Sport 

Ben Stokes: English cricket in shambles after court hearing date coincides with comeback

GETTY Ben Stokes has been charged with affray Avon and Somerset police confirmed that Stokes is due to appear at Bristol magistrates’ court on February 13 to face the charge of affray, following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September.  But only hours earlier, in Brisbane, England head coach Trevor Bayliss was all smiles as he said that his talismanic all-rounder would be “welcomed back with open arms” following the ECB’s decision to make him available for selection once more. To add to the sense that Stokes is now…

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Australia v England: first one-day international – live!

39th over: Australia 212-5 (Stonis 11, Paine 2) Woakes on for his third crack today. Has four overs to squeeze out after struggling earlier on. Well, doesn’t concede a boundary in this set, so that’s an improvement. Five from it in the smaller denominations. 38th over: Australia 207-5 (Stonis 7, Paine 1) Paine the new man, playing his first ODI in nearly seven years. What a great story his summer has been. Off the mark through the covers, then Stonis finds one to midwicket in order to keep the strike.…

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Ashes: Jonny Bairstow insists England can cope with heat and praises Mason Crane

You know when a campaign has reached a low point when the sight of Steve Smith departing for less than 100 might realistically be claimed as a positive. But when he started the day moving ominously well on 44, to get him for a paltry 83 was indeed a minor victory. Bright points after that proved less easy to locate, though for all that Mason Crane showed more than a glimmer of hope for the future with a solid display of leg-spin on debut. The disappointing thing was that having…

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Ashes: Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja frustrate England as Australia trail by 153 runs

At the end of a hard day of toil in the fifth and final Test for Joe Root’s men Smith was unbeaten on 44, having shared a 107-run partnership with Usman Khawaja (91no) for the third wicket. Australia were 193-2 trailing England’s first innings 346 all out by 153 runs with eight first innings wickets in hand. Hopes of a long overdue victory to mark Root’s first Ashes tour as captain already appear to have receded into the distance with Smith’s men looking highly likely to post a first innings…

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Ashes 2017-18: Australia v England, fifth Test, day two – live!

The players are back on the field. England starting with three slips and a gully for Jimmy. Bancroft is on strike, for perhaps his biggest innings yet as an Australian player. Play. England are dismissed but won the morning, adding 113 for their final five wickets. That’s well above par relative to what we have seen from their bottom half this series. A bit of Smith fielding magic got the home side going, taking a blinding catch at second slip to remove Malan just as the Middlesex man looked a…

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England frustrated in fourth Test as Steve Smith heroics earn Australia draw in Melbourne

The Australia captain, who is now averaging 151 in the series after four Tests, stood firm as England struggled to break through stubborn defences. Handshakes were eventually exchanged at 4.48pm with Australia 263-4 with a lead of 99 and just 17 overs remaining in the day. England captain Joe Root was left frustrated as his bowlers chipped out two wickets – David Warner falling to his own bowling and Shaun Marsh to Stuart Broad – to give some hope. But he will console himself that England have at least avoided…

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Alastair Cook’s double century puts England in control of fourth Ashes Test

It was back to business for Alastair Cook on the third day. He batted for another six and a-half hours, posting the highest score against Australia at the MCG, a magnificent, unbeaten 244. If the first hundred of this innings was for himself, to recover his self-esteem albeit too late in the tour for his liking, the second was for the team, to ensure that Joe Root held the best cards after three days’ play. On Wednesday Cook sped to his hundred with uncharacteristic freedom, reaching that landmark in 164…

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Alastair Cook double hundred helps England save face in fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne

The opener started the day on 104 but ended it with a towering and unbeaten 244 as he led them to a 164-runs lead. And in doing so Cook helped himself to a host of new records. This second double century on Australian soil was the highest score by a visiting batsman eclipsing Viv Richards’ 208 here in 1984. It placed Cook in exalted company indeed with just Wally Hammond and Brian Lara having achieved it before. Most importantly of all, his innings carried him past Mahela Jayawardene, Shivnarine Chanderpaul…

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Australia v England: fourth Ashes Test, day three – live!

95th over: England 312-6 (Cook 151, Woakes 0) Brings up his minor milestone with a hook from Cummins, down through fine leg. It’s been a brilliant performance from Cook today, after a dogged one yesterday. Deserves the applause. Takes another single, and drops the deficit to 15. 94th over: England 307-6 (Cook 146, Woakes 0) “Can we use “carry” and “bat” in the same sentence yet?” asks Mark Turner. We can, partly because his teammates have been so poor today. A wicket maiden for Lyon. God, that is poor. Moeen’s…

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Ashes: David Warner leads the way as England struggle to break Australia down at MCG

The fiery opener batted beautifully to reach three figures on a difficult pitch as Australia climbed steadily to 244-3 But it was the manner of his arrival at the milestone on an otherwise dull day of cricket, that provided the one piece of real drama. Warner was out on 99, caught at mid-on as Curran celebrated wildly in the middle only to be reprieved by replays showing the England man had overstepped with his front foot. Much to the delight of the majority of the 88,172 crowd Warner was recalled…

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