MOHALI, India (AP): New Zealand stormed into the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 with a 22-run win over former champions Pakistan yesterday, their third successive victory in Group Two. Martin Guptill scored 80 off 48 balls with 10 fours and three sixes in New Zealand’s total of 180-5 and also took three catches as Pakistan failed to build on Sharjeel Khan’s blistering start, finishing on 158-5. Pakistan never got their momentum back after Khan hit 47 off 25 balls with nine fours and a six in an opening stand of 65. He was dismissed in the sixth over, caught by Guptill. Fast bowler Adam Milne (2-26) and left-arm spinner Martin Santner (2-29) led the New Zealand recovery with two wickets each and put Pakistan on the brink of a tournament exit. “On the back of Martin Guptill’s superb knock, the batting unit played their roles truly nicely to get to us to a very good total,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said. “It was nice to see, in the second innings, our bowlers kept their composure after a tough start and pulled it back nicely.” New Zealand have already beaten tournament favourites India and Australia, while 2009 champions Pakistan have just two points from their victory over Bangladesh after also losing to India. Pakistan, notorious to slip in run-chases, scored nearly half of the required runs in the first 10 overs before their batsmen let the game slip away. Ahmed Shehzad (30), Umar Akmal (24) and captain Shahid Afridi (19), who was dropped off the first ball, couldn’t build any real momentum as New Zealand kept taking wickets in reply. Pakistan also missed the experience of Mohammad Hafeez, who was ruled out of the match due to pain in his right knee. Hafeez’s replacement, Khalid Latif, playing his first T20 international after almost four years, looked out of sorts in his brief stay before holing out in the deep after scoring only three runs. “It was a chaseable total, we played well in the first six overs. But after that, instead of building partnerships, we played too many dot balls,” Afridi said. “Maybe I will play my last game of the career (against Australia) and we should focus on it.”
The IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 could potentially be the biggest world championship in the 15 editions of the event, which started in 1983 and ranks among the world’s leading sports events.With one week to go, final entries indicate that 207 IAAF member federations will send representatives to the Chinese capital for the most important sporting event of the year.The previous highest number of participating federations was 203, at the last championships in Moscow two years ago.No less than 1,936 athletes (1043 men and 893 women) have been entered.SLIGHTLY LESS NUMBERSAlthough the number of athletes that will finally participate in Beijing will be slightly less, as is normal, this figure still compares favourably with the current highest total of 1895 who competed at the 2009 championships in Berlin.The numbers have been boosted by the IAAF’s innovative system introduced ahead of these championships of inviting athletes who had not already been entered by the deadline of midnight (Central European Time) Monday, August 10, on the basis of them being among the best ranked in their event (apart from in long distance and walking disciplines) in order to bring an event up to an optimum number of competitors as established by the IAAF.The IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015, is expected to set the standard for the sport’s future championships, with the world’s best athletes going through their paces in the same magnificent Bird’s Nest stadium that was the centrepiece for the 2008 Olympic Games.As already announced, the Bird’s Nest stadium will be full for all the evening sessions across the nine days with an audience of 50,000 spectators.- IAAF
Clarendon College: ‘D-Cup Kings’They are the reigning daCosta Cup champions, but they will want to put last year’s inaugural Super Cup disappointment, when they were dumped in the first round, behind them and should do so, as they are on full throttle and a lot more experienced.Clarendon College have been wreaking havoc on opponents this year and will be a handful if they play with the fire in the guts.Petersfield High: ‘Organisation’When they stun the daCosta Cup’s winningest school 4-3 in a key Inter-Zone clash recently, Petersfield High signalled they are ready for the big times.Their game is build around a sound midfield organisation and the ability to fight-back, as shown recently. In winning a tough zone that included two of the biggest named schools in the daCosta Cup (Rusea’s and Cornwall College).STETHS: ‘Firepower’Some call them the ‘knockout kings’, but St Elizabeth Technical are more than that; they have shown in recent years to be a most complete and accomplished team. Never mind that they were defeated in the third round of last year’s Super Cup, they have the fire power to overwhelm any opponent on their day. This STETHS team should be feared by opponents.Lacovia High: ‘Built tough’Regarded as the darlings of this year’s daCosta Cup, their impressive run has seen them finish second in a very competitive Group E behind STETHS and just ahead of Munro. They can be any team’s worst nightmare, based on their propensity to defend and attack as one unit.Port Antonio High: ‘No Nonsense!’One loss in eight Group L daCosta Cup matches tells you something about Port Antonio High; they are a no-nonsense kind of team, capable of holding more than their own against strong opposition. Then a sweeping three wins in three Inter-Zone games served as a fitting rehearsal for the Super Cup, where they are certain to show poise and class.Vere Technical High: ‘Hurricane from Hayes’Seeking to reassert themselves as perennial contenders, Vere this year, has assembled on paper, their strongest squad in many years one that can be potent in the Flow Super Cup.They are really showing signs that the million dollars first prize and that beautifully Italian-crafted trophy could make its home at the Hayes-based institutions.St James High: ‘Western Force’Last year St. James High fell at the first hurdle in the Super Cup. This year, head coach Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore, has them conditioned with a purpose in mind. He wants them going at all the major trophies on offer and the Flow Super Cup is up first.Now they will test their strength against some of the best in the country for the right to be called the Flow Super Cup champions.Glenmuir High: ‘Jackie’s Boys’They welcomed back Patrick ‘Jackie’ Walters, one of the brand name coaches in local schoolboy football and almost immediately it became clear that would be among those challenging for the likes of the Flow Super Cup.What Walters brings to Glenmuir is a known and proven record of success and that can only mean one thing; they will have an excellent team.St George’s College: ‘Cup ready’Considered early season favourites, St George’s College (StGC) are looking like the team to beat, having sizzled with over 45 goals in all competitions so far this campaign, despite losing two games and drawing once.The reigning Walker Cup champions are looking on with widened eyes at the Flow Super Cup. Its a title they need to win. This might be the year!Wolmer’s Boys: ‘Solid as a rock!’A Balanced-looking Wolmer’s Boys is one of the few unbeaten teams still around.Wolmer’s strength lies in defence, as one of the competitions meanest teams, conceding only two goals in all competition. It is said that defence wins championships and if this is true then Wolmer’s and their wall-like backline will certainly be hard to beat here.Hydel: ‘Exciting’With veteran coach Geoffrey Maxwell back in charge, Hydel are going all out for their first trophy at the schoolboy football level. A fun team to watch, Hydel will certainly send the pulses racing in this competition having scored 31 goals so far this season while conceding 9.Charlie Smith: ‘Hungry for glory’Hungry for their first school boy football since 1995 coach Jerome Waite is hoping to drive his young Charlie Smith team to cup glory.Their “never say die” approach is not to be overlooked and while they may not be among the most fancied teams, its hard to convince a man he cannot win if their preferred word is ‘try’.Jamaica College: ‘Champions’The defending champion, Jamaica College is not as strong as in the last few years, but the Miguel Coley-coached team has done themselves proud so far this season. They were unbeaten in six Zone A games with five wins, scoring 23 and conceding just four to top the group.Ronaldo Brown has led the lines so far with five strikes and he has received good support from captain Allando Brown (five goals) Donovan Segree, Chadwayne Johnson and Norman Campbell.Kingston College: ‘Purple Hope’Also very impressive in the group stage, Kingston College, were a class above the other teams in Zone G. But after the 2-0 Walker Cup quarter-final defeat to St Jago they realised that the season has now only began and gets even tougher from here.Defense is their strong point with just two goal against in the group stage, but they are not the most clinical team, which is their main concern.St Jago: ‘A rising tide’The Spanish Town school has not seen much second round action in their history but has been knocking hard at the door the last three years.Shaqon Bryan is their top scorer with nine, other top players are Andrew Daley, Matthew Fisher, Yonnick Elliot, Hayden Street and Ryan Smart. Under-estimate them at your peril!Excelsior: ‘Capable’After a very slow start, Excelsior picked up pace towards to latter part of the group stage. However, they don’t appear to be as competitive this season, as their 4-0 trashing to St George’s College in the Walker Cup quarter-final suggested.But they have capable players in Christopher Thorpe, Thorne Buchanan, Tyrick Sutherland and Rasheed Nembhard and will be looking forward to making a deep run here.
The Reggae Boyz will now be able to better prepare themselves from a tactical perspective after receiving access to one of the world’s leading analysis software InStat, was provided by the Wisynco Group yesterday.The computer programme will allow coach Winfried Sch‰efer and his technical team to assess their rivals through the gathering of real-time information and statistics; fully analyse the performances of their own players in key areas; and present data, which will help in their overall preparation.The presentation, which was packaged for access to 10 games, took place at the Jamaica Football Federation’s New Kingston secretariat yesterday.The software will immediately become available to the technical staff.The benefits of InStat’s services include the ability to look on the team’s past performances, as well as to study key players and what impact they have on the team’s playing system.It will also provide full reports on each players, including how many tackles and passes are attempted and completed successfully and distance covered, among other things important to statistical values.FranÁois Chalifour, director of marketing for the Wisynco Group, was on hand to make the presentation yesterday.”It’s impossible to reach the levels of competitiveness that the Reggae Boyz need to have without the help of data that I am sure their competitors have. If we don’t have the same data that they have, we are already starting at a disadvantage, so we are very happy to be supporting the team with this,” he said.According to Chalifour, the boost comes at a good time ahead of the Reggae Boyz key World Cup qualifiers.”We should support the Reggae Boyz and see them beat Costa Rica later this month and then try to qualify for Russia,” he added.His organisation will be financing the programme for a total of 10 matches.Roy Simpson, Reggae Boyz team manager, credited Wisynco’s support, and in so doing, recalled that the software was used by the Boyz during the CONCACAF Gold Cup last year.”We used it to our advantage and we were able to scout every single team that we played, and from a tactical point, nullify whatever they were doing,” said Simpson.
STANDINGSPOS LP CLUB P W D L GF GA GD PTS1 (1) Leicester 37 23 11 3 67 35 32 802 (2) Tottenham 37 19 13 5 68 30 38 703 (3) Arsenal 37 19 11 7 61 36 25 684 (4) Manr City 37 19 8 10 70 40 30 655 (5) Man Utd 36 18 9 9 44 31 13 636 (7) S’hampton 37 17 9 11 55 40 15 607 (6) West Ham 36 15 14 7 61 47 14 598 (8) Liverpool 36 16 10 10 61 48 13 589 (9) Chelsea 36 12 12 12 57 51 6 4810 (10) Stoke City 37 13 9 15 39 54 -15 4811 (11) Swansea 37 12 10 15 41 51 -10 4612 (12) Everton 36 10 14 12 56 52 4 4413 (13) Watford 36 12 8 16 36 44 -8 4414 (14) Crystal P 37 11 9 17 38 47 -9 4215 (15) West Brom 37 10 12 15 33 47 -14 4216 (16) B’mouth 37 11 9 17 44 64 -20 4217 (17) Sunderland 36 8 11 17 43 60 -17 3518 (18) Newcastle 37 8 10 19 39 64 -25 3419 (19) Norwich 36 8 7 21 35 62 -27 3120 (20) Aston Villa 37 3 8 26 27 72 -45 17
TURIN, Italy (AP): Gonzalo Higuain scored a record 36 league goals for Napoli last season, and yesterday he scored his first goal against them, helping Juventus to a 2-1 win over his former team. Higuain netted what was to prove the winner in the 70th minute, bursting into the area to fire a loose ball into the bottom right corner. He was engulfed by his teammates, but didn’t celebrate. “I told him he’d score before the match. I was good in reading the future,” fellow goalscorer Leonardo Bonucci, said. “Luckily, this year, he plays for us and decides these kinds of matches.” After a tense first half, Juventus broke the deadlock in the 50th when Napoli failed to defend a Miralem Pjanic corner, and Bonucci volleyed in from close range. Its lead lasted just four minutes before Jose Callejon beat the offside trap to volley in Lorenzo Insigne’s pass to the far post. Serie A leaders Juventus moved five points clear of second-place Roma, who visits Empoli today. Napoli remained fourth, seven points behind the five-time reigning champions. “If we had drawn, Roma probably would have moved level with us tomorrow,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “But now Roma can’t catch us tomorrow, and Napoli are seven points below us.” Tension between the sides increased in the off-season when HiguaÌn moved to Juventus for an Italian record fee of US$99 million after breaking a 66-year-old Serie A goalscoring record. It threatened to boil over toward the end of the first half when a row broke out over a set play as Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina appeared to push Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic, but referee Gianluca Rocchi calmed the situation.
LONDON, England: There aren’t too many in the world who know Usain Bolt and his story better than his best friend and manager, Nugent Walker. Bolt’s highly anticipated biopic I am Bolt is set to hit theaters today with a premiere at Odeon Leicester Square cinema, and his life-long ally is hoping that the one hour 47 minutes tell-all will not only show the inner gears behind the Bolt machine, but that it will also inspire movie-goers to push themselves to achieve their objectives. Walker, who figures prominently in the film and who is also credited as an executive producer, in an exclusive interview with The Gleaner, also shared the experience of having a camera crew within the sprinter’s vice-like inner circle. “We hope to inspire the world,” Walker said yesterday. “We want people to push forward in their lives and develop an appreciation of Usain’s journey and to see that they can push forward as well despite challenges. “We wanted the world to see the real story, and my role was to ensure that the real Usain was presented,” Walker added. Walker said, “When you see the 9.5 seconds, you don’t know how he got there, the fears, the struggles. I think we laid a good foundation for an understanding and appreciation of this. This movie will go a long way in positioning his legacy and energise the world in a positive way.” Walker, who has been friends with Bolt since they were six years old, admitted that having the film crew around them for the past couple of years took some getting used to, but he is certain that the objectives were met. “It was a new experience constantly having a camera around, but we knew it was important. Usain wanted to convey that what you see on the track takes hard work. He also wanted to give the world an exclusive view of his life – the fun element, play time, relaxation, concerns, everything. So, yes, it was a new experience. But thankfully, the crew was good. They were not pushy. We didn’t even notice that they were there sometimes.” “What Usain represents is important. The world needs to see this – from a boy from the deep rural Jamaican community of Sherwood Content to what he is today: a world figure. We realised from very early that this movie could convey Usain at a deeper level to Jamaica and the world,” Walker added. “We are very happy we were given this medium to share to the world, the different levels and tiers to Usain – the people around him, his agent, coach, parents – to him speaking openly about any concerns and fears, what this all means to him, to share the whole process,” said Walker. “I know the journey, I know the struggles that he has been through. I know this young man and we thought this was necessary,” he added. “As he moves to another chapter in his life, this season being his last World Championships, this was a good way to celebrate his legacy, the story, the man, the legend, to showcase to the world what makes this man.” POSITIONING HIS LEGACY DEEPER LEVELS
Olympian Alia Atkinson heads five Jamaicans who will compete in the World Short Course Swimming Championships (25 metres pool) which starts today in Windsor, Canada. Atkinson, Jamaica’s most decorated athlete at these championships, will compete in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and the 100m individual medley. She is the world’s top ranked swimmer in the short course 50 and 100m breaststroke and 50m backstroke. Her medals at these championships include a gold in the 100m breaststroke at the 2014 championships in Doha clocking a world record 1:02.36. The team also includes Canada-based Dominic Walter, who is making his national debut at the Short Course Championships. He will be contesting the 400 and 200m freestyle. Walter holds the national records, 3:54.26 and 1:49.11 respectively, in these two events. United States-based Justin Plaschka, 19, and Keanan Dols, 17, will be representing Jamaica for the first time at the senior level. Plaschka will compete in the 50m and 100m butterfly, 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle. Dols will swim in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke, 50m and 100m butterfly and the 100 and 200m individual medley. United Kingdom-based Kelsie Campbell, 17, will also be making her senior debut at the championships. She will swim in the 50m and 100m freestyle and the 50m and 100m butterfly. Walter, Campbell, Atkinson and Dols will be in action today. Team manager for the Jamaican delegation is Jacky Beckford-Henriques while the coach is Chris Anderson, head coach of South Florida Aquatics. He has also been Atkinson’s coach for more than a decade. Team doctor is Dr Claudia Walter and Claudia Brown, the physiotherapist.
LAHORE, Pakistan (CMC):West Indies batting star Marlon Samuels has been picked up by Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League replacement draft staged here recently.The right-handed Samuels was joined by Windies limited-overs teammate AndrÈ Fletcher, who was also selected by the franchise for the February 9 to March 7 tournament carded for the United Arab Emirates.However, the final will be staged in Lahore.Samuels will replace injured Englishman Alex Hales, while Fletcher will come in for Pakistan’s Mohammad Shahzad, who is unavailable.Jamaican Samuels was in superb form in the Bangladesh Premier League last November and December when he finished among the leading runscorers with 334 runs at an average of 66Zalmi is led by two-time Twenty20 World Cup-winning skipper Darren Sammy, and also includes Barbados-born England all-rounder Chris Jordan.West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has been ruled out of the tournament after picking up an injury last month while playing for Melbourne Renegades in the Australia Big Bash.He has been replaced by Englishman Jason Roy.Windies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite will also be unavailable for the tournament, with Australian Brad Hodge called up.The likes of West Indies stars Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Samuel Badree have been confirmed for the tournament.
Open allowance horses take the spotlight at Caymanas Park today, in the inaugural running of the Alexander Hamilton Trophy over a mile, to be contested by six starters. Also on the 11-race programme, is the annual renewal of the Mercury Sprint, for native-bred-maiden three-year-old colts and geldings, in which 13 will face the starter. Among them are five first-time runners, including, LOOSE CANNON, MUSKEETOON and UNCLE FREDDIE, who along with MILAGRO, SILENCE and DON CHASSIS should ensure a close contest. The ‘Alex’ Hamilton Trophy, run in honour of the former Jockey Club president who has the distinction of being the oldest active owner in racing, spanning over 50 years, brings together the recent winners PINELOPE, AWESOME DESTINY and ROYAL VIBES in addition to the consistent BLUE DIXIE in an intriguing contest. Although finishing a length third to BLUE DIXIE over this trip, in fast time (1:37.0) last October,, PINELOPE is so highly regarded, that this talented four-year-old filly, should not only start favourite, but notch her second consecutive win with Paul ‘Country’ Francis riding for trainer Patrick Fong. She beat another classy filly CHOO CHOO BLUE by a head over 1400 metres on December 10, closing rapidly from off the pace to land the Betting and Gaming Stakes Trophy. She has worked well in preparation for this race and judging from the progress shown last year, I take her to turn the tables on the Gary Subratie-trained BLUE DIXIE. MILAGRO, who failed narrowly some weeks ago, can definitely go one better at the expense of DON CHASSIS and newcomer MUSKETOON (working well) in the Mercury Sprint. The improving colt who comes from the in-form stables of Anthony “Baba” Nunes, will be ridden by former champion apprentice Linton Steadman and he gets the vote ahead of DON CHASSIS. I also like the talented 3-y-o filly SHE’S A MANEATER to rebound on her seasonal debut in the opening race over 1400 metres, SURE MAN in the third, SILVER SURF in the fourth along with SOY EL SENOR in the fifth and JON MARSHALL , sixth. HIGHLY REGARDED