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HEART-BREAKING LOSS FOR WEST INDIES IN TRI-SERIES FINAL

DUBLIN, Ireland – Flamboyant half-centuries from Shai Hope and Sunil Ambris failed to ignite West Indies and Bangladesh secured the Tri-Nations Series title with a five-wicket victory under the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern Method in the rain-marred final today.

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Nurse: “Our focus is on the Final. To win is the most important thing”

West Indies off-spinner Ashley Nurse said Monday’s defeat to Bangladesh had not dented the team’s confidence, and they were now fully focussed on winning Friday’s final of the Tri-Nations ODI Series. West Indies lost down by five wickets at The Village Ground in Malahide. They had already qualified for the final with two comprehensive wins over Ireland. Nurse has been the leading bowler in the tournament with seven wickets (average 26.7).

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WEST INDIES DEFEATED IN SECOND FACE OFF AGAINST BANGLADESH IN IRELAND TRI-SERIES

DUBLIN, Ireland – Shai Hope sustained his impressive form and his captain Jason Holder found the right touch for West Indies in the Tri-Nations Series today.

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Ambris 148 trumps Balbirnie 135 in record West Indies chase

West Indies 331 for 5 (Ambris 148, Chase 46, Carter 43*, Rankin 3-65) beat Ireland 327 for 5 (Balbirnie 135, Stirling 77, Kevin O’Brien 63, Gabriel 2-47) by five wickets

Two men who are both not going to be in the World Cup in England, stole the show in neighbouring Ireland with power-packed centuries, but in the end Sunil Ambris had greater firepower around his 148 off 126, than Andy Balbirnie’s 135 off 124.

Ambris is not part of West Indies’ World Cup squad, and while Balbirnie is going to be in Ireland’s squad whenever they play – they aren’t going to play in the World Cup.

Ambris’s maiden ODI century meant West Indies hunted down Ireland’s imposing 327 for 5, completing their highest successful chase in the process. Ambris was pushed up to open only because John Campbell had a sore back after hitting 179 in the tournament opener, as part of a world-record opening partnership. He grabbed his chance though, and was confident right from the start, feasting on some ordinary bowling by Ireland to ensure West Indies’ chase never flagged.

His innings pushed Balbirnie’s in the shade, but the Ireland No.3 was no less impressive, showing great shot selection and timing during his stay. However, West Indies’ firepower in batting meant they had enough in the tank to chase the target down on a flat pitch, even if the outfield was rendered sluggish due to rain on the previous day.

Ambris batted till the 40th over, and all through, he kept West Indies abreast of the required run rate. When he was eventually out, Jonathan Carter and Jason Holder smashed the bowling around at close to ten runs per over to bring up victory in just 47.5 overs.

Ambris and Shai Hope had gotten West Indies’ reply off to the perfect start, and they were aided by Ireland’s bowlers’ indiscipline. A boundary ball was never far away, even when a couple of good ones came together, and every time the bowlers started to build any sort of pressure, a release ball arrived. Ambris capitalised fully, and his aggression allowed Hope to tick along without playing extravagant shots. When Hope fell, Darren Bravo walked in and that was the only time Ireland gained any measure of control. Bravo was unable to get the ball away, but despite that, Ambris kept the run-rate healthy. He then shared a crucial 128-run stand with Roston Chase off 116 balls that dragged West Indies back on track, before Carter and Holder finished things off.

Earlier, Balbirnie’s stand with half-centurions Paul Stirling (77 off 98) and Kevin O’Brien (63 off 40) first set a platform for Ireland, then launched them to a massive total.

Balbirnie was in the middle in the fifth over, and stayed till the 44th. He settled into the groove seamlessly, and no West Indian bowler could tie him down. When they bowled with discipline he placed and nudged the ball. When they erred, he took full toll. He put on a brisk 146 with Stirling for the second wicket, with the opener mixing caution with bursts of explosion in contrast to Balbirnie’s more even-tempered knock.

When Stirling fell, followed soon by William Porterfield – batting at No.4 for the first time for Ireland across formats – soon after, O’Brien joined Balbirnie, and the two put on 84 off just 63 balls. O’Brien was aggressive from the outset, and went ballistic against Jason Holder in the 48th over, carting the West Indies captain for three consecutive sixes before holing out off a bouncer.

That late boost was the perfect finish after Balbirnie had provided the spine of the innings, but on a batting beauty, it proved to be a little short as West Indies moved to the top of the tri-series points table.

 

Source: ESPNCricinfo – The Report by Saurabh Somani

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SIR GARRY SOBERS LEADS TRIBUTES TO SEYMOUR NURSE

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Legendary Sir Garfield Sobers hailed late, former Barbados and West Indies teammate Seymour Nurse as a special talent who made “a great contribution to Barbados and West Indies cricket”.

Nurse, who played 29 Tests for West Indies between 1960 and 1969, passed away at the age of 85 on Monday in hospital here, after a long battle with illness.

“He was always the kind of person that you wanted in your team because he could play so well – he was such a great player and you could rely on him,” said Sir Garfield in an interview with the Nation newspaper here.

Sir Garfield, who featured in four century partnerships with Nurse in Tests, described his former teammate as a fine all-round sportsman.

“It is very sad to hear of the passing of Seymour, who has given so much not only in cricket, but in football as well,” said Sir Garry, who also captained Nurse for Barbados and West Indies. “I never saw him play football, but the reports about him on the football field have been glowing. He was a tremendous goal-scorer, so he was a good sportsman.”

Robin Bynoe, another former Barbados and West Indies teammate, said Nurse was easily one of the better players with whom he played.

“He was also very likeable and approachable,” he said. “Seymour was a good man and will be missed. Seymour made his mark.”

Desmond Haynes, the former Barbados and West Indies opening batsman, who brokes the news via a Facebook post said:

“My coach, my mentor, we all from the Holders Hill area. Love this man. We used to walk like Seymour, try to bat like him and try to talk like him. Thanks for everything you have done for me. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

President of the Barbados Cricket Association, Conde Riley also paid tribute to Nurse, who is survived by his twin daughters.

“The BCA mourns with the family, friends and colleagues of the legendary Seymour Nurse,” he said. “Though we mourn, we are thankful that Barbados and West Indies cricket is richer because of his selfless contribution. I was fortunate to visit with Seymour two weeks ago in the company of (West Indies legends) Sir Wes Hall, Sir Charlie Griffith and Desmond Haynes, along with BCA vice president Calvin Hope, but news of his passing still came as a surprise.”

Kathy Harper-Hall, a former assistant director of the National Sports Council, for whom Nurse worked for many years coaching the game across Barbados, also mourned his passing.

“I just lost the best workmate I ever had,” she said. “We made a formidable team to run the technical programme at the NSC. His gentle manner and exceptional level of respectfulness made it so easy to work with him.”

Source: WindiesCricket

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HOLDER LOOKS FORWARD TO 3RD MATCH IN IRELAND TRI SERIES

On the eve of the West Indies third game in Ireland, captain Jason Holder heaped praise on wicket-keeper batsman Shai Hope, saying that the 25-year-old opener has the potential to be among the region’s best One-Day International players ever.

Holder said vice captain Hope has been “special” in both his centuries – against Ireland and Bangladesh and says he hold the key as the Windies will go in search of an improved performance when they face the Irish again on Saturday, hoping to secure a berth in the final.

Hope has been in imperious form in the ongoing tri-series in Ireland, where he has reeled off back-to-back centuries. In the series opener against the hosts Ireland, Hope struck a career-best 170 and partnered John Campbell for a 365-run opening stand – the highest for the first wicket in ODI history. West Indies racked up 381-3 and won by 196 runs.

In the next game, against Bangladesh, Hope’s 109 was integral in lifting West Indies to 261-9, as the rest of the line-up wobbled slightly. During the course of that innings, Hope also crossed 2,000 ODI runs, becoming the fastest West Indian to the mark. Hope got there in 47 innings, beating the great Viv Richards by one innings.

“Shai has been our most consistent player over the last two years,” Holder said. “He’s the quickest West Indian to 2,000 runs, which is a really phenomenal feat. I saw the list of guys on the TV and it’s really good to have him in that company, and if he continues in that vein, he could be arguably one of our best ODI players to ever play.

“Performances like that is something we’re definitely looking for. John [Campbell] got a hundred in the first game, [but] unfortunately, wasn’t fit enough to play the second. But hopefully, we can get him back on the park and firing on all cylinders once more.”

Holder said it was now crucial West Indies upped their game and rectified the mistakes they had made during that loss.

“I thought we batted really well in the first game and in the second game it was probably a little bit tougher in terms of the pace of the wicket and trying to get runs flowing,” Holder said ahead of the contest at The Village in Malahide.

“I think we’ve had a few discussions over the last couple days just how we can improve if we find ourselves back in that situation. It’s just a matter for us to try to get 300-plus runs on the board each time we go out there and we bat.

“I think we were just a little bit off the boil in the last game and in this game, we are just looking to do a few more things better and get up to that 300-run mark that we’re looking for.”

West Indies dominated their first meeting with Ireland entirely. Their 381 for three was their second highest in ODIs and the margin of victory was the their fourth largest in ODIs and largest in five years.

Their bowling was also incisive, especially up front when they reduced the hosts to 21 for three in the fifth over. Following middle order resistance, they took the last seven Irish wickets for just 33 runs.

They will be keeping anxious watch on the weather, however, especially after heavy rain forced the abandonment of Thursday’s match between Ireland and Bangladesh at the venue.

“It should be a really good game again, hopefully the weather stays away,” Holder said.

“We had a really good game against Ireland in the first round and basically it’s getting deeper into the competition now and we want to win this game and then secure a spot into the finals.

“We obviously just need to bat well and bowl well and hopefully we can get the result we’re looking for.”

The series forms part of the preparations for West Indies ahead of the May 30 to July 14 ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales, where they open their campaign against Pakistan on May 31.

And Holder said one of the aims of the ongoing series would be for players to improve themselves head of the showpiece.

“I’m happy with how things are going so far. I think the guys have been working really hard. They’ve been very, very disciplined,” the world-rated all-rounder pointed out.

“We were probably not at our best in the last game but we had tons of discussions over the last few days on how we can get better and how we can improve, which is what you want in a young group like this one.

“So I’m very, very positive that we can bounce back against Ireland and when we play Bangladesh the second time around, we will put up a much better performance.”

 

Source: WindiesCricket.com

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HOPE’S HUNDRED FAILS TO STOP BANGLADESH

DUBLIN, Ireland – Shai Hope continued his rich vein of form to lead the West Indies batting with his second straight hundred in the Tri-Nations One-day International Series against Bangladesh on Tuesday.

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Former West Indies batsman Seymour Nurse dies aged 85

Former West Indies batsman Seymour Nurse died on Monday after a long illness. Nurse, 85, played 29 Tests between 1960 and 1969.

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Shai Hope and Chris Gayle named as Vice Captains

DUBLIN, Ireland – Shai Hope and Chris Gayle have been named as the vice captains of West Indies team for the Ireland Tri-Nation Series and ICC Cricket World Cup, respectively.

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CAMPBELL, HOPE SMASH WORLD RECORD, AS WI CRUSH IRELAND

DUBLIN, Ireland – John Campbell and Shai Hope covered themselves in fame, when they shared 365 and shattered the World record for the biggest opening stand in the history of One-day Internationals to set the foundation for a 196-run victory for West Indies over Ireland in the Tri-Nation Series today.

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