BRISBANE, Australia, (CMC): West Indies opener Lendl Simmons emerged from his slump to stroke a small cameo as Brisbane Heat chased down a challenging total to beat Andre Russell’s Sydney Thunder by six wickets in the Big Bash League here yesterday. In pursuit of 187 for victory at the Gabba, Heat reached their target with three deliveries to spare, with the right-handed Simmons carving out 34 off 25 balls. Simmons, who failed to score in his two previous innings, struck two fours and two sixes, putting on 72 off 55 balls for the first wicket with Jimmy Peirson, whose 40 came from 36 balls with six fours. Simmons was first to fall, caught at third man by Clint McKay off seamer Shane Watson. His dismissal paved the way for captain Chris Lynn, who slammed 75 off 32 deliveries with six fours and six sixes. Lynn put on a swift 62 off 24 balls with Ben Cutting (22 not out) for the fourth wicket, before becoming one of Russell’s two wickets. The right-handed Russell had earlier belted two fours and a six in scoring 20 off nine deliveries as Thunder reached 186 for five off 20 overs, after being sent in. Captain Mike Hussey stroked 56 from 43 balls with two fours and two sixes, while Watson hammered 46 from 31 balls with five sixes. West Indies leg-spinner Samuel Badree finished with one for 26 from his four overs.
Very much a part of the international display by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) when the regional team plays host in the Caribbean, Scotiabank’s grass-roots thrust, Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket, which has turned out an estimated 20 national/West Indies cricketers, will experience even more growth this year in Jamaica.At yesterday’s launch at the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) conference room, it was announced that the kiddies development programme will feature 84 new schools, increasing its overall total to 224.Scotia’s Kiddy Cricket first bowled off in the year 2000, a joint effort between the financial institution and the WICB to help foster skills and passion for the game among West Indian children.The showpiece has grown among 14 Caribbean countries, with more than 750,000 now participating.Shelley Sykes-Coley, Scotiabank’s manager, sponsorships, said her organisation remains committed to the growth and development of cricket regionally.foundation skills”We will continue to build on the foundation skills of our young cricketers with our Kiddy Cricket skills display, cricket camp, and Kiddy Cricket festival,” she said.”That boys and girls aged 7-12 not only learn to play the game, but acquire love for learning, while building leadership skills in the classroom and on the field.”Courtney Francis, chief executive officer, JCA, was also in attendance, while Phillip Service, WICB Kiddy Cricket Coordinator, distributed newly certified child-protection course certificates to coaches.Since last year, there has been a series of child-protection courses – mandatory for all youth cricket coaches – which hosted over 119 attendees. This course is being facilitated by the JCA and the Child Development Agency.Scotiabank and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) are in partnership with UNICEF on this project, and they will endeavour to complete another 12 to 14 workshops across 14 parishes in Jamaica, with the primary focus being 150 primary schools in the Kiddy Cricket programme.Preliminary matches among primary schools started just ahead of the press launch, with an exciting festival featuring Excelsior vs Rollington Town, and Mountain View vs Clan Carthy, at Sabina Park.
Even if they win but England lose, the Caribbean side will finish in a three-way tie with England and Pakistan Women on six points, with net run rate deciding the two semi-finalists. This nerve-racking scenario is one captain Stafanie Taylor is desperately hoping to avoid. “I think we are very much confident. We know what we need to improve on. We worked really hard at training today and I think the girls are ready,” she said yesterday. “We just have to try and outsmart the Indians because we know they are going to come with spinners, so we just have to be ready.” West Indies Women have been let down by their batting in the tournament. In the last game against England in Dharamsala, they could only muster 108 for four off their 20 overs, but they bowled and fielded magnificently to almost successfully defend the total. Taylor, her side’s most dependable batsman, said a bigger effort was needed from the batsmen today. “We need to see some positives in the batting. The bowlers have been doing so well and I think we need to help out the bowlers. We need to put some runs on the board so the bowlers can have something to bowl at,” she urged. Taylor admitted that the narrow defeat to England Women had hurt. She said that after reducing England from 59 without loss in the ninth over to come within a wicket and one delivery of victory, missing out had been difficult to absorb. nerve-racking scenario MOHALI, India (CMC): West Indies Women will seek to banish the disappointment of their defeat to England Women last week when they take on hosts India Women in a virtual must-win game in the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup here today. After starting the tournament with two straight wins to top Group B, they stumbled in a heart-wrenching last ball defeat on Thursday, to tumble into second spot alongside Pakistan Women on four points. West Indies Women must now ensure they beat India Women and hope England also defeat the Pakistanis in order to clinch a semi-final spot outright.