HOBART, Australia (CMC):Fast-bowling legend Sir Curtly Ambrose is seeking to fire up underdogs West Indies who face top-ranked Australia in the first of three Test matches from this evening (Caribbean time).Ambrose, the bowling consultant, is insisting that the West Indies have the manpower to challenge the home side in the three-match rubber following their humiliating 10-wicket loss to an inexperienced Cricket Australia X1.Australia defeated West Indies 2-0 in their last series played in the Caribbean earlier this year.”Even though we lost 2-0, there were moments or periods when we had them on the back foot and had their backs against the wall. And we never really finished them off,” recalled Ambrose.”So we believe we can compete, and not only compete, but we believe we can beat them, and that’s our focus: to beat Australia. Not just to compete but to win and, being the underdogs, sometimes it’s good to be that way.”The Caribbean side was able to avoid an innings defeat against the young Cricket Australia’s X1 on the strength of a stubborn partnership between Jason Holder and Kemar Roach.But their defeat has forced former players and commentators to question their confidence going into the opening Test at Hobart.However, the former fast bowler is insisting that given the expectation of the Australian public, the home side is the one under pressure to perform.”We have nothing to lose. As far as we are concerned, Australia is the one under pressure. They have to beat us because Australians expect them to steamroll us. So they are the ones under pressure, not us,” he said.”We’re here to do a job and we’re going to make a good job of it. We’re not going to worry about what has been said about us not being a good team or not going to compete and games being over in three days and all that kind of stuff.”Jason Holder’s men arrived in Australia not having won an overseas tour of note in 20 years and are ranked above only Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.Ambrose has described in-form batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner as the main threat in the Australian batting line-up, but contends that their middle order is vulnerable.”They are in some good form at the moment, and there are two good batsmen and, yes, they will be key. If we can get them out early for not too many runs, I still believe that the middle order of Australia is not that solid at the moment,” Ambrose pointed out.”I think Warner and Smith will be key, and once we get them out early, that could give us some leeway to really test them.”Ambrose has identified the bowling attack as the Windies’ strength and expressed confidence in Jerome Taylor’s ability to lead an attack capable of taking 20 Australian wickets.”Since I joined the team, it took me a little while to get them to buy into my concept because they are accustomed to certain things and, of course, it would not change overnight,” said Ambrose, who took up his consultancy role in February 2014.The first Test will be played at the Blundstone Arena, from Thursday to Monday. First ball is 10:30 a.m. (Wednesday 6:30 p.m. Jamaica time).
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zoom Cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey are on record pace for 2017 as the first six months of this year were 4.4 percent higher than the same period in 2015, when the earlier record was set.Between January and June this year, the port handled 3,229,675 TEUs, compared to 3,041,287 TEUs handled in 2016 and 3,093,789 TEUs seen in 2015.In June alone, the port handled 584,606 TEUs, marking its best June on record and the second highest monthly volume ever recorded in the port.The Port of New York and New Jersey said that the record volumes “have allowed the port to maintain its position as the busiest on the East Coast.”Cargo handled by ExpressRail, the port’s ship-to-rail system serving New York and New Jersey marine terminals, also continued to increase. During the first six months of 2017, ExpressRail handled 273,991 lifts, up 2.8 percent from the previous record in 2016, when 266,624 lifts were handled.Furthermore, this summer’s completion of navigational clearance on the USD 1.6 billion Bayonne Bridge project “was a major game changer for this port, and we believe will be a catalyst for continued port growth as the world’s biggest, modern, fuel efficient vessels can now call on our terminals,” Molly Campbell, Port Department Director, said.“Moving forward, we will continue to work with all our stakeholders to further enhance our ability to handle these record levels of cargo to maintain our designation as the East Coast’s premier port,” Campbell added.In addition to cargo containers, the port also reported a 7.7 percent increase in vehicles handled by auto processors serving the port – from 245,765 units handled in 2016 to 264,766 units handled in 2017. The increase is due in part to the Auto Incentive Program launched in 2014 to provide financial incentives to auto manufacturers who bring new or increased vehicle business to the port.