by Renwick Rose
Last weekend turned out to be a good one for the much-maligned West Indies cricket. Pride of place went to the Men’s Test team which compensated for its hard-to-watch image with a comprehensive 10-wicket win over a mediocre England team. It gave Kraigg Brathwaithe’s men a 1-0 series win in the three Test series and useful points in the ICC’s championship points table.
Unlike in the first two tests, dominated by largely boring batting, it was the bowling, not just of an impressive pace quartet but of medium-pacer, Kyle Mayers who crowned a fine all-round performance with a five-wicket haul which wrecked England’s second innings. A deserved victory which merits congratulations from long-suffering fans.
Attention will now shift to the female counterparts, the West Indies women’s team, currently contesting the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand. Having made a bright start with upset wins over champion team England and host country, New Zealand the West Indies slumped to three defeats, including a near-fatal one to Pakistan, that team’s only victory in its entire Women’s World Cup career.
Having just scrambled to defeat Bangladesh, a rain washout against South Africa left the Windies women’s hopes hanging on a slender thread. But the cricketing gods did not forget our women on the weekend for India went under to South Africa, giving the West Indies the last remaining quarter-final place. That heavenly blessing will have to be invoked today,Tuesday when the West Indies come up against all-conquering Australia in the first semi-final.
Finally, the Indian Premier League (IPL), the world’s leading T/20 league, commenced on Saturday with 17 Caribbean cricketers, the largest foreign contingent, expected to be on show. The opening matches were marked by good performances by two of them at different stages of their career.
In the opening match on Saturday, veteran Dwayne Bravo, emphasized his guile and bowling skill, but his 3 for 20 could not stop The Kolkata Knight Riders, with Narine and Russell aboard, from defeating Bravo’s Chennai Super kings, the 2021 champions. On Sunday, after disappointing batting failures by West Indies skipper, Kieron Pollard and hard-hitting Rovman Powell, one of the most exciting newcomers, Odean Smith, retrieved himself after an expensive bowling stint. He blasted an explosive eight-ball 25 to power his Punjab Super Kings to an upset win over Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Vincentians will be hoping that son of the soil, Obed McCoy will make his debut today for the Rajasthan Royals against Nicholas Pooran’s Sun Risers Hyderabad.