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Reggae Boyz crash out of 2012 Caribbean Cup
December 13, 2012

The Reggae Boyz, defending champions of the Caribbean Cup (Soccer) and in the running for one of 3 World Cup Finals spots from the CONCACAF, has crashed out of this year’s competition.

This would seem simple, except that Jamaica now does not get into the largest regional competition, other than World Cup qualifications, which is the CONCACAF Gold Cup.  The 4 semi-finalists automatically get to play in the Caribbean Cup.  Jamaica finished last in their group with a single point… yes ONE POINT.  The Boyz lost the first match 1-2 to French Guiana, drew 0-0 with Martinique, and then lost 0-1 to Cuba.

What does this mean?

Forget about embarrassment.  That’s the least of Jamaica’s worries now.  I can give you in order what I think the top 5 concerns are now:

  1. Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is cash-strapped and missing the CONCACAF Gold Cup makes things much worse financially
  2. If the Boyz do qualify for World Cup 2014, the Gold Cup would’ve been a great warm up for the Boyz who will otherwise have a tough time scheduling quality matches (or matches in general) to tune up for World Cup.
  3. The first team Jamaica faces in the Final CONCACAF World Cup in February is the dangerous Mexico away (dangerous high-altitude).  Mexico might not show any respect for Jamaica in that match. I
  4. Financial support that the JFF is hoping for might not come now.
  5. Fan support might not be as great.  Jamaican supporters are sometimes (not often) fair-weather fans.
  6. The Boyz FIFA Ranking is bound to plummet.
  7. The embarrassment

Let us cheer on the Boyz as they are the only Caribbean team left in the final qualifying CONCACAF round for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.  As disappointed as we might be, and justifiably so, the Boyz can offer some redemption by qualifying… with 4 Central American, 1 North American (USA) teams joining them in the final round.

What do you think?

West Indies wins single T20 by 18 runs
December 10, 2012

West Indies, behind a superb innings by Marlon Samuels’ unbeaten 85 from 45 deliveries, won the only T20 against Bangladesh, to end a mixed tour that saw them sweeping the tests 2-0, losing the ODIs 2-3, and winning this T20 1-0.

After the West Indies amassed an impressive 197-4 from their 20 overs, I imagine the West indies must’ve felt secure about the total (a run rate of just under 10 runs per over).  However, they got a big scare in the early innings of Bangladesh’s reply.  Essentially, it was:

Over# West Indies Score Bangladesh Score Leader
1 – 5 (10 runs)  10-0 (RR: 10.00)
(6 runs)  16-0 (RR: 8.00)
(9 runs)  25-1 (RR: 8.33)
(1 run)  26-1 (RR: 6.50)
(8 runs)  34-2 (RR: 6.80)
(17 runs) 17-0 (RR: 17.00, RRR: 9.52)
(9 runs) 26-0 (RR: 13.00, RRR: 9.55)
(17 runs) 43-0 (RR: 14.33, RRR: 9.11)
(4 runs) 47-0 (RR: 11.75, RRR: 9.43)
(2 runs) 49-1 (RR: 9.80, RRR: 9.93)
Ban + 15
6-10 (9 runs)  43-2 (RR: 7.16)
(6 runs)  49-2 (RR: 7.00)
(6 runs)  55-2 (RR: 6.87)
(15 runs)  70-2 (RR: 7.77)
(11 runs)  81-2 (RR: 8.10)
(9 runs) 58-1 (RR: 9.66, RRR: 10.00)
(4 runs) 62-1 (RR: 8.85, RRR: 10.46)
(7 runs) 69-1 (RR: 8.62, RRR: 10.75)
(4 runs) 73-1 (RR: 8.11, RRR: 11.36)
(14 runs) 87-1 (RR: 8.70, RRR: 11.10)
Ban + 6
11-15 (6 runs)  87-2 (RR: 7.90)
(9 runs)  96-3 (RR: 8.00)
(4 runs)  100-3 (RR: 7.69)
(20 runs)  120-3 (RR: 8.57)
(2 runs)  122-4 (RR: 8.13)
(5 runs) 92-1 (RR: 8.36, RRR: 11.77)
(8 runs) 100-1 (RR: 8.33, RRR: 12.25)
(6 runs) 106-1 (RR: 8.15, RRR: 13.14)
(8 runs) 114-1 (RR: 8.14, RRR: 14.00)
(6 runs) 120-1 (RR: 8.00, RRR: 15.60)
WI + 2
16-20 (15 runs)  137-4 (RR: 8.56)
(4 runs)  141-4 (RR: 8.29)
(17 runs)  158-4 (RR: 8.77)
(10 runs)  168-4 (RR: 8.84)
(29 runs)  197-4 (RR: 9.85)
(19 runs) 139-1 (RR: 8.68, RRR: 14.75)
(3 runs) 142-1 (RR: 8.35, RRR: 18.66)
(7 runs) 149-1 (RR: 8.27, RRR: 24.50)
(12 runs) 161-1 (RR: 8.47, RRR: 37.00)
(18 runs) 179-1 (Loses by 18 runs)
WI + 18
West Indies vs Bangladesh 5th ODI goes down to the wire
December 8, 2012

You may remember that, in yesterday’s piece (Darren Sammy to the rescue; West Indies levels series 2-2), I made the following comment

Will Gayle finally return to form for the final match or will Pollard and D.R. Smith show up to a match batting-wise finally? I think one of those two needs to happen to guarantee a win by the West Indies. Otherwise, it will be a tough (though winnable) match.

The second one was not going to happen because the West Indies replaced D.R. Smith with Andre Russel who failed miserably with the bat, though Pollard scored an impressive 85. But was Gayle going to return to form? Nope. Didn’t happen. He went for 2 and remains in a slump we have never seen him in.

That means anyone’s game then, from my assessment, righ? Yes it did.

West Indies were dismissed again for a modest 217 in 48 overs and needed a bowling performance like yesterday’s to pull out the series win.
The start of the bowling was not as great as we yesterday’s  but was good. However, Bangladesh was scoring at a big run rate and was in command.

In the end, despite Roach’s late heroics and a late mixup by Bangladesh’s batsmen, the West Indies couldn’t take all the wickets and, with Bangladesh well-ahead in the net run rate, it ended up a reasonably easy Bangladesh win.  Should Sammy have brought  himself back in with Russell having a tough day?  You be the judge.

Scores:  West Indies 217;  Bangladesh 221-8 from just 44 overs.

The Summary

So, with Gayle failing in all 5 ODIs and both tests, West Indies sweep the tests due to Chanderpaul & Powell’s batting brilliance, and some good fast bowling mixed with Permaul’s spin.  However, West Indies ends up losing the ODI series 2-3 to Bangladesh.

A bit of soul-searching needed by West Indian selectors, and D.R. Smith, Pollard, and Gayle.  The lineup needed better, more proven batters of spin (the brunt of Bangladesh’s attack) and the Pollard / Smith combination was not very good overall.  With Gayle failing in every match, it was another demonstration of the lack of good batting in the ODI selection.

Darren Sammy to the rescue; West Indies levels series 2-2
December 7, 2012

When the West Indies was in trouble for the penultimate ODI match against Bangladesh, it was captain Darren Sammy to the rescue.  Reeling at 102-6, Sammy came in and contributed a nice unbeaten 60 to take the West Indies to a decent 211-9 from their allotted 50 overs.

Bangladesh, looking at a modest total, was not allowed to settle as Sammy returned with the ball to take a quick 3 wickets, leaving the home side reeling at 5-7.  Stubborn batting by all-rounder Mahmudullah kept it interesting for a while but the spinners and medium pacers came in to clean up the remaining wickets.

Scores:  West Indies 211-9;  Bangladesh 136 all out

Bottom line is the 75-run win by the West Indies has leveled the series.

Will Gayle finally return to form for the final match OR will Pollard and D.R. Smith show up to a match batting-wise finally?  I think one of those two needs to happen to guarantee a win by the West Indies.  Otherwise, it will be a tough (though winnable) match.