In front of a home crowd, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots secured a place in the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final with a dominant seven-wicket victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors. 

The Patriots won the toss and chose to field first. Despite a bright start from the Amazon Warrior’s openers, wickets tumbled in the middle overs before a late burst from Shimron Hetmyer took his side to a substantial 178/9. 

In their chase, the Patriots once again opted to open with Chris Gayle, and he laid the platform for a successful chase, lashing the ball into the stands on numerous occasions before Evin Lewis then took over to guide his side to a crushing victory. 

The Warriors consolidated after losing Brandon King in the fourth over of their innings, with Chandrapaul Hemraj and Shoaib Malik patiently building. However, three wickets in three successive overs, including that of captain Nicholas Pooran, saw the side collapse, reaching 131-8 at one point. Spinners Jon-Russ Jaggesar and Fawad Ahmed were exceptional for the Patriots during this period. It was left to Shimron Hetmyer to salvage the innings and he did so in spectacular style, scoring 45 runs from 20 balls, including a remarkable 25 runs from the last over of the innings. 

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in turn reached their highest powerplay score of this year’s Hero CPL, Gayle, and Lewis bringing up 68-0 after the first six overs. Gayle was in destructive form, scoring 42 from 27 balls, and after he fell to youngster Kevin Sinclair, it was Lewis who took responsibility to lead the chase. Supported by captain DJ Bravo, who promoted himself to number three, Lewis blasted 77* off just 39 balls as the Patriots won with thirteen balls to spare. 

With this win, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots will now go on to meet the Saint Lucia Kings in Wednesday’s Hero CPL final, with one side set to win their maiden title. 

Pace trio Andel Gordon, Johann Layne, and Isai Thorne bowled superbly to push the fifth Youth ODI down to the wire, despite West Indies surrendering the Royal London U19 series to England on Tuesday.

This was the second agonizing one-wicket defeat in the series, following a similar result on the second Youth ODI in Beckenham.

Left-arm quick Gordon, who claimed 3 for 37, stood out bowling with good pace and swing, highlighted by his dismissal of England opener William Luxton, clean bowled in the first over. He was well supported by his right-arm pace duo compatriots Layne, 3 for 40, and Isai Thorne, 2 for 40, as they kept West Indies in the contest by regularly taking wickets.

When Layne dismissed tail end batters Nathan Barnwell caught behind and Joshua Boyden comprehensively bowled in the space of two overs, West Indies were on the verge of pulling off a thrilling fightback win with England still needing 12 runs. However, George Bell, who had an unbeaten half-century of 60 from 115 balls, held his nerve alongside the number 11 batter Sonny Baker to take the home side over the line.

Earlier, Matthew Nandu (51) became the second West Indies batsman to score a half-century on tour alongside Teddy Bishop. His 57-run third-wicket partnership with Ackeem Auguste 32 had West Indies solidly placed at one stage on 101 for 2. But the innings never kicked on, with captain on the day Giovonte Depeiza (34) being the only other major contributor.

The two teams will return to the same venue on Friday for the series finale. First ball is 10:30 am (5:30 Eastern Caribbean/4:30 am Jamaica).

 

Jamaica Reggae Boyz defender, Damion Lowe, insists the team understands the frustration fans are experiencing following a slow start to the World Cup qualifiers but maintains the race to advance from the region has only just begun.

The Jamaica national team, who are looking to get to the World Cup for the first time in over 23 years, find themselves at the bottom of the eight-team group after the first three games.  The Boyz opened with a 2-1 loss away to Mexico, followed by a damaging 3-0 home loss to Panama.

The Jamaicans did, however, stage a recovery of sorts with a 1-1 draw away to Costa Rica.  The team is at this point, however, six points behind leaders Mexico who top the table with 7 and four behind the trio of Canada, the United States, and Panama who are currently in the qualifying spots, all tied on five points.  Lowe has, however, assured fans the team is far from out of the running.

“Every team goes through struggles and rough patches, unfortunately, ours was at the start of the qualifiers, but it only gives us fire in our belly and keeps us humble,” Lowe told SportsMax.TV’s InCaseYouMissedIT.

“If you look at the table we are not far off, people are tying, people are losing.  You saw Honduras, USA game, anything can happen, Concacaf is one of the hardest to qualify out of.  It’s all up in the air, nothing is decided, it’s only three games in,” he added.

 

A high-scoring thriller saw Saint Lucia Kings reach the final of the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and eliminate defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders.

The Saint Lucia Kings won the toss and chose to bat. Mark Deyal got the side off to a flying start and they maintained a high intensity throughout the innings, as Tim David and David Wiese combined to cause carnage in the latter overs, taking the side to a mammoth 205 for 4 after their 20 overs.  

Trinbago Knight Riders got off to a fast start in response but slowly unravelled amidst a growing run rate, as David Wiese took his second five-wicket haul of this year’s Hero CPL to end their title defence as they finished on 184 all out. 

Saint Lucia Kings had got off to a troublesome start as Rahkeem Cornwall was caught out in the first over. Yet Deyal would come in and play with an attacking intent that saw him launch eleven boundaries and reach his highest ever T20 score, 78 off just 44 balls. Roston Chase would aid the side with a valuable knock before David and Wiese came in and formed a destructive partnership: 75 runs coming off the last 34 balls. Despite the high score, Sunil Narine was excellent with the ball for the Trinbago Knight Riders, conceding a paltry twelve runs from his four overs. 


Trinbago Knight Riders responded with a strong start, scoring 66 runs in the Powerplay for just the loss of one wicket, as Narine and Colin Munro kept the required run rate within reach. However, Wiese starred with the ball as he took both their wickets, adding pressure to the chase. Despite quick-fire cameos from Darren Bravo and captain Kieron Pollard, it was not enough as the champions faltered under disciplined bowling from Alzarri Joseph and Wahab Riaz. Wiese then capped off a superb game by taking late wickets to reach his five-wicket haul. 

Saint Lucia Kings reached their second successive Hero CPL final with the win and the result means we will have a new champion this year.

 

 

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.”

 

 

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.

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.”

Guyana Amazon Warriors moved back into the top four of the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) table with a 17-run victory over the Saint Lucia Kings.

The Amazon Warriors won the toss and elected to bat first, but they had to overcome an early wobble to post a competitive total led by Brandon King’s enterprising 77.

In reply, the Kings looked as if they were in cruise control when Roston Chase and Tim David put together a big partnership but excellent death bowling tightened the screws and the Kings succumbed to the pressure.

Having been supplanted in the top four by Jamaica Tallawahs earlier in the day, Guyana needed a win to reignite their competition. However, three early wickets in the PowerPlay put them on the backfoot as Wahab Riaz and Jeavor Royal made the early breakthroughs.

 King came to the Amazon Warriors rescue with his first Hero CPL 50 of the season but other than Nicholas Pooran’s 25 no batsmen was able to stick with King.

Once King fell for his sparkling 77, Odean Smith was able to add some maximums to take Guyana to a challenging total of 151.

Saint Lucia Kings were circumspect in their early reply and found themselves three wickets down with 43 runs on the board.  Gudakesh Motie’s parsimonious spin bowling saw him take 2 for 12 from his four overs to keep the Amazon Warriors well in the hunt.

Roston Chase and Tim David put together a boundary-laden partnership of 75 from 63 balls but just as it seemed they would take the Kings home, Naveen Ul-Haq and Odean Smith bowled four excellent overs to seal two crucial points for the Amazon Warriors.

 

 Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz got their first points of the CONCACAF World Cup final round, with a hard-fought 1-1 draw to Costa Rica, which was a tale of two halves.

Costa Rica went ahead early, but Jamaica found an answer to force the teams to split a point Wednesday at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Costa Rica took the lead in the third minute when Bryan Ruiz weighed up a beautiful ball for Jonathan Moya on the back post. The attacker Moya spotted Jimmy Marin making a run and used his head to set Marin up for an easy shot over the line, with Jamaica GK Andre Blake still working to defend a potential shot from Moya on the post.

Yet, Jamaica was able to find an equalizer just after the halftime break. Left-back Kemar Lawrence got into the final third with the ball and plenty of space in the 47th minute and teed up a cross for Shamar Nicholson. Nicholson didn’t hit his header entirely cleanly, but that seemed to flummox goalkeeper Keylor Navas, and Nicholson was off to celebrate his second goal of World Cup qualification.

Costa Rica was on the break again in the 68th minute, with Marin breaking free, but his touch took him too wide and Jamaica was able to recover from the danger.

There was danger on Navas’ net in the 87th minute, with the former Concacaf Goalkeeper of the Year making a pair of interventions, including using his legs to sweep away a ball that Javon East was attempting to control in the box.

It’s the first point Jamaica has earned in qualification, with the Reggae Boyz set to look for more points in October when they travel to face the U.S.

 Costa Rica’s first match of the October window is away to Honduras and the Ticos will look to add to the pair of points they amassed in September.

Decorated Jamaica sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce insists there are no ill feelings towards talented young American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, despite plenty of talk surrounding the athletes in recent weeks.

In truth, the majority of the arguments have come from feuding sides of the Jamaica vs the United States track and field rivalry, which has amplified in recent months since the American burst onto the scene.

The flamboyant Richardson has certainly played her part in fueling debates in recent months, even if her performances have not quite lived up to expectations, the number of eyes on track and field certainly seems to have increased.

The American was initially expected to face a high-powered Jamaica trio of Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, and Shericka Jackson at the Olympic Games, but ended up missing the top-billed event after picking up a one-month suspension for using marijuana.  At the event, Thompson-Herah broke the longstanding Olympic record with Fraser-Pryce second and Jackson third.

There was for Richardson and some fans, however, the sense of a missed opportunity and a much-hyped meeting of the American facing the Jamaica trio in Eugene two weeks later was presented in that light.  Things did not go as planned for Richardson, however, as she had plenty to say before the event but finished in last place.

The result was the same as the Olympics with Thompson-Herah finishing first, Fraser-Pryce second, and Jackson third.  However, it was Fraser-Pryce who went viral following the sprint as she was caught on camera passing an animated Richardson interview with a mirthful look and knowing smirk.  The fans had a field day, but she insists there wasn’t too much to it.

“I mean, seriously, it was just a look,” Fraser-Pryce told sports lifestyle magazine The Undefeated.

 “I was having a conversation with my teammate and she said something, and then I looked. But it wasn’t – it was just what it is. It was just a look, you know? It was just a look. Yeah. There was nothing more behind it, if I’m being very honest, there was nothing more behind it,” she added.

In her mind, the fiery mentality that the American brings to the sport is also good for track and field.

“I like her. I like her personality,” Fraser-Pryce said.

“…for us as women, we’re somehow supposed to just stand at the line, look cute and just run, [and] wave. We’re not allowed to express ourselves or show our emotions.”

 

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