Cummins gets 2 wickets, England 196-4 at stumps on day 1 of Ashes Test

England’s opening batsmen Alastair Cook and Mark Stoneman walk onto the ground for the start of the first day of the first Ashes cricket test match. (Reuters/David Gray)
Updated 23 November 2017
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Cummins gets 2 wickets, England 196-4 at stumps on day 1 of Ashes Test

BRISBANE, Australia: Pat Cummins picked up two vital wickets to restore some confidence in Australia’s pace trio after a pair of unheralded batsmen grinded through most of the opening day of the Ashes series to help England reach 196-4 at stumps.
James Vince (83) and Mark Stoneman (53) combined defiantly in their first experience of Ashes cricket to blunt the much-hyped pace attack, each posting their highest test scores in a 125-run second-wicket stand.
Cummins (2-59) bowled Stoneman in the last over of a middle session delayed for more than hour by rain. He came back in the evening session — after Nathan Lyon had brilliantly run out Vince — to trap England skipper Joe Root (15) lbw, getting a not-out decision overturned, and ensuring the day swung back in Australia’s favor.
At stumps, Dawan Malan was unbeaten on 28 and Moeen Ali was on 13 when bad light stopped play in the 81st over, three balls after Australia took the new ball and one after Mitchell Starc had a review of an lbw decision rejected.
The day started according to the Australia’s pre-series script, with Starc striking in the third over to have former England captain Alastair Cook (2) caught at first slip with the total at two.
That exposed a left-right second-wicket pair — some Australian critics openly wondered if Vince and Stoneman were ready for the Ashes environment — with a combined 10 previous test caps to a potentially hostile initiation.
But they weathered the new ball with reasonable comfort, preventing Australia from capitalizing on the early breakthrough.
Vince rarely played a loose stroke in four hours and 170 balls. He did get a reprieve on 68, though, when recalled wicketkeeper Tim Paine put down a routine chance off Lyon’s bowling late in the middle session.
Stoneman improved by one on his previous high test score before Cummins beat him with a ball that jagged back off the seam to collect his first test wicket on Australian soil.
The banter and bluster from the Australians leading up to the Gabba test centered on their 5-0 sweep here the last time England toured in 2013-14, when a local pace trio spearheaded by Mitchell Johnson intimidated the batsmen and set the foundation for a series domination.
Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Cummins toiled in slightly damp conditions before and after a rain-delay on a wicket yet to produce the kind of extra bounce that the Brisbane venue is famous for.
The Australian quicks were under the spotlight from the first ball after losing the toss at the Gabba, where they’re all playing their first Ashes match on home soil and where the Australians haven’t lost a test since 1988.
The early points went to the batsmen. In the 11th over, Hazlewood fielded off his own bowling and hurled the ball back toward the stumps. Vince responded by stroking two subsequent deliveries for boundaries. Hazlewood, usually the most consistent of the quicks with his persistent line and length, struggled with his rhythm and had 0-51 from 18 overs.
Lyon (0-40) caused the most difficulties for the batsmen after joining the attack in the 18th over and getting his first ball to turn sharply, but didn’t get a wicket. He had unsuccessful appeals before the regulation caught-behind chance was put down.
His athletic run out, though — picking up a half-volley on the run from cover and throwing down the stumps at the non-striker’s end to catch Vince well out of his ground — was a significant momentum turner.
England holds the Ashes after winning the 2015 series 3-2 at home, regaining the urn after its lopsided loss in Australia last time.


Manchester United sack Jose Mourinho: club

Updated 26 min 16 sec ago
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Manchester United sack Jose Mourinho: club

  • Manchester United have sacked manager Jose Mourinho after a dreadful series of results
  • It is rumoured that former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane could be his replacement

Manchester United have sacked manager Jose Mourinho after a dreadful series of results, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.
The 55-year-old Portuguese’s last match in charge was the 3-1 defeat by league leaders Liverpool on Sunday which left them 19 points behind their opponents.
“Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect,” a club statement said.

According to talkSPORT’s French journalist Julien Laurens, former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane would love to take the reins as Manchester United head coach. 

Assistant coach Michael Carrick will take charge of the team on an interim basis. United said it will appoint a caretaker manager until the end of the season, but didn't say who it will be.
United made its move with the team in sixth place in the league, 19 points behind first-place Liverpool and 11 points off fourth-place Chelsea in the race for Champions League qualification. It is United's worst 17-game start to a league campaign since the 1990-91 season, and the team currently has a goal difference of zero.
Mourinho started his 2½-year tenure at United by winning two titles in his first season — the English League Cup and the Europa League — but failed to win a trophy in his second season and was criticized for the team's pragmatic playing style and his treatment of some players.
His relationship with Paul Pogba, the club's record signing, appeared broken after leaving the France midfielder out of the team for its last three league games.
Mourinho had also been unhappy that United's board failed to back his wish to sign a central defender in the offseason. United has already conceded more goals in the league than it did in all of last season.
Mourinho's final match in charge was the 3-1 loss at Anfield, after which he said his players were brittle and couldn't cope with the intensity and physicality of Liverpool — historically United's biggest rival.
Mourinho lasted the same length of time at United as he did in his previous job at Chelsea, when he was also fired just before Christmas in his third season. He signed a new contract in January until June 2020 and will reportedly receive compensation of 24 million pounds ($30 million).
In his six major coaching stints — at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea again and United — Mourinho has only lasted more than three years once. That was in his first spell at Chelsea.
United reached the last 16 in the Champions League, where it will play Paris Saint-Germain over two legs in February and March.

(With Agencies)