Australia quickens the pace, turning up the heat on England

Australia’s captain Steve Smith calls for a review for England’s Mark Stoneman after Australia’s Mitchell Starc had him caught out during the first day of the third Ashes cricket test match. (Reuters/David Gray)
Updated 14 December 2017
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Australia quickens the pace, turning up the heat on England

PERTH, Australia: Australia’s pace trio turned up the heat on England on the opening day of the third Ashes Test in Perth on Thursday.
After Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat, the tourists were 175 for four at tea facing hostile bowling on a bouncy WACA Ground wicket hosting an Ashes Test for the last time.
Dawid Malan was on 42 and Jonny Bairstow was on 14 at the tea interval, with the visitors stewing over the contentious dismissal of opener Mark Stoneman during the match’s second session.
The visitors were well-placed just before lunch at 89 for one, but lost James Vince (25) minutes before the first break and were then subjected to a brutal barrage of fast, and often short, bowling after the resumption.
Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins terrorized the English with aggressive bowling that was often more than 90 miles per hour. Starc claimed two wickets, and his fellow quicks took one each.
The pace and bounce of the WACA is one of the main reasons English have only won once in Perth since 1970, and captain Joe Root was the first victim after lunch, caught down the leg side off the bowling of Cummins for 20.
But it was Stoneman, who had looked in very good touch before lunch, who was on the receiving end of the most brutal Australian bowling as the home side sought to close in on reclaiming the Ashes after taking a 2-0 lead in the series in Adelaide.
Stoneman somehow survived a torrid period that saw him dropped twice on 52 — the first a sitter at slip by the recalled Mitchell Marsh — and struck by a fierce blow on the helmet while on the same score.
He survived all that, only to be contentiously given out caught behind off his glove to Starc by third umpire Aleem Dar for 56.
Stoneman fended at a sharply rising delivery from Starc and wicketkeeper Tim Paine pulled off a brilliant one-handed take, but on-field umpire Marais Erasmus turned down the Australian appeal.
Australia called for a review and Dar took little time overturning the original decision, although there did not appear to be any conclusive evidence to support the reversal.
The decision clearly upset the England camp, with Root and fielding coach Paul Collingwood coming out of the dressing rooms to voice their concern as Stoneman trudged off.
Earlier Stoneman and Vince were aggressive in adding 63 for the second wicket, after former skipper Alastair Cook again fell cheaply on his landmark 150th Test appearance.
After Root decided not to send the home side in again, as he ill-fatedly did in Adelaide in the second Test, Cook was trapped leg before wicket by Starc for just seven.
Cook did not review the decision, and the scorer of more than 11,000 Test runs has just 69 in the series at 13.80.


‘Captain fantastic’ Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death

Updated 19 June 2018
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‘Captain fantastic’ Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death

  • Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner
  • England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes

VOLGOGRAD, Russia: Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.
Gareth Southgate’s men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi slotted home a softly-awarded penalty 20 minutes before half-time.
And the north Africans were still level as the game went past the 90-minute mark.
But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the winner before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.
“I’m so proud of the lads,” Kane said. “They kept going, kept going to the last second.
“I am absolutely buzzing, everyone on the staff is. It shows good character to get the job done.”
England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes.
First Jordan Henderson’s lofted first-time pass released Dele Alli and when the ball eventually broke to Jesse Lingard he saw his shot from six yards saved by the outstretched left boot of Mouez Hassen in the Tunisia goal.
Kane had been kept quiet in the opening salvos but he exploded into action in the 11th minute when he cut inside from the left and saw his shot from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner.
Ashley Young delivered the set piece for John Stones to rise highest and meet with a powerful header. Hassen saved acrobatically but Kane was on hand to tap home the rebound with his right foot and open his World Cup account.
Hassen, who had injured his left shoulder making an earlier save, could not continue and left the field in tears as he was replaced in goal by Farouk Ben Mustapha.
England continued to press and were made to pay for not converting a succession of chances when they conceded a soft penalty.
Kyle Walker swung a lazy arm across Fakhreddine Ben Youssef who fell as if poleaxed and Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot, with his decision being upheld by the VAR.
Ferjani Sassi took one step and fired home confidently past the hitherto unemployed Jordan Pickford and Tunisia who had been outplayed for the first half-hour were somehow level 10 minutes before half-time.
Still there was time for Lingard to come close again twice, first from a goalbound shot and then a dink over the keeper which agonizingly struck the post.
Alli too hit the woodwork with a header and England went into half-time wondering how they had not sealed victory already.
England still enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but could not find the same zip and penetration they had enjoyed at the start of the first half.
The ineffective Sterling gave way to Marcus Rashford with just over 20 minutes to go and the Manchester United man almost fashioned a chance straight away with a jinking run into the box.