SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor’s drought with the bat continued, but Sydney Thunder edged Melbourne Stars by six runs to end the preliminary round on top in the Women’s Big Bash.Playing at University Oval, Thunder produced a meek batting effort and were held to 104 for nine off their 20 overs.Captain Alex Blackwell got 31 from 39 deliveries, while Nicola Carey struck 20 from 24 balls. The pair added 29 for the fourth wicket, after Thunder slipped to 37 for three in the ninth over.One of the three wickets to fall was that of Taylor, who failed to score for the third time since the start of the year. She has now scraped together just 27 runs from her last seven outings.Left-armer Mornal Nielson finished with three for 26.In reply, Stars were restricted to 98 for eight off their 20 overs, thanks to fast bowler Rene Farrell, who was superb in taking four for 18 from her four overs.Wicketkeeper Emma Inglis top-scored with 32 from 34 deliveries.At Hurstville Oval, teenaged West Indies batter Hayley Matthews stroked an unbeaten 17 from 12 balls, but her Hobart Hurricanes went down to Sydney Sixers by two wickets.Batting first, Hurricanes reached 126 for four off 20 overs, with Amy Satterthwaite hitting a top score of 35 from 29 balls and opener and captain Heather Knight chipping in with 33 from 34 deliveries.Entering the contest in the 17th over, Matthews struck a six in her small cameo to help Hurricanes end strongly.However, Sara McGlashan then unfurled a superb, unbeaten 79 off 58 balls, with three fours and four sixes to propel Sixers to their target off the last ball of the innings.Despite the loss, Hurricanes qualified for the semi-finals by finishing second in the standings on 16 points, two behind Thunder.
Former top-class campaigner COMMANDING CHIEF should score a long overdue win in today’s competitive looking overnight allowance race over 1300 metres to be contested by 13 starters at Caymanas Park.COMMANDING CHIEF last won the grade one Prime Minister’s Stakes in a titanic tussle with PERFECT NEIGHBOUR over 2000 metres on Independence Day 2014 (August 6), and although yet to win another race since, has run some useful races in defeat, even though sparingly raced.When he last competed, in open allowance company on January 23 for new trainer Spencer Chung, the eight-year-old gelding by War Marshall out of She Knows Beau ran a decent race behind the progressive filly LONG RUNNING TRAIN and CAMPESINO over a mile, finishing six lengths sixth after racing prominently in second entering the straight.Having worked well in preparation for today’s encounter and stepping down to overnight company in the process, COMMANDING CHIEF has a glorious chance of reliving past glories.MOST ACCOMPLISHEDHe is easily the most accomplished in the field, following big-race wins in the St Leger and Gold Cup when trained by Everal Francis, and with three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson sticking with the ride, the hint should be taken.Still, it won’t be a walk in the park for the veteran campaigner as he faces some very fit opponents in SHINING LIGHT, MIRACLE STAR, RED FLAG, EDISON and HOVER CRAFT, all ideally suited to the distance.The Wayne DaCosta-trained HOVER CRAFT (Omar Walker up) not only won in grade one company last season, but was second to FRANFIELD in last November’s Superstakes, and with 1300 metres not too sharp for him, is a worthy opponent. The same can be said of the Gary Griffiths-trained SHINING LIGHT, a recent winner who will love every inch of this race.However, COMMANDING CHIEF has never had it this easy in years and thus gets the vote.Other firm fancies on the 10-race programme are SUPERTRONICS (knocking at the door) to go one better in the second race; stable-companion BIG GEORGE to repeat in the third; GOLDEN GLORY in the sixth; down-in-class BOLD AVIATOR in race seven; and the speedy OPTIMUS to finally deliver in the eighth race for maiden four-year-olds and up over 1000 metres round.
Renario Downswell netted his fourth goal in three games to earn Reno a valuable point against Harbour View in their battle against relegation in the Red Stripe Premier League.The result also had far- reaching effects for the Stars of the East as it severely dented their hopes of making the last four.The point put Reno (34) four clear of the relegation zone, with two games remaining. However, Harbour View (40) are now five points off the semi-final spot and, with only six points available, coach Ludlow Bernard has thrown in the towel.”It is highly improbable (qualify) and I am willing to concede,” he commented after the game.Humble Lion (44) remain in the hunt as their 1-0 win over Boys’ Town (38) kept them just a point adrift UWI FC (45), who are in pole position following their 1-0 win over Cavalier.Reno came into the Harbour View game hunting all three points, but, for Downswell, the point is welcome.”This match, we had to win as you can see that we are down in the relegation zone. But the team came out and played some good football and got a result,” the goalscorer said.The former St Elizabeth Technical High School player only returned to the team in recent weeks, due to reasons he chose not to disclose. However, his contribution is worth its weight in goals.”This is my third game and my fourth goal in three games. This is the back end of the season and we have to step up our performance. We’ve had a bit of ups and downs this season, but the coaching staff talked to us and got back the team together. But it’s a very young team and we believe we can do better,” he observed.”As a senior member of the team, when I look back, I see that I have to step up, so I just stepped forward and told the coach I am ready to lead the way,” he told The Gleaner.”We need to finish off this season and get ready for next season. It’s going to be hard, but we are going to push those two games and we are not going to ease back,” he said.
Melbourne Cricket Club are in a commanding position entering the second day of the 2016 Jamaica Cricket Association’s Senior Cup final after claiming first innings points from St Thomas yesterday. Led by a topscore of 63 from national batsman Andre McCarthy, and 55 from Guyanese opener Trevon Griffith, many-time champions Melbourne posted a modest 181 in their first innings on a pitch that was flat and good for batting. National fast bowler Keno Wallace, who bowled impressively in his second spell from the downhill northern end, claimed four for 39 for St Thomas with support coming from leg-spinner Kenroy Williams, with three for 36. Playing in their first final, St Thomas were bundled out for 111 in reply with left arm spinner Chris Lamont bagged five for 38 and Melbourne’s captain Nikita Miller, four for 21. Promising teenage pacer Oshane Thomas, who was recently picked up by the Jamaica Tallawahs for the upcoming Caribbean Premier League Twenty20, ended with one for 19. Williams, 28, was the top scorer for St Thomas. Jamaica Scorpions representatives, captain Carlton Baugh Jr and Devon Thomas, made nine and five, respectively. Batting a second time, Melbourne closed on 38 for two for an overall lead of 108. “Our batting was a bit disappointing,” said Melbourne’s assistant coach, Ray Stewart. “However, at the end of the day, our bowlers came back and did a fantastic job for us. “The aim now is to try and bat as long as possible, and, hopefully, bat them out of the game.” Baugh said his team will be hunting early wickets today. “We are down but not out,” he said. “We have come from behind after losing first innings before and the aim is to try and do that on the final day, weather permitting.” Griffith, 15 not out, and McCarthy, 11 not out, will resume batting for Melbourne at 10 a.m. today. The left-handed Brown has so far taken two for 22 for St Thomas. 108 LEAD