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Sunday, July 09, 2017

Sport Sunday: India's Kohli, Tour Cramps, CONCACAF Cup Soccer

India continues to travel the world, with their "one off" only Twenty 20 International match this afternoon in the West Indies.  They will meet the West Indies squad at the cricket ground in Kingston, Jamaica for what promises to be an exciting match.  Last year, the last time the two met under these conditions, they met in Florida, for a barnburner game which ended with a one point difference, 245-244.  T20I is the West Indies best format.  Over their last seven matches, which appears to be the lifetime of their head to head competition in this format, the West Indies leads India 4-2. 

The game begins in the morning, West Indies time, so that it will be broadcast in prime time in India.  The West Indies presents a fresh slate for today's match, with only four players returning from last year.  India returns with their whole team for today's match, hopefully the jet lag is not too much for them.  Virat Kohli, well known to readers of this space, is slated to serve at India team captain.  Today's meeing should prove to be an awesome competition.

Tour de France: French rider Lilian Calmejane defeats cramp to win Stage 8.  Stage 9 today.  Lilian Calmejane fought off a bout of cramp to claim a dramatic solo win in the eighth stage of the Tour de France on Saturday, as the overall favorites stayed quiet on the eve of a punishing day in the Jura mountains.  The 24-year-old Frenchman, in only his second year as a professional, dropped his breakaway companions in the last climb of the day and despite cramping up in the closing stages, held off Dutchman Robert Gesink for a second Grand Tour stage win.  Another Frenchman, Guillaume Martin, took third place.

Britain's Chris Froome, the race leader, whose bike went off the road in a descent on Saturday, predicts a greater challenge today for the cyclists, "I expect the Tour de France GC to be blown wide open on stage 9" he said.  The stage will be a punishing foray through the Jura mountains with three lung-busting climbs before a dangerous descent to Chambery. Today's Tour stage promises great visuals and exciting cycling.

 

In the United States, Soccer action continues today, in the inaugural weekend of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. This is the 14th edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the biennial international men's football championship of the North, Central American and Caribbean region.  The tournament is being played between now and July 26th, and is hosted this year by the United States of America.  12 teams are competing in this year's competition.  Each tourney, three berths are given to North American,  and four each to Central America and the Caribbean, with the remaining spot given to a playoff between qualifying teams from Central America and the Caribbean. 



This year, not surprisingly, North America's three spots were given to Mexico, defending champions, and to  the US and Canada.  Honduras, Panama, El Salvador and Costa Rica take Central America's spots, with Nicaragua, winners of the playoff, joining them.  Winners of the Caribbean's berths were Curacao, Jamaica, French Guiana and Martinique (these last two are not FIFA members).  Curacao is the former Netherlands Antilles.   Today's action takes place at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, first to meet in the double header will be Curacao vs. Jamaica, and then Mexico vs. El Salvador.   

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