Batting powerhouse Quality hitting In a nutshell, the teams boast exciting batting, probably with the exception of India’s Virat Kohli, the best in Twenty20 cricket, and they bat deep, one parading a batting powerhouse capable of hitting many sixes and many fours, the other known for their elegant drives and cuts which race away to the boundary. In Gayle, especially, and Charles, Samuels, and Simmons, however, plus Bravo, Russell, Sammy, and Brathwaite, the West Indies boast a batting line-up which, although it always promises to hit the ball very far hard and very far, and when it does, it can be very destructive, it sometimes, and quite often, falls very short of its attempted distance or regularity. England, on the other hand, possess more controlled batting, the type which can sometimes be conservative, more reliable and productive. The batting on either side, but especially on the West Indies side, could, however, depend on the luck of the day, on the opposition’s fielding on the day, and on their bowling throughout the day. The West Indies bowling, which may be Samuel Badree, Russell, Bravo, Brathwaite, Sulieman Benn, and probably Gayle, may, but for Badree, and probably Benn, find the going rough. England’s attack of the left-handed David Willey, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Stokes, Moeen Ali, and Adil Rashid is a bit more skilful and devious. It could put the West Indies batsmen under pressure, especially because of their big-hitting and sometimes careless reputation. On the other hand, if they report to the Eden Gardens bubbling with confidence, the West Indies batsmen could easily rip them apart. Despite their lack of skill, however, the West Indies bowlers may dismantle England’s sometimes timid batting. The key to the West Indies bowling could well be Bravo. His slower, dipping deliveries can be deadly, if he gets them right. One thing is certain, the fielding on both sides will be extraordinary. England’s fielding, especially that of Stokes and Jordan, is good, and sometimes brilliant. The West Indies fielding, especially the catching of Russell, Bravo, and Sammy, is sometimes truly breathtaking. Based on the action which has gone before, today’s finals of the ICC World Twenty20 cricket tournaments at the beautiful Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata promise to be a grand occasion to be played before an estimated 100,000 cheering spectators. The finalists are the West Indies and Australia in the women’s event, and the West Indies against England in the men’s final. And after the triumph of the young West Indians recently, it will be a great day for the West Indies, especially if they win one or both matches. The men’s final, however, is the stellar event, and however it goes, it should be a shoot-out to remember. It features some of the finest players, not only in the new, flashy, and exciting style of T20 cricket, but also some of the best in the longer, more traditional, and more celebrated format and representing the West Indies and England, two past champions. On one hand, representing the West Indies, the people’s favourite is Chris Gayle, the world’s most destructive batsman, a big left-hander with 98 sixes already in his bag, and he is backed up by a few others who fear no foe, by Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Bravo, and others like Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, and Carlos Brathwaite. On the other hand, representing England, the founders of the game, is Joe Root, one of the world’s best batsman technically, an elegant, attractive, and confident right-hander with a pocketful of runs in his possession, and he is supported by a mixture of fine batsmen in the confident opening pair of Jason Roy and Alex Hales, the solid Eoin Morgan, the dashing and fearless all-rounder Ben Stokes, the attacking Jos Buttler, and a few others. The two teams, who lit up the tournament, one in 2010 and one in 2012, are desperate for success this time around. England are fighting to establish themselves, especially in this exciting format of the game, and the West Indies are determined to confirm their success in the T20 style as opposed to their struggling and disappointing form in the longer versions of the game. This tournament has been exciting and wonderful, and it has produced some lovely cricket. It has not produced too much of the hit-or-miss swinging while batting. It has produced some elegant and classical strokes, some quality hitting straight down the ground, some extraordinary fielding and catching, and some teasing and baffling right-arm leg-spin bowling instead of the fast and straight variety pitched just short-of-a-length. The spin bowling throughout the entire tournament has been good, the batting of Gayle, 100 off 48 deliveries against England, including 11 sixes, was exciting, and the batting of Kohli, 55 off 37 deliveries against Pakistan, 82 not out off 51 deliveries against Australia, and 89 not out off 47 deliveries against the West Indies were magnificent. The batting of Roy, 78 off 44 deliveries against New Zealand, was tasty, the batting of Buttler, 32 off 17 against New Zealand was delightful, the bowling of spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner of New Zealand, throughout was impressive, the stumping of Sabbir Rahman by Mahendra Singh Dhoni off Suresh Raina against Bangladesh was almost unbelievable, and many of the catches were simply extraordinary. India’s comeback victory over Bangladesh in the last over at the end of the innings, as Bangladesh, needing one run to tie with three wickets in hand, lost to India by one run off the last delivery; India beat Australia off the last delivery with Dhoni hitting a six, and the West Indies defeated South Africa with two deliveries to spare were some of the thrilling moments of 2016. If Gayle, Samuels, Russell, Badree and company from the West Indies; and England’s Root, Stokes, Buttler, and Rashid parade their skills today, the Eden Gardens will be the place to be. The action should be exciting and extraordinary, and it may not really matter who wins. The tournament started with eight of the 16 teams very close and having an equal chance of victory, and it is finishing, after some thrilling and exciting matches, with two of them, the powerful, hard-hitting West Indies, and the conservative, easy-going England, boasting an equal chance of snatching victory, even though my favourites must be the West Indies, who have already beaten England. England go in with a thrilling victory over the previously unbeaten New Zealand, the West Indies with an exciting victory with two deliveries to spare.
DELIGHTFUL OPPORTUNITY He also named the Guineas runner-up A THOUSAND STARS from the stables of 15-time champion Wayne DaCosta, Philip Feanny’s SORRENTINO’S STAR, GOLDEN GLORY from the Subratie stable and Fitzroy Glispie’s BIRD CATCHER as contenders. David Reid, brand manager of Caribbean Choice, said the sponsorship was “a delightful opportunity to venture into your world of horse racing and we are excited to participate in the coming out party”. Reid was quick to add that the Ladies Day programme will feature a hat parade a staple on Oaks Day over the years as well as a number of giveaways to patrons, while Spragga Benz will provide the musical entertainment for racing fans. The 77th running of the Jamaica Oaks at Caymanas Park on Saturday will have a new sponsor in Caribbean Choice. Plans for the mile and quarter classic for native-bred three-year-old fillies were outlined by representatives of Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) and Caribbean Choice a major brand with Grace Foods franchise at yesterday’s launch on the front lawns of Caymanas Park. Denzil Miller Jr, CTL’s racing secretary, said the race will offer a total purse of $3 million, inclusive of $1 million donated by the sponsor. The race will as usual be run in honour of Hilma Veira, former general manager of the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC) and ‘Hall of Fame’ inductee. “After the season’s first classic on April 9, the Post to Post 1000 Guineas, it is back to the drawing board for some and high hopes for others,” said Miller. “The outstanding filly and Triple Crown contender NUCLEAR AFFAIR, who romped the 1000 Guineas for trainer Gary Subratie and owner Michros, continues to train well after her fast time win of 1:39.2 for a mile and although Subratie has never won the Oaks, he certainly has the horse to accomplish the feat this time around,” said Miller.
IDEAL TRIP (7) PROLIFIC PRINCESS (8) ITALIANO/MIND SET (9) LORD EQUUS/CLASSY AVIATOR (10) LOTTERY TICKET/ HONEY DARLIN (11) NUCLEAR AFFAIR (12) SMOKEY TOPAZ/ MERITONE Walker, Graham, and O’Shaun Connection should team up once again to win the eighth race over 1500 metres (claiming $450,000-$400,000) with down, in-class ITALIANO. Having beaten better in his first two races of the season in January, the seven-year-old grey gelding should defy topweight of 57.0kg over what is an ideal trip for him but should still be wary of the Wayne DaCosta-trained MIND SET and the recent winner STAR NEW VISTA. LORD EQUUS, who finished a good fifth to FUTURE KING in the recent Post to Post 2000 Guineas, should take a lot of beating in the ninth race over 1200 metres, this for non-winners of two three-year-olds. Trained by 14-time champion PhilipFeanny, LORD EQUUS notched his last win over this trip in the fairly good time of 1:13.4, and based on his good fourth to CHASE THE GREAT in the March 19 Prince Consort Stakes (Guineas trial), will prove hard to beat with only 51.5kg and Oneil Mullings aboard. CLASSY AVIATOR (Wesley Henry up) and the Wayne DaCosta-trained LITTLE BIG HORN (Walker up) are twin dangers in a field of 11. Race number 10 for the Ricochet Cup over the round-five course for maiden three-year-old fillies should resolve itself into a straight fight between the Feanny-trained HONEY DARLN (Mullings up), who went down fighting against SUPER COP last Saturday, and the DaCosta-trained LOTTERY TICKET (Walker up), who showed promise on her recent debut. It should to be close, but for me, it’s LOTTERY TICKET. The 11th race, the Caribbean Choice Jamaica Oaks for native-bred three-year-old fillies over 2,000 metres, looks a mere formality for the impressive 1000 Guineas winner NUCLEAR AFFAIR, to be ridden by champion jockey Shane Ellis for trainer Gary Subratie and owner Michros. This exceptional hree-year-old filly is unbeaten in three starts this season, and having looked razor sharp at exercise, should lead home Guineas runner-up A THOUSAND STARS in a field of 10. Then, close all bets with the speedy SMOKEY TOPAZ under top apprentice Linton Steadman in the last race over 1,200 metres, where MERITONE and BLUE DIXIE are main rivals in a field of 11 overnight allowance horses. TOMORROW’s Jamaica Oaks 12-race programme at Caymanas Park offers a host of carry-overs, including $4.2 million in the Pick-9 from Race Four to 12 and $1.1 million in the late Super-6 from Race Seven to 12. There is also a place pot carry-over of $281,000 as well as $95,097 hi-five carry-over from Sunday to tomorrow’s fifth race and a superfecta carry-over of $146,000 from Sunday’s eighth race to the first race tomorrow. We look at the second Super-6 commencing in Race Seven, a four-year-old and up restricted allowance (non-winners of two) for fillies and mares to be contested by 10 starters over 1,200 metres. VALLEY OF QUEENS, KIMBERLY GOLD, SWEET DIMENSION, and the sparingly raced filly PROLIFIC PRINCESS are expected to figure prominently. Victory should go to the Neive Graham-trained PROLIFIC PRINCESS despite racing for the first time since August of last year. Back then, she was a runaway winner over this trip in the fairly good time of 1:14.3, and with connections, including popular owner O’Shaun Connection doing very well with their string of horses this season, PROLIFIC PRINCESS should return with a bang under title-chasing jockey Omar Walker. She has most to fear from KIMBERLY GOLD, who hails from the in-form stables of Steven Todd. LATE SUPER-6 FANCIES
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania:ONE GOOD turn generally leads to another. That wasn’t the case for Darren Mattocks in Sunday night’s CONCACAF Gold Cup final between Jamaica and Mexico, when the 24-year-old striker was not handed a starting place.Head coach Winfried Sch‰fer explained in the post-game press conference that “it was a tactical” decision, as he wanted Simon Dawkins – with whom he has been alternating the starting place – to press their midfielders for a tighter defensive system at the start of the game.Mattocks had scored in the previous game when Jamaica hit a high, creating history with a 2-1 semi-final win against the United States at Georgia Dome in Atlanta, their first over the Americans on their turf.However, he was left on the bench, and within a minute of entering the field at the 60th minute, Mexico scored their third goal enroute to a 3-1 win.However, Mattocks came up trumps for the second game running by scoring at the 80th minute to hand the Reggae Boyz a consolation goal.”A bit too late,” he admitted.Asked if he was disappointed at not being included in the starting eleven, the straight-talking player said: “As a striker, you’re always going to be disappointed, especially after scoring in the last game, beating America for the first time in America.TEAMGAME”But it’s a team game, a team effort, and I’ve got to respect the coach’s decision and just come in the game and make an impact. Unfortunately, my impact was just a bit too late,” said Mattocks.”We need to move forward as a country, and we’re gonna get back to the drawing board and not get too complacent about this because it’s a great run into the final, but there are things that we can improve on and, hopefully, we’ll move on to the future in the right direction,” he added.Mexico, meanwhile, were lifting an unprecedented seventh title. The United States (five) and Canada (one) are the other tournament winners.”Hats off to the Mexican team,” Mattocks said. “They did fantastic in this game, and they deserve to be champions.”
Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls were in a militant mood yesterday, as they rebounded from the disappointment of their Pool B defeat to England in the 2015 Netball World Cup in Australia to dispatch Scotland 71-24 in a one-sided affair. The result meant Jamaica (four points) finished second behind England (six points) in Pool B. The two nations advanced to the second round (Pool E), where Jamaica played against New Zealand earlier this morning, and are to face Uganda and Malawi, with the top two moving on to the semi-finals. Australia, South Africa, Wales and England will contest Pool F, which will decide the other two semi-finalists. Sunshine Girls head coach, Minneth Reynolds, told The Gleaner in a telephone interview that although the team was disappointed after their loss to England, the Girls remain resolute and are even more determined and focused on their goal. “The focus has remained the same although they lost to England. We were a bit disappointed at first, but they (Sunshine Girls) are still on a mission, so we bounced back against the Scottish,” she said. “They probably put more into the Scotland game because they wanted to prove to themselves that they are worthy contenders and that we can compete at our best at anytime,” she continued. A win over New Zealand this morning would put the Jamaicans in pole position to win their qualification group and set a likely semi-final date with England. That is if things go according to plan and Australia win Pool F. Prior to the match, Reynolds said they intended to win against New Zealand and top the group. “We are looking forward to New Zealand; we know it’s going to be a very tough game, but we are sticking to the task. Our attack will have to be penetrative, and we cannot stop at anything, we just have to be strong. “We want to win this game and all the games in the group. It’s important to win all your games, as winning your games only strengthens your confidence of getting to the final. So the objective is to win, and that is what is expected, and the Girls are looking forward to go out there, compete and win,” she continued. “The belief is still alive, the determination and the confidence is still there, and we are definitely going for gold, so we are going out to play our best, and we will be going very hard,” added Reynolds. In other matches yesterday, Wales beat Uganda 49-47, Fiji beat Zambia 59-51, South Africa beat Sri Lanka 89-17.
Swiss agree to extradite Costa Rican in FIFA case BERN, Switzerland (AP): Switzerland’s justice ministry yesterday granted an American request to extradite former Costa Rican soccer federation president Eduardo Li in the FIFA bribery case. Li was ousted from the FIFA executive committee two days before he could take up his seat after being arrested on May 27 in a dawn raid on a Zurich hotel along with six other football officials. Li can appeal against the extradition order at Switzerland’s federal criminal court within 30 days. Force India, Sauber in F1 complaint BRUSSELS (AP): In a challenge to Formula One’s status quo, Force India and Sauber lodged a complaint with the European Union yesterday, charging that the sport’s rule-making and revenue-sharing mechanisms are unlawful, unfair, and harmful. “We have received a complaint and will assess it,” an EU spokesman, Ricardo Cardoso, said. The move, long expected, represents a challenge to the dominance of F1’s major players and teams. It gives voice to smaller teams’ assertions that they cannot compete effectively because they don’t have an equal say or equal revenue. Ronaldinho parts ways with Fluminense RIO DE JANEIRO (AP): Two-time FIFA player of the year Ronaldinho has left Rio de Janeiro club Fluminense after only two months. In a statement, the club said the former Brazil and Barcelona star was leaving “amicably and by mutual consent”. The 35-year-old attacking midfielder failed to score with Fluminense and was frequently jeered by the club’s fans. Cavendish joins Dimension Data JOHANNESBURG (AP): Former world cycling champion Mark Cavendish has joined South African team Dimension Data. The British rider signed a three-year deal with the Pro Continental team, which is currently named MTN-Qhubeka, but has secured a new sponsorship deal from 2016. The team also announced the arrival of Cavendish allies Mark Resnshaw and Bernhard Eisel. Cavendish, the 2011 world champion, recently underwent surgery on his left shoulder following a crash that ruled him out of the road cycling world championships in the United States.
Cancer-stricken Holy Trinity High footballer Jordan Foote has expressed his appreciation to the public for their financial support and the hundreds of get-well messages as he fights to recuperate from bone cancer in his knee.Foote was outstanding for his school last year as they surprised even themselves by reaching the FLOW Super Cup final.The 17-year-old is hospitalised with a condition that requires an urgent operation and he has been ruled out of this year’s ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup.The estimated cost for the surgery is $700,000.”I am feeling all right and positive. My pain is on and off,” Foote told The Sunday Gleaner during a telephone interview which was facilitated by his mother, Nadine Sutherland, yesterday.”I thank everyone for their support. I miss playing football and I hope to play again soon. On Monday, the doctors will decide what next, so I am hoping for the best,” he outlined.Meanwhile, Foote is expected to receive support tomorrow from a fundraising initiative led by local footballer Renae Lloyd, who helped to rally a Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) fundraising campaign which raised $400,000.FOOTBALLIS LIFELloyd is leading an initiative dubbed ‘Football is life and our life is football’ and approached PLCA general manager and Boys’ Town coach Andrew Price for assistance.”I want to start a fund for the young man, and I have asked all players and officials of PLCA Jamaica to contribute a $1,000 to help with surgery. I will start the ball rolling by contributing the first $1,000. Each one help one,” Lloyd said.Lloyd, a former Boys’ Town player, maintains a good relationship with Price, despite playing for current RSPL champions Arnett Gardens.”From a PLCA perspective, all clubs will give $30,000 from their monthly drawdown. We want to reach out as players and former players because this is an outstanding young player who played for his school as we did, and we should stand united in support of him,” Price said.Members of the public can also make donations by contacting the Holy Trinity High School at 922-3395 or 922-5727.
Cabinet has approved the Government’s athletes insurance plan to provide group health, as well as life and personal accident insurance, for more than 1,000 athletes across all sports.Information Minister Sandrea Falconer made the announcement during yesterday’s Jamaica House press briefing.”Cabinet has approved the selection of the Guardian Life Insurance and Allied Insurance Brokers as the providers of insurance of our athletes,” said Falconer.”Guardian Life will provide group health, while Allied will provide group life and personal life and personal life accident coverage,” she said.Falconer added that all national sporting associations and federations have also committed to supporting the Jamaican Athletes’ Insurance Plan by contributing five per cent of the cost for their participating member athletes.”The Jamaican Athletes’ Insurance Plan has received funding support from the Sports Development Foundation, Tourism Enhancement Fund, the National Health Fund, and Culture, Health, Arts, Sport and Education (CHASE) fund.Falconer noted that one must be a current athlete in order to qualify for the insurance scheme.”They have to be in a programme representing Jamaica and so once you are not active in a programme then you will not qualify,” Falconer stated.Falconer said Minister with Responsibility for Sports Natalie Neita-Headley, will provide further details on the schemes at a later date.Meanwhile, newly appointed president of Netball Jamaica, Paula Daley-Morris, said her association welcomes the move by Cabinet.”We spend a lot of money on our players in terms of taking care of their medical issues,” said Daley-Morris.”This is going to help to keep a little bit more money in our coffers and so I wish to thank the Government for being so considerate at this time and supporting athletes in general,” she said.
World Youth 400 metres champion, Calabar High’s Christopher Taylor, impressed with a fast 100 metres run at yesterday’s Camperdown Classic at the National Stadium.The versatile 16-year-old stopped the clock at 10.44 seconds to take heat nine of the boys’ Class Two 100m, with the fastest time overall.The Camperdown Classic is the final stop in the Corporate Area leg of the 2016 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship. Taylor, the defending Grand Prix 400m champion, is expected to run his pet event at next week’s Grand Prix finals at the G.C. Foster College.Taylor said he was satisfied with yesterday’s effort.”This was just to see how good I was at that event,” he told The Sunday Gleaner, while adding that he is fit and ready for more success.Teammate Tyreke Wilson also clocked a fast time, 10.52, in heat eight for second overall, while another Calabar sprinter, Michael Stephens, cruised to 10.56 in heat eleven for third. Dejour Russell rounded out the top four for Calabar with 10.61 in heat 12.Stephens also won the Class Two boys’ long jump with a leap of 6.64m, while Kymonie Matthews of St George’s College and Owayne Owens finished second and third with 6.57m and 6.45m, respectively.In the eagerly anticipated clubs and institution’s men’s 400m, former Calabar star Javon Francis of Akan Track Club was fastest overall with 46.21, Javere Bell of Mico University was second in 46.75 ahead of Nathon Allen of St Jago (46.85) while Racers Track Club’s Zharnel Hughes finished fourth in 46.95.Racers sprint stars Warren Weir and Yohan Blake had to settle for seventh and 16th overall in 47.30 and 48.41, respectively.In the boys’ Class One 100m, Xavior Angus of Calabar was first with 10.50 as schoolmate Fabian Hewitt took second overall in 10.54.Jamaica College won the Class One boys’ 4x100m in 40.06 seconds from Calabar, 40.56, and St Catherine High, 41.20.Andrenette Knight of St Jago High School sizzled in the girls’ 400m hurdles with a new meet record of 59.01 seconds. Camperdown High’s Shadae Newell clocked 1:00:38 and Jody-Ann Petrie of St Jago, 1:03:63.
Heroes’ welcome!World Youth champions Windies return to big partyBRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):World Under-19 champions West Indies returned to the Caribbean on Tuesday afternoon to a heroes’ welcome, following their triumph last Sunday at the ICC Youth World Cup in Bangladesh.They were greeted at the Grantley Adams International Airport by Barbados Cricket Association president and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) director, Joel Garner, along with WICB chief executive, Michael Muirhead.Legendary West Indies opener, Desmond Haynes, Barbados Sports Minister Stephen Lashley, and Tourism Minister Richard Sealy also attended the welcome ceremony.An elated captain, Shimron Hetmyer, said his side had remained confident despite its sluggish start at the tournament.”I think the turnaround came after the game against England where we knew we had to win the other games to get through,” the Guyana left-hander said.”I think after then, the guys really got serious and really got down to their stuff, and that started in the practice from the next day. The guys then did everything in their power to make sure we won the next couple of games and even in the Zimbabwe game had some very positive performances.”West Indies were whitewashed by Bangladesh in a warm-up three-match series before losing their opening match of the tournament to England by 61 runs.However, they rebounded to crush minnows Fiji by 262 runs, before eking out a narrow two-run win over Zimbabwe in controversial circumstances in their final group game, to reach the quarter-finals.CLINICAL RUN CHASESWest Indies then produced clinical run chases to beat Pakistan by five wickets and Bangladesh by two wickets in the semi-finals to clinch their spot in the final against previously unbeaten India Under-19s.Yet again, they strung together a successful chase to win by five wickets chasing a small total of 146.Manager Dwain Gill said the confidence level in the squad had remained high throughout the tournament and pointed to the warm-up matches as being key to their preparation.”It feels great, of course, being part of a World Cup-winning squad as we went there to win,” he noted.”It started off quite challenging with the warm-up matches against Bangladesh, but that is the reason we went there – to get acclimatised to the conditions and see the opposition.”Family members of the Barbados players along with well-wishers were also present to welcome the squad.