Shrubsole the Hero as England’s Women are crowned World Cup Champions

Cricket

 

England v India: Final - ICC Women's World Cup 2017

England captain Heather Knight lifts the World Cup after the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 Final between England and India at Lord’s Cricket Ground on July 23, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)


 England_cricket_team_logo.svg                      ENGLAND 228/7   ( Sciver 51   Goswami 3-23) 

Cricket_India_Crest.svg                 INDIA         219      (Raut 86   Shrubsole 6-46)


 

Anya Shrubsole produced a match winning spell of bowling to help see the host nation England becoming the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Champions for the fourth time in history this past weekend at Lord’s.

In a match that had everything from good bowling, good batting, run-outs, dropped catches and even the weather playing a minor part to play too – all in all it proved to be one of the most memorable World Cup Finals in history.

It was a month ago to the day, that saw the two sides meeting again after they opened the tournament at Derbyshire’s County Ground and saw on that occasion India coming out on top by 35 runs. Since then, however, it had seen India losing two group games to South Africa and Australia, before thrashing New Zealand and shocking the World Champions in Australia in the Semi’s to make their way to the final. 

For England, it saw them using the defeat as motivation for the rest of the tournament and after defeating Australia in Bristol, and in what was the turning point of their World Cup, it saw them making a home final again win a tight victory over South Africa in the Semi finals.

With a sell-out crowd at the ‘Home of Cricket’ – It saw a final that was befitting what had been a terrific tournament over the last month. England’s openers got off to a steady start to open the final, as the pair moved the score along until Lauren Winfield was bowled around her legs by Rajeshwari Gayakwad for 24, as the Yorkshire Diamond player attempted a sweep shot that proved unfruitful. 

One thing that has been something of a familiar trend during this World Cup for England, has been the ‘domino effect’ of the top-order batsmen getting out cheaply in the matches and that trend continued on. With Winfield going cheaply, it saw Tammy Beaumont following shortly after with an attempted slog off a high full-toss off by Poonam Yadav and have Jhulan Goswami taking the catch to dismiss the opener for 23 and have the hosts 60-2.

England seemed to be set in their ways or convinced that trying to play the sweep shot from the Indian spinners was the best way to go, but sadly it was the way to go if you wanted to get out. England’s Captain Heather Knight tried to sweep and was given out on 1 after it was reviewed for an lbw, that wicket saw the hosts 63-3 and starting to look shaky after their good start.

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Natalie Sciver batting towards her 51 PIC: ICC-cricket.com

Sarah Taylor and Natalie Sciver then started to kick on for the home side and began to build a total for the England Innings, as the took the score past a hundred and looked in good nick. Just as Taylor and Sciver were looking comfortable for the hosts it saw things then begin to change after Sarah Taylor tickled a ball down leg side and into the gloves of wicketkeeper Sushma Verma and have the England batter departing short of her fifty – and have India claiming their fourth wicket.

Fran Wilson faced one ball before she headed right back to the dugout as Goswami picked up her second wicket and was on a hat-trick too. With the Indian’s not having looked dangerous or remotely threatening in attack, it saw the wicket of Taylor turning the game their way looked to keep the pressure on their opponents. England was then heading into real danger of posting a very low total when Natalie Sciver went for 51 trapped lbw,  and with the hosts 164-5, the game had really swung in the Indians favour.

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Jhulan Goswami celebrates one of her three wickets – PIC: ICC Cricket.com

When Jenny Gunn came out to join Katherine Brunt in the middle, it saw the two Yorkshire players trying to generate a good total for their opponents to chase but they were finding it hard to reach the boundary and pick up and big runs. Things got even harder for hosts when Brunt was run-out by a direct hit from Deepti Sharma’s thrown at the stumps and that seemed to be perhaps the body blow to England’s World Cup chances. 

With five overs remaining and a new batsman at the crease in Laura Marsh joining Jenny Gunn, England went on the attack and tried to bolster their total and have Marsh scoring 14 from 11 balls and Gunn finishing up on 25 not out as well, with the two of them putting up a fight late and giving England hope of claiming glory.

India in reply was set 229 for victory from their 50 overs, and with the pitch playing as slow as it was unusually at Lord’s, it seemed to play right into the hands of the Indian side for their run chase. England made an early breakthrough through the bowling of Anya Shrubsole as she bowled one that found the gate and sent Mandhana packing for a duck to give the hosts a great start.

Much like England in their Innings, India didn’t seem to be in much trouble from the bowling attack at all and was slowly going along to their task comfortably. That was till the England picked up the huge wicket of talented batsman Mithali Raj, as after some brilliant fielding by Nat Sciver saw her picking up and throwing to Sarah Taylor who then whipped the bails off, it needed the third umpire to check if she made her ground.

The replay shown Raj for some unknown reason didn’t even bother to attempt in stretching for the line and that saw subsequently run out for 17 and hand England a massive boost in the India’s Innings. India quickly steadied the ship with opener Punam Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur, with both putting on 95 for the third wicket stand before Kaur then attempted a slog sweep that went only as far as Beaumont off the bowling of Alex Hartley to have the Indian’s 138-3.

From that point onwards in the game, it saw the Indian side beginning to chase down the target that they were set and leave the England bowlers and players chasing shadows as their opponents ate into the target. Raut was scoring for fun and had Veda Krishnamurthy supporting her too, with the duo looking aggressive and have the England side on the rack and more importantly than that, ahead of the run rate.

As the runs began to dwindle down in India’s favour, it saw a light shower starting fall and with ‘Duckworth and Lewis’ possibly being needed, it saw the home fans watching the game getting out of reach and having everything going the way of the side wearing light blue. 

With India requiring 38 runs off 44 balls to win the World Cup, it saw England needing a wicket more than ever and not only that, but a hero needed too. Step forward England’s Anya Shrubsole as that hero. Shrubsole came back into the bowling attack and picked up the big wicket of Raut trapped LBW for 86 and that wicket seemed to spark the home sides bowlers into life, which gave them a huge boost going into the final few overs.

Alex Hartley then bowled Sushma Verma out for no-score in the next over to give England a glimmer of hope, and so when Shrubsole got Krishnamurthy and Goswmani out in the same over to leave India 201-7 with 28 from 31, this World Cup Final was back on.

This final had been turned completely on its head by Shrubsole’s bowling, so with the game on a knife-edge and having two sides not giving up, it made sure that this was going all the way down to the wire and made for a thrilling finale. Deepti Sharma and Shikha Pandey were the two batsmen for India that in truth, needed to finish the job off for them as the game was getting tighter and fingernails were being chewed too. 

With singles being collected by the batting side and seeing them needing just 11 more runs from 16 balls for victory, it was still looking like it was Indian’s to lose. Shrubsole seemed to have the Midas touch late on in the contest, as after a push shot by Pandey saw the England player picking up and throwing to Taylor being the stumps, it saw Pandey being run out for 4 and make England now slight favours as we went on.

India just couldn’t find any gaps in the field in which to pick up runs from, and so when Sharma lofted her shot off a Shrubsole delivery it allowed Sciver to make the catch and leave England one wicket away from clinching the World Cup. Two balls later should have sealed victory the home side, after Poonam Yadav tried to use power and got her shot selection horribly wrong and yet somehow Jenny Gunn dropped an absolute dolly of a catch.

That could have been a huge moment in the game if India could find a hole in the English sides defences, as it was, Anya Shrubsole made sure that the dropped chance would prove little more than a bit of late drama to proceedings and see her clipping Gayakward’s off stump to see England crowned once more as World Cup Champions for the first time in eight-year.

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Anya Shrubsole and England begin to celebrate winning the World Cup : Pic BBCSport

Victory on home soil was made even sweeter by the fact that they avenged their only loss in the tournament to the side that inflicted it upon them on the opening day of the World Cup and so brought closure in a sense with the victory. There was more success for England though, as Surrey Stars player Tammy Beaumont scooped the Player of the Tournament award – after the opening batsman top scored with 410 runs during the tournament. 

Glory for England was tinged with a bit of sadness too though, as earlier this year former England captain Rachel Heyhoe-Flint passed away at the turn of the year and if not for her then none of this would have been possible at all – as it was English Cricketing legend who pushed through for a Women’s Cricket World Cup to happen and took two years for the Inaugural tournament to take place in England back in 1973. 

So this win was a fitting way for someone who helped bring the tournament back to these shores when nobody wanted to host it, but to have her home Country hosting what has been without a doubt the greatest Women’s World Cup tournament ever held – winning it has just been the cherry on top.

Another brilliant observation around the grounds has been the site of young girls playing the game and will hopefully see an influx of girls wanting to take the game up and that image has been on of the biggest legacies taken from these 2017 World Cup tournament, without a shadow of a doubt.


England Scorecard

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INDIA SCORECARD

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Taken from Cricbuzz.com


 

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England Top Group and India Book Semi Finals Spot

Cricket

 

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This past Saturday saw the final group games taking place in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup – as hosts England topped the overall standings ahead of Australia and South Africa, while India beat New Zealand in a ‘shootout’ for the remaining Semi Final spot in Derby. Meanwhile, Pakistan made it back to back tournaments in which the Country have failed to register a single point in any of their group games since the 2009 Tournament held back in Australia.

Before the final round of games on Saturday – it saw South Africa starting the day on top following their easy win over the Sri Lankan’s on Wednesday and, with their run rate given a health boost too in the victory it saw the Proteas leading the way. In the case of Australia and England, both were still in with a chance of finishing top and knew a win and result at the other match would see one of the three sides topping the standings. While the Aussies faced the South Africans down Taunton in Somerset, England met the West Indians in Bristol and the sight of their dramatic win six days ago against Australia when they squeezed a three run win.


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SOUTH AFRICA 210 ( Wolvaardt 71 / Haynes 2-12/ Jonassen 2-40)  
     AUSTRALIA 269 (  Bolton 79   Luus 5-67)                                                       

AUSTRALIA WON BY 59 RUNS 

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Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp congratulate a Wicket- Pic ICC World Cricket

Starting at the County Ground in Somerset, whoever prevailed in the top of the table encounter between the two, it meant that if England would lose their game in Bristol then the victors would top the standings overall. Australia batted first and saw their captain Meg Lanning missing in the contest following her troublesome shoulder injury, so stand-in Captain Rachael Haynes came in to replace the normal skipper. 

 

The Australian pairing of Beth Mooney and Nicole Bolton saw the Aussie batsmen putting on an unbeaten opening stand of a hundred for the opening wicket and saw the ‘Southern Stars’ duo dominating the South African bowlers for the first 20 overs of the game. Ayabonga Khaka then made the breakthrough through for South Africa in the 21st over, as her delivery clipped Beth Mooney’s off stump and sent the opener back to the dugout for a knock of 53. Rachael Haynes then made no impression at all on the scoreboard for her side, as she made a six-ball duck with Dane van Niekerk taking a the caught bowled to leave Australia 117-2.

Sune Luus of South Africa then had the Aussies in a spot of trouble, as the spinner took two wickets in two balls to have the Aussies rocking a bit, with Nicole Bolton trying to smash a full toss away and instead ended up finding Marizanne Kapp in the field to make the catch and go on 79. On the following ball, it saw a delivery landing around the legs of Elyse Villani and see her out for a duck. Ellyse Perry saw her form with the bat continuing on in this tournament, as after previous scores of 70 against England and then 60 v India during the week, she added another 55 runs to her overall total of 366, before Luus got her pulling at a ball and finding Kapp who took the catch.

After Perry departed for the Aussies, it then saw Alex Blackwell going for 33 and saw a mini collapse for the World Champions, as they lost their final four wickets for just 34 runs and set their opponents a total of 270 for victory. Sune Luus was the pick of the bowlers with a five-wicket haul for 67 runs, while Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk both picked up a brace of wickets too for their efforts.

South Africa in reply to Australia’s 269 – saw them losing Lizelle Lee early in the Innings for 9 runs off the bowling of Jess Jonassen. Laura Wolvaardt then moved onto her half century with a crushing blow that went for four and saw her leading the reply for the Proteas. Trisha Chetty was then run out for 37 after a terrific throw came in from the boundary off Ellyse Perry –  to which Alyssa Healy quickly whipped off the bails and claimed the second South African wicket.

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Ashleigh Gardner of Australia Appeals for a wicket – Pic: ICC World Cricket

Just as Mignon du Preez and Wolvaardt looked to be steadying the ship for the Proteas, du Preez then tried to slog a full toss away for six off the step-in Australian Captain in Haynes, but Ashleigh Gardner who was coming in off the ropes saw her making the catch and seeing South Africa going three-wickets down. Two overs later saw Laura Wolvaardt entertaining Innings of 71 coming to an end, and was almost a carbon copy of the previous dismissal that got rid of du Preez, with Wolvaardt going big and having Gardner taking the catch.

 South Africa then suffered a middle-order batting collapse that saw four wickets falling for just three runs. Firstly, Marizanne Kapp was brilliantly run out by an Alex Blackwell direct hit for 19 and with Dane van Niekerk falling next, after she unluckily played on for 1 it saw Sune Luus edging soon after from an Ellyse Perry ball to the keeper and finally saw Ayabonga Khaka trapped LBW by Perry next ball, to see the Proteas go from 148-4 to now 165-8.  

 

Kristen Beams bowled Masabata Klaas out for 9 and that soon saw the Australians rounding the match over with the final ball of the Innings courtesy of Megan Schutt who saw Shabnim Ismail trying to hit her over the top and could only hit it towards Elyse Villani for a comfortable catch and seal the win for Australia and send them into the Semi Finals with back to back wins.


 

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                        WEST INDIES ( Matthews 29 / Sciver 3-3 )                                          
ENGLAND  ( Knight 67  / Fletcher 3-33 )

ENGLAND WON BY 92 RUNS 

England knew that a win and a good win would see them finish top no matter what happened at Taunton. The home side came out to bat first and yet again their top order again failed to fire as they would have liked, as Lauren Winfield was caught out by Hayley Matthews near the boundary rope for 11 off the bowling of Qiana Joseph to see an early breakthrough for the Windies. England’s Wicket-keeping batsmen Sarah Taylor saw her poor run of form continue with the bat, as she edged behind a Deandra Dottin delivery to slips and have Matthews taking a big catch in the game. 

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Heather Knight smashes a ball away- Pic: ICC Cricket

Tammy Beaumont and top run scorer of this World Cup Tournament to date, saw her and England Captain Heather Knight calmly moving proceedings on for the home side until Beaumont attempted a scoop shot that she got terribly wrong and resulted in the ball going straight up in the air and have the England opener missing out on yet another half-century with 42. The heroine from Wednesday’s game v New Zealand in Centurion Natalie Sciver, saw her failing to score this time out with an Afy Flecther delivery bowling her for a two-ball duck.

Fran Wilson was the next victim for Afy Fletcher after the West Indies spinner asked for a review of the not out decision against Wilson to be looked at and saw the umpire’s call being overturned and leave England five-down for 105. Katherine Brunt and Heather Knight then started to rebuild up the hosts total again after a shaky first half to their Innings, but Brunt was soon out stumped for 14 after Anisa Mohammed managed to spin the ball that beat the bat and have Merissa Aguilleria taking off the bails.

Knight was then bowled by Matthews for 67 and that saw the England captain helping her side getting the score up towards the mid-170 mark before heading back to the team dugout and that made the side push on. Jenny Gunn and Laura Marsh then put on an unbroken partnership of 48 to take the hosts passed the 200 mark and finish on 220-7 after 50 overs, with Gunn not out on 24 and Marsh on 31, to give them a very good total to defend after such a poor start by the home side. At the end of the England Innings, it saw Hayley Matthews down on the ground in pain for the West Indies, with the opening batter suffering from a touch of cramp.

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Nat Sciver appeals for an LBW decision: Pic – ICC Cricket

As the Windies opened their Innings, it saw Matthews starting very slowly and almost like she wanted to try and avoid aggravating her discomfort. With England’s opponents starting to click into gear, it then saw Kycia Knight being run out for 17 to give the hosts their first wicket and early joy in the Innings. Laura Marsh then trapped Stafanie Taylor for 0 with an LBW decision and saw Alex Hartley doing the same to Matthews later on in the 23rd over, as the opener left the game for 29.

 

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Alex Hartley celebrates taking a wicket in England’s win over the Windies – Pic: ICC Cricket

The West Indies then lost their fifth wicket after the dismissal of Deandra Dottin for 7, after Heather Knight managed to get her out LBW and that began to see a pattern taking shape looking down the Windes scorecard. Natalie Sciver who failed perform with the bat saw her making up for it with the ball, as the England bowler was the top wicket taker for the home side in the game as she claimed three wickets in the match. Her first wicket saw Chedean Nation trying a pull shot off Sciver, but her attempted shot found Tammy Beaumont making a running catch to see the back of Nation as she was out for 23.

Next out was Merissa Aguilleira for 8, with Sciver getting her out with an LBW and repeated the feat a few overs later as she got Afy Fletcher out the same way too for 3 and have the West Indies teetering on 99-7. Things got not no better for them, as soon after Katherine Brunt got Akiera Peters out LBW for 0, it saw the Windies just getting past the triple figures mark as the nine-wicket went down. Anya Shrubsole completed the comprehensive win for England in the 48th over of the match, with the wicket of Anisa Mohammed for 14 as she fell to an LBW decision too and have the host nation picking up their seventh Leg Before Wicket dismissals in the match and cement their place as table toppers in the standings.


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                        India Women  265-7   (Raj 109  /  Kasperek 3-45)                              
                   New Zealand  (Satterthwaite 26 / Gayakwad 5-15)

INDIA WOMEN WON BY 186 RUNS 

The match with more riding on it pitted India and New Zealand against each other in what was effectively an unofficial ‘Quarter-Final’ clash between the sides at Derby’s County Ground and determine who would make semi-finals. New Zealand made a couple of early breakthroughs in the Indians Innings, as Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana were both out cheaply and that saw India on 21-2 after 7 overs gone. 

One of the stars of this year’s tournament and someone who recently became the highest-run scorer in Women’s International Cricket ever, after she passed the record of England’s Charlotte Edwards, saw Indian’s run-machine Mithali Raj and also Harmanpreet Kaur repairing the damage of the early wickets to see the Indians moving past the hundred runs mark. Kaur was then out for 60 after she was caught and bowled by Leigh Kasperek and had the Kiwi bowler forced to juggle the ball before making the catch. 

Deepti Sharma then fell for no score, as she edged behind and saw a brilliantly low taken catch by Rachel Priest off the bowling of Hannah Rowe to see another Indian wicket going down. Veda Krishnamurthy looked very much like a woman in a hurry during her Innings, as she struck a couple of massive sixes along with boundaries as she built up a partnership with Raj out in the middle and saw India posting a huge total. Mitahli Raj then ran for two to help bring up her century and 6th One Day hundred in her career. 

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Indian’s run machine Mithali Raj piles on the run to help India qualify for Semi-Finals – Pic ICC Cricket

Raj then saw her Innings come to conclusion in the final over, with the Indian Batsman skying it up high and having Amy Satterthwaite coming into make the catch off Leigh Kasperek bowling for 109 and have India 262-5. Krishnamurthy was then run out for 70 on the penultimate ball of the Innings, while the last ball saw Kasperek picking up her third wicket and have Satterthwaite taking another catch right by the rope to see the Indians finishing on 265-7 in their 50 overs.

New Zealand needed a very good start to their run chase to give them hope of hunting down the big total, but instead, it saw the ‘White Ferns’ skittled out for a lowly 79 runs in 25.3 overs. Opener Suzie Bates lasted all of two balls, as she scored one before getting an inside edge off the bat from Shikha Pandey and have Veda Krishnamurthy back in the action again, to take the catch. Rachel Priest then went caught and bowled for 5 off Jhulan Goswami and that pretty much set the tone for the Kiwis as they went into a tailspin from that point onwards.

Katey Martin threw her wicket away for 12, as she flicked the ball out towards Kaur in the field and gave Deepti Sharma her first wicket in the match. Amy Satterthwaite was the only New Zealander to put up a real fight in the Innings, but she was only able to make 26 from 47 balls before she was out stumped off the bowling of Rajeshwari Gayakwad and saw the spinner beginning to weave her magic.

Sharma then bowled Katie Perkins for 1 and when Gayakwad claimed her second wicket of the match getting Sophie Devine out for 7 – it saw New Zealand in heaps of trouble at 57-6. India was practically strolling to the Semi Finals when Rajeshwar Gayakwad took her third wicket to dismiss Hannah Rowe out for 4 and the Indian fans were partying mood already in Derby.

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India’s Women celebrating their victory over New Zealand to reach World Cup Semi’s – Pic: ICC Cricket

The Kiwis went eight-down in the 22nd over, after Poonam Yadav saw her ball to Maddy Green being struck right towards Jhulan Goswami and leave the ‘White Ferns’ 62-8. Lea Tahuhu then became the fourth victim for Gayakwadi, as Tahuhu made 5 runs and saw the game heading into its last rites by the time Leigh Kasperek came out to the crease for New Zealand. Rajeshwari Gayakwad then brought the game to an early finish and end with a ‘5-fer’ to help easily stamp India’s passage into the Semi-Finals with a crushing win over New Zealand.  

The semi-finals are now set in stone and will see India taking on the World Champions Australia on Thursday in Derby, while England and South Africa will meet at the Bristol County Ground for a place in the 2017 World Cup Final next Sunday at Lord’s. 


Sri Lanka

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                 SRI LANKA   221-7 ( Manodara 84 / Bing 3 – 41 )               PAKISTAN 206  ( Abidi 57 / Gunarante 4 – 41 )  

SRI LANKA WIN BY 15 RUNS 

In the remaining game of the day, it saw Sri Lanka facing Pakistan at Leicester’s Grace Road and had the Sri Lankan’s prevailing by 15 runs to sign off with a win in the tournament. Sri Lanka lost two early wickets to find themselves 18-2 before a small partnership by Charmari Athapaththu and Shashikala Siriwardena helped their side to 64-3, with Athapaththu becoming the next batsman to depart. Dilani Manodara came out to the middle and was the star of the show for the Sri Lankans in their Innings.

Manodara saw a few wickets falling during her stay at the crease as Siriwardena went for 17, Prasadani Weerakkodi for 5 and Eshani Lokusuriyage for 28 – to have Sri Lanka on 174 for 6. Diliani Manodara then got caught by Sidra Nawaz of a ball from Diana Baig and bring her Innings to a close for 84 and help post a good target for Pakistan to chase. The Innings ended with Ama Kanchana not out for 21 and Sripali Weerkkody for 4 as the total set for the Pakistan side was 222.

Pakistan in their Innings saw them losing openers Ayesha Zafar and Bibi Nahida cheaply, and when Javeria Wadood was run out for 24 – it looked like the target was further away from their grasp. Iram Javed then lofted a catchable ball to Ama Kanchana to go for 15 and Abidi who had looked good with a score of 57, then saw her running herself out with a run that wasn’t on and saw Pakistan’s chance all but evaporate. 

Sana Mir was then out LBW with one run added to the Pakistan total and saw them now 135-6. Asmavia Iqbal Khokhar decided to try and take on the Sri Lankan bowlers on and make herself a hero, but she needed support from her teammates and none were forthcoming. With the final wicket of Sadia Yousaf falling and bring the Innings to a close, it left Khokar unbeaten with a score of 38 not out and see the Pakistan side for a second straight World Cup being unable to register a point and have Sri Lanka as the victors.


World Cup Semi Finals:
 ENGLAND v SOUTH AFRICA  Bristol    Tuesday
     AUSTRALIA v INDIA                   Derby     Thursday
World Cup Final:
Eng/SA  v  Aus/Ind                      Lord’s    Sunday 

Joy of Six For Nicholson As Mayhem Crush Champs

Para Hockey

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 Peterborough Phantoms 3 – 6 Manchester Mayhem

A brilliant performance by a short-benched Manchester side saw the Mayhem pulling off a stunning 6-3 away victory at the home of the League Champions in the Peterborough Phantoms, courtesy of four-goals by Mayhem captain Karl Nicholson and a brace from Anthony Booth to help record their second win of the season and keep their faint title hopes alive.  It has been a common theme in all the games this season involving the Mayhem that the Manchester side have struggled to ice a full strength side, so with a depleted team, it saw the win almost most remarkable.

Manchester drafted in a couple of guest replacements with Kingston Kestrels Tony King and Simon Berry stepping in at short notice for the Mayhem, as it saw the visiting side able to ice an line. For the home side, it saw them at full strength and also welcomed back Ian Warner to their side for the clash.

The visitors controlled the play on and forced the Phantoms netminder Robin Gaze into action with some good stops to keep the game scoreless. Peterborough managed to force themselves back into the contest, but they couldn’t stop the away side taking the lead though a Karl Nicholson effort at 4.29 before doubling the lead later in the period at 11.34 to see the Mayhem moving 2-0 up.

Peterborough responded in the second half of the period, thanks to two late goals by Ian Warner and Scotty Turner as they pulled it back to 2-2 and on the balance of play Manchester will have felt aggrieved at not leading after the open stanza. Once again though it saw the Mayhem surrendering a lead and making it harder for themselves.

In the second period, it saw the home side coming out of the traps a lot quicker and building on their momentum from the back of the first with a go ahead goal at 21.16 from the stick of Darren Brown, to see the Phantoms scoring three unanswered goals to lead the game. Unfortunately for the home side, it saw their lead lasting less than two minutes, with the host’s goal providing a wake-up call for the Mayhem side and began to see the game turning in the favour of their opponents.

Firstly Anthony Booth registered his first goal of the game assisted by Karl Nicholson at 22.42, before then repeating the same feat towards the back of the period to and give the visitors a 4-3 lead after two periods of hockey. It also saw the period being one of physicality and some good passages of play coming from both sides as the game headed into the final period.

Play in the third saw a more evenly contested period between the two and saw a big collision involving Matt Coleman of the Peterborough Phantoms, which saw the forward staying down but was thankfully ok minutes later. Manchester then made it 5-3 with an effort from Karl Nicholson at 40.22 with Booth grabbing an assist on it. Soon it was followed up with the sixth goal by Nicholson and his fourth of the night, as he sealed the victory for the Mayhem.

The Netminder for the Mayhem in Dougy Hankinson, saw the Manchester goalie making some crucial stops late on from the Phantom forwards, with Hankinson preserving the three-goal lead for the visitors. Victory for the Mayhem saw the kind of performance that was missing from the Manchester side the week before, with the visitors showing quick movements and were able to establish a far more fluid passing and attacking side to their game than that of their previous fixture.

What the result means now is that the Mayhem are still in the hunt for the league title, but will need Manchester to win all their remaining fixtures to lift the trophy for the first time. The Mayhem will have to do it the hard way with Cardiff away in the near future as well as the return fixture with the Phantoms at Widnes next month. If that wasn’t difficult enough, then their next game is against the high flying Kingston Kestrels and will be playing the unbeaten league leaders home and away

Defeat for Manchester on the 15th of July will hand the title to the Hull-based outfit and will condemn Manchester to play for a runners up spot, though in hindsight considering the last twelve-months that would be a huge achievement.

England Women Beat Aussies in Nail-biter

Cricket

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                                      England    259-8  Beaumont 49 Brunt 45*          Villani   3-42

                                      Australia  256-8  Perry 70  Lanning 40               Hartley 2-31   

                                                              ENGLAND WON BY 3 RUNS

                                                            AT BRISTOL COUNTY GROUND


Almost 5,000 fans were in attendance to watch England’s Women finally snapping their 24-year losing streak against the old enemy Australia in a World Cup – thanks mostly to Katherine Brunt and Jenny Gunn who proved to be match-winners in the host’s 3-run victory at Bristol’s County Ground on Sunday. Brunt who top-scored with 45 not out and had her teammate in Jenny Gunn scoring 39 down the order of the England Innings, saw the pair putting on an 84-run partnership for the seventh wicket stand that proved to be the key in the part of the match and have the duo performing with the ball as well.  

Before the contest got underway with the two oldest cricketing rivals in history, it saw Australia having not lost to England in a World Cup game since the 1993 tournament held in England and with the Aussies unbeaten in this year’s competition so far, a win was enough to send the Southern Stars through to the Semi-Finals. For England – this was a must-win game for them, as a loss would have been huge ahead of their final two group games against New Zealand and the West Indies to follow. But a win against their bitter enemies looked a tall order on paper, but not impossible. 

England Captain Heather Knight won the toss and chose to bat first, with the idea of posting a good score and putting pressure on her opponents on a wicket that looked a bit flatter than the game played on previous only a few days ago that saw England beating South Africa on. Things didn’t get off to the best of starts for England – with Lauren Winfield getting out cheaply for one after her shot went straight to Nicole Bolton off the bowling of Megan Schutt to see the hosts 6 for 1. 

Wicketkeeping- batsman Sarah Taylor then came to the crease for England and saw her and opener Tammy Beaumont steadying the ship a bit for the home side as Taylor played some nice shots and picking up a few boundaries along the way. Australian Captain Meg Lanning then brought spinner Kristen Beams into the attack and it brought immediate rewards for the Aussies – as she managed to get one to turn and deceive a dancing down the pitch Sarah Taylor to clean bowl the England player for 35 and, see England on 52-2 just after 11 overs. 

England soon found themselves three wickets down, when the England Captain Heather Knight chipped a ball up to her Aussie counterpart Meg Lanning at mid-off and that gave Beams her second wicket of the match and saw England in a spot of trouble at 56-3. Nat Sciver then came in next to the crease and saw her helping to move England into triple figures and have both her and Beaumont keeping the scoreboard ticking along with boundaries and one and twos.

Sciver then replicated the dismissal of her captain Knight later on, as the England batsman tried to hit Elyse Villani down the ground but could only find Lanning who took the catch and saw England four down. Danielle Wyatt then came to the middle and saw the All-Rounder trying to take the Aussie bowlers on, with Wyatt slogging a six and four off the bowling of Jess Jonassen in the 27th over to see the hosts gaining some momentum in the contest. 

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Kristen Beams and the Australian side celebrate a wicket – PIC: ICC-Cricket.com

With the hosts looking good out in the middle and punishing some poor bowling by the Australians – with Ellyse Perry contributing to those bowling problems after she suffered a nightmare spell with the ball, bowling five-wides and conceding a six in her second spell. Not long after Beaumont and Wyatt had reached their 50-run partnership in the Innings, it then saw Beaumont missing out on her fifty with the England opener getting out on 49 after she got a thick top edge from a full-toss delivery by Ashleigh Gardner and saw the bowler taking the catch herself to have the hosts on 156-5 after 35 overs gone. 

Katherine Brunt then entered the fray and joined Danielle Wyatt out in the middle and saw Wyatt finishing the over with a Six down the ground as both batters tried to regain the momentum that seemed to keep dropping after every wicket that fell. Wyatt then became the next batsman to depart, as she was bowled by Jess Jonassen for 27, with the England player attempting to play a sweep and saw the ball hitting the stumps for the sixth wicket to fall and have the hosts looking a bit light on runs.

With England 183-6 with ten overs still remaining in their Innings, it saw a couple of bizarre incidents involving Jenny Gunn and Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy. Firstly it saw Healy fluffing her lines on a stumping attempt on the England batter before the very next ball saw the wicketkeeper taking a catch and spilling it on the ground with the umpire controversially giving it out before a review saw the decision rightly overturned.

In the 41st and 43rd overs, it saw Elyse Villani coming back into the Australian bowling attack and leaked a combined total of 23 runs that helped the home side out in their total and got some much-needed runs on the board. The hosts had become a bit stagnated in their scoring during their Innings and saw Katherine Brunt starting to see engineer a quicker pace to proceedings for the hosts which included smashing a six over long-on and having the England player moving up a gear or two along with Gunn, as they were starting to press on.

Jenny Gunn then joined in on the action, as Gunn launched a six over the ropes and was soon followed by another boundary by Brunt to see England heading into the penultimate over 240-6. Megan Schutt then came back to try and dry up the runs of the home side and that was after the Aussies were haemorrhaging runs badly towards the end of the England Innings and saw Schutt doing a very good job of limiting the English duo to just six runs from the over.   

To the surprise of many in the ground, Meg Lanning decided to have Ellyse Villani bowling the last over for Australia, when Ellyse Perry seemed to be the far better option and had a been economy rate between the two bowlers. That decision seemed to prove costly for the ‘Southern Stars’ in the end – as England scored 13 runs off the over and posted a final total of 259-8, despite losing Jenny Gunn stumped for 39 and then Anya Shrubsole for a two-ball duck.

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Nat Sciver in action PIC: ICC-Cricket

At the halfway stage it looked to be a good total overall by the home side considering England were 102-4 and looked to be in deep trouble, but knocks from Tammy Beaumont who top-scored with 49, Katherine Brunt unbeaten on 45 not out and cameo performances by Jenny Gunn (39) and Sarah Taylor (35), helped see England fighting back in the Innings and setting a decent total for the Aussies to try and chase down.

Australia soon got their eye in with the bat as they moved quickly to 17 without loss after 3 overs gone. There was then another bit of controversy in the next over – when England appealed for a catch and saw the umpire motioning for a wide from it, but Knight asked for a review and saw the decision standing as not out, after the ball had clipped the thigh pad of the batsman, but more importantly though the umpire failed to retract the wide call he had given and that error by the umpire come have come back to cost the home side in the end.

Katherine Brunt then saw the Barnsley-born bowler picking up a maiden in the 5th over and saw her starting to frustrate the Australians with her play. England was doing very well to restrict the Aussies from scoring big score run in the game, as some good fielding notably by the Captain Heather Knight in the field saw the opening duo of Nicole Bolton and Beth Mooney limited early on in their Innings. England had their first real chance of a wicket come their way when Mooney tried to play a drive back towards the bowler and saw Danielle Hazell unable to hold on to the catch, as it just escaped her clutches and was agonisingly close for the hosts. 

Bolton and Mooney were going about nicely in their run chase for Australia as the duo took the ‘Southern Stars’ past 50-0 and, looked in no danger at all either. That was until Alex Hartley then bowled one around the wicket to Mooney, who then saw her lifting a shot over the bowler and into the path of the diving Lauren Winfield who made the catch and make the breakthrough for the home side to send Mooney back to the house for 31.

England was restricting their opponents to ones and twos and not giving up the big runs to their opponents, which in turn then saw them picking up a big wicket of Nicole Bolton in the 19th over, as the opener pushed at a ball and saw a well-taken catch into the gloves of Sarah Taylor and see the Australians 72-2. Hartley then bowled brilliantly to see her giving up just one run from the following over and that looked it was swinging the momentum back towards the home side.

At the halfway mark of the Australian Innings, it saw the Green and Golds trailing by 8 runs at this point in time when compared to their opponents. The pairing of Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning had both of them unable to get on top of the England bowlers and saw the World Champions struggling to get runs on the board and the required rate was going up and up and getting away from the Aussies.  

Perry and Lanning found a couple of boundaries to help relieve pressure on the batting side and move the score along and see the English side having some nerves creeping into their play. This game was a see-saw battle with both sides trying to wrestle control from the other one and back again. The Aussies looked like they were starting to take control of the game, but a stunning delivery by Alex Hartley saw the spinner causing the Australian Captain to yorking herself and see the ball hitting her off stump and remove Lanning for 40.

It was a good knock by the Australian Captain considering Lanning has been struggling with a chronic shoulder injury for most of the tournament and show some signs that the shoulder was troublesome during her fielding attempts, but it certainly didn’t affect her batting display. Ellyse Perry was then joined at the crease Elyse Villani, as Villani was given a huge lifeline by Anya Shrubsole when the fielder dropped her in the field after it looked like a straightforward catch for the England bowler heard gasps of in disbelief in the Pro-England crowd.

Perry looked in good nick for the visitors as she hammered a four and six in the same over off the bowling of Hazell to see the Aussies needing 107 runs from the last 15 overs for victory. England needed a bit of a pick me up after the dropped catch had taken the wind out of their proverbial sails and saw Alex Hartley producing a good over of bowling that saw the host nation conceding just one run. 

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Ellyse Perry strikes a boundary with England’s Sarah Taylor looking on – PIC: http://www.icc-cricket.com

Villani seemed to struggle with the bat for Australia and it looked like her Innings had come to an end when Shrubsole appealed for an LBW decision that saw the umpire agreeing and giving her out. However the Australian immediately asked for the decision to be reviewed and the Ultra-Edge system shown a spike on the graph to suggest that she got a small bottom edge on the bat and saw a reversal of the call. With 40 overs bowled in the game in the Innings, it saw Australia needing 91 runs from 60 balls to win and have the match in the balance still. 

Ellyse Perry then brought up her half-century with a single and you felt as long as she was out there for the Aussies then they were still in with a chance of the game. England then got the wicket of Elyse Villani for 14, after she tried to go big but could only find Jenny Gunn who took the catch and that seemed to give the home side a boost moving forward too. Perry was continuing her form with the bat, as she picked away at the England bowling attack with a four and six and she tried her best to single-handedly bring her side nearer to the total.

Alex Blackwell was more aggressive in her approach play to her Innings when she came out to the middle – with two powerfully struck boundaries and saw the Australian’s kick-on and gaining some momentum heading into the stretch. England then had a golden chance to dent the World Champions hope of victory with five overs to go when Perry tried to go long and see the ball coming off the bottom of the bat and heading toward Nat Sciver, but the England player dropped it and let Perry and also Australia off the hook.  

Much like at the back end of the England Innings that saw Meg Lanning making a decision on who to bowl and it backfiring in hindsight, for England it saw Heather Knight bringing Katherine Brunt back into bowling attack and proved to be a masterstroke in the game. The first ball of the over saw Brunt beating Blackwell and clipping her off stump with the England players celebrating the wicket, but had Blackwell unconvinced that the ball had been dislodged by the bowling of Brunt and thought that the wicketkeeper had knocked the bails off instead.

The wicket was asked to be checked out and make sure that the gloves of Sarah Taylor that was stood very close to the stumps didn’t come in contact with them and dislodge the bails, the replays showed that she didn’t touch the bails and so Alex Blackwell was forced to depart the scene for 21, in what was a small but effective Innings for the Aussies. 

During this tournament and in recent Ashes battles in England of late, it has saw the Aussies having a good luck charm in their Team Coach driver called Greg, or Greggles’ as nicknamed by the Aussie side and much like buses – when one one comes along another arrives too and that was the case of the Australians wickets that followed. After Blackwell went at the start of the Brunt over, it then saw the prize wicket of Ellyse Perry going after a brilliant knock of 70 with Nat Sciver redeeming herself after dropping a catch earlier on in the Innings and took the important catch by the boundary rope to see the back of Perry.

With the score 222-6 after 47 overs gone, it saw the ‘Southern Stars’ needing 38 more runs from the remaining 18 balls in the match and surely they couldn’t spring a late surprise on their opponents in the match, ..could they? Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner tried their absolute best to make sure that they still had a chance late on in the contest – as Gardner struck a six on the first ball of Danielle Hazell’s over and then saw Healy smashing a couple of successive boundaries to see the Aussies now needing 23 off the last 14 balls. 

With the crowd who had been noisy and confident of victory not so long ago now becoming nervous and tense with many chewing their fingernails over the state of play, it saw the home side leaking 19 runs in their last five deliveries. Some fans could barely watch what would happen next in this encounter and saw more twist and turns in this game than you would find in a novel. Danielle Hazell who had been hit for 15 runs after four balls gone in her over, saw her really needing a response and she got one as she trapped Healy LBW for 14 and that looked to be the end of the Aussies challenge.  

Healy though knew it was a long shot but asked for her dismissal to be reviewed and on the replay, it showed that the ball was going to crash into the middle stump and saw Australia 7 wickets down in the match. Brunt who had been one the main performers in the contest with bat and ball, then saw the England player bowling the penultimate over of the Innings and conceded just six runs off it and left their opponents needing 16 off the final over to deny the host nation a famous win.

Jenny Gunn was asked to be the person to finish the job off for England, but yet again the Australian side showed they don’t know how to lose and their battling qualities were on show yet again, as Jess Jonassen hit a four to the boundary and with a couple of singles sandwiched in too for good measure,  it saw them needing a further 11 runs to claim victory.

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Katherine Brunt and Jenny Gunn hug after England beat the Australians – PIC: http://www.icc-cricket.com

Gunn then bowled a slower ball to Gardner who saw hit it high in the air and after everything that Katherine Brunt had done to get England into a winning position – she was never going to do anything else but take the catch and so she edged England closer to a win. There was still time though for another twist to this epic game between rivals though, as Jonassen hit a ball down the ground and what looked like to be easily fielded ball by Nat Sciver, instead it turned into a misfield by the ropes and resulted in a fumble and saw it go for four and leave the Australians needing a six off the final ball to win the game. 

Jenny Gunn then bowled the last delivery in a pulsating game and saw Jess Jonassen putting everything into the last attack and saw her attempted slog not having the distance and an end to the game and finally see a victory for England over their old enemy for the first time since 1993. If this was a preview to the Final then cricketing fans will be wanting more of this should the encounter take place again at Lord’s on the 23rd of July in the World Cup Final.  



 

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Taken from: Cricbuzz



 

Final Test Thriller Sees Lions/NZ Series Drawn

Rugby

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NEW ZEALAND 15 – 15 BRITISH & IRISH LIONS 

Saturday morning saw the Third and Final Test match on the British and Irish Lions Tour for 2017 – with a thrilling 15-15 all draw at Eden Park in Auckland. The drawn series was the first to happen on a Lions Tour in 62 years and have the Welsh connection of Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton, as the only Head Coach and Captain pairing to remain undefeated in back to back Lions Tour in their sides 129-year history.  

Following a disastrous opening Test loss in Auckland a fortnight ago, it saw a good response to draw the series level last week, after New Zealander Sonny Bill Williams was sent off and helped the Lions out a bit with the Tourists fending off the hosts to make the series all square going into this series-decider.    

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Jordie Barrett goes over for All Blacks before Half Time – Pic: Sky News

The visitors found themselves deep inside the All Blacks half were pushing for a try with great field position and pinning the Kiwis near their own try line, but when Owen Farrell saw his intended pass out wide intercepted by Beauden Barritt – it saw Jonathan Davies and Liam Williams getting back to keep the hosts out. 

Moments later saw New Zealand breaking the deadlock in the 15th minute of the game when the Barrett brothers linked up to set up a try for Ngani Laumape right in the corner. It came from a Beauden Barrett cross-field kick towards brother Jordie and he was able to palm it backwards towards Laumape and have put the All Blacks in front.  Beauden kicked the extras and put the home side 7-0 ahead with the hosts on top. 

Owen Farrell who wasn’t having one of his best games in the Red shirt of the Lions, then saw the England man slotting a penalty over to make it 7-3 and have the visitors on the board. Farrell then kicked over another penalty after 33 minutes gone for the Lions, before Jordie Barrett strolled over the try-line after some good play by the All Blacks forwards – saw the home side increasing their lead to 12-6 before the half time break.

Elliott Daly then converted on a monster kick for the British and Irish Lions at the start of the second half, with Daly kicking over a 52-metre long penalty and saw the deficit cut to three points at 12-9. That kick seemed to galvanise the fans wearing the Red of the visitors at Eden Park and boost the Lions going forward in the match. 

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Elliott Daly celebrates his huge Penalty Kick to get Lions back in the game – Pic: Sky Sports

New Zealand then found themselves down to 14-men again after Jerome Kaino was adjudged of foul play after catching Lions Alun Wyn Jones in the face with an arm, however, the result was a trip to the sin bin after being shown the yellow card from match referee Poite. Farrell saw his third penalty kick tying the game up at 12-12 with 20 minutes of the game left to play and saw the contest on a knife edge still.

With just over 12 minutes left to play it then saw the home side awarded a penalty following a collapsing scrum involving Kyle Sinckler – and Barritt successfully kicked over for an easy score to make it 15-12 and looked like that could possibly be the winning points. The Lions knew they would have one more chance in the game and when they were awarded a penalty three minutes from time it saw Farrell making it four from four with the boot, as he drew the scores level late on. 

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All Black captain Kieran Read debates with Match Official Roman Poite late on – Pic: SKY NEWS

There was still time though for more drama in this pulsating series- finale, as from the restart New Zealand were awarded a penalty kick and that was subsequently changed after checking with the TMO. All Blacks captain Kieran Read was clearly not happy and insisted that the match official had the rules wrong and tried to correct him, but French official Roman Poite stood by his decision of an ‘accidental offside’ involving the Lions man in the incident and a scrum was awarded instead.   

As the match ticked over the 80-minute mark, it saw the Lions defence being massively tested late on as the home side looked to steal the win at the death and the series too, but credit to the visitors they refused to buckle and saw the game out in the end. It saw honours even on two fronts, firstly the test match that was superb through came to an end and was 15-15 while the series too was tied, as the sides could not be separated over three matches. 

Both captains were left feeling the same after the contest, as the All Black captain Kieran Read was clearly unimpressed with the change of decision late on by the official, as otherwise, it would have been a kickable penalty for the hosts to win the match from. From the British and Irish Lions point of view, it had captain Sam Warburton left speechless and a tinged with disappointment too with a drawn match.

With questions being asked about the long-term future of the British and Irish Lions tours moving forward as Rugby bosses in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres discussing plans, it was also announced that future Lions tour will be shortened from 10 matches to 8 starting from the 2021 tour of South Africa – but the past two tours have shown that these mean a lot to the Southern hemisphere as well as the Northern hemisphere too.


 

Great Britain Storm to World Cup Final

Speedway

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GREAT BRITAIN ROAR TO WORLD CUP FINAL

(King’s Lynn/Great Britain) Saturday evening at the Adrian Flux Arena in King’s Lynn saw Event 1 of the 2017 Monster Energy Speedway World Cup being won comfortably by hosts Great Britain, with Captain Craig Cook top scoring with 14 points to lead his side to the final. The captain was given great support throughout the British side with Chris Harris, track specialist Robert Lambert and Cook’s teammate up at Belle Vue in Steve Worrall, all scoring 13 points a piece in the meeting and see Great Britain heading back to the World Cup Final in Poland next Saturday night.

Great Britain made a stunning start to the meeting with all four riders winning out in their first rides. Craig Cook got the party started as he jumped on a error by Troy Batchelor in the opening race and then saw the first drama of the meeting in Heat 2, after Australian Nick Morris clipped the back wheel of the American youngster Gino Manzares down the back straight and sent the Swindon man tumbling off his bike and being excluded from the re-run. 

Steve Worrall made it two wins on the bounce for the hosts after the third time of asking, when Worrall was guilty of jumping the gun in the restart, but in the second restart Worrall was superb from the gate and took the race win to open up a four point lead. Chris ‘Bomber’ Harris made a good gate and had enough speed to come around Vaclav Milik from the Czech Republic to take Heat 3 and in Heat 4 saw the battle of the King’s Lynn boys in Rob Lambert and Chris Holder, with the GB man forcing his Stars team mate out wide and securing victory.

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Steve Worrall leads the field : PIC SPEEDWAYGP

In the second set of races it saw Lambert making it two wins from two in Heat 5, after the King’s Lynn rider made a superb gate ahead of Max Fricke of Australia and never looked in any danger what so ever. The same though couldn’t be said of Fricke though, as the Belle Vue man came into the final bend with too much speed and had Gino Manzares of the USA pinching second place to gift Team USA two-points and were proving to be a surprise package in Event one. 

Australia then started to mount a comeback of sorts in Heats Six and Seven, with Chris Holder and Troy Batchelor winning the Aussies first two races in the meeting and saw Craig Cook making sure it wasn’t to be three wins in a row for Australia as the British Champion stole a march on his rivals in Heat 8, with the British captain leaving the others for dead. Steve Worrall was suffering with bike problems ahead of his ride in Heat 9 and saw the Belle Vue and Newcastle man forced to ride Chris Harris bike for the first run of the race, before the Czech rider Hynek Stichauer came off on the third bend and saw American Dillion Ruml unable to avoid the fallen rider and ended up crashing and hitting the air fence.

Heat 11 saw the Australian Team Manager Mark Lemon putting the Tactical Joker ride on Chris Holder with the Brits seven-points up, and that saw the the former World Champion coming into replace Nick Morris for the race. Holder took the win and scored six massive points for the Australians in the grand scheme of things to see them cutting the lead cut down to three points on GB in the meeting. Team USA saw them utilising the Tactical Joker in Heat 12 with Gino Manzares being the rider nominated and saw the American doubling his score to two, thanks to a third place finish but it was all about Harris and Batchelor at the front of the race and saw Team GB fending off another challenge from the Australians.

  
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Successful Great British side PIC: SPEEDWAYGP

Great Britain starting to turn the screw a bit then on their rivals with relatively wins coming from Robert Lambert, Chris Harris, while a good ride by Cook saw him remaining unbeaten heading into the final four races of event one. Steve Worrall saw him riding two on the trot and helped book his sides place at the World Cup final in Poland next weekend with an comfortable win in Heat 17. Chris Holder and Troy Batchelor then gave the Aussies some confidence ahead of their race-off meeting in Poland on Friday night, after collecting a couple of race wins. 

Czech rider Vaclav Milik provided the shock win of the night, after the former Poole Pirates man and ex-Grand Prix rider saw him denying Craig Cook from going through the card unbeaten to take Heat 20. Cook though was still forced to earn his two points in the race after missing the gate and that saw the Cumbrian rider getting by Nick Morris on the second lap and despite trying to chase the leader, he was forced to settle for second.

Australia will look back to the start of the meeting and know that their slow start cost them and that gave the hosts a good foundation to build on throughout and will look to make amends in the race-off.  For the Czechs, they were never in the meeting at all to be fair and they seemed to struggled on the King’s Lynn circuit for power and just being able to match their opponents, especially the Americans and that saw them missing out on a race-off spot. Arguable the side of the meeting were the Americans, with the side mainly being made of youngsters put on a great performance and thoroughly deserved their place in the run-off. 

Meanwhile the winners of the first event in this year’s World Cup was Alun Rossiter’s Great Britain side and saw his men providing 13 of the 20 Heats victories in the meeting. Victory also shown that they weren’t a man one-team like many thought prior to World Cup week, with Tai Woffinden being seen as a huge miss from the line-up following his refusal to ride after arguments with the bosses in British Speedway.


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Czech Republic = 13   

1. Matej Kus – F, 0, 0, 0 = 0
2. Vaclav Milik – R, 1, 0, 2^, 3 = 6
3. Josef Franc – 1, 1, 0, 1, 1 = 4
4. Hynek Stichauer – 1, FX, 1, 1 = 3
5. Eduard Krcmar – 0, 0 = 0

UNST0001

USA = 15  

1. Ricky Wells – X, 0, 1, 2, 0 = 3
2. Gino Manzares – 2, 2, 2^, 0, 1 = 7
3. Luke Becker – 1, 0, 1, 0 = 2
4. Dillon Ruml – 1, 1, 0 = 2
5. Broc Nicol – 1, 0 = 1

Australia-National-Flag

Australia = 44  

1. Max Fricke – 2, 1, 2, 1, 2 = 8
2. Chris Holder – 2, 3, 3, 6^, 2, 3 = 19
3. Nick Morris – FX, 2, 2, 1 = 5
4. Troy Batchelor – 2, 3, 2, 2, 3 = 12
5. NO RIDER 

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Great Britain = 53 

1. Steve Worrall – 3, 2, 2, 3, 3 = 13
2. Craig Cook – 3, 3, 3, 3, 2 = 14
3. Chris Harris – 3, 2, 3, 3, 2 = 13
4. Robert Lambert – 3, 3, 2, 3, 2 = 13
5. Adam Ellis – DNR