SOUTHAMPTON, England, (CMC) – England’s Barbadian fast-bowling sensation, Jofra Archer, has already set the ICC World Cup alight with his fearsome pace but West Indies coach Floyd Reifer said Monday he held no terrors for the Caribbean side as they prepared to face the tournament hosts in the next fixture on Friday.A last minute call-up to the England side after playing just three One-Day Internationals, Archer topped speeds of 95 miles per hour in the 108-run victory over Bangladesh in Cardiff last Saturday and he picked up three wickets to move his tally in three matches to six.In fact, he was recorded as bowling the fastest-ever opening spell by an England bowler in an ODI after averaging nearly 91 mph on a helpful wicket.Reifer, though, said West Indies were not rattled by the prospect of facing Archer.“To be honest, we knew Jofra for a long time. He is from Barbados, where we are from. We knew him from the Under-15, Under-17, Under-19 [level] so he is not new to us,” Reifer told media here.“Yes, he’s bowling quickly, but there’s nothing that we are not accustomed to. We are looking forward to the challenge so we will see how it goes on Friday.”The 24-year-old Archer could have easily represented West Indies but after playing a handful of matches for the Windies Under-19s and then being snubbed for the 2014 Youth World Cup, he turned his attention to representing England.He was born and raised in Barbados but always held a British passport through his father who is a UK citizen.Archer initially faced a wait up until 2022 to turn out for England but saw his dreams fast-tracked earlier this year when the England and Wales Cricket Board reduced the eligibility criteria from seven years to three.He debuted last month against Ireland and was subsequently fast-tracked into the England side.Describing Archer as a “tremendous talent”, Reifer said his development had not been surprising as he had been always blessed with pace.“I knew him from the Under-17, Under-19 days. I actually played club cricket against him as a young guy,” Reifer explained.“So Jofra is a tremendous talent, we all know that. Like I said, we are looking forward to the game on Friday.”He added: “He obviously had the pace. He had a few injuries as a young guy but I’m guessing though he’s fully over those injuries and he is bowling very well for England.”Archer, in partnership with fellow speedster Mark Wood, has added a new dimension to England’s pace attack, making the hosts a feared side.And with West Indies fortunes having fluctuated over the past two decades, there is no doubt Archer would have been an asset to the regional side.But Reifer reiterated that the issue of Archer’s allegiance was no longer up for discussion.“He made his choice,” the former West Indies captain smiled.
The Premier County are one of only two teams that have managed to take something from an away trip in the opening two rounds of fixtures.A draw against Limerick and a home victory over Clare mean Tipp are second in the table ahead of the match in Mullingar.Manager Liam Kearns is expecting ‘a huge battle’ against the Lake County.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Parker scored 24 points, Ginobili added 20 with three 3-pointers and Boris Diaw, starting in place of Duncan, hit a key 3-pointer with 1:39 left as the Spurs moved to 2-0. Kawhi Leonard added 15 points and 11 rebounds.Pau Gasol scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds for the Lakers but was the only starter in double figures. Nash started at guard after sitting out Wednesday’s loss at Golden State but scored only five points on 1-for-8 shooting.Jodie Meeks had 14 points and Wesley Johnson 12 for the Lakers (1-2). Xavier Henry played 22 minutes despite taking a hard foul while being fouled. He had a gash on his forehead that required nine stitches.Bryant reflected on the duels with Duncan before the game.“Tim and I obviously have a history and we have a long history of playing against each other and playing for our respective organizations,” Bryant said. “I’m sure it was weird for him that we faced each other in the playoffs without me being out there. It’ll be weird for me to play against the Spurs and not see him out there.”Bryant, of course, has established himself as the ultimate steely competitor, and even if Duncan’s stoic demeanor might not betray it, he might be on the same level as Bryant in that regard.“He’s just as competitive,” Bryant said. “There’s just different ways of showing it and demonstrating it. He seems to be, at least when the cameras are around, pretty quiet in his demeanor. But I know what a competitor he is. I’ve seen it. He has an edge to him.”The Bryant-Duncan duel is a rare one, that of two players who have spent their entire career with the same franchise. Bryant has helped the Lakers capture five championships and Duncan has been on four title-winning teams.“They’re special people,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “It comes from within and their competitiveness and mental toughness and they’re willing to be consistent leaders and competitors night after night.“A lot of people have good nights, but people like those guys understand it’s their responsibility to do it night after night.”Bryant has not been able to imprint his will on this season’s team, but the Spurs — to the dismay of the rest of the league — continue to churn out wins with their defense and execution.That wasn’t lost on D’Antoni.“They’re good anyway,” he said. “They play. Obviously, Boris Diaw will come in and he’s a great player. You know what they do, it’s that they do it really well and it’s tough to stop.”In his own way, Popovich said the same thing.“Same boring stuff,” he said. “I don’t even have to be here. If they go out there, they either win or they lose. I’m being serious. Nothing changes.” Playing without their future Hall of Famer, the Spurs relied on the usual suspects, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, to score a 91-85 victory at Staples Center. “We let this one get away from us,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I thought this was one we could get, especially without Duncan. This was set up for us, we didn’t do it.”D’Antoni still is searching for the right rotation. The Lakers bench outscored their starters, 45-40, and starting guards Steve Nash and Steve Blake combined to make only 3 of 20 shots.“Still searching for the right combinations in there and we’ve got to get that settled — yesterday,” D’Antoni said. “I’ve got to get it done in the sense we can’t get too far behind. We’ve got to get a set group and go with it. We’ll get there as quick as we can.”Friday, remarkably, was the first time the teams had met without one or the other’s top star being on the floor since Nov. 22, 1996. Duncan was still at Wake Forest, and Bryant was in his rookie season trying to convince Coach Del Harris he deserved playing time. With the history between the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, Friday night’s renewal of the rivalry was hardly a backdrop for anything special.What seemed to have a larger impact was for two of the main combatants who couldn’t participate.Kobe Bryant, of course, is still healing from his Achilles’ tendon surgery. Tim Duncan was ruled out out of the game with a chest contusion after being hurt in the Spurs’ opener against Memphis on Wednesday.The Spurs, of course, swept the Lakers out of the playoffs last season just after Bryant was injured.