MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC):Marquee West Indies opener Chris Gayle extended his decent form in the Big Bash League, but his Melbourne Renegades crashed to a ten-wicket defeat to Perth Scorchers yesterday.The left-handed Gayle stroked 41 off 35 balls to help Renegades up to 170 for four off their 20 overs, after they were sent in at Docklands Stadium.He struck two fours and three sixes and put on 98 off 68 deliveries for the first wicket with captain Aaron Finch, who slammed 72 off 48 balls with six fours and three sixes. Gayle was one of two wickets to fall in the 12th over off successive deliveries, but Finch and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, who hit 35 from 25 balls, added a further 47 for the third wicket to keep the innings afloat.West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo chipped in with 14 from ten balls at the death.In reply, captain Michael Klinger smashed an unbeaten 90 from 58 balls with seven fours and three sixes, while opening partner Shaun Marsh cracked 76 not out off 54 deliveries, as Scorchers motored to their target in the penultimate over.Medium pacer Bravo went wicket-less from his four overs, which cost 35 runs.
AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (AP): Detroit clinched an NBA play-off berth for the first time in seven years by beating Washington 112-99 on Friday night, led by 39 points from Reggie Jackson. The Pistons became the seventh team in the Eastern Conference to clinch a play-off spot, while eighth-placed Indiana will have to wait a little longer after losing at Toronto. Elsewhere, Denver defeated a second-string San Antonio team to complete the unique feat of beating both the league’s top two teams – the Spurs and Golden State – and a Jamal Crawford shot with two-tenths of a second left in overtime gave the Los Angeles Clippers victory over Utah. Detroit’s last play-off berth came in 2009 when they were swept in the first round by LeBron James and Cleveland. The Pistons are likely to face the same opponents this year. Markieff Morris had 29 points for Washington, which came from 19 points down to take the lead early in the fourth quarter, but Jackson continued to attack and helped the Pistons take a 100-94 lead with five minutes left. Denver ended a run of 10 straight losses to San Antonio dating back to 2013 by downing the Spurs 102-98. Jusuf Nurkic scored a career-high 21 points and Gary Harris had two pivotal defensive plays in the waning seconds for the Nuggets. Tim Duncan was the only regular starter to play for the Spurs and finished with a season-high 21 points. Coming off a loss to Golden State, they dropped two straight for the first time this season. Toronto rookie Norman Powell scored a season-high 27 points as the Raptors beat Indiana 111-98, delaying the Pacers’ bid for a play-off berth. The Pacers need one more win or a Chicago loss to qualify for the postseason. The Clippers rested four starters at Utah and needed the last-gasp three-pointer from Crawford to snatch a 102-99 win. Crawford finished with 30 points and Cole Aldrich added 21 points and 18 rebounds – both season highs – for Los Angeles, which have won eight of their past nine games. Gordon Hayward had 24 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Jazz, for whom defeat complicated their push for a play-off spot. Dallas closed in on another play-off spot by beating Memphis 103-93. Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points and rookie Justin Anderson had a career-high 19 for the Mavericks, who matched a season best with a sixth straight win. The Mavericks will make the postseason for the 15th time in 16 seasons with a win or Houston loss in the final three games. Orlando put a dent in Miami’s push for a top-four spot in the East play-offs by beating the Heat 112-109, with Nikola Vucevic scoring the go-ahead basket in the closing seconds on his way to 29 points. Boston continued their play-off charge with a 124-109 win against Milwaukee, as Tyler Zeller tied his career high with 26 points. Charlotte completed a four-game season sweep of Brooklyn by downing the Nets 113-99. New Orleans dominated Los Angeles in retiring Lakers star Kobe Bryant’s final game in the Big Easy, winning 110-102. New York also completed a four-game sweep of Philadelphia – for the first time in 21 years – as Robin Lopez had 24 points and 15 rebounds in a 109-102 win. SEASON HIGHS
Having “forgotten” their 1-2 loss to Group C leaders Innswood, St George’s College (StGC) coach, Neville Bell is warning his St Catherine based opponents not to expect the same result in today’s Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Flow Manning Cup return game at Winchester Park.This titanic clash will provide plenty offireworks with both teams playing for group honours and a place in the Walker Cup.St George’s, reigning Walker Cup champions are fresh off a 6-0 win over Eltham High, while Innswood beat Denham Town 3-2 last week.”We want to win the game (today), we wanted to win that one (Innswood 2-1 win), we got the chances, we didn’t score,” Bell recalled.”The surface wasn’t the best but we take our licks and we moved on. We have forgotten that,” he stressed.shocking outcomeBell dismissed the result as “shocking”, noting it will not dent StGC’s title ambitions.”We lost that game and people say it was a shocker, but every year we … I remember last year, we were beaten by JosÈ MartÌ after we had won the zone, and they were not a bad team. The Innswood team is not a bad team, they played well. They played well, and they deserved to win the match,” Bell reiterated.”Hopefully we will play much better than we did against them at their place on Monday (today), and hopefully we will do well here (Winchester Park),” he underlined.Meanwhile, in an interview with The Gleaner following last week’s 2-1 victory, Innswood’s coach – Anthony Thompson said his team cannot allow themselves to get carried away with the result.”My aim is to challenge for whatever title I can. We set up ourselves (with this win) to be the bait now, so we are going to have to try and sustain it and keep their (players) head level because they are schoolboys,” Thompson said.”This is not over, because we are at their (St George’s) home next week (today) and it’s not going to be easy,” he assessed.Innswood come into this game perfect, with 15 points from five matches. They scored 12 goals and conceded four, while StGC are on 12 points from five. They won four matches, lost to Innswood and racked up 21 goals, while conceding two.
Spanish prosecutors call for arrest of Messi’s father MADRID (AP): Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Lionel Messi’s father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain’s tax office of €4 million (US$4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. The decision is considered a win for Lionel Messi, who also had been mentioned in the investigation. A Spanish judge had recently rejected an appeal filed by the player’s lawyers to drop the Barcelona star from the case. In the documents made public yesterday, prosecutors also called for a fine of €2 million (US$2.2 million) for the father of the Argentina playmaker. Klopp could take over at Liverpool LIVERPOOL, England (AP): Juergen Klopp appears to be close to taking over as Liverpool manager. Representatives of the former Borussia Dortmund coach are in talks with the Premier League club, which fired Brendan Rodgers on Sunday after the team’s 18-month slump since nearly winning the league title in 2014. Liverpool could make a new appointment by the end of the week. The team’s next game is against Tottenham on October 17. The 48-year-old Klopp has been out of work since leaving Dortmund at the end of last season, after winning two German league titles. He is regarded as one of European football’s most respected coaches. Former Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, is also considered to be a potential candidate to replace Rodgers. Rio Olympics cutting costs RIO DE JANEIRO (AP): Olympic organisers, faced with the reality of a country deep in recession, are trimming costs to keep their budget balanced. To keep spending in line, officials say they will cut back on volunteers, reduce staffing at dozens of test events and trim costs for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. “This is a very strict budget,” said Sidney Levy, the organising committee’s chief executive officer. “There’ll be no excess, but we are not going to compromise the essentials.” News of the budget austerity comes as hundreds of journalists from around the world are in Rio this week visiting Olympic venues and talking with organisers about how the Games will run when they open August 5, 2016.
Jordan surprise Australia SEOUL, South Korea (AP): Jordan scored twice in the second half to upset continental champions Australia 2-0 yesterday and move to the top of Group B in the second round of Asian qualifying for the World Cup. The result, in front of a passionate home crowd in Amman, gave Jordan (10) a one-point lead over the Socceroos, with four games remaining. In other qualifiers, AC Milan’s Keisuke Honda and Leicester City’s Shinji Okazaki scored second-half goals as Japan beat Syria 3-0 to take top spot in Group E. South Africa take series 2-0 KOLKATA, India (AP): The third and final Twenty20 International between India and South Africa was abandoned yesterday without a ball being bowled after rain rendered the outfield unfit for play. South Africa won the series 2-0 after scoring a seven-wicket win in the opening match in Dharamsala and a six-wicket victory at Cuttack in a match that was interrupted twice due to crowd trouble. Jean-Paul Duminy was declared the man of the series for his unbeaten knocks of 68 and 30 in the two games. The teams will now play a five-match one-day international series starting with a day game in Kanpur on Sunday. The ODIs will be followed by four Tests during a tour that stretches to 72 days. NY close to MLS East title HARRISON, New Jersey (AP): New York’s Sacha Kljestan and Lloyd Sam scored to help the Red Bulls beat ten-man Montreal 2-1 on Wednesday, moving six points clear atop Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference and closer to clinching the conference title. New York need just one more point from its remaining two games in the regular season to seal top spot in the East and an advantageous draw in the playoffs. The Red Bulls are three points ahead of the West’s top teams for the overall league lead. Montreal played a man down from the 15th minute when Ambroise Oyongo was sent off for using a hand to block Bradley Wright-Phillips’ goal-bound shot. Kljestan put away the ensuing penalty. Wright-Phillips slipped behind the defence on a breakaway, pulling goalkeeper Evan Bush out to the top of the box, but couldn’t convert either of two shots. The second, however, ricocheted back to Sam, who chipped over a scrambling Bush to make it 2-0 before half-time. Didier Drogba converted a penalty in the 67th for Montreal but the visitors could not find an equaliser. Klitschko on schedule for November return BEVERLY HILLS, California (AP): Wladimir Klitschko is on schedule in his recovery from an injured left calf, and the heavyweight champion says he will be ready to defend his title belts against Tyson Fury next month. Klitschko will begin training in less than two weeks at his usual camp in the Austrian Alps, the champ said Wednesday while taking a brief break from rehabilitation in California. The fight was delayed five weeks after Klitschko was injured in training last month. The bout was rescheduled for November 28 at Esprit Arena in Duesseldorf, Germany, where a capacity crowd of 55,000 is still expected despite the date change. Klitschko (64-3, 53 KOs) had never hurt his calf before, but he knew rest and recovery would be preferable to fighting while injured, as Manny Pacquiao did against Floyd Mayweather Jr in May.
LONDON (AP):After another lacklustre week in the short reign of Louis van Gaal, Manchester United will revisit the scene of one of the team’s greatest embarrassments.In January 1984, Bournemouth then playing in the third tier eliminated defending champions United from the FA Cup in one of the competition’s great upsets. Now, Bournemouth are in the Premier League for the first time and preparing to host United tomorrow.The disparity between United and Bournemouth is vast. United have the league’s biggest stadium (76,000-capacity); Bournemouth’s is the smallest (11,500). United have won a record 20 top-flight titles; Bournemouth have zero.Although United are three points from first place and Bournemouth are barely out of the relegation zone on goal difference, the south-coast club has been buoyed by the greatest result in its history: Winning at Premier League champions Chelsea last weekend.United, though, are making the long trip to the seaside town after failing to qualify for the round of 16 in the Champions League.And United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger starts a three-game ban after accepting a Football Association charge for violent conduct yesterday. The German stuck out his left arm and caught West Ham defender Winston Reid in the throat as both players jostled for position from a free kick during the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford on Saturday.Adding to United’s problems is a lengthy injury list that includes captain Wayne Rooney and defenders Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling.”We have a lot of injuries,” United midfielder Marouane Fellaini said. “There’s nothing we can do about that. We have a lot of players in the squad that the manager has given a chance to and now they can show themselves, but I hope the injured players come back soon.”CHELSEA DANGERRestored to the starting lineup for Chelsea’s Champions League win over FC Porto, striker Diego Costa will now be looking to start scoring on a regular basis.The Spain forward has scored only three league goals so far this season.”He is lacking in confidence, clearly,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said.After winning the league by eight points in May, Chelsea could find themselves in the relegation zone before playing at surprise leaders Leicester on Monday. Leicester are 17 points in front of 14th-place Chelsea.Mourinho’s side is only two points above the relegation zone after losing to Bournemouth, with its hopes of qualifying for the Champions League looking increasingly reliant on winning the competition.Monday’s game is Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri’s first meeting with the club he managed between 2000 and 2004, when Mourinho first took charge.”I’m sure at the end of the season they will be in the top four,” Ranieri said. “I still think they will make the Champions League. For now it is bad luck, but when they start to win, they will arrive.”GARDE REUNIONThere’s another reunion this weekend with former Arsenal player Remi Garde hosting the London club as manager of Aston Villa on Sunday.While Villa are in last place, Arsenal are two points from the top in second and looking forward to the round of 16 in the Champions League after turning around a faltering campaign.Garde won the league with Arsenal in 1998 during his three years with the club at the start of Arsene Wenger’s reign.
Olympiakos beat Panionios to extend record ATHENS, Greece (AP): Olympiakos continued their perfect start in the Greek league by beating Panionios 3-1 away yesterday, extending their record run of consecutive wins to 16. Alejandro Dominguez, Felipe Pardo and Brown Ideye all scored in the second half for Olympiakos. Spyros Risvanis scored a short-lived equaliser for Panionios. Czech Republic beat Hewitt, Australia team BRISBANE, Australia (AP): Lleyton Hewitt lost just weeks away from his retirement as Czech Republic beat the Australia Gold team at the Hopman Cup mixed-teams event yesterday. Jiri Vesely defeated Hewitt, who will retire after the Australian Open, 6-3, 6-7 (1) 6-4, before Karolina Pliskova came from 3-1 down in the second set to beat Jarmila Wolfe Gajdosova 7-5, 6-3 at Perth, Western Australia. The Czech team won the later mixed doubles 6-2, 7-5 to sweep the match 3-0. Sub Simons hits brace in 7-1 rout LONDON (CMC): Bermudian teenager Rai Simons struck twice as Chesterfield won their first English League One match since late October by crushing fellow strugglers Shrewsbury Town 7-1 at the Proact Stadium on Saturday. Striker Simons, who turns 20 in nine days’ time, came on as a substitute in the 72nd minute with his side 3-1 up and got on the scoresheet a minute later when he punished some poor defending to notch his fourth goal of the season with a right-footed shot from 18 yards. Simons added to his tally when he struck again in the 88th minute after Shrewsbury had been reduced to 10 men when Junior Brown was sent off in the 81st minute for two yellow cards.
With the Zika virus kicking up rumpus in Brazil, there is growing discussion about moving the 2016 Olympics from Rio de Janeiro. However, the Olympics are so big and costly that few countries could attempt to take the Games with just six months to prepare. It’s a big ask.Beijing and London, host cities of the 2008 and 2012 Games, would probably be the best bets to take over if Zika forced Rio to defer. Both cities have the facilities and recent experience in organising the biggest multi-sport event in the world. With the schedule as tight as it is, those inputs are critical.One wonders whether all the other inputs could be mobilised in time. Volunteers play a huge role in running the sporting events and visitor hospitality, and by this stage their recruitment would need to be in top gear already. Even in the case of London, work might be needed to polish and shine the stadia that housed sporting contests four years ago. This requirement would be even greater for Beijing.Even so, their venue costs would be far less.Neither city may want to take up the challenge if Rio is out. Added to that, hosting the Olympics isn’t cheap. Beijing reportedly spent US$40 billion in 2008 and London shelled out US$13 billion in 2012. The Rio figure keeps morphing, but is probably some in-between the two. That’s not chump change.NO BEIJING OR LONDONWith the short time to prepare and the costs, it’s a good guess that Beijing and London won’t come running as substitute venues this year.If the Zika threat clears soon, the best bet will be for Rio to host the Games as planned. If the mosquito-borne virus infects the Games schedule, we could end up with an Olympics in 2017.With Brazil spending tons of cash to get ready, it’s going to be hard on that sports-loving nation to be left with a big bill, no Games and none of the financial benefits from increased tourism income.It follows then that if the Zika threat causes a postponement but is resolved by year end, the world’s best athletes could be doing the samba next summer. That’s the only solution that leaves Brazil with the Games it has worked so hard to prepare for.For everyone’s health and for the sake of the Games, we can only hope the Zika solution comes very quickly.n Hubert Lawrence attended the Games in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London.
Maverley-Hughenden maintained their unbeaten run in the Red Stripe Premier League following a 0-0 draw against the University of the West Indies (UWI) FC at the UWI Bowl on Sunday. The game was a dull affair as the teams failed to create any clear chances. It was a game lacking creativity and brilliance. Maverley-Hughenden ended the game with 10 players, as Nackwayne Parchment picked up a second yellow card and was shown the red card in 90+ three minutes of the game. Promoted Maverley-Hughenden moved to five points from three games, while UWI pushed to four. UWI’s Andrae Bernal got the best chance in the first half, but missed from close range after the ball fell kindly at his feet. The teams turned over the ball regularly, as none of them took control. They relied mostly on long passes. UWI’s assistant coach, Andrew Peart, said that his team played good defensively, but offensively they weren’t not good enough. “Defensively, we were very good, but on the offensive end were not good enough. We are not creating a lot of chances. We wanted to win at home, but a point is better than losing the game,” Peart told The Gleaner. Maverley’s head coach Lijyasu Simms said his team abandoned their attacking style and battled hard throughout the game. “We had to play a different game today. We earned a point on the road and that is good to keep our unbeaten run. We wanted to stick to our style, but failed to pressure the opponent, especially in the first half,” Simms reasoned. “Now, we will go back to the training ground and prepare for the next game against Jamalco,” he added.