Chelsea are bidding to consolidate their place in the top four and a Champions League qualifying spot by winning their game in-hand over Tottenham. Benitez said: “I haven’t wasted any second thinking about how many (points) we need. It’s just the next three points. I’m just thinking about the next game. I don’t waste time when you have so many games. You cannot be doing numbers all the time. It depends on the other teams.” Press Association Spurs and Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge on May 8 in what could effectively be a Champions League play-off. But Benitez, who takes Chelsea to his former club Liverpool in another key game on Sunday, anticipates the race to the top four will continue until the final day of the campaign. He said: “Hopefully we can be there. I don’t know who will be with us. The league will go until the end of the season. Hopefully I am wrong and we will be qualified before (then), but I think it will be until the end of the season.” Experience is key at this stage of the season, and Benitez added: “The head makes the difference. At the end of the season it’s more important to be strong mentally and approach every game with the belief you can win.” Chelsea have players with the requisite experience. Frank Lampard and captain John Terry are expected to return at Craven Cottage, having been unused substitutes in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City. Midfielder Lampard could be in the final months of his Chelsea career, with his contract expiring and the prospects of an extension uncertain, and is three short of overtaking Bobby Tambling as the club’s record goalscorer. “The main thing is the team,” said Benitez of Lampard, who last scored against West Ham. “I would like to see Frank breaking the record, for sure. (But) if I pick him it’s because I think that he’s a good player. I’m sure he can score goals. Hopefully he can score more than two and then he will break the record.” Rafael Benitez normally likes statistics, but the Chelsea interim boss has had no time for numbers ahead of tonight’s west London derby at Fulham where three Barclays Premier League points is all that matters.
By Frederick HalleyDEFENDING champions Guyana Softball Cricket Association(GFSCA) made it two in a row with a crushing nine-wicket victory over archrivals Regal All Stars Masters when the seventh edition of the Guyana Softball Cup climaxed at the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) ground last evening.Set a moderate 102 for victory after restricting Regal for 101 for nine in their allotted 20 overs, GFSCA rushed to their target in 12.3 overs with opener Yunis Usuf unbeaten with an attractive 61, decorated with six fours and two sixes. Regal’s lone wicket was that of Ravi Lutchman who was bowled for five in the fourth over.Thereafter, it was the Usuf show as he singlehandedly took his team to victory and the coveted $600,000 first prize. Usuf shared an unbeaten stand of 76 with veteran Ramesh Narine (12) as the GFSCA players and supporters celebrated yet another victory over Regal after also defeating them in New York earlier this year.Earlier, Regal innings started disastrously after they were asked to take first strike, losing the wickets of the in-form Mahase Chunilall ((0), bowled by Clyde Canterbury and then Mahendra Hardyal (0), run out at the non-striker’s end without facing a delivery.Things got even worse when David Harper and skipper Mahendra Arjune ended up in the same crease as the former became the second run out victim with just four runs on the board in the second over.Arjune and Eon Abel (18) tried desperately to repair the innings, adding 45 for the fourth wicket before Abel departed. Thereafter, wickets fell at regular intervals as GFSCA kept a tight rein on the proceedings.Arjune eventually went, stumped for a top score of 30, the ball richocheting off the wicketkeeper’s foot unto the stumps. Raymond Harper (15) and Eric Thomas (11) had starts but failed to build on them as Regal were restricted to 101 for 9, a total that proved inadequate at the end.The game was marred by an injury to Regals’ David Harper, who was trying to retrieve a ball from the boundary and injured his shoulder and had to be taken to the hospital for treatment.Karibee girls started the day’s action by winning from Trophy Stall Angels by 12 runs, while Blairmont made it a double for Berbice by inflicting a crushing 88-run win over Georgetown Cricket Club in the Under-13 final, the first of its kind since the commencement of the tournament seven years ago.