Russell shines again MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC): West Indies all-rounder once again proved his worth for Sydney Thunder as they produced another strong performance to edge Melbourne Stars by a single run off the last ball in an electrifying Big Bash League encounter yesterday. Sent in at the MCG, Thunder rallied to 178 for six off their 20 overs behind opener Usman Khawaja’s brilliant unbeaten 109 off 70 balls. Russell smashed 22 off 16 balls to be the only other batsman to pass 20 and one of only three to reach double figures. Thunder were going nowhere at 59 for three in the ninth over when Khawaja anchored a series of partnerships to spark a revival. It was his exhilarating 53-run fifth-wicket stand off 29 balls with Russell that gave the innings real momentum. While he pummelled 12 fours and three sixes, the right-handed Russell chipped in with four boundaries before perishing in the 18th over, brilliantly caught by a leaping James Faulkner at long on off seamer John Hastings. In reply, Stars were propelled by Kevin Pietersen’s superb 76 off 42 balls with five fours and six sixes, while Faulkner made 45 not out from 36 deliveries with two fours. The hosts were cruising at 48 without loss before pacer Russell, who finished with two for 28 from his four overs, struck twice in the sixth over to remove both openers Marcus Stoinis (27) and Luke Wright (18) and halt their progress. In Sydney, there was no such fortune for West Indies T20 captain Darren Sammy as his Hobart Hurricanes went down by 95 runs to Sydney Sixers. Sammy went wicketless in two overs, which cost 32 runs, as Sixers piled up 186 for seven and then made two from six deliveries as Hurricanes collapsed for 91. Taylor sparks, but Thunder lose BRISBANE, Australia (CMC): West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor extended her handsome run of form, but Sydney Thunder’s batting failed as they collapsed to a 14-run defeat to Brisbane Heat in the women’s Big Bash League here yesterday. Chasing 142 for victory at the Gabba, Thunder were held to 127 for nine off their 20 overs, with the right-handed Taylor top-scoring with 43 and Erin Osborne getting 31. Taylor faced 47 balls and struck three fours and a six, while Osborne counted two fours off 33 deliveries. Earlier, Jess Jonassen top-scored with 47 from 44 balls and captain Delissa Kimmince hit 29 from 27 balls, to help Heat up to 141 for eight off their 20 overs. Taylor proved economical with her off spin, taking one for 23 from her four overs.
‘Champs’ 2016 is now consigned to the history books. In some cases, it has unearthed, and in others, cemented a more than fair share of awesome talent. It never ceases to amaze how much is being done with so little. In this regard, Foster’s Fairplay, focusing on the future at the world level, will be looking in particular at two athletes, drawn from the many coming to mind. That the country is now the envy of the world in the area of sprints is impatient of debate. The recent feats of the Kingston College (KC) phenom, quarter-miler Akeem Bloomfield and sprinter Nigel Ellis out of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) and described in knowledgeable quarters as the real deal only serves to drive home the point. Coming from a history-making 44.93 at last year’s world spectacle event, Bloomfield has his compass set beyond that stage. So confirmed coach Neil Harrison, who sees the World Junior Championships in July and a spot on the Rio Olympics team as the season’s chief objectives. Although no such crystal-ball glance is coming from Ellis’ camp, a wise coach must see the repeat 10 teens as a promise of things to come. Another point to be made here is that the cash-rich Bahrain trek has claimed a couple of the nation’s fast men who were understudying the Bolt, Blake, Powell top rung. Ellis, barring being steered in that direction, could ‘run in’ on one of the vacancies created. A few years ago, the highly respected track and field legendary disciplinarian and JAAA president, Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook, was hosting a top-ranked administrator in the business. Enthralled with the island’s outstanding global performances, the visitor requested to be taken to where “these fantastic athletes did their training”. The pride-ridden ‘Teddy’ headed for the North Street campus of his own KC. After about one hour of watching some of Jamaica’s most gifted young athletes, the seemingly impatient guest, with a flight to catch, asked if they could relocate to the spot, as previously requested. With no regard for his shortness of stature, Teddy drew himself to full height, made a two-handed, all encompassing sign and said, “You are standing on it”. Against this background and an ever-mushrooming storehouse of talent with less-than-adequate quality or quantity of proper facilities for preparation, a recent comment by the sport’s world governing boss is quite interesting. That Usain Bolt has rescued the sport has become almost a clichÈ at forums across the world. Well, Lord Coe is calling for “more Usain Bolts”. Once the suspicion that such call is a request for a lifeline to be thrown to a badly drug-tainted sport is accepted a way forward can be sought. Typically, what is not mentioned is the role played by the equally excellent, coach, Glen Mills, who has stage-managed the Bolt act. However, that is for a different story at another time. Having said all that, there can be but a single response to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president’s musings. There is a role here for Dr Warren Blake, local athletics’ top man. Picking up on the ‘more Bolts wanted’ comment, he should meet with the good upper house British parliamentarian and assist him and track and field to rise above the ongoing Russian drug debacle. Coe should be invited to assemble his IAAF executive in an initiative to afford Jamaica the infrastructure pivotal to enhance its already glorious product. The Coe remark could not have come at a more opportune time, with a new Government taking office. For a start, a synthetic track in every parish would be handy. A travelling cadre of talent scouts, fuelled by some of the current high-performance-oriented coaches, would also have to be slotted in. Much like Coe, the Jamaican president needs to turn a few things around. This would be a lasting legacy to his tenancy. Image cleaning is required both in Monaco and here, and Coe has left a door open. Enter, Dr. Blake. For Feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org. FANTASTIC ATHLETES
Real are top moneymakers LONDON (AP): Real Madrid are football’s biggest moneymakers for the 11th straight year, while Bayern Munich dropped to their lowest position in eight years. Madrid’s revenue of US$628 million in 2014-15 kept them top of the Football Money League compiled by accountancy firm Deloitte. The revenue of the world’s top 20 clubs, which are all European and include nine from the Premier League, grew 8 percent year-to-year to US$7.2 billion. European and Spanish champions Barcelona regained second place by generating US$609 million, displacing Manchester United, who made US$560 million while still struggling on the pitch in the post-Alex Ferguson era. French champion Paris Saint-Germain climbed to fourth by generating US$522 million, followed by Bayern on US$515 million. Napoli coach Sarri banned MILAN (AP): Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri has been banned for two Italian Cup matches and fined US$22,000 for “directing extremely insulting epithets” toward his Inter Milan counterpart, Roberto Mancini. Sarri was sanctioned after making anti-gay slurs to Mancini during Napoli’s 2-0 loss in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. Napoli says yesterday’s decision “formally clarifies” that Sarri’s comments were delivered in anger but were not driven by racist or anti-gay discrimination. The club says it hopes Mancini “can accept the apologies which have repeatedly been offered.” Mancini was fined US$5,422 for “an intimidating attitude toward the coach of the opposing team, who had insulted him” and for being “disrespectful” toward the fourth official in the dressing room after the match. Chelsea player joins Werder Bremen on loan BREMEN, Germany (AP): Chelsea defender Papy Djilobodji has joined Werder Bremen on loan until the end of the season. The Bundesliga club announced the deal yesterday without giving financial details. Werder Bremen are 16th in the Bundesliga and face a struggle against relegation when the campaign resumes this weekend after the winter break. The club needed a defender after the departure of Assani Lukimya for China. Djilobodji could make his debut on Sunday at Schalke. He arrived in Chelsea last summer from the French club Nantes and made only one brief League Cup appearance in September.
Brathwaite, a powerful lower order batsman and steady seamer, has been on the fringe of West Indies Test selection for some time, but finally made his debut on the tour of Down Under last December. He struck 59 in his first Test innings at Melbourne and then flaunted his bold attacking style in the final Test in Sydney, blasting 69 from 71 balls with seven fours and four sixes. However, it was his scintillating hundred in a one-day game against Sri Lanka Cricket President’s XI last October in Colombo that would have caught the attention. He faced just 58 balls and slammed ten fours and seven sixes in a devastating knock. BENGALURU, India (CMC): Rising West Indies star Carlos Brathwaite made headlines at the Indian Premier League auction yesterday when he was snapped up by Delhi Daredevils for US$626,000. The 27-year-old, who made a huge impact with his power-hitting on the recent Test tour of Australia, entered the draft with a base price of US$30,000, but saw his value catapult as Delhi moved quickly to secure his services. He will now make his first-ever appearance in the glitzy multimillion-dollar tournament that runs from April 8 to May 29. “Excited to be a part of IPL and DelhiDaredevils. Giving thanks,” Brathwaite tweeted shortly afterwards. He was one of four West Indies players to find success during the auction. Opener Dwayne Smith was picked up by new franchise Gujarat Lions for US$343,000, Test and one-day captain Jason Holder was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for $104,000 while leg-spinner Samuel Badree went to Royal Challengers Bangalore for $74,000. POWERFUL BATSMAN
KOLKATA, India (CMC):Captain Darren Sammy’s aggressive, unbeaten half-century led a determined lower-order rally as West Indies beat Australia by three wickets with a ball to spare in their final official warm-up game of the Twenty20 World Cup here yesterday.Rocked by seamer Josh Hazlewood’s hat-trick in the fourth over to be tottering on 49 for five in the ninth over, West Indies recovered brilliantly to reach their target of 162 at Eden Gardens, thanks to exactly 50 off 28 balls from Sammy.All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite smashed 33 from just 14 deliveries, while Andre Russell blasted 29 from 15 balls, as West Indies scored over 10 runs per over in the final half of the innings as they gathered 106 runs from the last 59 balls.The revival started with a 23-run, sixth-wicket stand between Sammy and Russell and continued with an exhilarating 53-run, seventh-wicket stand off 23 balls between Sammy and Brathwaite.Sammy belted six fours and a six, while Russell counted a four and three sixes.But it was Brathwaite’s cameo which included three fours and two sixes that gave West Indies much needed impetus.He and Sammy combined to plunder 17 runs from the 15th over sent by pacer Mitchell Marsh, and they followed up by taking another 17 runs from the next over from seamer Andrew Tye (2-35).When Brathwaite perished in the same Tye over, Sammy and Ashley Nurse, who finished on 12 not out, then posted a vital 37 in an unbroken eighth-wicket partnership to see West Indies home safely.Hazlewood’s hat-trick had earlier handed Australia the advantage. He claimed Jason Holder promoted to opener for six with the second ball of his second over and then bowled Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo without scoring off successive deliveries.Opener Johnson Charles (14) and Denesh Ramdin (11) also fell cheaply to leave West Indies in deep trouble.Opting to bat first earlier, Australia started strongly but were pegged back by medium-pacer Bravo and left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, to finish on 161 for nine off their 20 overs.Bravo claimed four for 21 and Benn, three for 37, as the Aussies declined from 106 for one in the 12th over to lose eight wickets for 55 runs.Opener Shane Watson top-scored with 60 from 39 balls, striking four fours and four sixes. He put on 76 for the first wicket with Aaron Finch, who scored 33 from 24 balls and a further 30 for the second wicket with captain Steve Smith, whose 36 required 29 balls.Brathwaite was brilliant in his three overs of seam, taking three for 16.West Indies will now turn their attention to their opening group game of the T20 World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai where they take on England on Wednesday.
INFORE, India (AP): Ravichandran Ashwin took his 20th five-wicket haul yesterday as New Zealand were bowled out for 299 runs on day three of the third Test in Indore. India then reached 18-0 in six overs at stumps, taking an overall lead of 276 runs. The visitors started well, with Martin Guptill (72) adding 118 runs with Tom Latham (53). They were both dropped once. Ashwin then accepted a simple return catch to dismiss Latham before lunch. The slide began after the break, as New Zealand lost four wickets for 14 runs. Ashwin bowled Kane Williamson (8) and then had both Ross Taylor (0) and Luke Ronchi (0) caught at slip, with Ajinkya Rahane pulling off sharp catches. “Early in the spell, I try to get my alignment and rhythm going properly and it’s taking me a few overs,” said Ashwin. “Once I go through it and when my body starts going completely into the ball, the starts getting better. That was one of the spells after lunch,” he said, after the close of play. Guptill was unlucky to be runout when Ashwin got his fingers off a Ronchi drive and deflected the ball onto stumps. James Neesham (71) added 53 runs with BJ Watling (23) to stem the rout. But Ravindra Jadeja (2-80) struck on either side of tea to remove Watling and Mitchell Santner (22), who added 52 runs with Neesham. The all-rounder completed his fourth Test half-century, before becoming Ashwin’s fifth victim, trapped lbw. It was the 20th five-wicket haul for the off-spinner and he became the quickest Indian bowler to achieve this milestone. He got there in 39 Tests, as compared to Kapil Dev (98 Tests), Anil Kumble (75 Tests) and Harbhajan Singh (59 Tests). “We have had some good discussions. If somebody is batting well, he gives you different ideas about how differently you can bowl and what fields you can have,” said Ashwin, about his interactions with Indian coach Kumble. Jeetan Patel (18) was then run-out much in the same way as Guptill, Ashwin deflecting a dropped return catch from Matt Henry (15 n.o.) onto the stumps. Trent Boult (0) was last man out, caught in the deep off Ashwin, as the Black Caps surrendered a first innings’ lead of 258 runs. India didn’t enforce the follow-on though. Gautam Gambhir, who injured his shoulder while fielding, walked off after facing seven balls as he aggravated his injury. There was some surprise that the Indian captain chose to rest his bowlers with only six overs remaining in the day. “I was certainly preparing to bat. Tomorrow, I expect them to come out, play a few shots, and put quick runs on board,” said Latham, after the day’s play. Murali Vijay was unbeaten on 11, while Cheteshwar Pujara was not out on one run at stumps. India have already won the three-match series with an unassailable 2-0 lead. UNLUCKY GUPTILL
“It was a frustrating game for us.” University of the West Indies FC’s (UWI) assistant coach Andrew Peart cut a frustrated figure after the league leaders were held at home against 10-man cellar dwellers Harbour View in top-flight action yesterday. Harbour View halted red-hot UWI FC’s winning streak with the teams battling to a 1-1 draw in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) at The UWI Bowl in Mona yesterday. The visitors took an early lead when Ranique Muir slotted past the advancing UWI goalkeeper Amal Knight in the fifth minute. However, that strike was cancelled out by Deno Schaffe in the 50th minute. A corner kick taken by UWI’s captain Rochane Smith was headed by Schaffe past Harbour View’s custodian Joel Johnson. Harbour View were later reduced to ten players when Nicholas Beckett was shown a red card by FIFA referee Odette Hamilton for a dangerous challenge on UWI’s Kemar Flemmings in the 47th minute. Both teams had their share of possession and both enjoyed periods of dominance. Harbour View looked better in the first half and were rewarded with the early strike, while UWI took control in the second half, an effort which led to their equalising goal. “It was a frustrating game for us. We started slow and went behind. Then in the second half, we played better. However, we did not show enough aggression after Harbour View went down to ten players,” Peart told The Gleaner. Coach of Harbour View Ludlow Bernard credited his team for a fighting game after the red card. “It was a battling performance from the team. We deserved to win as we got the better chances. I believe that with the extra player on the pitch, we could have done better,” Bernard claimed. Despite the draw, UWI continue to lead on 20 points in the 12-team table, while Harbour View remained in 11th position on six points. Yesterday’s results Jamalco 1 Humble Lion 2 Portmore United 1 Montego Bay United 0 Maverley-Hughenden 2 Arnett Gardens 2 Tivoli Gardens 3 FC Reno 0 UWI 1 Harbour View 1 Waterhouse 3 Boys’ Town 1
Barbados Pride are the 2017 West Indies Cricket Board Regional Super50 champions. The Barbadians defeated Jamaica Scorpions by 59 runs in tonight’s final played at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua. Final scores: PRIDE 271 for nine off 50 overs (Shai Hope 101, Jason Holder 69, Kevin Stoute 41; Rovman Powell 2-27, Jason Campbell 2-35); SCORPIONS 212 all out in 44.3 overs. (Rovman Powell 65; Sulieman Benn three for 33.)
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):Following their chastening whitewash last September, West Indies are quietly hoping to return the favour on home soil when they take on Pakistan in the four-match Twenty20 International series starting at Kensington Oval here today.The T20 World champions looked a shadow of the side that dominated the showpiece in India just months before, as they slumped to an embarrassing 3-0 loss in the United Arab Emirates.But even though revenge rests on their minds, captain Carlos Brathwaite said they were taking nothing for granted against a dangerous Pakistan side.”They are very, very worthy opponents,” Brathwaite told reporters yesterday.”I think they are one of the better teams in the world as well and it is tough playing them in their backyard but we welcome them to the West Indies and we want to take home advantage as well.”He added: “I think they play a fearless brand of cricket. Sometimes you see them dismissed for 80, but on another day, they can make 180, 200, and it can be very exciting as well.”I think one of their strengths is their rotation of strike in the middle overs. They play spin very well.”It’s about us counteracting that; not focussing on their strengths but maximising ours.”West Indies will again miss the talents of superstar opener Chris Gayle and will also have to do without the experienced all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell.PROVEN MATCH WINNERSHowever, they have at their disposal the likes of Kieron Pollard, Marlon Samuels and Lendl Simmons, all of whom are proven match winners in the game’s shortest format.Brathwaite pointed out that even without some of their leading names, West Indies were still an extremely strong side and were backing themselves to put up big totals.”We have strength in depth. Not having Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, and still being able to pick the team we’ve selected is massive for any international team,” he noted.”One thing we’ve always been able to boast of is power-hitters, and we have four or five one after the other and with three or four in the shed. There’s a perfect mix of experience and youth as well. We have very, very young guys like … Rovman Powell, Jason Mohammed, but then there’s still elder statesmen although Pollard is only 28, he is a T20 veteran.Last year’s nightmare against Pakistan still looms large. It was not so much that the Windies lost the series, but rather, the way in which they did.They mustered a paltry 115 in the opening game batting first and lost by nine wickets, failed to chase down 160 in the second outing and lost by 16 runs before scraping together 103 in their final game to lose by eight wickets.Brathwaite admitted he was still unsure about what went wrong, but said he hoped the team would put things right in the upcoming series.”[I’m] not sure. It’s a multitude of factors. Obviously, when things don’t go as well as you would like, everyone seems to know the problem, but in the dressing room, we are trying to find the solutions,” he said.SQUADSWEST INDIES Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Samuel Badree, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams.PAKISTAN Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Ahmad Shahzad, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Muhammad Nawaz , Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Rumman Raees, Usman Khan Shinwari.
HUGE BANG DORTMUND, Germany (AP): Three explosions went off near the team bus of Borussia Dortmund, one of Germany’s top football clubs, as it set off for a Champions League quarter-final match yesterday, slightly injuring a player. Police said in a statement they were working on the assumption that the blasts ahead of the team’s match against Monaco were caused by “serious explosive devices”, which may have been hidden in a hedge near a car park. They didn’t elaborate on the possible nature of the devices or say who might have planted them ahead of the first-leg match between Borussia Dortmund and Monaco, which was subsequently called off and rescheduled for today. Police said that there were three explosions near the Dortmund team bus as they left their hotel on the outskirts of the western city of Dortmund for the stadium, around 10 kilometres away, around 7 p.m. local time. A window on the bus was damaged and Spanish defender Marc Bartra was injured. Dortmund said Bartra was taken to a hospital. Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said Bartra was injured in the arm and hand “but nothing life-threatening”. Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Buerki said the team bus had just pulled out of the hotel driveway when an explosion a “huge bang” happened and sent glass flying. The Switzerland international told Swiss daily Blick that he was sitting in the last row of the bus, next to Bartra. Bartra was hit by shards from the broken back window, he added. Players ducked for cover, wondering whether there would be more explosions. “We’re all shocked nobody thought about a football match in the minutes after that,” he said. Inside the packed stadium, supporters of Monaco, who play in the French league, chanted “Dortmund, Dortmund” in sympathy for the German side. Dortmund residents, for their part, used social media to offer accommodation to stranded Monaco supporters ahead of their rescheduled match in Europe’s premier football club competition. “The team is totally shocked, that’s clear. It’s our task now to digest this somehow because it’s only 24 hours before we have to play. That’s our job,” Watzke said. He added that there was “no alternative” to rescheduling the match for today as Monaco also have to play at the weekend and the return Champions League match is scheduled for next week.