The West Indies will host Ireland for three CG Insurance One-Day Internationals (ODI) and a one-off T20 International (T20I) at Sabina Park, Jamaica from Saturday, January 8 to Sunday, January 16, Cricket West Indies confirmed today.

New York City FC will play Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup after coming from behind to beat Philadelphia Union 2-1 in the Eastern Conference final on Sunday.

An Alexander Callens own goal was cancelled out by Maxi Moralez, and a late Talles Magno winner sent NYCFC to their first ever appearance in the championship game, which will take place in Portland on Saturday.

Ronny Deila's New York side were missing star player Valentin Castellanos through suspension and struggled to impose themselves on the game until they were forced to do so when falling behind.

A nervy contest burst into life just after the hour mark as Philadelphia took a 63rd-minute lead. Daniel Gazdag whipped a searching ball into the box and New York City defender Callens diverted it into his own net as he tried to stop striker Kacper Przybylko from getting on the end of it.

NYCFC replied swiftly as Moralez fired in an equaliser just two minutes later. Maxime Chanot hit a shot from range that was saved by Matt Freese, but the ball eventually fell to Moralez, who made no mistake.

Nathan Harriel should have put Philadelphia back in front with four minutes remaining but sent his free header just over the bar, and the Union were made to regret it as NYCFC won it in the 89th minute.

Gudmundur Thorarinsson stole the ball from Olivier Mbaizo before putting it on a plate for substitute Magno to score the winner.

Jhaniele Fowler scored 57 goals as Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls defeated England’s Roses 63-53 for a consolation victory in the England Roses Vitality Series that concluded on Sunday.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has paid tribute to noted sports administrator and sportscaster Anthony “Tony” Harford, who passed away on Friday.

Harford, who also played a major role in the development of cricket at all levels, was a leading figure in the marketing and promotion of sports, including working with the Trinidad & Tobago football team to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In the 1990s, he worked with the then West Indies Cricket Board of Control (WICBC) in the marketing and sponsorship of the West Indies team and accompanied the players on tour.

Harford’s work in cricket also included the development of age-group cricket tournaments and grassroots cricket. He was the lead coordinator and fundraiser for the first-ever West Indies U17 tour to Australia and established an annual “windball” (tennis ball) tournament for amateur players from across the Caribbean.

“Tony was a loyal son and selfless servant of West Indies and Trinidad cricket. He had a tremendous love of sports, and profound knowledge of the ins and outs of all sports,” CWI Vice President Dr Kishore Shallow recalled.

“His service to youth cricket in the Windward Islands was especially innovative and impactful. In the 1990s, he literally relocated the annual Windwards youth tournaments to Trinidad where he found adequate sponsorships to keep the age tournaments alive at a period when the Windwards cricket board was financially strapped.

“He loved young people and was dedicated to seeing the growth of the sporting industry as well as and the development of individual sportspersons. On behalf of CWI’s president, Directors and staff, I would like to extend condolences to the Harford family and loved ones, as well as the sporting fraternity in Trinidad & Tobago.”

 

Injury has forced Kieron Pollard out of the West Indies’ white-ball tour of Pakistan later this month. Pollard suffered the injury during the recent ICC T20 World Cup and has not sufficiently recovered in time for the tour that runs from December 13-22.

Portland Timbers will host the MLS Cup final for the first time in their history after conquering Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday.

Felipe Mora and Santiago Moreno were both on target as 2015 MLS champions the Timbers advanced to the showpiece for the third time.

The Timbers will face either New York City or Philadelphia Union in the December 11 final.

Portland made the perfect start to the Western Conference decider when Mora was on hand to fire his deflected shot past David Ochoa after five minutes.

RSL – who were looking to become the first team in MLS history to reach the final without playing a home play-off fixture – had a golden chance to equalise just past the half-hour mark but Damir Kreilach's header was somehow saved by Steve Clark.

The Timbers sealed the victory in the 61st minute – Moreno's long-range effort ricocheting off the post and back off Ochoa at Providence Park – as Portland extended their winning streak to six matches, just their second such run after 2018.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls were unable to get back on level terms against the England Vitality Roses, after suffering a heavy loss in the second match of the series in Nottingham on Saturday.

The lopsided 66-47 loss pushed the home team to an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series, having won the opening match opening game of the series 55-45 last week.

In the first encounter between the teams, it was the Sunshine Girls that had led at the half, this time around a devastating England attack led by 8 goals after the first quarter, and defensively managed to restrict the Jamaicans to 6 points as they doubled their advantage for a 35-19 half-time lead.

Similar to the first match, the Jamaicans were plagued by numerous turnovers but managed to make inroads into the lead at the start of the third quarter.  The damage was, however, mostly done with England managing to give several non-regular players game time with the win all but secured.  The teams will play the final match of the series at the same venue tomorrow.

 

West Indies captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, admits a recurring problem is the team's ability to spend longer at the crease, on the back of a dismal performance against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded tour.

With very few exceptions, the Windies batsmen struggled to make an impact against a crafty Sri Lanka spin attack, which anchored a dominant 2-0 series win for the hosts in Galle.  A closer look at the team’s batting statistics did not make for good reading. 

In two matches, only three batsmen managed a combined total of over 100 runs.  Nkrumah Bonner was the team’s most successful batsman putting up a total of 148, over the two matches, with a high score of 68 and an average of 49.33.  Brathwaite was next with 119, his average working out to 29.75, with a high score of 72.  Jermaine Blackwood was the third batsman to reach triple figures after totalling 109, averaging 27.25 and getting a high score of 44.

By comparison, Sri Lanka had five players total over 100 over both Tests, with two, Dhananjaya de Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne, getting over 200 runs.

When it comes to partnerships, the West Indies had only one that was worth 100 runs, which took place between Bonner and Da Silva in 44 overs.  By comparison, Sri Lanka achieved the feat 6 times.

“Batting-wise we let ourselves down, we just didn’t get big enough totals to cause any pressure on Sri Lanka,” Brathwaite said, following the match.

With the West Indies set to face England in January of next year, the captain believes the team must find ways to work on its concentration if things are to improve.

“Really and truly it all boils down to having the discipline and doing it for long periods.  I don’t think it will change in terms of spin-friendly conditions or batting in the Caribbean,” he added. 

“Wherever you may play, it’s about having that discipline throughout to bat for longer periods, I think that’s what we need.  We are showing that we can do it, but we are not doing it for long enough.”

 

Cricket West Indies has named a 15-member squad and five reserves to contest the ICC Under 19 World Cup to be held in the West Indies from January 14 to February 5, 2022.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has partnered with SAYTV to create a market-leading live chat app for cricket lovers to discuss the Hero CPL and the other cricketing events around the world all year-round.

Although fans can use the app to chat with other users at any time, the first feature event taking place in the app will be a Q&A session with cricket legend and Hero CPL’s Director, International Cricket, Tom Moody.

He will be joining CPL chat app users to talk about the India vs New Zealand Test series, the Big Bash T20 tournament in Australia and the Abu Dhabi T10 on December 5, 2021, during the Big Bash match between Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars.

SAYTV was launched into the German market in March 2021 with the intention of making an all-in-one social chat platform for everything TV-related while ensuring an inclusive and friendly chat community welcoming everyone. Since then, the company has begun entering partnerships to create state-of-the-art live chat and entertainment technology for its clients. 

SAYTV provides an easy to navigate app interface with engaging community features such as Quiz, breakout rooms, loyalty badges and more. A fully developed in-app store gives the opportunity to offer CPL specific emoticons, avatars, and custom wallpapers to give fans a truly immersive experience.

Paula Raithel, SAYTV’s co-founder and CMO, said: “SAYTV provided the official live chat app for the CPL T20 tournament in August 2021. The collaboration was a tremendous success. Within a few days the CPL Chat App gathered an amazing Cricket community, sharing their thoughts and celebrating together.

“Now looking forward to the future, we are excited to announce that the CPL and SAYTV have entered into a long-term partnership to provide CPL fans worldwide with a safe, inclusive, fun experience chat app.”

Chris Watson. Hero CPL’s Head of Marketing, said: “We are always striving to bring our fans closer to the action and provide a way for them to engage with the league on a year-round basis. SAYTV’s fantastic chat app allows you to do just that. We were delighted with the success of the live chat app during this year’s tournament, and we are very much looking forward to this long-term partnership.” 

 

Sri Lanka completed a series sweep of the West Indies Friday winning the second Test by 164 runs at Galle. Needing to make 297 or bat out 93 overs on the final day, the West Indies folded for 132 all out in 56.1 overs.

Retired Jamaica sprinter Nesta Carter has been banned for four years after testing positive for a prohibited substance earlier this year.

The 36-year-old Carter announced his retirement from track and field in August, at that time stating that medical condition had not allowed him to train since March, and insisting he was putting his health over his career.

According to reports, Carter returned an adverse analytical finding for the substance, clomiphene, which can alter male testosterone levels.  The former athlete has insisted that the substance was in a medication prescribed by his physician while he was out of competition.

The ban was the second for the sprinter, who retrospectively tested positive from a sample, taken at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, in 2016.  The substance was methylhexanamine.

 The positive test led to Jamaica being stripped of their Beijing 2008 gold in the men's 4x100 metres.  The decision was handed down by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel.

West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, says Sri Lanka’s resistance on the penultimate day of the second Test match in Galle will make it difficult for the West Indies to level the two-match series.

An unbroken ninth-wicket partnership of 107 between Dhananjaya de Silva and Lasith Embuldeniya put Sri Lanka in control on the penultimate day of the second Test against the West Indies at Galle on Thursday.

At stumps, Sri Lanka are 328-8, a lead of 279 with two wickets still remaining. De Silva is 153 not out while Embuldeniya is on 25. Together they took Sri Lanka from 221-8 after the West Indies had threatened to restrict the home side to a lead below 200 runs, having trailed by 49 on first innings.

Resuming on 46-2, still three runs behind on first innings, Sri Lanka lost their third wicket at 73 when Veerasammy Permaul had Charith Asalanka caught at short leg for 19. Pathum Nissanka, 21, overnight, and de Silva stitched together a stand of 78 that was broken when the former got out lbw to Roston Chase for 66.

It was then 151-4.

At 157, Chase had Dinesh Chandimal out caught and bowled for two and the Sri Lankan lead was now only 108 with five wickets left.

However, de Silva forged a partnership of 51 with Ramesh Mendis, who made 25. Permaul then dismissed Suranga Lakmal for seven and the injured Angelo Matthews for 1 as Sri Lanka slipped to 221-8, a lead of 172.

It was the last success the West Indies would enjoy.

Permaul, who took 5-35 in the first innings, has so far taken 3-100 while Chase has figures of 2-82.

Scores in the match: Sri Lanka 204 and 328-8; West Indies 253.

 

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