West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran stroked a responsible half-century and spinner Gudakesh Motie claimed a four-for but still came up short in a 4-wicket loss to Bangladesh on Saturday.

The result saw the Asian team complete a 3-0 series whitewash of the Windies and continue their stranglehold over the Caribbean team in the ODI format, which amounts to an 11th straight win.  Unlike the two previous fixtures, however, the third and final match proved a more competitive affair.

The Windies were off to another difficult start after losing Brandon King, Shai Hope, and Shamarh Brooks in the first 6 overs and with only 16 runs on the board.  Pooran, however, steadied the ship alongside Keacy Carty, and the two combined to put on 67 for the fourth wicket.

The partnership was, however, ended when Carty was caught at mid-on, on 33, after a loose shot failed to clear Tamim at mid-on.

Pooran then partnered with Rovman Powell to put on another 34, but Powell was clean bowled by Taijul Islam, leaving the team on 117 for 5.  The Windies captain struggled to find partners to occupy the crease and his outstanding innings came to an end on 73, after also being bowled by Islam. 

Romario Shepherd added a useful 19 from 22 and the Windies ended with their highest score of the series on 178.

Islam ended with the best figures for Bangladesh after taking five for 28.

In pursuit, Bangladesh got off to a strong start as Liton Das had an even 50, while captain Tamim Iqbal played his part with 34.  The team found themselves in trouble mid-innings after some rash strokes left them struggling at 5-116, before an unbeaten 32 from wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan in partnership with Mehidy Hasan saw them home.  Motie had career-best figures for the Windies after taking 4 for 23.

Federico Bernardeschi was hailed by Toronto FC as "exactly what we need right now" as the Canadian outfit completed the signing of the former Juventus winger.

The Italy international, who left the Bianconeri as a free agent when his contract expired last month, has secured a four-year deal with the MLS franchise.

Bernardeschi is the third Italian to join Toronto during this window, with Lorenzo Insigne and Domenico Criscito also arriving in Ontario.

The three-time Serie A title winner brings plenty of experience to the Reds' ranks, having also racked up 182 appearances for Juventus across all competitions, scoring 12 goals while providing 20 assists.

The 28-year-old winger has also earned 39 senior international caps and was part of Italy's Euro 2020-winning squad, scoring his spot-kick as the Azzurri beat England on penalties in the final.

"Having met with Federico a couple of weeks ago, we think he's a great fit for what we're trying to build here at TFC, and look forward to getting him on the field," said Toronto head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley.

Club president Bill Manning added: "We are thrilled to add Federico to our team. As a player and a person, we believe he's exactly what we need right now, both on the field and in the locker room.

"Federico has proven himself to be a champion and a leader at Juventus and for the Italian national team, and brings a pedigree to Toronto that's second to none."

Toronto are 13th in the Eastern Conference and aiming to end a four-game winless run when they travel to Montreal on Sunday.

Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson believes the team has the potential to eventually emulate the feats of the likes of Canada but insists they are still at the building stage.

The Jamaicans were thwarted in their bid to advance to the finals of the Concacaf Women’s Championship following a 3-0 defeat at the hands of defending Olympic champions Canada.

Despite not being at full strength the Caribbean team held its own for long periods of the encounter but was undone by several individual errors.

“We just played the Olympic champions.  The last time I checked they were still the Olympic champions, so they are a very good team.  I think we are taking a lot away from Canada.  We are just a growing team, we are learning, we have been together for 3 weeks and that’s it,” Donaldson said.

“We gave it everything and we just got beat,” he added.

“…We’re just trying to get on with and build something.  So, Canada is an established program.  Maybe one day not too far away we can be like Canada, I think we have the potential to be but we are just trying to build.”

 

Former West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin has announced his retirement from international cricket.

The 37-year-old Trinidadian who last played Test cricket for the West Indies against Australia in January 2016, made his debut against Sri Lanka in July 2005. In 74 Tests, he scored 2898 runs r.that included four centuries and 15 half-centuries, at an average of 25.87. He took 205 catches and 12 stumpings in his Test career.

He made his decision known on Instagram on Friday.

“It is with great pleasure that I announce my retirement from international cricket,” said Ramdin, who last donned West Indies colours in a T20 match against India in December 2019.

“The past 14 years have been a dream come true. I fulfilled my childhood dreams by playing cricket for Trinidad and Tobago and the West Indies.

“My career afforded me the opportunity to see the world, make friends from different cultures and still be able to appreciate where I came from.”

Notwithstanding his retirement from international cricket, Ramdin said he will still be playing franchise cricket.

Ramdin played 139 ODIs for the West Indies scoring 2200 runs with two centuries and eight half centuries, averaging 25.00. he also had completed 181 catches and seven stumpings.

He also played 71 T20I in which he scored 636 runs. In those matches he took 43 catches and pulled off 20 stumpings.

 

 

 

 

Charokee Young, the 2022 NCAA 400m silver medalist is the latest Jamaican to go pro after signing a professional contract with Puma. Young, the fastest Jamaican woman in the world this year at 49.87, made the announcement on the Puma Performance Instagram page Friday.

“So blessed to announce that I am the newest member of the Puma family,” said Young, who just completed her sophomore year at Texas A&M University, is making her first appearance in an individual event at a global championship after finishing third at Jamaica’s national championships. She was a member of Jamaica's bronze-medal-winning team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.

On Thursday, five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah announced that she is now a member of the Puma family after breaking ties with Nike.

Kemba Nelson, the NCAA 100m silver medalist, and who was third at Jamaica’s national championships in June, also signed with Puma in recent days.

Fitness athlete Avernell Modest is still basking in her third-place finish in the Bikini Class of the Inter-Island Bodybuilding Fitness and Physique Championships held at the Maho Casino Royale in St Maarten on July 3.

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Canada in the semi-final of the Concacaf Women’s Championship but rested talismanic striker Khadijah Shaw.

With both teams having already secured a spot at next year’s final both teams turned their attention to securing a spot at the 2024 Olympics.

After an even opening period, Canada took the lead in the 18th minute when Jessie Fleming header home Canada’s first of the night.

Ashley Lawrence had crossed the ball into the area, and Jamaica defender Allyson Swaby ended up deflecting the cross into the path of Fleming.

Adriana Leon and Allysha Chapman entered the game in the 53rd minute and immediately made an impact. In the 64th, with an assist from Leon off a cross, Chapman scored the second goal of the night with a powerful header, after being loosely marked at the back post.

In the 76th, Leon then scored the third and final goal for Canada off a flicked-on header from Jordyn Huitema, who was also subbed on in the 53rd.

The result means Canada moves on to face the United States in the final, while Jamaica faces Costa Rica in the third-place playoff.

Weeks of speculation ended today when Puma announced the signing of five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah.

West Indies bowling coach Roddy Estwick insists the team must find a way to cope with Bangladesh spinners after being comprehensively outplayed over two One Day Internationals thus far.

After losing the toss and being sent to bat on both occasions, the West Indies failed to reach 150 in any of the two encounters.  In the first, the Windies were dismissed for 149 in 41 overs, a match they lost by 6 wickets, and 108 in the second, a lopsided 9-wicket loss.

Similar to the previous encounters between the teams, the Bangladeshi spinners had the West Indies batsmen beaten all ends up.  In the second ODI Nasum Ahmed and Mehidy Hasan Miraz combined for 7 wickets.  Mehidy finished with 4 for 29.

“Losing the toss should not necessarily mean that you are going to lose the game. We’ve got to find a way to counteract these spinners and play the spin a lot better,” Estwick said.

“They’ve been causing us a lot of problems but it’s not for a lack of trying, the boys are trying and that’s going to be very important for us going forward,” he added.

“We still have one more game to go and we continue to learn and hope that we can take some lessons away from it.”

Bangladesh has beaten the West Indies in the last 10 straight ODI matches.  The teams will play the third and final match of the series on Saturday.

 

Mehar Trehan and Katherine Risden both secured individual gold medals for Jamaica at the ongoing CASA Caribbean Junior Squash Championships in Guyana.

Trehan won gold in the Girls Under-15 category by beating Bermuda’s Sommers Stevenson 11-4, 11-2, 11-1.

Risden won the U-17 title by beating Barbados’ Eboni Atherley 8-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-7.

The Girls U-19 title was won by Barbados’ Sumairaa Suleman who came from two sets down to defeat Guyana’s Kirsten Gomes 7-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-9).

On the Boys side, Guyana’s Shomari Wiltshire won the U-19 title in straight sets over Barbados’ Darien Benn (11-6, 11-5, 11-5).

In the U-17 section, Guyana’s Nicholas Verwey needed four sets to beat his teammate Alphonso Michael (10-12, 11-3, 11-7, 11-6).

Jaydon Williams of St Vincent & the Grenadines won the U-15 title with a four-set win over Nicholas Lequay of Trinidad & Tobago (11-5, 11-2, 7-11, 11-8).

 

Jamaican eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Brunel University London.

The 100m and 200m world record holder, who retired in 2017, trained at Brunel many times during his career, including in the lead-up to the 2012 London Olympics where he won three gold medals.

“I want to thank Brunel University for this honorary degree. I really appreciate it,” said Bolt while accepting his award via video.

“I have only fond memories of training at Brunel, you guys really helped me conquer the world, and I must say I really appreciate that,” Bolt added.

The 11-time world championships gold medallist also addressed Brunel University London graduates gathered inside the Indoor Athletics Centre in Uxbridge.

“I want to say to the graduates, hard work does pay off, just remember that the road won’t be easy, there will be ups and downs, and you will fail,” he said.

“But always remember, learn from your failure and try again. Never give up on your dream, because as a young man I never knew I’d be this great. Always work hard, dedicate yourself, and remember, anything is possible, don’t take limits,” Bolt added.

Jamaica Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson remains guarded regarding future plans for the national team as his agreement with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) will only be in place until the end of the Concacaf Women’s Championship.

Donaldson was given the position in June following a messy split between the team and its former head coach Vin Blaine who stepped down from the post after just a few months in charge.  He has, however, previously been a part of the national program as a former assistant coach, the last time the Reggae Girlz qualified, under then-coach Hubert Busby.

The coach has, however, confirmed that he will be heading back to the negotiation table following the conclusion of the tournament.

“I can’t talk about future plans, whatever I have contractually just leads up to this tournament,” Donaldson told members of the media on Wednesday.

“Hopefully we can keep the same coaching staff and move on.  Currently, we have some good people in place taking care of our players…going forward we have to sit down with the JFF and Cedella Marley, who has been tremendous in our making, and go forward with what we doing,” he added.

The Jamaicans will play Canada on Thursday in the semifinals of the Concacaf Women’s Championship.

Jamaica Reggae Girlz forward Kayla McCoy insists the team remains hungry for success despite achieving the historic feat of qualifying for back-to-back FIFA Women’s World Cups.

Having already secured a spot in next year's premier global football showpiece the Jamaican team could be forgiven for getting caught in celebration mode, ahead of Thursday’s Concacaf W Championship semi-finals against Canada.

According to the player, however, the team remains sharp and focused as the match-up against the Olympic champions will present a unique opportunity.

“Although it's very exciting that we qualified again, as a group we knew that we could and fully expected to do so,” McCoy told members of the media on Thursday.

“We’ve qualified but we know the job isn’t done yet and there’s still more to go, so, going into the game against Canada we are going to be firing on all cylinders.  We are still hungry.  We’ve qualified once and now we’ve qualified again but now we want to take it further and show what we can do,” she added.

So far, the Jamaicans have not had a happy time against the Canadians.  The team has lost both times they have faced the North American heavyweights, with the most recent of those meetings ending in a 9-0 defeat.

Philadelphia Union maintained top spot in the Eastern Conference in the MLS, securing a 2-1 win away to Inter Miami on Wednesday.

Goals to Daniel Gazdag and Cory Burke handed the Union the three points to put them on 36 for the season, leading the Eastern Conference by a solitary point.

Gazdag's penalty in the 26th minute was critical, because from there the Union could absorb pressure, and the best defence in the MLS were able to grind out another win.

With only 35.7 per cent possession in the second half, their job was simpler after Burke doubled the margin in the 66th minute, heading in Kai Wagner's dead ball at the back post.

In only his second start since Inter's 3-1 loss to Houston Dynamo in April, Gonzalo Higuain bagged his third goal of the season – smashing the ball into the top corner from distance on the run, and on his opposite left foot – but it was mere consolation in the 82nd minute.

New York City remain hot on their heels, however, maintaining the one-point gap in the Eastern Conference after claiming a tough 1-0 win away to FC Dallas.

Heber was left with a simple tap-in in the 29th minute after Santiago Rodriguez was able to drive into space from the second ball, and he coolly finished for the eventual three points.

Elsewhere in the East, a Jhon Duran brace handed Chicago Fire a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC, while D.C. United twice equalised in the final 10 minutes to snatch a 2-2 draw at home to Columbus Crew.

Cincinnati and Orlando City dropped critical points in the playoff race with respective draws to the Vancouver Whitecaps and Colorado Rapids, while a Ronaldo Cisneros brace gave Atlanta United a big 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake, putting them three points behind seventh-placed Charlotte.

Most of the chasing pack in the Western Conference were not able to capitalise on Dallas and RSL's slip-ups, with Minnesota United playing out a 1-1 draw with Sporting KC, while the San Jose Earthquakes scored a 3-2 win away to Los Angeles Galaxy.

Nashville SC did capitalise and moved to third in the West though, claiming a 1-0 win at home to the in-form Seattle Sounders.

Hany Mukhtar scored the eventual winner in the 44th minute with the interval beckoning, scoring in transition after Randall Leal snatched the ball and released CJ Sapong.

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