Stokes says his success more than just ‘instinct’

first_imgManchester , United Kingdom (AFP) — Ben Stokes said he was now more than just a purely instinctive cricketer after the all-rounder’s latest superb century left England strongly-placed in the second Test against the West Indies.Stokes top-scored with 176 in England’s first innings 469-9 declared, before the West Indies reached 32-1 at the close of yesterday’s second day at Old Trafford.This was the second-highest of Stokes’s 10 Test hundreds, behind his blistering 258 against South Africa at Cape Town in 2016.But, more significantly, it was also his fourth Test century since the start of 2019, during which time the left-hander has averaged over 52 — the sign of a world-class batsman.As was the case with his stunning 135 not out during a remarkable one-wicket win in the third Ashes Test against Australia at Headingley last year, Stokes had the discipline to play himself in against accurate bowling before picking the right moment to up the tempo.He found a fine ally yesterday in Dom Sibley, the opener’s 120 his first Test century in England.But with Sibley batting sedately — his hundred took the best part of eight hours — there was a danger of England getting bogged down in a match they need to win to level the three-Test series at 1-1.Stokes, however, ensured that did not happen.Having gone to a hundred in, by his standards, a restrained 255 balls, Stokes needed a mere 46 more for the third fifty of his innings as he punished a new ball being deployed by a tiring West Indies pace attack.It was a sublime mixture of both skill and match awareness, the latest Stokes has displayed since being acquitted of an affray charge in 2018 after an incident outside a nightclub that saw him miss an Ashes tour and threatened to end his England career completely.Stokes, who last week deputised as captain for Joe Root after England’s regular skipper missed a four-wicket loss to the West Indies following the birth of his second child, was once more proving himself to be a leader even if he was now back among the ranks.Understand my game“Numbers, figures…I don’t really care,” said Stokes, who shared a fourth-wicket stand of 260 with Sibley that rescued England from a top-order collapse.“The main number for me is how many wins,” he said.“I was more buzzing that I faced 300 balls than I was when I got to my hundred, that’s something I never thought I’d be capable of doing.”The 29-year-old Stokes, now in his 65th Test, added: “Being an instinctive player is great but there’s time in the past where I’ve let how I’m playing at the time affect me, thinking I can play some big shots and I’d be alright.“I feel at an age and an experience level where I really understand my game pretty much all the time and I try not to get carried away.”Meanwhile Stokes also demonstrated a degree of empathy for the plight of Jofra Archer.The England fast bowler was dramatically ruled out of this match after it emerged he had broken the biosecure regulations governing this behind closed doors series by making an unauthorised trip home to Brighton following the end of the first Test.England had wanted to play the express quick in Manchester and his lapse left many within the hosts’ camp feeling frustrated.Archer is currently self-isolating in his hotel room at Old Trafford but Stokes said: “We really need to be there to support Jofra right now.“The worst thing we could do right now as a team is just leave him and see him in five or six days time.”He added: “It’s all good being there for people when things are going well and smoothly but what really comes through is how you operate with someone when they need you the most.”last_img read more

Syracuse men’s soccer has passion for fruit snacks

first_img Published on October 3, 2016 at 11:53 pm Contact Matthew: | @MatthewGut21 Jukka Masalin is Syracuse’s fruit snacks culprit. Nestled somewhere in the associate head coach’s office lie a stash of hidden packets. They are beloved, weigh only a few ounces and fit easily into pockets.Yet they are off limits to players. Only on special occasions, namely road trips, does Masalin grant players their favorite treat. Syracuse loves fruit snacks. Coaches rely on the treats to get them through the afternoon drag. Players eat them between class, during road trips and before games. The Orange (8-1-1, 2-1-1 Atlantic Coast) will once again devour packages on its two-hour bus ride east to Albany, New York for Tuesday’s matchup against the Great Danes at 7 p.m. “On away trips, that’s always a fan favorite,” said senior midfielder Oyvind Alseth. “When a new pack is open, you have to be near the front of the line if you’re hoping to get some of that because they go quickly. A lot of my teammates are very, very fond of the fruit snacks.”For years, Masalin has trekked to local Wegmans stores, BJ’s Wholesale Club in East Syracuse and Costco Wholesale in Camillus to replenish his supply. He usually buys them in bulk because “these guys eat like horses,” he said. “I have to feed them all the time. That’s the problem.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange goes through boxes of them. The team is “always” munching on fruit snacks — sometimes instead of studying. Manley Field House’s Grab N’ Go, a cafe for athletes, offers a variety of snacks, but there are no fruit snacks there. Players must either buy their own or sneak into Masalin’s office.“We’re not supposed to know where they are,” forward Sergio Camargo said. “Even though I’m a transfer, I’m a senior and closer to the other seniors, so we know the inside and outs. Every once in awhile I go in there and steal some.”Since the packages are light, players bring bags on their carry-ons at the airport, passing through security just fine.The snacks are not for everyone. Camargo is a fan, but notes he’s “more of a fruit and nut kind of guy,” so he limits his fruit snack consumption. Sophomore goalkeeper Hendrik Hilpert abstains altogether. “I have to watch my weight,” Hilpert said. “The other players can have a little more fun with that stuff.”They go through several boxes every couple of weeks and hoard them in their rooms. Senior forward Chris Nanco, who already has four goals, always has a few packets in his backpack because he never knows when he might need to nibble. Even his head coach has taken part.“I’ve indulged like my 9-year-old daughter,” Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre said. “There’s a little bit of sugar in there, so it’s not ideal. But I can indulge.”They have 11 grams of sugar per mini package. Fruit snacks were originally intended for backpackers because they are a lightweight, convenient, high-energy food, according to Welch’s website. They also can enhance soccer players’ energy levels, said Jane Burrell Uzcategui, an instructor of nutrition in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.The snacks, which contain 80 calories and 20 grams of carbohydrates, usually are a wise choice for players, she said. “Soccer is the kind of sport where having a carbohydrate-rich diet helps athletes restore and play at higher intensity,” Uzcategui said. “They’re a good choice for a little pick-me-up. But if they’re not playing the whole game, they don’t need them. It’s for the ones playing all of the game, the ones needing more calories.”Their effect is like that of Gatorade, Uzcategui said. The snacks work especially well for athletes who grow anxious before games and have difficulty eating. During games, Uzcategui emphasized athletes should strive for 30-50 grams of carbs every hour. Three packets an hour will suffice, but Uzcategui said nothing should replace water consumption. One of the snack’s notable pitfalls is its stickiness. It’s “not good” for sugar to sit on teeth, Uzcategui said, as high consumption can lead to cavities. But the snacks are convenient and easy to digest — enough of a draw for SU. “Look, we’ve got a volunteer assistant and a graduate assistant,” McIntyre said. “These guys don’t eat much, so we use fruit snacks to get them through the day.“It may not be a guilty pleasure, but it is a pleasure we enjoy.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more