Jamaica Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Andre Blake admits to enjoying the encounter against top team Argentina and football great Lionel Messi, despite coming away on the other side of a 3-0 defeat.

After starting the game on the bench, Messi's introduction blew things wide open for La Albiceleste who had already taken a 1-0 lead in the first half courtesy of Julian Alvarez’s 13th-minute strike.

With only 10-minutes to go the Jamaicans seemed set to end their third straight encounter against the South Americans within a one-goal margin, but Messi had other ideas.

Blake initially foiled Messi twice but could not do much against the Paris Saint Germain midfielder’s blast from the top of the area in the 86th minute or his crafty free-kick three minutes later.

It’s a world-class team that’s the easiest way to put it.  It’s a different ballgame. The quality of play and the speed of play, everything is a different level. But I enjoyed every moment of it, and it was a great experience,” Blake told the Philadelphia Enquirer.

“He’s the best in the world,” Blake said in his assessment of Messi.

“I wish I was able to make those saves, but world-class players do world-class things. … it was definitely an honour and a moment I’ll cherish forever — not the moment that he scored, but being able to play against him and save a few of his shots.”

Dinthill Technical hammered Ewarton 10-0 at home to maintain their perfect run in the ISSA/Digicel daCosta Cup on Wednesday.

Dinthill now have six wins from six games and lead Zone K with 18 points, three more than Charlemont who secured their own home win, 3-1 over Enid Bennett. McGrath are third on 12 points thanks to a 5-1 win over Guys Hill at Tacky High.

Paul Bogle High joined Dinthill in the unbeaten club thanks to a massive 12-0 hammering of Robert Lightbourne at home. They also have a perfect 18 points from six outings in Zone L. Yallahs are a distant second on 10 points after a 1-1 home draw with Seaforth while St. Thomas Tech and Morant Bay played out a 2-2 draw at the Eastern Banana Complex.

STETHS have played one less match than Dinthill and Paul Bogle but also have a 100% record in Zone E after a 2-0 win over Lacovia at Lacovia. Munro College are second on 10 points but lost ground on the leaders after suffering an 0-1 defeat at the hands of B.B Coke. Sydney Pagon lost 1-2 to Maggotty at home in Zone E’s other clash.

Manning’s got their fifth win in as many games, a 3-1 home win over Grange Hill, to remain at the top of Zone D. Petersfield, second with 10 points, played out a 0-0 draw with Belmont Academy while, on Tuesday, Godfrey Stewart beat Black River 1-0 at home.

Manchester leads Zone F with 10 points from four games after a 2-2 draw with DeCarteret College at DeCarteret. Bellefield made up ground and now only trail Manchester by three points after a 3-0 win over May Day at home while Belair are third with six points after a 3-0 win over Mt. St. Joseph at home.

Zone B saw Merlene Ottey suffer a 1-3 home loss to Green Island. On Tuesday, Frome secured a 3-0 over previously unbeaten Rusea’s to take over top spot with nine points from three games and a goal difference 19, six more than Rusea’s who also have nine points.

Browns Town beat Ocho Rios 2-0 in the lone Zone I fixture on Wednesday.

Tacky High took over top spot in Zone J with a 3-1 win over St. Mary High at the Highgate Community Centre to move to 11 points from five games, three more than Horace Clarke who have played one game less. Annotto Bay and St. Mary Tech played out a 2-2 draw at Westmoreland Oval in the other Zone J game.

In other Tuesday results, Irwin beat Cornwall College 2-1 to move to four wins from four games to lead Zone A ahead of Green Pond, who now have seven points from four matches after a 1-1 draw over St. James. Maldon beat Anchovy 4-1 in the other Zone A game. Cornwall currently sit third with six points from their four encounters.

William Knibb maintained their perfect record in Zone C with a comprehensive 10-0 over Herbert Morrison to move to nine points from three games. Joining them with nine points from three games was Cedric Titus who beat Spot Valley 2-1.

 

Rovman Powell said it would mean the world to him should he lead the Jamaica Tallawahs to the 2022 Hero CPL title when they take on the Barbados Royals in the finals at Providence, Guyana on Friday night.

Jamaica Tallawahs batsman Shamarh Brooks has hailed the influence of his teammates after smashing a crucial, maiden, T20 century against the Guyana Amazon Warriors, in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Wednesday.

In the must-win encounter, Brooks both treated and horrified home fans with some spectacular stroke-play, which underpinned the Jamaica franchise’s sizeable innings score of 226 for 4.  Personally, the batsman piled on an unbeaten 109 off 52 balls his best-ever return for the format.

The total, which included 7 fours and 8 sixes was instrumental in the team’s win as they later managed to restrict the Warriors to 189, which sealed the Jamaica franchise's return to the final for the first time in four years.

“I had lunch with Brandon King and he was very upset with the way I got out in the last innings, on 47.  So, he told me I needed to take it all the way down regardless of what I think, that’s what I did and it paid off,” Brooks said.

“Imad Wasim coming in at the end, the partnership with Ravi, Raymond as well, the guys just kept telling me to keep working it, just keep playing cricket shots and as we always say in the dressing room to keep making love to the cricket ball.”

The Tallawahs will face the Barbados Royals in Friday's final.

 

 

Mona High maintained their perfect start to the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup with a 3-1 victory over Wolmer’s Boys at Stadium East on Wednesday.

Mona, after beating the previously undefeated Wolmer’s, now have 15 points from five games and boast an impressive goal difference of 28 having scored 33 goals and conceded just five.

Earlier at Stadium East on Wednesday, Camperdown and Hydel played out a 1-1 draw. Hydel and Camperdown now sit third and fourth in Group E with seven and five points, respectively.

The other Group E fixture saw Kingston High beat Papine 2-1 at home for their first win in five tries.

Jamaica College moved to the top of Group B on goal difference with a 4-0 win over St. Jago at Jamaica College. The 30-time champions now have 10 points, the same amount as St. Catherine High who got a 6-0 win at Cedar Grove. JC has a goal difference of 19 while St. Catherine has a goal difference of 10.

Holy Trinity beat St. Mary’s College 5-1 at Bell Chung Oval in the other Group B encounter.

STATHS are now in a dominant position in Group D after a 6-0 win over Tarrant moved them up to 13 points from five games, six more than second placed Jonathan Grant, who secured a 2-1 win over Norman Manley at Maxfield Park. Dunoon got a 2-1 win over Spanish Town at Excelsior in the other Group D fixture.

 

 

The Jamaica Tallawahs will contest the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final following a 37-run victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors in Qualifier 2 on Wednesday night.

The Amazon Warriors won the toss and opted to field first and that seemed to be an excellent decision after they reduced the Tallawahs to 37-2 in the PowerPlay. 

 However, Shamarh Brooks produced one of the all-time great Hero CPL innings to guide the Tallawahs to a season-high 226-4. His unbeaten 109 came off 52 balls and along with Imad Wasim, the pair plundered 103 runs from the final five overs to take the game away from the Amazon Warriors.

 The chase was always going to be hard for the Amazon Warriors, so it proved. Despite losing Mohammad Amir to injury the Tallawahs bowling unit produced a controlled performance that kept the Amazon Warriors in check throughout.

Although Keemo Paul produced a good innings of 54 from 37 balls, no one else was able to stay with him to pull off an unlikely heist.

 Earlier, the Amazon Warriors had seemed to be in control of the game when Raymon Reifer was dismissed for 22 to leave the Tallawahs 123-4 with five overs to go. However, Brooks and Wasim launched an unbelievable assault at the back end.

 Brooks hit a maiden T20 century whilst Wasim made an unbeaten 41 off 15 balls to secure the Tallawahs a place in the Hero CPL final.

 If the Amazon Warriors were to chase the 227 to win, they needed a lightning start in the PowerPlay and they got that by putting up 62 runs. However, they lost three wickets in the process thereby handing the Tallawahs an advantage going forward.

 Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals as the Tallawahs bowlers put the squeeze on the Amazon Warriors. Imad Wasim was the star turn leading the bowling unit with 2-25 in the absence of Amir.

 The Tallawahs victory means they will now contest their third Hero CPL final and both themselves and the Barbados Royals will be looking to secure their third Hero CPL title.

Scores: Jamaica Tallawahs 226-4 (Brooks 109*, Wasim 41*; Shepherd 2-43, Tahir 1-34) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 189-8 (Paul 56, Hope 31; Wasim 2-25, Green 2-40) by 37 runs

 

 

 

West Indies Women secured a thrilling one-run victory over New Zealand Women in the first T20 International at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

The Windies lost the toss and batted first, posting 115-9 off their 20 overs thanks to 49 from Aaliyah Alleyne. Amelia Kerr starred with 3-16 for New Zealand.

Then, despite a fighting 27 not out from Hannah Rowe, New Zealand fell agonizingly short of their target reaching 114-9 off their 20 overs. Chinelle Henry led the way with the ball with 3-26 from her four overs.

Player of the Match Chinelle Henry said, “The coaches told us to go out there and be fearless. We wanted more than 115 but that didn’t happen, so we went out there as a bowling unit to get the job done. Going into the second game, we’re obviously looking to improve in both batting and bowling. To see Aaliyah going out at number three and almost getting her maiden T20I half-century showed that we have a lot of depth in the squad, so it’s just for us to keep up that team performance.”

Both teams meet on the weekend for the 2nd and 3rd T20Is, Saturday October 1 at 10:00am and Sunday October 2 at 1:00pm.

Jamaica Tallawahs captain Ravmon Powell insists the team must continue to target improvement ahead of a crucial match-up against the Guyana Amazon Warriors on Wednesday.

Mohammad Nabi slammed a crucial 31 and then took 3 for 10 as the Tallawahs secured a 33-run win over the St Lucia Kings, despite getting off to a slow start.

On Wednesday, the Tallawahs will look to add to that achievement when they face off against the hosts for a place in the final.  The two-time champions have not reached the final in four seasons but Powell believes that could be set to change.

 “We are ready, we are expecting a full house but we won’t pay any attention to that,” Powell said after the team’s win on Wednesday.

“We are not focused on that, all the guys need to do is to keep on improving.  We need to keep improving batting in the first ten overs and I think if we do that we will be on our way.”

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Women’s Selection Panel has announced the 13-member squad for the first and second T20 Internationals (T20Is) against New Zealand Women to be played on Wednesday 28 September and Saturday 1 October at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. 

Sheneta Grimmond returns to the West Indies Women’s squad since last playing against South Africa Women in September 2021. The right-arm off-spinner comes into the squad to replace all-rounder Stafanie Taylor, who is ruled out of the first two T20I matches after retiring hurt in the third and final CG United ODI on Sunday 25 September. Grimmond had an impressive showing in the 6ixty and Massy Women’s Caribbean Premier League (WCPL) with her team, the Trinbago Knight Riders, taking four wickets in the 6ixty and three wickets in the WCPL.

Lead Selector for Women’s Selection Panel, Ann Browne-John said: “In the CG United ODI series, there were some very promising performances. The victory in the final match showed a lot of grit and determination. Aaliyah Alleyne, who was included for the final match, shone both with bat and ball.”

Browne-John added: “The Panel is now able to build on this as we continue to develop players. This five match series forms part of the team’s preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Unfortunately, Stafanie Taylor has been ruled out of these two matches after being injured while batting in the third CG United ODI. This squad for the 1st and 2nd T20I sees the return of off-spinner Sheneta Grimmond who had a good WCPL performance, and we believe her off-spin will provide added support to the other off-spinners, Hayley Matthews and Karishma Ramharack.”

This five-match series serves as vital preparation for both teams in the leadup to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa from 9 to 26 February 2023.

West Indies squad for 1st and 2nd T20Is

  • Hayley Matthews (Captain)
  • Shakera Selman (Vice Captain)
  • Aaliyah Alleyne
  • Afy Fletcher
  • Cherry-Ann Fraser
  • Shabika Gajnabi
  • Sheneta Grimmond
  • Chinelle Henry
  • Kyshona Knight
  • Natasha McLean
  • Chedean Nation
  • Karishma Ramharack
  • Rashada Williams

The Jamaica Tallawahs will head to Qualifier 2 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) following a comprehensive defeat of the Saint Lucia Kings in the Eliminator on Tuesday.

The Saint Lucia Kings won the toss and opted to field first, and they took full advantage of that decision with a disciplined bowling display. 

The Tallawahs were never made to feel comfortable and but for some late order hitting from Mohammed Nabi they would have struggled to post a defendable total. 

However, their 148 proved more than enough as the Tallawahs produced a fantastic display in the field.

Nabi followed up his fireworks with the bat with some exceptionally parsimonious bowling to lead the Tallawahs to victory.

Earlier, the Kings had restricted the Tallawahs to a paltry 29-2 in the PowerPlay as Matthew Forde and Alzarri Joseph bowled exceptional lengths.

The Kings continued to take wickets at regular intervals and when Kesrick Williams removed Chris Green for two the Tallawahs found themselves 115-/8. However, Nabi lead the counterattack following that dismissal and finished on 31 off 15 balls to ensure the Tallawahs had something to bowl at.

In reply, the Kings got off to a good start reaching 54-2 at the end of the PowerPlay but when Du Plessis was dismissed for 41 in the eighth over the Kings found themselves in a hole from which they couldn’t recover.

The Tallawahs bowling unit all played their part as the Kings folded for 115 and exited the competition.

The Tallawahs' victory now means that they will battle the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the second qualifier on Wednesday night to determine who will contest the Hero CPL final against the Barbados Royals.

Scores: Jamaica Tallawahs 148-8 (Brooks 47, Nabi 31*; Wiese 3-19, Joseph 2-31) beat Saint Lucia Kings 115 (Du Plessis 41, Joseph 28*; Nabi 3-10, Allen 3-28) by 33 runs.

 

Newly appointed Jamaica Reggae Boyz head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson believes a 3-0 scoreline might have flattered Argentina, insisting his team was made to pay for a loss in concentration in the defeat at the Red Bull stadium on Tuesday.

Argentinean superstar Lionel Messi came off the bench to score twice as the Albiceleste, who, in truth, looked comfortable despite holding a slim 1-0 lead, blew the game wide open in the last 10 minutes.

By the time the world-famous number 10 entered the fray, in the 56th minute, Argentina were already 1-0 up courtesy of Julian Alvarez’s tidy finish in the 13th minute. from there they had struggled to find real goalscoring momentum, that is until Messi entered the pitch.

After stinging the palms of Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake with an early attempt, the forward made no mistake blasting his shot well to the left of the keeper, when he got another opportunity, to double the lead in the 86th minute.  However, sloppy play in midfield led to the dangerous player taking possession at the edge of the area.

Three minutes later, there was real anxiety when the wily forward was brought down just at the top of the 18-yard box.  Those concerns were proven valid when Messi picked himself up and scored the resulting free-kick.  Again the Jamaicans might well feel dissatisfied with their defensive play, as Messi found space through a somewhat disheveled wall to beat Blake again.  The match was the first for Hallgrimsson and he believes despite the errors they were a few positives.

“We lost 3-0 and you are never happy to lose.  Three, zero is a big number but I don’t think it reflects the game on a whole,” Hallgrimsson said.

“It does not reflect the performance of our players, I think we showed an excellent team performance for 80 minutes and we lost a little focus in possession that led to the first and the second goal and then from that lost more focus for the third goal and that cannot happen,” he added.

“Those were the negatives from the match.  We kept them from creating goal-scoring chances, more or less, until the 80th minute.  After 10 minutes we were finding our feet but after that, we were comfortable with how we played our defensive game.”

The Seattle Sounders kept their playoff hopes alive by salvaging an important point in their 1-1 draw against Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Cincinnati were the better of the two sides based on expected goal data, tallying 1.98 expected goals compared to just 0.36 for Seattle in front of their home fans.

The visiting side took the lead in the 24th minute when Brandon Vasquez was able to take advantage of the Sounders' high defensive line, slipping a ball through for Brenner to run onto and he made no mistake with his one-on-one, calmly side-footing it inside the far post.

Seattle nearly equalised through a set-piece in the 35th minute, with Will Bruin rising well to send his header towards the bottom-left corner, only for Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano to deny him with a terrific save.

When the hosts did find the leveler, it was worth the wait, with a searing ball from Kelyn Rowe out of defense being controlled by Fredy Montero near the corner of the penalty box, before he unleashed a rocket high into the near-post corner.

With the result, Seattle remain five points away from the seventh and final Western Conference playoff spot, which is currently occupied by Minnesota. Cincinnati are much more comfortable, fifth in the Eastern Conference and four points clear of chasers.

Argentina were never in any danger during their 3-0 friendly win against Jamaica on Tuesday, played at a neutral site in the United States' Red Bull Arena.

Alvarez opened the scoring in the 13th minute thanks to some terrific work from Lautaro Martinez, who was able to snake his way into the box, beating multiple defenders to get to the touchline and drag one back along the edge of the six-yard box for a simple tap-in.

Argentina continued to create half-chances throughout the remainder of the first half, and it was more of the same to begin the second 45, with Martinez going close after a slick one-touch pass from Alexis Mac Allister gave him some space inside the box, but he pushed his shot wide of the far-post.

Lionel Messi was subbed on in the 56th minute, and just 10 minutes later he had his first chance after a one-two on the edge of the area allowed him to break into the left-hand side of the box, but his shot from a sharp angle was easily thwarted at the near post.

But fans in attendance would get what they came for in the 87th minute, when Messi picked up a deflected pass just outside the penalty area and fired his left-foot shot hard and low across his body into the bottom-right corner.

Just two minutes later Argentina were awarded a free kick in the same spot, and Messi again converted, this time around the wall into the bottom-left corner.

What does it mean? Argentina now two games away from history

With this result, Argentina are now unbeaten in their past 35 games dating back to their loss in the 2019 Copa America semi-final against Brazil. 

Italy holds the record at 37 games without a loss – which they set just last year. Argentina's next two games will be in the World Cup against Saudi Arabia and Mexico, and if they make it through unscathed, they will play Poland for the new record.

Messi the super sub

Despite only playing 35 minutes, Messi led all players with five shots, four shots on target and three successful dribbles. Only Alvarez (three) created more chances than Messi's two, and he scored two goals for his second consecutive international fixture after also netting a double against Honduras this past weekend.

Reid struggles with Argentinian physicality

Bobby Reid had a difficult outing down the left-hand side, being credited with only two duels won from 11 tries – the lowest percentage on the pitch. He also had a passing accuracy of 77 per cent, which was one of the lowest marks from either side, while attempting no shots and creating no chances.

What's next? 

Argentina will take their unbeaten streak into the World Cup, where they will play Saudi Arabia first up. Jamaica do not have any fixtures scheduled until March's CONCACAF Nations League.

 Jamaica Reggae Boy forward Leon Bailey is convinced the unit can produce plenty of quality once they get things right, but admittedly expects a tough outing against Argentina.

The Jamaicans will clash with Argentina, at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, for only the fourth time in the team’s history and the debut outing for new head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, who officially took over the post last week.

The Reggae Boyz have lost all three previous encounters but performed creditably in the team’s last meeting at the 2015 Copa America Centenario, where they narrowly lost 1-0 to the Lionel Messi-led outfit.  Bailey is looking forward to his first taste of the high-profile fixture.

“There are a lot of quality players in the team, we just need to put together, obviously it’s a system that the coach will be improvising but we should be able to do good things and hopefully come away with a result,” Bailey said.

“It’s going to be a good game, the first game for the manager as well, but it should be exciting for everybody playing against a good opponent and I think we just have to be focused and work hard for the whole game.”

Reggae Boyz starting line-up

Andre Blake

Leon Bailey

Daniel Johnson

Ravel Morrison

Shamar Nicholson

Bobby Reid

Damion Lowe

Michael Antonio

Adrian Mariappa

Javain Brown

Amari'i Bell

 

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