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.

 

Retired track and field star Usain Bolt has encouraged up-and-coming athletes to embrace hard work and dedication to achieve their goals and not be tempted by the shortcut of performance-enhancing drugs.

The big Jamaican was easily the standard by which all other sprinters were measured, after putting together a dominant spell that lasted over a decade.  During that time Bolt claimed 8 Olympic and 11 World Championship gold medals, and in addition, set two records in the men’s 100m and 200m sprints that have stood untouched since 2009.

Perhaps more importantly, in a sport often riddled with doping controversy, the sprinter never failed a drug test.

"I tried to live a respectful life. I understood what it meant to show the world that it could be done so that younger kids can look up to me and say ‘Usain did all these good things without taking drugs’. It's all about hard work and dedication and a lot of people want to take short routes. I always wanted to be the best version of myself,” Bolt said in at a recent Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

“So young athletes listen, it's all about dedication and hard work, it won't happen overnight,” the Jamaican added.   

As part of the solution, the sprinter believes stricter regulations could be considered to deter cheating.  

“We have tried everything in sports to eliminate doping. But I think we have to continue putting in more strict regulations to deter people from wanting to cheat."

 

 

 

Plaudits have come in from Jamaica's sports minister and the Jamaica Olympic Association for Olympic champion Elaine Thompson who was named World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year earlier today in Monaco.

Olivia Grange,  Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, said it did not come as a surprise that Elaine Thompson-Herah would have won the prestigious award.

 

The 29-year-old Jamaican, who successfully defended both 100m and 200m titles she first won at Rio 2016 came out on top of a quality field of candidates that included the USA’s Sydney McLaughlin, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan and Venezuala’s Yulimar Rojas, to win her first AOY award.

“We expected it,” Minister Grange said in a statement.

“This nation is so happy for Elaine and proud of her for winning the top award for women in track and field for 2021. But she put her hands up with her performances in the Olympics and World Games. In fact, she has enjoyed one of the finest sprint seasons in history, retaining her 100m and 200m titles in 10.61 seconds and 21.53 seconds in Tokyo as well as adding another gold medal to her collection in the 4x100m relay, which she and her colleagues won in a national record time of 41.02 seconds.

“Elaine did not just stop there; in her first race after the Olympics, she won the 100m in a world-leading time of 10.54 seconds which makes her second on the all-time list for the 100m and 200m.”

The minister said Thompson-Herah joins two other Jamaican greats to have won the prestigious award from the sports’ world-governing body.

“ It is so great, Elaine now makes it a trio of Female Athletes of the Year for Jamaica; following in the footsteps of Merlene Ottey and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce,” Minister Grange said.

“We salute Elaine Thompson-Herah. She is just awesome!” 

 JOA President Christopher Samuda described the accomplishment as a reward for her outstanding year.

"The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) congratulates our Olympian, Elaine Thompson-Herah, for being selected Female Athlete of the Year by World Athletics," Samuda said in a statement.
"It is indeed an admirable accomplishment, the reward for exemplary performances and a testimony to her valour in transforming the challenges of a year bedevilled with the
pandemic into inspiring feats.

"The Jamaica Olympic Association salutes her and exhorts her to continue to be driven in her athletic pilgrimage of excellence." 

Meanwhile, Thompson-Herah said winning the coveted award was the best way to end her historic season. Posting on her social media pages, the fastest woman alive said, “Way to cap off a magnificent historic season with my first world Athletics athlete of the year award.

“I am just amazed with how the Lord piloted me throughout this year.”

She expressed gratitude to her supporters and sponsors who were behind her on the historic journey.”

“Thanks to all my sponsors @ncbjamaica @flowjamaica and @nike for your continued support. Thanks to all my longstanding supporters family, friends and fans always with me through the ups and downs love you all.”

 

West Indies middle-order batsman, Kyle Mayers, insists the team must keep the pressure on Sri Lanka if they aim to stay in with a chance of levelling the series heading into the fourth day.

Mayers dug in to put on a useful 36 from 64 balls as the Windies secured a narrow lead over the hosts at the end of their first innings, on the third day.

Resuming the day at 69 for 1, the Windies had a strong morning session, but the Sri Lanka spinners struck back to claim the team’s last seven wickets for just 87 runs. 

The Windies began the second innings with a narrow lead of 49 but kept the pressure on by striking twice with two exceptional runouts to leave the hosts at 46 for 2, at the end of the day’s play.  Mayers, who did his part by dismissing the dangerous Dimuth Karunaratne, insists the team must keep that attitude heading into tomorrow.

“We need to keep down the run rate and keep up the pressure,” Mayers said, following the end of play.

“We are ahead in the game now, so if we can stop them from scoring, runs are crucial heading into the last day.  The least amount of runs they get is the better it is for us,” he added.

“So, if we can keep the pressure on and squeeze some wicket out early tomorrow, first hour, I think we will be good.”

Sri Lanka are 46-2 at the end of the third day of the second Test against the West Indies at Galle on Wednesday, still three runs behind the visitors in a match that is delicately poised heading into Thursday’s fourth day.

Jamaica international Adrian Mariappa has secured a surprise move to Australia Super League club Macarthur FC.

The 35-year-old defender had been without a club since May of this year, after being released by English Championship club Bristol City.  The player had, however, continued to show strong form with his country’s national team, playing in 6 games.

Mariappa was linked with a move back to England with Sheffield Wednesday, who are coached by another former Jamaica international Darren Moore.  The club reportedly offered the out-of-contract player a deal, but he opted for the Super League move instead.

For his part, Mariappa insists he is excited and looking forward to the new challenge.

“I want to thank the owners and the football staff for having faith in me and making this happen,” Mariappa said.

“When the opportunity to join the Bulls arrived, it was one I couldn’t turn down. It’s an exciting new challenge for me in my career and that for me is what I thrive off,” he added.

“I’m hungry to achieve great things with the club and create new memories with the team and the fans.”

Macarthur have won one and drawn one of their two games so far in the 2021/22 season.

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