Pat Cummins double stuns England after Steve Smith makes brave 92 in second Test following injury

Australia's Steve Smith receives treatment as he lays on the floor after being hit by a ball from England's Jofra Archer as England's Jos Buttler and Australia's Pat Cummins look on. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 17 August 2019

Pat Cummins double stuns England after Steve Smith makes brave 92 in second Test following injury

  • England were 96-4 in their second innings — a lead of 104 runs
  • Ball struck Smith on the side of the neck and head

LORD’S, London: Australia’s Steve Smith returned to make 92 after a sickening blow to the neck before England captain Joe Root fell for the first golden duck of his Test career as Pat Cummins took two wickets in two balls on a dramatic fourth day of the second Ashes clash at Lord’s.
England were 96-4 in their second innings — a lead of 104 runs — when rain forced an early close on Saturday.
But with one day left, Australia know early wickets on Sunday could leave them in a position to press for a victory that would put them 2-0 up in a five-match series.
England will now look to Ben Stokes, dropped twice on his way to 16 not out, and Jos Buttler (10 not out), to keep Australia at bay.
Smith’s 92 was the centerpiece of Australia’s 250 all out in reply to England’s first innings 258.
The star batsman had made 80 when he was felled by a bouncer from fast bowler Jofra Archer, making his Test debut, timed at 92.4 mph.
The ball struck him on the side of the neck and head.
Smith, fell face forward onto the ground. He was wearing a helmet without the additional neck protection that was introduced following the death of Phillip Hughes after his former Australia team-mate was hit by a bouncer in a 2014 domestic Sheffield Shield match in Sydney.
“He doesn’t wear it because it is a personal choice,” Australia coach Justin Langer told Sky Sports after stumps.
“We know it is available but he can’t feel comfortable with it on.”
Smith, who had marked his comeback Test following a 12-month ball-tampering ban, with innings of 144 and 142 in Australia’s 251-run win in the series opener at Edgbaston, received several minutes of on-field treatment involving both teams’ medical staff.
He got to his feet but eventually retired hurt, with Smith receiving a generous round of applause as he returned to the pavilion.
“It was a terrible blow,” said Langer. “It looked horrible at the time.”
This series has seen the introduction of concussion protocols that allow injured batsmen to be replaced by a substitute — previously restricted to fielding duty alone.
But Langer insisted Smith’s health had not been put at undue risk by letting him resume his innings as soon as possible when Peter Siddle’s exit left Australia 218-7 after a break of 46 minutes.
“We were, absolutely (happy for Smith to bat again). He went through the concussion testing,” said Langer, himself hit on the head several times during his career as an Australia opening batsman.
“We wouldn’t let him go out unless we were confident he could do the job.”
Archer had previously struck Smith, then on 70, on his unprotected forearm with another bouncer in a fiery eight-over spell.
And it was that injury, not the blow to the neck, which Australia said prevented Smith from fielding on Saturday, although a team spokesman said later that hospital X-rays had revealed no fracture.
From the second and third balls he faced on his return, Smith hit two fours off paceman Chris Woakes.
But on 92, facing his ninth ball, Smith shouldered arms to a Woakes nip-back delivery and was plumb lbw to leave Australia 234-8.
Smith reviewed almost as an after-thought before replays confirmed the end of a 161-ball innings that included 14 fours.
Stuart Broad took 4-65 in 27.3 overs and Woakes 3-61 in 19 while Archer finished with figures of 2-59 in 29.
“That was serious, serious pace,” said Woakes of Archer. “I was at fine leg and could still tell.
“It is never nice to see anyone get hit. Thankfully it looks like Steve is OK.
“He is a great player and it took something special from Jofra to get him out of his bubble.”
England then suffered an a familiar collapse, Jason Roy, caught and bowled by Cummins (2-16) off a leading edge.
Next ball, 9-1 became 9-2 with Root caught behind off a superb delivery.
Joe Denly survived the hat-trick before being caught and bowled by Siddle (2-19), who also removed Rory Burns.

Gasol clinches rare NBA-World Cup double as Spain down Argentina

Updated 16 September 2019

Gasol clinches rare NBA-World Cup double as Spain down Argentina

  • Toronto Raptors center Mark Gasol becomes the second player to win an NBA title and a FIBA world gold medal in the same year


BEIJING: Three-time All-Star Marc Gasol became only the second man to win an NBA crown and the World Cup in the same year after Spain brushed aside Argentina 95-75 on Sunday.

Spain, who survived double overtime against Australia to reach the final, led throughout in Beijing to win international basketball’s biggest prize a second time.

The only previous occasion was in 2006 with the two Gasol brothers, Marc and older sibling Pau, on the team.

Pau did not feature in China because of injury.

The latest triumph was particularly sweet for the 34-year-old center Gasol, who three months ago also played a key part in the Toronto Raptors’ run to the NBA title.

Gasol, who had 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, joins Lamar Odom, a double winner in 2010 with the US and Los Angeles Lakers.

Surprise finalists Argentina had not triumphed since they hosted the inaugural World Cup in 1950.

As a contest, the final was over by the fourth quarter — although the Argentines did rally belatedly to reduce Spain’s previously mighty lead.

Fans of both teams had made it feel more like a football match, decked out in their national colors, chanting loudly and refusing to sit down.

Spain, for whom Ricky Rubio of the Phoenix Suns has been one of the leading players of the tournament in China, surged into a 14-2 lead.

In front of a capacity crowd, Argentina’s 39-year-old talisman Luis Scola could not escape the attentions of Pierre Oriola.

Led by their slick-haired Italian coach Sergio Scariolo, Spain were up 21-14 going into the second quarter and increased their advantage to 43-31 at halftime.

With Rubio prominent, drilling 20 points, Spain never looked like surrendering their lead, repeatedly thwarting Argentina’s suffocated offense.

France roared back after halftime to defeat Australia 67-59 and claim a second World Cup bronze in a row — and extend the Boomers’ long wait for a major medal.

Turkish-based guard Nando De Colo led all scorers with 19 points for France and Nicolas Batum had nine points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals.

The French, one of the tallest teams at the tournament, defeated reigning two-time holders the US in the quarterfinals, but then lost heavily to Argentina.

“For us it’s something very, very special and important we did it after a very difficult first half,” French coach Vincent Collet said.

“Many teams could have given up, even easy shots we were missing in the first half.

“We started to move the ball better in the second half and that’s why we won this game.”

It was hard on Australia, who similarly led for long periods in their semifinal against Spain.

It is still the best finish for the Boomers, who had never gone beyond the quarterfinals at 11 previous World Cups, but they are yet to claim a medal at the worlds or Olympics.

Deposed champions the US, who were missing their elite names, finished seventh, their lowest position in tournament history.

They did, at least, qualify to defend their Olympic title in Tokyo next summer. With 32 teams, this was the biggest Basketball World Cup ever.

The next one will be in 2023 in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.