Tivoli Gardens missed a glorious chance to book an automatic semi-final playoff spot when they were held to 1-1 by Molynes United in their Jamaica Premier League match at the UWI-JFF
Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence.

Tyrique Wilson had given Molynes United a 79th-minute lead, tapping home from close range after a good team build-up and a cool finish from a Tyrique Sutherland pass. But just three minutes later, Stephen Barnett earned a share of the points for Tivoli Gardens when he headed home at the near post from a pinpoint Daveon Garrison cross in the 82nd minute.

Tivoli Gardens which started the day on 16 points could have gone joint top of the league with a win.
Tivoli Gardens’ assistant coach Dwayne Blake said they were very disappointed not to have grabbed the opportunity in securing a top-two spot and avoiding the quarterfinal playoffs.
“We are very, very disappointed,” said Blake. “Any team comes, we just have to take it and do what we have to do if we want to win the title.”

Molynes United with just one win all season remained second from bottom in 10th spot on seven points. Andre Daley, assistant coach of Molynes United, was the happier for the point
and believed they are building something better for next season.

“We put the ball down more and made some passes. We have some changes for next season but I am pleased with the performance today (Saturday). The youngsters came out and they played pretty well,” said Daley.

 Defender Kyle Ming scored in the 84th minute to hand Cavalier a hard-fought 1-0 win over Vere United and seal a semi-final spot in the Jamaica Premier League on Saturday.

During the match played at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, Ming latched onto a beautiful defence-splitting pass from Melvin Doxilly and fired past the advancing goalkeeper Kadeem Davis.

It was a crucial win for Cavalier that saw them leapfrog both Tivoli Gardens and Mount Pleasant into second place and an automatic semi-final playoff spot. With their fifth win of the season, Cavalier now have 18 points, the same as Mount Pleasant but with a superior goal difference.

Waterhouse FC leads the league with 19 points.

Clarendon-based Vere United was suffering their fourth defeat and remained in fifth on 15 points.

This result also means that both Waterhouse and Cavalier will earn a bye into the semi-finals as the top two teams while Vere United will clash with fourth-placed Tivoli Gardens in the two-legged quarter-final playoff.

The other quarterfinal playoff will see third-placed Mount Pleasant will meet sixth-placed Harbour View also over two legs.

The winners of these two playoff series will face Waterhouse and Cavalier in the semi-final round.

Winning coach Rudolph Speid of Cavalier was satisfied with his young team improving with every game.

“We were playing too conservative because we were aware of the counter but in the second half, if you noticed, Kyle Ming started pushing up a lot more, getting more aggressive with his runs and that was a plan for us and it paid off,” Speid explained.

“Early in the season, we were playing for players to have personal milestones but in the latter, it’s all teamwork now and we playing for the team now.”

Meanwhile, losing coach Donovan Duckie said there is nothing they could have done to prevent that goal as the pass was world-class.

“It was a brilliant pass. It’s been a while since I have seen a pass break three lines and kudos to Cavalier. They would have advanced to the second spot and we are in the top six,” said Duckie.

“We are looking forward to the first game in the quarterfinal and we are looking to return to full strength. Our short term goals are there and it is a reality for us to compete for the title and we are in it to win it.”  

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots returned to winning ways with an eight-wicket victory over the Trinbago Knight Riders on Saturday night to seal a spot in the latter stages of the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League. 

The Patriots bowled brilliantly and then backed that up with a dominant batting display that saw them knock off the victory target with 32 balls to spare. 

 It was Evin Lewis who was the star of the show, making 102 from just 52 balls. 

 The Knight Riders got off to a slow start in the face of some excellent bowling from the Patriots. They reached the end of their PowerPlay at 28-2 with both Lendl Simmons and Denesh Ramdin dismissed caught on the mid-wicket boundary. Ramdin could have gone an over earlier, but Ravi Bopara put down a simple chance. Thankfully for the Patriots, this did not prove too costly. 

A 50-run stand between Darren Bravo and Colin Munro steadied the ship and brought the Knight Riders back into the contest. Munro would go on to top score with 47 but when Darren Bravo went for 22 the Knight Riders lost momentum once again. When Munro and Kieron Pollard went in successive balls bowled by Jon-Russ Jaggesar it looked as if the Knight Riders would set a sub-par total but some big hitting from Sunil Narine took his team to 159-7. 

 The Patriots innings got off to a flying start thanks to Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle who was promoted to open as a result of an injury to Devon Thomas. They reached 67-1 from their PowerPlay overs with Gayle the wicket to fall for 35 from 18 balls. 

When Gayle went it was Lewis who took up the attack, passing his fifty from just 27 balls. While Narine was economical, returning figures of 0/10 from his four overs, the rest of the Knight Riders bowlers struggled for control in the face of the Lewis onslaught. 

Bopara and Lewis shared an 85-run stand, and Bopara contributed just seven runs as the Patriots opener smashed the ball to all parts. 

 This win moves the Patriots back to the top of the table and guarantees them a space in the semi-finals on Tuesday 14 September. 

Scores: St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 160-2 (Lewis 102*, Gayle 35; Pollard 1-20, Khan 1-54) beat Trinbago Knight Riders 159-7 (Munro 47, Narine 32*; Jaggesar 3-32, Drakes 3-32) by eight wickets

 

Gonzalo Higuain scored the winner as resurgent Inter Miami continued their excellent run of form with a fifth straight home win beating Columbus Crew 1-0 in the MLS on Saturday.

Higuain struck the winner in the 16th minute for Inter who have claimed 13 points from their past five matches to surge up to ninth in the Eastern Conference.

Inter had endured a six-game losing span in May and June but Phil Neville's side have bounced back, losing only once in their past 10.

The former Real Madrid forward swooped on a wayward back pass from Josh Williams, taking a touch inside the box and dinking a shot over Crew keeper Eloy Room, with Vito Wormgoor unable to clear it on the line.

New England maintained their stronghold on the lead at the top of the table with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over 10-man New York City.

Santiago Rodriguez had put City ahead with an 11th-minute volley before Revolution midfielder Emmanuel Boateng drive in a low leveller 10 minutes later. Tom McNamara may have put New England ahead when he hit the post late in the half.

Alfredo Morales was sent off for a second bookable offence, an heavy tackle on McNamara, early in the second half.

New England capitalized with in-form Tajon Buchanan coming up with a 65th minute winner from Carles Gil's assist.

Nashville maintained their strong season with a 1-0 victory on the road over Montreal after Walker Zimmerman's glancing 66th-minute header, keeping them second in the Eastern Conference behind New England.

Sporting KC struck twice inside the first 10 minutes from Jose Mauri and Johnny Russell as they won 2-0 over Chicago Fire to stay in touch with Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders.

Colorado Rapids squandered an opportunity to temporarily go top in the west after Samuel Grandsir's late equalizer for LA Galaxy in a 1-1 draw. The Rapids instead slip to third below KC.

Seattle Sounders remained first in the west with a 1-0 home win over Minnesota United thanks to Joao Paulo's 22nd-minute strike.

Teenage sensation Ricardo Pepi scored his 12th goal of the season as Dallas drew 1-1 with San Jose Earthquakes, while lowly Houston Dynamo won 3-0 over fellow Texas outfit Austin.

New York Red Bulls continue to struggle for wins, only managing a 1-1 home draw with DC United after a controversial penalty award for a Sean Nealis handball.

Cincinnati snapped their three-game losing run with a 2-0 home win over struggling Toronto, who have lost five in a row.

Guyana Amazon Warriors have one foot in the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) semi-finals following a 46-run victory over the Jamaica Tallawahs 

The Amazon Warriors won the toss and elected to bat first and captain Nicholas Pooran led the way with a brutal 75 not out to set the Tallawahs 170 to win.

In reply, the Tallawahs succumbed to a heavy defeat as Odean Smith and Gudakesh Motie combined to bowl the Amazon Warriors to victory.

Guyana got their innings off to a steady start amassing 46 runs in the PowerPlay but they had to contend with the loss of Brandon King and Chandrapaul Hemraj in doing so.

Despite Shimron Hetmyer then running himself out, Nicholas Pooran and Shoaib Malik put together a partnership of 54 runs from 33 balls to place Guyana in a strong position with six overs to go.

Pooran then took on the responsibility of getting his side into a good position and his pyrotechnics at the back end of the innings ensured Guyana Amazon Warriors posted a very competitive 169/6.

The Tallawahs were able to keep pace with the required run rate in the early stages of their reply as Haider Ali and Kirk Mckenzie overcame the loss of Kennar Lewis to put on a 41-run partnership.

Odean Smith’s entry into the attack proved pivotal as his two wickets in two balls swung the pendulum back in Guyana’s favour and he wasn’t done there as he also got rid of Andre Russell in a wonderful wicket maiden over.

Alongside Smith, Gudakesh Motie spun a web as his three wickets helped ensure there was no chance of an unlikely win for the Tallawahs.

The victory for the Amazon Warriors means the Tallawahs will now have to win the return game to make the semi-finals. 

A superb bowling spell from David Wiese helped Saint Lucia Kings gain their fifth win of the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and end any chance of the Barbados Royals qualifying for the semi-finals in the process.

The Royals won the toss and captain Jason Holder chose to field first, which looked like a good decision as the Kings lost two wickets in the Powerplay to the superb Mohammad Amir. However, Saint Lucia Kings captain Faf du Plessis once again produced a masterful performance, scoring 84 runs to take his side to a commanding 175 for 6.

Despite a strong start in reply, the Royals were sent into disarray in the ninth over as Wiese took three wickets, Johnson Charles, Shai Hope and Glenn Phillips all fell within five balls. Despite a late fightback from Holder and Hayden Walsh, it was not enough and the side finished on 154 for 8. 

Saint Lucia Kings had reshuffled their batting order for this game, with Mark Deyal opening, yet it was to have little effect as both Andre Fletcher and Deyal were back in the pavilion after three overs, with Amir once again getting early wickets. It was left to du Plessis to build a big score, scoring 84 from 54 balls, partnering effectively with Tim David. A late cameo from Keemo Paul with the bat saw the Kings reach a substantial total. 

The Royals lost Kyle Mayers in the third over but rebuilt with Charles and Hope looking confident at the crease. However, after three wickets fell in an over, they were unable to recover, losing more wickets as the run rate increased, notably Holder, who was looking dangerous on 34 runs off 24 balls. A rain delay saw their innings reduced by one over, and Walsh resumed play with a few boundaries to keep his side’s hopes alive. However, Wiese struck again and took Walsh’s wicket in the 19th over, his fifth wicket of the game,  giving the Kings the crucial win.

With this loss, Barbados Royals can no longer qualify for Tuesday’s semi-finals and will be playing for pride when they face the Saint Lucia Kings once again in their final group game tomorrow.

 

Jamaica international Kemar Roofe insists he is proud of finally making a long-awaited debut for the national team, despite a lopsided result against Panama.

The 28-year-old striker was among a number of players based in European leagues brought in to bolster the Reggae Boyz as the team looks to return to the FIFA World Cup for the first time in over two decades.

It was hardly the ideal scenario, however, as the team lost 3-0 at home to Panama.  The international window consisted of three games but due to United Kingdom restrictions on travel to countries on its red list, Roofe could only take part in the home fixture against Panama.  Both Mexico and Costa Rica where the team also had matches are on the UK’s red list.  Travel to any of these countries would have required a 10-day quarantine upon return to the United Kingdom for the players, with several leagues controversially opting not to release players for the fixtures.

Setbacks aside, however, Roofe insists his first cap was a proud moment for both himself and his relatives.

“It was a proud moment for myself and my family to represent my dad’s country of birth,” Roofe told the Daily Record.

“It’s a good experience to play international football. It’s a different style of football to the domestic game. It’s an enjoyable experience, even though we lost,” he added.

“We only had a few days to get to know each other and play the game. The two other games were in the red zone so we couldn’t go to those games.”

Following an opening-round loss to Mexico and loss to Panama, the team got on the board with a 1-1 draw away to Costa Rica. 

 Cricket West Indies chief of selectors Roger Harper is hopeful the region will see the best of fast bowler Oshane Thomas following his selection to the T20 World Cup squad.

The 24-year-old pace bowler was once considered one of the hottest prospects in regional cricket after bursting on the scene with fiery spells for Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team Jamaica Tallawahs during the 2016 season.

However, despite going on to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the last two seasons and 17 T20 international matches for the West Indies, Thomas is yet to quite hit the heights his talent promised early on.

In-between indifferent spells of forms and fitness issues, the player has taken 19 wickets for the team.  Thomas has, however, looked lively in the CPL this season taking 4 wickets in six games.  The player’s rejuvenated look has been enough to attract the attention of the selectors and Harper hopes the decision pays rich dividends come next month.

“Oshane brings that sort of x-factor to the team, we know when Oshane is at his best he is a real force,” Harper told members of the media on Thursday.

“We haven’t seen him at his best for a while, but we saw him coming to that point in this tournament (CPL).  A lot of work has been done in the various T20 series, behind the scenes with Oshane,” he added.

“When he played, we didn’t see exactly what we were looking for, but now we see a bit of the Oshane that we know in this tournament (CPL) and will feel that if he keeps improving he will be the sort of bowler that could make a difference for us in the right condition.  Hsis extra pace, his extra bounce, and when he is on song he gets the ball to swing at that pace as well.  So, we think he could make a big difference in the team.”

 

 

Atlanta United picked up a critical win in their quest for the MLS play-offs, defeating Orlando City 3-0 Friday to give Gonzalo Pineda his first win as head coach. 

George Campbell headed home the opener in the 25th minute for his first MLS goal and Atlanta benefitted from an own goal by Daryl Dike in the 38th. 

Ezequiel Barco ended any suspense by netting in the 72nd minute after taking a long ball and working his way laterally across the penalty area before firing home with his right foot.

The emphatic win leaves Atlanta level on points with D.C. United, who remain seventh in the Eastern Conference on goal differential.

In Western Conference play, Portland defeated Vancouver 1-0 thanks to a 66th-minute own goal by Ranko Veselinovic. 

Felipe Mora's low drive from the right side got past Vancouver goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau and appeared headed for the net, but it was Veselinovic who made sure it got there with a failed clearance.

Portland moved past Minnesota and into fifth in the conference with the victory, while Vancouver remained just outside play-off position, one point adrift of Real Salt Lake.

In-form batsman Sherfane Rutherford and spinner Sunil Narine were among a few players not eligible for selection to the World Cup squad after failing fitness standards, chief of selectors Roger Harper has confirmed.

In the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Rutherford has been one of the most outstanding players so far, scoring 201 runs in 7 matches, with an average of 40.20 and a strike rate of 136.73.  Speculation had linked the player with a late consideration for a space in the West Indies World Cup squad but, as it has for other players in the recent past, it turns out his fitness level was an issue. 

“As well as he has been performing he is one of a few players who did not meet our fitness criteria, so he was not eligible for selection,” Harper told members of the media, in explaining the player’s omission.

Narine, once the top-ranked spinner in the world, has recently shown versatility at the top of the order as a pinch-hitter and could have been a weapon for the team at the tournament. 

“Sunil Narine is a great miss for a team like this in a tournament like this.  Any team would miss having a bowler of that quality in the team but as I mentioned with Rutherford and some of the others Sunil also did not make our fitness standards,” Harper said.

Based on standards implemented by Cricket West Indies (CWI), in 2019, players must achieve a mark of 40 in the Yo-Yo Endurance Test unless given a medical exemption by the CWI medical committee.  Another player that has shown plenty of promise during the CPL campaign, but did also did not meet the fitness standards, was fast bowler Odean Smith.

Man of the Match Kennar Lewis smashed his second half-century of the season as the Jamaica Tallawahs made it two wins in two as they defeated the Saint Lucia Kings by 55 runs at Warner Park, St Kitts.

This win means the Tallawahs move into a qualifying spot for the knockout games next week but all six teams still have a mathematical chance to reach the latter stages. The Kings remain in third place in the table with all teams having two more group matches left to play.

The Tallawahs got off to a lightning start thanks to other brutal innings from Kennar Lewis who smashed 56 from just 24 balls. Lewis was well supported by Shamarh Brooks as the Tallawahs reached 78-1 off their PowerPlay overs.

While wickets fell throughout the Tallawahs innings they managed to maintain a fast scoring rate throughout with contributions from the middle order. It was Imad Wasim who pushed the Tallawahs past 200 with 10-ball innings worth 27 runs including three consecutive sixes off the 20th over.

The Kings chase started just as quickly with Andre Fletcher and Mark Deyal both making quick-fire scores as they reached 79-1 off their first six overs. Roston Chase and Deyal put on 66 runs in just 32 balls but both fell in the space of two balls to Carlos Brathwaite to bring the Tallawahs back into the match.

Those two wickets gave the Tallawahs a lot more control as they squeezed the Kings in the middle overs with Brathwaite keeping things very tight. The Tallawahs took two wickets in two balls twice more as the Kings chase petered out and the Tallawahs emerged victorious.

Jamaica Tallawahs 211 all out (Lewis 56, Brooks 34; Royal 3-37, Royal 3-53) beat Saint Lucia Kings 156 all out (Deyal 33, Chase 30; Imad 3-34, Brathwaite 2-13) by 55 runs

West Indies chief of selector Roger Harper admits it was a difficult choice to relegate talented all-rounder Jason Holder to a reserve position, following the unveiling of the 15-member T20 World Cup squad on Thursday.

Many were left astonished after Holder, who has had a few standout stints in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and international T20 cricket in recent months, was only named among four reserve players.

“Leaving a player of the standard and quality of Jason out of our final 15 was a difficult decision and it provoked a lot of debate,” Harper told members of the media via an online press conference.

“When we look at the type of composition we wanted, considering the all-rounders that we had and the balance, he was unfortunate not to make it,” he added.

“It was a 15-man squad, everyone couldn’t make it, different things were taken into consideration and Jason just missed out, but with a player of his stature and quality it was a difficult decision and one we didn’t take lightly.”

In 10 matches and three series against Pakistan, South Africa, and Sri Lanka, Holder totalled 90 runs, had an average of 30, and claimed 9 wickets.  He, however, struggled in the team’s most recent series against Pakistan totalling just 2 runs and 4wickets in four matches.

 

Jamaica track and field star Elaine Thompson-Herah has her eyes set on eclipsing the long-standing women’s 100m record, but after adding the Diamond League trophy to her list of outstanding accomplishments this year, she is content to leave that feat until next season.

Once again, the Olympic champion proved to be in a class of her own on Thursday's Diamond League finale, in Zurich, pulling well clear of a quality field to stop the clock at 10.65.  The time was the athlete’s fourth run under 10.7s this season, the most times done by any female athlete in history.

The performance marked yet another outstanding achievement for Thompson-Herah who a few weeks ago claimed the sprint double in Tokyo, and also in the process broke American Florence Griffith-Joyner’s longstanding 100m Olympic record.

However, it was a performance a few weeks later, a jaw-dropping 10.54 set in Eugene, Oregon, that set tongue’s wagging and raised expectations for a world record challenge.  The time was not only the second-fastest ever run over the distance but just 0.5 seconds outside of Griffith-Joyner’s world record, for many years believed to be unapproachable.  After a long, tiring but extraordinarily successful season, however, the athlete is more than content to leave that pursuit for another time.

“It has been a crazy season, a long one and a tiring one. I was so consistent because I was just keeping the faith in me and did not allow any negativity,” Thompson said following the event.

 “I am really happy and grateful. I am tired now but this is my job. I would describe this season with one word: amazing, yet it had ups and downs. I have to give God thanks that I am healthy and that I could finish such a long season…This year, it was a long season with ups and downs, but next year, the world record is definitely on my mind.”

Trinbago Knight Riders battled to a six-wicket victory in their 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) encounter with Barbados Royals.

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