England’s first One Day International against Sri Lanka abandoned after heavy rain

Johnny Bairstow and Jason Roy fell early on in the start of the Autumn tour

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England’s first cricket match since their 4-1 Test series win against India was abandoned after 15 overs due to heavy rain. The one-day international, played in the town of Dambulla, was called off mid-afternoon due to a sodden outfield.

Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to field but the England team looked eager to get started. In the 15 overs that were played England managed to reach a score of 92-2. Johnny Bairstow and Jason Roy were the openers and managed to reach 25 and 24 respectively before getting caught out.

The first wicket came as a delivery from fast-medium bowler Nuwan Pradeep was edged by Bairstow and comfortably caught behind the stumps. Five balls later Roy completely misjudged a ball from Akila Dananjaya to get caught at mid-off.

Third and fourth at the crease were Joe Root and Eoin Morgan who picked up runs quickly, reaching 25 and 14 respectively before the game was called off.

Talking to BBC Sport about the match Morgan said “It has been a little bit frustrating but there is plenty of energy in the camp, we’re excited about being here and getting into the series. This has halted that energy a bit but we’re hoping to get a full game in for the second match, especially with the reserve day. Only time will tell if we’ve had enough preparation but we certainly will be fresh.”

The second ODI will also take place in Dambulla, in the centre of Sri Lanka, on Saturday, with a reserve day on Sunday in case rain becomes an issue again.

After the five-match series of ODI’s concludes on October 23rd there is a one-off T20 game on the 27th followed by a three-match Test series to finish the year. In January 2019 the English team will begin a 3-month tour of the West Indies with a similar format to this tour of Sri Lanka except featuring three T20 games instead of one.

Mo Farah wins his first marathon in Chicago setting a new European record

The win came a month after Farah won his record fifth successive Great North Run

In only his third attempt Great Britain’s Mo Farah has won his first marathon in Chicago. The four-time Olympic gold medalist previously competed in London in 2014 finishing eighth, and again in London this April where he finished third and set a new British record of 2 hours, 6 minutes and 21 seconds.

This time Farah’s clock stopped at 2 hours, 5 minutes and 11 seconds shaving a massive 70 seconds on his previous attempt. He became the first British athlete to win the event since Paul Evans in 1996.

After retiring from the track in August 2017 to focus on road racing, Farah has won his record fifth successive Great North Run last month as well as proving himself as a force to be reckoned with over the full 26.2 mile distance.

Talking about the race Farah said: “The conditions weren’t great and everyone was thinking about conditions rather than time, but towards the end we picked it up. I felt good towards the end of the race. At the beginning I felt a bit sluggish but overall I’m very happy with it.”

In the wet conditions Farah looked strong for much of the race, however he wasn’t alone. It wasn’t until the final half-mile that he began distancing himself from Mosinet Geremew. A strong runner in his own right, Geremew became the first person to win twice at the Yangzhou Jianzhen International Half Marathon with back-to-back wins in 2015 and 2016, setting the fastest ever half marathon time in a Chinese race.

The 26-year-old had to settle for second place in Illinois though as Farah crossed the line 13 seconds clear of the Ethiopian. Farah’s win means that he receives the mantle of victor from his former training partner Galen Rupp with whom he competed in three Olympics.

Elsewhere in the other Chicago races, Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei won the women’s race with a time of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds, and Manuela Schar won the women’s wheelchair race in 1 hour, 41 minutes and 38 seconds. Six-time Paralympic gold medalist David Weir had to settle for third in the men’s wheelchair races as American Daniel Romanchuk took home the victory with a time of 1 hour, 31 minutes and 34 seconds.

Hamilton victory is Russia spoiled by team orders

Bottas was told on lap 25 to let his teammate pass to help Hamilton’s championship chances

Lewis Hamilton is now 50 points ahead of rival Sebastian Vettel in the battle for a fifth world championship after a victory in the Russian Grand Prix. The Brit’s race was shrouded in controversy as Mercedes ordered teammate Valtteri Bottas to let him past on lap 25 in order to secure a Hamilton win.

With only five races left, the championship is no longer Vettel’s to win, only Hamilton’s to lose. Vettel could come first in all remaining races but still come second in the standings.

The beginning of the race saw intense battling at the front of the grid but no major positional changes. Hamilton had a slow start but managed to use Bottas’ slip stream to avoid being overtaken by Vettel. Further back in the grid both Torro Rosso’s retired in the opening laps after independently spinning out.

Aside from Verstappen storming through the field after a back row start, the excitement died down until the first pit stops. On lap 12 Bottas came into the pits, followed by Vettel a lap later. During this time Hamilton began setting fastest sector times and it seemed he could move into first place, but the Williams of Sergey Sirotkin held him up wasting valuable seconds.

When Hamilton pitted on lap 14 the question was no longer ‘would he come out in the lead?’, but ‘would he come out third to Vettel?’. As the Mercedes emerged from the pit lane he saw the Ferrari of Vettel next to him, and then ahead of him as they went into the first corner. “How did that happen?” he asked. Was Ferrari’s strategy finally coming together?

Hamilton is not a driver to sit back and watch as important points go to his biggest rival and immediately began attacking the German. On lap 16 the Mercedes went to move down the inside but the defence from the Ferrari almost led to a collision, the quick reactions of Hamilton the only thing preventing one.

Several corners later he finally managed to get the better of Vettel and moved into third place, behind his teammate and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who had yet to pit. As the laps progressed the Mercedes team began to notice blistering to Hamilton’s tires and gave orders to Bottas to let him through on lap 25 to protect the team’s interests.

Verstappen pitted on lap 43 and the top three stayed in those positions for the remainder of the race. Bottas asked towards the end if they were going to finish in these positions, hoping to be given back the place he gave up. In response he was told: “Affirm, we will talk about it afterwards.”

After the race Hamilton said: “Valtteri did a fantastic job all weekend and he was a real gentleman to let me by. It has been a great weekend for the team. Usually I would be elated, but I can understand how difficult it was for Valtteri.”

The next race takes place on 7th October at the incredible Suzuka circuit in Japan. If Vettel cannot take significant points from Hamilton, the championship is all but over.

Europe comfortably beat US 17.5-10.5 to regain the Ryder Cup

During the competition an Egyptian fan was struck in the eye with a stray shot

Francesco Molinari beat Phil Mickelson 4 and 2 for the winning point as Europe regained the Ryder Cup on an exciting final day at Le Golf National. The Italian golfer and Open champion became the first European to achieve a perfect haul of five points in one Ryder Cup as he took Europe to the 14.5 point mark. Following the victory he was drenched in beer by the celebrating European fans and said that it “means more than winning majors”.

It was not always so comfortable for the European team though. Having come into the final day with a 10-6 lead, and needing just four and a half more points out of 12 to win, they lost three of the first five singles matches. The lead now stood at a single point, and the USA could almost taste their first Ryder Cup win on European soil since 1993.

One of those matches was Justin Thomas vs Rory McIlroy. McIlroy was favourite to win the matchup and led for large spells until his ball landed in the bunker on the 18th hole. His first bunker shot went nowhere positive and his second, with increasing desperation, went into the lake. The Northern Irishman looked dejected as the point went to the United States.

The European team needed to bounce back quickly if they wanted to be victorious and that’s exactly what they did. Rookie Thorbjørn Olesen shocked pundits by beating Jordan Speith in a comfortable 5 and 4 win for his first point, leading the charge as the blues got six points out of a possible final seven to regain the Ryder Cup.

In the process Sergio Garcia surpassed Sir Nick Faldo as the all-time Ryder Cup points scorer with 25.5 and shed a few tears in the celebrations. “I don’t usually cry, but I couldn’t help it, what a week,” he said. “It’s been a rough year, but we fought hard. I’m so thankful to Thomas Bjorn for believing in me.”

This year’s competition, despite being labelled “the top one” by European captain Thomas Bjorn, was not a joyous occasion for all. 49 year old Corine Remande, who travelled from Egypt to watch the action, got hit by a Brooks Koepka tee shot. She praised Koepka for making sure she was okay but said she downplayed her injuries to make sure he “would stay concentrated”.

Koepka said that “it’s hard to control a golf ball, especially for 300 yards, and a lot of times the fans are close the the fairway. You can yell ‘fore’ but it doesn’t matter from 300 yards, you can’t hear it.”

After thanking Koepka Romande took a moment to criticise the Ryder Cup organisers for not reaching out to make sure she was okay. The Egyptian is seeking legal advice to help cover the cost of the medical treatment she needs.

Talking about the incident she said: “It happened so fast, I didn’t feel any pain when I was hit. I didn’t feel like the ball had struck my eye and then I felt the blood start to pour. The scan on Friday confirmed a fracture of the right eye socket and an explosion of the eyeball.”

Serena Williams’ lack of regret for her US Open behaviour is a step back for the fight against sexism in sport

The athlete did not acknowledge her claims of sexism in the Open Final

Serena Williams denies that she was coached from the stands by Patrick Mouratoglou in the US Open Final. This is despite him admitting that he “was coaching but I don’t think she looked at me. Everybody does it.”

Speaking on The Sunday Project on Australia’s Network Ten Williams said “I just don’t understand what he was talking about. I asked him (Mouratoglou) ‘what are you talking about you were coaching? We don’t have signals, we’ve never had signals’.”

“He said he made a motion. So I was like ‘you made a motion and now you told people that you’re coaching me – that doesn’t make sense, why would you say that?’”

“I was on the other side. I didn’t see the motion. It was just a really confusing moment, I think, for him.”

In the final, Williams was penalised three times, once for coaching, once for racquet smashing that resulted in a point penalty, and once for verbal abuse that led to a docked game.

The American told the umpire Carlos Ramos “you will never ever ever be on another court of mine as long as you live.” After the dust settled on the incident she told The Sunday Project “what I’m trying to do most of all is to recover from that and move on.”

It seems that part of the moving on process involved forgetting that certain events took place as Williams chose to ignore questions about whether she regretted breaking her racquet on the court. Remorse for her actions also seems to be absent from that process as neither the umpire or her opponent Naomi Osaka, who was booed to tears during her win, received any form of apology.

This latest interview seems to be more about sweeping the issues under the rug than acknowledging what she said was wrong and growing as a person and athlete. It is interesting that she chose to speak only about the one code violation for which there was at least some argument, and not about her tirade about how she was unjustly treated because she was a woman.

There are many instances of sexism in sport, and having situations like this, where the athlete blames sexism for her own actions or, perhaps, an incorrect call from an umpire, devalues those real claims. It would have been a far greater moment for women’s sport if she admitted that anger got the better of her and apologised. She could have then used the limelight as a platform to get a proper discussion about sexism going.

Instead we are just pretending that none of what she said actually happened and the tennis world is even more divided than it already was. It is a shame as this could have been the beginning of a large step forward, rather than a small step back.

Anthony Joshua retains world heavyweight titles after knockout win against Povetkin

The Olympic gold medalist is now 22 fights undefeated

Anthony Joshua resumed his incredible knockout run after a stunning seventh round victory against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley. Povetkin, who has lost just once in 35 fights against Wladimir Klitschko, looked as if he could defeat Joshua with some impressive combinations in the earlier rounds. Joshua weathered the storm though, and gradually grew into the match as his opponent tired.

Half way through the seventh round Joshua landed a brutal right hook that dazed his opponent enough to land a heavy follow up with his left. Povetkin was now staggering and unable to hold his guard. More combinations rocked the Russian before a left and right hook send him crashing to the floor.

After falling over twice trying to get up, Povetkin rose to his feet as the count reached nine. However it would have been foolish to think this was now over. Joshua himself had been in this position against Klitschko but fought back to win, keeping focused was pivotal to see out this bout. He said before the fight that he feared losing to that “one punch”, Povetkin was a fighter who had the ability to turn a fight with just that.

It took less than ten seconds from the restart though for referee Steve Gray to intervene. Povetkin slumped into the ropes after a powerful left hook before ultimately tumbling to the floor again. Joshua had done what Klitschko could not manage five years prior, a win by TKO against the mighty Russian.

After the fight Joshua said: “Povetkin is a very tough challenger, he proved that with good left hooks and counter punches. I came in here to have fun, and give it my best. I knew he was strong to the head but weak to the body. I was just mixing it up.”

“It could have been seven, maybe nine, maybe 12 rounds to get him out of there, but the ultimate aim was to be victorious.”

The victory for Joshua comes less than a day after the WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury sealed the deal for their fight on 1st December. The next fight for the Englishman comes on 13th April back at Wembley, with the opponent yet to be decided.

“I’ve carried the burden of the heavyweight division for some years now,” Joshua said. “It was all about me fighting Wilder, fighting Fury, fighting Klitschko, fighting Dillian, fighting Povetkin. That’s all they were interested in, me fighting them all.

“I will always knock them down, one by one, but people have to be patient. I’m happy Wilder and Fury are fighting and good luck to both of them. I have no interest in who wins. I’ll fight both of them.”

Who he fights will have to be decided before the pair clash in LA later this year. “I don’t want to wait until December for him to win the fight, have his rest and then start negotiating because I’ll start training for the fight in early January,” Joshua said. “I want to get the fight pencilled in as soon as possible, this side of Christmas so I know what I’m doing next year.”

European golf champion murdered in Iowa

“She was a player who was heading for the very top, without a doubt.”

Collin Daniel Richards has been charged with murder only hours after rising Spanish golfer Celia Barquín Arozamena was found dead on a golf course in Iowa, USA. Aged just 22, Barquín won the European Ladies Amateur Championship in Slovakia this July after shooting a course-record 63.

She was found by police at the Coldwater Golf Links in Ames after golfers discovered an unattended golf bag on the course early Monday morning and alerted authorities. A police report determined that Barquín had died following an assault.

Originally from Spain, she came to the United States to study Civil Engineering and became a rising talent in the amateur golf world. Her university, Iowa State had named her Female Athlete of the Year and said the following about her passing: “Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed. Our Cyclone (team nickname) family mourns the tragic loss of Celia, a spectacular student-athlete and ISU ambassador.”

Her victory in the European Championship allowed her the opportunity to break into professional golf with invitations to the British and US Opens next year. Nacho Gervás, a technical director for the Spanish Golf Federation, said to El País newspaper: “She was a player who was heading for the very top, without a doubt.”

Barquín was part of the Spanish team that achieved a second and third place finish in the European Amateur Team Championships in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Ranked number 69 nationally by magazine Golfweek, she also became the second women’s golfer in Iowa State history to earn a medal at a conference tournament when she claimed the 2018 Big 12 Championship in April.

ISU’s head women’s golf coach Christie Martens said Barquín was “loved by all her teammates and friends” and was an “outstanding representative of our school.”

“We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life.”