SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):All-rounder Dwayne Bravo extended his fine batting form, upstaging both West Indies teammates Chris Gayle and AndrÈ Russell, as he fired Melbourne Renegades to a handsome five-wicket win over Sydney Thunder yesterday.Chasing a challenging 174 at the Sydney Showground Stadium, Renegades swept to victory in the final over with Bravo hammering a stroke-filled 47 off 24 deliveries.He struck three fours and three sixes and put on 91 for the third wicket with captain Cameron White, who top-scored with 61 from 46 deliveries.Bravo, who also got a half-century at the weekend, looked en route to another when he moved into the 40s with two sixes off medium pacer Russell in the 18th over.However, he was deceived with the fourth ball, top-edging a slower delivery for Russell to snare the caught and bowled chance. Three balls later, Russell accounted for White to finish with two for 42 from his four overs.Gayle had earlier struck a breezy 28 off 20 deliveries as he put on 46 off 29 balls for the first wicket with Tom Cooper who got 25.He perished in the fifth over, caught at fine leg off seamer Clint McKay, looking for his sixth boundary of the innings.Opting to bat first, Thunder mustered 176 for five off their allotted 20 overs, with opener Usman Khawaja (62) and Shane Watson (62) both top-scoring.Khawaja helped add 61 for the first wicket with Jacques Kallis (13) and a further 57 for the second wicket with Watson.Russell, batting at number four, belted a four and a six in scoring 16 from nine balls, while Bravo picked up two for 26 from four overs of medium pace.
…ROs, ballot officers sworn inMembers of the Disciplined Services will be heading to the polls on February 21 ahead of the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections.The three ballot officers assigned to the various Disciplined Services with GECOM Chair Retired Justice Claudette Singh and CEO Keith LowenfieldAs customary during any elections, members of the disciplined services are required to cast their votes ahead of the polling day so that they are available for posting at the various polling stations and other strategic locations as required by law without disenfranchising them.Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield on Wednesday disclosed that “D-Day”, as it is referred to, will be held 10 days before the March 2 elections day, that is, February 21.Three ballot officers (BO) – one each for the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) – were sworn-in on Wednesday at GECOM’s head office. These are Roxanne Ramdyhan-Lewi for GDF, Nardeo Persaud for GPF, and Onicia Bynoe for GPS.According to Lowenfield, they are ensuring that all systems are in place for the various ranks to cast their votes and that their voters are sorted and dispatched to their respective locations.The nine newly sworn-in returning officers with GECOM Chair Retired Justice Claudette Singh and CEO Keith Lowenfield“Ten days prior to the elections, Disciplined Services balloting will take place and those ballot stations to be confirmed by these recently sworn-in officers. They will be working along with the liaisons from the respective services to ensure that all the ranks identified for voting that day, that they’re satisfied,” he stated.The CEO went on to note that they have already done some work with the ranks in the respective services, and those who have retired, to sort them out and ensure that the list of eligible voters is accurate ahead of D-Day.At the 2015 General and Regional Elections, over 7000 Disciplined Servicemen and women were registered to vote. At least 84 polling stations were step up for those ranks to cast their votes.Returning officersMeanwhile, nine returning officers from the various regions, with the exception of Region Five – where no one has been selected as yet – were also sworn-in on Wednesday before the CEO.These include Trevor Harris from Region One (Barima-Waini), Roxanne Smith of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Mohanlall Jagdeo of Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Clairmont Mingo from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Savitri Mangar of Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Glendon Fredericks of Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Dwayne Marco from Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), John Abraham of Region Nine (Upper Takutu- Upper Essequibo), and Rensford Alleyne from Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).In brief remarks after these ROs took their oaths before him, Lowenfield underscored the importance of the ROs engaging in a fair, impartial and transparent manner when carrying out their duties.“That is an absolute necessity. The nation, and I dare say the wider world, expects of you performance par excellence during the conduct of this tour of duty,” he noted.Meanwhile, GECOM Chairperson Retired Justice Claudette Singh, who observed the swearing-in ceremony, also called on the managers of the regional election to discharge their duties with integrity since they will be under scrutiny on elections day and even before that.“I would like you to just bear in mind at all times that you are serving your country and you must do so with the utmost care and diligence. You must be diligent in servicing because if something goes wrong, you know who they will blame. They will say the RO did this and the RO did that,” she noted.Justice Singh also urged the ROs to resolve any issues that may arise in their districts in the best way they can and not wait for things to escalate, cautioning that things can get “nasty”.Both the ROs and ballot officers were also encouraged to sort out their respective offices by the end of Wednesday or today, the latest. In fact, following the simple ceremony, the newly sworn-in officers met with the CEO and other senior officials from the Elections Secretariat to discuss operationalising their offices.On the other hand, Lowenfield informed reporters that general elections preparations are on stream for the March 2 polling day.“We’re moving ahead with our planning to ensure the elections day is satisfied,” he posited.Guyanese will be heading to the polls in less than eight weeks. In preparation for elections, GECOM will be holding Nominations Day this Friday at the Umana Yana in Kingston, Georgetown.At least 19 political parties, including 14 new ones, are expected to submit their lists of candidates and nominators to the CEO on that day.