Carib Sports

Windies Could Play T20 Series In Houston

LAHORE, Pakistan (CMC)| West Indies are set to play a Twenty20 International in the American city of Houston for the first time later this year, as part of a Tri-Nations Series involving Pakistan and Bangladesh. An unnamed senior Pakistan Cricket Board official told the Indian Express newspaper the series, scheduled for August, had been finalised following discussions between PCB Chairman Najam Sethi and Cricket West Indies president, Dave Cameron, on the sidelines of the recent International Cricket Council meeting in Dubai.

The series, which will also see matches also played in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a reciprocal tour to follow on from the highly anticipated three-match tour carded for March/April when Pakistan are expected to host the Caribbean side. “It (US series) is an arrangement for this year and we will see how things pan out later on,” the official was quoted as saying. So far, every T20 International to be played on United States soil has been staged at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, with the most recent action being a two-match series between the Windies and India two years ago. The proposal for a match to be hosted in the southern United States represents a further incursion into the lucrative North American market.

Only last year, the PCB had announced a five-year agreement that would have seen the Windies tour Pakistan annually for a three-match T20 series, with Pakistan contesting reciprocal series in the US, involving the Caribbean unit. But the PCB said this year they had been forced to scrap the agreement because it would not have been financially viable. Meanwhile, the PCB have finalised the dates for the upcoming Windies tour, with matches scheduled for March 29 and 31, and April 1.

“Venues will be decided later but initial plan is to hold them in Lahore,” the PCB official informed. The PCB are hoping to have international tours of Pakistan resume, following an eight-year break after the Sri Lanka team bus was attacked by militants on its way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore back in 2009.

Following a three-match Independence Cup series involving a World XI last September in Lahore, the ICC praised Pakistan for its handling of security, noting that the success of the event sent a positive message to the international community about safety in the country.

Scorpions Crush USA To Snare First Win

ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) | Jamaica Scorpions easily brushed aside USA Cricket by 98 runs on Tuesday night, to break out of their slump with their first win of the Regional Super50.

Without a victory in their first two encounters, Scorpions capitalised on perhaps the weakest side in Group B to claim their first major points. Batting first in the day/night affair at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Scorpions raised a competitive 254 for eight off their 50 overs, with captain Nikita Miller top-scoring with 52 not out off 41 balls. Andre McCarthy struck 38, Odean Smith got an unbeaten 30, while Fabian Allen chipped in with 28.

In reply, opener Sunny Sohal gathered 67 and captain Ibraheem Khaleel, 37, but the remainder of the USA’s batting flopped to leave Scorpions with a relatively straightforward result. Left-arm spinners Chris Lamont (2-20) and Nikita Miller (2-27), along with seamers Andre Russell (2-20) and Odean Smith (2- 39), all finished with two wickets each. Opting for first knock, Scorpions had an uncertain start, slipping to 85 for four in the 22nd over, after losing key wickets.

Chadwick Walton produced a cameo, lashing 25 from 18 balls with three fours and a six, in putting on 34 for the first wicket with Steven Taylor (22), before falling to pace Elmore Hutchinson (3-40). Taylor then combined with West Indies all-rounder Rovman Powell (20) to add 41 for the second wicket before the innings stuttered as Scorpions lost three quick wickets for 10 runs.

Two crucial partnerships then kept Scorpions afloat. First, McCarthy put on 62 for the fifth wicket with Allen, striking six fours and a six in a breezy 48-ball knock. Allen was equally brisk, striking three fours and a six off 35 balls, but he and McCarthy fell in successive deliveries to left-arm spinner Nisarg Patel (2-44), and when Peal Salmon perished for three and Andre Russell, 17, Scorpions were tottering on 169 for eight in the 40th over.

Miller came to his side’s rescue, however, stroking a career-best knock to engineer a vital 85-run ninth wicket stand with Smith, to put Scorpions in a position of strength. The right-handed Miller faced 41 balls and counted four fours and a six, while Smith clobbered a four and a six in a 32-ball innings.