tough.

“Very pleasing to see new guys come in and take the opportunity. Shamarh did that. He scored a fifty in the last innings and followed it with a hundred here. It was full of class. And then Rahkeem getting seven in the first innings, in just his second Test, is amazing,” said Holder.

Rahkeem Cornwall’s 10-wicket haul in a nine-wicket win for the West Indies over Afghanistan in Lucknow, India, while a great start, is just one part of the game the all-rounder wants to get right for the regional side.

Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan believes his side can be a much better Test side given the opportunity.

Rashid was speaking after Friday’s demolition at the hands of the West Indies in Lucknow, India.

The West Indies, playing in a one-off Test after T20 and ODI series against Afghanistan, were emphatic nine-wicket winners after bowling out the hosts for 187 and 120 while scoring 277 and 31-1.

The results were brought about by Rahkeem Cornwall’s 7-75 and 3-46, as well as Shamarh Brooks first-innings knock of 111.

But according to Rashid, despite the one-sidedness of the affair, there isn’t a big gap between Afghanistan and the better Test-playing nations.

“I think, what I've seen, we've been struggling in the longer formats. Especially in batting. That's the only area we need to improve. Once we do that, we can trouble good sides,” he said.

The Afghanistan skipper believes that his team lacks experience, and with a little more of it, the teams at the top will have to watch out.

“Still early days in our Test careers, only our fourth game, against an experienced Windies. Hope to recover from our mistakes. We want more Tests,” said Rashid.

At the moment, the opportunity for Afghanistan to play more Test cricket and to get that valuable experience is a little beyond them, a situation, Rashid is not happy with.

“Just one Test per year isn't good enough.”

But the talent is there and Rashid is hopeful that the best for Afghanistan, is yet to come.

“Great talent for us in the future. We are not taking our batting innings long. People are getting out for thirties and forties. We need to work on that. Overall, quite disappointing. And we will try to bring the improvements,” said Rashid.

Afghanistan will now turn its attention away from Test cricket for the moment to the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup early next year.

Shamarh Brooks struck a magnificent maiden Test century before Rahkeem Cornwall claimed a 10-wicket match haul on day two to leave West Indies closing in on victory against Afghanistan.

Brooks showed great skill and application in only his third Test to make 111 after John Campbell fell for 55 as the Windies posted 277 in Lucknow.

Debutant Amir Hamza took 5-74 on a turning pitch to restrict the Windies' lead to 90 runs, but Afghanistan were reduced to 109-7 at stumps - leading by only 19 and facing a heavy defeat.

Cornwall claimed brilliant Test-best figures of 7-75 in only his second international on day one and helped himself to 3-41 on Thursday.

Roston Chase (3-10) also took advantage of spin-friendly conditions at Ekana International Cricket Stadium, striking a big blow by removing Javed Ahmadi for 62 with the final ball of the day.

Campbell and Brooks got Jason Holder's side off to a solid start after resuming on 68-2, but the opener departed when Ihsanullah took a fine catch anticipating the sweep off Hamza to end a stand of 82.

Shimron Hetmyer and Chase also fell before lunch, but Brooks played positively in the morning session, before reigning it in somewhat following the break.

Shane Dowrich (42) offered support to take the Windies into the lead and Brooks attacked Rashid Khan (3-114) after the wicketkeeper-batsman was removed by Zahir Khan.

Elegant Barbados batsman Brooks had struck a six and 15 fours by the time he was bowled by impressive left-armer Hamza.

Just as in their first innings, Afghanistan got off to an encouraging start, but they were 59-4 after losing four wickets for six runs - burly spinner Cornwall taking two in one over.

Ahmadi stood firm as wickets tumbled around him, but Chase produced a devastating late burst and had the opener caught by Cornwall just before the close to leave Afghanistan on the ropes.

Rahkeem Cornwall has downplayed the idea that there was a magical formula for his performance on the first day of a one-off Test match against Afghanistan in Lucknow, India.

The Leeward Islands Hurricanes began the 2019 Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 season on a high, beating the defending champions Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) Marooners by 198 runs on Wednesday at Warner Park in St Lucia.

The result was brought about by the batting of Devon Thomas and the bowling of Rahkeem Cornwall.

Sent into bat, Thomas began plotting the Marooner’s demise with a well-paced 105 from just 93 deliveries, helping the Hurricanes to 292-7 from 50 overs.

Thomas smacked 10 fours and one six on his way to the total, sharing in 50-run partnerships with

Other batsmen, Kieran Powell (30), Amir Jangoo (39), and Akeem Saunders (24), got starts as well, but there were no other significant contributions against the bowling of Larry Joseph, 2-26, and Jalarnie Seales, 2-71. There was also a wicket apiece for Kavesh Kantasingh (1-51) and Ojay Shields (1-47).

In reply,the Marooners, without Carlos Brathwaite, the man who led them to the title last year, were a shadow of themselves, as Cornwall with 4-20 from 5.3 overs and Sheno Berridge, with 3-20, decimated them on the way to 94 all out in 31.3 overs.

Jason Campbell, 1-27, and Jeremiah Louis, 1-8, also got among the wickets against the defending champions for whom only Seales, 39, Odain McCatty, 15, and Akeem Jordan, 11, made it into double figures.   

Windies all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall hopes to make full use of the upcoming series against Afghanistan to deliver his best as he looks to cement a place in the regional squad.

The 26-year-old Antiguan made his debut for the regional team in August against India, where he claimed three wickets and made 15 runs.  Having been selected as a part of the 16-man ODI squad for the upcoming series against Afghanistan, the player is hoping for a much bigger impact this time around.

“After coming off the CPL, I am just trying to get in some work with the Antigua national team and do my fitness work outside of that and see how much I can prepare leading up to the India series. I think I already have a taste of what Test cricket is about so I just have to go and start to perform. I can’t wait any longer to start to deliver the goods at that level so I have to put myself in a position to perform and not really setting any goals, but performance is the key,” Cornwall told the Antigua Observer.

The all-rounder is coming off a productive season for Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team St Lucia Zouks.  His 254 runs in 10 matches was the highest runs scored for the team.  The player, however, believes things could have better.

 “I wouldn’t say I am happy. I think I had a few good starts and gave it away and I think I could have carried on, and had I carried on then, maybe, I would have been in the [West Indies] T20 squad, but it wasn’t one of the best CPL squads I’ve had,” Cornwall said.

“I think the role that I was given I did it well and it’s just up to me to carry on and make bigger things but it didn’t happen so next time around I have to make sure I do those things and see how far that performance can take me.”

 

 

Jamaica Tallawahs coach Donovan Miller says the Jamaica Tallawahs must turn things around quickly if they are to avoid losing their fourth straight match when they play the in-form Trinbago Knight Riders at Sabina Park tonight (September 13).

St Lucia Zouks secured an impressive first victory of their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign on a night marred by a nasty-looking injury for Jamaica Tallawahs’ star all-rounder Andre Russell.

St Lucia Zouks skipper Darren Sammy is hoping that his new-look charges will get it right quickly despite a dismal start to their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League campaign featuring a 13-run loss to the Guyana Amazon Warriors on Thursday.

Sammy oversaw a game his team should have won. After restricting the Amazon warriors to 159-9, at 82-4, were well ahead of the run rate but gave the game away through injudicious shot making to end at 142-9.

“I think we gave them too many runs in the back end but the way [Rahkeem] Cornwall batted, we were well ahead but we didn’t play smart cricket,” said Sammy. “We kept losing wickets at different times and that cost us the game.”

Despite the all-too familiar sight of a Zouks team losing when they should have won, Sammy sees a lot of positives and believes, the side, which recently changed ownership after the CPL fell out with the previous owners just prior to the start of the competition, can come good.

“I think the first 16 overs of the match, the way the bowlers bowled was commendable. Young Obed [McCoy] taking wickets. With the bat, the way Cornwall went out and played his role was also good,” he said.

With those positives in mind, Sammy believes the team can give a better account of themselves when they next play.

“Look it is the first game of the tournament. Over the weekend we got Trinidad, so hopefully we can go out there and put in a better performance,” said a hopeful Sammy.

According to the former West Indies captain, winner of two T20 World Cups, the loss won’t mean changes to the Zouks line-up because he is happy with what he sees.

“Before the tournament started I was quite happy with the guys in the dressing room. It’s about gelling quickly. Today we lost the game. We had it and we let it slip away. So when the pressure situations come again, we just have to handle it better,” he said.

The team he sees before him, is more than capable of making those changes

“I have full confidence in the guys in the dressing room and I’m looking forward to Sunday’s game.”  

Windies skipper Jason Holder was adamant he had no issues with the team’s selection, despite a 318-run mauling at the hands of India in the first Test.

Ahead of the series, the omission of spinner Rahkeem Cornwall had furrowed the brows of several fans and pundits alike, following a string of impressive performances at the regional and A-team level.  Some took exception to the inclusion of pace bowler Miguel Cummings, at the expense of the all-rounder Cornwall who they believed could have troubled the Indian line-up.

Holder, however, insisted that there was no issue with the decision to include four fast bowlers in the team’s line-up, which had proven fruitful in a recent series.

 "No, I think team selection was good. We had won the first series early in this year with four fast bowlers and it worked for us,”

“It was difficult for me to change the winning bowling combination. It is a matter of time, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't."

West Indies will now face India in the second Test of the series at Sabina Park in Kingston from August 30.

Regional all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall is confident of making an impact for the West Indies in the Test format, having performed consistently at the four-day format for several seasons.

The selection of the 26-year-old Cornwall raised a few brows earlier this month, as many doubt the athlete’s physical conditioning for the longest format. 

Regionally, however, there is very little doubting Cornwall’s record.  The all-rounder was the leading wicket-taker, with 54, in last season’s regional first-class tournament and followed that up with a haul of 23 wickets in List A and first-class games against England Lions earlier in 2018.  In the recent series against the touring India A, Cornwall took an impressive nine wickets in six matches.

"I believe the Test format suits my game because of the consistency a player needs over a long period of time to be successful, and I've enjoyed that challenge so far in my career playing first-class cricket," Cornwall told the Cricket West Indies website.

"The feeling [on getting called up] is great - it's something I've been pushing to achieve for a long time,” he added.

"I've been putting in a lot of work over the last couple of months. I've always pushed myself. I feel I can go on and I think the on-field results I've achieved have shown the progress I'm making."

If selected, Cornwall could make his debut against India when the series bowls off at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Thursday.

West Indies A all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall is harbouring hopes of breaking into the regional side in the near future after being selected for an A team to face India A next month. 

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