Pestano now in elite Regional 50-Over ranks

first_imgBy Clifton RossAfter his match-winning hat-trick against Regional Super50 hosts Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, Guyanese speedster Clinton Pestano has joined an elite group of bowlers who achieved a hat trick during the 42-year history of 50-Over cricket.Pestano created his own bit of history when he became only the second seamer behind Kieron Pollard to achieve a hat trick. Ironically, one of his hat-trick victims was Pollard. Pestano is the 5th overall bowler to accomplish the phenomenon.Clinton PestanoWith 10 wickets to his name in this competition, the 25-year-old is one of the leading fast-bowling wicket-takers. Currently placed 4th on the list, Pestano is closely trailing his teammate, spinner Ramaal Lewis, who has 11 wickets.The Berbician Pestano accounted for the big scalps of top-scorer Lendl Simmons, who hit 70 with six fours and three maximums; along with the experienced duo of all-rounders Keiron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, who were both out caught for ducks as Guyana broke the Red Force’s win streak to inflict on them a 75-run thrashing in their own backyard.Of those who sit in that elite bowling company from various times in 50-Over history, some have gone on to represent the West Indies, and this is a credit to the class the Guyanese fast-bowler now enjoys.Ex- Trinidad & Tobago/West Indies spinner Rajindra Dhanraj earned his honours versus Guyana at the legendary Bourda Oval back in 1996. The “Googly” specialist played 4 Tests and 4 One Day Internationals (ODI) during a period in the 90s; ending with 18 wickets in total from both formats.Dhanraj got rid of the Guyana big three in ex-Windies Captains Ramnaresh Sarwan and all-rounder Roger Harper and batsman Kenneth Wong. Pollard, who now features as both hero and villain, should feel honoured as he, too, got to bowling fame by dismantling the Leeward Islands at the same Bourda Oval in 2008.The medium-pacer, who occasionally bowls light spells these days, whether it be international or franchise cricket, was more lethal in his younger days of Regional cricket. His victims were veteran all-rounder Wilden Cornwall; current Leeward Islands Hurricanes skipper Devon Thomas, and his teammate, Hurricanes batsman Justin Athanaze.Rajindra DhanrajAnthony Martin, the Antiguan leg-break spinner who played 9 One Day Internationals (ODI) and one T20 International for the West Indies in 2011, dismantled the Windward Islands at Sabina Park in Jamaica in the 2010 season. He snared the wickets of batsman Lyndon James, ex-Windies spinner who currently plays for the Windward Volcanoes Shane Shillingford, and pacer Mervin Matthew.Mystery spinner turned opening-batsman Sunil Narine was the last bowler to achieve the feat against the Windward Islands Hurricanes, who went on to win the title last season. Narine’s battleground was the Three W’s Oval, and his fatalities were Volcanoes batsman Kavem Hodge, pacer Delorn Johnson and Windies ODI specialist bowler Kesrick William.With 5 five rounds left before the semi-finals, Pestano could easily end as the leading wicket-taker should he continue his venomous bowling form. Group ‘A’ table-leaders Guyana, with 20 points, are seeking to lift the title after more than a decade, and will be keen on going into the latter part of the championships with as many points and as much confidence as they can muster from the remaining matches.last_img read more

Spain, Portugal in same 2018 World Cup group

first_img0Shares0000Spain’s Jordi Alba (L) celebrates with Alvaro Morata after scoring a goal during their friendly match against Costa Rica, at La Rosaleda stadium in Malaga, on November 11, 2017MOSCOW, Russia, Dec 1 – The 2010 World Cup winners Spain were placed in the same group as Cristiano Ronaldo’s European champions Portugal in an exciting draw for the 2018 tournament in Russia on Friday.Neymar’s Brazil meanwhile will have to negotiate a group including Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia as they seek a sixth title. Holders Germany will face Mexico, Sweden and South Korea as they try to retain the title for the first time since Brazil in 1962.Lionel Messi and his Argentina team which struggled to qualify will play European debutants Iceland as well as a talented Croatia team and Nigeria.In a star-studded ceremony in the Kremlin, England were placed with Kevin de Bruyne’s Belgium, surprise packages Panama and Tunisia.– Russia v Saudi Arabia to open –Russia’s national football team head coach Stanislav Cherchesov leading a training session at Moscow’s Eduard Streltsov StadiumHost nation Russia will face Saudi Arabia in the tournament-opening match on June 14 in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.Russia’s other opponents in Group A are Uruguay, led by Barcelona’s Luis Suarez, and Egypt, spearheaded by Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah.France and their potent strikeforce featuring Antoine Griezmann and teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe will play Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C.Spain’s other opponents in a tough-looking Group B are Morocco and Iran.Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a speech at the draw ceremony that Russia had a “strong affection” for football.“Our country is looking forward to the championship and intends to hold it at the highest level,” Putin said.“I am sure that the forthcoming World Cup will be a huge factor in the development of the sport both in the Russian regions and throughout the whole world.”In the hours before the draw, FIFA President Gianni Infantino denied that doping was a problem even as Russia are at serious risk of being barred from the 2018 Winter Olympics for doping.Infantino claimed that the level of testing in football is sufficient to show that the game is largely clean.“I don’t think there are many other international sports organisations who are doing as many anti-doping tests as football is doing,” Infantino told a press conference.“If you would have a serious doping issue in football this would be known by now, whether in Russia or any other country of the world.”Russia have been stripped of a third of the medals they won as hosts of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and last week a ban on the country taking part in international athletics was upheld.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Langer Wont be surprised if neck guard becomes mandatory after Smith incident

first_imgLondon: Australia coach Justin Langer says he won’t be surprised if wearing a neck guard on the helmet becomes mandatory in the future after star batsman Steve Smith was felled by a bouncer in the second Ashes Test against England at Lord’s. Smith was batting on 80 on the fourth day on Saturday when he was struck by a bouncer from fast bowler Jofra Archer, timed at 92.4 mph (148.7 kph) on the (unprotected) back of his neck. He fell prostrate on the ground for a while, took time to regather himself and was initially withdrawn by the team doctor Richard Saw for precautionary concussion testing. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThere was widespread surprise when Smith re-emerged less than a hour later at the fall of Peter Siddle’s wicket but was finally out for 92 when he shouldered arms to a straight ball from Chris Woakes That dismissal denied Smith his third hundred in as many Ashes innings after he marked his comeback Test following a 12-month ball-tampering ban, with scores of 144 and 142 in Australia’s 251-run win at Edgbaston. Significantly, Smith was wearing a helmet without the additional stem guard neck protection introduced following the death of Phillip Hughes after his former Australia team-mate was hit by a bouncer in a 2014 domestic Sheffield Shield match in Sydney. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”You never like seeing your players get hit like that, no doubt about that. It was obviously some pretty rough memories of a blow like that, so there’s no fun in it,” Langer said later. Asked whether he thought neck guards should be made mandatory for the players, Langer said, “It might be my error but I didn’t realise they weren’t mandatory until today. At the moment the players have a choice, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they become mandatory in the future.” The former Australia opener feels that Smith will have to wear a neck guard on his helmet in future whether he likes it or not. “I think Steve wrote in his book he just doesn’t like or feel comfortable (with a stem guard). He’s got all these idiosyncrasies everyone’s talking about — he doesn’t like having shoelaces he can see, doesn’t like his shoes being dirty, so it’s the same, it just doesn’t feel right,” the coach said. “I’m sure after today it will get talked about again, I know they came in after the tragedy of Hughesy. So I’m sure it will get talked about, and he might rethink it now after seeing what happened today, but you would have to ask him that.” Langer also revealed that Smith insisted on going back to bat after he retired following the blow on the back of his back, protesting that he needed to be given the chance to make a century at the home of cricket. The coach said Australia had not taken an undue risk in allowing Smith to resume his innings. “He had the concussion testing and passed all that and that’s why he came back out to bat. These are like my sons alright, so you’re never going to put them in harm’s way, even though you’re always in harm’s way with Test cricket.last_img read more