CMC – Reigning Twenty20 world champions, West Indies, have moved up to ninth in the International Cricket Council’s rankings, gaining one place after languishing in 10th for several months.Though there has been a cessation of all cricket globally due to the global novel coronavirus pandemic, the ICC revised the rankings to eliminate results from the 2016-17 period.As a result, West Indies gained three points from the ICC update to move to 229 points while Afghanistan dropped five points to slip to 228 points, and down to 10th in the rankings.After a run of poor results, West Indies found their best form last March, crushing Sri Lanka 2-0 in a two-match series in Pallekele.However, the series win was only the Caribbean side’s second in 10 outings, a run of form which had led to their steady slide down the rankings.In fact, since their capture of the T20 World Cup in India four years ago, West Indies have won just four of 15 series, excluding one-off matches.For their part, Afghanistan have won their last six bilateral series, including a 2-1 verdict in a three-match series against West Indies in India last November.Australia, meanwhile, have climbed to the top of the T20 standings for the first time since they were introduced in 2011, with England moving into second spot and India assuming third position.Pakistan, who spent the last 27 months at the top, have slumped to fourth.The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be played in Australia from October 18 to November 15 but could be scrapped as the world remains in lockdown because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
For the first time since 1958, the Wisconsin football team begins the season with two shutout wins, as the Badgers trounced Tennessee Tech University 48-0 Saturday afternoon.Coming out of a 45-0 win over Massachusetts last week, head coach Gary Andersen saw the dominance on the field continue, finding offensive ease and defensive perfection en route to his second win at Wisconsin.“I thought Tennessee Tech gave us a bunch of different looks and different things we needed to be prepared for and we handled it … and bottom line is we handled it both times,” Andersen said. “It’s hard to shut people out. I am proud of the kids, they should be excited, because again that is hard to do.”While the repeated near-perfect defensive performance by Wisconsin — allowing TTU just six first downs and 113 total offensive yards — is the highlight of UW’s season thus far, it was the execution of the two-minute offense to close out the first half that spoke to the potential of this Badger team.An illegal block by Wisconsin on a punt return left the offense starting on its own six yard line with 1:49 left before halftime. Then quarterback Joel Stave took over.The redshirt sophomore showed leadership and control as he took his team down the gridiron, completing 10 of 10 passes and finding redshirt senior tight end Brian Wozniak in the middle of the end zone to put Wisconsin up a commanding 28-0 at the half.“Offensively the highlight that comes to me, and we’ve got to see more of it, is the two-minute drill. That was huge from us,” Andersen said. “We backed up, got out from being backed up, number one, and number two, we then continued down the field and executed at a high level.”Stave continued the streak in the third period to complete 13 straight passes and finished the day 24-29 for 219 yards and three touchdowns.“You want to throw completions, you want to give your guys to make plays and we are doing a great job of protecting, I had plenty of time,” Stave said. “If you can get the ball in the hands of the wide receivers and tight ends they can make great plays, and running backs for that matter.”Stave’s control of the field throughout the game began with the Badgers setting the tone early, forcing the Golden Eagles to fumble the football on the first play of their initial offensive drive.Following the fumble recovery by redshirt senior safety Dezmen Southward, Wisconsin opened up offensive play with a 22-yard scoring drive. Stave found Derek Straus wide open in the end zone to give the fullback his first career touchdown and put UW on the board 7-0.A series of back-and-forth three-and-out drives to follow was broken by sophomore Melvin Gordon exploding on a 65-yard rush to the six yard line late in the first quarter, setting up Stave to connected with his go-to wide receiver, redshirt senior Jared Abbrederis, for a 14-0 Badger lead.The Golden Eagles responded with a 12-yard completion to earn their first first-down conversion of the game, but dual-threat quarterback Darian Stone continued to struggle against the Badgers’ new 3-4 defense.Stave and the UW offense appeared in control heading into the second quarter after a big third-down completion to redshirt senior tight end Jacob Pedersen for 27 yards.However TTU’s young defense — including four players who made their first career starts last week in the Golden Eagles 63-7 win over Cumberland University — halted the Badger progress as junior safety Austin Tallant picked off Stave at the TTU 28 yard line to hand the quarterback his second interception of the season.“Any young player, you are going to live with ups and downs and it’s magnified when it’s the quarterback,” Andersen said. “Joel is coming around. I would say there were times when leadership appeared better today than it has been throughout camp and last game and I was proud to see that.”The momentum didn’t shy away from the Badgers, as Gordon danced his way down the end line on a 37-yard run to put UW up three touchdowns with 3:44 remaining in the half.Stone responded with a quick 14-yard completion, but two big tackles by redshirt sophomore Darius Hillary stopped the Golden Eagles in their tracks, handing the ball back to Stave in the final two minutes of the half.The second half proved to be an increasingly familiar Wisconsin tale of running backs trading off touchdown-runs. First up was a two-yard run by senior James White, putting Wisconsin up 34-0 after the right goal post rejected kicker Kyle French’s extra-point attempt.It then became time for freshman running back Corey Clement to dominate. The new star added 14 points to the UW scoreboard in the fourth quarter, including a 75-yard touchdown run to give UW a final score of 48-0.For the second game in a row and just the fourth time in program history, three Badger running backs finished with over 100 total yards. Clement lead the pack with 149 yards on 13 carriers to average 11. 5 yards-per-rush, and Gordon and White came in just behind with 140 yards and 109 yards on the game, respectively.“They said it was my turn and I was like all-right I am not going to let you guys down. It’s time to go to work. I believe we have a very competitive group and that’s what drives all of us to be more competitive,” Clement said.While the highly anticipated TTU spread offense failed to put a score on the board, punter Chad Zinchini repeatedly punished the Badgers with poor field positioning. The senior punter averaged 50 yards on nine punts, including a 70 yarder that darted out of play at the UW one-yard line.After two solid performances to begin their 2013-2014 campaign, the Badgers will face their first true test of the season at Arizona State next Saturday, and they aren’t without areas to improve on.The Badgers failed to convert on a late field goal attempt with Jack Russel’s 31-yard attempt colliding, again, with the right goal post, this time on the opposite side of the field.Wisconsin also took several penalties that remained on the mind of Andersen following the game.“Penalties we’ve got to take a long hard look at … those were good plays and we’ve got to try and stop that. The hold on the sidelines and the push in the back on the punt return,” Andersen said. “Fairly clean overall, we’ve got plenty to work on trust me.”