Barbados Tridents kept their hopes of a top-two 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) finish alive with a seven-wicket victory over their rivals and defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders.

Having restricted TKR to just 134/8, the Tridents got home on the back of Johnson Charles’ 47-ball 55 to leapfrog their opponents and St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Hero CPL table.

The Knight Riders, without a win in their last five after starting the season with four straight victories, now need to beat the runaway leaders Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final match of the league phase at Providence Stadium on Friday night to edge back above the Tridents and reclaim second place.

While both teams are safely through to the playoffs, second place is still a big prize. It brings a place in Qualifier 1 against the Warriors and two shots at a place in next weekend’s final. The team that misses out faces going straight to the Eliminator against the Patriots and no second chances.

Alex Hales showed some glimpses of his best form in a 54-run opening partnership with Charles, hitting six crisp fours and making 33 to get the Tridents well ahead of the required rate early. While the run-rate slowed after the Tridents had raced to 31/0 after the first three overs and though the chase going right into the final over might not have been exactly the plan, JP Duminy and Ashley Nurse held their nerve to collect the seven runs they needed from Kieron Pollard’s closing over without much alarm.

With wickets in hand, the Tridents always seemed to be in control of a relatively small chase. Although Hales chipped Mark Deyal to cover and Shakib Al Hasan was caught behind, the required rate was always in hand. By the time Chris Jordan yorked Charles for 55, the target was just 25 from 25 balls. Nurse and Duminy used 23 of those balls but got the job done.

The Tridents’ star bowlers Shakib Al Hasan, Harry Gurney and Hayden Walsh Jr were all once again impressive as the Knight Riders were restricted on a sluggish pitch.

Shakib bowled the opening over and ensured the Knight Riders’ experiment of sending in Jimmy Neesham as a pinch-hitting opener would not pay off. He made just a single before skying a slog-sweep to be caught and bowled.

Walsh Jr struck twice in quick succession to bag the key wickets of Colin Munro and Darren Bravo before Shakib returned to clean up Lendl Simmons, the mainstay of the TKR innings and the one TKR batsman to really come to grips with the pitch. He made 60 from 45 with three fours and four sixes with none of his team-mates able to pass 23.

Then it was over to Gurney, whose subtle changes of pace and control of line made him close to unhittable. He didn’t concede a single boundary in his four overs despite bowling both in the powerplay and then at the death. The Knight Riders scrambled just 14 runs from his four overs and lost Kieron Pollard to a slower ball and Denesh Ramdin lbw in the process.

Walsh Jr added a direct hit run out to his night’s work as Javon Searles fell for a duck, while Raymon Reifer got in the wickets column thanks to one of the stranger catches of the season as Duminy misjudged a Deyal hoik as it swirled high in the air and fumbled the catch only for Jonathan Carter to grab the rebound.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is delighted to announce that FedEx Express is the Official Courier and Express Delivery service of its cricket tournament. During the three-year relationship, FedEx Express will be working with CPL to ensure the movement of the tournament equipment around the Caribbean as it takes stop in Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and Barbados.

In addition to the transportation services that FedEx Express provides to CPL, the company is adding to the fan experience, for those watching on TV, the “FedEx Fastest Deliveries.” A speed gun is added to the coverage this year, so viewers are able to see which of the world-class quick bowlers, who are part of the tournament, is top of the table in terms of pace.

Jamie Stewart, CPL’s Commercial Director, said: “Putting on the CPL’s tournament each year is an extremely challenging logistical exercise, involving continuous movement of players, officials, television equipment, event materials and many other items essential to the event. With nine event legs in six countries across five and a half weeks, the successful staging of the tournament requires enormous logistics planning.”

“Having FedEx Express, the world's largest express transportation company, support CPL is a tremendous boost for the tournament, and we look forward to drawing on their vast expertise to advise and support the event, as we strive to be as efficient as it can be. Having another truly global and category leading brand assisting is the best possible sign that the tournament is growing both in stature and success, and we look forward to a long and successful association,” added Jamie Stewart.

“FedEx Express is proud of its association with many internationally-renowned sporting leagues and we are excited to serve as the Official Courier and Express Delivery service of The Hero Caribbean Premier League,” said Rakesh Shalia, vice president of marketing and communications of FedEx Express. “This is a great way for us to reinforce our commitment to markets across the Caribbean.”

Former West Indies opener Desmond Haynes and Phil Simmons as well as current coach Floyd Reifer have been short-listed for the job as head coach of the West Indies Senior Cricket team.

Jamaican goal defender Jodi-Ann Ward has signed with the Collingwood Magpies for the 2020 season of the Suncorp Super Netball season.

Haile Selassie High School midfield player Akeem Reid was admitted to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) having been struck by lightning while walking from a football field along Spanish Town Road in Kingston on Tuesday afternoon.

Top shooters Kevin Cheung, Ryan Bramwell and Darrin Richards decisively won their respective divisions at the hotly contested Liguanea Cup Pistol Shooting Competition held at the Jamaica Rifle Association’s (JRA) headquarters in Kingston over the weekend.

Guyana Amazon Warriors extended their perfect 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign to eight wins from eight matches with a 19-run win over defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders at the Queen’s Park Oval despite Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo briefly threatening to pull off an outrageous heist.

The Knight Riders appeared dead and buried at 91/4 with just six overs remaining and still needing 95 more to overhaul the Warriors 185/6. But Pollard and Bravo went on a ferocious six-hitting spree that almost dragged the unlikeliest of wins out of the fire for TKR.

They came up short, though, with Keemo Paul’s 19th over in which only singles came from the last five balls easing the Warriors’ fraying nerves before Tahir bowled Pollard for a sensational 71 from 38 balls with three balls to go and 21 still needed to at last finish the contest. The final winning margin of 19 runs also highlighted the significance of Romario Shepherd’s late cameo with the bat in the Warriors’ innings – he smashed 32* from 13, with two sixes and a four to finish it off as 25 came from Chris Jordan’s closing over.

Yet another win for the Warriors means they have now guaranteed themselves top spot in the regular season with two games to spare, while the Knight Riders still have work to do to secure their own place in the top two and the safety net of a place in Qualifier 1. One win from their two remaining games will do it.

Having muscled their way to 185/6 despite a troubling mid-innings wobble, the Warriors then strangled the Knight Riders top order through their battery of spinners.

Chris Green once again led the way, bowling his four overs off the reel at the top of the innings, removing the dangerous Colin Munro and Lendl Simmons, and returning figures of 2/18.

Imran Tahir did for Mark Deyal and Shoaib Malik had Denesh Ramdin caught in the deep off a slog-sweep to leave TKR reeling at 53/4.

Not even Pollard could rescue the Knight Riders from there, although he gave it a real crack. He shared a swashbuckling 125-run stand with Bravo, who himself cleared the ropes six times in a 46-ball 58 not out, but the required rate continued to climb throughout the partnership. Even when 57 runs were plundered in four overs from the 15th to the 18th.

Paul’s nerveless 19th over was ultimately key, and across the 40 overs the Warriors were deserving winners.

A 98-run second-wicket stand between Chrandrapaul Hemraj and Shimron Hetmyer then Shepherd’s late fireworks lifted the Warriors to their commanding total.

After the early loss of Brandon King, falling straight after taking Khary Pierre for 10 runs in two balls to start the third over, Hemraj took stock and then took charge.

Only 35/1 was on the board after the powerplay but the boundaries started to flow – for Hemraj in particular, who smashed four Hero Maximums and reached a 34-ball half-century with back-to-back fours off Jordan.

When Hemraj was caught behind off a wide Javon Searles yorker for 66, Hetmyer exploded into life in thrilling yet sadly for the Warriors all too brief fashion.

Searles’ next over started with the wicket of Nicholas Pooran and ended with that of Hetmyer slicing to Pierre at deep point. In between came 17 runs as Hetmyer flayed two fours and a gorgeous six carved high and handsome over backward point.

The failed attempt to repeat the dose saw Hetmyer depart the scene furious with himself and two short of a half-century.

The Warriors innings threatened to subside at that point in the face of some fine bowling from Ali Khan (1/23) in particular.

From 111/1 and 136/3, the Warriors found themselves 143/6 when Malik and Sherfane Rutherford fell to catches in the deep having added just a single between them.

But Shepherd ensured the Warriors would get up past not just 160 but also 180. He flayed a couple of early boundaries through the offside, but it was the two Hero Maximums and one-bounce four with which he finished the innings – 25 in all coming from Jordan’s closing over – that would ultimately take the Warriors out of Pollard and the Knight Riders’ reach.

Carlos Vela equalled an MLS record on Sunday as Real Salt Lake and New England Revolution booked their spots in the play-offs.

Vela equalled Josef Martinez's record for most goals in a season, taking his tally to 31 in Los Angeles FC's 1-1 draw with Minnesota United.

The Mexican star put LAFC ahead with a superb curling strike from inside the area in the 70th minute at Allianz Field.

However, Michael Boxall headed in an equaliser for Minnesota, who trail LAFC by 16 points in the Western Conference.

Real Salt Lake secured a play-off berth courtesy of a 2-1 victory at home to Houston Dynamo.

Corey Baird needed just 35 seconds to put RSL ahead, but Tomas Martinez cancelled out the opener.

However, Jefferson Savarino's fine strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the area helped Real Salt Lake advance to the play-offs from the Western Conference.

New England moved through after a 2-0 win over New York City, who wrapped up top spot in the east.

Teal Bunbury and Gustavo Bou scored second-half goals for the Revolution.

Elsewhere, Bojan Krkic scored in Montreal Impact's 1-1 draw with defending champions Atlanta United and Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted his 29th goal of the season in LA Galaxy's 4-3 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps.

Jordan Morris' late winner saw Seattle Sounders edge San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 as both teams finished with 10 men, Sporting Kansas City and Portland Timbers drew 2-2 and Colorado Rapids beat Dallas 3-0.

Chicago Fire and Toronto drew 2-2, Columbus Crew overcame Philadelphia Union 2-0, New York Red Bulls and DC United played out a 0-0 draw and Cincinnati drew 1-1 with Orlando City.

Three wickets in an over from Hayden Walsh Jr and a superb spell from Harry Gurney turned the Barbados Tridents’ whole season around as they defended 141 for 6 to defeat St Lucia Zouks and grab the final 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in a winner-takes-all clash at the Kensington Oval.

The Tridents looked to be heading out of the competition when the Zouks had got the target down to 31 runs from 28 balls with six wickets in hand, but Gurney then dismissed Hardus Viljoen before Walsh Jr’s three-wicket burst in the next over made it four wickets in eight balls and turned the match on its head.

Their total looked slightly short at the halfway stage, but with the pressure of a win-or-bust situation, and a pitch offering some assistance to the bowlers, it always promised to be a nervous run-chase for the Zouks.

Nevertheless, the Tridents’ hopes were already fading fast when the asking rate for the Zouks dropped below a run a ball within the powerplay despite the loss of openers Andre Fletcher and Rahkeem Cornwall.

Colin Ingram and Colin de Grandhomme kept the hammer down and got the Zouks so far ahead of the rate that even when they fell in successive overs control of the chase was still firmly in the visitors’ hands.

But first Gurney, and then most dramatically Walsh Jr, changed that with dizzying speed. Viljoen had smashed Gurney for six the ball before his dismissal, making the English left-armer’s slower ball bouncer an even bolder choice. But it did the job with Viljoen early on his shot and gloving through to Johnson Charles.

That triggered a startling collapse, with the Zouks losing their last six wickets for six runs in barely three overs to tumble out of the tournament.

Walsh Jr had Chris Barnwell, Daren Sammy and Krishmar Santokie caught on the boundary in his third over, while Gurney returned to finish off a superb spell of bowling in which he used the helpful conditions expertly by having Kesrick Williams caught on the fence from another deceptive slower ball. He finished with 3 for 17 from four high-quality overs.

It was Walsh Jr who had the last word, bagging his fourth wicket of the night and tournament-leading 14th of the 2019 Hero CPL to finish off the game and send the Tridents into the playoffs.

It was a fine effort from the Tridents after the heartbreak of the one-run defeat to St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 24 hours earlier that had turned this game into a must-win.

Even on a pitch offering a bit for the bowlers, 141 for 6 still felt short of what the Tridents would have hoped for after getting over the loss of Alex Hales to Santokie’s slower ball for a duck to post 48 for 1 in the powerplay. With Charles looking in imperious form and the classy Shakib Al Hasan another major headache for the Zouks, a total in excess of 160 looked on the cards.

Shakib, though, fell just as he was starting to really get going, drilling a slog-sweep off Fawad Ahmed but picking out Ingram who held a stinging catch at deep midwicket.

Charles fell three short of a half-century having hit four fours and two sixes in a 36-ball stay. No other Trident was able to match his ball-striking.

JP Duminy, a record-breaker earlier in the week, made 13 from 18 here before edging the excellent Santokie behind, while there was to be no repeat of last night’s Raymon Reifer fireworks as he holed out for just 3.

 

 

Naparima College still hold a one-point lead at the top of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division but it is tenuous after Saturday’s round of games saw them give up two valuable points, putting St Anthony’s and Presentation College within striking distance.

Presentation College were the team this week on a bye, but they are just two points behind Naparima College with a game in hand. St Anthony’s College were comfortable winners against Trinity College Moka, the 3-1 result putting them just a point behind Naparima. They too have a game in hand, meaning Naparima could find themselves slipping to third if the chasing teams don’t slip.

Playing against Pleasantville Secondary, one would have expected the defending champions to have an easy day, but the game was anything but.

The seventh-place team would end up holding the champions 2-2.

Malick Secondary, who at one stage led the league, are in a stall, failing to win for the third week in a row, again the score 2-1. This time it was Carapichaima East that kept them pointless, helping their free fall in the table. Malick are now ninth, down from the fourth place spot they held last week.

This week it is Carapichaima who hold down the number four spot on the table.

East Mucurapo are fifth on the table after they enjoyed a 2-0 win over St Benedict’s College. The losers of that game now find themselves last on the table with just three points.

If there is a light at the end of the tunnel for St Benedict’s, it is the fact that they are just a point off 12th position on the 15-team tablen with St Augustine, Trinity College Moka and St Mary’s College all on four points.

Speyside Secondary are on the move, climbing to seven points and eighth place after a 2-1 win away at Trinity College East, while San Juan North Secondary visited Queen’s Royal College (QRC) where they pulled off a 4-0 mauling.

San Juan are up to sixth on the table, while QRC are 10th.

St Mary’s College seem to have stopped the bleeding, at least for now, earning their second points of the campaign after a 1-1 draw with St Augustine.

The two lie 12th and 13th respectively.

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

+-

Pts

1

Naparima College

6

4

2

0

15

7

8

14

2

St Anthony's College

5

4

1

0

16

4

12

13

3

Presentation College

5

4

0

1

17

2

15

12

4

Carapichaima East Secondary

5

3

2

0

8

5

3

11

5

East Mucurapo Secondary

5

2

2

1

11

6

5

8

6

San Juan North Secondary

5

2

1

2

11

4

7

7

7

Pleasantville Secondary

6

2

1

3

8

9

-1

7

8

Speyside Secondary

5

2

1

2

7

16

-9

7

9

Malik Secondary

5

2

0

3

10

7

3

6

10

Queen's Royal College

5

2

0

3

8

15

-7

6

11

Trinity College East

5

1

2

2

6

9

-3

5

12

St Augustine Secondary

6

0

4

2

9

12

-3

4

13

St Mary's College

6

1

1

4

5

14

-9

4

14

Trinity College Moka

6

1

1

4

6

19

-13

4

15

St Benedict's College

5

1

0

4

5

13

-8

3

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots secured their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in dramatic style as Dominic Drakes bowled Harry Gurney with the final ball of the night to seal a thrilling one-run victory over Barbados Tridents, who now face a winner-takes-all clash with St Lucia Zouks on Sunday after a dramatic batting collapse when victory appeared in their grasp. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants to join Boca Juniors and the move could still happen, according to one of the club's directors.

The LA Galaxy star's agent, Mino Raiola, recently rubbished rumours he was attempting to arrange a transfer for the well-travelled 37-year-old.

But Boca board member Jorge Anro claims Ibrahimovic's interest in a move to the Bombonera is real and insists a deal remains a possibility.

The former Juventus, Barcelona and Manchester United striker has spent the past 18 months in the United States, scoring 50 MLS goals.

"It is true that Ibrahimovic wants to play for Boca and it is true that we are in a position to bring him in," Anro told Mundo Boca Radio, as quoted by AS.

"The club is in a very good moment institutionally. It is so good financially that it can afford those luxuries.

"We would be able to pay Zlatan's contract."

Boca made a splash in July when they lured Roma great Daniele De Rossi to Buenos Aires on a free transfer.

Ibrahimovic is contracted to Galaxy for the rest of the 2019 MLS season.

Daren Sammy held his nerve to keep St Lucia Zouks’ 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff hopes very much alive with a four-wicket win over Jamaica Tallawahs on Friday night.

A pair of Hero Maximums in the penultimate over of a nervy, high-stakes run-chase effectively settled the contest, bringing the scores level and allowing Krishmar Santokie to smash the winning runs at the start of the final over.

Victory for the Zouks lifted them back above Barbados Tridents into fourth place while also ending the Tallawahs’ own lingering hopes of a top-four finish. It’s the first time in Hero CPL history the Tallawahs miss out on the playoffs.

The Zouks now head to Barbados on Sunday for a hugely significant clash with the Tridents as the league phase hits the home straight.

Chasing 166 for victory, Rahkeem Cornwall got the Zouks off to the perfect start with a 24-ball half-century with four fours and five sixes.

He showed his intent from the very first over, pulling Zahir Khan for four and then launching a Hero Maximum over long-on.

The real carnage came in the third over of the innings as Jerome Taylor was taken for 25. Cornwall hit back-to-back Hero Maximums to start the over before Andre Fletcher finished it off with 10 runs in two balls.

Fletcher was caught at slip by Chris Gayle off Zahir Khan, but Cornwall raced on to his half-century, his most dramatic contribution a huge Hero Maximum off Ramaal Lewis that bounced twice on the roof before finding its way into the car park.

He was gone two balls later, though – just after reaching his half-century – when another attempt to clear the rope was held just inside it by Chadwick Walton.

When Colin de Grandhomme holed out off Imran Khan to the first ball of the next over for a golden duck, the Zouks were in danger of losing their way.

But with the required rate well in hand, Colin Ingram and Hardus Viljoen had the luxury of taking a few overs just to steady the ship. They did so, Viljoen then getting the chase really back up and running with a pair of huge sixes over long-on off Khan. The final ball of that over was pulled to the square-leg fence and the Zouks were firmly back in control.

Still it was not exactly plain sailing to the finish line. Ingram was run out by a superb direct hit from Khan at mid-off, before Viljoen top-edged a Dwayne Smith short ball to Shamar Springer at long-leg.

When Chris Barnwell picked out Smith at long-on to give Imran Khan a second wicket, the Tallawahs suddenly sensed a chance with the equation 19 from 12 and Daren Sammy left with only the Zouks bowlers for company.

Two huge sixes later, the matter was all but settled with Santokie gleefully crashing the first ball of the final over to the cover boundary to seal a hugely important win.

Dwayne Smith had earlier returned to form in fine style for the Tallawahs. Having failed to reach double-figures in four previous 2019 Hero CPL innings, Smith looked back to his very best in plundering 58 in 38 balls with six fours and three sixes.

But after he and debutant Liton Das (21 from 21) were dismissed in successive balls by the impressive Kesrick Williams, the Tallawahs innings fell away.

From 138/2 after 16 overs with two set batsmen at the crease, only 27 more were added at a cost of five wickets in the face of some superb Zouks death bowling.

Williams was very much the pick, adding the wicket of Trevon Griffith to finish with fine figures of 3/24 despite Shamar Springer hitting the final ball of his spell for six.

Glenn Phillips and Gayle had got the innings off to a fine start before 2019 Hero CPL leading run-scorer Phillips was bounced out by Viljoen after smacking back-to-back fours.

Gayle was then prepared to play second fiddle to Smith in a partnership of Smith before being caught by a juggling Viljoen at long-off as Sammy’s decision to bring himself into the attack paid dividends.

Smith went through to his half-century in 30 balls but fell just as the Tallawahs were looking to really launch in the final overs. They were never quite able to do so.

Six candidates have been short-listed for the post of head coach of the West Indies Cricket team, Cricket West Indies announced on Friday.

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