Cricket Australia, County Championship 2021 scores: James Anderson gets Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Harris century


Marnus Labuschagne was eager to finally have a look at James Anderson before this summer’s Ashes series — but he wouldn’t have liked what he saw on Thursday.

The England veteran laid down an early Ashes warning to the star Aussie as the pair faced each other at Old Trafford.

Lancashire’s Anderson took just five deliveries to dismiss Glamorgan No.3 Labuschagne, who was caught behind for 12 on day one of the County Championship tie.

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Anderson takes down Marnus

Anderson takes down Marnus

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Wallabies 2021: Rugby Australia series against France, The Rugby Championship, Dave Rennie, Andy Marinos


They came to Rugby Australia’s rescue once, but World Rugby weren’t able to shift the international window to help the Wallabies for July’s Test series against France.

For months Rugby Australia had been attempting to pin down the dates for July’s Test series against France, but on Friday those fixtures were set in stone.

In a 35-year first, the Wallabies will play midweek Tests to squeeze in three Tests to help ease the financial constraints of the cashed-strapped union.

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Andy Marinos confirmed the Wallabies did try to work with World Rugby to change the dates. (Photo by Wendell TEODORO / AFP)Source: AFP

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Cricket Australia, Ashes 2021, County Championship: England cricketers eyeing Test selection, Ollie Robinson, Matt Parkinson


Already billed by Nasser Hussain as the ‘one to watch’ in 2021, Ollie Robinson is mounting a compelling case to play Test cricket this English summer, and beyond with the Ashes on the horizon.

The 27-year-old’s career trajectory has spiked sharply in recent years to the point that he looks like a potential heir to James Anderson’s throne.

Anderson is 39 and said to be in the shape of his life, but his workload is heavily managed these days, which has Robinson edging closer to a Test debut as the Ashes rapidly approaches.

The seamer has already come close to a cap, having been called up to England’s Test bubble over the past year, although he’s yet to break into the XI.

Based on his scary form, that could soon change.

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Rugby Championship 2021: Sean McMahon wants Wallabies return – not Olympic gold


Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is so impressed with a batch of rising young Australian backrowers he has not made contact with Sean McMahon, despite the Japan-based flanker expressing his willingness to play Test rugby again.

One week after All Blacks and fellow Suntory star Beauden Barrett revealed both McMahon and Samu Kerevi want to feature at the next World Cup, sources close to McMahon confirmed he is open to a return to the Wallabies fold.

Sean McMahon hasn't played for the Wallabies since 2017.

Sean McMahon hasn’t played for the Wallabies since 2017. Credit:Stuart Walmsley

McMahon, who was a dynamic presence at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, hasn’t worn a Wallabies jersey since the 2017 Spring Tour when the 26-Test back rower was arguably the hottest property in Australian rugby.

The Queensland product signed with Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath, however, and was subsequently ruled ineligible for selection under the Giteau Law criteria, which states a player must have 60 Test caps, and have given seven years service, to be eligible for Wallabies selection while based overseas.

Rugby Australia announced a tweak to the Giteau Law last year in which Rennie can pick two players from abroad that are under the 60-Test threshhold.

Despite having those slots at his disposal, an RA spokesperson told the Herald no contact has been made with McMahon. It is unclear to what extent Rennie factored in McMahon’s availability in his backrow plans for the winter.

McMahon’s management said the flanker has now planned holidays instead.

Dan Carter of Kobelco Steelers is run down by Suntory back-rower Sean McMahon in 2020.

Dan Carter of Kobelco Steelers is run down by Suntory back-rower Sean McMahon in 2020.Credit:Getty

Rennie is on record stating his preference to pick players that aren’t based in Australia and the case of McMahon appears to be no exception.

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Rugby Championship 2021: Sean McMahon wants Wallabies return – not Olympic gold


Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is so impressed with a batch of rising young Australian backrowers he has not made contact with Sean McMahon, despite the Japan-based flanker expressing his willingness to play Test rugby again.

One week after All Blacks and fellow Suntory star Beauden Barrett revealed both McMahon and Samu Kerevi want to feature at the next World Cup, sources close to McMahon confirmed he is open to a return to the Wallabies fold.

Sean McMahon hasn’t played for the Wallabies since 2017. Credit:Stuart Walmsley

McMahon, who was a dynamic presence at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, hasn’t worn a Wallabies jersey since the 2017 Spring Tour when the 26-Test back rower was arguably the hottest property in Australian rugby.

The Queensland product signed with Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath, however, and was subsequently ruled ineligible for selection under the Giteau Law criteria, which states a player must have 60 Test caps, and have given seven years service, to be eligible for Wallabies selection while based overseas.

Rugby Australia announced a tweak to the Giteau Law last year in which Rennie can pick two players from abroad that are under the 60-Test threshhold.

Despite having those slots at his disposal, an RA spokesperson told the Herald no contact has been made with McMahon. It is unclear to what extent Rennie factored in McMahon’s availability in his backrow plans for the winter.

McMahon’s management said the flanker has now planned holidays instead.

Dan Carter of Kobelco Steelers is run down by Suntory back-rower Sean McMahon in 2020.

Dan Carter of Kobelco Steelers is run down by Suntory back-rower Sean McMahon in 2020.Credit:Getty

Rennie is on record stating his preference to pick players that aren’t based in Australia and the case of McMahon appears to be no exception.

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Ayr United dig out Championship survival with point in Inverness


Delighted David Hopkin praised his Ayr side for digging deep to save their Championship skins in the Highlands.

United twice came from behind to secure the point they needed to avoid the relegation play-offs.

Josh Todd was the hero midway through the second half as his goal sealed the 2-2 draw that keeps Ayr in the league.

And Hopkin said: “Every man tonight played a part in this.

“Two weeks ago everyone thought we were dead and buried.

“But I wasn’t going to let that happen.

“After the Arbroath game I worked on shape constantly and tonight you saw the performance of a team who wanted to stay in the Championship.



Ayr players celebrate Josh Todd’s equaliser

“We faced adversity twice, came back and showed character.

“I have fantastic footballers here but what pleased me most tonight was the way they dug in.

“I asked the likes of Luke McCowan, Michael Moffat and Joe Chalmers to do that.

“Josh Todd was the best player on the park.

“As a group over the last two weeks we have worked so hard and achieved what I set out to do when I came in – and that’s stay in the Championship.

“I’m delighted for the chairman and the board who’ve given me the chance to come in here and the players who’ve bought into my ideas and philosophy.



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“Hopefully we can now get some players in to complement what we have and start to push on.”

Ayr had endured the nightmare start when Dan McKay fired Caley in front after just six minutes.



Assistant boss Dave Timmins leads the cheers at time up
Assistant boss Dave Timmins leads the cheers at time up

But they slowly grew into the game and hit back before the break when Aaron Muirhead slammed home a penalty after Jack Baird had gone to ground.

However, they were behind just seconds after the restart when Caley were awarded a spot kick of their own and Sean Welsh stepped up to convert.

But then came the vital moment as Baird flicked on a Chalmers ball into the path of Todd, who slammed home at the backpost.

Ayr then endured a nervy final 23 minutes but saw the game out to preserve their spot in the Championship.

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World Snooker Championship: Mark Selby beats Mark Allen, Shaun Murphy sees off Yan Bingtao


Mark Selby has won 19 ranking events in his 22-year professional career
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 17 April-3 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Mark Selby completed the World Championship quarter-final line-up with an imposing 13-7 win over Mark Allen.

Selby, 37, led the Northern Irishman 9-6 overnight and, after each won a frame, the three-time world champion’s 11th break of more than 50 took his lead to 11-7.

A third ton put him within reach of a win he earned in a messy 20th frame.

Seventh seed Shaun Murphy’s trademark long potting was to the fore as breezed past China’s Yan Bingtao 13-7.

Selby now faces another three-time Crucible winner, Welshman Mark Williams, in what will be the Leicester man’s ninth Crucible quarter-final.

Allen, the world number 13, managed six scores of more than 50, but was nowhere his best form at the end of a difficult season affected by off-table issues.

“I felt good all the way through,” Selby said. “I played a great frame to go 6-2 up and then took a big couple of good frames. After that, I was able to stay in control and focused.

“I’m trying not to over-think things and play with instinct and it seems to be working. I’m in a good place mentally and physically.”

Murphy rediscovers his magic touch

Shaun Murphy first played
Shaun Murphy has had a poor season, losing in the first or second round of nine out of 15 tournaments

The 2005 champion Murphy, who faces world number one Judd Trump in the quarter-finals, had not reached the last eight since he was runner-up to Stuart Bingham in 2015.

But the 38-year-old was in eye-catching form against Masters champion Yan, taking three of the first four frames to wrap up victory in rapid time.

Yan, who at 21 has missed his last opportunity to break Stephen Hendry’s record as the youngest ever world champion, scored eight half-centuries – one more than Murphy – and matched him with two tons.

But he made too many errors and lacked consistency after a blistering start by his vastly experienced opponent.

Murphy, who scored two centuries in the first three frames, said: “I’ve had a number of bad defeats here in the past few years, so it’s been a great week to play well and still be here in week two.

“I have lost so early in tournaments this season, so I have had a lot of time to spend on the practice table. I have worked very hard on my safety game.

“When it all clicks and comes together, like it did in the first session, it puts you in a very strong position. I felt like I broke the back of the match early on and at 6-2 up, the game was mine to lose.

“Judd has been the player of the season in the past couple of years so he will be a massive favourite. There is no pressure on me; I have a free crack at him and I am really looking forward to it.”

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World Snooker Championship: Judd Trump leads David Gilbert in second round at Crucible


Judd Trump is ranked number one in the world
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 17 April-3 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

World number one Judd Trump scored two centuries as he won four frames in a row to lead fellow Englishman David Gilbert 5-3 at the Crucible.

Trump, the 2019 champion, opened with a break of 68, but two half-centuries helped an in-form Gilbert take a 3-1 lead in their second-round match.

A routine missed black seemed to affect world number 15 Gilbert and Trump began to play at his devastating best.

The other match saw qualifiers Stuart Bingham and Jamie Jones tied at 4-4.

An ominous start by Bingham brought the 2015 champion a 2-0 advantage against the Welshman thanks to scores of 99 and 56.

But Jones, a World Championship quarter-finalist in 2012, matched his opponent in a high-quality match that has featured scores of more than 50 in all but one frame.

He took four of the next five with breaks of 57, 121 and 81 before Essex’s Bingham levelled the opening session with a score of 61.

Still to come

The matches involving former champions Bingham and Trump both continue tonight. But before then, another two Crucible winners play on Sunday afternoon.

World number seven Shaun Murphy returns to action having scored the highest break of the tournament so far in building a 6-2 lead over China’s Yan Bingtao in their first session.

Murphy eclipsed the 143 scored in qualifying by Mark Davis, the player Murphy beat in the first round.

Three-time winner Mark Selby is also 6-2 ahead, having dominated Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen in their opening session.

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Adelaide teenager Jaydyn Coggins wins world championship title in speed stacking


It may well be the fastest sport you’ve never heard of, but speed stacking is serious business.

Simply put, speed stacking is the art of stacking cups up and down in varying sequences in the fastest time possible.

Jaydyn Coggins is one of Australia’s best stackers and holds multiple national and world records.

His love for the sport came from humble beginnings.

“I was around six years old, I saw it in kindergarten and saw some plastic cups lying around and thought, ‘Why not have a stack with them,'” he said.

He put his skills to the test last weekend at the World Speed Stacking Association’s World Championships, which were held virtually.

After months of training and preparation, the 18-year-old’s confidence was sky high leading into the event.

“I was expecting myself to be up there in the top three for sure,” he said.

“I was in amazing form. I thought no-one could stop me except two people.”

But things did not go to plan for the teenager in the opening rounds of two events.

“It was a roller-coaster ride. I had two of my stacks unfortunately get scratched, which means they don’t count, so I couldn’t compete in the finals in those two events,” he said.

“It was really disappointing because I thought all the work I put in over the past three or four months had just gone to waste.”

Jaydyn Coggins holds several national and international records in speed stacking.(

Supplied

)

World champion crown ‘pretty cool’

Those scratchings came in the 3-3-3 and the 3-6-3 events, but it was to his favourite event — the cycle — that he brought his A-game.

Making his way to the cycle final, his fastest time of 5.307 seconds was quick enough to crown him world champion in the 17 to 18-year-old male category.

Coggins’s mother, Rachel Flierl, was watching on during the competition and said she was impressed with her son’s performance.

“I’m super proud of Jaydyn. He just constantly amazes me actually,” she said.

“With this tournament, having the big disappointment of getting scratched for his 3-3-3 and 3-6-3, I was most proud of how he came back from that and focused on his cycle event.

“[Him] recovering from the disappointment is one of my proudest moments.”

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Because this year’s event was held virtually, Coggins spent long periods of time waiting while other competitors stacked on the other side of the world.

It was this element that he said came with pros and cons.

“It was better for my nerves, but it was worse because not being able to hang out with friends often is just boring,” he said.

While he was not competing, Coggins was able to keep a close eye on the rest of the field through a live stream of the event.

It was a nervous wait for him, having competed nearly 24 hours before finally being crowned the best in the world.

The cups used for competition appear to be just like any other disposable plastic cup, but the secret to their speed lies within their special design.

“They’re not any ordinary cup, and sorry people, you cannot drink out of them,” Coggins said.

“The newer cups have medium-sized holes in them … which is supposed to allow for quicker times to be possible.”

Coggins starred in the documentary Stackorama! which recently aired on the ABC.

It followed his preparation and competition at the 2018 World Championships in Orlando, Florida, where he was also crowned world champion for his age group for the 3-6-3 stack.

He has been thrust into the spotlight more times since, making a number of appearances on TV and being blown away by the support he has received.

“It’s been amazing,” he said. The feedback that I’ve got from the people watching it was incredible.”

Coggins’s next international competition is in a week’s time.

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County Championship round-up: Sam Robson, James Vince, Tom Alsop and Tom Haines all hit first-day tons


Former England opener Sam Robson made the first century of the 2021 county season – the 24th of his career

It’s not quite right to say that normal service was resumed as the County Championship returned to the English cricketing menu for the first time in 18 months – as no spectators were allowed in to watch it.

But at least it all began bang on time this year after the sad loss of four months of the Covid19-hit 2020 season.

And the 2021 campaign started in style too, with four centurions – two of them, James Vince, and Tom Alsop, helping Hampshire to pile up 431-4 on the road against Leicestershire.

Vince carried on his victorious form with Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash down under, at more than a run a ball.

He was still there at the close on 168 off 167 deliveries, after sharing a 224-run fourth-wicket stand with Alsop, who made a comparatively more leisurely 119.

Another Tom in form was Sussex’s Tom Haines, with a superb career-best 155 to help his side recover from 127-6 to reach 293-9 in Manchester against Lancashire.

But the first centurion of the four first-day musketeers was Middlesex’s Sam Robson, with 165 out of 293-8 against successive red-ball runners-up Somerset.

Essex's Tom Westley ended the day just 16 short of his century
Essex’s Tom Westley ended the day just 16 short of his century

And there looks likely to be a fifth centurion early on day two, yet another Tom, if Essex’s Tom Westley, 84 overnight, can go on to reach three figures against Worcestershire.

He might already be there, in fact, if it had not been for a bit of bad weather at Chelmsford – and an early finish.

The Tom Tom Toms were hardly beating too loudly when six of the nine captains chose to field after winning the toss.

Only Essex, Hampshire and Sussex won the toss and chose to bat – but all three had no cause to regret that by the end of a busy first day.

James Vince and Tom Alsop both made first-day centuries for Hampshire at Leicester
James Vince and Tom Alsop both made first-day centuries for Hampshire at Leicester

Group One

Although Essex lost former England captain Alastair Cook cheaply, Dan Lawrence returned from his winter England adventures in the sub-continent with 46 to help Westley steer the hosts to 207-3 against labouring Worcestershire.

Durham were aided by half-centuries from opener Alex Lees (58) and new boy David Bedingham (57) as they batted out the day at Trent Bridge to make a dogged 241-7 against Nottinghamshire.

In the other Group One opener, Liam Norwell starred with 5-32 as much-fancied Warwickshire bowled out Derbyshire for 189.

Group Two

While Hampshire dominated in Group Two against hapless Leicestershire, scoring at four and a half an over, Somerset battled back well at Lord’s against Middlesex.

The hosts looked well set at 218-4, but Lewis Gregory took three of his four wickets to help stem the tide, backed by Josh Davey (2-62), one for Craig Overton and one for England spinner Jack Leach.

Robson survived two early chances to post his highest red-ball score in five years – since a career-best double hundred in the 2016 season opener against Warwickshire.

In the other Group Two game, despite being deprived of a meeting between West Indies team-mates Kraigg Brathwaite and Kemar Roach by Covid quarantine protocol, there was plenty to admire.

In the 70 overs possible, Gloucestershire seamers Josh Shaw (4-48), Ryan Higgins (3-35) and David Payne (2-49) helped limit Surrey to 220-9, of which Hashim Amla made 56.

Group Three

Centurion Haines made Lancashire pay for three dropped catches to post the third ton of his first-class career as Sussex rallied from 40-4 to reach 291-9.

Across the Pennines in Leeds, Yorkshire were also on the wrong end of a fightback as half-centuries by Timm van der Gugten (80 not out), Dan Douthwaite (57) and Kiran Carlson (55) helped Glamorgan fight back from 132-7 to close on 310-8.

In only the second professional meeting between himself and elder brother Joe, Billy Root contributed a steadfast 43, while Michael Hogan weighed in with a breezy unbeaten 40 off 41 balls late in the day.

Kent also had three half-centurions in reaching 309-7 against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road – Ollie Robinson (84), Jack Leaning (79), and Jordan Cox (62).

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