Jamaica Scorpions’ top-order batsman, Andre McCarthy, has listed application as one of the primary reasons behind his maiden one-day century in the WICB/NAGICO Super50 Tournament in Trinidad and Tobago. Entering the fray with Jamaica in a delicate position of 61 for three against ICC Americas – after electing to bat – the 28-year-old McCarthy went on hit 118. His knock, which was the cornerstone of Jamaica’s 260 for eight, included four sixes and 11 fours. ICC Americas, a guest team in the three-week tournament, were then bowled out for 76. “I’ve always said I wanted a hundred and, thankfully, it came in the second game of the tournament,” said McCarthy. “It was a matter of application, adjusting to the team situation and playing within the team plan. “Jamaica was in a tight position as the Americas seamers were bowling well. I had to therefore try and fight out the seamers and, hopefully, when they came back capitalise, and that’s what I did,” he explained. The innings, which propelled McCarthy to the Player-of-the-Match award, was his second career hundred, after scoring 121 away to Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the WICB First-Class Tournament late last year. That game was also played in Trinidad, and although describing the pitches in the twin-island republic as difficult to play on, he says he hopes to continue scoring runs. “The wickets in Trinidad are very difficult to score fast and bat on,” he quipped. “But I like to consider myself as a fighting batsman, and the hope is that I will continue to do well.” Jamaica Scorpions, second in Group C on five points after also scoring a bonus point against the Americas, will today play third-place Barbados Pride (four points) at Queen’s Park Oval in their third of six first-round fixtures. SEMIS Leaders Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, in the meantime, are two from two on 10 points and will play the Americas at Shaw Park. The group winners and runners-up will progress to the semi-finals. “They (Barbados) are a good team and always difficult to beat,” stated McCarthy. “However, we have a good team as well and just have to turn up with our ‘A’ game and work hard.” Jamaica Scorpions: John Campbell (captain), Sheldon Cottrell, Trevon Griffith, Nicholson Gordon, Jermaine Harrison, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Tamar Lambert, Andre McCarthy, Nikita Miller, Marquino Mindley, Aldaine Thomas, Devon Thomas, Shacaya Thomas. Barbados Pride: Kevin Stoute (captain), Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Shamarh Brooks, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chasem Kyle Corbin, Miguel Cummins, Dane Currency, Justin Greaves, Ashley Nurse, Mario Rampersaud, Dwayne Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kenroy Williams.
1-Timea Babos (Hun) bt 5-Chanel Simmonds (RSA) 6-7(3) 6-4 6-1 See-sawThe see-saw effect continued in the second until Simmonds secured a break in the fourth game to serve at 3-1. Babos soon broke back to draw level at 3-3, before surviving a mammoth 10th game. It lasted nearly 15 minutes, during which she saved eight break points, and more importantly grabbed the momentum heading into the deciding set. 13 May 2013 There was some consolation for Simmonds, who teamed up with Poland’s Magda Linette to win the doubles title, defeating the British pair of Jade Windley and Samantha Murray 6-1, 6-3 in the final. After giving the crowd so much hope early on, Simmonds wilted away in the deciding set, clearly frustrated at not being able to wrap up the match, with her opponent in rampant mood. “At the start of the second, I was just telling my coach that somehow I will manage to win, even if I have to hold my racket in my left hand, so I’m really happy to have won the title.” SAinfo reporter She was especially proud of her efforts during the quarter and semi-finals in which she defeated second-seed Julia Glushko of Israel and Ukrainian Nadiya Kichenok, the fourth-seed. The contest lasted just over three hours, with Babos eventually prevailing 6-7 (3-7) 6-4, 6-1. Simmonds, although disappointed at finishing runner-up, had plenty of positives to take away from the tournament. The powerful Babos – ranked 67 places higher than Simmonds – hardly had it her own way in a match that featured countless breaks of serve in blustery conditions. “I came here to get into the main draw of Wimbledon and being in the semi- finals, I had already done that, so I didn’t just want to stop there, so with this result I’ll be back in the top-100,” she said. Doubles Final “I’m a little disappointed after today, but I’m just so glad to have reached the final of a 50 000 [dollar event], even though I lost,” she said. Making it to the final should see Simmonds climb at least 30 places up from her current position of 181st in the world rankings. The big-serving Hungarian needed only 20 minutes to finally put the South African’s hopes to bed en-route to her 10th ITF singles title. “When I won the game at 5-4, I thought okay, I’m back on track and can win this match, so I was trying to focus on the good things, win more points and finally win the match,” said the 20-year-old. Women’s Singles Final 1 – Chanel Simmonds (RSA/ Magda Linette (Pol) bt Jade Windley/ Samantha Murray (GBR) 6-1, 6-3 Winning the toss and electing to serve, Babos was the first to break and quickly raced to a 3-0 lead before serving for the first set at 5-3. Simmonds, plucky as always, fought back to level the match at 5-5 and despite allowing Babos back to force a tie-break, kept her nose in front throughout. “It was a really tough match and Chanel did a really great job. She made me more and more uncomfortable throughout the first set and at the beginning of the second, so I really had to fight back,” said the world number 114. South Africa’s Chanel Simmonds narrowly missed out on winning the Soweto Open, going down to top-seed Timea Babos in three sets in the final, played at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre on Saturday. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Rafael Nadal extended his Grand Slam winning streak to 23 matches, continuing the chase for his “Rafa Slam” with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 win over American qualifier Ryan Sweeting in the second round of the Australian Open.The top-ranked Nadal is aiming to be the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time.He’s conceded only four games en route to the third round, sealing his win over Sweeting on Thursday with the last in a blizzard of forehand winners.After his quarterfinal exit at the last Australian Open, Nadal rebounded to win the French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles.Nadal hit some shots that Sweeting could barely believe, including a forehand on set point in the second when the Spaniard’s curling shot caught the baseline. With nothing to lose, Sweeting challenged the call as he walked off. The call stood.The only hint of anything other than complete domination for Nadal came in the third set, when Sweeting broke serve in the fifth game and then got within a point of bring it back to 4-2 in a game that went to deuce five times. Again, Nadal held on to convert a break and served out in the next game.”A few mistakes with the backhand, that’s all. My serve improved a lot since the first day. I think I was serving very well today,” Nadal said, noting the one blot on his serve was when he looked into the sun. “Movement good; backhand good; having a few more mistakes than usual. I have to play longer with the backhand. Maybe have to play a little bit more aggressive, more inside the court.”advertisementThat’s not good news for Nadal’s next opponent – 18-year-old Australian wildcard entry Bernard Tomic.Sweeting said he was overwhelmed by Nadal’s relentless accuracy and the fact he had to play so many shots just to earn a point.Tomic, the last Australian male left in the draw, advanced with a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3), 6-3 win over No. 31 Feliciano Lopez of Spain. Canada’s Milos Raonic also produced a second-round upset, beating No. 22 Michael Llodra of France 7-6 (3), 6-3, 7-6 (4).Kim Clijsters showed why she’s fast becoming a hot favorite for the women’s title by beating Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3.U.S. Open champion Clijsters opened with a 6-0, 6-0 win over former No. 1-ranked Dinara Safina, but Suarez Navarro was a potentially dangerous second-round matchup. The 22-year-old Spaniard beat Venus Williams in a second-round upset in her first trip to Melbourne Park two years ago.”She is a tough player. She’s tricky. The balls bounce so much different than for my first round,” Clijsters said. “I was just happy with the way that I played. I tried to play both sides of the court, tried to be aggressive and dictate the points. And it worked.”With defending champion Serena Williams not playing in Australia due to a prolonged foot problem, third-seeded Clijsters is hopeful of going one better than her previous best performance at Melbourne Park – she lost the 2004 final.Her third-round 6-0, 6-1 loss here to Nadia Petrova last year was her worst in a major. It’s a defeat she claims she doesn’t dwell on and doesn’t think will influence her preparations for the same stage this weekend.”I don’t think I’ve ever played a match like that. So it was very easy in a way to also forget about it, as well,” Clijsters said.Joining her in the third round from the bottom half of the draw were No. 10 Shahar Peer, No. 12 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 13 Nadia Petrova and Iveta Benesova, who beat No. 18 Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-1.Seventh-seeded Jelena Jankovic lost 7-6 (3), 6-3 to China’s Peng Shuai, continuing an unimpressive streak of seven losses in eight matches. It was former world No. 1 Jankovic’s worst result at a major since the 2009 U.S. Open.Meanwhile, Clijsters has spent just two hours on court so far, leaving plenty of time to joke with the crowd and take a little swipe at on-court interviewer Todd Woodbridge, a former Australian doubles great. She lightheartedly chided Woodbridge about a text message he’d sent to fellow Australian Rennae Stubbs, suggesting Clijsters was showing physical and emotional signs of being pregnant.”No, I’m not!” said Clijsters, who took time off the tour when she married and had a child – daughter Jada, born in February 2008 – before returning to win the U.S. Open in 2009.While Clijsters and Nadal have advanced with ease, Venus Williams and defending men’s champion Roger Federer have encountered challenges.advertisementWilliams injured a muscle between her stomach and groin Wednesday as she twisted for a volley. She needed a medical timeout after losing the first set. She was on the verge of tears, and apparently elimination. But she refused to stop playing and eventually beat Sandra Zahlavova of the Czech Republic 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-4.Federer faced a more familiar problem – Gilles Simon. He’s one of only three men on tour with a winning record against the Swiss great.The 16-time Grand Slam champion admitted he was “happy I survived a scare” after winning in five sets.
The Premier League returns with a bang as Tottenham and Chelsea face off in what should be a belting clash. The two have made fast domestic starts – just like the rest of the Big 6 – and as thus, this is a six-pointer with precious little room for error. A single point separates the two sides with Chelsea sitting in third, perched ahead of Spurs, and both are in form.Tottenham’s only defeat in their last seven came to the all-conquering Manchester City and since then they’ve taken six of their nine wins this season, along with a crucial confidence boost in the shape of a 2-1 win against PSV.They are very much in the groove, especially with Harry Kane leading them and England to crucial wins, but they will need to be against Chelsea. Maurizio Sarri’s men have gelled better than many imagined, and they are still unbeaten in 12 matches, even if they’ve recently dropped points. Their 0-0 draw against Everton was a frustrating afternoon for most at Stamford Bridge but they dominated possession and won the shots on target count 4-1 (and the shots off target count 7-3) on an afternoon when things didn’t go their way.It might be a slight worry however that two teams – namely West Ham and Everton – have managed to ride out Chelsea’s pressures and then escape with a point thanks to clean sheets, and Tottenham do have the capability to be resolute defensively. However, that has not taken place on too many occasions this season and seven teams have found a way past Spurs’ rear-guard this season – two of those that failed were Crystal Palace and Huddersfield.Tottenham Hotspur v ChelseaPremier League17:30 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 4K UHDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)APR 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 1-3 TottenhamAUG 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 1-2 ChelseaAPR 2017 FA CUP Chelsea 4-2 TottenhamJAN 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 2-0 ChelseaNOV 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 2-1 TottenhamMAY 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 2-2 TottenhamNOV 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 0-0 ChelseaMAR 2015 CAPITAL ONE CUP Chelsea 2-0 TottenhamJAN 2015 EPREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 5-3 ChelseaDEC 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 3-0 TottenhamAlso, whilst Spurs do not go down easily, their three defeats have all come to teams in the top seven with City and Liverpool taking victories from Wembley and they did fall to Watford 2-1. Chelsea are unlucky not to have more points on the board and they have the firepower to take a vital win from Wembley.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK CHELSEA 5 points at 6/4 with starsports.bet PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 196.1 points(not including Premier League ante-post or cricket)