GEELONG, Australia (CMC):Rain marred West Indies’ final match practice for the critical Melbourne Test, starting Boxing Day, when it allowed only 58 overs on the final day of their two-day tour match against a Victoria XI here yesterday.The tourists declared their first innings at their overnight 303 for eight, but hopes of giving their fast bowlers an extended work out were scuppered by the adverse weather.Victoria XI ended on 169 for three with Jake Hancock unbeaten on 80. Tom Donnell made 34 and captain Ian Holland, 29.There was time enough, however, for Devendra Bishoo to pick up two for 60, to be the Windies’ best bowler.West Indies started brightly when fast bowler Kemar Roach claimed Travis Dean for three to a catch by Jermaine Blackwood at point, fending off a short ball with the score on 13.STUBBORN PARTNERSHIPThe Caribbean side was then held up by two stubborn partnerships. Opener Hancock, without a first-class game to his name, then added 73 for the second wicket with Donnell and a further 46 for the third wicket with Holland.Hancock, who faced 173 balls and struck seven fours and three sixes, was missed at 22 when Jerome Taylor missed a catch at fine leg.West Indies clash with Australia in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in six days, hoping to atone for their miserable outing in the first Test at Hobart which they lost by an innings and 212 runs inside three days.SCOREBOARDWEST INDIES 1st Innings 303-8 decl.VICTORIA XI 1st InningsT Dean c Blackwood b Roach 3J Hancock not out 80T Donnell lbw b Bishoo 34*I Holland st Hope b Bishoo 29A Ayre not out 17Extras (lb3, w1, nb2) 6TOTAL (3 wkts, 58 overs) 169Did not bat: M Doric, S Grimwade, J Coleman, J Hart, +D Kight, J Koop, B ThomsonFall of wickets: 1-13, 2-86, 3-132.Bowling: Taylor 9-4-14-0, Roach 7-1-21-1, Holder 5-1-19-0 (w1, nb2), Brathwaite 8-1-35-0, Bishoo 18-3-60-2, Warrican 11-5-7-0.Result: Match drawn.Toss: Victoria XI.Umpires: S Brne, D Shepard
LEARNING EXPERIENCE “When you have two jockeys competing strongly, the fans get involved and that plays a big role in everything. You have to stay focused to be successful or you won’t make it. But he (Halledeen) will learn from this experience,” Ellis added. Ellis’ who surpassed 1,000 winners this year (now 1,033), is sixth on the all-time list for local riders. He, along with all-time leading jockey Winston ‘Fanna’ Griffiths, are the only riders still active locally who have won all five classics. However, he is disappointed that Caymanas Track Limited or the Jamaica Racing Commission failed to acknowledge his 1,000 winners milestone. “My career has been very good and I thank all supporters and fans who have been there throughout. No matter the criticism, they remained die-hard Shane Ellis fans and I love those people. Not that I do not love the people that criticise me, because when they criticise me it helps me to get better. “But what I was surprised about and very disappointed with was that I went past a 1,000 wins this year and they didn’t recognise it,” he commented. Ellis graduated as an apprentice jockey in 1996 with high expectations and it was no surprise when he won his first classic and first championship in 2000. The ‘Canterman’ has ridden 14 classic winners to date, including four 1000 Guineas with RAY OF HOPE 2000, LATONIA 2004, SAINT CECELIA 2009 and NIPHAL 2011. Two 2000 Guineas – ROYAL IMAGE 2008 and WILLIE GOLDSMITH 2013. Three Derby wins – AWESOME POWER 2001, TYPEWRITER 2012 and RELAMPAGO 2014. His Oaks wins came aboard LATONIA 2004, SAINT CECELIA 2009 and RAEVEN RANAE 2013) and he won the St Leger with TYPEWRITER 2012 and RELAMPAGO 2014. He has also had success in the Superstakes with PITTACUS 2003 and TYPEWRITER 2014. It may be a surprise to many that when Shane ‘Canterman’ Ellis topped this year’s jockeys’ championship with 83 wins, it was only the second title for the Caymanas Park favourite. The son of former three-time champion Winston Ellis, the ‘Canterman’ has a well-deserved reputation having won all of the major trophies at Caymanas Park in his two decades of riding. Ellis, who has had riding experience in Canada, and Trinidad and Tobago, says he has never really focused his attention on winning jockeys’ titles, just the big races and getting as many wins as possible each year. And at the start of the 2015 season, his focus was very much the same, until midway through the year when observers realised he was Robert Halledeen’s (second with 71 wins) main threat for the championship. “At the start of the season, I wasn’t even thinking about the championship. I was thinking about winning classics. But as time went by, I was always close to the leaders and people were saying that I cannot win the championship. So I had to prove a point to the fans who doubted Shane Ellis,” he told The Gleaner. But although he answered the critics, there are those who now say the two-time champion jockey cannot repeat the feat in 2016, and he is determined more than ever to make it two-in-a-row next year. “I was focused this year and next year, I will be even more focused. I can do it again,” he insisted. Dane Nelson (before he left for Canada), Omar Walker, and Halledeen all held the lead at various times. Ellis, however, took charge in the last four months of the year to hold off a late challenge from Halledeen.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP): A reborn Orange Crush might have sent Peyton Manning into retirement with a Super ending to his career. Von Miller and the impenetrable Denver defence harassed Panthers quarterback Cam Newton all game Sunday and the Broncos made enough big plays for a 24-10 victory, Manning’s 200th and perhaps his last before retirement. He wasn’t the star of Super Bowl 50 – game MVP Miller seemingly was everywhere on every Carolina play – but Manning really hasn’t been the headliner in this injury-shortened season. “This game was much like this season has been, testing our toughness, our resiliency, our unselfishness,” he said. “It’s only fitting that it turned out that way.” Emulating his Broncos boss, John Elway, the 39-year-old Manning can ride off with the Lombardi Trophy after leading Denver to their third NFL title, first since 1999 – when Elway was the quarterback. “I’ll take some time to reflect,” Manning said when asked if this is the end. “I got a couple of priorities first. I’m going to go kiss my wife and my kids. … I’m going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight.” Denver’s suffocating defence kept Newton jittery all day. Despite wearing gold shoes before the golden Super Bowl, Newton couldn’t finish off a dynamic season in which he was the league’s MVP. Miller twice stripped him, once for a touchdown, the second time setting up a clinching TD. Denver’s top-ranked defence, the one that ran roughshod over Tom Brady in the AFC championship, simply wouldn’t let Newton get comfortable. “There was a certain point where it was like guys on the sideline were saying, ‘Cam is very stressed,'” Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby said. “For two weeks straight, that’s all we heard was Cam this, Cam that, dab this, dab that. They were dabbing in their team photos. It was very disrespectful. We wanted to come out and prove that we’re the best.” Newton was sacked six times – receiver Ted Ginn Jr went down once on an aborted trick play – and if Miller wasn’t torturing him, DeMarcus Ware was. Ware had two of the seven sacks, equalling the most by one team in the Super Bowl. Carolina led the league with 500 points, but were held to their fewest of the year and Denver set an ignominious mark with 194 yards gained, the fewest for a Super Bowl winner. So what, The Broncos (15-4) are champions and Manning is the first quarterback to win Super Bowls with two franchises; Indianapolis in 2007 was the other. Gary Kubiak is the first to win a Super Bowl as player and coach for the same team. Manning finished 13 for 23 for 141 yards against a strong Carolina (17-2) defence that just couldn’t match Miller and company. “I feel very, very grateful,” Manning said. … “Obviously, it’s very special to cap it off with a Super Bowl championship.”