Sport 

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

10th over: England 28-1 (Cook 3, Vince 0) If ever there were a man to counter a spate of irresponsible cover drives, it’s James Vince. I’m very disappointment that I’ve missed one last chance to blog Vince Stoneman, private detective, as he beats the crooked police chief and solves a case. Instead we’ve got Vince Cook, who’s probably a trust-fund DJ. But Cummins has done Stoneman quickly! And Stoneman has done everything quickly, including driving another four down the ground. But Cummins goes with a shorter ball, an in-between length,…

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Ashes LIVE updates: England seek morale boost from final Test in Australia

England have already lost the Ashes and head into the fifth Test 3-0 down. They earned a draw in Perth despite Alastair Cook scoring over 250 on a poor wicket. Australia welcome back Mitchell Starc for the last Test in Sydney, while leg spinner Mason Crane plays for England. The Aussies are the favourites to win this final Test of what has been a one-sided series Down Under. But captain Joe Root will hope to eke out something from the tour when the match gets underway at 23:30pm on Tuesday…

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Mason Crane to make England Test debut in Ashes after Woakes injury

Mason Crane, the 20-year-old leg-spinner from Hampshire, will make his Test debut for England in Sydney on Thursday, while Mitchell Starc returns for Australia in place of Jackson Bird. Crane’s remarkably swift ascent has been widely predicted since the Melbourne Test. The surprise – and disappointment for England – comes from the fact that Crane will replace Chris Woakes, rather than the obvious candidates after Melbourne, Tom Curran or Moeen Ali. Woakes has a side strain, one of the worst injuries for a fast bowler, and was therefore unavailable for…

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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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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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NICK COMPTON: How my mate Dawid Malan turned himself into the Ashes star England need

GETTY Nick Compton, Ladbrokes’ Ashes ambassador, reckons Dawid Malan is an example to England’s batsmen For any player, young or old, the possibility of playing in a Boxing Day Test Match at the MCG is enough to put a shiver up your spine. The thought of 100,000 people surrounding you as another Mitchell Starc bouncer rips past your nose is something to contemplate for this England team, and it has got to get them fired up. As disappointed as Joe Root’s men will be after Adelaide, they know what has…

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Ashes: Steve Smith tells bowlers to not spare England tailenders any mercy in fourth Test

A record crowd is expected for the MCG guaranteeing a hostile atmosphere in the stadium for Joe Root’s tourists as Smith’s side aim for a whitewash. And the Australia captain says there will be no change in tactics in the middle despite criticism in certain quarters of the on-field umpires’ failure to protect England’s lower order. Asked about criticism from former captain Michael Atherton that umpires should have been doing more to protect tailenders under the laws of the game, Smith said: “It’s a bit over the top. No doubt,…

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