Glen Phillips and Tim Seifert each scored centuries as New Zealand ‘A’ made West Indies ‘A’ bowlers toil on day two of their four-day match at Mount Maunganui ground.

Replying to New Zealand’s daunting score of  519 for 7, the West Indies began mounting a solid response by close of play on the second day of the first Test at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

Asked to face 26 testing overs at the end of the day, the West Indies reached 49 without loss. Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell on 20 and 22, respectively, will resume on Day 3 with the visitors still 470 runs behind a New Zealand total made possible by Kane Williamson’s imperious 251.

Resuming from his overnight score of 97 and New Zealand 243 for 2, the Black Caps captain’s marathon knock was the backbone of the home side’s massive total. Kane faced 412 deliveries in his almost 10 and a half hour stay at the crease.

Ross Taylor, who joined Williamson at the crease at 168 for 2, added seven runs to his overnight score of 31 before becoming Shannon Gabriel’s second victim when he edged to wicketkeeper Shamarh Brooks, who replaced an injured Shane Dowrich.

Williamson dominance of subsequent partnerships of 30 with Henry Nicholls (7); 72 with Tom Blundell (14) and 56 with Daryl Mitchell (9), emphasized his impact on the New Zealand’s innings. His was the last wicket New Zealand to fall when he was caught by Roston Chase at deep midwicket from an Alzarri Joseph after a 94-run seventh-wicket stand of 94 with Kyle Jamieson, who remained unbeaten on 51 when the declaration came.

Williamson’s 251 included 34 fours and two sixes.

Gabriel finished with 3 for 89, while Kemar Roach, who should have got Williamson’s wicket but for a no-ball, returned 3 for 114 from 30 overs. Joseph had figures of 1 for 99.

Minnesota United will contest their first MLS Western Conference final after making light work of Sporting Kansas City 3-0.

A three-goal first half, inspired by Kevin Molino's brace, saw Minnesota past Sporting KC on Thursday and through to a showdown with defending champions Seattle Sounders.

Minnesota, who entered the league in 2017, have won their last three matches by 3-0 scorelines, equalling the longest streak of wins by three-plus goals in MLS history – regular season or play-offs.

Molino opened the scoring in the 27th minute after combining with Emanuel Reynoso before beating Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia.

It was the Molino and Reynoso combination again eight minutes later – the former volleying home to double Minnesota's advantage at Children's Mercy Park.

Bakaye Dibassy made it 3-0 six minutes before half-time when he headed home an in-swinging corner from Reynoso.

Reynoso – the only player in the history of the MLS play-offs with multiple three-assist games – became the first player to record three assists in consecutive matches since Jaime Moreno in September 2004, per Opta.

Minnesota and Seattle will clash in the Conference final on Sunday.

Cricket West Indies has been awarded the 2020 Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in conjunction with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach began the first Test in the series against New Zealand on Thursday with a heavy heart following the passing of his father, Andrew Smith.

Roach learned of his father’s death on Wednesday.

“Losing a loved one is never easy and we want to offer our full support to Kemar during this very difficult time,” said team manager Rawl Lewis in offering condolences on behalf of Cricket West Indies.

“We got the news as we prepared for the Test match here and the players and team support staff all got together and offered tremendous support.”

Both teams wore black armbands on the opening day of the Test match in honor of the fast bowler’s late father.

Roach has so far taken 1 for 53 from 15 overs at stumps on day one of the Test in which New Zealand were 243 for 2.

West Indies ‘A’ all-rounder Romario Shepherd scored his maiden first-class century as he and Raymon Reifer rescued the West Indies ‘A’ from a disastrous start to their match against New Zealand ‘A’ at the Mount Maunganui ground in New Zealand on Thursday (Wednesday night Caribbean).

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was closing in on his 22nd Test hundred, as the home side emerged on top at stumps of the opening day of the first Test against West Indies.

West Indies captain Jason Holder believes opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite could be on the verge of rediscovering his best form, ahead of the start of the series against New Zealand.

The 28-year-old had shown great promise alongside Shai Hope at the top of the order, scoring 134 and 95 when the West Indies successfully chased down 322 for a memorable win at Headingley in 2017.

Brathwaite then suffered a dip in form, averaging 25.33 in his last 20 Tests ahead of the England series this year.  His struggles included poor showings against India and Afghanistan.  The player did show a flicker of returning to form during the team’s last Test tour against England where he scored two half-centuries.  Brathwaite reached 65 in the first and got 75 in the second but, however, also had other innings scores of 4, 12, 1, and 19 to average 21.

The opener though, looked good in the team’s warm-up matches against New Zealand A, where he scored 246 in the second warm-up match.  The performance has encouraged the West Indies captain.

“It’s good to see our opening batsmen, including Kraigg, getting some scores.  I thought he shaped up really well in England, he good a few half-centuries, got a few starts and he’s starting to look like the Kraigg Brathwaite of old,” Holder told CWI media.

“He’s obviously been a banker for us over the years, he’s had a lean patch over the last couple of years but to see him coming back into stride the way he has.  I was remarking to one of the coaches that the innings I saw in Queenstown, the double hundred, was one of the most fluent innings I have seen from him.  It reminded me of a Test match innings he played in Hobart where he got 97 in the second innings that was one of the most fluent innings I’ve ever seen from Kraigg but this one was similar,” he added.

“For me, his balance looks really good and he is striking the ball really well.  So, let’s hope he can continue in that vein and get us off to some really good starts.”  

Andre Russell has been lighting up the Lankan Premier League with both bat and ball delighting his many fans around the world.

Sophia Smith Butler, a woman believed to be the mother of Jamaican football player Kyle Butler is standing behind her son, who earlier this week accused his father of physically abusing him.

“I stand with my son and support him 100 per cent in the statements he has made. The days of slavery are done and over,” the mother posted on Facebook this morning in what is the latest twist to the developments that began days ago when the 22-year-old Butler posted disturbing pictures of what he said were injuries suffered at the hands of his father, football agent and coach Craig Butler.

“I’ve had enough of this abuse and it’s time u understand,” Kyle posted on social media Monday while revealing wounds he said he said he suffered during an attack while training at Mona High School.

Later that evening he posted again. “My mother has been abused mentally and physically by this man for several years. “I really don’t want to put this out in the media but you should all know the pain and the abuse that I’ve been enduring since I was 9 years-old….that my mother has been enduring”.

The elder Butler has since denied those claims in a statement released to the media on Tuesday.

“Let me categorically state that I have not been abusive to my son on that date or any other date. I have encouraged him and helped him to achieve his full potential. I have worked hard to create opportunities for my son of which he enjoyed for years,” Butler said in a statement.

However, in an interview on Nationwide Radio on Tuesday, Kyle backed up his statements and provided detail on the physical abuse he said his father inflicted on him. Those claims have now been given additional credence by the mother, who said the family and her boys have suffered long enough.

“People owning other people are done and over. Our creator does not even force us to worship him, he gives us free will,” she wrote.

“Yet mere creatures of dust believe they should demand people to bow at their feet and be subjected to abuse, robbing them of their human rights and dignity. When you take that, what is left? The damage that one narcissistic personality can do to the lives of others is literally unimaginable.”

She invited any friend on friends list who is a talented writer to reach out to her to inbox her, as she seeks to put her experiences into a book she intends to publish.

 

Jamaica U-23 representative, Kyle Butler, has maintained he is not surprised by his father Craig Butler’s denial of the alleged altercation between the two, which left him with a lacerated arm.

Now deleted photos of the 22-year-old posted to social media earlier this week, showed an injury that he claimed was meted out to him by an unnamed abuser.  He, however, later revealed that the injury occurred after a fight with his father and the Phoenix All-Star Academy owner following his refusal to attend a training session.  The younger Butler claims the injury was sustained after his father threw a knife at him.

The senior Butler has denied any claims of abuse and earlier stated Kyle had sustained the injury after falling on a stick, while at training.  In a subsequent press release he admitted things had become strained between himself and his son, but again denied allegations of abuse.

’I’m responding in this way of my son Kyle Butler allegations of my being physically abusive on the evening of November 30, 2020. My heart goes out to my son as he battles with some major issues and now these unfounded allegations.

“Let me categorically state that I have not been abusive to my son on that date or any other date. I have encouraged him and helped him to achieve his full potential. I have worked hard to create opportunities for my son of which he enjoyed for years.  There was no complains then.

“I’m cognizant of the many issues Kyle has gotten him self in and things that my profession and principles would never allow me to be a part of.  This has created a major problem in our relationship as I have stated that this is not the path any parent would hope for their child.  I am hoping that he will find his way and recognize that his family loves him and want only what is best for him,” Butler’s release, partially read.

While insisting he was somewhat disappointed by his father’s denial of the incident, the younger Butler held that it fit the pattern of being another string in an unsettling, tightly woven yarn of abuse.  In his mind, it is part and parcel of a destructive personality trait.

“That’s what he did with my mother too.  Every time he would abuse my mother he would run to the police and file a report quick, but that’s fine I have the medical reports and everything,” Butler said in an interview with Nationwide Radio.

The player also took the time out to reveal that he was not seriously injured and was recovering with the rest of his family.

“I’m fine.  I’m with my family, me my mother and my sister.  I’m in a little pain, I’m really disappointed.  I’m really hurt that he is trying to go out of his way to lie to make himself look like he is the victim when he is the culprit but that is what you deal with when you have narcissistic people.”

 

 

Jamaica U-23 representative, Kyle Butler, has revealed more details of the alleged incident between himself and father/manager Craig Butler, which led to the wounds seen on his arms in widely circulated social media photos.

According to the younger Butler, who lashed out on Tuesday amidst claims of having suffered years of abuse, the incident happened after he had refused to take part in a training session.  The senior Butler, who has denied the allegations, initially claimed that the injuries seen were suffered after his son 'fell on a stick'.  Kyle, however, disputed that version of events.

“All I said was that I was not going to train.  So, I went into the car, took out my shoes, and said I was walking home because he said to leave the jeep.  While I was walking he asked me, ‘If I feel like is suh it ago guh.’ He grabbed me by my hair, punched me in my mouth, punched me in the back of my head,” Butler said in an interview with Nationwide Radio.

He went on to claim that when the altercation was broken up, his father went to his van took out a knife, and threw it at him while he was leaving the premises.  The player attempted to dodge the object, but it still caught him on the arm.

“The knife could have hit me anywhere else.  I have no reason to lie, I have no reason to attack this guy.  Why would I fall on a knife at training, why would I fall on something so sharp that it goes through my flesh, at a football field, tell me, how does that make sense?’

In a released statement, the senior Butler continued to claim the allegations were unfounded and that his son had been battling ‘major issues.’

I’m responding in this way of my son Kyle Butler allegations of my being physically abusive on the evening of November 30, 2020. My heart goes out to my son as he battles with some major issues and now these unfounded allegations.

“Let me categorically state that I have not been abusive to my son on that date or any other date. I have encouraged him and helped him to achieve his full potential. I have worked hard to create opportunities for my son of which he enjoyed for years.  There was no complains then.

“I’m cognizant of the many issues Kyle has gotten him self in and things that my profession and principles would never allow me to be a part of.  This has created a major problem in our relationship as I have stated that this is not the path any parent would hope for their child.  I am hoping that he will find his way and recognize that his family loves him amd want only what is best for him.

I hope my son will get the chance to show how talented he is and believe in himself as I have always believed in him.  I only ask that the public allows us the privacy to work through this matter,” Butler’s statement read.

 

 

West Indies coach Phil Simmons believes the Test team is in a ‘good place’ ahead of the start of the two-match series against New Zealand, which bowls off on Wednesday.

The team’s tour of New Zealand began with a T20 series last week but they did not experience a lot of joy after being easily swept aside 2-0 by the Kiwis in a three-match series.  Simmons, however, does not expect any follow-on negative effect for the four-day team and admits he has been encouraged by their performance in the warm-up games.  The performances with the bat in the warm-up matches will have been particularly encouraging for the team, which saw the batting line-up post scores of 366 and 571.

“The T20 and the Tests are different.  The Test team has done well in Queenstown and enjoyed a tough four-day game.  Now, they are coming into the Test series with some confidence, especially with the batsmen and we haven’t had that in a while,” Simmons told windiescricket.

“I think the Test team is in a good place, I’m disappointed with the T20 team but looking forward to the Test series…I don’t think the results of the T20 will affect how they think,” he added.

The Test series is also expected to be a tough challenge for the regional team who has not won a series in New Zealand since 1995.

 

 

West Indies Test captain Jason Holder has signed a three-match deal with Sydney Sixers for the upcoming Australia Big Bash League (BBL).

The 29-year-old all-rounder has seen his stock rise in cricket’s shortest format over the last couple of months, following a strong performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Sunrisers Hyderabad.  Holder was signed as a replacement but played a crucial role in the team securing a third-place finish.

The all-rounder, who is currently with the West Indies for its ongoing tour of New Zealand, will not be available for the Sixers until their December 20 clash with the Adelaide Strikers in Hobart. He is expected to then take part in a December 26 fixture against the Melbourne Stars and the December 29 matchup with the Melbourne Renegades.  For his part, Holder was excited about the move.

"I'm really excited to be coming to the BBL and in particular the Sydney Sixers. I've wanted to for a few years now and this year I have the opportunity to come in and make some appearances and hopefully do a bit for the Sixers," he said.

"BBL cricket is an interest for me and the Sixers have been successful over the past few years. Moises and I played together at Sunrisers and I really enjoyed that. It will be good to do it again."

Holder will also be joining up with former West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite at the club.

 

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