England Sri Lanka ODI

England Sri Lanka ODI cricket,currently 3-1 in favour of Sri Lanka.England have been rather lack lustre in their tour of Sri Lanka in this seven match series.Contrary to the normal game which is played out in one day,this fifth game of the series had to be played over two days due to rain.
Sent into bat by England,Sri Lanka lost their first wicket with the score on 3,and once again Kumar Sangakarra came to the rescue,anchoring the innings with a fine 91 and well supported by skipper Angelo Mathews with 40 and a valuable 27 off 17 by Perera,getting them to 239.
Chris Woakes got his best bowling figures of 6-47.
Then the rain came,so with no further play possible it was agreed that England have their chance today.
England did not start off much better than Sri Lanka,losing their first at 12.Joe Root proved to be Englands saviour with the bat in an unbeaten innings of 104,his third century in limited overs.He was well supported by James Taylor who made 68,getting England to 240 and a five wicket win.
With the series now 3-2,England are going to have to push the boundaries to keep Sri Lanka on the back foot,and we shall have to wait and see if Sri Lanka have the ability to bounce back and put England under pressure.

Australia India first test

Australia India first test is proving to be just that,India are not rolling over to play dead.Whatever Virat Kohli has said or done with his team mates is working and he is leading from the front.India have certainly nailed their colours to the mast.
Australian skipper Michael Clarke,the sportsman we know him to be,declared the Australian innings closed at the end of day two after rain interrupted play.India have taken up the challenge and have batted well on day three with a first innings total of 369-5,148 behind Australia. All the batsmen have come to the party led by Kohli with a fighting 115.Three of the other top order batsmen waded in with innings of 50+.
There were some concerns earlier in the day when Kohli was struck on the helmet by a Mitch Johnson bouncer,but no harm done.The grit and determination of the Indian skipper shone through as he went on to record his second century in Adelaide.Johnson and Lyons have picked up two poles a piece with Harris taking the other.
With two days to go I think this will end in a draw,unless there is a sudden collapse.The wicket is still looking good.What this test is doing is setting the standard for things to come and India are not going to be a push over as some thought.

Australia India cricket

Australia India cricket,first test day two,has been a day of rain interruptions and shortened play.Umpires asked stand in Indian captain Virat Kohli to bowl spinners only due to bad light conditions,his answer was to walk off the field ending play after only about 30 overs bowled.
As a captain already looking down the barrel I would have done the same.With Australia 517-7,three missed chances to get rid of top scorer Steve Smith,162,a simple stumping when he was on 131,two dropped catches on 111 and 161,I would be looking for any avenue to take time to regroup.
Good centuries from David Warner,145 and Michael Clarke,128 coming back from retiring yesterday due to back problems have certainly put India on the back foot.
Clarke will have to decide tomorrow whether to continue batting to pile on runs as quickly as possible to reach 600+,but to leave hinself enough time to bowl India out twice.He will be heavily reliant on Johnson,Harris and Siddle to make the break throughs and keep the pressure on India.If they do not fire on all cylinders this test will end in a draw.
The pitch looks to be a good batting wicket,but with Johnsons’ pace,Siddles accuracy and Harris clever swing bowling,India could be up a gum tree,and will need to fight for every run.Let’s hope the weather holds out.

Euro Rugby Champions Cup

Euro Rugby Champions Cup got back underway after the international tours finished.Games were played Friday,Saturday and Sunday.Bath travelled to France and came away with an emphatic win,30-5 against Montpellier.
Saturdays games started with Saints trouncing Treviso 38-15,followed by an exciting close shave game with Sale Sharks going down to Saracens 15-19,and then an absolutely tight game ending 19 all between Ospreys and Racing Metro.
Clermont showed their ascendency in the scrum and ran out winners against a fighting Munster 16-9,but Llanelli Scarlets were no match for a determined Ulster team who ran out winners 24-9.
The three Sunday games were all tight with Toulouse taking their game against Glasgow Warriors 19-11,Harlequins beating Leinster 24-18 and the leicester Tigers showing some early season form taking their game 25-21 against a spirted Toulon.
Next weekend will see the last games for this year as the players all look forward to the Xmas break and come back on the 17th of Jan, to continue the competition.

Australia India 1st Test

Australia India 1st Test began today with a minutes silence for the passing of Phil Hughes who passed away last week after being struck in the nape of the neck by a bouncer from Sean Abbott.
There was a good half century stand from the Aussie openers largely thanks to David Warner,who went on to make his 10th test century 145,Rogers 9 and Watson 14, did not look comfortable,and Australia were 88-2.Enter Michael Clarke who looked in sublime form,seeing the ball and timing shots to perfection when tragically he went down with a back problem with the score on 206.
Steve Snith came out to join Warner and they pushed the score along to 258 before Warner was tempted by a widish ball that he nicked and was caught behind.Marsh joined Smith 72 no, and they pushed the score along at a good rate before marsh pushed at one and was caught at short cover by Kohli.Australia 345-4.
Nathan Lyon came in as the watchman,but only lasted 3 overs before he went back to the pavillion,followed shortly by Brad Haddin with out scoring,leaving Australia 354-6 at the end of days play,scored at nearly 4 runs to the over,fast for test cricket.
If India can snaffle the last four wickets early tomorrow,we could be into some exciting test cricket.
Concerns for Michael Clarke,he has been plagued by hamstring problems for a long time and now lower back pains.Wish him a speedy recovery.

New Zealand Pakistan ODI

New Zealand Pakistan ODI five match series started yesterday keenly contested by both teams.The Black Caps were sent in to bat by Pakistan and were soon in trouble losing the wicket of Brownlie with the score on 26.Ross Taylor held the innings together with a well constructed 105 not out,despite having almost no assistance from the other top order batsmen.Fortunately Ronchi 23, and Vettori 27,stuck around and helped the Black Caps reach a respectable 246-6,which was looking highly improbable when they were 111-5 after 30 overs.
Wicket takers for Pakistan were Irfan 3-57,Riaz 2-51 and Afridi 1-36.
Pakistan looked decidely shakey as wickets started to tumble early in their innings,and at 4-52 in the 17th over 5-86 in the 25th, New Zealand looked in a strong position,but an 85 not out by Sohail and a fighting 61 by Afridi set up the Pakistan win by three wickets with 3 balls remaining.
Wicket takers for NZ,Mills 1-54,Vettori 2-40,Neesham 2-62 and McCallum 1-35.
Ross Taylor became the 6th international player to chalk up three consecutive centuries in the shortened format of the game,and the first New Zealander to achieve this.

HSBC Sevens Dubai

HSBC Sevens Dubai saw the Blitz Bokke take home the trophy after trouncing Australia 33-7 in the final.This after whipping,the All Blacks, last years winners in the semi final 28-0.South africa now move up the log to be second,behind Fiji.
After a disappointing start to the season at the Australian Gold Coast tournament,the South African team seems to have found form and will want to keep this form when they host the tournament in their own back yard next week.
There is a lot to play for in this competition as ‘Sevens’ will be an Olympic sport in 2016 and teams are competing not only for the coveted Sevens trophy,but for inclusion to the Olympics in Rio.So you can bet your bottom dollar this years sevens competition will be fierce and competitive as teams will be fighting for inclusion into the Olympics.

England Sri Lanka 4th ODI

England Sri Lanka 4th ODI saw Sri Lanka on cruise control as they beat a mediocre England team to go 3-1 up in the 7 match series.
England won the toss and decided to bat on a pretty good one day track,but their opening woes continued as the lost Alex Hales in the second over,5-1,putting pressure on the top order,which showed when Moeen Ali went six overs later with the score on 29.Taylor,90 and Root,36 got together and pushed the score past the hundred mark before Root went.Morgan waded in with an attacking 62,but with no support from the last five batsmen it was surprising England got to 265 in their alotted overs.
Dilshan,Mendis and and Herath all got three wickets,with Herath the pick.
With no pressure on the scoring rate the Sri Lankans batted well with man of the match Sangakkara getting 86 and well supported by Jaywardene with 44 and a great undefeated 51 by Angelo Mathews taking them to 267 and victory by 6 wickets.
England are going to need to pull their socks up quite firmly to give Sri Lanka any kind of competition otherwise it is all down hill from here which will impact on the team for World Cup in February next year.

Ned Bank Golf Challenge

Ned Bank Golf Challenge has a new winner in Englishman Danny Willet who played an almost perfect final round on Sunday to clinch the title 4 strokes ahead of countryman Ross Fisher.He now joins two other great English players who have won ‘Africas Major’, Sir Nick Faldo,1994 and Lee Westwood,2010 and 2011.
There was not only some excellent golf played in this tournament but also some lighter moments,when on Friday Luke Donald got a fright when a large male baboon decided to ‘play through’,and had the threesome with their caddies taking evasive action.
Willet started the final round one shot behind leader Luke Donald,but Donald could not maintain the pressure and slowly dropped back to third,as Ross fisher who carded a final round 68 was starting to bite at Willets heels,but Willet showed all the fortitude of a seasoned professional,keeping his cool to make it home 4 shots clear of the competition,and pocketing his $1.25 million prize money.

Ned Bank Golf challenge

Ned Bank Golf challenge got off to a solid start for Ross Fisher as he took the lead in yesterdays opening round, but he was closely followed by Marcel Siem,Alex Levy and George Coetzee.Shot of the day was Marcel Siems’ eagle on the 17th but his card was marred by three bogeys in the days play.
Starting day two in blistering heat Fisher has maintained his lead which currently is only one shot ahead of Luke Donald at ten under.Yesterday he carded a 71,which included three bogeys,today it seems he has come out with a lot more intention. Donald is currently playing the 16th and has a card showing 9 birdies,that has pulled him from 1 under yesterday to 10 under today,so far.
Following four shots off the pace are Tim Clark and Marcel Siem at six under,Alex Levy at five under, with George Coetzee and Stephen Gallacher both at 4 under.
At this stage this is anyones game,tomorrow will see them back in the furnace,and it will depend on who can take the heat and maintain concentration as to who will take the lead for the final day on Sunday.