FEARS QUICKLY DASHED GROS ISLET, St Lucia: West Indies Women trounced Pakistan Women by six wickets in the final one-day international cricket match on Saturday night to clinch the four-match series 3-1 and join Australia at the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Championship. Chasing a modest 183 for victory at the Beausejour Cricket Stadium, the hosts cantered home in the 43rd over with their inspirational captain, Stafanie Taylor, stroking an attractive unbeaten 87 from 107 deliveries, to pick up the Player-of-the-Match award. The win was the Windies Women’s third on the trot after losing the opening game two Fridays ago and more importantly, saw them sweep the contests designated as ICC Championship games and grab the six vital points required to move to the top of the points table alongside the Aussies on 16 points. A qualifying tournament for the 2017 Women’s World Cup, the top four sides from the Championship will gain automatic qualification for the event scheduled for England. “We executed really well throughout the series. We recognised the importance of trying to dominate this game and again, we did that really well,” head coach Vasbert Drakes said. “Our objective was to move up to the number one spot and it was a great series to do that and certainly that was one of the biggest motivating factors.” Sent in, Pakistan Women were restricted to 182 for five off their 50 overs, thanks to superb bowling from pacer Shamilia Connell, who snared three for 32 from her 10 overs. Off-spinner Anisa Mohammed picked up two for 30, while Hayley Matthews strangled the visitors with her off-breaks in a 10-over spell that went for just 20 runs. Asmavia Iqbal top scored with 44 not out off 43 balls batting at number seven, while Bismah Maroof chipped in with 41, Javeria Khan, 25 and captain Sana Mir an unbeaten 24. In reply, West Indies lost Matthews without scoring with six runs on the board in the fourth over and were further set back when they also lost the other opener Kycia Knight for 19 at 32 for two in the ninth. However, any fears of a West Indies Women collapse were quickly dashed as Taylor took control in two telling partnerships. First, the right-hander put on 54 for the third wicket with Deandra Dottin, who struck 25 from 43 balls with a four and a six. When she departed in the 23rd over to a catch at the wicket off leg-spinner Bismah, Taylor found an ally in former captain Merissa Aguilleira, who stroked an important 37 off 62 deliveries with two fours. Taylor played with assurance, gathering 10 boundaries to dominate the innings and record her second straight unbeaten half-century of the tournament. Overall, she finished with 261 runs at an average of 130, to also cop the Player-of-the-Series award. The two teams will now turn their attention to the three-match Twenty20 series, which bowls off in Grenada on Thursday. – CMC
It’s got a Vietnam vet with a big heart and anger management problems, a small-town newspaper reporter, and a hippie radio station.Throw in some meth-fuelled wildlife crime and a few cruise ships and you have the makings of an adventure mystery set in Southeast Alaska.Dale Brandenburger is a former biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game who’s combined decades of journaling and a knack for storytelling into a new novel called Grizzly Trade.Download AudioAuthor Dale Brandenburger will read from his novel Grizzly Trade 5 PM Wed Sep 3 at Old Harbor Books in Sitka.To speak to Dale Brandenburger, first you’ve got to find him. For the past six weeks he’s been working on a research cruise for the Sitka Sound Science Center.‘Grizzly Trade’ is Brandenburger’s second novel, but the first to see print.We finally established a scratchy connection via satellite phone as the boat he’s working on, the Sitka-based Surveyor, motored out of Rodman Bay.“You know a lot of things you read about Alaska, it’s always man-versus-nature struggling. And I don’t really see people striving so much to survive, as thriving up here. I wanted to include Alaskans’ sense of humor and have some fun with the book. Hopefully, it’s a fun read.”And Grizzly Trade, despite it’s dime-novel cast of cops, reporters, petty criminals, and other ne’er do-wells, is a fun read. The protagonist is a Vietnam veteran named Red who grows frustrated when law enforcement is unable to stop the poaching of brown bears, whose paws and gall bladders are then trafficked on the Asian aphrodisiac market.Red’s decision to track the poachers leads him through a series of episodes — most of which are based on events that actually happened and many remember — like a cruise ship spill involving dry cleaning and photo chemicals.Brandenburger worked for ADF&G for 28 years, both in Juneau and in Sitka, and was a diligent journal-writer. He’s seen a lot. Maybe too much, according to his wife.“Two of the incidents in the book, she was like, No one would believe that! They were true incidents as well. And I had to cut them from the book, otherwise my credibility would have been shot, I think.”Although the character of Red is based on a friend of his in Ketchikan — a “big guy with a red beard and anger-management problems” — most everyone else is an amalgam of folks he has met over the course of his career. There is a newspaper reporter, however, from a town north of Sitka whom Brandenburger says may see a bit of himself. And that hippie radio station? That could be anywhere.Brandenburger set his story in the fictional town of Alkoot, rather than pin all this strangeness on a specific locale.“Yeah, it gives you a little more freedom than trying to write a bunch of facts about Alaska. And it makes for more of a page-turner, I think, for certain readers.”Brandenburger has written one previous unpublished novel, which he says was good experience for this book, plus changed his approach to writing. He’s decided to not be quite so serious, and to follow the lead of authors like…“Carl Hiaasen, who’s written a lot of satirical-type stuff about environmental issues in Florida. David James Duncan who wrote The Brothers K and The River Why. And I was a fan of John D. MacDonald, too — and author who hasn’t been around for a while but has written some great stuff.”Brandenburger says he has mined his journals of the last thirty years for material forGrizzly Trade. So much happens, readers may wonder if there’s anything left for the little town of Alkoot.Brandenburger says he’s already well into his next story.“It’s in the same town ten years later and they’re trying to put in a hydroelectric dam, and there’s also a reality TV show that comes to town. So that’s going to be fun as well. I’m having a good time writing it.”Hydroelectric dam and reality television? Now, that really could be anywhere.