OXFORD’S rugby players began the season in fine form with an undefeated tour of the USA in September. The Blues defeated a New York Athletic Club side twice in two days before walloping the All-American Collegiate XV 44-0 at West Point Military Academy. The comprehensive nature of the victories in America bode well for Oxford as they look to win a Varsity match for the first time since 2004. After an initial 24-7 victory over NYAC on 16th September, the Blues really hit their straps the following day running out 43-7 winners against the US side. Jon Chance, Peter Clarke and Chris Haw all landed two tries each, with Tim Catling also grabbing a score.Captain Joe Roff’s side’s fine form continued five days later with a further seven tries scored in difficult conditions, ending the tour on a resounding high note. Upon returning home, Oxford’s fine early-season form continued with a resounding 48-14 victory over Japanese side Kanto Gaukin University. Left wing Euan Sadden produced a performance to remember, scoring a hat-trick of tries to help the Blues recover from going 7-0 down early on.With further tries from Tom Tombleson, Anthony Jackson and Chance, fly-half Craig McMahon slotted four conversions to ease Oxford home in their first game at Iffley Road this season. They next face Trinity College, Dublin, on Saturday at Iffley Road, kick-off 12.00 noon.
LUCKNOW, India, (CMC) – Shamarh Brooks struck a maiden Test hundred and Rahkeem Cornwall became the first West Indies spinner to claim a 10-wicket match haul on the subcontinent, as the Caribbean side dominated day two of the one-off Test against Afghanistan here Wednesday to put themselves on the verge of a comprehensive victory.On another bowlers day at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Stadium when 14 of 15 wickets fell to spinners, West Indies managed to secure an important 90-run lead, after being dismissed for 277 in their first innings.Brooks, unbeaten overnight on 19, faced 214 balls and counted 15 fours and a six to complete three figures in his third Test after making his debut last August against India in the Caribbean.Left-handed opener John Campbell, resuming from 30, made 55 – his maiden Test half-century in his sixth match at this level – while wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich chipped in with 42 in his first Test appearance in nine months following injury.Debutant left-arm spinner Amir Hamza picked up five for 74, leg-spinning captain Rashid Khan claimed three for 114 while Zahir Khan, another left-arm spinner, supported with two for 53.Cornwall then snatched three for 41 and fellow off-spinner Roston Chase, three for 10, as Afghanistan ended the day on the ropes on 109 for seven – a lead of only 19 runs ahead of Friday’s day three.First innings top-scorer Javed Ahmadi led again with a polished 62 as the hosts cashed in on the early overs of seam to coast to 53 without loss.Once Cornwall was introduced, however, Afghanistan declined quickly to lose seven wickets for 56 runs.Cornwall so far has match figures of 10 for 116 – the first 10-wicket match haul by a West Indies bowler in India in 44 years.Resuming the morning on 68 for two – still 119 runs adrift of their target – West Indies flourished nicely as Brooks and Campbell extended their third wicket stand to 82.Campbell struck three boundaries in the day’s third over from Amir Hamza – two audacious successive reverse sweeps and an orthodox sweep – as he raced to his fifty in the fifth over of the morning.All told, he stroked seven fours and a six off 75 deliveries before top-edging a sweep at Hamza for Ihsanullah to take an excellent catch running around to leg gully.Afghanistan struck again when Rashid Khan trapped Shimron Hetmyer lbw for 13 on the stroke of the drinks break and Chase followed 16 balls later for two, taken at short leg off Zahir Khan at 150 for five.Brooks and Dowrich then combined in a 74-run sixth wicket stand which took the Windies to lunch on 195 without further loss, and also frustrated the Afghans early in the second session.The right-handed Brooks played with fluency on either side of the wicket and raised his half-century in the second over after the day’s first drinks break. Unbeaten on 75 at lunch, he reached his hundred about half hour before tea, pinching a single forward of point off Hamza.He lost Dowrich, who faced 91 balls and struck six fours, lbw to Zahir approaching the first hour after lunch, and his departure triggered a slide which saw the last five wickets go down for just 53 runs.Brooks was ninth out, missing a heave at Hamza and having his stumps shattered.In reply, Ahmadi lashed seven fours and a six in a 75-ball knock as he put on 53 for the first wicket with Ibrahim Zadran (23), to give Afghanistan a solid start.But Cornwall, introduced in the ninth over, got the breakthrough 10 overs later when Ibrahim offered no shot and was plumb lbw.In Cornwall’s next over, Ihsanullah (1) was disastrously run out off the first ball and Rahmat Shah inside-edged a defensive stroke and was caught at short leg by Brooks without scoring.When Ashgar Afghan also fell without scoring in Cornwall’s next over, also caught close in by Brooks, the home side had lost four wickets for six runs in the space of 13 deliveries.Ahmadi and Nasir Janal (15) defied West Indies in a 37-run, fifth wicket partnership before Chase snatched three wickets in as many overs to spark another slump.AFGHANISTAN 1st Innings 187WEST INDIES 1st Innings(overnight 68 for two)K Brathwaite lbw b Amir 11J Campbell c Ihsanullah b Amir 55S Hope c Ihsanullah b Rashid 7S Brooks b Amir 111S Hetmyer lbw b Rashid 13R Chase c Ibrahim b Zahir 2+S Dowrich lbw b Zahir 42*J Holder st Afsar b Amir 11R Cornwall lbw b Rashid 5K Roach lbw b Amir 3J Warrican not out 4Extras (lb12, nb1) 13TOTAL (all out, 83.3) 277Fall of wickets: 1-27, 2-34, 3-116, 4-137, 5-150, 6-224, 7-243, 8-260, 9-270, 10-277.Bowling: Yamin Ahmadzai 10-3-24-0, Amir Hamza 28.3-4-74-5 (nb1), Rashid Khan 32-5-114-3, Zahir Khan 13-2-53-2.WEST INDIES 2nd InningsIbrahim Zadran lbw b Cornwall 23Javed Ahmadi c Cornwall b Chase 62Ihsanullah run out 1Rahmat Shah c Brooks b Cornwall 0Asghar Afghan c Brooks b Cornwall 0Nasir Jamal b Chase 15Amir Hamza c Cornwall b Chase 1+Afsar Zazai not out 2Extras (lb4, nb1) 5TOTAL (7 wkts, 36 overs) 109Fall of wickets: 1-53, 2-55, 3-55, 4-59, 5-96, 6-98, 7-109.Bowling: Roach 4-2-5-0, Holder 3-0-18-0, Warrican 12-3-31-0, Cornwall 14-3-41-3 (nb1), Chase 3-1-10-3.Position: Afghanistan lead by 19 runs with three wickets intact.
After a strong showing against Biola on Tuesday night, the Women of Troy officially kick off their season with a showdown against the Gonzaga Bulldogs (1-0) at the Galen Center today at 1 p.m.In control · Junior guard Briana Gilbreath will help lead USC against a Gonzaga team that went undefeated in conference play last season. – Courtney Sandlin | Daily Trojan “[Playing against Biola] was a good game for us considering what we’re trying to do,” USC coach Michael Cooper said. “We had our lulls, but we got it together and we were able to put them away.”The Women of Troy showed off a newly fortified and healthy lineup that saw five players hit double figures in the 93-66 win.One lingering issue from last season was missing during the exhibition game as the Women of Troy outrebounded Biola 41-26 as well.“I was pleased with our rebounding against a smaller team,” Cooper said. “I was happy with the effort we made since we’ve been working on that.”Two freshmen that are expected to make significant contributions this season started off their Trojan careers on a high note. Freshman forward Cassie Harberts scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds, while fellow freshman guard Len’Nique Brown scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds.Along with these two, the Women of Troy also received solid contributions from their returning core group of players.Senior center Kari LaPlante (20 points), sophomore forward Christina Marinacci (17 points), senior guard Jacki Gemelos (12 points) and junior guard Ashley Corral (six points, nine assists) continued their strong play from last season.Junior guard Briana Gilbreath came off the bench and saw limited action because of a lingering shoulder injury but is expected to be back in the starting lineup today.Defensively, the Women of Troy know they need to do a better job against the Bulldogs, who come into the Galen Center after a 115-51 beat down of Western Oregon University in their exhibition game last Saturday.Last season, the Bulldogs (29-5, 16-0) reeled off a perfect record in conference play on their way to the NCAA tournament, before falling in the regional semifinal game to Xavier.They return two of their four leading scorers from last year in guard Courtney Vandersloot and guard/forward Katelan Redmon and look poised to make another run at a West Coast Conference title.With these two returning, the Women of Troy know they will have their hands full.“Transition defense is big,” Corral said. “[Vandersloot] is one of the best point guards in the nation and we’ve got to get up on her early. And boxing out is always [key].”Despite a strong performance against Biola, the coaching staff believes there is room for improvement.“I was pleased with our performance in spots,” Cooper said. “I thought it was a good effort and a lot of people got to play, but there is still a long process to this.”