Kieron Pollard’s 32 not-out from 22 balls and 2-17 brought a man-of-the-match and 1-0 lead in a three-match T20 series over Afghanistan but the West Indies skipper refuses to sit on his laurels.

Speaking after the first T20 in the series being played in Lucknow, India, Pollard, who led from the front in a 30-run win, said that while he was happy with the performance of the team, work was still left to be done.

"It's always good to contribute but it's always better to contribute in the winning cause,” he said of his own man-of-the-match performance.

“The partnership between Lewis and Hetmyer set it up. It was not one of the easiest wickets to bat on. The balls were coming slow off the wicket. That's when you have to play smart cricket, manoeuvre the fielder,” he said.

In the field, Pollard was also happy with the West Indies, who restricted Afghanistan to just 134-9 after they were set 164 for victory.

“We were a bowler short but the boys stepped up,” he said.

Stepping up was Kesrick Williams, who ended with figures of 3-17, and Hayden Walsh Jr, who bagged 2-34.

But there are still areas the West Indies can tighten up, said Pollard who seems dead set on getting the side to be more aggressive.

“We have another game shortly, so we need to look at the areas to improve upon," said Pollard.

Before the start of the T20 series, the skipper had said he was already preparing the team to defend its T20 World Cup title.

“Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we have to improve on over a period of time,” Pollard had said.

Evin Lewis produced a fiery batting display as West Indies made a winning start to their Twenty20 series against Afghanistan.

After a 3-0 success in the ODI games, the apparent wide gulf between the sides was exposed again as West Indies powered to a 30-run victory.

West Indies posted 164-5 as Lewis flayed Afghanistan for 68 from 41 deliveries, before the minnows were limited to 134-9 in reply.

Curiously, a cloud reportedly made up of insect repellent forced a delayed start to the night match in Lucknow, but there was little holding back Lewis once he found his rhythm.

Despite failing to score a run from the first seven balls he faced, Lewis made up for lost time with a brutal assault of the Afghanistan attack.

He was eventually caught by Mohammad Nabi off Gulbadin Naib, having plundered six sixes and four fours, and captain Kieron Pollard added middle-order impetus with 32 from 22 balls to help West Indies to their competitive total.

Four Afghanistan batsmen went past 20 but Najibullah Zadran top-scored with just 27. Fareed Ahmad was unbeaten on 24 after a late flourish, but momentum was always lacking.

Early wickets fell at a steady rate before four fell for just seven runs as the run rate soared, West Indies quick Kesrick Williams returning of 3-17 from four overs.

Pollard also poached two wickets to swing man-of-the-match honours his way.

The second and third matches in the T20 series take place on Saturday and Sunday before a one-off Test, which gets underway on November 27.

Thierry Henry has been named the new head coach of MLS side Montreal Impact.

The former Arsenal and France star has signed an initial two-year deal, with the option of a third.

It is Henry's first coaching job since a troubled 20 games in charge of former club Monaco in Ligue 1 last season.

"We are extremely happy to announce the nomination of this legend of the game," said Impact president and CEO Kevin Gilmore via the club's website.

"Henry will bring a new energy to our club. He shares our vision to elevate this club and will help us achieve our goals on and off the field. He is a competitor and a leader who has proven himself at the highest level throughout his career. He now brings these qualities with him to Montreal, a place he wants to be."

Henry, 42, said: "It's an honour to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS.

"It's a league I know well, in which I had some very nice moments. To be in Quebec, in Montreal, which has an enormous multicultural heritage, it's extraordinary. I've always kept an eye on the club and now I'm here."

Henry spent four years with New York Red Bulls after leaving Barcelona in 2010, winning the Supporters' Shield in 2013 after helping his side finish top of the Eastern Conference.

After taking a coaching role with the Arsenal academy following his retirement in 2014, Henry then enjoyed a successful two-year spell as assistant to Roberto Martinez with Belgium.

He took charge of Monaco in October 2018 after the dismissal of Leonardo Jardim, but he was sacked in January this year after managing only four wins in his brief tenure.

Impact, who will play in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League, finished ninth in the Eastern Conference in 2019.

Another devasting spell from pacer Keon Harding powered the West Indies Emerging Players to a nail-biting 10-runs win over Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Queen’s Park Oval, in Port of Spain, on Tuesday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat the Emerging Players, anchored by a patient 80 from middle-order batsman Justin Greaves, put 243 runs on the board before being all out.  The team got off to a shaky start after losing opener Gidron Pope for a duck, with just four runs on the board.

Joshua Da Silva (34) joined opener Kimani Melius (39) at the crease and the pair put on 67 for the second wicket.  The partnership ended when Melius was dismissed lbw by Imran Khan.  Greaves, however, then steadied the ship putting on another 93 runs in a partnership with Yannic Cariah.  A late innings collapse, following the dismissal of Greaves, who was caught by Smith off the bowling of Jon-Russ Jaggesar, eroded some of the team’s early work.  Jaggesar was the top bowler after claiming figures of 3 for 33.

In response, Trinidad and Tobago were immediately on the back foot after Harding dismissed Tion Webster for a duck with just two runs on the board.  His opening partner Jeremy Solozano followed soon after, caught for 17 by Keon Harding off the bowling of  Ashmead Nedd.  Kyle Hope (34) and Darren Bravo (34), however, came together to repair some of the early damage as they put on 59 for the third wicket before Hope was caught by Harding off Melius.  A determined stand by Yannick Ottley, however, kept Red Force in the game but his brave 71 off 80 balls proved just short as he was run out with just 10 runs remaining to get.

 

The United States suffered another defeat in this season’s Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup, failing to chase down a low total from the Windward Islands Hurricanes to lose by 44 runs at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba on Wednesday.

Facing the music first, the Volcanoes struggled in a start-stop innings to end on 225-9 but then turned in a workmanlike shift with the ball to dismiss the United States for 182 in 45.5 overs.

In their at-bat, the Volcanoes found themselves on the back foot with Devon Smith and Kirk Edwards going for nought and number three batsman, Emmanuel Stewart, splitting the wickets with just four to leave the side at 17-3.

At the other end of the crease, Desron Maloney put together 42 from 59 deliveries and was joined by Kaveem Hodge, who scored the same number of runs from 56 deliveries in a 55-run partnership.

Alick Athanaze also got a start for the Volcanoes, scoring 25, but failed to carry on, while Kerron Cottoy top-scored with a run-a-ball 43, while Shane Shillingford got to 31 before meeting his demise.

The starts with nobody really going on to score heavily meant a sub-par score, with Elmore Hutchinson, 2-37, Jessy Singh, 2-24, and Cameron Stevenson, 2-49, sharing the bulk of the wicket-taking work.

There was also a wicket apiece for Ian Holland (1-36) and Timil Patel (1-36).

When the US batted, they were thwarted by a five-fer from Kerron Cottoy, his 5-37, putting an end to any real challenge the visitors could have put forward. Cottoy got good support from Athinaze, whose 3-24 was invaluable to the win.  Shermon Lewis, 1-26, and Larry Edward, 1-47, were the other wicket-takers for the Volcanoes against the solo effort of Steven Taylor, who scored 62.

Dependable Dinthill Technical striker Rajae Layne struck twice as the team served up a surprise 2-1 win over Cornwall College to secure a place in the daCosta final at the Montego Bay Complex on Wednesday.

The typically lethal Layne, however, may have considered himself a bit fortunate to give the team the lead, against the run of play, as it was the favourites who dominated the early exchanges.  The forward took full advantage of the team’s first meaningful attack in the third minute, however, his weak connection to a deflected cross looping over Cornwall College custodian Peter Sinclair and high into the net.

Cornwall would continue to pour forward, however, but found reply, much as they have for most of the season, through Brandon Curate’s trusted left foot.  The converted striker scored his 11th goal of the season after whipping in a trademark freekick, which nestled into the net at the far post.

Despite Cornwall again having the better of the place for a good chunk of the second half, the day would belong to Layne and Dinthill. 

This time, the striker made use of sloppy handling of the ball just outside the 18-yard area by the Cornwall defense, before driving into the box to calmly slot past Sinclair, in the 73rd minute.  Dinthill will meet Clarendon College in the final, following their 3-0 victory over McGrath.

Lenworth Hyde, the coach of defending champions Clarendon College is still on course for being the first man to claim the ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup title on back-to-back occasions both as a player and as a coach.

Clarendon College are unbeaten this season and that did not look likely to change when they played against a trying McGrath High School in the semi-final on Wednesday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

Clarendon, the defending champions and favourites, ended winning 3-0 courtesy of a brace from Sheldon Smart and a beauty from Jalen Larmand.

Smart got his goals in the 47th and 69th minutes of play while Larmand would score in the 79th to seal the victory.’

Clarendon College have been known to start quickly this season but were forced to wait until the second half before they would have any joy.

According to Hyde, neither he nor his team were worried by the resistance put up by the opposition’s pluckiness, saying he knew he would be able to make a difference at half time.

“We talked in the changing room and we know that sometimes these things happen and it is how you handle it and I think we handled it well,” said the winning coach.

Situations like the one that faced Clarendon on Wednesday, Hyde explained, required a slightly different outlook on the game.

“We showed patience and we waited until our chances came. We weren’t flustered. We knew our people and we knew what the result would be,” he said.

Clarendon College will face a whole different proposition when they play against Dinthill High School in the DaCosta Cup final, but Hyde, again, isn’t too concerned.

“There isn’t much to work on ahead of the final because we were possessing the ball, we defended well because as you can see this was a clean sheet. That is how the game goes sometimes,” said Hyde.

“We can score in the first five seconds or we can score in the 93rd minute. That’s how this team is. We coach them that way, to be patient and to wait their turn,” he warned.

Dinthill joined Clarendon College in the final after a 2-1 surprise win over more highly fancied opposition in Cornwall College.

Kyle Mayers scored a better than a run-a-ball century as Barbados defeated the Leeward Islands by 32 runs in Wednesday’s round of matches in the Colonial Medical Super 50 Cup in Basseterre, St. Kitts.

Good chemistry was a key reason why Michael O’Hara has decided to return to his high school coach as he looks to kick on from a solid 2019 season when he produced a personal best in the 110m hurdles.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's LA Galaxy departure appears imminent after he made a typically grandiose statement on Wednesday, telling MLS fans they can 'go back to watching baseball' now that he will be leaving. 

Four-time World 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and her coach Stephen Francis have both been nominated for special awards to be given at the inaugural Panam Sports Gala Awards to be held on December 13 in Fort Lauderdale, USA.

Fraser-Pryce has been nominated in two categories - the Best Female Athlete and the Changemaker - while Francis is a nominee for the Best Coach.

More than 40 athletes and coaches have been nominated in nine categories and part of the selection process will involve voting by the public.

Panam Sports in a release on Tuesday said that "it is launching an easily accessible portal through its website where sport fans, National Olympic Committees, media and even the athletes themselves can vote for who they think made the biggest impact at Lima 2019" and further advised that the public should visit its website at www.panamsports.org/vote to vote quickly as voting closes on November 30.

JOA President, Christopher Samuda, in welcoming the approval of Jamaica's nominees stated that "Shelly-Ann and Stephen are very deserving and all Jamaicans locally and in the Diaspora should go immediately to the polls and vote for the 'S-Powersport Duo' in Shelly and Stephen."

The eventual winners will be announced during the live ceremony and celebration and the show will be broadcast live on the Pan Am Sports Channel.

Secretary-General and CEO of the JOA, Ryan Foster, was emphatic in his support.

"Vote for their past record of admirable achievements. Vote for their current successes. Vote for future landmarks and ink the deal for Jamaica,” he said.

This year, the Jamaica Olympic Association achieved a historic milestone at the Pan Am Games in Lima Peru by sending the largest contingent representing 18 sports and garnered the best ever medal haul for Jamaica in the history of the Games.

"We continue to serve our member associations which have seized our vision and mission which always place the athlete solidly at the centre of our efforts and work," Samuda said.

The Pan American Sports Organization, Pan Am Sports, owns the Pan American Games and leads the Olympic Movement of its 41 member nations throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.

 PanAm Sports has successfully managed 18 editions of the Pan American Games, beginning in 1951, and the event is held every four years.

Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham will welcome his former club LA Galaxy to Florida for the new franchise's MLS home opener.

MLS is welcoming two new teams for the 2020 season, with Inter and Nashville SC taking the league to 26 franchises.

The full schedule for the next campaign is still to be confirmed, with the 2019 season only ending on Sunday as Seattle Sounders defeated Toronto FC in the MLS Cup final.

But Inter have announced their first official home fixture, with Beckham's team to come up against Galaxy at their temporary stadium in Fort Lauderdale on March 14.

Galaxy have a statue of Beckham outside their own stadium in southern California.

The former England captain made 98 regular season appearances for the club, scoring 40 times, and won the MLS Cup twice, in 2011 and 2012, and the Supporters' Shield twice, in 2010 and 2011.

MLS announced in 2014 that Beckham had exercised his option for an expansion franchise – built into his Galaxy contract – resulting in his involvement with Miami.

Inter have been linked with former Barcelona and Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano, who is currently at Hebei China Fortune, as they build their first squad.

West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran has been handed a four-game ban for ball tampering, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Wednesday.

Pooran admitted changing the condition of the ball as the Windies sealed a whitewash in their three-game ODI series against Afghanistan with a five-wicket victory in Lucknow on Monday.

Video footage showed the 24-year-old scratching the surface of the ball with his thumbnail and he accepted the sanction put forward by match referee Chris Broad, avoiding the need for a formal hearing.

As part of the suspension handed down by the ICC, Pooran will sit out the three Twenty20 internationals against Afghanistan.

Pooran said: "I want to issue a sincere apology to my team-mates, supporters and the Afghanistan team for what transpired on the field of play on Monday in Lucknow.

"I recognise that I made an extreme error in judgement and I fully accept the ICC penalty. I want to assure everyone that this is an isolated incident and it will not be repeated.

"I promise to learn from this and come back stronger and wiser."

Defending champions Kingston College (KC) secured their spot in the semi-finals of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup following a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Camperdown at National Stadium East on Tuesday.

Needing to merely avoid defeat to secure a spot in the final four, Kingston College started brightly but were pushed on the back foot when Camperdown struck on the break.  Striker Shemar Daley showed plenty of composure to stick the ball into the corner of the net after being put through on goal in the 30th minute.

Things looked worse for KC when they saw a penalty attempt saved in a few minutes later.  Dwane Atkinson finally brought the teams back on level terms four minutes into first-half stoppage time when he smashed a redirected corner past goalkeeper Deshawn White and high into the roof of the net.

In a steady downpour and slippery conditions in the second half, it was KC who looked the more likely to steal the win and in the end, they did just that.  It was Michael Allen found the back of the net from close range after the ball was held up in the water.  In the group’s other decisive game between Wolmer’s and Charlie Smith.  Wolmer’s led 3-0 before the game was discontinued due to a waterlogged field.

 

  

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