Hosts Jamaica and title-holders Guyana will today meet in the final of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Under-19 Championship at Manchester High School. Led by St Elizabeth Technical off-spin all-rounder Michael Frew, the Jamaicans will enter the contest as slight underdogs, having finished second to the Guyanese at the end of the seven-team preliminary round. Guyana, with five victories and one defeat, tallied 32 points to Jamaica’s 27.5, with the latter recording four wins and two losses. Trinidad and Tobago with three wins, two losses and a no-result, ended with 22.5 to round off the top three. Jamaica defeated Guyana by five wickets in both teams’ opening match of the tournament, with their South American mainland opponents posting 203 off 44.3 overs. Jamaica replied with 204 for five, with 4.4 overs to spare. “They (Guyana) will be difficult as they are an attacking team with, as usual, spin being their strength,” said Junior Deans, manager of Jamaica. “They have two left-arm spinners and two off-spinners. “However, we are optimistic about our chances, as we have been improving with each game and, if we play like we did in our last game against Barbados, where we fought hard and came off the field battered and bruised, we should do well.” Conditioned by Robert Samuels, Jamaica, in addition to Frew, will again be hoping for impressive performances from batsmen Abijhai Mansingh and Leonardo Friginette, as well as West Indies Under-19 fast bowling all-rounder Odean Smith and pacer Miguel Smith. Opener Mansingh and Friginette are coming off back-to-back half centuries, while Miguel, with seven wickets in their last two games, and Odean, the team’s leading wicket-taker, have been leading efforts with the ball. “When we bat, we just have to ensure that when we don’t just get boundary balls; we rotate the strike,” noted Deans. “Meanwhile, when we bowl, it’s about getting the ball in the right areas as much as possible, as well as showing support in the field,” he added. Guyana will look to West Indies Under-19 opener Shimron Hetmyer, who has highest scores of 135 not out and 98, captain Travis Persaud, and batting all-rounder Keemo Paul to lead their charge. Jamaica (from): Michael Frew (captain), Abijhai Mansingh (vice captain), Brad Barnes, Ryan Burnett, Shahid Crooks, Tyrone Daley, Ramone Francis, Leonardo Friginette, Gareth Henry, Miguel Smith, Odean Smith, Oshane Thomas, George Walker. Guyana (from): Travis Persaud (captain), Ronaldo Alimohamed (vice-captain), Akenie Adams, Balchan Baldeo, Grisean Grant, Shimron Hetmyer, Tevin Imlach, Kassem Khan, Parmesh Parsotam, Keemo Paul, Akshaya Persaud, Nathan Persaud, Parmanand Ramdhan, Sherfane Rutherford.
Month: January 2020
Stiff competition Despite all that, the Lennox Graham-coached The Queen’s School graduate will have a tough time hurdling past Fraser-Pryce to get the Jamaican Athlete of the Year award. The little rocket lost just once over 100 metres, in a jetlagged slog in Shanghai, but clicked off wins everywhere else. She ran sub-11 times consistently and swished under 10.8 seconds three times. That gave her a career total of 10 at that speed. By comparison, the legendary Merlene Ottey had four sub-10.8 clockings in all her fine career. That’s how good Fraser-Pryce was in 2015. In Beijing, she missed her season’s best of 10.74 seconds by a mere 0.02, despite slowing down to raise an arm to mark her third World title in the 100. That allowed the fast-finishing Schippers to catch up a bit, but the win was never in question. By then, her reliable rocket start and smooth, but urgent acceleration had done the damage. Will the award givers prefer the brilliant emergence of Williams to the season-long consistent quality displayed by Fraser-Pryce? The deliberations will begin shortly, but it’s great that Jamaica has two female World Champions to choose from. Together with Thompson, Jackson, first-time 100-metre finalist Natasha Morrison, first-time 400 hurdles finalist Janieve Russell and repeat triple-jump finalist Kimberly Williams, Fraser-Pryce and Danielle Williams lead us into the Olympic year with cause for optimism. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980. Late-season marathons aside, the 2015 athletics campaign is practically over. It ended brilliantly for Jamaica, with the country’s second best medal performance at a World Championships or an Olympic Games. Now it’s time to begin to choose the Jamaican Athletes of the Year. In Beijing, for the 15th World Championships, our established stars delivered. Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Hansle Parchment all found their way to the medal podium. They weren’t alone. Debutants like Elaine Thompson, Shericka Jackson and O’Dayne Richards also walked away from the Bird’s Nest with individual medals. The best of the new names, however, was Danielle Williams. With Thompson losing a magnificent 200-metre final to flying Dutch woman Dafne Schippers on the line, Williams matched Fraser-Pryce by winning an individual event. She kept her head and her footing in the 100-metre hurdles while others lost theirs and sped to personal best times of 12.58 and 12.57 seconds in the semi and the final. She went to Beijing with the World University Games title safely tucked away and moved up to fourth fastest on the Jamaican all-time list. Brigitte Foster-Hylton, our first World 100 hurdles champion, and World Championship bronze medal winners Michelle Freeman and Delloreen Ennis, are the only Jamaican women with faster times.
MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC): West Indies leg-spinner Samuel Badree snatched a five-wicket haul as Brisbane Heat stormed to a 56-run win over Melbourne Stars and their second on the trot in the Australian Big Bash here yesterday. Defending 189 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Badree sliced through the hosts’ innings with a spell of five for 21 from four overs, as Stars collapsed to 132 for nine off their 20 overs. Evan Gulbis tried to rescue the innings with a top score of 61 not out off 52 deliveries in a 59-run, sixth wicket stand with captain David Hussey who made 25. However, once the stand was broken in the 14th over, Stars struggled to keep up with the required run rate of 17 per over and folded quickly. Earlier, Badree’s West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago teammate Lendl Simmons, had provided the early impetus for Heat with a knock of 44 off 35 deliveries. Sent in, Heat lost Jimmy Peirson without scoring off the first ball he faced at five for one in the first over, but Simmons led the revival in an entertaining 84-run, second-wicket stand off 40 balls with skipper Chris Lynn who made 56. In reply, Stars never got going, due largely to Badree’s devastating spell. Handed the new ball, the Trinidadian accounted for the first five wickets to fall to leave Stars in disarray at 23 for five in the fifth over. With the third ball of the innings, he bowled Luke Wright with a googly off the inside edge before the Englishman had scored, and then trapped marquee batsman Kevin Pietersen leg before wicket for seven and claimed opener Marcus Stoinis for eight to a catch at mid-off, in the third over. Badree has taken nine wickets so far in the tournament. IMPRESSIVE INNING
LONDON (AP):Premier League leaders Leicester and reigning champions Chelsea needed winning goals in the 89th minute yesterday to keep on track their respective campaigns for the English title and European football next season.Leonardo Ulloa came off the bench in the 78th minute to score the only goal of Leicester’s home game against a Norwich side that looked to have earned a vital point in their battle against relegation.Branislav Ivanovic headed Chelsea’s winner in a 2-1 comeback victory at Southampton, who had previously kept six consecutive clean sheets in the league.Elsewhere, West Ham moved up to provisional fifth place after a 1-0 win over Sunderland in the early kick-off, while Watford were held to 0-0 at home by Bournemouth, and Stoke beat bottom club Aston Villa 2-1. West Bromwich Albion edged Crystal Palace 3-2 in the late game.SENSATIONAL SEASONSceptics have been waiting since late last year for the bubble to burst in Leicester’s sensational season. Bottom of the standings at Christmas in 2014 and top of them at Christmas in 2015, the Midlands club was widely expected to drop points as the season wore on.Two weeks after a 2-1 loss to Arsenal that ended a run of three consecutive wins, Leicester’s title hopes looked set to take another knock at King Power Stadium.Leicester forwards Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have scored more league goals than the entire Norwich team put together, with 33 to 30. But they were kept in check as Norwich played Leicester at their own game, sitting deep, and then looking to hit the opposition on the break.The tactic worked, at least until Ulloa’s close-range strike put Claudio Ranieri’s side firmly back in the Premier League driving seat.”You cannot always play well. It’s not important to play well or not. It’s important to take points,” Ranieri said.Chelsea trailed to a goal by Shane Long at Southampton just before half-time, but Cesc Fabregas drew the champions level in the 75th and Ivanovic headed the late winner.Along with the points, Chelsea also extended their unbeaten league run since Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho in December to 11 games.”The Chelsea we want to see is one which reacts to setbacks,” Hiddink said.A single goal was enough for West Ham in the early game against relegation-threatened Sunderland. Winger Michail Antonio scored it by cutting in from the right touchline and muscling past three Sunderland defenders to curl the ball past keeper Vito Mannone. The performance lacked the home side’s recent sparkle, but was enough to win a scrappy game.”We were not flat, but we were not in the red zone,” West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said.”That makes this win even bigger for us. I will never be objective, as I am West Ham manager. But realistically, we deserved three points today.”
Incumbent president Wilford “Billy” Heaven will be challenged by incumbent secretary Fritz Harris at the annual general meeting of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) at the Jamaica Conference Centre. The contenders, who will enter the elections with a slate of six other executive committee nominees, will be vying for votes from a delegate list of 101 members. Topping the list other executive committee nominees are by Dr Donovan Bennett and former West Indies ‘A’ representative, Mark Neita, running as first and second vice-president, respectively, along with Heaven, the chief executive officer of the state-run Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund. VICE-PRESIDENTS Harris, a business executive and educator, has former West Indies player Nehemiah Perry as his first vice-president nominee and Dr Joyce Graham-Royal, principal of G.C. Foster College, as second vice-president. The other executive committee nominees are: Team Heaven – Diahann Campbell, honorary secretary; Clinton Clarke, assistant secretary; Hopeton Morrison, treasurer and Kerry Scott, assistant treasurer. Team Harris – Randy Nelson, honorary secretary; Dennis Gordon, assistant secretary; Loren Edwards, treasurer; Errol Moodie, assistant treasurer. “We came into office with the promise that we would work to improve the quality of life for all our stakeholders in the Jamaican cricket family. We have kept our promise,” Heaven said. “There is still, however, much to be done to widen and deepen the scope of that improvement.” Harris, in the meanwhile, in his pre-election document, which was titled “Team Cricket”, said his mission was to rebuild the sport. “I am challenging because there is a cry for help,” he told The Gleaner. “Cricket is really struggling and the kind of will that is required was not shown by the president over the past two years.”
BUSY SCHEDULE When Cavahn McKenzie died at the end of a 2014 cross-country race in Trinidad and Tobago, it was awful for St Jago High School. His teammates got the news as they contested the Gibson-McCook Relays and it crushed them. Their schoolmate, teammate and friend had left them for international duty and, tragically, never returned home. Unfortunately, the same kind of tragedy has visited St George’s College with the equally sad passing of their Manning Cup football captain, Dominic James. This time, there was a cruel twist as he died during a Manning Cup game, with spectators there to witness his last moments. Truly, for all present, it must have been a terrible moment. These gruesome things scarcely happen in sport which is entertainment for many. Yet, the grief felt by everyone has to jump-start new provisions to safeguard the health of athletes at every level. In this regard, the early announcement about heart-screening high-school student athletes becoming mandatory is most welcome. After McKenzie’s untimely passing in Trinidad and Tobago, Team Jamaica Bickle, that wonderful group of Penn Relay benefactors, has assisted with screening athletes and by donating machines – known as defibrillators – which are designed to restart hearts. This may have to become standard for high school, club and national sport. As a precaution, it may also be wise to extend the schoolboy football season into January. The present season squashes the Manning and daCosta Cup, the Walker Cup and Ben Francis KO and the FLOW Super Cup into a rapid-fire schedule that has teams playing three times in seven days, with complications if rainy weather intervenes. The schedule gets busy for the top teams, when the later stages of the Corporate Area Manning Cup and the rural area daCosta Cup commingles with the Super Cup and the Corporate Area Walker Cup and the rural area Ben Francis knockout competitions. The congestion is no one’s fault. There are far more eligible schools than in bygone days. Luckily, the solution is simple. The schedule could be relaxed by moving the Super Cup into January, the first month of the Easter term. That is a matter for another day. Right now, the Light Blues need our love and support. As with the St Jago case, James’ family and his teammates at St George’s College need counselling and the steadfast embrace of every Jamaican. At times like these, the only choice is to stand together. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980.
SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP):Chelsea’s prolific double act of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa scored in a 2-0 win at Southampton in the Premier League yesterday, earning the team a fourth straight win to keep in touch with their title rivals.Hazard put Chelsea ahead in the sixth minute when he cut in from the by-line and shot left-footed through Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster’s legs.Costa added a second by curling in a superb strike from 25 metres in the 55th, a rare long-range strike from a penalty-box predator.Hazard (five) and Costa (a league-leading eight) are scoring the goals that are fuelling Chelsea’s title challenge under new coach Antonio Conte.It’s now 12 points from a possible 12 – and four straight clean sheets – since Conte switched to a three-man defence, the Italian’s favoured defensive system that worked so well for him with Juventus in Italy.After 10 games, Chelsea are one point behind Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool, which all scored four goals in victories on Saturday.Hazard was a menace to a Southampton team managed by Claude Puel, the coach who gave the winger his break in football. Puel handed a 16-year-old Hazard his professional debut at French club Lille in 2007 and so will have recognised the wonderful technique and close control that led to his third goal in as many games.SHOT BURIEDAfter running off midfielder Steven Davis, Hazard collected Victor Moses’ pass, cut inside and buried a low shot that was too hard for Forster to react to.Costa was denied by Forster’s feet in a one-on-one chance late in the first half, during which Southampton had more of the possession, but didn’t really threaten.The Spain striker got his now-customary goal, picking up a short pass from Hazard and darting inside before finding the corner.Southampton was picked off time and again on counter-attacks led by the roaming Hazard.Conte will be just as happy with Chelsea’s solid defensive showing without veterans John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic, who had to settle for spots on the bench.Chelsea are the only visiting team to win at St Mary’s Stadium this season, having also done so in February.
BURNLEY vs BOURNEMOUTH SWANSEA vs SUNDERLAND 7 a.m.: Chelsea vs West Brom 9:15 a.m.: – Man United vs Tottenham – Southampton vs Middlesbrough 11:30 a.m.: Liverpool vs West Ham Watford vs Everton 10 a.m.: – Arsenal vs Stoke City • Burnley vs Bournemouth – Hull City vs Crystal Palace – Swansea vs Sunderland 12:30 a.m.: • Leicester vs Manchester City There’s a meeting tomorrow between two of the league’s four English managers. What is surprising is that only Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, rather than Burnley counterpart Sean Dyche, was seriously linked with the England coaching job when it came up twice this year. In their second-ever top-flight campaign, Bournemouth are 10th in the 20-team standings after beating Liverpool last weekend by winning 4-3 from 3-1 down. Burnley, after making an instant return to the Premier League, are 15th. 7:30 a.m.: With only one win in seven games as Swansea manager, Bob Bradley has seen his new team slide to the bottom. The American’s dire introduction to the Premier League was heightened when his disjointed team lost 5-0 at Tottenham last week. Is Bradley’s job already under threat? “You go in every day and at any moment the club can say ‘We need to make a change,'” Bradley said yesterday. “But if you worry about that, the players will spit you out fast. They will see through you. If I am telling the players they have to look adversity in the eye and have some courage, then I have got to do that, too.” Bradley shouldn’t give up hope. He only has to look to Sunderland, the team that was last when he took charge in south Wales and play Swansea tomorrow. Sunderland have hauled themselves to a point from safety by winning three of their last four games under David Moyes. LONDON (AP): After spending last season as one of the key forces behind Leicester’s rise to the Premier League title, Jamie Vardy is now the symbol of the team’s alarming decline. The rough diamond unearthed in non-league football helped power Leicester to their first English title by scoring 24 goals. Defences struggled to contain him as he scored in a record 11 consecutive Premier League games from August to November 2015. Now, the striker can barely get a shot on target and Leicester are struggling because of it. If Vardy fails to score against Manchester City on Saturday, it will be 11 consecutive games without a Premier League goal. And if results go against Leicester, the team could start the game in the relegation zone. The 29-year-old Vardy rejected the chance to join perennial top-four team Arsenal to see if Leicester could build on their fairy-tale season. That has happened in Europe, with Leicester qualifying for the round of 16 in their Champions League debut as group winners. Leicester collected as many points in the six group games as in the 14 Premier League matches so far: 13. Vardy didn’t find the net once in five European games before being rested in Wednesday’s 5-0 loss to FC Porto, which didn’t affect Leicester’s status as group winners but was a high-profile humiliation. Vardy has only contributed two Premier League goals and managed a mere four shots on target in the competition dominated by Leicester so unexpectedly last season. What’s also been noticeable is how Vardy is no longer linking so effectively with Riyad Mahrez – if at all – as the supply line for scoring opportunities has fractured. Unless the symbiotic relationship between Vardy and Mahrez rejuvenates in the second half of the season, Leicester are in real danger of seeing their three-season stay in the Premier League end on the first anniversary of their title triumph in May. “Of course he’s not happy,” Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri said of the central England club’s Thai owner. “No one at the club is.” The one player Leicester couldn’t persuade to stay off season is being sorely missed. N’Golo Kante produced a league-leading 175 tackles and 156 interceptions last season before joining Chelsea. The midfielder would seem to perform the work of two men when he was on the field and without him, Leicester’s defence has seemed easier to break through. Many at the club have publicly attributed the drop in domestic form to the desire to impress on the continent. Now there are no distractions for the next two months before the Champions League knockout phase begins. The visit of Manchester City is a timely reminder about the fate of champions. City were the last team to follow a title triumph with relegation, far back in 1938. City’s current mission is coping for the next four games without Sergio Aguero, with Kelechi Iheanacho replacing the banned striker in the starting lineup. City are fourth in the standings, four points behind Chelsea. Sunday On This Weekend
Following his win at the recently concluded five-game Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) Junior Series, overall Beginners Class champion Adrian Barnes is looking to grow in the sport and continue his winning ways.The eight-year-old Creative Kids Academy student triumphed with an overall score of 365 points to take top honours in his keenly contested category.Cillian Hall copped the runner-up spot with a score of 340 points, while Kemari Morris finished third with 325 points.The confident Barnes, who actually had to settle for second place on last Saturday’s final day of competition at the Caymanas Golf Club in St Catherine, was very happy with his success in the competition.”It gives a very good meaning to my life, and I am very happy with my win, as winning it brings a lot of pride to my family,” the youngster explained.Hall had some joy on Saturday winning match number five, after scoring 46 points to edge Barnes, who tallied 47 points, with Kemari Morris (48) taking third place.The young Barnes credited his father and grandfather, who both play the sport, as well as following it avidly as major sources of inspiration.”My dad played golf and I am just happy the hard work I put in can make them proud, so I am very excited and happy,” Barnes continued. “I feel very good, and I am going to continue playing and look to continue winning.”The young players were awarded 100 points for each match won in the series, 90 for second, while third place got 85. Participants earned 50 points for competing.
Neymar, who has 52 goals in 77 games for Brazil, responded well. “I told him I wanted him to feel comfortable in that role,” Tite said, adding that Neymar replied: “‘You can count on me. I’m ready.'” Tite, whose full name is Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, picks France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Portugal as the main World Cup threats from Europe. Tite has talked of training in Europe in the run-up to the World Cup, and he said Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza has told him he has similar plans. Argentina, however, are struggling to qualify with Messi sitting out a four-match international ban imposed by FIFA for insulting a linesman in a qualifier against Chile. “Regardless of this, he (Bauza) has a quality squad,” Tite said. “One of the best in the world.” You can count on me RIO DE JANEIRO (AP): Brazil coach Tite considers Neymar “the best” player in the world in recent months, after the striker spearheaded his country’s early qualification for next year’s World Cup. The 25-year-old Barcelona forward has scored six goals so far in qualifying to help Brazil become the first team to qualify behind hosts Russia, who get an automatic berth. Neymar also inspired Barcelona to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League, scoring twice and setting up another in a 6-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain. This came after Barcelona lost the first leg 4-0 and was counted out by most. “In the last four months, the best is Neymar,” Brazil coach Tite said in an interview yesterday on Sao Paulo-based Radio Bandeirantes. Tite qualified that by saying “over a 10-year period” Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona star Lionel Messi have been the world’s best. Brazil has won all eight of their World Cup qualifiers since Tite took over last year. The key match came last month when Tite named Neymar captain in a 3-0 win against Paraguay.