Well played Shiv!

first_img STEADY BATTING He scored 30 Test centuries in his international career. Statistically, his highest test score, 203, also tells a tale of steady batting. For him to score 11,867 runs without a triple century or any totals over 250 is remarkable. The corresponding measure is that he passed the 50 run mark 66 times in his career. You can’t avoid thinking that this former West Indies captain, who has a Test average of 51.37 runs, would have found 86 runs had he been selected more in these last few years. Besides that, his experience might have aided young debutant captain Jason Holder as the tall Barbadian seeks to find his feet in a challenging arena. That’s all moot now. At 41, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has taken the step all sportsmen face at some point. Perhaps, when the tales of West Indies cricket are told, the storytellers and coaches will pass on the lessons of batsmanship to be learnt from the Headley, Three Ws, Sobers, Greenidge and Haynes, Viv, Lara and Gayle. Hopefully, those tales will include a chapter on Chanderpaul as well. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980. When Shivnarine Chanderpaul announced his retirement from international cricket recently, it just confirmed what everyone already knew – he would never play cricket for the West Indies again. The selectors had forced his hand by making it clear that they wouldn’t pick the little man again. It’s a pity because ‘Shiv’ has been obliged to walk away from the Test arena just 86 runs short of the all-time Test record held by Brian Lara. The position is that ‘Shiv’ couldn’t be picked just to chase a personal milestone. Underlying that position, one supposes, is a belief that he was long past his best. For those who treasure statistics, Shiv ends his Test career so near and yet so far. As a batsman who has scored almost 12,000 Test runs and nearly 9,000 runs in One Day Internationals, he surely would have gotten past the record had selection not been denied to him. In an era when fans of West Indian cricket have little to cheer about, Shiv’s approach to the record would have given them something to talk about. Interestingly, it is Lara who has said Shiv’s departure from the realm of international cricket has not been well handled. Shiv’s steady and productive presence in the maroon cap may yet be celebrated with pomp and ceremony, but so far, it has dropped as loudly as a feather floating down to a surface covered in carpet. The little Guyanese wasn’t perfect for all situations. Safe to a fault, there were times when the team needed him to press on and to accelerate his rate of scoring. That’s one thing he seems unable, or some say, unwilling to do. Of all the statistics his career heralded, his 49 not outs is probably the one that will bear the most analysis. To say he valued his wicket greatly is an understatement.last_img read more

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Leicester celebrations delayed in 1-1 draw at ‘theatre of dreams’

first_imgMANCHESTER (AP): Leicester missed its first opportunity to clinch the Premier League title, drawing 1-1 at Manchester United yesterday to move within two points of the most unlikely championship in English football in a generation. Second-place Tottenham, which are eight points behind Leicester, must beat Chelsea away today to keep alive the title race. Leicester fought back at Old Trafford after going behind to Anthony Martial’s eighth-minute goal, with captain Wes Morgan heading in a free kick to equalise in the 17th. Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater was sent off in the 86th for a second yellow card. A win would have sealed the title for Leicester, a modest team from central England that narrowly escaped relegation last season and entered bankruptcy protection only seven years ago while in the third tier. Leicester’s remaining games are against Everton at home next weekend and Chelsea away on the final day of the season, but it might not go that far. Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri was flying to his native Italy later Sunday to visit his 96-year-old mother. He will return today, during the Chelsea-Spurs match. United’s failure to win kept the team fifth and dented its ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League. But this game was all about Leicester, and whether Ranieri’s team a 5,000-1 long-shot for the title with British bookmakers before the season could achieve the seemingly impossible feat that would rank among the biggest underdog stories in sports.last_img read more

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