(REUTERS) – Fast bowler Mohammad Amir was left out of Pakistan’s 15-man preliminary World Cup squad but will feature in their warm-up games against England, the country’s cricket board (PCB) said yesterday.Since producing a match-winning three-wicket haul in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, Amir has taken just five one-day international wickets in 101 overs at an average of 92.60 per wicket.The 27-year-old, however, will get a chance to impress the selectors in a limited-overs series against England, which begins with a Twenty20 in Cardiff on May 5. Big-hitting batsman Asif Ali also features in the 17-man group for the England games, with Pakistan having until May 23 to finalise their World Cup squad.“Asif is probably the best power-hitter in Pakistan, while Amir has the experience and a good record in England,” Inzamam-ul-Haq, former captain and chairman of Pakistan’s selection committee, said in a statement.“These two will provide cover to the World Cup squad and can be drafted into the side by May 23, if required.” Abid Ali was preferred to Shan Masood as Pakistan’s backup opener after the 31-year-old right-hander scored a century on debut against Australia last month.Experienced all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez was also selected in the World Cup group but subject to passing a fitness test ahead of the tournament. “Yesterday we got a boost when he started playing with a tennis ball, with his doctor confirming he will be available for selection for the series against England,” Inzamam added.“Our World Cup opener is on May 31 against the Windies, which is still six weeks away, and we are confident he will be fully fit and ready to display his vast international experience.”Squad: Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper and captain), Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik.
THE thrilling Men’s final was a fitting farewell to the 2019 Noble House Goals Galore Indoor Hockey Championships, as matches concluded on Sunday night at the National Gymnasium.The top-ranked PEPSI Hikers with a zero-goal handicap faced YMCA OFHC Top Form with a 5-goal advantage. The surprise of the match came three minutes after the start when entertaining Top Form midfielder Omar Hopkinson completed a skilful individual move into the back of the Hikers goal. Hikers would now have six goals to overcome.Top Form held firm but tournament top scorer Aroydy Branford scored in the 13th minute with a penalty corner missile to open Hikers’ account.With no further goals scored in the 20-minute first half and the score at 6-1 to Top Form, Hikers had their work cut out for them. Captain Robert France with a nifty deflection and midfielder Jamarj Assanah launched the comeback with goals in the 25th and 29th minutes. Newcomer Louis Adams, however, completed a left-side Top Form attack with a first-time shot into the open goal, immediately following Assanah’s goal to move the scores to 7-3.Men’s Champions, YMCA OFHC Top FormWith ten minutes remaining, and needing four goals to tie the score, Hikers replaced goalkeeper Hoyte with an additional field player and piled pressure on the Top Form defence. Branford scored a second penalty corner and a field goal in the following four minutes with the ploy working superbly well for the Hikers.Captain Robert France brought Hikers within one in the final minute of play, but despite their hurry, time expired leaving Top Form to celebrate the 7-6 victory.Paul D’Andrade of YMCA OFHC Top Form was adjudged the best goalkeeper of the men’s division while Aroydy Branford of PEPSI Hikers, with 35 goals, received the Most Goals award.The women’s final saw the unbeaten Spartans enjoy a 5-goal handicap to GBTI GCC Tigers’ 3.The pressure was on Tigers to score against what had been a solid Spartans defence, led by captain Makeda Harding. The breakthrough came just five minutes into play for Tigers, through the most unassuming manner.Sandy Roopnarine, who had been having a quiet tournament so far, pounced on a loose ball in the scoring circle and evaded goalkeeper Jessica Mittelholzer with a shot past her for the Tigers’ opener.Marzana Fiedtkou, who had put in an MVP performance throughout the tournament, scored next for Tigers with a 7th minute penalty corner, which was her first of three goals in the match.With Tigers already having made up the deficit by the 7th minute, Spartans threw caution to the wind and pressed Tigers defence from the restart.While Spartans’ effort created several chances, goalkeeper Natalie Hing was up to the challenge on each occasion and kept Spartans scoreless.Fiedtkou was the next to impact the game with a 22nd minute goal off a counterattack. Roopnarine, Shebiki Baptiste and Fiedtkou each scored once more to put the game well beyond the reach of Spartans for a final score of 9-5.Jessica Mittelholzer of Bingo Spartans was selected as Best Goalkeeper of the tournament while Marzana Fiedtkou’s 20 goals gave her the Top Goalscorer Award.
THE two places in the final of the 4th edition of the East Bank Football Association (EBFA) Under-11 League, sponsored by USA-based Guyanese Ralph Green will be filled following tomorrow’s semifinals at the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), National Training Centre, Providence, EBD.The first semifinal will see the unbeaten Vurlon Mills Academy, who topped Group ‘A’ of the playoff stage, face the second-placed team from Group ‘B’, Kuru Kururu Warriors, from 09:30hrs.Mills Academy accumulated the most points (13), made up of four wins and one draw, and are the only team not to concede a goal so far in the tournament, which has seen a total of 28 matches and two walkovers.While Mills Academy will start as favourites to advance to the championship match, the young Kuru Kururu Warriors from the Linden/Soesdyke Highway will fancy their chances of also advancing by defeating their opponents.They have racked up three wins, one draw and a loss in securing 10 points and have all to play for tomorrow. The second semifinal from 10:00hrs will feature defending champions Timehri Panthers, who ended second in Group ‘A’, and Group ‘B’ winners Riddim Squad.Like Mills Academy, Riddim Squad have also played undefeated to date, winning three matches and drawing two for their 11 points. Panthers’ lone defeat came at the hands of Vurlon Mills Academy, in their first match of the competition and ever since have clawed their way back into contention.Both these teams have a +4 goal difference, Timehri scoring eight and letting in four while Riddim Squad have scored six times and conceded twice. Whatever happens tomorrow, only two teams would be advancing to the final with the respective losers battling in the third/fourth place match on Saturday November 2, next.Prizes will go to the top two teams in the form of replica trophies while medals will be presented to the third and fourth place teams. There would also be six individual awards (plaques) being presented to players and the Best Coach.
BASSETERRE, St Kitts, (CMC) – Rookie Akshaya Persaud’s maiden half-century stunned Barbados Pride and gave reigning champions CCC Marooners their first win of the Regional Super50 here Saturday.Chasing a modest 173 for victory in a day/night Group A fixture at Warner Park, Marooners appeared headed for defeat at 82 for five in the 26th over before the left-handed Persaud produced a composed, unbeaten 51 to see them to a come-from-behind four-wicket victory.Sadique Henry struck a breezy 30 while Akeem Jordan chipped in with a crucial 29, in a 58-run sixth wicket stand with Persaud, which change the game’s complexion entirely.Jordan had earlier undermined Pride with his lively pace, snatching four for 21 as the innings folded disappointingly for 172 in the 44th over.Off-spinner Larry Joseph chipped in with three for 25 while left-arm spinner Kavesh Kantasingh finished with two for 29.Captain Jonathan Carter and Nicholas Kirton both top-scored with 42 while all-rounder Kyle Mayers struck 27 but Pride declined from 116 for four in the 29th over, to lose their last six wickets for 56 runs.Jordan engineered the two early breakthroughs for CCC, getting Leniko Boucher to chop on to the 11th ball of the day without scoring and then removing the other opener Kjorn Ottley for seven, caught at the wicket driving in the sixth over.Carter counted four fours off 71 balls while fellow left-hander Kirton struck five fours and a six off 56 balls as they repaired the damage in a 67-run, third wicket stand.However, Joseph struck twice in the 21st over to rock Pride, trapping Kirton lbw on the backfoot and then inducing new batsman Tevyn Walcott to hole out to long on without scoring.Carter tried to rebuild again in a 30-run, fifth wicket stand with Mayers who continued the effort by adding a further 27 for the sixth with Shamar Springer (7).But once Carter edged Joseph to Jordan at slip in the 29th over and Mayers was bowled by Persaud in the 34th after striking three fours and a six, Pride lost their last five wickets for 29 runs.In reply, Marooners looked in decent shape at 47 for one before losing dramatically losing four wickets for 35 runs in quick time.Opener Romaine Morrison (22) was involved in a second wicket stand of 29 with Henry before losing his composure and slicing a swipe at pacer Miguel Cummins to Mayers at third man in the 16th overWith one run added in the next over, Paul Palmer edged a defensive stroke at speedster Chemar Holder to Ashley Nurse at first slip for one.Odaine McCatty (4) and Henry then followed to leave CCC in dire straits but Persaud arrived to stroke four fours and two sixes in a superb 79-ball knock to deny Barbados.Jordan struck three fours in a 36-ball innings and even when he departed in the 37th over, opener Abhijai Mansingh (14 not out) who was earlier forced off injured in the third over, returned to post 33 in an unbroken seventh wicket stand with Persaud which put Marooners over the line.
LAHORE (Reuters) – Abid Ali and Babar Azam each hit a century to light up the final day of Pakistan’s first Test at home in a decade against Sri Lanka as the weather-hit match at Rawalpindi ended in a drab draw on Sunday.Rain and bad light did not allow full play on any of the previous four days since Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat but Pakistan’s supporters still packed the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on the final day amid bright sunshine.There was ample entertainment on offer for the crowd as Abid became the only male cricketer to hit a century on his debut in both the test and one-day international formats.Azam also added to his burgeoning reputation as one of world’s top upcoming batsmen, completing his third Test hundred after knocks of 104 and 97 in his last two Tests in Australia.Abid, who scored a ton in his ODI debut against Australia at Dubai in March, remained unbeaten on 109 while Azam was 102 not out as Pakistan reached 252 for two when the stumps were drawn.Shan Masood and captain Azhar Ali missed out for the hosts, who picked up 20 points for the draw – their first in the World Test Championship, having lost 2-0 in Australia. Sri Lanka also picked up 20 points to take their total to 80.The recently-launched WTC sees the top nine test nations face-off over a two-year period, scoring points based on their success and culminating in a final at Lord’s in June 2021.Earlier, Sri Lanka declared their first innings closed on 308 for six immediately after batsman Dhananjaya de Silva completed his sixth Test century.Right-hander De Silva, stuck on 87 since the third day, reached his mark with a sublime cover drive off fast bowler Mohammad Abbas and remained unbeaten on 102.Dilruwan Perera was not out on 16 when Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne called the pair in to allow his bowlers to have a go at Pakistan’s batsmen.The two-match series marks Pakistan’s first Tests on home soil since a militant attack in 2009 on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore.The teams will next travel to Karachi for the second and final Test from Thursday.SRI LANKA 1st inningsDimuth Karunaratne lbw Shaheen Afridi 59Oshada Fernando c Haris Sohail b Naseem Shah 40Kusal Mendis c Mohammad Rizwan b Usman Shinwari 10Angelo Mathews c Asad Shafiq b Naseem Shah 31Dinesh Chandimal b Mohammad Abbas 2Dhananjaya de Silva Not Out 102Niroshan Dickwella c Babar Azam b Shaheen Afridi 33Dilruwan Perera Not Out 16Extras 5b 7lb 3nb 0pen 0w 15Total (97.0 overs) 308 declFall of Wickets : 1-96 Karunaratne, 2-109 Fernando, 3-120 Mendis, 4-127 Chandimal, 5-189 Mathews, 6-256 DickwellaDid Not Bat : Fernando, Rajitha, KumaraBowling: Mohammad Abbas 27 – 9 – 72 – 1, Shaheen Afridi 22- 7- 58 – 2 (3nb),Usman Shinwari 15 – 4 – 54 – 1, Naseem Shah 27 – 5 – 92 – 2,………………………………………………..PAKISTAN 1st inningsShan Masood c Dinesh Chandimal b Kasun Rajitha 0Abid Ali Not Out 109Azhar Ali c Dimuth Karunaratne b Lahiru Kumara 36Babar Azam Not Out 102Extras 2b 0lb 2nb 0pen 1w 5Total (70.0 overs) 252-2Fall of Wickets : 1-3 Khan, 2-90 AliDid Not Bat : Sohail, Shafiq, Rizwan, Shinwari, Abbas, Shah, AfridiBowling: Kasun Rajitha 6 – 2 – 5 – 1 (1nb), Vishwa Fernando 13 – 1 – 49 – 0 ( 1w),Lahiru Kumara 14 – 4 – 46 – 1, Dilruwan Perera 24 – 0 – 85 – 0, Dhananjaya de Silva 11- 0- 48 – 0 (1nb)
TAROUBA, Trinidad (CMC) – Jason Mohammed’s 11th first-class hundred put Barbados Pride’s five-game winning streak under threat as Trinidad and Tobago Red Force took command of their seventh round encounter here yesterday.Trailing by 21 runs on first innings after Pride were dismissed for 260 early in yesterday’s penultimate day, Red Force produced one of their best batting efforts of the Regional Four-Day campaign to pile up 343 for nine in their second innings, with Mohammed hammering a classy unbeaten 113.Barbadian Kyle Hope chipped in with 67 at the top of the order and Akeal Hosein stroked a better than run-a-ball 55, as the hosts pressed home their advantage to take a 322-run lead into today’s final day at Brian Lara Stadium.Red Force have not won in the championship since they beat Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the second round, suffering two defeats and stalemates in the last four fixtures.Seeking to break that poor run of form, they needed just 10 balls to wrap up the Pride innings as the visitors added only six runs to their overnight 254 for nine.Fast bowler Anderson Phillip added the wicket to fall to his tally to end with six for 59.Hope then provided the early impetus for Red Force in an innings requiring 126 balls in just over 2-½ hours and including 11 fours.He put on 45 for the first wicket with debutant Cephas Cooper (14) and then added a further 34 for the second with Isaiah Rajah who spent nearly 50 minutes over three, as Red Force reached lunch on 88 for two.Cooper fell softly after facing 37 balls in an hour at the crease, clipping an ordinary full-length delivery from medium pacer Kyle Mayers to short mid-wicket while the left-handed Rajah played down the wrong line to off-spinner Ashley Nurse (4-70) and was trapped lbw.After the break, Hope extended his third-wicket stand with Mohammed to 45 before finally perishing in the seventh over, following the resumption, bowled by one from left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican (2-69) that spun past his defensive prod and rocked off-stump.Unbeaten on nine at lunch Mohammed, took charge for Red Force, punching 15 fours off 221 balls in 4-½ hours at the crease.He posted significant partnerships of 46 for the fifth wicket with Jyd Goolie (16) and 86 for the seventh with Hosein, who belted seven fours in a 52-ball cameo.On 62 at tea with Red Force on 200 for five, Mohammed reached his landmark in the final hour when he drove fast bowler Chemar Holder crisply to the straight boundary.
BOB Myers sees similarities between “The Last Dance” Chicago Bulls and the Golden State Warriors with Kevin Durant.As the popular documentary continues to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Bulls’ 1997-98 season, the Warriors general manager likened the stresses Chicago faced with the tensions that built within Golden State during Durant’s three-year stint.“The second time with Kevin (in 2018) it felt like, ‘Well, we just did what we were supposed to do, and great job,’” Myers told ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “It wasn’t joy.“I’m sure a lot of people felt differently. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. I think there’s just a weight to everything. And so I’m sure (the Bulls) felt that weight of everything, weight of relationships.”Durant himself has alluded to friction between him and the rest of the squad, specifically in his final season in 2018-19. After signing with the Brooklyn Nets last summer, he admitted his highly publicized feud with former teammate Draymond Green contributed to his decision to leave.Most recently, he revealed in a podcast appearance in February that he knew about midway through the year it would be his last in the Bay Area.“I could feel the separation between the two. You just feel like everybody was just waiting on me to make a decision on free agency. Even from coaches to my teammates to the media – everybody was just like, ‘KD, what you going to do?’“It’s like January. And I’m like, ‘I’m just trying to hoop. That’s all I want to do is play basketball every day.’”Durant shocked the NBA in 2016 when he announced he was signing with the Warriors, who had just lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in The Finals after surrendering a 3-1 series lead. With Durant now in the mix, the Warriors returned to the next two Finals – both against the Cavaliers – and dropped just one game in the two trips combined.In his final season, the Warriors attempted to secure a three-peat, much like Jordan’s Bulls did twice in the 1990s. However, they fell in six games to the Toronto Raptors after Durant and Klay Thompson tore their Achilles and ACL, respectively. (theScore)
By Mark MitchenerSIR Everton Weekes was the last survivor of the famous ‘Three Ws’ – a trio of West Indies batting legends whose lives and careers became irrevocably entwined.Frank Worrell, Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott were all born within 18 months, and within three miles of each other in Barbados – and were even delivered by the same midwife.All three made their debuts in early 1948 against England, were the middle-order mainstays of the great West Indies side of the 1950s – and were all subsequently knighted for services to cricket.A record run of centuriesEverton DeCourcy Weekes was born on 26 February 1925, named after the famous Merseyside football team of which his father was an avid supporter.According to legend, England spinner Jim Laker once remarked to Weekes: “It’s a good job that he wasn’t a fan of West Bromwich Albion.”Born in poverty, Weekes left school at 14 and served in the Barbados Defence Force. He appeared in 10 first-class games for Barbados before being called up to face England at Kensington Oval in his home town, Bridgetown, a month before his 23rd birthday.A first Test century came in the final game of that series in Jamaica, the start of an unparalleled purple patch of form for Weekes, a stocky, powerful right-hander.Touring India later that year, he struck centuries in Delhi, Bombay and two in Calcutta, to complete a run of five successive Test hundreds, a feat not matched before or since.He was even controversially run out for 90 in the fourth Test in Madras while chasing a sixth ton. He did pass 1,000 Test runs though, in only his 12th innings, another record – jointly held with Herbert Sutcliffe – that still stands.That form earned Weekes an offer to play in the Lancashire League, where he was a much-loved professional for Bacup for seven seasons, averaging more than 90.The Three Ws and the heroes of 1950West Indies had never won a Test on English soil on three previous tours before they arrived in 1950, two years after the Windrush had brought the first large wave of Caribbean migrants to the UK.But after losing the first Test at Manchester, where Worrell, Weekes and Walcott batted at three, four and five respectively for the first time, West Indies bounced back superbly to take the series 3-1 with three spectacular victories.The Three Ws, as they were dubbed on that tour, became household names, while Weekes also helped himself to four double centuries against county sides and a triple ton against Cambridge University.Weekes and Worrell were named among Wisden’s five cricketers of the year in 1951, as were spinners Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine who took 59 wickets between them.Despite injury problems for Weekes in the years that followed, he hit double centuries against India and England, both in Trinidad, and three back-to-back hundreds in New Zealand in 1956.A thigh injury prompted his international retirement in 1958, aged only 33, just as the great all-rounder Garry Sobers was making his mark – and two years before Worrell became West Indies’ first black captain.Coach, commentator, bridge player, knightAlthough retired from Tests, Weekes played for Barbados until 1964. He coached Canada at the 1979 World Cup and served on the Barbados Cricket Association board.A popular voice in the commentary box and briefly an International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee, Weekes also represented Barbados at contract bridge and remained close to Worrell and Walcott, becoming the last of the trio to be knighted in 1995.A first-class cricket ground on the edge of Barbados is named the Three Ws Oval, and Worrell and Walcott are both buried overlooking it, while a stand at Kensington Oval also bears their names.Worrell died aged 42 in 1967 after suffering with leukaemia, while Walcott, who later managed the West Indies team and served as ICC chairman, died in 2006.That left Weekes as the genial elder statesman of West Indies cricket, regularly attending games until well into his 90s.In 2019 he said: “I’m 93, and my doctor has only just told me to stop swimming in the sea every day.” He suffered a heart attack later that year.At the time of his death he was the third oldest surviving male Test cricketer.Weekes’ son David Murray kept wicket for West Indies in 19 Tests and 10 one-day internationals between 1973 and 1982, before receiving a life ban for joining a rebel tour of apartheid South Africa. (BBC Sport)
Already, athletes across the country; especially those based in Lagos are eager to get on for the season as demonstrated in keen contest witnessed in the recently held Track and Field Coaches Association of Nigeria (TAFCAN) Meet at the National Stadium in Surulere.Activities at today’s All Comers championships which is the maiden event of the year from the AFN is billed to commence by 8.am and expectations are high for a spectacular show at the Yaba Tech Sports complex.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has concluded arrangements to host an All-Comers Championship today at the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos.Head of Media for the AFN, Olukayode Thomas, said in a press statement that the All-Comers event are expected to be keenly contested as it will be used to select athletes that would participate in the federations’ Golden League meetings which would start off in earnest.“The federation will be having it’s All-Comers event at Yaba Tech on Wednesday, we will be selecting the best athletes from the All-Comers to participate in the Golden League, while the best athletes from the Golden League will form our team to the African Championships in South Africa next month,” Mr. Thomas stated.
In-form Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries Football Club of Lagos left-winger, Sikiru Olatunbosun has said that he’s pleased with his first brace in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).The skillful left-footed player was the star performer for the Olukoya Boys in the 3-0 defeat of Akwa United Football Club of Uyo at the Agege Township Stadium on Saturday in Match-day 14 clash of the NPFL.Olatunbosun found the back of the net twice for the Lagos-based team as the Promise Keepers from Akwa Ibom were put to the sword in an emphatic fashion in Lagos while teenage striker, Stephen Odey scored a goal as well. The excited forward expressed happiness for what has been described as a superlative performance and paid tribute to his teammates for their support.“I am very pleased and very happy to have scored my first NPFL brace.“I have to say a big thank you to my teammates, the coaches for their support and our fans for their support as well. I don’t think I can score goals without them,” he told the official website of the club.Olatunbosun has scored three goals for MFM FC in his debut season in the NPFL.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram