Holder hails Gabriel’s ‘massive heart’

first_imgSOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom (AFP ) — West Indies Captain Jason Holder praised the “massive, massive heart” of Shannon Gabriel following the tourists’ four-wicket win in the first Test against England at Southampton on Sunday.Fast bowler Gabriel was named man –of- the- match after taking combined figures of nine wickets for 137 runs as international cricket returned from lockdown.The 32-year-old Trinidad quick was originally only named as a travelling reserve as he recovered from ankle surgery.But he proved his fitness in two intra-squad warm-up matches and then showed his class as West Indies went 1-0 up in this three-match series.Gabriel now boasts a fine career record of 142 wickets in 46 Tests at an average of under 30, with Holder telling reporters after stumps: “What Shannon has done in this game is nothing surprising.“Shannon is just one of those guys who keeps doing it. He has a massive, massive heart and he’s been through a lot.“He wants success so badly. His body hasn’t held up the way he would like but to see him back out there fit and well and bowling fast for the West Indies is always a pleasing sight.“He deserves every bit of success he’s had in this game. I’m really, really happy for Shannon; I know what he’s been through.“We kept in contact while he was doing rehab. At some stages he was very frustrated by how things were going but he stuck it through,” added all-rounder Holder, who himself took a Test-best 6-42 in England’s lowly, first-innings 204.“We all know when Shannon is fit and healthy, he is a handful and he proved it in this game.”For all Gabriel’s heroics, the West Indies still needed to bat well after being set a target of 200 to win on yesterday’s final day.They got there largely thanks to Jermaine Blackwood’s 95.Blackwood might not have played had fellow batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer decided to tour rather than opting out of a campaign taking place against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.Holder said of Blackwood: “He had an outstanding, first class competition — his case to get back in the team was pretty strong.“He’s not a slouch at this level either. He has done well for us and I hope he can kick on.”England stand-in skipper Ben Stokes said he had no regrets over either leaving out veteran paceman Stuart Broad or deciding to bat first in overcast, bowler-friendly conditions last Wednesday.Broad, England’s second-most successful Test bowler of all time, revealed how “frustrated, gutted and angry” he felt at being left out of a home Test for the first time in eight years, during a mid-match interview.“We made a decision based around thinking pace was going to stand us a better place in the long game. Stuart is a fantastic bowler and he understands the reasons why,” said Stokes.“If I was to regret that, I don’t think that sends the right message to the other guys I picked.“Looking at the interview he gave I thought it was absolutely brilliant, to see the desire and passion that he showed.”Stokes said he was looking forward to handing the reins over to regular Captain Joe Root for thist week’s second Test, after the star batsman missed this match following the birth of his second child.“He’s one of the best players in the world so he is a big miss when he doesn’t play — and obviously next [this] week I don’t need to make any of the decisions so good luck, Joe.”last_img read more

Syracuse displaying youth, inconsistency early in the season

first_img Published on September 12, 2018 at 11:37 pm Contact Anthony: amdabbun@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley stood on the touchline and snapped her fingers, repeatedly.“Pressure! Pressure!” she yelled.She plead for the Orange to increase its intensity in a game that had been decided against Vermont. Syracuse won, 4-1, but Bradley admitted that her team had a long way to go.“We’re slow right now and this is youth,” Bradley said after opening day. “And we’ve got to get pressure on the ball.”No. 12 Syracuse (3-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) features nine freshmen and eight sophomores on the 2018 roster, leaving just five upperclassmen — Bradley’s fewest number since 2008. This season, six of Syracuse’s eight goals, and all five assists, are from underclassmen. But with youth comes inconsistencies, Bradley said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSophomore goalkeeper Borg van der Velde has stepped up as a key communicator from the back. Van der Velde and senior Roos Weers work as a tandem to read the game and sense danger before it arises. Van der Velde can be heard calling out to players on the pitch. She helps organize the defense and fill in the gaps, pushing them forward when possible.“It’s helping direct people to read things and move to respond around them,” Bradley said.Weers is the only upperclassmen to register points. She’s scored two goals from penalty corners this season, but both were set up by freshmen Tess Queen and Kira Wimbert.When Wimbert is on the field, she commands the role of inserting the ball on penalty corners — the entry pass into the field of play. SU uses multiple different set plays to generate open shot attempts from corners, but almost always, Queen is the main stopper. She’s won the job for now, she said.Wimbert, a Germany native, stressed fitness as the biggest obstacle in her transition, a challenge she’s embracing and actually enjoys. Queen played at Middletown High School, a small school in Smithsburg, Maryland, where she said the competition level wasn’t great. Her club team, Washington Wolves, best prepared her for the leap to SU. There, she learned from her coach, Joann Engstrom, a former U.S. National team player.Queen said no amount of preparation could prepare her for the ACC, which has five top-10 teams in the NFHCA rankings.Laura Angle | Digital Design EditorOn opening day against Vermont, SU’s new talent was on full display. SU scored four goals, all scored or assisted by freshmen, including a backhand finish by Laura Graziosi and a rebound tap-in from Wimbert.That afternoon, Bradley went into the locker room at halftime wanting more from Syracuse. In the second half, Wimbert connected with sophomore and leading goal-scorer Chiara Gutsche. Wimbert came into space with a diagonal run, drawing both defenders before pivoting and finding Gutsche. The pass appeared out of reach, but Gutsche dove and converted the chance. Watching that goal, it seemed as though the two had been playing together for years.“I wasn’t expecting to play that much to be honest,” Wimbert said after the first game. “I’ve had an up-and-down preseason.”Against Virginia and Connecticut, the two highest ranked opponents the Orange have faced this season, the youth showed in critical moments. The freshmen duo of Queen and Graziosi connected on a penalty corner routine to put SU ahead with 7:11 to play.Virginia found the tying goal less than a minute later. In double overtime, an odd-man attack allowed the Cavaliers to find the goal and hand Syracuse its first loss.“That can’t happen, period.” Weers said. “We just need the maturity there and we need to close it off.”Playing No. 1 UConn last Sunday, the margins between the teams proved thin. Twice, the Orange failed to box out in the penalty area, Bradley said. The Huskies scored both times. Freshman Sasha Bull’s errant entry pass was intercepted and turned into a goal seconds later. Bull is one of three freshmen to start every game, and she played every minute Sunday against UConn.SU is still too slow reading the game and understanding which spots to be in, Bradley said. The game against Connecticut gives Syracuse a model to build toward as the season progresses.“Connecticut is the gold standard, they’re number one,” Bradley said. “We’ve got more opportunities to get out there and mature and practice and get better.” Commentslast_img read more