Saturday7:45 a.m.: TOTTENHAM VS SUNDERLAND10 a.m.: CHELSEA VS EVERTON12:30 p.m.: ASTON VILLA VS LEICESTER7 p.m.: NEWCASTLE VS WEST HAMSunday9:05 a.m.: LIVERPOOL VS MAN UNITED11:15 a.m.: STOKE VS ARSENAL11:15 a.m: BOURNEMOUTH VS NORWICH Sunday4:30 p.m.: SOUTHAMPTON VS WEST BROMSPORTSMAX2 SPORTSMAX
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC): World number one West Indies will face host nation India, along with Australia, in the warm-up round of the ICC World Twenty20 Championship, which bowls off in March. The ICC recently unveiled the pre-tournament fixtures, showing the Windies matches – both to be played at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The match against India will be on March 10, while the contest against the Aussies will be on March 13. No other official fixtures have been listed, leaving these matches key to the team’s preparation for the March 8 to April 3 tournament. West Indies have been drawn in Group One of the Super 10 stage of the T20 World Cup and will play alongside England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and one of the qualifiers from the first round. Group Two will comprise India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Australia and a qualifier advancing from the first round.
First-time Jamaica Scorpions captain, Paul Palmer Jr has been relieved of his duties and dropped from the squad for their seventh round WICB First-Class League encounter fixture against the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, starting today at Sabina Park.Opener Palmer, who has been experiencing a wretched run of the form with the bat, has been replaced by fellow opener and vice-captain, John Campbell.The new vice-captain is Barbados-born batsman, Kirk Edwards.The 24-year-old Palmer, a former Jamaica youth captain, has passed 50 just once in 12 innings, and has been one of several Scorpions batsmen who has failed to produce since the start of the season.Campbell led the Jamaica team in the recent WICB Super50 one-day tournament in January. Edwards is a former West Indies vice-captain.Palmer’s removal is one of three changes made by the Wavell Hinds-led national selection panel to a squad which lost to the Leeward Islands Hurricanes by 82 runs in Antigua last weekend.The other players omitted are experienced campaigners, wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh Jr, and all-rounder David Bernard Jr.They have been replaced by wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton, who makes a return from studies, batsman Brandon King, and fast bowler Nicholson Gordon.The selection panel is completed by Wayne Lewis, Robert Haynes, Delroy Morgan, and Cleveland Davidson.Fourth and fifth place finishers over the past two seasons, the Scorpions, with just three wins and as many losses, are all but out of the championship race with four rounds of matches to go.They are third on 52 points, 30 behind second-place Barbados Pride, with runaway leaders and title-holders Guyana Jaguars on 101 points.UNCHANGED SQUADTrinidad, in the meantime, who are fourth in the standings with 40 points and are out of the running for the top prize, have named an unchanged squad for the game.The Jason Mohammed-captained unit, without their most established players, will look to batsman Narsingh Deonarine, all-rounder Rayad Emrit, and young off-spinning standout Jon-Ross Jagessar to lead their charge.They have recorded a win, three defeats, and two draws record to date.Jamaica Scorpions (from): John Campbell (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Sheldon Cottrell, Kirk Edwards, Nicholson Gordon, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Andre McCarthy, Nikita Miller, Marquino Mindley, Devon Thomas, Shacaya Thomas, Chadwick Walton.Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (from): Jason Mohammed (captain), Yannic Cariah, Narsingh Deonarine, Rayad Emrit, Kyle Hope, Akeal Hosein, Jon-Russ Jagessar, Steven Katwaroo, Imran Khan, Evin Lewis, Yannick Ottley, Marlon Richards, Jeremy Solozano.
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP): Victoria Azarenka defeated error-prone Serena Williams 6-4, 6-4 to win the BNP Paribas Open yesterday, returning Azarenka to the world’s top 10 for the first time since August 2014. Clearly the crowd favourite, Williams gave fans little to cheer about on a 918 (328C) day in the California desert, while making 33 unforced errors. After getting broken to trail 3-0 in the second set, Williams returned to her seat and smashed her racket. Trailing 5-1, Williams won three straight games and held two break points on Azarenka’s serve in the last game. But Williams ended the match with three straight errors. It was Azarenka’s first victory over the top-ranked Williams since the Cincinnati final in August 2013. She will move up seven spots to No. 8 in the WTA Tour rankings today. Azarenka, who won here in 2012, hit just 10 winners and had 20 unforced errors in the two-hour match. She connected on 60 per cent of her first serves and broke Williams’ serve three times. Williams converted just one of 12 break chances. Williams was back at Indian Wells after ending her 14-year boycott last year, and the crowd, including Queen Latifah, was eager to support her. One fan held up a sign reading, “Go Serena. We straight outta Compton,” in a nod to the gang-infested Los Angeles suburb where the Williams sisters learnt to play tennis. But there was none of Williams’ trademark fist-pumping and screams of “Come on!” She hit just 22 winners. Azarenka and Williams met for the 21st time in their careers, with Williams now owning a 17-4 edge. The only player she has faced more in her career is older sister Venus, who watched grim-faced from a box after losing early in her return to Indian Wells for the first time since 2001. Williams was warmly welcomed back last year only to withdraw with a knee injury before her semi-final. She got emotional while accepting the runner-up trophy, tears welling in her eyes, after tournament officials thanked her and Venus for ending their boycotts. “Thank you so much for the cheers,” Williams said. “I can’t tell you how much it means to me.” Azarenka was gracious in victory, thanking Williams for her hard work that motivated the Belarussian to raise her game. Williams playfully stuck out her tongue as she walked past Azarenka posing with the winner’s crystal trophy on her way off the court.