CRICKET: ICC Twenty20 World Cup NAGPUR, India (AP) – West Indies captain Darren Sammy will be confidently aiming for a semi-final spot at the World Twenty20 when the 2012 champions take on South Africa in a Group 1 match today (9 a.m. Jamaica time). West Indies have recorded convincing victories against England and Sri Lanka on contrasting pitches in Mumbai and Bangalore and Sammy believes his side can maintain its momentum. Victory would assure West Indies of a place in the semi-finals, even before their fourth and last group game against Afghanistan on Sunday at the same venue. “We have six steps to the cup, we’ve taken two, tomorrow is about taking one more step toward our goal and that step is South Africa,” he said. “Hopefully we could entertain like we’ve been doing since the inception of T20 cricket and at the end of the day we’ll be celebrating a place in the semi-finals.” Mystery surrounds how the wicket will behave as it has been covered for the last two days under baking sun in Nagpur. If the wicket suits spinners like it did when New Zealand shocked hosts India in a low-scoring Group 2 opening match, Sammy has Samuel Badree and Sulieman Benn to pose challenges for the strong South Africa side. West Indies didn’t feel the absence of the destructive Chris Gayle against Sri Lanka after Andre Fletcher stepped up and made a rapid unbeaten 84 off 64 balls. Gayle, who scored a 47-ball century against England, couldn’t bat at Bangalore because of a hamstring injury he sustained while fielding, but he has regained fitness for today’s game. And Sammy hinted Fletcher could get the nod ahead of Johnson Charles as Gayle’s opening partner. “It’s a good headache to have whether we let Fletcher or Charles open the batting with Chris,” he said. “The good thing is Fletcher has played really well … we have a fair idea who will open tomorrow.” Despite the absence of their two key Twenty20 players Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine, West Indies twice successfully chased down the targets with ease. So much is the dominance of West Indies’ regular bowlers that Sammy and even Gayle are yet to bowl in the tournament. “That’s the beauty of our team,” Sammy said. “It’s not about egos and stuff like that, it’s about me as a captain doing what’s necessary at the time on the field for the best interest of the team.” South Africa lost to England before beating Afghanistan and are in a must-win situation as another defeat could put them in danger of making an early exit from the tournament. The Proteas scored over 200 runs against England and Afghanistan, but their bowlers went for plenty — especially in the first six overs of batting powerplay in both games at Mumbai. Joe Root’s epic 83-run knock helped England chase down World T20’s highest ever total of 230-8 while Afghanistan’s bulky opener Mohammad Shahzad whacked a rapid 41 to give South Africa an early scare. “As a team we’ve been possibly going at about 60-70 percent now for a while and I’m hoping that we’ll step up the gear when it comes to crunch time for us in the tournament,” said South Africa captain Faf du Plessis. “There’s a few mistakes we made, but I do think that bowling will be a little bit different in these conditions.” A hamstring injury to all-rounder JP Duminy during the Afghanistan match has also made South Africa consider bringing on Aaron Phangiso to supplement the legspin of Imran Tahir.
2018 estimates consideration…concerns raised over drainage in East Coast Demerara villagesFollowing the closure of sugar estates, concerns were raised by the Opposition about the treatment of drainage and irrigation in several villages on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), as the Committee of Supply considered the 2018 estimates for Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica). Some $166.2 million is budgeted for drainage and irrigation works in the region.The allocation was questioned by Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, who noted that her concern is whether the drainage structures would be maintained andCommunities Minister Ronald Bulkanpreserved by the region.However, Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan indicated that the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) would pick up the responsibility for all Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) drains following the closure of the estates.On the same issue of drainage, the region’s 2017 spending was also questioned since they have expended some $180 million for 2017, thus far, which is $20 million over their allocation. In response, Bulkan informed that the $20 million was expended on emergency works at Cane Grove, Beterverwagting and Mon Repos, ECD.The allocation of $688 million for current expenses under the region’s health programme came under intense scrutiny when Opposition MP, Dr Frank Anthony, questioned the functionality of a Regional Health Office (RHO) within the region. He was told that there is an acting RHO who is being paid directly by the Public Health Ministry. Additionally, Dr Anthony attempted to find out the number of doctors within the region along with their emoluments but was informed by MinisterOpposition MP, Dr Frank AnthonyBulkan that the region only pays one doctor, while the others are being covered by the Public Health Ministry and that the list of doctors would be laid over to the National Assembly.A common trend in the region’s estimates saw an increase of millions of dollars for fuel and this caught the attention of the Opposition MPs who queried the drastic increase.However, the Committee of Supply was informed that the drastic increase is as a result of an agreement with the Guyana Oil Company (Guyoil) coming to an end in September of 2017. He further explained that in 2014, the region paid a large sum of money to Guyoil for fuel and the previous estimates took that into account.It was also noted that there was a decrease in the allocation for the provision of security services and when questioned, Bulkan explained that the decrease was as a result of the services provided. He further related that the services provided were less than budgeted for since they were expecting 24-hour armed security but the contracted firm was unable to do so.Under the capital expenditure provision, some $10 million was budgeted for the rehabilitation of the Regional Democratic Council’s (RDC) Administrative Building at Triumph, ECD. When questioned, the Minister indicated that there are several leakages in the roof and the allocation would cover the repair. Region Four has been allocated almost $1 billion more in 2018 than in 2017. The region has received $6.22 billion for current and capital expenditures in Budget 2018, of which $211.2 million is for regional administration and finance; $396.8 million for agriculture; $228.5 million for public infrastructure; $4.1 billion for educational delivery; and $1.31 billion for health services.
QPR are ready to rival Liverpool for the signing of Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, according to The People.Defoe is tipped to leave White Hart Lane this summer and Liverpool were believed to be interested before the Anfield club’s recent sacking of Kenny Dalglish.Hughes apparently wants a new-look forward line.It is claimed Rangers boss Mark Hughes wants to form a new-look attack by capturing Defoe and Andy Johnson.Out-of-contract Fulham forward Johnson is said to be close to moving to Loftus Road, with Hughes keen to offload Jay Bothroyd and DJ Campbell.The Daily Star on Sunday say Joey Barton could join West Ham, whose manager Sam Allardyce signed him for Newcastle.Despite recent reports that it could cost QPR around £11m to sack Barton, the Sunday Express suggest he is unlikely to be entitled to any compensation if he is fired and that his most likely destination would be Qatar.The Sun on Sunday say the R’s are keen to sign Fabio on loan from Manchester United after the defender’s move to Benfica hit a snag.The People also say Chelsea chiefs will meet with Pep Guardiola’s brother on Monday and believe they can tempt the former Barcelona boss to take over at Stamford Bridge.It is claimed that the club will tell Guardiola he would be under no pressure to win trophies during his first two seasons in charge.Roberto Di Matteo is a front runner for the Aston Villa manager’s job, the Sunday Mirror say.Abramovich is tipped to overlook Di Matteo.There has been speculation that the Italian, who has a house in the Midlands following his spell as West Brom boss, is interested in taking over at Villa because of the uncertainty surrounding his future at Chelsea.It is claimed that there is now a strong possibility that he will succeed the sacked Alex McLeish.The Sunday Mirror also suggest that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is determined to appoint Guardiola even if he has to wait a year, and that Ryan Bertrand is in line for a new contract.Meanwhile, Fulham are to increase their bid for Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes to £5m, according to The People.It was claimed last week that Fulham had an offer of £3.5m for the Terriers star rejected.The People also say the Whites have clinched the signings of highly-rated Portuguese teenagers Filipie Cristo and Dinei from Setubal.And a number of newspapers report comments made by USA boss Jurgen Klinsmann, who suggests American star Clint Dempsey should leave Craven Cottage.Klinsmann is quoted as saying: “If you play consistently at the highest level then offers will come in. I think everybody is aware of that. His goal is the right goal, – we have often discussed it.“If he has the opportunity to go to a Champions League team, that’s the crème de la crème of club soccer then you have to do that, with all the respect obviously to Fulham, as he often mentions.“But you want to play in the biggest club competition in the world and that’s the European Champions League and hopefully something will happen over the next couple of weeks.“If it doesn’t happen then he has to keep pounding away and knocking at the door.”Does Barton deserve to be sacked by QPR? Click here to voteShould Di Matteo be given the Chelsea job? Click here to voteFollow West London Sport on Twitter Find us on FacebookFollow West London Sport on Twitter Find us on Facebook