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Red Bull wants Renault improvements

Red Bull have urged partner Renault to push through improvements it has found on its engine in testing.
 
Team principal Christian Horner admitted Renault's failure to close the gap in engine performance with Mercedes and Ferrari "tests our patience".
 
Horner believes it would take "two or three months" to incorporate the progress onto the engine.
Britain's Tour de France leader Chris Froome says the pressure is on his rivals ahead of the first mountain stage on Tuesday.
 
The 2013 champion leads American Tejay van Garderen by 12 seconds after nine stages.
 
Froome, 30, has also built leads over two-time winner Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali.

Fowler wins Scottish Open

Rickie Fowler's late surge edged out fellow American Matt Kuchar and Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin as he won the Scottish Open at Gullane.
 
A delightful wedge to within 2ft of the 18th hole set him up for a third birdie in the last four holes to finish on 12 under par, one clear of Kuchar, who shot 68, and Jacquelin.
 
Scotland's Marc Warren carded a 64 and had led in the clubhouse on 10 under.

McEnroe sees Djokovic domination

Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic will win "four or five more Grand Slams" in the next two years, according to former world number one John McEnroe.
 
Djokovic, 28, beat Roger Federer on Sunday to retain his title, his third at SW19 and his ninth Major in total.
 
McEnroe said that Djokovic is just coming into his prime and it is pretty hard not to think that he is getting stronger and stronger.

Starc battles for Ashes fitness

Mitchell Starc is winning his battle to be fit for the second Ashes Test at Lord's, says Australia captain Michael Clarke.
 
Starc took pain-killing injections for an ankle injury during last week's first-Test in Cardiff.
 
The 25-year-old took seven wickets and batted for an hour in the fourth innings of the 169-run loss to England.

A brilliant innings of 65 from Brad Hodge and a maiden T20 half century from Assad Fudadin set up a thumping victory for the Guyana Amazon Warriors over the Appleton Estate Jamaica Tallawahs in the Hero Caribbean Premier League. Having been set 180 to win the Tallawahs needed yet another big performance from their captain, Chris Gayle, but when he departed early the home side crumbled to 95 all out, losing by 84 runs. Three wickets in four balls from the Amazon Warriors' Ronsford Beaton ended the game in emphatic fashion.

Having lost the toss and been put into bat, the Amazon Warriors struggled at first. In a move that is very familiar it was Daniel Vettori who once again combined with Krishmar Santokie with the new ball and, has so often been the case, the two men kept it very tight. At the end of the third over the Amazon Warriors had only managed nine runs, and their innings did not really get going until the fifth over. It was then that Lendl Simmons took 14 off an Andre Russell over to get the rate up to a run a ball.

By the end of the Powerplay the Amazon Warriors had reached 39-0 and had a platform from which to build a winning total. Simmons was going along at a decent rate, but his opening partner was struggling. Assad Fudadin found it hard to rotate the strike. The Amazon Warriors had not lost a wicket by the halfway stage, but they only had 71 runs on the board.

When Simmons departed to the first ball of the 11th over for 36 (32), caught by Rusty Theron off Andre Russell’s bowling, Fudadin kicked on. He made 20 runs in nine balls immediately after Simmons departed to bring up his first ever fifty in T20 cricket.

The Tallawahs had a chance to dismiss Fudadin for 52 but Jerome Taylor shelled the simplest of catches running in from long off. Narsingh Deonarine was the unlucky bowler. Fortunately for the Tallawahs, the drop was not too expensive, Fudadin departing in the next over for 54 off 43 balls when he was caught in the deep off Santokie.

After Fudadin’s dismissal Brad Hodge did what he has been doing so often for the last decade in this format of the game. The veteran Australian blasted 65 off 30 balls, an innings that allowed the Amazon Warriors to post 179-3 as the man, second on the all-time T20 run scoring list, proved his worth.

This would be a tough ask for the Tallawahs who have struggled to perform when Chris Gayle has failed, fortunately for them failures have been rare of late. Gayle is the only batsman with more runs than Hodge, and he has been vital for Jamaican success this season. He has made four scores of over fifty and each of those have resulted in a Tallawahs win.

Gayle wasn’t the first to depart, Chadwick Walton fell for a duck in the second over, but he did fall early. Gayle made just 11 runs before he was well caught by Ronsford Beaton off Sunil Narine’s first over.

Once the Tallawahs’ captain had gone there was another procession of wickets. Nkrumah Bonner was dismissed to a slog off Veerasammy Permaul and Chris Lynn went in the next over when he was caught at third man for 16 (14) off Marchant de Lange. That left the Tallawahs 37-4 at the end of the Powerplay.

It became 54-5 when Jermaine Blackwood was superbly caught on the point boundary by Lendl Simmons for nine runs. Blackwood departed in the 10th over and by then the chase of the Tallawahs getting anywhere close to the target was already remote, but Andre Russell isn’t the kind of player to give up without a fight.

He was doing his best to rescue the match when he was bowled by South African paceman David Wiese who was playing in his first match of this year’s tournament to leave the Tallawahs reeling at 93-6. Russell’s 28 from 14 balls was the highest score for the Tallawahs as the remaining wickets fell for just two runs.

This win lifts the Amazon Warriors off the foot of the table, although it is important to remember that the Guyanese side have as many as three games in hand and that all of their remaining fixtures will be at home. For the Tallawahs, they are still well placed to qualify for the latter stages of the tournament but if they hope to get close to winning the event they will need to find consistency. 

National Senior Women’s team head coach Ross Russell credited his players for their gritty showing against Argentina as they came from behind on two occasions to earn a 2-2 draw in their opening Pan American Games encounter in Toronto on Saturday.

Goals by Mariah Shade in the 59th minute and late second half substitute Maylee Attin-Johnson secured the deserved point for T&T. Marianna Larroquette had earlier put the South Americans ahead on 52 minutes before Shade stepped up to convert for T&T.

After missing a couple decent chances, T&T then found themselves trailing when Belen Potassa slotted home from close range following a left side delivery

Forward Kennya Cordner had a couple very good opportunities to add to T&T’s tally in the second half but luck was not on her side.

Colombia edged T&T on possession 51 to 49 percent.

Russell said he was pleased with the draw.

“The team took a little long to settle in. The Argentines settled before us but once we did that, we started to look good and play our game,” Russell told TTFA Media.

“The strategy going into the game was to be careful at first and once settle in, we would play our game which is more attacking through the wings. The Argentines were a bit slow on the wings and they were not heading the game as properly,” he added.

Overall, Russell was satisfied and he is now anticipating an even better showing when T&T faces Colombia on Tuesday.

“The result is a good one because I thought we did well to come back twice to get a share of the points. I think we can do a lot better in the upcoming games. Once we settle down and play our style, I believe we will be a force to be reckoned with in this group,” Russell added.

Trinidad and Tobago: 1.Kimika Forbes, 3.Mariah Shade (15.Lauryn Hutchinson 80’),   4.Rhea Belgrave, 2.Ayanna Russell (captain), 5.Arin King, 8.Patrice Superville; 16.Brianna Ryce, 11.Janine Francois (10.Tasha St Louis 63’), 14.Karyn Forbes (9.Maylee Attin-Johnson 72’); 12.Ahkeela Mollon, 19.Kennya Cordner.
Subs not used -: 21.Shalette Alexander (GK), 6.Khadidra Debesette, 7.Dernelle Mascall, 13.Shenelle Henry

Hart: We proved ‘em wrong

“Everyone wrote this team off back at home,” Those were the post match comments made by Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart after his team got past Cuba 2-0 on Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium to secure its place in the quarter finals with a game in hand.

The victory left the “Soca Warriors” atop Group C with a maximum six points, two points ahead of Mexico which could only muster a 0-0 draw with Guatemala in the second game of the double header at the indoor stadium which was filled to near capacity with some 63,000 fans in attendance.

The progress to the quarter finals was also the first time T&T reached the knockout stage with a game to spare in the group phase.

 

Hart stressed the importance of T&T advancing out of the group stage.

“I think it was important for us to qualify. No one gave us any chance back home … to even win a game. That’s what they were saying,” Hart said in the post match press conference.

“It’s important for the people, for the young players back at home, it’s important for our football. I cannot tell you how important it is for us to get to the quarter final. And I am very happy for these young players because they believed in me. I showed faith in them and they were rewarded tonight,” Hart added.

Hart, according to CONCACAF also became the second coach after Bruce Arena to qualify a team four times to the knockout phase. Arena guided the US while Hart did it twice with Canada and now T&T.

T&T started confidently and controlled the pace of the game from early on. Hart brought defender Mekeil Williams, Lester Peltier and Andre Boucaud into his starting team, allowing Khaleem Hyland, first game scorer Cordell Cato and Aubrey David to sit this one out at the start.

Similar to the 3-1 win over Guatemala, it didn’t take too long for T&T to draw first blood and it was Sheldon Bateau again who spurred Hart’s men on. A long ball into the box from Williams (M) was well met by Peltier but his effort was denied by Diosvelis Guerra and the ball fell into the path of Bateau who rammed home the rebound to push T&T ahead in the 16th minute. It was the second goal in as many games for Bateau and he became the third player to score in successive games for T&T at the Gold Cup, following Arnold Dwarika in 2000 and Jerren Nixon in 1998.

Cuba,  with 16 players available, had their good moments and didn’t look intent on lying down.  Williams failed to clean up an Arial Martinez free kick and
Radanfah Abu Bakr had to avert danger.


Just as Cuba appeared to be easing into stride, T&T doubled their advantage when a long throw from the right by Daneil Cyrus was not dealt with by the Cuban defence and Boucaud half volleyed with his right foot past a hapless Cuban custodian on 42 minutes.

T&T were comfortable at 2-0 but lost Williams who went down with a hamstring injury after advancing to make a stop and had to be replaced by Marvin Phillip.

The Cubans kept busy and looked capable of making a game out of it but T&T were stead and solid. There was nothing that would deny them on the evening. Jones was his usual busy self, giving a lot of effort and was unlucky with a couple goal attempts.  Joevin Jones enjoyed another polished showing and while Ataulla Guerra is yet to find proper footing, he will be looking to pick up momentum.

Midfielder Kevan George was also strong in the midfield while the backline looked rock solid and didn’t allow the opposition much looks at goal.

T&T will be without Boucaud for the Mexico game on two yellow cards.

If T&T tops Group C after their encounter with Mexico on Wednesday in Charlotte, for the “quarters” they could end up facing either Haiti, Honduras or El Salvador in New Jersey on July 19th. A second place finish in the group could pit them against El Salvador or Costa Rica.

Trinidad and Tobago 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK)  replaced by 1.Marvin Phillip  44’); 5.Daneil Cyrus, 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 17.Mekeil Williams, 14.Andre Boucaud, 19.Kevan George, 3.Joevin Jones, 11.Ataulla Guerra (20.Keron Cummings, 67’), 9.Kenwyne Jones, 23.Lester Peltier (13.Cordell Cato, 90’).

Unused substitutes: 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 2.Aubrey David, 7.Jonathan Glenn, 18.Yohance Marshall,8.Khaleem Hyland, 10.Willis Plaza, 12.Kadeem Corbin, 15.Dwane James, 16.Rundell Winchester

Coach: Stephen Hart

Cuba  21.Diosvelis Guerra (GK), 2.Andy Vaquero, 15.Adrian Diz Pe, 6.Yaisnier Napoles, 5.Jorge Luis Clavelo; 8.Alberto Gomez (17.Liban Dairon Perez, 68’); 3.Yenier Marquez (captain), 9.Maikel Reyes, 18.Daniel Luis (16.Hanier Dranguet ,79’); 22.Alain Cervantes (7.Dario Suarez,61’), 10.Ariel Martinez.

Unused substitutes: 1.Sandy Sanchez (GK), 14.Aricheel Hernandez, 4.Angel Horta, 13.Jorge Luis Corrales, 19.Yasmany Lopez, 23.Felix Guerra, 20.Armando Coroneaux.

 

Basso pulls out of Tour de France

Italian rider Ivan Basso has withdrawn from the Tour de France after revealing he has testicular cancer.
 
Basso was set to be one of Alberto Contador's key lieutenants in the mountains over the next two weeks.
 
He caught his groin in a crash on stage five and the cancer was discovered in a check-up on the race's first rest day.

Faldo favors Spieth to win Open

Jordan Spieth's "golfing IQ" makes him a leading contender for the Open Championship at St Andrews, according to Sir Nick Faldo.
 
Spieth, 21, won the John Deere Classic in the US instead of practising links golf at the Scottish Open this weekend.
 
Ex-European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley believes Spieth's chances of winning a third major of 2015 could be hindered by his preparation.
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