Vere United and Molynes United played to a gloomy 0-0 stalemate in their Jamaica Premier League (JPL) game at the Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, the University of the West Indies on Monday.

 West Indies have named an unchanged 13-member squad for the third CG Insurance T20 International (T20I) against South Africa set for tomorrow at the Grenada National Stadium on Tuesday.

The five-match CG Insurance T20I Series is currently 1-1 after the first two exciting matches of the Series. Two-time World Champions, West Indies won the series opener by eight wickets on Saturday, while South Africa fought back to win the second match by 16 runs on Sunday.

Roger Harper, CWI Chief Selector, said there was no need for change.

"The Selection Panel is happy to retain the same squad for the third CG Insurance T20I. With this series in the balance, we would like to give this squad another opportunity to display how well they can play together,” he said.

“We are aware that there are still a number of T20Is ahead so there will be opportunities for other players going forward.”

This series forms part of the West Indies’ international home season with a total of 15 T20Is as they continue preparations to defend their title at the ICC T20 World Cup to be played later this year.

The full squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran (Vice-Captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, and Kevin Sinclair.

Living like a sprinter and improving on her speed and strength have resulted in Stephenie-Ann McPherson running her 400m lifetime best at the Jamaica National Championships on Sunday.

Thiago Andrade produced a moment of individual brilliance to cap a comeback in stoppage time as New York City dramatically defeated DC United 2-1 in MLS.

DC United appeared on track for victory following Nigel Robertha's ninth-minute opener away to New York City on Sunday.

That was until New York City – who have never lost a home match to DC United (W5 D2) – rallied, with Keaton Parks equalising in the 84th minute after flicking home a header from Maxi Moralez's corner.

Thiago then took centre stage in the 95th minute – the Brazilian embarking on a spectacular solo run from his own half, breezing by his opponents and finishing decisively.

New York City have scored in 21 consecutive MLS games (including playoffs). It is the longest active run in the league and longest in club history.

With the win, New York City are fourth in the Eastern Conference – six points adrift of leaders New England Revolution, who lost 2-1 to Dallas.

The Revolution were unable to restore their five-point lead atop the table following Ricardo Pepi's brace for Dallas.

Homegrown star Pepi was the hero for Dallas, who snapped their six-game winless streak by topping the Eastern Conference leaders.

In other results, Atlanta United and New York Red Bulls played out a goalless draw, while Austin and reigning MLS champions Columbus Crew also drew 0-0.

South Africa levelled the five-match Twenty20 series against West Indies at 1-1 as spin played a key role in clinching a 16-run win in Grenada on Sunday.

The Proteas appeared to have failed to capitalise on a strong start with the bat when posting 166-7, only slightly above the total they had been unable to defend in the opening game 24 hours earlier.

West Indies had cruised to an eight-wicket victory on Saturday, but this time around they were bamboozled by South Africa's slow bowlers, George Linde (2-19) and Tabraiz Shamsi (1-16) taking 3-35 from their eight overs combined.

Fabian Allen's late onslaught – the all-rounder smashed 34 off just 12 deliveries – kept his team in with a slender chance, but even three sixes off Lungi Ngidi (1-49) in the 20th over were not enough. The innings finished at 150-9, in the process ending West Indies' two-match winning run in the format.

 

South Africa had appeared on course to set a more challenging target when openers Reeza Hendricks and Quinton de Kock (26) put on 73, the stand coming to an end when the latter fell to Kevin Sinclair (2-23).

Captain Temba Bavuma (46) continued the good work of the first-wicket pairing as the tourists reached the midway stage on 95-1, yet they lost their way in the second half of the innings.

The miserly Sinclair accounted for Hendricks, who made 42, and the promise of a late push was curtailed by regular wickets, the Proteas slipping from 122-3 as Obed McCoy (3-25) excelled with the ball at the death.

The real McCoy? Absolutely!

Left-arm seamer McCoy returned his best T20 figures in international cricket, aided by going for just three runs in the 20th over. His back-of-the-hand slower ball accounted for both Heinrich Klaasen and Linde as South Africa slumped down the stretch, albeit the stuttering finish did not cost them in the end.

Allen just Fab, but still not enough

Andre Fletcher did make 35, but the opener used up 36 deliveries in the process of top scoring for West Indies. In contrast, Allen rushed along at a stunning strike-rate of 283.33 runs per 100 balls. His late cameo included five sixes but Ngidi got him in the end, trapped lbw by a yorker from the penultimate ball.

Defending Jamaica Premier League champions Portmore United kick-started their campaign with a comprehensive 2-0 win over Dunbeholden FC at the Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence at the University of the West Indies.

A deflected free-kick by Ricardo Morris in the 37th and a wonder strike by Emelio Rousseau in the 78th minute gave Portmore United a comfortable win in their St Catherine derby, over the upcoming Dunbeholden.

With a number of transfers between both clubs, with players going either way, this match-up was always expected to be an intriguing one and it did not disappoint.

Dunbeholden, clad in blue tops and white shorts, came out flying as Kimoni Bailey latched onto a raking diagonal pass but his rasping shot flew just high.

Portmore responded immediately. Left-back Omar Reid unleashed a menacing shot that goalkeeper Damian Hyatt managed to punch away. As the play swung from end-to-end, Dunbeholden’s new signing Mark Miller, formerly of Waterhouse FC, saw his free-kick turned around the post by Portmore’s custodian Kemar Foster for a corner.

It came to national player Ricardo Morris to find the breakthrough in the 37th minute after he was fouled just outside the box. He picked himself up, brushed himself off and fired a left-footed free-kick that took a wicked deflection off the back of defender Shaquille Dyer and wrong-footing Damion Hyatt in goal.

Dunbeholden never wilted and got a look in as former Portmore United player Rondee Smith teed up the energetic Bailey who shot wide. Smith also got a chance but his weak shot was easily saved.

With Dunbeholden searching for that equalizing goal, Portmore struck again in the 78th minute courtesy of a wonder strike by left-back Emelio Rousseau.

A free-kick was rolled into his path and from 35 metres, the former St George’s College player unleashed a powerful shot that comprehensively beat Hyatt.

 To their credit, Dunbeholden continued to fight. They fought hard to the end with substitute Johann Weatherley getting two half chances to reduce the deficit.

With the win, Portmore United are now joint top of the league, which pleased Head Coach Ricardo Gardner.

“We wanted to function on what we did in training and we saw some of that today. It’s nice to get three points in tough conditions and they went out there and put their best foot forward,” said Gardner.

Dunbeholden’s assistant coach Ricardo Smith said his team may have blundered tactically.

“Tactically, we got it wrong and we are not blaming the players but tactically that’s the main part of it. So we just have to go back to the drawing board and come again,” he said.

Winning her second national title was like a miracle for Megan Tapper who was the surprise winner on Sunday morning, the final day of the 2021 Jamaica National Championships to select a team for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

Running in lane eight, Tapper upset pre-race favourites Britany Anderson and Danielle Williams to take top spot in a season-best 12.68. Yanique Thompson, the Commonwealth Games bronze medalist ran 12.73, a season-best for second place while Anderson was third in 12.75.

“It was like experiencing a miracle right in front of my face,” she said after realizing she had crossed the line first. “I expected it but it is a different feeling when it actually happens.”

Tapper was not in the best of form coming in having run times ranging from 12.87-13.72 in eight races heading into the championships. However, in the semi-finals, she ran a season-best 12.86 for second place in her semifinal that was won by Anderson in 12.65.

She revealed afterwards that patience was the key to her success and understanding what works for her.

“I just had to understand that it takes a while to get into the groove, getting into running to get my mindset right,” she explained afterwards.

“I was patient, my coach and my husband were patient with me and they kept me motivated and at the end of the day I asked God to show up for me and he did and I am grateful.”

She believes running in the outside lane actually helped her avoid the intense battle for places that was unfolding in the lanes inside her.

“I was on the end. I was in lane eight and I guess that worked in my favour,” she said.

“Before I went out, my coach and husband told me to stay focused and to just execute. Once I executed a proper race I would have been close to the top or at the top and that’s what I did.”

Now that she has secured a place on the team to Tokyo Tapper says she knows she has work to do to be ready for competition in Japan.

“I need to remain focused and realize that the job isn’t finished and it is going to take a little than what I had today,” she said.

 

The long-awaited much-anticipated Jamaica Premier League kicked off Saturday with Mount Pleasant Football Academy and Tivoli Gardens battling to a 0-0 draw in the opening match at the Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence.

Just over 14 months since the JPL was cancelled because of the outbreak of the Covi-19 across the globe, football action returned to Jamaica but there were no goals to celebrate the occasion.

Each team had to be satisfied with a point but the Paul “Tegat” Davis-coached Mount Pleasant got the better chances and would have been the more disappointing of the two, having 10 shots on target compared to just two by their opponent.

Playing on the artificial turf on grounds of the University of the West Indies (UWI), the St Ann-based Mount Pleasant, sporting blue tops and white shorts, were quick out of the blocks and applied early pressure on the orange and black-clad Tivoli Gardens outfit from West Kingston.

Playing at left-back, Sue-Lae McCalla created the first chance for Mount Pleasant but his powerful header was tipped over by goalkeeper Kewong Watkins in the sixth minute. Two minutes later, McCalla stung the hands of Watkins with a dipping swerving shot from 25m but Cardel Benbow failed to tuck away the rebound.

Tivoli Gardens got their first shot on target courtesy of the 41-year-old veteran Jermaine “Teddy” Johnson, who saw his free-kick blocked by goalkeeper David Swaby.

Minutes later, Mount Pleasant’s Kemar Beckford cut inside his marker but fired high from just outside the box.

There wasn’t much goal-mouth action in the second half but substitute Francois Swaby latched onto a through ball in the 76th minute only to be blocked by goalkeeper Watkins who stood tall and blocked well with his feet.

Daniel Green also fired straight at Watkins from an angle but Tivoli Gardens held on for a point.

The Man-of-the-match was Trevaune McKain of Tivoli Gardens, who was lively throughout and showed good skill on the ball.

Phillip Williams, head coach of Tivoli Gardens in his second season, was satisfied with a share of the points.

“The youngsters really stepped up and played a decent game for us today (Saturday). Mount Pleasant is a good running team and the boys passed with flying colours,” said Williams.

Mount Pleasant’s head coach Davis was visibly disappointed with the result.

“This is football and when you get some simple chances like that, maybe six, seven chances against this Tivoli Gardens team…the guys were flat, flat, flat,” Davis pointed out. “This is football and we would have loved the three points but it’s the start of the tournament so one point is good.”

A stunning goal and a beautiful assist by 19-year-old Dwayne “Busy” Atkinson gave a youthful Cavalier FC a deserved  2-0 win over an ageing Humble Lion team in the feature encounter at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Saturday.

The lively Atkinson, who came on as a 46th-minute substitute, fired a dipping shot from 25 metres that whistled past a bewildered Dennis Taylor in goal for Humble Lion in the 77th minute.

It was a beautiful goal deserving to be the first of this new season from a  player, who Head Coach Rudolph Speid said was arguably the best player in the country when he was just 15-years-old.

Then in time added on in the 90+2, Atkinson latched onto a ball at the halfway line and in one motion with the outside of his right foot, curled a beautiful through ball into the path of fellow substitute Courtney Allen, who rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home.

It was three very good points for a spritely and youthful Cavalier team with an average age of 20 years and they have thrown down the gauntlet that they will be contenders.

The Clarendon-based Humble Lion unbelievably averaging 32 years, was left stunned by the young guns with some early soul searching needed as to the make-up of their ageing squad.

Man-of-the-Match Atkinson, formerly of Kingston College, said he will be hoping to keep the legacy going set by the former young guns of Cavalier who are now playing overseas.

Meanwhile winning coach Everdean Scarlett, was not surprised by Cavalier’s energy.

“My team gave a good performance of themselves and in the end, it was youthful exuberance that prevailed,” noted Scarlett.

Losing coach Andrew Price said his ageing men could not respond to the more energetic younger Cavalier boys. “We had about 14 training sessions and definitely this Cavalier team has been training long before us and they are a much fitter and younger bunch,” Price pointed out.

“Fatigue set in and we had to make some substitutions but it’s a learning curve. The mind is saying they can do thing but their body won’t allow  them,” said Price

“In the second half Cavalier really turn on the burners on us. But it’s the first game so I won’t mark them too hard,” he added.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce described herself as a warrior Sunday after she completed the sprint double on the final day of the 2021 Jamaica National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston. The 34-year-old Fraser-Pryce ran a lifetime best of 21.79 to add the 200m to the 100m she won in 10.71 on Friday night.

She held a fast-finishing Shericka Jackson, who also produced a lifetime best of 21.82 for the runner-up spot. Elaine Thompson-Herah, the 2016 Olympic champion, finished third in a season-best 22.02.

It was a seminal moment for Fraser-Pryce, who won a silver medal over 200m at the 2012 London Games and gold a year later at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

“I am excited because, look at me, for everything I have achieved over the years, I’ve never taken it for granted. I always knew what I was capable of and I am glad I never gave up and I stuck to what I believed in and kept close to the persons who believed in me and continued to work hard for that dream and I am glad to finally break the 22-second barrier,” she said.

The improvements this season that allowed her to run lifetime bests of 10.63 and 21.79, she said, was the result of the hard work Coach Reynaldo Walcott put her through during the off-season as well as her own resolve to continue to strive for excellence despite whatever challenges life throws at her.

“The key part of the preparation was just the endurance part in making sure I was strong to manage all the rounds, I think that was very important,” she said.

“I am grateful that I was able to put together the work and I give God thanks because I have had struggles, especially with my toe, but I am a warrior so whatever it is, I am always going to show up and do my best and as long as I do that then I am always satisfied.”

She also praised Coach Walcott, the head coach at Elite Performance, with whom she has enjoyed a harmonious relationship ever since her early days at the MVP track club.

“Mr Walcott has always been a friend. He was part of the MVP track club, we started UTech (University of Technology) at the same time so I have always had that belief in him,” she said, also taking time to praise her former coach Stephen Francis.

“I think what’s also important is that we have always had a foundation as well from Stephen Francis and MVP Track Club so I can’t take that for granted and what he had done to my career so far. So, it’s just a continuation of the hard work and the coaches. I am just glad that I have had two solid coaches.”

Fraser-Pryce said she plans to immediately get back to work to continue to prepare for the Games this summer.

“The Olympics are not that far away so it’s about being very meticulous in the work and being mindful, stay injury free and doing the best I can to stay healthy.”

Rasheed Dwyer won the men's title in season-best 20.17 ahead of Yohan Blake 20.18. Tyquendo Tracey, the 100m champion, was third in 20.34.

 

 

 

 

West Indies opener Evin Lewis believes it was important for the team to get off to a good start against South Africa, on the back of a convincing eight-wicket win on Saturday.

Lewis himself played the role of destroyer in chief as he smashed a whirlwind 71off 35 balls.  The knock included a massive 7 sixes and 4 fours, as he quickly put to bed any notion of South Africa dominating the T20 series the way they had the Test series.

“The most important thing was for us as openers was to have a good start.  We went out there and got a good start with the first six and we pushed on to win the game,” Lewis said following the match.

The batsman who was caught by David Miller at long-off, off the bowling of Tabraiz Shamsi, admits it was somewhat disappointing to miss out on scoring a third T20 international century.

“At the end of the day, my goal was to get the team off to a good start and push on from there.  Actually, I was thinking about batting as deep as possible, probably coming not out, getting a 100, but I look at the bigger picture of the team winning rather than scoring a 100 and the team loses.”

Natoya Goule-Toppin won her eighth 800m national title in impressive fashion and Shericka Jackson cruised into Sunday’s final with the fastest time in the 200m on Saturday’s penultimate day of Jamaica’s National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Like Jackson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, fresh off winning her fourth 100m title on Friday night, was also impressive in advancing to Sunday’s final where she will once again face off with Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who was third in Friday night’s 100m final.

Goule, who has been enjoying an impressive season, clocked a season-best 1:57.84 in a commanding performance in the two-lap event. She was in control from the start and pulled away after the first lap to run her fastest time since she ran a national record 1:56.15 in 2018.

Second was Jasmine Fray who ran 2:03.92 and Aisha Praught-Leer third in 2:05.31, times that are well short of the Olympic standard of 1:59.50 and so neither will make the trip to Japan this summer.

In the semi-finals of the Women 200m, Jackson and Fraser-Pryce both achieved the Olympic standard of 22.80 heading into Sunday’s final. Jackson was the most impressive qualifier cruising to a time of 22.28 easing down to win her semi-final heat ahead of Ashanti Moore who ran a personal best of 22.86.

Natalliah Whyte also made the final on time when she finished third in 23.15.

Fraser-Pryce was also impressive easing down considerably to win her heat in 22.40 over Natasha Morrison, who ran 23.08 for second place and an automatic place in the final. Kevona Davis made it through on time when she clocked 23.20.

Thompson-Herah was the slowest of the semi-final winners as she eased to victory in 22.90. Finishing second was Briana Williams, who was fourth in Friday night’s 100m. The 19-year-old Nike athlete clocked 23.48.

No other runner from that heat advanced to the final.

Meanwhile, Julian Forte was the fastest man heading into Sunday’s final when he clocked 20.22 to win his heat ahead of Rasheed Dwyer, who ran 20.30.

Schoolboy Antonio Watson made it into the final on time as he ran 20.53 for third.

Yohan Blake ran 20.29 easing down to win his heat and qualify for the final.  Romario Williams was the other automatic qualifier in 20.78 from that heat.

The opening heat was won by 100m champion Tyquendo Tracey in 20.38 ahead of Nigel Ellis (20.41). Jevaughn Minzie (20.43) made it through on time.

Christopher Taylor was the fastest man heading into the finals of the 400m. Taylor ran 45.31 to advance along with Karayme Bartley, who ran 45.40 from the first semi-final. Sean Bailey advanced from the other semi-final running 45.42 to finish ahead of Demish Gaye 45.83.

The other finalists were Rusheen McDonald (46.03), Javier Brown (46.07), Keeno Burrell (46.14) and Nathon Allen (46.17).

Stephenie-Ann McPherson ran an impressive 50.18 to advance to the finals along with Stacey-Ann Williams (50.84),  Candice McLeod (51.04), Charokee Young (51.40), Roneisha McGregor (50.97), Tovea Jenkins (51.72), Tiffany James (51.77) and Junelle Bromfield (51.78).

World U20 silver medalist Britanny Anderson cruised into the final of the 100m hurdles taking her heat in 12.65 ahead of Megan Tapper, who ran a season-best 12.86. Also through was the 2019 World Championship silver medalist who won her semi-final in 12.70 ahead of Yanique Thompson, who ran a season-best 12.73.

Daszay Freeman was third in 12.82 which means she also qualifies for the final.

Ackera Nugent recovered from a bad start to win her semi-final in 12.78. Shimayra Williams also booked her place in the final clocking 12.87. Jeanine Williams makes it in on time after crossing the finish line in 13.04.

On a night when the USA’s Grant Holloway came within 0.01 of the world record, Omar McLeod was given a scare in his semi-final heat that he managed to win ahead Ronald Levy as both advanced to the final. McLeod ran his second-fastest time of the season 13.04 and had to work hard to shake off Levy, who ran a season-best 13.08 for second place.

Olympic medalist Hansle Parchment, who is returning from injury, showed he has a lot left in the tank running 13.19 to win his heat ahead of Phillip Lemonious (13.21) and Damion Thomas (13.27). Orlando Bennett (13.49) was also an automatic qualifier.

Andrew Riley (13.65) and Jordani Woodley (13.89) are also through to the finals.

Fedrick Dacres won the discus with 64.31m and Lamara Distin cleared 1.90 to win the Women’s High Jump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JeVaughn Minzie's fifth-place finish in the men’s 100m, at the Jamaica National Championships, did not secure one of the automatic spots to Tokyo but it was a dream come true all the same as it did secure an appearance at a second straight Olympic Games.

The 25-year-old was confident heading into the race and insists he and was not intimidated by a strong field.  He had one job, and it was to be sitting on that flight to Tokyo next month.  Three automatic spots were up for grabs and, he was optimistic about his chances.

"For me as long as I made the Olympic team, that was my goal. Just making the Olympic team because I was struggling all season long and came out here back-to-back each time running a season's best. For me, making the team, just making the team, that's all I wanted,” Minzie told SportsMax.tv following the men’s final.

It was not his best-executed race, as many looking on would have noticed. He was made to chase the big guns from start to finish. As a result, the former Class 1 Boys 200M champion had to do a lot to hold on to his fifth-place ticket to Tokyo.

Minzie believes his struggles to secure one of the automatic spots are a result of the last phase of his race, he is convinced that the last forty metres of his race needs to improve before taking the track in Tokyo.

"(I am) working on my last forty metres, I believe that part of my race can get a lot better,” he added.

Minzie, the 2016 4x100m relay Olympic gold medalist, revealed that he will be aiming to finish in the top three of the 200m.

"Tomorrow in the 200 let’s see if I can make the team, stamp it, seal it this time around tomorrow for the 200m."

Minzie also took the time out to laud his mother, who he says gave him great motivation to finish strong at the national championships.

"My mommy called me last night and said, ‘guess what, run for your life' so that is what I just did, and I have made the team."

The finals of the men's 200m is scheduled for Sunday, at 8:45 pm. The former Bog Walk High Schoolboy will no doubt be looking to reclaim some of his Boys and Girls Championship glory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evin Lewis smashed 71 off 35 balls as West Indies cruised to an eight-wicket win over South Africa in the first Twenty20 international in Grenada on Saturday.

Rassie van der Dussen (56 not out) and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock (37) helped the Proteas post a modest 160-6 as Fabian Allen (2-18) finished the pick of the West Indies bowlers.

A blistering assault from Lewis laid the foundations for the win as he and opening partner Andre Fletcher (30) put on 85 for the first wicket in seven overs.

Tabraiz Shamsi (1-27) claimed the wicket of Lewis, but Chris Gayle (32 not out) and skipper Andre Russell (23 not out) saw West Indies home with 30 balls to spare.

South Africa thrashed West Indies in their recent two-Test series, but these five T20 matches look set to go the other way based on this one-sided game.

West Indies, the reigning T20 world champions, won the toss and elected to bowl first at the National Stadium in St George's and kept South Africa's batsmen in check.

Left-arm spinner Allen bowled particularly impressively as he accounted for the wickets of Reeza Hendricks (17) and skipper Temba Bavuma (22) before veteran Dwayne Bravo (2-30) closed out the innings.

South Africa's attack were no match for the brutal hitting of the West Indies batsmen with Lewis, who shrugged off a blow to the midriff, reaching his half-century off 22 balls.

Lewis had whacked seven sixes and four fours by the time he sliced Shamsi's left-arm wrist spin into the hands of David Miller at long-off, but Gayle and Russell continued to pepper the boundary in a convincing win.

 

Lewis gives flashes of batting guru

With West Indies team-mate Gayle as his batting mentor, it should be no surprise the left-handed Lewis deals in maximums, and this innings was reminiscent of the six-machine at his pomp.

Too short from Ngidi

South Africa paceman Lungi Ngidi bowled with aggression but should have used his head. He bowled way too much short stuff, was promptly dispatched to the stands, and finished with 0-46 from three overs.

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