AS IT HAPPENED: Tunisia 1 v. England 2

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Tunisia are preparing to take on England in Monday’s Group G encounter in the World Cup. (REUTERS)
Updated 19 June 2018
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AS IT HAPPENED: Tunisia 1 v. England 2

FULL-TIME: England seal an opening game victory at the World Cup with a late, late winner from Harry Kane giving England a 2-1 win. Tunisia can hold their heads high and must lift their spirits for the Belgium game.

10:48PM: GOAL - Harry Kane breaks Tunisians hearts with a headed goal from a corner with just 2 minutes remaining...

10:42PM: Saber Khalifa comes on for Wahbi Khazri as Tunisia look to hit England on the break...can they steal this?

10:31PM: Tunisia looking more and more comfortable as Naim Sliti comes off to be replaced by Ben Armor. England not looking anywhere near as threatening as they were in the first half...

10:25PM: Raheem Sterling comes off, as Marcus Rashford replaces him. England looking to inject a bit of pace up front against the resolute Tunisian defense.

10:17PM: England in full control, pushing Tunisia back further and further...fans getting slightly restless as a Mexican wave breaks out in the stands.

10:10PM: England come out after the break looking dangerous and hoping to continue where they left off, forcing a corner... nothing doing for England.

HALFTIME: It's halftime, and Tunisia are level. The African side are holding their own against their more illustrious opponents and it has been an evenly-contested half of football. Tunisia will be confident of pushing England all the way here in Volgograd. Stay tuned for the second half...

9:38PM: The pace of the game slows down somewhat in the sapping heat of Volgograd, defenses looking weak for both teams. Chances surely to come in the second half...

9:33PM: Penalty to Tunisia! GOAL! And Sassi tucks it away with aplomb in the bottom right hand corner. Definitely game on now! Tunisia 1 England 1

9:25PM: Sassi of Tunisia has a rare chance in front of goal for Tunisia, as the Eagles of Carthage gives their fans hope in their best spell of the game. Game on?

9:21PM: Tunisia force a corner in their first meaningful attack of the game. It comes to nothing.

9:09PM: GOAL: Harry Kane of England is on hand to tap in the rebound from a fantastic save from Hassem after a Stones header. Tunisia under the cosh.

 

9:02PM: Hassem in the Tunisian goal under pressure early as England pepper the goal with a Lingard shot and the resulting England corner. Close.

 

8.55PM: We are seconds away from kick-off... stay tuned ...

8:35PM: The Tunisia dressing room ahead of their opening game against England. Excitement building in Volgograd!

Tunisia starting XI: Hassem, Ben Youssef. S, Meriah, Bronn, Maaloul, Badri, Sassi, Skhiri, Ben Youssef. F, Khazri (C), Sliti

England starting XI: Pickford, Maguire, Stones, Walker, Young, Henderson, Trippier, Alli, Lingard, Sterling, Kane (C)

Here we go then. It's been a long 12 years for Tunisia fans, but they will finally be cheering their team on in a World Cup for the first time since 2006. The "Eagles of Carthage" are preparing to take on England in Monday’s Group G encounter, with the weight of Arab expectation and the hopes of an entire region rest on the shoulders of Nail Maaloul’s charges. After just one defeat in 10 games for Nail Maaloul’s side, their players and supporters - and many a neutral - will be quietly confident of an upset of a generation.


Joe Root ton puts England on top against Sri Lanka

Updated 17 November 2018
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Joe Root ton puts England on top against Sri Lanka

KANDY: Captain Joe Root smashed 124 and newcomer Ben Foakes again hit valuable tail end runs to put England in command of the second Test against Sri Lanka on Friday.
England reached 324 for nine — a second innings lead of 278 — when bad light stopped play for the day in Kandy.
Foakes was batting on 51 alongside James Anderson on four.
Spinner Akila Danajanya, whose action is under investigation by the International Cricket Council, claimed six wickets on the turning pitch.
He trapped Root lbw and then bowled Sam Curran for nought with his next ball. Adil Rashid thwarted the hat-trick but soon fell to Dananjaya’s guile for two.
It was his third five wicket haul in just his fifth Test for Dananjaya, who must rush off to Australia after the game for an ICC examination of his bowling.
He however could not stop Root and Foakes swinging the game.
Root reached his 15th Test ton soon after tea, making the sweep and reverse sweep valuable weapons, as he hit 10 fours and two sixes in his 146-ball knock.
Root said he enjoyed making the runs despite the pressure.
“That’s what it should be. You shouldn’t feel pressure like the pressure is too much for you, you should enjoy the occasion and make the most of the opportunity in front of you,” he said after the day’s play.
“The whole group managed to harness that today and make the most of it.”
Root raised his bat to a standing ovation from traveling English fans who also lauded Foakes.
Root made an 82-run seventh wicket stand with Foakes, who reached his fifty with a six off Dilruwan Perera. The hit turned out to be the last ball of the day with dark clouds gathering and thunder heard in the distance.
As he did in his sparkling century on Test debut in the opening game of the series, Foakes mixed caution and aggression to push up the England score.
Every one of England’s top seven batsmen were out attempting a sweep of some description.
Jos Buttler dragged one of Dananjaya’s deliveries onto his stumps while trying to reverse sweep on 34. Moeen Ali was trapped lbw for 10 after failing to connect with an attempted sweep.
“From my point of view, it was almost a safer shot than playing the forward defensive,” said Root.
“With the amount the ball was turning there’s a lot of risk involved in that. At times attack is the best form of defense on a wicket like that.”
Earlier, left-hander Rory Burns registered his maiden Test half-century in just his second match. He was trapped lbw off Malinda Pushpakumara for 59.
Burns then put together 73 runs for the second wicket with Keaton Jennings, who made 26, to steady the innings and help England overcome their 46-run deficit.
“I think the temptation with a deficit like that going into the second innings is to play within your shell and be a bit insular but the guys went out and set the tone at top of the order,” said Root.
“It was really pleasing to see inexperienced guys as Test cricketers really set the benchmark for the rest of the group, a really good platform for us.
“Hopefully we still stretch the lead further and that should be a good chase on this surface.”