Martin Samuel for MailOnlinePublished:
03:26 EST, 25 November 2017

| Updated:
03:31 EST, 25 November 2017
The most incredible thing happened in the 67th over at The Gabba on Friday morning. Steve Smith played and missed. No, really, he did. James Anderson was the bowler. He got one to do a bit and beat Smith’s bat. If he ever does it again, there will probably be a DVD.Statisticians evaluate this stuff these days. They have a term for it, like unforced errors in tennis, calculating each time a batsman misses or gets an edge. False shots, they call them. Smith averages a false shot every eight balls in 100, making him the most difficult opponent for a bowler in Test cricket. Very good batsmen measure around 14 errors per 100 balls; but Smith is more than just a very good batsman. Right now, he is the best. Steve Smith produced a magnificent innings scoring 141 runs as the Australia captain helped his country gain the initiativeSmith was pumped up as he wrestled back the initiative from England with a captain’s performance for Australia at the GabbaThe Barmy Army have appropriated a Beatles song to chirp at him. They sing it to the tune of With A Little Help From My Friends. Except Smith didn’t have a whole heap of help from many of his friends in Brisbane at all. Shaun Marsh hung around for close to three hours across days two and three, but fell early in Saturday morning’s session with the pair a run short of their 99 partnership. Pat Cummins did an outstanding job keeping Smith company for an eighth wicket stand of 66, the bowler accounting for 42 of them. Yet, take Smith away, and Australia would be losing this Test by a margin. Largely, he …read more


England ended the third day of the first Ashes Test on 33 for two, a lead of seven runs over Australia James Anderson suffered an injury concern to add to England’s problemsHe was only able to bowl four overs between lunch and tea as pressure easedMoeen Ali also struggled to match the form of his counterpart Nathan LyonBy

Paul Newman for MailOnlinePublished:
02:45 EST, 25 November 2017

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02:47 EST, 25 November 2017
It was bad enough for England to lose Alastair Cook and James Vince towards the end of the third day of this compelling opening Test but there were perhaps even greater implications for them in the condition of two other pivotal players.There were concerns here about the fitness of Jimmy Anderson while another key man in Moeen Ali looked worryingly out of sorts with the ball as he struggled to make the impact of Australia’s off-spinner Nathan Lyon.England insisted there was nothing wrong with Anderson after he appeared to grimace while bowling towards the end of the first session of the third day when Australia were in trouble at 209 for seven.James Anderson suffered an injury scare on day three of the opening Ashes Test in BrisbaneAnderson appeared to be in discomfort as he bowled towards the end of the first sessionYet the pressure on Australia was immediately eased when Anderson failed to resume the attack after lunch and the leader of England’s attack was to bowl just four overs between lunch and tea in between spells off the field.Even when England were struggling to finish Australia off Joe Root bowled himself at last man Lyon rather than turn to the man who could have been expected to rapidly mop up the tail.The last thing England need is to have a problem with such a key …read more


Steve Smith finished with 141 not out as the captain helped Australia chase down England’s first innings totalShaun Marsh was dismissed quickly after reaching his half century after he was caught by James AndersonEngland took three wickets in quick succession after the second new ball Australia recovered in BrisbaneAlastair Cook was bowled by Mitchell Starc as Australia recorded an early wicket following the changeoverAnd James Vince was quick to follow even before England had eliminated their 26 run deficit England closed the third day on 32 for two, with Joe Root unbeaten on five and Mark Stoneman on 18 READ: Sportmail’s GLEN WILLIAMS provided live updates on all the Ashes action from day three at The GabbaBy

Lawrence Booth for MailOnlinePublished:
02:31 EST, 25 November 2017

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02:36 EST, 25 November 2017
Steve Smith kissed the badge on his helmet, as decorum demands, then thumped the badge on his chest. It was an appropriate one-two: Australia’s captain had thrown body and soul into an Ashes innings for the ages, rousing his side and deflating England. Truly, this has been a gripping first Test.By the time Australia’s last man Nathan Lyon was out for nine, Smith had made 141 runs of the highest class and character. At 209 for seven, Australia’s unassailable record at the Gabba was looking distinctly assailable. At 328 all out, they led by 26. On such innings do series hinge.And its value went up another notch when, with England’s second innings not yet four overs old, Alastair Cook hooked Josh Hazlewood to fine leg, where Mitchell Starc judged a tumbling catch to perfection. Steve Smith produced a magnificent innings scoring 141 runs as the Australia captain helped his country gain the initiativeSmith’s innings proved the difference between the two sides as he scored the slowest Test …read more


England scored twice inside the opening 16 minutes to charge into a 12-0 leadJermaine McGilvary went over and Gareth Widdop added another for EnglandJohn Bateman scored third in second half as England went 20-0 up in Auckland Tonga almost produced a stunning comeback with three tries in five minutesBut England held on to seal a spot in World Cup final against holders AustraliaBy

Robert Cottingham For MailonlinePublished:
02:05 EST, 25 November 2017

| Updated:
02:32 EST, 25 November 2017
Somehow, England are in the World Cup Final. With seven minutes to play, Wayne Bennett’s men led 20-0 and were in cruise control. And then something incredible came from nowhere. A Tongan whirlwind saw the South Sea Islanders mount one of the greatest comebacks in the sport’s history to score three converted tries in just five incredible minutes to set up the finale to end all finales. Gareth Widdop barely put a foot wrong as his performance helped England qualify for the finalJermaine McGilvary went over inside the opening 10 minutes as England took control early onEngland have qualified for their first Rugby League World Cup final since 1995 with the victoryAs time expired Andrew Fifita had the line, and belief-defying victory in sight, but the ball came from his grasp and with it, Tonga’s tournament. It looked as though England’s Elliott Whitehead had stolen the ball before Fifita regathered to score. It looked as though the miracle had come off. It looked as though England had choked more than any England team in history – and that is some accolade. But for reasons only known to himself, the referee Matt Cecchin ignored pleas to go upstairs and the game was over. England – who had performed excellently for 73 minutes will head to Brisbane to take on Australia net weekend …read more


Les Chapman, former Manchester City kitman of 17 years, reveals insider storiesThe 69-year-old former Huddersfield Town footballer is popular with players Mario Balotelli, David Silva and many others hold a special affection for ‘Chappy’The much-loved and jovial Chappy is respected by all who come across him Terriers meet City in top flight for first time since 1972 when Chappy playedBy

Craig Hope for the Daily MailPublished:
17:30 EST, 24 November 2017

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20:58 EST, 24 November 2017
When media-shy Mario Balotelli agreed to an interview last year, the staff at Nice could not believe the warmth with which he greeted the man who would be asking the questions. ‘It’s Chappy!’ he announced as he was reunited with the ageing interviewer in the south of France.Chappy is Les Chapman, the former Manchester City kit man of 17 years. We find him amid the charcoal skies and howling winds of Saddleworth Moor, where a dense fog and swirling rain have blurred the view of the burnt-out mill which teeters behind his sandstone house. The Côte d’Azur it is not.’Before matches, the likes of Balotelli and the Brazilians would show me a trick in the dressing-room,’ starts Chapman. ‘The lads would gather around and, if I could repeat it, they’d give me 50 quid!’Manchester City’s kitman of 17 years, Les Chapman, reveals dressing room secretsMario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and David Silva all hold a special affection for the 69-year-oldChapman’s company does not reflect the weather outside, and that is why the likes of Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and David Silva hold a special affection for the 69-year-old.He offered the players more than socks and shorts, however. Scroll down the list of Football League all-time appearances and you’ll find Chapman, with 747, in 20th position. There was also a spell with San Jose …read more


Donald Trump tweeted his disdain at ‘probably’ being Time’s Person of the YearAndy Murray responded by repeating the tone and manner of Trump’s tweetHe joked he would ‘probably’ be named BBC Sports Personality winnerBy

Jack Bezants for MailOnlinePublished:
19:44 EST, 24 November 2017

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20:07 EST, 24 November 2017
Andy Murray might not be best known for his sense of humour but he demonstrated his funny side with a hilarious tweet aimed at United States president Donald Trump.Trump took to Twitter late Friday, his tone dripping with the vanity and lack of self-awareness for which he has become synonymous with.’Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot,’ Trump wrote. ‘I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!’Donald Trump posted a bizarre tweet about potentially being Time’s Person of the YearAndy Murray was quick to reply, mocking US President Trump’s tone and manner It was a little over an hour before Murray responded to Trump, who was awarded the Person of the Year going in 2016.’Bbc just called to say I was PROBABLY going to be named sports personality of the year but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!’ Murray wrote.Murray is a three-time BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner but it is fair to say he faces very little chance of winning it this time around.Murray is a three-time winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the YearThe 30-year-old has not played since losing the Wimbledon quarter-final against Sam Querrey in the summer due to a hip problem.He …read more


England made it two wins out of two in World Cup qualifying on Friday nightCaptain Steph Houghton scored in each half with a header and a free kick Nikita Parris and Fran Kirby were also on target in victory at WalsallBy

Sam Cunningham for MailOnlinePublished:
19:41 EST, 24 November 2017

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19:48 EST, 24 November 2017
At Banks’s Stadium finally some stability for England women’s team following a tumultuous few months. Their shaky start to life without former manager Mark Sampson — sacked two months ago for ‘inappropriate relationships’ with players coming amidst the Eni Aluko scandal that has rocked the Football Association — was steadied with a resounding World Cup qualifying victory against Bosnia & Herzegovina.Two goals from captain Steph Houghton and more from Nikita Parris and Fran Kirby put behind them the friendly defeat to France since Sampson was axed, and the resignation of goalkeeper coach Lee Kendall, who was investigated by the governing body and admitted speaking to Aluko in a mock Caribbean accent before leaving his role.Captain Steph Houghton scored twice as England made it two wins out of two in qualifyingNikita Parris headed home the second from Toni Duggan’s cross just after the breakThis was women against girls here and it was a surprise Mo Marley’s side were only one in front, headed in by Houghton, at half-time after 82 per cent possession. Less than a minute after the restart Parris nodded in a second, then Houghton fired in a clever low free kick for the third.Danielle Carter was yanked down inside the area for a clear late penalty that Kirby dispatched.Interim manager Marley is in the frame to replace Sampson permanently. ‘I’m really enjoying it,’ she said. ‘We’ve got two games in a short period. At the end I’ll reflect if it’s right …read more


The Rainbow Laces campaign began in the Premier League on Friday nightWest Ham’s London Stadium was lit up for 1-1 draw against LeicesterCaptains’ armbands, advertising boards and laces were all rainbow-themedBy

James Dutton For MailonlinePublished:
18:40 EST, 24 November 2017

| Updated:
19:14 EST, 24 November 2017
The London Stadium was lit up in all the colours of the rainbow on Saturday night as the Premier League launched their Rainbow Laces campaign this weekend.Friday night’s 1-1 draw between West Ham and Leicester saw the launch of the now annual Stonewall-backed initiative.It runs from November 24 to December 3 and sees clubs across sports and the country show their backing for the LGBT community.The London Stadium was lit up in all the colours of the rainbow before Friday night’s matchWest Ham’s 1-1 draw with Leicester saw the start of the annual Rainbow Laces campaignCampaign runs from November 24 to December 3 and shows backing for the LGBT communityThe campaign aims to ensure LGBT people – 3.9 million across the country identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual – feel welcome and included.As part of that outreach, Friday night’s match saw the London Stadium lit up in all seven colours of the rainbow, rainbow-coloured captains’ armbands and laces.Advertising boards around the pitch were lit up, and there was even a rainbow-branded ball plinth, corner flags and timing boards.Sky Sports also stepped in, adding a rainbow pattern to the top of their scoreboard for Friday’s game.Sky Sports put a rainbow-themed pattern on top of their scoreboard for Friday night’s matchCaptains Wes Morgan and Winston Reid wore rainbow-coloured armbands for the matchMatch officials wore rainbow laces and the bal plinth was also rainbow-themedPitch-side pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville also used rainbow-themed microphones. All 92 League clubs will be supporting the campaign over the …read more


Caretaker Graeme Murty’s side suffered their second straight defeatO’Hara’s double clinched a win for Dundee at Dens Park on Friday nightIbrox side are still without a boss a month on from Pedro Caixinha’s sacking By

Stephen Mcgowan For The Scottish Daily MailPublished:
19:06 EST, 24 November 2017

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19:06 EST, 24 November 2017
On a freezing Friday in Dundee the strains of Bob Marley ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’ filled the cold air and, to a man, the Rangers support joined in. Their optimism contrasted sharply with the mood of the times.Hours earlier Derek McInnes had all but ruled himself out of the running to be the next manager. Within 45 minutes of the half-time sing-a-long the need for a new boss became pressing after a defeat to the team rooted to the foot of the Premiership at the beginning of the night.Interm boss Graeme Murty branded a second successive loss ‘unacceptable’. The sight of Rangers bogey man Scott Allan laying on a winner for two goal Mark O’Hara 75 seconds after he took to the pitch for his first game since a groin operation only added insult to injury.Dundee celebrate after Mark O’Hara scored the winner in the 80th minuteBy time up the reggae of the Rangers support had turned to something close to rage. The anger is real now and, for Rangers directors dithering over the appointment of a new manager, Thursday’s AGM – slap bang in the middle of a double header with Aberdeen – threatens to be a deeply uncomfortable exercise.’I just said to the players there that this is Rangers Football Club and we need to be winning these games,’ said Murty afterwards.’No disrespect to our opponents, but if we are serious about getting back to the top of Scottish football we need to be …read more


West Ham came from behind to share the spoils with Leicester on Friday night It was the first point picked up under new manager David Moyes Goalkeeper Joe Hart feels the result shows progress in the right direction By

Adam Crafton for the Daily MailPublished:
17:56 EST, 24 November 2017

| Updated:
19:03 EST, 24 November 2017
David Moyes praised the club’s home support for standing by his team and compared the atmosphere at the London Stadium to nostalgic memories of Upton Park.West Ham went 1-0 down inside eight minutes when Marc Albrighton scored but Moyes’ side hit back in his first home game in charge when Cheikh Kouyate headed in shortly before half-time.The pretext to Moyes’ home bow as West Ham manager featured a social media outcry before he was even appointed, a comprehensive defeat at Watford last Sunday and an increasingly toxic relationship between the club’s supporters and owners. David Moyes praised West Ham’s supporters after drawing 1-1 against Leicester Joe Hart believes West Ham’s home draw against Leicester was a step in the right directionYet West Ham’s spirit yielded a positive response from the supporters and the crowd even sang the new manager’s name as they rallied in the second half. For Moyes, it marked a pleasing turnaround.‘We were a bit unlucky to go behind,’ Moyes said. ‘We showed character. We could have easily gone under. I thought the second half was much more like us. It was more like Upton Park. There was a period of 10 minutes where the crowd were right behind the team. We need it, we really do.‘We got a reaction. We are trying to do the basics as best we can. They ran hard — that should be a given in every game.‘I felt the passing and play could be better. …read more


JOHANNESBURG, Nov 25 (Reuters) - South Africa will use its annual budget next year to outline “decisive” policy to strengthen its fiscal framework, the...