first_imgROSEAU, Dominica (CMC): Kieran Powell said West Indies were keen to put in a really big effort to win the decisive third and final Test of the current series against Pakistan, starting tomorrow at Windsor Park here. The Windies are eager to prove that their stunning 107-run victory in the second Test which ended last Thursday at Kensington Oval in Barbados was no flash in the pan, as they aim to win their first Test series in four years and over a side ranked higher for the first time in eight years. “The guys are very happy about the performance in Barbados,” Powell told reporters on Sunday following a training session at the match venue. “The bowlers have been very consistent and they have been giving us an opportunity. Now it’s left for us – the batsmen – to put our hands up and put some good totals on the board, particularly in the first innings, so we can be far more competitive.” He added: “It does not happen often, so when West Indies are in town, we the fans should come out and support the team and encourage us to play some good, entertaining cricket. “It’s a Test match, so it would not be hurrah, hurrah. We expect it to be a long, hard graft over five days and we are hoping that we are the side that works harder and gets the positive result.” Powell has returned to the side for the series against the Pakistanis, starting with the preceding one-day internationals, following a three-year, self-imposed exile. Prior his walking away, he had been clearly identified as the other half of the solution to the opening batting problem that had plagued the side. Things have not quite worked according to plan. Though Powell had gotten starts he has failed to carry on and the problem at the top of the order has been compounded by a lack of success for the typically reliable Kraigg Brathwaite. “Returning to the side has not been that difficult,” he said. “If you take a shark out of the water and put it back in, it will swim – so I am swimming. “There are some areas in my batting that I have identified with the batting coach that we are working on. “The video data analyst has provided some footage and we have been examining it. I have also spoken to some people – some former players – so that I can try to rectify it for this match.”last_img read more


first_imgUSC made a splash on signing day, but even bigger news could be looming for the Trojans as Arkansas quarterback Mitch Mustain will visit in the next two weeks with the idea of transferring in the fall. Mustain, who started eight games for the Razorbacks, would be more than just a finishing touch on a recruiting class that was ranked No. 1 by ESPN and No. 2 by Rivals.com on Wednesday. He would probably end doubts about whether it really was the nation’s top recruiting class. “It looks as power-packed as any group we’ve had,” USC coach Pete Carroll said. “We’ve got all kinds of big guys, tough guys, power guys. We held our own. It’s a highly regarded class. “Of the 17 we signed, 14 can make an immediate impact.” If the Trojans lost some commitments in the past few weeks, they made up for it Wednesday morning, when Joe McKnight of River Ridge, La., the nation’s top-rated tailback, selected USC over Louisiana State. McKnight touched the ball 82times last season and scored 30 touchdowns. He averaged 15.5 yards per carry. Carroll compared him to Reggie Bush in his ability to catch passes out of the backfield or line up at wide receiver. “He’s a tremendous athlete,” Carroll said. “He can do everything, he’s incredibly versatile.” What’s more surprising is that McKnight chose USC even though running backs Marc Tyler of Oaks Christian and Broderick Green of Little Rock, Ark., also signed with the Trojans. Not to mention the fact Chauncey Washington, C.J.Gable, Emmanuel Moody, Allen Bradford, Stafon Johnson and Hershel Dennis are also currently on the roster. center_img The 10th tailback on the team, Michael Coleman, will move to fullback. And USC’s first commitment for 2008, D.J. Shoemate from Servite High, is also a tailback. “Each guy sees his uniqueness,” Carroll said of the new recruits. “Broderick saw we did not have a big, physical back. Marc thinks he can do a little bit of everything. Who plays is going to be determined by the competition.” Or maybe who transfers. Johnson is expected to make a decision at the end of the semester. As highly regarded as the class was by analysts, the Trojans actually lost out on two of their top targets, with wide receivers Ahmad Paige (Tennessee) and Deonte Thompson (Florida) going elsewhere. “You don’t ever get everyone you want,” Carroll said. Florida suddenly became a nuisance to USC, taking Thompson and getting offensive guard James Wilson to decommit, not to mention signing quarterback Tim Tebow last year. “We were butting heads with them a lot,” Carroll said of the Gators. USC also made one last run at cornerback Donovan Warren of Long Beach Poly on Wednesday, but Warren stuck with his original choice of Michigan. But the Trojans hurt the Wolverines by signing wide receiver Ronald Johnson, the No.8-ranked player in the nation by Rivals. Johnson will play the same spot as wide receiver Steve Smith, Carroll said. “He can make touchdowns from anywhere on the field,” Carroll said of Johnson. Another impact player is defensive end Everson Griffen, who runs a 4.5 40-yard dash and is talented enough to play tailback, according to Carroll, who said Griffen is the top prospect he recruited since arriving at USC. “Some people think he could play in the NFL now,” Carroll said. In a mild surprise, linebacker Jordan Campbell of Norco will be switched to fullback because of the Trojans’ lack of depth at that position. Linebacker Chris Galippo from Servite High of Anaheim is also considered a top-10 player, and Carroll credited him with being an unofficial recruiter. “He set the tempo and did a great job at the All-American Bowl keeping things together,” Carroll said. Carroll said nearly all the freshmen will play next season, a tradition he likes to enhance at USC. “We had 16 freshman play last season and three scored in the first game,” he said. That first game was against Arkansas, where Mustain entered in the second half and played well against the Trojans. Adding to the intrigue is that Mustain’s teammate, Arkansas freshman wide receiver Damian Williams, already enrolled at USC this semester. Williams will redshirt next season. “I know he’s going to be a factor to help other people play well (in practice),” Carroll said. Notes: Offensive guard Travis Draper will be a medical redshirt because of numerous injuries and not return to the team, which frees up another scholarship. … Fullback Brandon Hancock officially decided not to return to the team next season to protect his damaged knee. scott.wolf@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more