SOUTHAMPTON, England, (CMC) – Captain Jason Holder said Sunday he had not spoken to Jermaine Blackwood following his glaring first innings indiscretion that cost him his wicket cheaply, but always knew the dashing right-hander would have a key role to play in any successful run chase to win the opening Test.Blackwood gifted his wicket cheaply for 12 on Friday, smashing an ordinary delivery from off-spinner Dom Bess into mid-off’s lap as West Indies were dismissed for 318 in reply to England’s 204.However, the 28-year-old redeemed himself with an innings of the highest quality here Sunday, laying aside his usually impulsive stroke-play to top-score with 95 as West Indies chased down a target of 200 to pull off a four-wicket win at the Ageas Bowl.“After his first innings dismissal I said nothing to him. He knew what he’d done and he knew he is a better player than what he did in the first innings so there was no need to talk to him,” Holder told a media conference.“I [always] felt he was going to be a crucial player for us in this run chase, him and probably John Campbell because these guys when they get going score relatively quickly and can really swing the tide for us when they form partnerships.“I just said to Jermaine ‘look, just give yourself a chance, give yourself a good chance. See a few balls and then play your game. If you see a ball in your arc and you feel you can put it away, put it away’ because that’s the way he plays.”He continued: “I don’t like to get into complicating players’ heads and congesting their brains with too much information. They’re all responsible enough and know themselves well enough. We’re just here to help one another – lots of these guys in the dressing room help me and help me in significant ways.”The game marked Blackwood’s first start in a Test match in nearly three years after featuring on the Windies’ last tour here in 2017 before being axed later that year.He appeared as a concussion substitute in the second Test against india in Kingston last year when Darren Bravo was forced out of the game, but missed out again thereafter.Blackwood impressed in the recent West Indies first class championship where he plundered nearly 800 runs at an average of 51 and Holder said he had merited his place in the side by the sheer weight of his performances.“To be honest, his case was pretty strong to get back into the team. He scored a double hundred this year in a first class game,” Holder explained.“Unfortunately for me, I haven’t been able to see him bat but his numbers speak for themselves and he’s not a slouch with the bat at this level either.“In comparison to the players we’ve got, he’s still averaging above 30 so he’s done well for us. We just hope he can kick on and make a few more hundreds.”West Indies appeared to be squandering the opportunity to take a 1-0 lead in the series when they slumped to 27 for three before lunch on Sunday’s final day.However, Blackwood repaired the innings, first in a 73-run fourth wicket stand with Roston Chase who made 37, and then in a 68-run fifth wicket partnership with wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich who made 20.The victory came on the heels of the Windies’ 2-1 series victory in the Caribbean last year and saw them take a giant stride towards ending a 32-year wait for a series win on English soil“It’s a massive, massive win. To beat England in England is no easy feat,” said Holder, who presided over the Windies’ last win at Leeds three years ago.“We were able to do it last time we were here in 2017 so we all know what the feeling is like but things have changed drastically since then.“They’re a massive, massive unit in their backyard so to start the series this well is very promising for us and we feel very proud about the way we performed.”In fact, Sunday’s victory was in complete contrast to the manner in which West Indies started their last series here in 2017.In a nightmare performance at Edgbaston, West Indies slumped to an innings and 209-run defeat and went on to lose the series despite a revival at Leeds.This time around, Holder said there was an awareness they needed to begin the series strongly.“We want to win every cricket match we play. It doesn’t often work that way but at the end of the day we strive to win every single Test match we step on the park to play,” he stressed.“In the past we haven’t always started series this well and have been made to play catch up but it was always important we started this series well.”
Published on September 12, 2018 at 11:11 pm Contact KJ: [email protected] | @KJEdelman Syracuse faced a great deal of problems on its four-game road trip — an inconsistency at the goalkeeper position, not being able to muster enough clean shots and giving up goals behind a unprotected backline to save the opposing attack. But one issue that arose on its 1-3 road trip was out of SU’s control: The Orange’s transition from natural grass to turf.When Syracuse (3-4) plays at SU Soccer Stadium, it plays on a 120- by 75-meter natural grass field. In its last four games, SU has played on varying turf fields, converting only two of its 40 shots. In its three losses, including two 4-0 losses to No. 11 Penn State and then-winless Harvard, SU was outscored 11-1.While some players prefer turf over their home stadium’s natural grass, the Orange’s transition to the new fields caused its offense to speed up and make more errors over the last two weeks. With ACC road play beginning Sept. 20 at Boston College, a turf field, SU needs to improve on its recent turf play to get back to .500.“You have to be more precise on turf,” head coach Phil Wheddon said, “And, honestly, that’s what got us down in our last game. We weren’t precise enough.”Before the Aug. 30 matchup against Harvard, SU transitioned from practicing on Hookway Fields’ natural grass to Wohl Lacrosse Field and Skytop, both turf fields.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTurf creates a faster game — the ball moves quicker, the bounce can be a little different and a player’s touch has to be spot on to avoid turnovers, Wheddon said. It creates a shorter surface for players to compete on. The pitch features well-cut turf instead of varying lengths of grass, which all players would prefer in good weather, forward Kate Hostage said.“Turf is a lot harder and grass has a lot more to give,” Laurel Ness said. “I like playing through balls and balls in the air off corners, and the grass has so much more give to it. It’s a lot better.”But problems start to arise when the weather changes. When turf gets wet, it creates a different reaction than natural grass fields.“The ball will skip quite a lot when it’s wet. It’ll be unreliable,” Hostage said, “It could hit a patch of mud and stop.”Despite a familiarity with a natural grass home field, most SU players prefer turf because of its pace. Every field turf is different though, and the adjustment gives the home team an early advantage, Wheddon said.While SU didn’t allow a goal in the first 15 minutes of play on its four game road stretch, it didn’t do much offensively. Between Aug. 30 and Sept. 9, SU registered three shots and eight fouls in its first 15 minutes of play.“It’s more the first 15 minutes of touches that you have to adjust than the long-term situation and having it impact you that much,” Sydney Brackett said.When players adjust to practicing on turf the days before a game, Wheddon said he has to be strategic in practice drills and how long practice is. The wear and tear from playing on multiple surfaces can make a player sore before game day. But he said the only way the Orange will improve its play on turf is with increased repetitions.With ACC play approaching, the Orange will need to get off to faster starts to gain the early advantage.“We have to make sure our players are ready to play on a new surface,” Wheddon said, “… the technical things let us down and we’re usually a very technical team.” Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments
DeCourcy’s best of 30 years: Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy ranks the best games he has witnessed from 30 years’ worth of NCAA Tournament coverage. The thrill of victory…: Sporting News staff recall their favorite memories of the NCAA Tournament. …And the agony of defeat: Sporting News staff recalls their most heartbreaking memories from the NCAA Tournament. Get your tissues ready. MORE: Watch March Madness games live & on-demand with fuboTV (7-day trial)With so many heavyweights remaining, there should be plenty of close games coming up. We’re at the point when even the 1-seeds must go up against tough opposition. North Carolina will face Auburn, Gonzaga will face Florida State and Duke will play Virginia Tech this week in the Sweet 16. Even better matchups could arrive in the Elite Eight over the weekend. Sporting News is here to make sure you know how to tune in to the next two rounds of March Madness. Here’s everything you’ll need to know to watch the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups both live on TV and streaming online.SN’s MARCH MADNESS HQLive NCAA bracket | Live scoreboard | Full TV scheduleTV channels, live stream for Sweet 16 gamesThe NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 and Elite 8 will be broadcast by TBS and CBS. CBS holds the broadcast rights for the Final Four (April 6) and national championship (April 8) games.The primary outlet for live-streaming 2019 NCAA Tournament games is March Madness Live, the NCAA’s digital platform available on desktop and by downloading the mobile app. You can also stream games live by signing up for fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial.Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and Tracy Wolfson are CBS’s lead broadcast team and will call the Final Four national semifinals and championship game.MORE: Ranking every Sweet 16 team’s chances to win it allNCAA Tournament schedule 2019South RegionalLouisville, Ky.March 28, 30CBS, TBSWest RegionalAnaheim, Calif.March 28, 30CBS, TBSEast RegionalWashington, D.C.March 29, 31CBS, TBSMidwest RegionalKansas City, Mo.March 29, 31CBSFinal FourMinneapolisApril 6CBSNational championshipMinneapolisApril 8CBSMORE: How to watch, stream every NCAA Tournament game onlineMarch Madness Sweet 16 scheduleThursday, March 28MatchupTimeTV(1) Gonzaga 72, (4) Florida State 587:09 p.m. ETCBS(3) Purdue 99, (2) Tennessee 947:29 p.m. ETTBS(3) Texas Tech 63, (2) Michigan 449:39 p.m. ETCBS(1) Virginia 53, (12) Oregon 499:59 p.m. ETTBSFriday, March 29MatchupTimeTV(2) Michigan State 80, (3) LSU 637:09 p.m. ETCBS(5) Auburn 97, (1) UNC 807:15 p.m. ETTBS(1) Duke 75, (4) Virginia Tech 739:39 p.m. ETCBS(2) Kentucky 62, (3) Houston 589:59 p.m. ETTBSMarch Madness Elite Eight scheduleSaturday, March 30MatchupTimeTV(3) Texas Tech 75, (1) Gonzaga 696:09 p.m. ETTBS(1) Virginia 80, (3) Purdue 758:49 p.m. ETTBSSunday, March 31MatchupTimeTV(5) Auburn 77, (2) Kentucky 712:20 pm. ETCBS(2) Michigan State 68, (1) Duke 675:05 p.m. ETCBSWhen does Match Madness 2019 end?March Madness will conclude on April 8 with the national championship game in Minneapolis. From there, it will be roughly seven months before college basketball starts back up again.Printable 2019 NCAA Tournament bracketYou can get an updated, printable NCAA Tournament bracket here to fill out before the tournament begins. Sporting News will continue to update the bracket as games are played.March Madness features from Sporting News”40 Minutes of Hell” to Hog Heaven: Nolan Richardson’s 1993-94 Arkansas team will go down as one of the most fun SEC title-winning teams of all time. It was something he built, one minute at a time.A barrier-breaking title: The 1961-62 Cincinnati Bearcats made history when they started four black players in their NCAA title game win over Ohio State. We remember the importance of that groundbreaking win.An Oral History of Steph Curry’s 2008 Breakout: In 2008, a little-known, baby-faced guard from Davidson completely took over the NCAA Tournament.Upset City: Reliving the wildest opening venue in NCAA Tournament history.The Fagan Jinx: They’re not just upset “alerts” when Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan is in attendance. Recapping the many improbable upsets Fagan has been on hand to witness. More than a timeout: The 1993 NCAA Tournament is more than Chris Webber’s ill-fated timeout in the national championship game against UNC. Danny and the Miracles: Recalling Kansas’ improbable 1988 title run.Chalmers’ shot still resonates: Mario Chalmers never gets tired talking about his 3-pointer against Memphis in 2008. The 2019 NCAA Tournament was not kind to underdogs in its first two rounds. No. 12 Oregon was the only double-digit seed to advance to the Sweet 16, and its status as a power conference school diminishes its Cinderella appeal.But don’t confuse the lack of upsets so far with a lack of competition: 1-seed Duke almost lost to UCF on Sunday, needing a defensive stop as time expired to advance, while 2-seed Tennessee required overtime to beat Iowa in the Round of 32.