Danny Willett challenging for redemptive victory with lead in Dubai

• Patrick Reed shares lead at DP World Tour Championship • Willett aiming to enjoy chance for first win since 2016 MastersThe European Tour has turned into a backdrop for redemption stories. A week after Lee Westwood was reduced to tears, after securing a first victory in more than three years, Danny Willett and Patrick Reed are on the verge of bouncing back in a similar manner.With 18 holes of the DP World Tour Championship to play, Willett and Reed have set the pace at 14 under par. Willett’s slide in the aftermath of winning the Masters in 2016 was such that many feared it could prove inexorable. He has had an upturn in fortunes this season – to the point where he qualified for the European Tour’s season finale – but winning for the first time since Augusta National would represent a significant achievement. Willett has battled injury as well as form loss over the past two years, with an association with Sean Foley – the former coach of Tiger Woods – apparently fruitful. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Gareth Southgate using Croatia’s ‘favourites’ claim against them

• England need Wembley win to reach Nations League finals• Defender Jedvaj said Croatia ‘favourites despite playing away’Gareth Southgate and his players hope to exploit Croatian over-confidence in Wembley’s winner-takes-all tie and end a resurgent year on a high by securing passage into the inaugural Nations League finals.Members of Zlatko Dalic’s squad have made a point of referencing Croatia’s extra-time victory over England at the World Cup – when they had apparently been motivated by a perceived lack of respect from their opponents – in the buildup to Sunday’s third meeting in four months. Tin Jedvaj, the Bayer Leverkusen defender whose stoppage-time winner defeated Spain on Thursday, suggested England had been beaten “without any problems” in Moscow and the visitors at Wembley should be considered “favourites, despite the fact we are playing away”. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Which football teams have worn most kit combinations in a season? | The Knowledge

Plus: huge gaps between victories in the same competition, winning the same title with multiple teams, and loose dentures. Mail [email protected] or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“It appears that Fulham’s kit designer is having as bad a season as their defensive coach,” muses Richard Hilton. “Fulham have worn five different kit combinations in their first five away matches of the season (red/red; black/black; blue/blue; white/black; white/white). Is this a record?”It turns out Fulham’s kit designer still has a little more meddling to do, Richard. Here’s Chris Oakley. “I can confirm that they have some way to go yet! I’ve been creating some illustrations for Rochdale AFC’s official matchday programme, The Voice of Spotland, which show they had seven kits during the 1997-98 season. Two of them used elements of a kit worn two seasons before.” Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Scotland 20-26 South Africa: South Africa edge out Scotland in Murrayfield thriller

Watch highlights as 18 points from Handre Pollard helped South Africa to edge out Scotland 26-20 in their autumn international at Murrayfield.

17-11-2018



Nat Sciver credits risky change for success as England face West Indies

All-rounder and coach Mark Robinson worked on adjustment to Sciver’s bowling action before she thrived in World Twenty20It was a punt but one the England coach, Mark Robinson, thought was worth taking. During the home summer, he identified an increasingly troubling technical flaw with Nat Sciver’s bowling action and decided there had to be an intervention. Specifically, the tall right-armer was over-rotating in her delivery stride, meaning that she was losing momentum with the ball coming from too far behind her, hurting her accuracy and rhythm.By any measure, straightening up Sciver’s action – which Robinson acknowledges was a risk, coming as it did in the two months between the end of the season and the World T20 – has worked. In England’s vital win against South Africa on Friday, she was player of the match with the outstanding figures of three for four, combining with Anya Shrubsole – who claimed a hat-trick – to record combined figures of six for 15 from England’s two-pronged pace attack. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Stink hits darts grand slam as match features flatulent end

Gary Anderson and Wesley Harms both deny responsibility for ‘rotten’ fart smell during Wolverhampton tournamentThe world of professional darts has been rocked by two players accusing each other of repeatedly breaking wind during a match.Gary Anderson of Scotland and the Dutchman Wesley Harms blamed each other for “rotten” farts during their clash in the Grand Slam of Darts. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Ryan Fraser fires Scotland close to Nations League promotion

• Albania 0-4 Scotland• Fraser 14, Fletcher 45pen, Forrest 55 67Scotland are within 90 minutes of promotion from the third tier of the Nations League after an emphatic 4-0 win over 10-man Albania at the Loro Borici Stadium in Shkoder.Ryan Fraser’s first international goal after 14 minutes gave the visitors the lead before home skipper Mergim Mavraj was sent off six minutes later by the referee, Vladislav Bezborodov, for a headbutt on Ryan Christie. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



The Spin | England reaping the benefits of Lions tours that turn tyros into Test players

Four of England’s winning Test team in Galle were on a successful Lions tour to Sri Lanka two years ago and this is one part of ECB planning that should be praisedAs the projected costs of The Hundred mount, tripling from the original estimate of £13m up to £40m – and counting – budgets are being slashed at ECB Towers. Gone is Andrew Strauss’s pet North-South series, gone is the not-so-mourned Pace Programme, gone are the Overseas Placements that so benefited Ollie Pope and Mason Crane in consecutive winters in Sydney.But still hanging on, whether by thread or rope, is the Lions Programme, perhaps English cricket’s most secret and deadly weapon. The first part of this winter’s tour starts on Sunday against Pakistan A, with a four-day match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Five one day and two Twenty20 games follow over the next three weeks, ricocheting between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Pope has been dispatched from the main England tour to get more match practice than he would twiddling his thumbs on the sidelines in Sri Lanka. Then, after Christmas, the Lions head to India. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Women's World Twenty20: Ireland's Isobel & Cecelia Joyce retire after losing to New Zealand

Isobel and Cecelia Joyce retire from internationals after Ireland lose their final Women's World Twenty20 game to New Zealand by eight wickets.

17-11-2018



Joe Cokanasiga scores debut try to help spare England’s blushes against Japan

• England 35-15 Japan• Home side run in three second-half tries having trailed 15-10Eddie Jones promised his side would smash Japan but England were more toothless than ruthless for the first 50 minutes against resourceful and cunning opponents who revelled in broken play and were durable in contact. There was far less for the hosts to harvest from victory than there had been in defeat to New Zealand the week before, forced to go back to basics against tier two opponents after trailing at the interval. Related: Eddie Jones: ‘In the second half we finally got stuck in – that’s pleasing’ Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Women's World Twenty20 highlights: India beat Australia & New Zealand thrash Ireland

Watch the best moments from day nine of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 as India beat Australia to top group B and New Zealand thrash Ireland within eight overs.

17-11-2018



'He's been a pivotal figure': England teammates praise Rooney after win against USA – video

Wayne Rooney's England teammates were full of praise after the forward made his final appearance for 'The Three Lions' during a 3-0 win over the USA. Captain on the night Fabian Delph described Rooney's presence in camp as 'a breathe of fresh air'. England face Croatia on Sunday in the Nations League Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Sport on the BBC: Best of this week's TV & radio coverage

This week's sport on the BBC includes the ATP World Tour Finals, the ICC Women's World Twenty20 and the home nations' football internationals.

17-11-2018



Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

17-11-2018



Impressive England thrash South Africa to reach World T20 semi-finals

• South Africa 85, England 87-3; England win by seven wickets• Shrubsole claims hat-trick as bowlers turn on the styleAnya Shrubsole started her 2018 learning that she would be the first woman featured on the front cover of Wisden for her heroics in last year’s World Cup final. Now, becoming just the second player of her gender to take a hat-trick at the World T20, she has the chance to finish it with a second major trophy in two years with England progressing to the final four after eliminating an abysmal South Africa by seven wickets with 35 balls to spare after bowling them out for 85.The achievement capped an immaculate all-round performance from Heather Knight’s side with the ball, not least from Shrubsole’s fellow seamer Nat Sciver who took three for four to make six for 15 from 7.3 overs between England’s frugal and effective openers. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Will anyone prevent Manchester City from retaining their title? | Paul Wilson

Only 11 teams have done it, and only Manchester United and Liverpool have done it more than a couple of times, but Pep Guardiola’s men look a good bet to join the club this seasonOnly 11 clubs have ever done it, and one of the first was called the Wednesday. The official retitling of Sheffield Wednesday only happened in 1929, just in time to see it achieved again in 1930. Aston Villa managed it during the Boer war, Huddersfield between the wars and Portsmouth and Wolves during the cold war. The first time it occurred was in 1890, when Vincent van Gogh was still alive, just, and the most recent occasion was in 2009, when a frustrated Rafa Benítez famously came up with a list of “facts” about Sir Alex Ferguson’s supposed influence over referees.The subject under discussion is the retention of the English title, which has happened on 25 occasions in the 130-year history of organised league football. Manchester United can claim a record seven of those feats, six coming under Ferguson’s stewardship, and with five, mainly in the 70s and 80s, Liverpool are the only other team with more than a couple of back-to-back wins. Continue reading...

17-11-2018



Smriti Mandhana dazzles as India thrash Australia in Women's World T20

India 167-8; Australia 119 Alyssa Healy leaves field with concussion in first inningsAustralia fell to a heavy 48-run defeat to India in their last game before the finals at the women’s World Twenty20 in Guyana.With both teams already progressing, Australia’s in-form wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy was taken from the field having sustained concussion and did not bat after her head collided with the shoulder of her teammate Megan Schutt in the first innings, as India stormed to 167 for eight. Continue reading...

17-11-2018