BOWLED OUT FOR 274 COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP): Seamers Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav propelled India to a winning position in the decisive third Test as Sri Lanka, chasing a daunting 386 to win, were struggling on 67 for three at stumps on day four yesterday. Sharma removed opener Upul Tharanga for a duck, with just one run on the board, caught behind by Naman Ojha. Yadav had Dimuth Karunaratne caught behind, also without scoring, leaving Sri Lanka 2-2. Dinesh Chandimal made 18 before being caught in the slip by Indian captain Virat Kohli off Sharma with the total on 21. Kaushal Silva (24) and captain Angelo Mathews (22) shared an unbroken 46 runs for the fourth wicket. Sri Lanka need 319 runs to win with seven wickets in hand. Sharma returned two for 14. Rohit Sharma, whose half century and two crucial partnerships saved India from the losing advantage in the second innings, is confident they can finish the job, just as they did in the second Test at P. Sara Oval, where India defeated Sri Lanka by 278 runs, with Sri Lanka chasing 413 to win. “We stand in a good position right now,” he said. “Giving them a target on a wicket like this, which has something for the bowler throughout the day, whether it is spinner or fast bowler. “I guess we will just have to come out tomorrow and do what we did in P. Sara.” Indian bowlers relentlessly attacked the Sri Lankan batsmen, who were beaten outside the off stump several times or edged deliveries short of the fielders. Earlier, India – batting with a first-innings lead of 111 runs – were bowled out for 274 in their second innings. The three-match series is level at 1-1. India lost three wickets for 21 in their second innings but were rescued by Rohit, who scored 50 and shared 57 runs for the fourth wicket with captain Virat Kohli (21), and 54 with Stuart Binny, who fell one run short of a half-century. No. 9, Ravichandran Ashwin, top-scored for India with 58 and shared 55 runs for the eighth wicket with Amit Mishra, who made 39. Sri Lankan seam bowlers Nuwan Pradeep and Dhammika Prasad took four wickets apiece. Sri Lankan and Indian players were involved in a heated argument in the final over of the Indian innings. It started when Prasad directed a series of bouncers at tailender Sharma. During Sri Lanka’s first innings, Prasad injured his hand trying to fend off a bouncer bowled by Sharma.
Western BureauHolland High School began their campaign for the ISSA Western Conference Under-16 basketball championship with an easy 31-18 victory over Muschett High on Wednesday.Prince Benjamin led the way for Holland with his seven points, five rebounds and two assists and was complimented by Kevin Edwards’ seven points and three rebounds.Both teams played good attacking basketball early in the first quarter, at the end of which they were locked at four-all but Holland gradually took control through Edwards and Benjamin.The Muschett defence struggled throughout the match and a seven-point, 14-7 lead, at half-time became a blowout at the end of the contest.The win would have pleased the Holland coaching staff, as they seek to wrest back the title won last year by Herbert Morrison.Deandre Stewart was Muschett’s top scorer with seven points and three steals while teammate Akeem Baker chipped in with a useful six points, three rebounds and five steals.Six teams are competing in the Under-16 category including defending champions Herbert Morrison, Holland, Muschett, St. James High, William Knibb High and Cornwall College.Herbert Morrison who are also champions of the Under-19 category will be looking to stave off the challenges from William Knibb, Muschett, St. James and Cornwall College. Under-19St James vs Herbert MorrisonCornwall College vs MuschettUnder-16Cornwall College vs MuschettHerbert Morrison vs Holland
UNHAPPY SELECTORS ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC): A report into alleged interference in the selection process has determined that the two highest ranking officials of the West Indies Cricket Board, spoke without “approval” when they backed the retention of Shiv Chanderpaul for the Australia series. WICB president Dave Cameron and his vice-president, Emmanuel Nanthan, had supported Chanderpaul’s selection last May after the Clive Lloyd-led selection panel had decided to drop the veteran left-hander. In a media release on Saturday, the WICB said the findings of the report showed that both Cameron and Nanthan had spoken in personal capacities. “The findings stated that the actions of the president and vice-president to support the selection of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the home series in May last year, were personal statements and were done without approval of the Board of Directors,” the release said. Chanderpaul was controversially left out of the squad for Australia series following a run of low scores in previous series against South Africa and England. According to media reports at the time, Cameron attempted to have Chanderpaul included against the will of selectors. The report, conducted by human resource specialist Colin Barnett, was commissioned by the WICB after head coach Phil Simmons controversially claimed last September that there had been “outside interference” in the selection of the one-day squad to tour Sri Lanka. Two other selection cases came under scrutiny of the report, namely the Test squad to Australia last December and the cancelled one-day international series against Zimbabwe. According to the release, the report found no discrepancies in these cases. “The other findings reported support the roles of the director of cricket (Richard Pybus) and the selectors and that they were following the existing selection policies and guidelines.” The report also put forward a list of recommendations to improve the overall selection process, among these the refining of selection policies, updating the terms of reference for selectors and advising the public on selection criteria. Simmons stunned the cricket fraternity ahead of the Test tour of Sri Lanka last year when he told a media conference that the selection of the tour had suffered from “outside interference”. The Trinidadian, who had then been only recently appointed, said he and chairman Lloyd had agreed on the need for Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard to be recalled to the ODI squad only to be outvoted by the three other selectors Eldine Baptiste, Courtney Walsh and Courtney Browne. Simmons said those with influence had interfered to ensure the two players remained sidelined. He was subsequently suspended for the Sri Lanka tour, but reinstated for the Australia series following an inquiry.
The improving A THOUSAND STARS responded to a brilliant ride from jockey Robert Halledeen to turn the tables on her recent 1000 Guineas conqueror NUCLEAR AFFAIR to win the 77th running of the Caribbean Choice Jamaica Oaks over 2000 metres in a driving finish at Caymanas Park yesterday.Installed a 9-2 second favourite in a field of 10 native- bred three-year-old fillies, A THOUSAND STARS staged a tremendous rally on the outside after giving way to the howling 1-9 favourite NUCLEAR AFFAIR with champion jockey Shane Ellis, from early in the straight, getting up within shades of the wire to beat her by a neck.Both raced in touch from the half mile with A THOUSAND STARS from the stables of 15-champion Wayne DaCosta getting first run 600 metres out. But NUCLEAR AFFAIR was sent in serious chase and mounted her challenge on the outside at the final bend to set the stage for a straight fight between the two top contenders. And although NUCLEAR AFFAIR galloped past the furlong pole with a slim lead, she looked to be labouring and was cut down by the renewed challenge of A THOUSAND STARS (switched from rails) in the pedestrian time of 2:12.0.first Oaks winGLYDER, who was outpaced towards the rear for most of the way, finished strongly, another 13/4 lengths away, third at odds of 55-1, while SORRENTINO’S STAR, at 5-1, was fourth.Halledeen was over the moon in notching his first Oaks win against the odds.”I’m the classic jockey on the premises now”, he said, recalling his victory aboard FUTURE KING in the recent Post to Post 2000 Guineas and his Boxing Day win aboard the DaCosta-trained colt in the $4.25 million Supreme Ventures Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes over a mile.DaCosta said: “She is at a stage of rapid improvement and, despite losing to Nuclear Affair, I thought she would make it close going two turns… Nuclear Affair just never ran her race today and that’s how it goes sometimes, but I give Halledeen full marks for a brilliant ride,” added DaCosta, who, on the previous Saturday, became the winningest trainer in Jamaica with 1,951 wins, surpassing Phillip Feanny.A dark bay filly by Storm Craft out of Heart of Gold, A THOUSAND STARS is owned and bred by the trainer’s wife, Elizabeth. This was the filly’s second win from seven starts with stakes of just over $3 million.DaCosta had a second winner on the card in event’s favourite LOTTERY TICKET in division two of the Ricochet Cup. Also saddling two winners was Neive Graham, both horses, PROLIFIC PRINCESS and ITALIANO, for popular owners O’Shaun Connection. But jockey Omar Walker was the day’s top performer with three winners in PACIFIC PRINCESS, ITALIANO and LOTTERY TICKET.
LONDON (AP):Olivier Giroud scored an exquisite goal from an overhead back-heeled strike as Arsenal beat struggling Crystal Palace 2-0 yesterday to rise to third in the English Premier League.”I have maximum luck,” Giroud said of his “scorpion” kick. “It’s just about luck.”Such a moment of exceptional quality could help Giroud convince manager Arsene Wenger to play him more.”(Giroud) brings the unexpected, and we all come to football to get the unexpected,” Wenger said.Opportunities don’t come often for the France forward since dropping down the pecking order. But with Mesut Ozil ill in bed, Wenger had little choice but to start Giroud for the second consecutive game in the packed festive programme.Giroud, who netted on his first-league start of the season against West Bromwich Albion last Monday, beat Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey after 18 minutes.Alexis Sanchez whipped in a cross from the left flank and Giroud connected with a back-heeled flick that sent the ball up against the underside of the bar and into the net.”It was the only thing I could do,” Giroud said. “The ball was behind me and I tried to hit it with a backheel.”Giroud had also played a role during the sweeping counterattack that started inside Arsenal’s own half and ended with the opening goal.”Olivier transformed that goal into art,” Wenger said. “Art because of the surprise, because the beauty of the movement and because the efficiency of the movement – the ball went in.”EYE-CATCHING GOALSFew goals will be as eye-catching all season. Scoring again, though, was important at the chilly Emirates Stadium to prevent Palace from mounting a comeback.It took until the 56th minute when Nacho Monreal’s cross was scooped in the air by Scott Dann’s interception, and Alex Iwobi headed past two Palace players on the goal line.Palace remain two points from the relegation zone, with Sam Allardyce winless in his two matches in charge.Arsenal’s victory, combined with Tottenham’s success at Watford, ensured Manchester City dropped out of the top-four Champions League places.Arsenal, which travel to Bournemouth tomorrow, are nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea and three behind Liverpool.
Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls defender Althea Byfield said she is undecided about her future with the national team, this after she was overlooked for the team’s last two international ‘Test’ series. The 34-year-old netballer retired from international competition in 2011 after Jamaica’s poor performance at World Championships in Singapore. However, the tough defender has continued to play in the leagues. Byfield returned last year to captain the Sunshine Girls’ team to the Fast5 World Series in England. But despite availability for the Sunshine Girls Test series against New Zealand and England, the defender was overlooked by the Sunshine Girls selectors. The Sunshine Girls lost 3-0 to New Zealand but they bounced back to beat hosts England 2-1. Byfield, one of the most outstanding defenders in this year’s Berger Elite League, told The Gleaner that she is unsure if she will play for the Sunshine Girls again. ” I was available for the tour to New Zealand in September and I was available for the tour in England in November and unfortunately I was overlooked and so I am doubtful as it relates to going back to the national programme,” said Byfield. “I think I was overlooked because maybe because I am too old and they are focusing on youths, so it was their choice,” Byfield said. However, despite this, Byfield added that she still has what it takes to win a place on the Sunshine Girls as according to her ‘she still has a lot of offer to the national programme.’ She added that she will now focus most of her attention on completing her degree at the University of Technology.
“We have a little break for the Caribbean Football Union Championships, and that is the focus at this point,” he disclosed. Meanwhile, Maverley-Hughenden’s coach Anthony Patrick praised his team for a disciplined approach against the defending champions. “The youngsters dug in and followed the game plan. We just didn’t create enough chances. However, it was important not to lose,” Patrick said. “We have 10 matches to go, so although we are in the relegation zone, it is a work in progress for the team,” he added. MBU moved to 43 points, while Maverley-Hughenden remained in 11th position on 22 points. Today’s games Tivoli Gardens will look to take sole leadership of the Red Stripe Premier League when they face Harbour View in the feature game of the National Stadium double-header, starting at 8 p.m. tonight. In the first game, last placed Boys’ Town will oppose Humble Lion at 5:30 p.m. The games are the start of this season’s Monday Night fixtures presented by the Independence Park Limited (IPL) and the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA). The grandstand is the only section that will be open to the public with an entry cost of $500 per person. A win for Tivoli Gardens would push the Omar Edwards – coached team on to 45 points, ahead of Montego Bay United (MBU) and UWI FC, which are both locked on 43 points. Meanwhile, in their game yesterday, reigning champions MBU’s winless streak stretched to three games as they were held to a 0-0 draw against struggling Maverley-Hughenden at Constant Spring Complex yesterday. MBU ended the game with 10 players as referee Weston Coscly issued a red card to Allan Ottey in the 70th minute for violent conduct. The MBU team was unlucky not to come away with full points as they hit the post twice and also missed several clear chances. On the other hand, Maverley were clearly content to get anything from the game, frustrating the visitors with their defensively approach. MBU’s coach Dillan Thelwell says he is satisfied with the point on the road, particularly because his team had to play a portion of the second half with 10 players. “Based on the players available, I think a point today is good. We also went down to 10 players, so we have to give thanks for the point,” Thelwell told The Gleaner. Maverley-Hughenden 0 MoBay United 0 Reno 0 Arnett Gardens 1 Jamalco 1 Portmore United 2 Waterhouse 0 UWI FC 0 5:30 p.m. Boys’ Town vs Humble Lion at National Stadium 8 p.m. Tivoli Gardens vs Harbour View at National Stadium Yesterday’s results DISCIPLINED APPROACH
JAMAICA’s Lesgar ‘Speedy’ Murdock was crowned overall Open Division champion at the recent Florida Open pistol tournament, held at Universal Shooting Academy, Frostproof. Murdock’s victory, the highlight of what turned out to be a Jamaican affair, marked the first major match win for him against world-rated Max Michel and Chris Tilley. The 11-stage, 300-round match took on a Jamaican flair as the stages were named for iconic Jamaican phrases and locations. The tournament mascot also depicted a Rastafarian. The tournament brought together 384 top shooters from the United States, Europe, the Caribbean as well as Central and South America. Jamaica had six entrants in the Open Division, 10 in Limited and four in Production. Murdock topped 100 rivals in the hot Open Division, tallying 1,538 points, 15 ahead of his closest rival. A total 38 points separated the top five. Though not the fastest, he was certainly the most accurate. Minor adjustments The Jamaican credited his victory to minor adjustments to his training routine. He has his eyes squarely set on a podium finish at the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) World Shoot in France, scheduled for August. Lennie Moulton, 34; Ryan Gourzong, 43; Errol Lawson, 51; Odane McDowell, 85, and Bernard Lawrence 90, completed Jamaica’s placing in the Open Division. Of the 100 shooters who lined in Limited, Jamaica’s Ron Brown Jr continued his winning form, placing eighth overall, third as Master, with 1,263 points, shooting 85 per cent of the division winner. Greg Henry won first-place honours in C Class, placing 35th overall. Sue-Ann Henriques, Jamaica’s most decorated female shooter, was second in the Ladies Division, 53rd overall. Andrew Yap, though disappointed with his performance, placed 12th; Manchester Rifle and Pistol Club’s Orville Henriques was 30th overall, Ellsworth Dixon 41st, Paul Dixon 47th, Thomas Jones 61st, Owen Campbell 67th and Andrew Nish 84th. Production division hosted 89 competitors from which Jamaica’s Ryan Bramwell emerged first in A Class, 12th overall, with 1202 points at 76 per cent. Bramwell’s performance followed his Florida State Championship A class win. Sanjay Welsh topped D Class with 620 points, placing 66th. Darin Richards placed third in C Class with 783 points, finishing 53rd. Veteran Anthony Johnson was 38th with 904 points. Jamaica’s team to the IPSC World Shoot XVIII comprises: Murdock, Rory Wilson and Moulton in Open Division; Brown Jr, Yap, Evelyn, Henry and Paul Dixon in the Standard Division. Anthony Johnson will compete in Production Division. The team members are highly motivated and optimistic about their chances and continue to train prior to their departure.
HARDEST GAMES Executive director, Special Olympics Jamaica, Lorna Bell says she is extremely proud of Jamaica’s outstanding performance, so far at the World Winter Special Olympics Games in Austria. Romaine Austin won gold in the Division 15 500m speed skating event yesterday while Dave Oddman won silver in Division 23 in the 222-metre speed skating race in Graz earlier this week. The Special Olympics Jamaica floor hockey team edged Costa Rica 2-1 for the bronze medal. “I am extremely proud of our athletes. Their outstanding performances at these games is an example of what can happen when we give them a chance. I am a firm believer in whatever the mind conceives and believes, the mind can achieve. Our athletes were determined to make Jamaica proud and they did exactly that!,” Bell told The Gleaner yesterday. “It is important to note that this is the first time most of our athletes are travelling, let alone to a cold country. And to adapt like they did, despite the challenges, is a win in itself,” she added. Austin spoke about his gold medal performance. “I led from the start, I maintained my lead and I am happy to win the gold medal for Jamaica,” Austin said from Austria.. Jamaica’s floor hockey team captain, Sydney Manyan said that it was one of the toughest games ever for the team. “We played one of our hardest games but were brilliant against Costa Rica. We had injury problems, despite that we gained the bronze medal. We say big up to the team, coaching staff and everybody involved,” Manyan said. Special Olympics Jamaica sent a 16-member floor hockey team and two speed skaters to the Games.
It was a first and second for Calabar in the event, and while Russell was happy with maximum points for his team, he said he felt happier to silence all doubts about his fitness. “In the last interviews, they were asking the same question about my health. People can speculate all they want, but I know what I know. I know my body, so I just went there and tried my best, and thank God for the result,” he explained. SILENCE ALL DOUBTS Outstanding Calabar High hurdler De’Jour Russell celebrated his 17th birthday in style at the National Stadium yesterday. Russell, who was an injury doubt for the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships, won the Class One 110 metres hurdles in a record 13.21 seconds. He demolished the mark held by last year’s Olympic champion, Omar McLeod, who set the record while attending Kingston College in 2013. Russell looked well below his best in the semi-finals on Friday morning, but yesterday, he was too hot to handle. “I am 17 now. This is my birthday. I am glad my birthday falls on this championship because I knew I was going to do something big,” an elated Russell told The Sunday Gleaner. He said there was a lot more left in the tank. “That (his record run) wasn’t really all out. I pulled off at the fourth hurdle because my coach (Michael Clarke) said just keep the flow, and that was what I did. I was surprised I came out with the record,” he reasoned.