With day 3 of the 2nd Guyana Harpy Eagles practice match set to be played today, Tevin Imlach’s XI enjoys a healthy lead of 177 runs in their 2nd innings. When play resumed yesterday at the Providence National Stadium, Gudakesh Motie’s XI were 46/2, 180 runs adrift of Imlach XI’s 1st Innings total of 226 and were eventually bowled out for 216.
Veteran left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul was ruthless enroute to yet another five-wicket haul, he snared the scalps of top-scorers Mavindra Dindyal (47) and Anthony Bramble (37) and ended with figures of 5/8 (7.5 overs). He was well supported by seamers Demitri Cameron (2/32), Shamar Joseph (2/49) and Clinton Pestano (1/40).
Batting a second time, Imlach’s XI suffered an early blow as 1st innings top scorer Matthew Nandu was caught behind off the bowling of Nial Smith for a duck, however Chandrapaul Hemraj and skipper Tevin Imlach (65) combined to steady the ship with a second wicket partnership of 116 before the latter fell caught off the bowling of Ashmeade Nedd.
Hemraj would follow shortly as he fell off the bowling of Motie for a typically aggressive 60 which included 14 boundaries. The only other casualty before the close of play was Leon Johnson who was bowled by Motie for 11.
When play resumes today, Imlach’s XI lead by 177 runs in their second innings with Kevlon Anderson on 18 and Akshaya Persaud yet to face a delivery.
With play set to resume today, a patient half-century from young opening batsman Matthew Nandu and miserly figures of 3/8 (8.4 Overs) from Gudakesh Motie highlighted day one of the 2nd Guyana Harpy Eagles practice match at the Providence National Stadium.
Earlier yesterday, Tevin Imlach’s XI won the toss and elected to take first strike against the Gudakesh Motie XI. Nandu along with veteran Chandrapaul Hemraj got Imlach’s XI off to a flyer. Hemraj was the aggressor racing to 46 from 36 deliveries before he got out with the score at 72. From there on out, wickets fell at regular intervals as Imlach (11) and Kevlon Anderson (5) both came and went. The returning Leon Johnson joined Nandu and together they guided their side from 90/3 to 140 before Nandu fell for a well composed 50 courtesy of Ronaldo Mohamed-Ali.
Johnson (25) along with Akshaya Persaud (22) and Shamar Yearwood (37) were the only other batsmen to get scores worthy of note as all the others fell cheaply.
For the bowling side, Motie led from the front as the chief destroyer and was well supported by spinners Junior Sinclair (2/33) and Richie Looknauth (2/29) while Ashmeade Nedd, Mohamed-Ali and Nial Smith took a wicket apiece.
In response at stumps, Motie’s XI was trailing by 180 runs on 46/2 having lost opener Rampertab Ramnauth (24) and night watchman Ronsford Beaton (4). When play resumes today, Tagenarine Chanderpaul (12 not out) and Mavindra Dindyal (6 not out) will resume the innings.
Day 1: Imlach XI won the toss & elected to bat
Scores: Imlach XI 1st Innings- 226 All Out (Nandu 50, Motie 3/8)
(Close of Play) Gudakesh Motie X1: 46 for 2 (12 overs) trail by 180 runs
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) Men’s Selection Panel today announced the 15-member squad for the upcoming two-match Test Series in Zimbabwe, starting on 4 February. The Selection Panel recalled experienced fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, as well as left-arm spinners Gudakesh Motie and Jomel Warrican.
Gabriel has taken 161 wickets in 56 Tests, placing him joint 12th in the West Indies all-time wicket-takers list and more recently was the joint-leading wicket taker in the CG United Super50 Cup for the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in November last year.
Gabriel’s last Test Match was against Sri Lanka in November 2021. Warrican’s last international appearance was also in Sri Lanka in December 2021 when he played in both matches in the Test Series. Motie made his Test debut for West Indies in Antigua in June 2022 in the first Test of the two-match Series victory against Bangladesh.
Jayden Seales is unavailable for selection following a knee injury and subsequent surgery; while Anderson Phillip is also unavailable due to injury.
Lead Selector, The Most Hon Dr Desmond Haynes said: “This is the start of the international calendar for 2023 and we will hope to start with a win. We appreciate it won’t be as easy assignment as Zimbabwe, like most other teams in world cricket, play very well on their home soil on pitches that will support their style of play.”
Haynes added: “We looked at the conditions we anticipate playing in, and have included two left-arm spinners who didn’t go to Australia in Motie and Warrican. With our fast bowlers, Seales has done extremely well for us since he started back in 2021, but with him unavailable we have decided that Gabriel would be best able to fill that role. He (Gabriel) is an experienced bowler who has been at the international level for over 10 years and has knowledge of the conditions in Zimbabwe when we won there in 2017.”
West Indies will play both Test matches at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, with the first Test running from 4 to 8 February, and the second match from 12 to 16 February. Ahead of the two-Test Series, West Indies will have a three-day warm-up match against a local side set for 28 to 30 January at Bulawayo Athletic Club. All matches start at 10am local time (4am Eastern Caribbean/3am Jamaica).
The last Test Series between Zimbabwe and the West Indies was also played at Queens Sports Club in October 2017. West Indies won the two-match Series 1-0, winning the first contest by 117 runs with the second Test ending in a draw.
Kraigg Brathwaite (captain)
Jermaine Blackwood (vice captain)
Joshua Da Silva
28-30 January: three-day warm-up match at Bulawayo Athletic Club
4-8 February: 1st Test at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Cricket Australia has withdrawn their men’s team from a scheduled three-match ODI series against Afghanistan to be played in the UAE in March following consultation with the Australian government.
Australia were scheduled to play Afghanistan as part of the ICC Super League following the tour of India. But CA released a statement on Thursday stating that it had withdrawn from the series following a recent announcement from the Taliban that it was banning university education for girls, which ICC CEO Geoff Allardice described as concerning.
“Following extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the Australian Government, Cricket Australia has decided that it is unable to proceed at this time with the upcoming ICC Super League three-match Men’s ODI series between Australia and Afghanistan scheduled for the UAE in March 2023,” the CA statement said.
“This decision follows the recent announcement by the Taliban of further restrictions on women’s and girls’ education and employment opportunities and their ability to access parks and gyms.
“CA is committed to supporting growing the game for women and men around the world, including in Afghanistan, and will continue to engage with the Afghanistan Cricket Board in anticipation of improved conditions for women and girls in the country.
“We thank the Australian Government for its support on this matter.”
The ICC has also expressed its concern over the situation in Afghanistan. “We want to see men and women safely playing cricket in Afghanistan and have consistently held the view that the best way to achieve this is by supporting our Member, the Afghanistan Cricket Board, in its endeavours to develop the game in the country,” an ICC spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo. “We are concerned by recent developments in Afghanistan and the ICC board will consider the implications of these developments at its next meeting and we remain in contact with other global sporting organisations who share our aim of seeing men and women playing sport in Afghanistan.”
This is the second time in two years CA has cancelled a bilateral fixture with Afghanistan due to the Taliban government’s policies on women following the postponement of the one-off Test that was scheduled to be played in Hobart in November 2021.
Australia did play Afghanistan in Adelaide during the recent T20 World Cup. The two sides have met four times in international cricket but never in a Test match and only once in a bilateral match in 2012, with the other three meetings coming in World Cups.
Australia are slated to meet Afghanistan twice more in the next Future Tours cycle with three T20Is scheduled for a neutral venue in August 2024 and Afghanistan due to tour Australia in August 2026 to play one Test and three T20Is.
Usman Khawaja made his highest Test score, while Steven Smith overtook Sir Donald Bradman in the record books with his 30th Test hundred, as Australia gained a stranglehold on the third Test against a hapless South Africa.
Khawaja was ruthless on a slow SCG surface to finish unbeaten on 195 and anchor Australia’s massive 475 for 4. But their push for a declaration before stumps on day two was thwarted by rain ending play an hour early.
With a declaration looming, Khawaja and Travis Head accelerated after tea with Australia keen on moving the match forward due to more rain forecast in Sydney on days three and four.
In what has become a trademark, Head played a swashbuckling innings to smash a flagging South Africa attack with a 59-ball 70 before holing out. In his first Test match since 2018, and having tested positive for Covid-19 on a rapid antigen test before play on day one, Matt Renshaw was on 5 not out.
Khawaja bettered his highest Test score of 174 in streaky fashion with a gloved boundary that just beat high-flying wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne. His 13th Test century took him level with Wally Hammond, Doug Walters and VVS Laxman as the only batters to have struck three consecutive tons at the SCG.
Having revived his Test career a year ago with twin centuries against England on this ground, Khawaja has now hit four centuries from seven Tests at the SCG with an average over 100.
It ended a frustrating Test summer for Khawaja, who had missed out on Australia’s run glut and only averaged 27.43 from seven previous innings.
Khawaja combined in a 209-run partnership with Smith to torment South Africa for most of the first two sessions on day two. It was their 10th century partnership from just 33 innings and their highest stand, overtaking their 188 against England at the SCG in 2018.
Having moved past Bradman on the career Test century list with his 30th ton, Smith fell for 104 after tamely spooning a return catch to spinner Keshav Maharaj.
After a slow start, Smith produced a masterclass and reached his ton with a pull shot to the boundary off Anrich Nortje. His back-foot trigger movement was more pronounced in this innings, having been refined earlier in the season, but it didn’t affect his game with Smith toying with the bowlers.
It would have particularly satisfied Smith, who in 20 previous innings against South Africa averaged 41.67 – nearly 20 below his career mark. His only Test ton was in his first innings against them when he struck 100 in Centurion in 2014.
In the process, Smith overtook Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke to sit fourth overall in Test career runs for Australia. He also passed 1000 Test runs at the SCG as he struck his fourth ton on his home ground.
Another strong Australian batting effort put them on track for a clean sweep of the series with victory to secure a position in the World Test Championship final in June. They also completely sucked the life out of a beleaguered South Africa, who have been out of answers.
With just four wickets in 131 overs, the spotlight might further shine on under-pressure skipper Dean Elgar who has seemingly been reactionary and conservative with his tactics.
He juggled his bowlers sometimes bafflingly like when Nortje and spearhead Kagiso Rabada were not used after lunch with offspinner Simon Harmer taking an almost brand new ball.
Harmer had been under-bowled on day one and in the first session, but struggled to make an impact and was hit for a huge six by a fleet-footed Smith.
Nortje couldn’t quite summon the same fire he conjured during his heroic day one effort, where he claimed the only two wickets, while Rabada was wayward to continue a disappointing series.
There was relief for left-arm spinner Maharaj after removing Smith out of nowhere. He was finally rewarded having leaked 247 runs off 75.5 overs in the series before his long overdue first scalp.
Their chances of a victory to revive their slim chances of making the World Test Championship final appear forlorn. To avoid a series whitewash, South Africa might need Sydney’s temperamental weather to further intervene.
Stumps Australia 475 for 4 (Khawaja 195*, Smith 104, Head 70, Nortje 2-55) vs South Africa
Former Barcelona junior Oriol Soldevila scored a hat trick against his old club but still ended on the losing side as third tier InterCity took the LaLiga giants to extra time before losing 4-3 in a dramatic Copa del Rey tie on Wednesday.
InterCity, promoted to the third division last season, came from behind three times to force extra time after a 3-3 draw at the end of 90 minutes, but were then knocked out when substitute Ansu Fati netted a 103rd-minute winner in Alicante to put Barca in the round of 16.
Ronald Araujo, Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha were Barcelona’s other scorers while the 21-year-old Soldevila netted his three goals in a 25-minute second-half spell including a dramatic third in the 86th minute to take the tie to extra time.
Soldevila spent two years at the Barcelona academy before moving to England for two seasons at Birmingham City, where he failed to break through into the first team.
“The Copa is like this, we know it, it’s not easy,” Araújo said. “It’s important that we learn from it and correct our mistakes.”
The game was played not long after Spain’s administrative court for sports upheld a three-game suspension for Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski in the Spanish league, taking him out of the league match against Atletico Madrid on Sunday. He had not been in the squad for the Copa match against Intercity.
The suspension had been lifted by a court of disputes after an appeal by Barcelona. The Poland striker had been allowed to play in last weekend’s 1-1 league draw against Espanyol, which later challenged the result of the derby saying it was harmed by the unexpected decision by the Madrid court to temporarily lift the suspension.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia and Real Betis had not played until this round because they are part of the Spanish Super Cup that will begin next week.
Brazil international Dani Alves was formally accused of sexual assault at a nightclub in Barcelona last week, a Catalan police source confirmed to the news agency EFE.
A spokesman for the local police in Barcelona told ESPN a complaint was filed on Monday relating to an incident at Sutton, a popular night spot in the city, but could not confirm the identities of those implicated.
“The investigation is still ongoing,” the spokesman said.
ESPN has also contacted Alves’ camp for comment.
EFE reported that a woman has filed a police report against Alves, alleging that he touched her inappropriately under her clothes without consent during a night out on Dec. 30.
After the incident, the woman says she told security what had happened and local police were informed and took witness statements.
Alves, 39, was in Barcelona following his participation at the World Cup with Brazil in Qatar. He had spent time in the city training with Barca’s B team in the lead-up to the finals and returned following the Selecao’s elimination..
He is now back in Mexico, where he plays for Pumas UNAM following a 22-year professional career that has seen him play for Bahia, Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Sao Paulo.
Stumps Australia 147 for 2 (Labuschagne 79, Khawaja 54*, Nortje 2-26) vs South Africa
Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja hit half-centuries for Australia on a truncated day one before Anrich Nortje helped South Africa claw back into the third Test at a gloomy SCG.
After captain Pat Cummins won a crucial toss and elected to bat on a dry surface, Australia reached stumps at 147 for 2 with Khawaja unbeaten on 54 and Steven Smith yet to face a delivery.
Labuschagne fell for 79 on what turned out to be the final delivery of the day’s play. Only 47 overs were bowled due to bad light and rain much to the disappointment of the 31,000 crowd in another Sydney Test match affected by inclement conditions.
Labuschagne and Khawaja had built a strong platform with a 135-run partnership after the early loss of opener David Warner for 10. There was a delay of more than two hours due to bad light before five overs were squeezed in late in the day and Nortje capitalised with a cracking delivery to remove Labuschagne.
Exerting plenty of energy, Nortje conjured sharp bounce and pace on the slow surface to produce an unplayable delivery that had Labuschagne caught behind.
After a lionhearted effort in Melbourne, Nortje was again the standout with 2 for 26 from 11 overs having earlier taken the wicket of Warner. He has kept a struggling South Africa buoyant after Australia threatened to grab an early stranglehold of the contest.
Labuschagne had been irrepressible until on 70 he appeared to be dismissed out of nowhere when he edged seamer Marco Jansen to first slip where Simon Harmer claimed a low catch.
It was given out on the soft signal but Labuschagne stood his ground and it seemed difficult to prove from replays whether Harmer had his hands under the ball close to the turf.
Third umpire Richard Kettleborough overturned the decision much to the frustration of South Africa. It only furthered Labuschagne’s reputation as a rather charmed batter but he had played imperiously before that contentious incident with five boundaries in 12 balls to go from 40 to 61.
After bowling well before lunch, Harmer trapped Khawaja lbw with the second delivery of the second session only for the decision to be reversed when replays showed the ball hit the glove first.
Having revived his career a year ago with twin centuries against England on this ground, Khawaja passed 4000 career Test runs en route to a half-century.
Under-pressure South Africa captain Dean Elgar once again made questionable decisions, including under-utilising Harmer who bowled just five overs even though his off-spin particularly threatened left-handed Khawaja.
Elgar, however, backed underperforming left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj who bowled nine overs for 35 runs with Labuschagne and Khawaja sweeping effectively against him.
Maharaj has now bowled 52.5 overs without reward in this series.
While Nortje toiled, spearhead Kagiso Rabada continued his underwhelming series to finish with 0 for 45 off 12 overs. He unsuccessfully reverted to bowling short against Labuschagne, who counterattacked with ease.
Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood and Matt Renshaw were named in an Australia team attempting a clean sweep of the series and a spot in the World Test Championship final in June.
There was drama when Renshaw, playing his first Test since 2018, tested positive for Covid-19 on a rapid antigen test after feeling unwell before the day’s play, but he will continue to play in the match.
With the SCG surface set to play more traditionally, Australia named two frontline spinners at home for the first time in six years with left-arm spinner Agar making his return having not played Tests since 2017.
Regular quick Hazlewood returned from a side strain having edged out Scott Boland and uncapped tearaway Lance Morris.
Along with Harmer, who replaced Lungi Ngidi, South Africa named batter Heinrich Klaasen in place of Theunis de Bruyn who returned home for the birth of his first child.
South Africa still have a slim chance at qualifying for the WTC final with a consolation victory as their spirit lifted after Njorte’s late heroics.
India prevailed in a low-scoring thriller thanks to late runs from Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel, and exceptional seam bowling from an attack missing Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Shami. The Wankhede pitch was anything but the batting paradise it usually is in T20 cricket: there was grip for spinners, which Sri Lanka used well, before the new ball seamed around for India’s quicks.
Ishan Kishan got India off to a quick start before the spinners pulled them back. Hooda and Axar then added 68 in 5.5 overs to take India to 162. On the same pitch, India found assistance for fast bowlers with Hardik Pandya joining debutant Shivam Mavi, Umran Malik and Harshal Patel in causing damage.
Sri Lanka had a brief recovery from 68 for 5 through captain Dasun Shanaka’s 45 off 27, but Axar managed to defend 12 in a last-over gamble.
Theekshana, Hasaranga slow India down
With all three of KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma missing, India played only one anchor batter in debutant Shubman Gill. Kishan got them off to a rollicking start, taking 26 off the first two overs, but then the masters went to work. Theekshana hardly bowled anything to pull or drive with his subtle variations causing more jeopardy. Gill picked a carrom ball, but it landed on the leather to skid on with the angle to trap him lbw.
Needing a big sixth over to salvage the powerplay, Suryakumar Yadav, finally getting to bat at No. 3, cue-ended the first ramp he attempted. This seam-up delivery had come on slowly off the surface.
Looking at the grip available, Shanaka cleverly slipped in an over of Dhananjaya de Silva before introducing Hasaranga. In that over, de Silva had Sanju Samson mistiming two slogs, the second of which had him caught at short third man.
Then Hasaranga spun his web during the partnership between Kishan and Pandya. Eventually Kishan, who had gone from 17 off 8 to 36 off 27, felt the need to slog-sweep everything. When that is happening, Hasaranga makes sure he picks up wickets. A wrong’un had Kishan caught at deep midwicket.
When the returning Dilshan Madushanka had Pandya cramped for room and nicking off, India had lost half their side for under 100.
Hooda, Axar give India the finishing kick
It started with the first loose ball from Theekshana. Probably looking to get out of the spell, Theekshana dragged down an attempted wrong’un in the 16th over. Hooda got going with that pulled six. And what do you know, Theekshana then responded with driving length for the first time, and Hooda picked it up over midwicket for another six. Hasaranga had one over at the death, and Hooda managed to pull one six off him too as he went flatter to get out of that over.
Kasun Rajitha and Madushanka closed out well but India managed 34 off the last three. Hooda ended with 41 off 23, Axar 31 off 20.
Fiery start from India
Pandya bowled the first over and found movement off the surface. It then made sense to have Mavi share the new ball because Malik and Harshal don’t often stand the seam up. With his fifth ball in international cricket, Mavi had Pathum Nissanka bowled with seam movement back in. Pandya followed it up with a tight over, and Mavi responded with de Silva’s wicket, caught at mid-on.
Pandya bowled through the powerplay, and Malik kept the pressure up with high pace and accurate radar. Charith Asalanka top-edged a pull, which Kishan ran back to take with a spectacular dive. Harshal was lucky that Kusal Mendis timed a cut so well it carried straight to deep cover. His second wicket was proper deception, though, with Bhanuka Rajapaksa tricked early into a shot.
Shanaka threatens India
Amid all that, it appeared Shanaka was playing on a different surface. Everything he hit came sweetly off the bat. When Hasaranga joined him with two successive slog-swept sixes off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 14th over, Sri Lanka were well and truly back with 56 needed off the last six.
This is when India’s bowling depth came in handy. They could have decided now to bowl no spin at all with 47 off four overs of spin till then. Mavi came back to have Hasaranga caught at mid-off, and Malik returned to have Shanaka caught at extra cover.
The final twist
It seemed all over with 29 required off the last two with two wickets in hand, but Harshal bowled an ordinary 19th over to let Sri Lanka back. There was a no-ball, a wide, two full tosses and a half-tracker to let Karunaratne bring it down to 13 needed off the last over.
Two curious events happened around the last ball of the 19th over. Karunaratne took the single off the last ball, which meant Rajitha would be on strike at the start of the next over. Then Pandya, who had an over left but had suffered a cramp earlier, asked Axar to bowl the last over. Karunaratne got an early six in to make it five off three. Axar, though, got a dot with a wide ball and then conceded just singles off the last two balls, not letting the batter get under the ball.
On January 1st, 2023, President of the Guyana Football Federation, Wayne Forde, visited Albouystown and interacted with a number of budding young footballers. During the visit, Forde handed over a quantity of Balls, Cones and Bibs to Coach Clifford Anthony aka Zebulun who is a senior member of the community and for many years has been volunteering his time as a coach and mentor to young Boys and Girls.
During his interaction President Forde also played in a 5 V 5 Mini competition. “I know how important football is to all of you and I can see how well you can play because of the many hours you spend in the streets playing. I want ask you a big favor – please also spend some of that time on your school work in the evening. Education is your safest bet to having a better life”.
“I will continue to provide Coach Zebulun with more equipment to do this important work and will be back here to officially launch a inter- street weekend knock out competition for Boy, Girls and adult players as well. It is my intention to visit many more inner city communities and support the work of community Coaches”.
The visit to the community was coordinated by Coach Sampson Gilbert, who is a Coach educator assigned to the GFF.