SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (CMC): Power hitter Johnson Charles has described the West Indies as an improving side, with less than a week before the start of the ICC T20 World Cup in India. Charles played a brilliant match-winning knock as West Indies beat Zimbabwe by 10 wickets to win their two-match T20 Series 2-0 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday night. The powerful opener smashed 92 not out off just 48 balls with six big sixes and 10 boundaries to be named Man-of-the-Match. “Tonight (Monday) I had a good batting pitch. The ball was coming on nice. Not much sideways movement. I just decided to stick to what I know. I am a power hitter so I did just that,” Charles explained. “We have moved from strength to strength. From the first game we have been improving in this game we have improved a lot more. We just look to improve as the games go by and hopefully we can go into the World Cup with everybody in form and we could win this World Cup,” he said. Windies motored to a victory target of 154 without loss after the Zimbaweans made 153-7 off 20 overs. The best bowler was seamer Carlos Brathwaite with 3-23, which helped to restrict the innings after a solid start. Charles’ opening partner, Andre Fletcher, made 56 not out off 35 balls with three sixes and five fours, on a good batting surface. “We are best friends and we come from the same team,” said Charles. “We always speak to each other at the wicket and keep complimenting each other. We just motivated each other to do the best that we can.” The St.Lucian cricketer was a member of the West Indies Cricket team which captured the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka four years ago. He was not named on the original squad, but was called up as a replacement for Darren Bravo, who pulled out citing the need to focus on developing his game in the longer format. “I just see it as me coming back for my place and that’s just how I see it,” said Charles. “With that said everything is left to the Almighty Father and that is what he saw as fit and that’s what happens. So I am just going to do what I have to do now that I am here.”
SHARJAH, UAE, CMC: West Indies halted their luckless run when they convincingly beat Pakistan by five wickets in the third and final Test here yesterday to record their first Test victory in 19 months and end an otherwise nightmarish tour on a celebratory note. The Caribbean side needed just over half-hour in the morning session on the final day to complete a successful chase of their modest target of 153, as opener Kraigg Brathwaite and wicketkeeper/ batsman Shane Dowrich stroked unbeaten half-centuries to end a run of eight successive losses on the tour stretching back to the Twenty20 and one-day series last month. West Indies had not won a Test since beating England in Bridgetown in May last year, and Thursday’s victory marked only their second in 17 matches and first on foreign soil in four years. Significantly, it was the visitors’ first away win over a higher-ranked side in almost 10 years and was also Jason Holder’s first success as captain since taking over the helm in August last year. “It is an extremely important [victory], especially after the Dubai Test match when many people thought we could have won the game. We personally felt we could have won the game, but we didn’t get across the line,” Holder told reporters afterwards. “To come here in this last Test match, putting ourselves in a position to win and actually getting across the line is a huge monkey off the back. It’s a great feeling and it just shows we have the ability to win Test matches. it’s just about stringing together a complete game.” CONFIDENT KNOCKS SCOREBOARD Resuming a tense day at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on 114 for five, still requiring a further 39 for victory, West Indies showed little signs of nerves as Man of the Match Brathwaite and Dowrich produced confident knocks to extend their unbroken sixth-wicket stand to 87 and erase any thoughts of a defeat. Brathwaite, unbeaten on 44 overnight, finished on 60 not out in an innings requiring 109 deliveries, 201 minutes and including six fours, while Dowrich, on 36 at the start, also marched his way to an enterprising unbeaten 60 off 87 balls, with seven fours and a six. Any early jitters were quickly dispelled when Brathwaite punched the first ball of the day from left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz to the cover boundary, and he brought up his 12th Test half-century four balls later with a couple to deep point, to follow up his unbeaten hundred in the first innings. Dowrich also showed his intent in the next over when he pulled leg-spinner Yasir Shah to the square boundary to move into the 40s, and the 25-year-old raised his fourth Test fifty in only his eighth game with a delightful cover drive off Wahab in the seventh over of the morning. In the next over, Dowrich smashed a short ball from seamer Mohammed Amir through square for four and raised victory for West Indies with a boundary to third man a few deliveries later. West Indies, however, had already surrendered the series following defeats in the first Test in Dubai and the second one in Abu Dhabi. And despite yesterday’s success, they have now gone two years without a Test series win. PAKISTAN 1st Innings 281 WEST INDIES 1st Innings 337 PAKISTAN 2nd Innings 208 WEST INDIES 2nd Innings (target: 153 runs) (overnight 114 for five) K. Brathwaite not out 60 +S Dowrich not out 60 Extras (lb2, nb1) 3 TOTAL (5 wkts, 43.5 overs) 114 Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-35, 3-57, 4-63, 5-67. Bowling: Mohammad Amir 9.5-0-43-0 (nb1), Wahab Riaz 12-0-46-2, Yasir Shah 15-4-40-3, Zulfiqar Babar 3-1-3-0, Mohammed Nawaz 4-0-20-0. Result: West Indies won by five wickets. Man-of-the-Match: Kraigg Brathwaite. Man-of-the-Series: Yasir Shah. Toss: Pakistan. Umpires: M Gough, P Reiffel; TV – R Illingworth. MORE CRICKET ON B3
Autumn Budget 2018: The government will support defined contribution (DC) pension funds to invest in growing UK organisations and start-ups through the British Business Bank, according to the Autumn Budget 2018 statement.The British Business Bank is the government’s UK-wide economic development bank aimed at making finance markets work more effectively for smaller employers. According to the latest Budget document, several of the largest DC pension providers in the UK have committed to work with the bank to explore options for pooled investment in patient, or long-term, capital.The providers include Aviva, HSBC, Legal and General, Nest, The People’s Pension and Tesco Pension Fund.“Defined contribution pension schemes have a vital role to play in long-term financing for UK growth and innovation,” said the Budget document.However, Kay Ingram, director of public policy at financial adviser LEBC, warned that this type of investment was unlikely to offer a suitable level of risk for the average pension saver.She said: “While encouraging start-up capital investment is a worthy aim of the government, it is unlikely to be a suitable investment risk, except for the wealthiest savers. The higher returns possible from this type of investment come with higher risk of losses and are usually only considered suitable for those with surplus assets and capacity to wait for the investment to deliver, without needing access to their funds.”Ingram added: “A more suitable proposal would be to offer these higher-risk investment opportunities to wealthier savers, who have funds in excess of the lifetime allowance for pension savings, [which is] £1,055,000 from next April.“They are more likely to have the capacity to bear the risk of loss. If they were offered forgiveness of the 55% tax charge on funds in excess of the lifetime allowance in return for investing in patient capital, we believe many of them would take this up.”The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is due to publish a discussion paper by the end of 2018 that will explore how effectively the UK’s existing fund regime enables investment in patient capital. This will accompany ongoing work by the treasury in exploring the feasibility of a new long-term asset fund.The FCA will also consult at the end of 2018 on updating the permitted links framework to allow unit-linked pension funds to invest in “an appropriate range” of patient capital assets.Lorna Blyth, head of investment solutions at Royal London, said: “Pensions investments are long term-savings but pension savers currently can’t access longer-term investments such as patient capital.“Any further help to allow pension savers to access patient capital and further diversify their pensions investments must be explored in the interests of maximising risk-adjusted returns for consumers. We welcome moves to consider the ability to hold these assets within a unit-linked pension fund.”The Budget also announced that the Department for Work and Pensions will consult in 2019 on the function of the pensions charge cap to ensure that it does not “unduly restrict” the use of performance fees within default pension schemes while maintaining member protections.