Level 4, Guardian Building
22-24 St. Vincent Streert Port of Spain
Trinidad & Tobago. W.I.
You are here
PERTH—Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin returned a career-best 4-25 to set up defending champion India’s nine-wicket win over second-tier United Arab Emirates in a World Cup Pool B match yesterday.
After dismissing the UAE for a paltry 102, India raced to 104 for one in 18.5 overs. Opener Rohit Sharma top scored with an unbeaten 57 and shared a match-winning 75-run partnership with Virat Kohli, who finished 33 not out.
India leads the group after consecutive victories over archrival Pakistan, South Africa and now the UAE.
It is the first time Ashwin has taken four wickets in an innings in 91 one-day international appearances. He bowled unchanged and used the bounce and turn on the WACA surface to unsettle the batsmen after UAE won the toss and elected to bat.
Swing bowler Umesh Yadav and slow leftarm spinner Ravindra Jadeja also took two wickets apiece as the UAE innings lasted 31.3 overs.
Sharma, who had managed scores of 15 against Pakistan and 0 against South Africa, batted fluently and reached his 50 off just 48 balls.
The partnership between Sharma and Kohli spanned 74 balls as the pair cut loose after opener Shikhar Dhawan (14) was brilliantly caught one-handed by Rohan Mustafa at point.
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni praised his team for the clinical victory. “We have to respect the opposition,” Dhoni said. “I told the boys let’s play the game of cricket rather than look at who we’re playing.
“At the end of the day these are World Cup runs and wickets. They are good enough for motivation.
Dhoni paid tribute the outstanding efforts of man-of-the-match Ashwin, and was particularly impressed with the team’s bowling overall.
“What’s changed in this World Cup is the improvement and the consistency of our bowling. We have raised the game. Overall it’s looking good for us.
“Ashwin bowled really well. He bowled the right line and length, and used the faster one and swung a bit.”
Skipper Muhammad Tauqir lamented UAE’s poor performance and said the unique WACA bounce contributed to the team’s poor batting effort.
“It is the most difficult wicket in the world,” Tauqir said. “We didn’t cope with the bounce.”
The UAE performed well in losses to Zimbabwe and Ireland, but wasn’t up to the level of one of the top eight teams in the sport.
“We had two good games and we need to forget this game soon,” he said. “Unlike other two games, India is a more professional team and a better spin attack. It was their spin attack that got the better of us.” (AP)
United Arab Emirates innings
Amjad Ali c Dhoni b Kumar 4
A Berenger c †Dhoni b Yadav 4
K Chandran c Raina b Ashwin 4
K Khan c Raina b Ashwin 14
S Patil c Dhawan b Ashwin 7
S Anwar b Yadav 35
R Mustafa lbw b MM Sharma 2
A Javed c Raina b Jadeja 2
M Naveed b Ashwin 6
M Tauqir b Jadeja 1
A Guruge not out 10
Extras (lb 4, w 9) 13
Total (all out) 102
Fall of wickets: 1-7 (Berenger, 1.4 ov), 2-13 (Amjad Ali, 4.6 ov), 3-28 (Krishna Chandran, 10.2 ov), 4-41 (Patil, 14.5 ov), 5-44 (Khurram Khan, 16.4 ov), 6-52 (Rohan Mustafa, 19.5 ov), 7-61 (Amjad Javed, 21.1 ov), 8-68 (Mohammad Naveed, 22.3 ov), 9-71 (Mohammad Tauqir, 23.6 ov), 10-102 (Shaiman Anwar, 31.3 ov)
Bowling: B Kumar 5-0-19-1 (2w)
U Yadav 6.3-2-15-2 (3w)
R Ashwin 10-1-25-4 (1w)
M Sharma 5-1-16-1 (2w)
R Jadeja 5-0-23-2
R Sharma not out 57
S Dhawan c Mustafa b Naveed 14
V Kohli not out 33
Total (1 wicket) 104
Did not bat: AM Rahane, SK Raina, MS Dhoni, RA Jadeja, R Ashwin, B Kumar, UT Yadav, MM Sharma
Fall of wickets: 1-29 (Dhawan, 6.3 ov)
Bowling: Naveed 5-0-35-1; A Guruge 6-1-19-0; A Javed 2-0-12-0; K Chandran 3-0-17-0; M Tauqir 2.5-0-21-0.
Toss: United Arab Emirates, who chose to bat
Player of the match - R Ashwin (India)
India won by 9 wickets
South African captain and master batsman AB de Villiers says that the West Indies is still a dangerous team, despite the fact that they were crushed by his outfit in their ICC 2015 World Cup cricket clash at the SCG in Australia on Friday.
The brilliant de Villiers scored a remarkable unbeaten 162 off 66 balls to lead his team to 408 for five against the Caribbean men. His leg-spinner, Imran Tahir, with 5/45 and Kyle Abbott, with the wickets of the danger men Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, ensured that the West Indies were kept to an embarrassing 151 all out in reply, recording their biggest ever loss in an ODI.
Speaking to the T&T Guardian de Villiers said: “I still think that the West Indies are a dangerous team and we must not write them off in this tournament. They have some good quality in there and although they lost badly to us, they can still come back strong, not to be written off at all.”
The right-hander, who is probably the best batsman in the world today, says he feels for his young compatriot Jason Holder.
“I do feel for Jason, not during the game but thinking about it after you would realise that it is very tough for him. He would have days like that but he seems to be a strong man and I think he would come out of it. I remember going through those days, earlier in my leadership stint, so it’s all a learning process.
“There are enough experienced men around him in the dressing room to speak to share and share their knowledge and basically take care of him. He is sure to improve with time and needs to understand that captaincy is not an easy thing.”
Holder was bowling very well until de Villiers came to the crease. After five overs, he had figures of one for nine and ended up with he second worst bowling figures ever in an ODI and the worst by a West Indian.
Only New Zealand’s Martin Snedden has conceeded more runs than him in an ODI.
After eight overs, Holder’s figures read 1/40 and at the end of his ten-over spell, he had none for 102 - 62 runs coming from his last two overs.
The young man did, however, redeem himself somewhat by scoring a half century when the team batted. (VM)
Leaving Sydney with their spirits down after their worst loss in a one-day international, the West Indies will feel much better when they are greeted with a Caribbean welcome at Perth, the venue for their next World Cup match on Friday.
The West Indies was hammered by South Africa, by a record breaking 257 runs, in its fourth match of the 2015 World Cup in Sydney on Friday.
The team now needs to defeat the powerful Indians and the United Arab Emirates to qualify for the quarterfinals of the tournament.
The regional team has had an up-and-down tournament thus far, losing to minnows Ireland before crushing Pakistan and Zimbabwe and then themselves being crushed by South Africa. It has put them at the edge and a defeat to India could see them barely in, with a chance of making the knockout stage.
The authorities at Perth have organised a gala welcome ceremony at the James Street Amphitheatre, the cultural centre in Perth, for the team today and have decided to put a Caribbean spin on proceedings.
Western Australia minister of Tourism, Dr Kim Hames will address the West Indies team, while Dr Richard Walley will make the presentation of a “message stick” to West Indies captain Jason Holder.
Twelve-year-old Tahj Reid, a Jamaican, will sing the West Indies Cricket Anthem. There will also be a performance by Australia’s leading world musician Grace Barbe and the Perth Pandemix Steel Orchestra will beat out tunes that is expected to make the West Indians feel at home.
The West Indies left Sydney at lunchtime yesterday for four-and-three-quarter hour flight to Perth and will have a few days rest before their next match against India on March 6.
Since arriving for the World Cup the team has been on a hectic schedule, playing four matches in two countries and four different cities but their next two games are spaced out over 15 days. After the India clash, they fly back to New Zealand to battle the UAE on March 15.
PERTH—Windward Islands batsman Johnson Charles has been called up to replace Darren Bravo in the West Indies World Cup squad.
The replacement was approved by the ICC event technical committee, after Bravo was forced to return home with a hamstring injury.
Johnson, a hard-hitting right-hander, has played 30 One-Day Internationals and scored 869 runs at an average of nearly 29.
He has scored two hundreds and two half-centuries, and last played for West Indies on the tour of New Zealand in January last year.
The 26-year-old has been in good form in the WICB domestic season, hitting 151 last December in the four-day competition and an aggressive 177 in the one-day tournament last month.
Bravo, meanwhile, was forced out of the tour after picking up a lower-grade tear of his left hamstring while completing a single in the 32nd over of the game against Pakistan in Christchurch a week ago.
He took no further part in the match which West Indies won by 150 runs, and subsequently missed the fixtures against Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Johnson will join the team in Perth as they prepare for the next game against India next Friday. CMC
AUCKLAND—New Zealand scraped home in a thrilling finish against Australia in yesterday’s clash of the Cricket World Cup co-hosts, with Kane Williamson hitting a six to give the Black Caps a one-wicket win after Australia had threatened a remarkable victory.
Having bowled out Australia for just 151, New Zealand looked set to inflict a humiliating defeat on its neighbor when it cruised to 78-1 in the eighth over, but some superb bowling by Mitchell Starc (6-28) breathed new life into the contest.
Williamson ended it when he clubbed a six from the first ball of the 24th over, delighting a packed Eden Park and leaving New Zealand unbeaten at the top of Pool A.
Starc’s magnificent bowling effort—he took three wickets for four runs from three overs in his final spell—meant Australia left the match with its pride and confidence intact just when both looked shot after a powerful performance by New Zealand’s bowlers and batting top order.
The result did, though, set up New Zealand to win the pool and to take an easier path than Australia through the quarterfinals.
Starc claimed his wickets in two bursts, twice plunging New Zealand’s innings into chaos. He first removed Black Caps skipper McCullum, who made a typically dashing 50 off 21 balls with seven fours and three sixes.
That wicket precipitated a mini-collapse of three wickets in five balls around the innings break, reducing the hosts from 78-1 to 78-4.
After McCullum, Starc removed Ross Taylor (1) four balls later and bowled Grant Elliott (0) with the first ball after the resumption.
Williamson and Corey Anderson (26) restored the innings in a fighting 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket. When Mitchell Johnson came on for Starc in the 15th over, Anderson hit him for two fours and a six from his first three balls and New Zealand was back on top. Johnson conceded 68 runs from six overs.
When Anderson went for 26, New Zealand was still on course for an easy victory, needing 20 runs with five wickets in hand, but Starc returned to torment the lower order and turn what should have been a comfortable finish into a thoroughly nerve-wracking climax.
He removed Luke Ronchi, Adam Milne and Tim Southee with some venomous deliveries, bringing in No. 11 Trent Boult—who earlier took a career-best 5-27 in a superb bowling display—with six runs required and two balls left in Starc’s over.
A block and a leave saw off the immediate threat and Williamson—not wanting to risk getting Boult back on strike—stepped away from the stumps when Pat Cummins bowled the first ball of the 24th over, and struck the ball over the short long-on boundary for six and the winning runs.
“The Australians bowled outstandingly and made it very difficult for us,” Williamson said. “Starc was superb and swung the ball throughout the innings.
“In tournament sport it doesn’t really matter how you get across the line as long as you do it and it was a bit of a scrap today but nice to get the win.”
While both teams tried to minimize the importance of Saturday’s match, putting it in context as a pool match and nothing more, there was a psychological advantage at stake, given the two teams could well meet in the final.
“We backed ourselves all the way in but we fell one wicket short,” returning Australia skipper Michael Clarke said. “Full credit to the Kiwis, they played outstandingly.
“They’ve been playing great cricket for a while now and we were not up to the challenge today.”
What had promised to be the game of the tournament looked like a mismatch when New Zealand’s bowlers ran through Australia’s order after the visitors made a promising start with 68 runs off the first ten overs.
Trent Boult, in the destructive spell that changed the Australia innings, claimed five wickets in the space of 16 balls, bowling three of his victims—Glenn Maxwell for 1, Mitchell Marsh and Starc for ducks—with superb deliveries which were full, fast and which swung late.
Johnson and returning Australia captain Michael Clarke (12)—who was playing only his third ODI in the last 12 months and his first since hamstring surgery nine weeks ago—also fell to Boult, caught by Williamson.
Veteran spinner Daniel Vettori, who took 2-41 from 10 overs, was equally instrumental in Australia’s decline, first arresting its aggressive start then claiming the wickets of Shane Watson (23) and Steve Smith (4) to provoke the collapse and keep it in motion.
New Zealand v Australia
A Finch b Southee 14
D Warner lbw b Southee 34
S Watson c Southee b Vettori 23
M Clarke c Williamson b Boult 12
S Smithc Ronchi b Vettori 4
G Maxwell b Boult 1
M Marsh b Boult 0
B Haddin c sub (TWM Latham) b Anderson 43
M Johnsonc Williamson b Boult 1
M Starc b Boult 0
P Cummins not out 7
Extras (b 4, lb 2, w 6) 12
Total (all out) 151
Fall of wickets: 1-30 (Finch, 2.2 ov), 2-80 (Watson, 12.6 ov), 3-80 (Warner, 13.1 ov), 4-95 (Smith, 16.3 ov), 5-96 (Maxwell, 17.2 ov), 6-97 (Marsh, 17.4 ov), 7-104 (Clarke, 19.6 ov), 8-106 (Johnson, 21.3 ov), 9-106 (Starc, 21.6 ov), 10-151 (Haddin, 32.2 ov)
Bowling: T Southee 9-0-65-2(4w); T Boult10-3-27-5 (2w); D Vettori10-0-41-2; A Milne 3-0-6-0; C Anderson 0.2-0-6-1
New Zealand innings
M Guptill c Cummins b Starc 11
B McCullum c Starc b Cummins 50
K Williamsonnot out 45
L Taylor b Starc 1
G Elliott b Starc 0
C Andersonc Cummins b Maxwell 26
L Ronchi c †Haddin b Starc 6
D Vettoric Warner b Cummins 2
A Milne b Starc 0
T Southee b Starc 0
T Boult not out 0
Extras: (w 10, nb 1) 11
Total (9 wickets) 152
Fall of wickets: 1-40 (Guptill, 3.5 ov), 2-78 (McCullum, 7.4 ov), 3-79 (Taylor, 8.1 ov), 4-79 (Elliott, 8.2 ov), 5-131 (Anderson, 19.4 ov), 6-139 (Ronchi, 20.6 ov), 7-145 (Vettori, 21.5 ov), 8-146 (Milne, 22.3 ov), 9-146 (Southee, 22.4 ov)
Bowling: M Johnson 6-1-68-0 (1nb); M Starc 9-0-28-6 (4w); P Cummins 6.1-0-38-2 (2w); M Marsh 1-0-11-0; G Maxwell 1-0-7-1
Toss: Australia, who chose to bat
Player of the match: Trent Boult (New Zealand)
Creole Indian Medicine turned back the clock yesterday at Santa Rosa Park, Arima, when she made all the running in the feature Top of The Class Stakes on the turf track at Santa Rosa Park.
The Bobby Persad-trained 2013 Jetsam Creole Sprinter Indian Medicine showed a return to form on the track where she won most of her races in the past.
Yesterday, Indian Medicine shot out of the stall under three-kilo claiming apprentice Richard Angnoo and never saw another rival at the good odds of 7-2.
At the 600 metres marker Bandwagon was overtaken by the 1-2 favourite Urban Knight on which Wilmer Galviz sent in pursuit of the leader.
However, at the top of the straight Indian Medicine still led but Galviz unleashed Urban Knight with his run.
Urban Knight got to within one length of Indian Medicine before the 2013 Turf Sprint Champion Indian Medicine quickened away in receipt of ten kilos which worked in her favour.
Inside the final 100 metres, the Glenn Mendez-trained Jetsam Award winner Urban Knight, which was making his seasonal appearance was overtaken by Bandwagon in the $100,000 purse event.
At the line, the Kavita Maharaj owned Indian Medicine was 1 3/4 lengths in front of Bandwagon with Urban Knight back in third.
The winner registered the time of 1:04.2.
Riding honours for the day were shared between Champion jockey Brian Boodramsing and Richard Angnoo who both rode two winners.
Training honour for the day fell to Terrance Thomas who saddled three winners Be My Lover, Super Sonic and Eye See You.
Racing continues next Saturday at the centralised venue.
Kino Francis, Samuel West and Adam Ramkissoon were among the winners as action in the qualifying round of the BG T&T Tranquillity Open Tennis tournament served off yesterday at the Tranquility Courts, Victoria Avenue, Port-of-Spain.
On court four, Francis eased past Jerome Burrows 9–0 in the one set contest. West and Ramkissoon also made convincing starts, defeating Miguel Jackson 9–1 and Roderick Williams 9–0, respectively.
Brothers Ross and Scott Hackshaw got out the gates quickly. Ross outlasted Clint Sandy 9–2, while Scott defeated Kyle Brittan 9–3.
The qualifying round continues today, while the top players will qualify for the main draw which begins tomorrow. Players will compete in the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles categories.
MEN’S SINGLES QUALIFYING
Michael Pemberton def Christian Marcano 9–2
Adam Scott def Daynel Angus 9–3
Jean Luc Robinson def Aaron Chan 9–2
Karl Woods def Christopher Thorp 9–4
Samir Elattwy def Aidan Carter 9–6
Adam Ramkissoon def Roderick Williams 9–0
Flyn Von Waldu def Alexander Thorp 9–1
Samuel West def Miguel Jackson 9–1
Kino Francis def Jerome Burrows 9–0
Jamel Harris def Everest Simon 9–3
Keshan Moonasar def Kerron Ward 9–4
Ross Hackshaw def Clint Sandy 9–2
Scott Hackshaw def Kyle Brittan 9–3
Maniram Maharaj def Jameel Garsee 9–7
Shaquille Bernard def Guillermo Gomes 9–7
Adam Escalante def Mario Guevara - walkover
T&T basketballers (men and women) will not take part in this year’s Caribbean Basketball Championship (CBC) which runs from June 9–22 in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
This, allegedly due to the National Basketball Federation of T&T’s (NBFTT) failure to register both teams by the deadline date which coincided with CBC’s 2015 Congress in Barbados on January 31. T&T, however, was represented at the congress.
The registration fee for each team in either competition is US$1,000 (TT$6000) each.
The CBC Web site reported that the draw for the competition was held in Barbados, on Sunday, February 22, with five Caribbean nations: Antigua, Barbados, the Bahamas, St Vincent and Guyana, as well as, the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands confirming their spots in both the women’s and men’s championships.
Jamaica will only compete in the women’s event, while Suriname, Cayman Islands and Bermuda will challenge the men’s tournament.
The T&T women’s team finished fourth at last year’s CBC Championship, winning two out of five matches, one of which was a one-sided 96–33 result over Guyana.
On the other hand, T&T’s men’s team, which sits second on the championship leader-board with four gold and three silver medals, will sit out its third successive CBC Championship, having last challenged the tournament in 2010, when it placed fourth.
By default, T&T’s two teams are ruled out of qualification for a spot at the Centrobasket (Mexico, Central America an Caribbean) tournament, of which three spots (men and women) are available.
The Centrobasket serves as a qualifying competition for the FIBA Americas Championship and ultimately the 2016 Summer Olympics Basketball Tournament in Brazil.
ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2015 is way too long. It is all well and good to want to squeeze every last penny to be made from the event, but seven weeks is like trying to kill the real golden goose!
Many initially interested neutrals would probably have lost whatever interest they had by the time even quarter-finals come about, preliminary games taking more than four weeks to be completed.
Even ardent supporters not in Australia or New Zealand would probably only loosely follow their respective teams, then, at quarterfinal stage, re-begin paying attention as to how their teams would go.
A better game schedule could have been adapted ala European Football’s Champions League.
With host countries being New Zealand and Australia, it would have been apropos to have two preliminary games being played, one in each country, almost simultaneously, at least that same day, even if exact start times could not be contemplated, for time difference reasons of the countries.
ICC could even have scheduled one pool of teams in each country, then have them play against each other there, instead of continuously crisscrossing the Tasman Sea, wasting money and time. That way, all preliminary games could have been completed in about two weeks.
Then, starting with quarterfinals, teams could have been told to play in the opposite country, exchanging teams for countries, so that no one team would have that “home ground” advantage.
Yes, long gone are those days when we played 15, sometimes 18 50-overs games in 21 days, as was done in 1978-79 for Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket in Australia, with West Indies, Rest of the World and Australia duking it out, all at the very top of their game.
No complaints to any Players’ Associations then either about rest and travel days, as PA’s were still in their infancy and, in any case, no-one really cared about how much cricket one played at all. We were all fit, ready, raring to go, and hungry to play against any of the world’s best cricketers.
You simply played; bowled as fast as possible, or batted with tremendous gusto; then, win or lose—WI won way more that were lost - packed bags, presented yourself to the motor-coach, thence to the airport, flying that night to the next destination, more often than not playing that next day too.
When you eventually got back to one of the major cities or Test venues in Australia like Sydney or Melbourne etc, after a long so-called “country” trip, you would offer a short “Thank You God” prayer, for, then, you expected much more rest for a set of one-day finals, a “Super Test” or two.
Look, no-one is asking modern cricketers to do similarly, as rules have changed for the better, especially when it comes to players’ injuries and recuperation, but to play just two games in two weeks is not only robbing the public, but could even affect cricketers themselves and their outputs.
When this year’s CWC started, South Africa (SA) and Australia were odds-on favorites to reach the final. That may not be so any longer. India, defending champions, hit SA so hard, beating them so badly, by a whopping 130 runs that SA will remember that beating for some time to come.
SA consider the “C” word – ‘choke’ – as semi-abuse, since they have done that often when in commanding positions in previous world cricket events, none more obvious than losing to Australia in 1999. They panicked then, and lost their best chance, to date, at winning any CWC.
But against India last week, SA did choke, likely overawed by 90,000 of the sold-out 100,000 at Melbourne Cricket Ground fully kitted-out in the blue Indian regalia. The deafening noises must have gotten to SA’s nerves, for they bowled, fielded, and especially batted like rank novices.
So, now as WI had beaten up on Zimbabwe, so too did SA eventually also beat up on WI, 408-5. Incidentally, which was better, Chris Gayle’s 215 or AB De Villiers’ 162 no?
Anyway, either New Zealand or Australia, maybe both, based on form and recent results, will be in the final come March 29, but for Australia to play just two of their first three scheduled preliminary games in the first two weeks of this competition is ridiculous, almost criminal.
No-one, neither players nor spectators and supporters anywhere, could benefit from that.
With their game versus Bangladesh washed out, Australia were always going to be at a disadvantage, as incessant practice, fielding and fitness drills could never replace benefits gained in real game play.
New Zealand have had a very good World Cup 2015 to date, with decidedly aggressive batting and bowling and playing regularly. They have now played four games in two weeks, which have gotten the Kiwis ultra-sharp, battle hardened and ready for any eventuality.
“Gayle-Force 215,” an innings that was due and set in stone as the king of spades, and a wonderful century from Jamaican counterpart, Marlon Samuels, have whet West Indian appetites for more spectacular achievements, but dangerous India are next, a difficult undertaking for WI. Enjoy!
Shreya Maharaj of Carenage Blasters and Bago Slammers Benoni Daniel captured their respective women and men B titles when the when the T&T Table Tennis Association (TTTTA) Classified Open Championship served at the Central Regional Indoor Sports Auditorium (CRISA), Chaguanas, yesterday.
In the women’s B decider, Maharaj came from behind to defeat Bago Slammers’ Ackayla Lucas 8–11, 11–9, 11–6, 11-8.
Earlier in the semifinals, Maharaj stopped club-mate Chelsea Fong 11–6, 11–5, 15–13 and Lucas ousted another Blasters’ entrant, and top-ranked Anjana Valsalan 12–10, 5–11, 13–11, 11–8.
In an all-Slammers men’s B final, Daniel got the better of Shaquille Mitchell 11–4, 8–11, 11–6, 11–7.
Daniel reached the final via his 11–6, 11–1, 11–13, 5–11, 13–11 semis win over Petrotrin’s Clinton Cardinal and Mitchell defeated Blasters’ Jesse Dookie 11–7, 11–7, 11–3.
In the C division, Priyanka Khellawan of Petrotrin and her clubmate, Vinoo Maharaj took top honours.
Khellawan proved too much for Blasters’ Brittany Lee in their final and won 11–6, 11–9, 11–7.
This after she overcame Naomi Garraway 11–8, 5–11, 11–8, 11–6 in the final four while Lee beat Hawks’ Rayann Boodhan 8–11, 11–8, 11–4, 11–8
And in the Men’s C series, Maharaj battled past Alex Walcott of Blasters 11–8, 5–11, 11–7, 11–9.
Maharaj earned his finals’ spot by beating Hillview College student Nicholas Persad 12–10, 12–10, 7–11, 3–11, 11–7 and Walcott outlasted UTT’s David Gilkes 11–7, 9–11, 11–6, 15–17, 11–9.
Today, top-ranked local duo, Curtis Humphreys of WASA Table Tennis Club (formerly Guaya Dream Team) and University of T&T’s Aleena Edwards, an 11-time national singles champion, will defend their titles in the men’s A-1 and Women’s A categories from 12.30 pm. But before they get going, the A2 Open will take centrestage from 9.30 am.
Left-arm spinner Dane Teelucksingh ran through the Preysal batsmen yesterday to hand Caldrac victory inside two days in round two of the Shanghai Construction Group Premiership One National League at California.
Chasing 210 for the win, Preysal folded for 78 as Teelucksingh ended with 7/42, while Eugene La Fleur top-scored for Preysal with 20. Earlier, Caldrac was dismissed for 160 in its second innings after resuming on 11/0. Guyanese Royston Crandon struck 34 and Ancil Nedd pitched in with 29. Bowling for Preysal, Ryan Austin (3/34) and Bryan Charles (3/54) took three wickets apiece and Anthony Adams grabbed 2/22.
In other matches, national cricketers Kieron Pollard and Nicholas Sookdeosingh cracked hundreds for Queen’s Park and Powergen, respectively.
At Barrackpore West Secondary, right-handed Pollard showed his usual aggression slamming an unbeaten 128 (114 balls), which included 15 sixes and five fours. Pollard’s innings took Queen’s Park to 301/7 declared, a 174-run lead over Victoria on first innings. Victoria was showing some fight in the second innings closing on 150/4.
At Diego Martin Recreational Ground, left-handed Sookdeosingh struck 130 off 210 balls, lashing nine fours and two sixes. His knock helped Powergen to 267/9 in its second innings at the close of day two, an overall lead of 305 runs.
Action continues today on day three.
AT DIEGO MARTIN: Powergen 157 (Riral Patel 52, Badree 45, Kashtri Singh 6/39, Keon Issac 2/34) and 267/9 (Nicholas Sookdeosingh 130, Gregory Mahabir 59, Gibran Mohammed 31, Aneil Kanhai 4/106, Ryan Hinds 2/38) vs Merry Boys 119 (Aneil Kanhai 60, Samuel Badree 3/32, Strassark Sankar 4/38)
AT CALIFORNIA: Caldrac 158 (Ancil Nedd 33, Neil Williams 33, Dane Teelucksingh 25 not out, Philton Williams 4/52, Anthony Adams 4/44) and 160 (Royston Crandon 34, Ancil Nedd 29, Ryan Austin 3/34, Bryan Charles 3/54, Anthony Adams 2/22) vs Preysal 109 (Philton Williams 40, Eugene La Fleur 21, Jon-Russ Jagessar 5/31, Allen Laurent 4/43) and 78 (La Fleur 20, Dane Teelucksingh 7/42) Caldrac won by 131 runs
AT PIERRE ROAD: Alescon Comets 327/7 dec (Faaiq Mohammed 111, Carlo Morris 53, Richard Kelly 46, Akiel Cooper 2/26, Amir Khan 2/34) and 58/1 (Adrian Ali 30) vs Jenexcon Tableland 181 (Adrian Cooper 54, Al Small 46, Marlon Bharath 4/21, Anthony Simmons 3/49)
AT WILSON ROAD: Clarke Road 242 (Mark Deyal 61, Kerwin Sirju 3/73, Uthman Mohammed 2/40, Bryan Boodram 2/35) and 156/4 (Mark Deyal 54, Boodram2/20) vs Esmeralda 138 (Shimroy Barrington 55, Hakeem Mitchell 26, Kyle Mayers 6/30)
AT BARRACKPORE: Victoria 127 (Kenton Thompson 57) and 150/4 (Romario Sheppard 34, Daren Ganga 30 not out, Sunil Narine 2/21) vs Queen’s Park 301/7 dec. (Kieron Pollard 128 not out, Marlon Barclay 56, Garey Mathurin 6/107)
Cuban-born former T&T senior women’s volleyball coach, Francisco “Panchee” Cruz, the newly-appointed Technical Director of the T&T Volleyball Federation Women’s Programme will be conducting screening session for seniors, Under-23, Juniors and Youth today from 6 am to 9 am at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Eddie Hart Savannah, Tacarigua.
A general meeting is also carded from 8.30 am to 9 am for which all players under the age of 18-years-old are ask to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Also if any person without the necessary skill set, but has good height or jumping ability they are invited to attend.
Meanwhile, former T&T men’s national coach, Brazilian Augusto Sabbatini, FIVB Instructor from Brazil, will arrive in T&T today ahead of his one-month coaching stint in Tobago until April 1.
For the duration of his stay, Sabatini will have as his assistant, Sean Morrison, a national youth coach, Ministry of Sports coach and former senior national team player.
The one month stint by Sabbatini, 49, is part of the T&TVF’s development plan and commitment to developing the sport of volleyball in Tobago.
It is hoped that his presence will generate interest in the sport at the secondary school level with the hope of having a league by next season, while efforts will be made to visit primary schools and do some work in beach volleyball as well.
Sabbatini is also expected to pay another visit to T&T in November for the second phase of the programme.
T&T Under-17s got their quest for a third ever FIFA Under-17 World Cup berth off to a disappointing start as they fell 4-1 to Guatemala in the opening match of the 2015 Concacaf Under-17 Championship at the Estadio Francisco Morazan, San Pedro, Sula, Honduras on Friday night.
Diego Raymundo struck for two goals for the Central Americans who were the last team to qualify for the competition after prevailing over El Salvador in a two-legged playoff, 2-1 on aggregate.
It was an offensive explosion from a side that was shutout four times in its last five matches in the competition, and in fact, the output ranked as Guatemala’s best ever in a Concacaf Under-17 game.
In the two other Pool A matches, host Honduras blanked Jamaica 2-0 and USA trounced Cuba 5-0 while yesterday in Pool B Panama battled defending champions Mexico; St Lucia tackled Costa Rica, and Canada tangled with Haiti.
The Kareem Riley-captained T&T squad returns to action tomorrow against USA from 9pm (TT time), while Guatemala faces Jamaica at 6.30pm, and Honduras comes up against Cuba at 11.30pm. In addition T&T also meets Honduras (March 5), Jamaica (March 8) and Cuba (March 11).
The top team from each group after round-robin play advances directly to the World Cup and the other two places will be determined by the results of the final day elimination matches.
Guatemala 4 (Diego Raymundo 3rd, 54th, Victor Valdez 10th, Abel Lemus 45th+2) vs T&T 1 (Keston Julien 45th)
Honduras 2 (Darixon Vuelto 12th, Jorge Alvarez 78th) vs Jamaica 0
USA 5 (Joe Gallardo 40th, 65th, 88th, Hugo Arellano 5th, Alejandro Zendejas 43rd) vs Cuba 0
T&T: - 1.Levi Fernandez (GK); 3.Keston Julien, 4.Tekay Hoyce, 5.Shirwin Noel (Red 39), 6.Kareem Riley (capt), 7.Shakeem Patrick, 8.Joshua Burnett (10.Morgan Bruce 46th), 16.Shobal Celestin, 14.Isaiah Hudson (13.Kishon Hackshaw 76th), 19.Noah Powder, 11.Jerren Nixon Jr., (9.Chaz Burnett 56th).
Coach: Shawn Cooper.
Subs not used: - 20.Tyrek James (GK); 2.Isaiah Garcia, 15.Darnell Hospedales, 12.Kierron Mason, 18.John-Paul Rochford., 17. Jeankeon Alexander.
Guatemala: - 12.Gilder Lemus (GK); 2.David Ramos, 4.Fernando Fuentes, 5.Mario Rodas, 17.Abel Lemus (20.Richard Rodriguez 56th), 6.Stefan Behrens (16.Moises Orellana 73rd), 10.John Mendez, 11.Diego Raymundo, 13.Victor Valdez, 15.Armando Aroche, 7.Esteban Garcia (19.Oliver Diaz 90th).
Coach: - Juan Funes.
Subs not used: 1. Angel Castro (GK), 3. Gonzalo Deras, 18. Juan Riley, 8. Alvaro Velsaquez, 14. Erik Soto, 9. Francisco Spross
In-form striker Jerrel Britto got the lone goal as defending DirecTV Digicel T&T Pro League champions fought out a 1-0 win over a determined Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Friday night to close the gap on leaders Central FC to two points.
Both W Connection and Jabloteh had many chances to take control of the contest, however their efforts were all thwarted by excellent goalkeeping on either end, from Julani Archibald (W Connection) and Jabloteh teenager, Aaron Enil, standing in goal for the injured Shane Mattis.
However, with nine minutes left on the clock, Enil was left a spectator as he was beaten by former national youth and Jabloteh player, Britto who moved to ten goals at the top of the scorers’ chart.
With the three points picked up, W Connection improved to 33 points from 16 matches, two adrift of leaders Central FC, winners of this season’s First Citizens Cup and Rawle Fletcher (Round One) and Akkem Adams (Round Two) Trophies, already this season, with eight matches left to complete league competition.
Up at the Marvin Lee Stadium, out-of-favour national striker Devorn Jorsling impressed on a rare start this season, netting a first-half hat-trick and assisting on two other goals to steer Defence Force past cellar placed St Ann's Rangers, 7-0.
Jorsling, 31, opened the scoring in the seventh minute and doubled his tally by the 19th minute before completing his hat-trick six minutes before the half, to push his tally for the season to ten, the same as Britto.
His treble was interrupted by a Ross Russell Jr. goal in the 35th minute while in the second-half, he turned provider for Russell Jr’s second on the night in the 52nd.
Substitute Kellon Serrette made it 6-0 in the 69th minute while Jorsling got his second assist on the night when he put through, another substitute, Josimar Belgrave to score in the 84th minute for a 7-0 thumping and back up to third spot with 26 points, the same as North East Stars, but with a superior goal-difference. In the second match at Couva, Stars missed out on a chance to stay third after it slumped to a surprise 1-0 loss to second from bottom Caledonia AIA with Guyanese forward Domini Garnett, coming off the bench in the 80th minute to find the back of the net four minutes later.
Garnette was on spot to hit home after a spill by goalkeeper Stefan Berkeley who failed to hold onto a left side Nathan Lewis cross. And in the second match at Macoya, Marcus Joseph got a late brace as Pt Fortin Civic whipped Police 3-1 for its fifth win in six matches under interim coach Leroy De Leon.
Pt Fortin went ahead in the 26th minute through winger Akeem Redhead courtesy a Joseph assist but two minutes later the Police captain Todd Ryan equalised from the penalty spot fowing a handball in the area by Andre Ettienne. Joseph restored his team’s slim lead in the 72nd and with five minutes left he got a second for a 3-1 cushion which his team held onto. The match ended on a sour note though as a stoppage time brawl erupted on the field of play, and somehow transferred into the stands and lasted for a while.
Friday’s Digicel T&T Pro League results:
Caledonia AIA 1 (Domini Garnett 84th) vs North East Stars 0
W Connection 1 (Jerrel Britto 81st) vs San Juan Jabloteh 0
D/Force 7 (Devorn Jorsling 7th, 19th, 39th, Ross Russell Jr 35th, 53rd, Kellon Serette 69th, Josimar Belgrave 84th) vs Rangers 0
Pt Fortin Civic 3 (Akeem Redhead 26th, Marcus Joseph 72th, 85th) vs Police FC 1 (Todd Ryan 28th pen)
Teams P W D L F A Pts
Central 16 11 2 3 40 13 35
W Connection 16 10 3 3 32 11 33
D/Force 16 8 2 6 29 21 26
N/E Stars 16 8 2 6 16 14 26
Pt Fortin 16 7 2 7 30 25 23
Jabloteh 16 6 5 5 23 23 23
Caledonia 16 5 4 7 23 28 19
Police 16 4 5 7 21 34 17
Rangers 16 0 1 15 11 56 1
Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya
St Ann’s Rangers vs Central FC,
North East Stars vs Defence Force, 8 pm
Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
Police FC vs San Juan Jabloteh, 6 pm
Caledonia AIA vs Point Fortin Civic, 8 pm
Round Three Match Day Two
Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya
San Juan Jabloteh vs St Ann’s Rangers, 6 pm
Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
Defence Force vs Police FC, 6 pm
Central FC vs W Connection, 8 pm
Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin
Pt Fortin Civic vs North East Stars, 4 pm
It was painfully obvious that the West Indies failed to do the necessary evaluation from their first three matches, that would have allowed them to be competitive against South Africa yesterday.
If this team wanted to beat South Africa, the players and management would have had to do an assessment of their three performances, and see what improvements could be made. Nothing I saw yesterday suggested that this happened.
It was almost like the victories against Pakistan and Zimbabwe made the West Indies believe they were invincible, and that there were no areas upon which to improve. What a shame!
AB de Villiers was awesome, out of this world—make no bones about that, and it is probably the finest innings in this form of the game I have seen. His shot making was unbelievable. But connoisseurs of the game would agree that his eventual score was aided by some of the poorest cricket, tactically and otherwise, played by a West Indian team.
It is crystal clear that South Africa had a plan. West Indies had none.
You looked at Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and the other top order batsmen, and at 87 for 2, with the bowlers getting assistance from the pitch, you could sense they understood their roles. Slowly and surely, they constructed the platform, making the rest easy for de Villiers and Riley Rossouw to go berserk.
Despite help from the wicket, the West Indies bowlers never focused on dismissing the batsmen. Their mindset was to be as defensive as possible. Even at 146 for three when we needed to get wickets, we were unimaginative, looking to contain, with our attacking bowlers kept back for God knows what. In case nobody told the West Indies, once a team gets a good start and has wickets in hand, it is inevitable that runs will flow, as we saw. Risking a few runs for a top order wicket or two, won’t hurt.
If the bowling lacked creativity, our batsmen were brought back down to earth by quality bowling. We scored over 300 runs in three previous innings against the chalk. However, against the cheese, we could barely pass 150 in less than 34 overs. What a difference two days make!
Despite his record breaking performance, Chris Gayle must understand his role as the key batsman and must perform as such. He is vulnerable early in his innings, and should allow Dwayne Smith to play the big shots, and stay at the non striker’s end for as long as possible. Chris is much more capable than de Villiers in this form of the game, but he has to give himself a chance.
Now that Darren Bravo is no longer around, I believe that the number three position should be given to Lendl Simmons, and not Marlon Samuels. We need an assured player at three. I don’t believe Samuels understands the role of a number three. I think Simmons has the form, the understanding and intelligence to bat there.
An organised top four with players who understand their roles will help to settle the rest of the batsmen. I don’t know how much we have learnt from this match, but sometimes a result like this one is exactly what is needed to jolt us into understanding just where we are.
Are we going to capitalise and learn from the South Africa bashing, or from any of the matches we have played so far? I hope we do—it may well be the difference between leaving after the first phase, or moving on to the quarterfinals.
SYDNEY—South Africa skipper AB de Villiers has backed his young West Indies counterpart Jason Holder to succeed as captain, and says he also expects the Caribbean side to pose a threat in the ongoing World Cup.
The 23-year-old Holder has had a rough initiation, suffering a 4-1 drubbing to South Africa in his first series at the helm and then also enduring a shock four-wicket defeat to Ireland in the Windies opening Group B game two weeks ago.
However, de Villiers praised Holder’s maturity and said he expected him to come through this tough period.
“He’s actually a really nice guy, so yes, we’ve all been there. I’ve been there before in my career, as well,” de Villiers pointed out.
“I think every captain goes through really tough games. I think that it was a really tough game for him [on Friday], but we had a tough game in the last one at Melbourne. That’s part of the game.
“I know for sure that he’s mature enough to handle it. He’s got enough teammates with experience around him to look after him, and there’s no doubt that the West Indies will bounce back. They’re a classy unit and still a very dangerous team in this tournament.”
South Africa handed West Indies the joint worst-ever defeat in World Cup history on Friday, when they thrashed them by 257 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
De Villiers was the architect behind the victory, plundering a 66-ball unbeaten 162 as the Proteas piled up 408 for five, the second highest World Cup total.
Holder, a lanky seamer, suffered at de Villiers’ hands, with the last two overs of his ten-over spell gushing 64 runs. (CMC)
When good neighbours become good friends. Perhaps not today at Eden Park when New Zealand and Australia renew a rivalry which, in One-Day cricket, has been in hibernation apart from at global tournaments since 2010.
Nobody is willing to call themselves favourites and there was much mutual respect being shared on the eve of the game. The contests within the contest largely revolve around the two top orders against their respective opposition bowlers. David Warner versus Tim Southee and Trent Boult, Brendon McCullum versus Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc. It is mouthwatering.
“We’ve earned some respect around the world in the last 12-18 months with the way we’ve played but also the way we've carried (ourselves). You can’t win every game, but you can control what you bring to the table. So long as we see a team that is desperate (to win), then we've got a good chance,” said McCullum.
There is certainly an eagerness to see the New Zealand side against a potent, in-form attack although the same could be applied the other way, too. You can also throw into the mix of subplots the return, delayed due to the Brisbane rain, of Michael Clarke. For all the rehab and physio, there will always be doubts surrounding someone with his fitness record. “Through my career I can’t remember an easy game against New Zealand, whether you have played them in Australia or over here. They are a really tough opposition,” said Clarke.
In terms of the match itself, while it will not have a bearing on each side's progress to the next stage it could yet be important in the match-ups which follow in the knockout stage.
If these two sides meet in a semi-final it will be staged in the country of the team that finished top of the group. Home advantage is a rare bonus at a World Cup. It's worth making the most of.
Trainer Bobby Persad can land the 2013 Jetsam Creole Sprinter Indian Medicine in today’s 1,100 metres, The Top Of The Class Stakes on the turf course at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.
Indian Medicine has not been at her best but with 47.5 kilos and apprentice Richard Angnoo in the saddle, she must be the one to catch. Indian Medicine will be receiving some 10 kilos from the likely favourite Urban Knight and this could work in her favour.
The Glenn Mendez trained Jetsam Award winner Urban Knight makes his seasonal appearance today in the $100,000, where eight horses will face the starter. Urban Knight will take along top-weight of 57.0 kilos with Wilmer Galviz in the saddle and he must be the horse to beat.
However, should Urban Knight not be at his best, then the Jetsam Turf Sprinter of 2013 Indian Medicine will upset the champion.
The 2013 Juvenile champion Soca Rhapsody, which will be ridden by Emile Ramsammy, is also in the line-up and must have an each-way chance. Others in the line-up include turf specialist Heat of The Moment and the unpredictable Market Rally.
The first event on the nine race card of the Arima Race Club (ARC) will begin at noon.
Starbet: R8 - #2 - Indian Medicine
R1: Uncle Max, Lady Felisha, Be My Lover, Gold Bead
R2: Super Sonic, Al Khanina, Asia, Peppermint, Freedom Fighter
R3: Hail The Chief, Hirricane Harry, Don Pedro, Man To Come, Faith
R4: Loan Shark, Rewardinheaven, Amritsar, My Ari
R5: Tan Tan, Pay Day, Argentina, Red Wine
R6: Dazzling Diamond, Western Wish, Dig Deep, Skyzim, Team Connection
R7: El Bandido De Oro, Free Passage, Slewjero, Kodo, BigMan
R8: Indian Medicine, Urban Knight, Soca Rhapsody, Market Rally
R9: King of Siberia, Rocketman, Tonithetiger, Ten Powers, Uncle Nroman
Best bet: R9 - #4 - Uncle Norman
R1: Gold Bead, Uncle Max, Be My Lover
R2: Freedom Fighter, Super Sonic, Al Kahina, Asia
R3: Hail The Chief, Faith, Don Pedro, Man To Come
R4: Rewardsinheaven, Sweet Genius, My Ari
R5: Red Wine, Ragnar, Tan Tan, Intangibility
R6: Dazzling Diamond, Dig Deep, Music Show
R7: El Bandido De Oro, Free Passage, Kodo, Slewjero
R8: Urban Knight, Indian Medicine, Bandwagon
R9: Uncle Norman, King Of Siberia, Officer Ike, Tonithetiger
Best bet: R9 - #3 - Rocketman
R1: Lady Sage, Consideritdone, Uncle Max, Be My Lover
R2: Peppermint, Resurgence, That’s Me MrPepe, Ready and Alert, Justmyluck
R3: Faith, Hail the Chief, Luminary, Man to Come, Ezee Breezy
R4: My Ari, King Ronan, Sweet Genius, Loan Shark
R5: Indomeneo, Kentucky Woman, San Antonio, Pay Day, Tan Tan
R6: Dig Deep, Dazzling Diamond, Stroke of Love, Sweet Parang Music
R7: Free Passage, Eye See You, Slewjero, Kodo, Thays
R8: Purple Touch, Urban Knight, Soca Rhapsody, High Octane
R9: Rocketman, King of Siberia, Painted Buddha, Ten Powers, Blue Mountain Ros
Best bet: R9 - #11 - Tonithetiger
R1: Lady Felisha, Uncle Max, Gold bead, Little Otis
R2: Freedom Fighter, Super Sonic, Asia, Ready and Alert, Ice D’Gold
R3: Faith, Hail the Chief, Electrify, Don Pedro, Mikeisback
R4: Sweet Genius, Amritsar, Rewardsinheaven, My Ari
R5: Kentucky Woman, Tan Tan, Red Wine, Payday, Argentina
R6: Dazzling Diamond, Music Show, Team Connection, Dig Deep
R7: Free passage, Kodo, Thays, Slewjero, Fire Light
R8: Purple Touch, Urban Knight, Indian Medicine, High Octane
R9: Tonithetiger, Uncle Norman, Officer Ike, Rocketman, Precise Moment,
Top national men and women beach volleyball pairs, Fabien Whitfield and Daniel Williams, and Ayanna Dyette and Nancy Joseph continued their dominance of their local rivals by winning the first of five qualification T&T Volleyball Federation beach tournaments at Saith Park, Chaguanas, on Sunday.
Competing in a five-team round-robin pool, Whitfield and Williams, historic Norceca 2013 Tour bronze medal winners on home soil brushed aside Tevin Joseph and Abrham Josiah Eccles (21-9, 21-9); Kareem Thomas and Kevin Edwards (21-10, 21-10); Sean Morrison and Marlon Philip (21-15, 21-10) and Christian Francois and Kevin Rivers (21-16, 21-10) to end with a 4-0 record and 12 points.
Francois and Rivers won their other matches over Morrison/Philip (21-15, 21-16), Joseph/Eccles (21-18, 21-19) and Thomas/Edwards (21-10, 11-21, 15-11) to end second with a 3-1 mark and eight points.
Third was the Morrison/Philip following defeats of Thomas/Edwards (21-17, 21-18) and Joseph/Eccles (19-21, 21-18, 18-16) with a 2-2 mark and five points while Joseph/Eccles downed Thomas and Edwards 21-14, 21-18 for its lone win and four points, three more than its winless rival.
Twice, fourth-place finishers on the Norceca Circuit, Dyette and Joseph were as equally as impressive and did not drop a set in their four round-robin triumphs as well for 12 points.
First up they defeated Rachael Noel and Abbi Blackman 21-13, 21-5 and followed it up with similar victories against Elki Philip and Shenelle Gordon 21-15, 21-10, Malika Davidson and Chelsea Ward 21-8, 21-12 and Apphia Glasgow and La Teisha Joseph 21-17, 21-6.
Joseph and Glasgow were a surprsing second with a 3-1 record and by virtue of beating Phillip/Gordon 21-17, 21-17; Noel/Blackman 21-18, 21-14 and Davidson/Ward 21-10, 17-21, 18-16.
Third was Phillip and Gordon with a 2-2 record after their overcame Noel/Blackman 21-18,21-6, and Davidson/Ward 21-11, 21-15 while the latter ended fourth with its 21-8, 21-15 beating of Noel/Blackman.
This weekend, the second and third qualifying tournaments will take place at the same venue from 9 am daily.
The tournaments are being staged to help in the national senior team selection process for the Caribbean Zone championships; Continental Cup (Olympic Qualification); 2015 Norceca Tour and Pan American Games, the latter of which is scheduled for Canada.
Melbourne Shuffle has done enough to justify a serious each-way bet and recoup losses in the ten-runner Maiden three year old Stakes over a mile of Lingfield polytrack today; we’re always confident about the outcome when backing John Gosden-trained fancies.
‘Big John’ probably got it wrong earlier this week when Lashkaal failed to stay an extra distance of three furlongs but the ex-champion trainer will redress that balance next time out; he knows that it’s necessary to learn from experience, and he does!
Over course and distance three weeks ago Melbourne Shuffle was decisively beaten into third place behind Zoella and La Dorotea but this Street Cry filly, though favourite, looked in need of the run off an absence and faded in the closing stages; not ‘knocked about’ as they say.
Both Godolphin-owned rivals, Simple Elegance and No Delusion will doubtless be ‘on the premises’ but on the time-handicap neither should be good enough; perhaps Richard Hannon-trained newcomer, Fondly, will prove useful but with three places available the ‘Shuffle’ looks the proverbial ‘bet to nothing!’
Kelso features the £35000, grade two, Premier Hurdle over two and a quarter miles on a splendid ‘super-Saturday’ seven-race programme; oh to glide down onto the Borders’ course in a helicopter, just to back Bristol de Mai.
That would be my brief, instead I’ll be happy to watch Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge take advantage of his weight-for-age allowance; this looks easier than an original target, the Cheltenham Triumph Hurdle.
Jallotta contests a quality conditions race in Dubai, dropped back in trip, and trainer Charles Hills has been encouraged by the way he’s thrived since finishing a creditable fifth to Dark Emerald over seven furlongs at Meydan last week; cracking each-way bet.
‘Update’ jumping selections have been prolific this week and if there are any additions they will be on www.dailyearner.co.uk
1.50 Melbourne Shuffle (e.w)
3.00 Bristol de Mai (nap)
2.50 First Mohican (e.w)