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I have to ‘reprogram my thinking’ as a batsman – Carlos Brathwaite

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West Indies have won only two of their last 11 completed ODIs. It’s an alarming stat on paper, but the team, according to Carlos Brathwaite, isn’t doing as badly as those results might suggest.

“I don’t think we are that far away,” Brathwaite said after West Indies’ training session on Tuesday. “We just continue to miss key points in the game. If we look back at the World Cup it is the same thing. If we look at the game the other day we weren’t cruising, but we were in a good position, and then we lost three or four quick wickets.

“We are just missing a few key moments that could have turned one or two loses into wins and make us look a little better, give us a little momentum, and start to try to win series more consistently.”

Chasing 270 in 46 overs in Sunday’s second ODI, West Indies lost a potentially winnable game when they slipped from 179 for 4 to 182 for 8. Brathwaite felt it wasn’t a lack of belief or skills that was causing West Indies to let such key moments slip, but a failure to execute those skills.

“I don’t think it is belief per se,” he said. “I think if you ask the guys in the dressing room if they believe they can win – I think they do believe they can win. The execution of that belief is lacking in key moments like I said. So, I don’t think it’s a lack of belief or a lack of passion and in most cases it’s not even a lack of skill, but just executing what we want to execute the key moments of the game, which was the case in majority of the World Cup and this series so far.”

As to what the players need to do in order to become more consistent, and not repeat mistakes, Brathwaite said they would not find time in the middle of international series to work on their games, and would need to put in that work at the levels below, with their respective domestic teams.

“It’s practice. It’s conversation,” Brathwaite said. “If I am being brutally honest, there is not much we can change on the international tour. That is the challenge for the [domestic] franchise to be able to do enough work, get enough information from the guys at the top. and start implementing stuff. On the tour we try to get the mind right, we try to, as a group, have conversations and honest conversations – not just patting them on the back but having honest conversations, sometimes even being harsh and try to become better players eventually.”

Speaking about his own game, he said he’s been focusing on his fitness, and his mindset as a batsman.

“We are having a lot of honest conversations with the coaches and the staff and I think one thing that’s kept me back is my fitness. I am working very, very hard in the past 12 to 14 months on my fitness – I believe I can get a bit stronger as well.

“I think batting-wise I have to reprogram my thinking in thinking about hitting and swiping and batting properly. I think there has been a conscious effort for me to try to help the team as a batsman and a bowler and try to give myself the best chance for the team and try to help West Indies win cricket games.”

Going back to his 82-ball 101 against New Zealand at the World Cup, Brathwaite said he had walked in with time to build his innings – a rarity for a lower-order batsman like him – and that his challenge would be to perform consistently even without that luxury.

“I had a lot of time to bat. I had a clear thought process,” he said. “I was working very hard off the pitch, as I am now, with the bat, in trying to do the right things and the simple things as long as possible. I had enough time so I could play myself in getting so at the back end when I normally come in to bat to start my innings I already had [faced] 40-50 balls.

“The challenge for me is that that situation won’t always present itself. Obviously, being at home, we have changed the combination a bit. There I played at seven [six], here at eight, nine or maybe seven – the thing I take away from that innings is the way I structured and built the innings which allowed me to kick off at the back end.”

With a full training session under their belt, Brathwaite said West Indies were in good spirits for the third ODI, and were confident of squaring the series.

“We drew the last series against England at home as well,” he said. “And then going into the last game it’s for us to get the batting in order – if we get good starts going into the back end that’ll give us a good chance.

“I think the batting has much improved especially since the T20s and from the overall batting performance in the World Cup as well. But, we didn’t close it off. We batted well in the second game as well, it was about closing it off – hopefully that happens in the next game as well and for the lower half to close the game.”



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Recent Match Report – Western Australia vs Victoria, Sheffield Shield, 6th Match

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Western Australia 4 for 256 (Marsh 101*, Stoinis 56, Siddle 2-46) trail Victoria 341 all out (Harris 69, Richardson 3-58) by 85 runs

Shaun Marsh followed up his half-century against Tasmania last week with an unbeaten 101 in Perth on Saturday, while Marcus Stoinis scored his third consecutive fifty this Shield season, leading Western Australia’s strong reply to Victoria’s 341.

Seamers Matt Kelly and David Moody allowed Victoria to add just 64 runs to their overnight score. Sam Harper contributed 55 of those runs on the day, as he went on to score 72, and became the last man to fall after Moody cleaned up the tail.

Western Australia lost Cameron Bancroft within the first five overs, following which Marsh joined Sam Whiteman. The duo put on a steady 47-run partnership before Peter Siddle struck in his first over of the day to break the stand. This brought together Marsh and Stoinis, who combined to make a strong 115-run stand. Stoinis smashed nine fours in his 76-ball 56 before he was bowled by Glenn Maxwell.

Hilton Cartwright at No. 5 kept the momentum going with a 62-ball 42 while Marsh played cautiously to bring up his 27th first-class century during the course of their 69-run stand. Cartwright became Siddle’s second close to the end of day’s play, leaving Marsh and Josh Phillipe unbeaten at stumps at 256 for 4.



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Recent Match Report – Adelaide Strikers Women vs Melbourne Renegades Women, Women’s Big Bash League,

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Adelaide Strikers 4 for 120 (Devine 72*, Brown 2-15) beat Melbourne Renegades 7 for 117 (Duffin 44, Taylor 3-26) by six wickets

A sublime all-round display from New Zealand’s Sophie Devine helped Adelaide Strikers to a win against Melbourne Renegades in their opening WBBL fixture at Karen Rolton Oval.

Devine made 72 not out from just 45 balls to single-handedly run down the Renegades target of 118 after earlier delivering four overs for just 16 runs and picking up the key wicket of Renegades skipper Jess Duffin.

Strikers elected to bowl first and it paid off immediately with their star-studded attack claiming four wickets in the Powerplay. Devine tied up an end as Megan Schutt and Stafanie Taylor tore through the Renegades’ talented top-order.

Dani Wyatt was sent back by Schutt after absorbing six dot balls, and he fast bowler then took a superb caught and bowled two balls later to dismiss Sophie Molineux. Taylor picked up Claire Koski and Tammy Beaumont in the last over of the Powerplay to leave the Renegades at 4 for 21. Renegades never really recovered despite the best efforts of Duffin. She made 44 off 32 with five boundaries but Josie Dooley was the only other player to reach 20 as they limped to 7 for 117 from their 20 overs.

Strikers’ chase did not start well with Lea Tahuhu dismissing Suzie Bates and Tahlia McGrath in the second over to leave the home side 2 for 4. That become 3 for 32 in the 5th over when Bridget Patterson was bowled by a brilliant inswinging yorker from Maitlan Brown.

But Devine took control, while Taylor provided a steady hand from the other end in a 62-run stand. The Renegades could not contain Devine’s power as she struck six fours and four sixes to see her side home with 28 balls and six wickets to spare.



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Recent Match Report – New South Wales vs Tasmania, Sheffield Shield, 4th Match

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New South Wales 2 for 275 (Henriques 116*, Smith 102*) lead Tasmania 268 (Webster 65, Doolan 58, Starc 5-40) by seven runs

It is not often that Steven Smith takes a back seat when he scores a century but that was the case on the second day at Drummoyne Oval as Moises Henriques provided the most eye-catching strokeplay with his own hundred to put New South Wales in firm command against Tasmania.

The pair added an unbroken third-wicket stand of 186 as New South Wales moved into the lead after dismissing Tasmania for 268 inside the first 20 minutes of play with Mitchell Starc taking 5 for 40.

After two sessions where the run rate barely escaped two an over there was major acceleration after tea with 174 runs coming in 39 overs with Henriques and Smith cashing in against a tired attack on a slow, batting-friendly surface which Tasmania had failed to make the most of.

Henriques, batting at No. 4 after the injury to Kurtis Patterson, reached both his milestones with sixes, a clip off the legs to reach fifty then a thumping blow down the ground to bring up a century from 144 balls.

Smith, who had a quiet game last week against Queensland with scores of 0 and 21, got to his hundred a short while later off 234 balls. There were times he found scoring hard work against tightly-packed ring fields – between lunch and tea he added 20 off 87 deliveries – but was barely in trouble against an attack that couldn’t find any help.

Sam Rainbird was the only Tasmania bowler to have success. He struck an early blow when David Warner edged a slash to the keeper and then returned shortly before tea to claim a well-set Daniel Hughes who could not believe when he drove a catch to point. As Smith and Henriques show, it was not a day to gift your wicket.

Tasmania could not extend their first innings very far when play resumed with them 6 for 258. Steve O’Keefe struck in the first over to trap Alex Pyecroft lbw and Starc did the rest, including an excellent delivery that speared through Test captain Tim Paine. From 3 for 221, Tasmania’s last seven wickets fell for 47.



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