3RD ODI AT THE SCG, SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
England 302/6 (50) (Buttler 100* Woakes 53*)
Australia 286/6 (50) (Finch 62 Stoinis 56 Marsh 55)
ENGLAND WIN BY 16 RUNS
ENGLAND LEAD THE SERIES 3-0
England showed they have batting strength in depth to turn around a poor start to claim a series victory against Australia in Sydney. The visitors were struggling at 189-6 and a competitive total was looking unlikely. However a partnership of 113 between Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes got ensured England got above 300 to post 302. Buttler got his century off the last ball of the innings. His 100 Not Out included four sixes, Woakes ended on 53 Not Out.
With a good total on the board England’s bowlers remained disciplined. Aaron Finch again top scored for Australia but was out for 62 when he was given out leg before wicket to Adil Rashid’s bowling. For Australia to win someone else would need to set up and get a big score. While there were decent contributions from Macus Stoinis (56) and Mitchell Marsh (55) nobody could go on and get a big century. With key wickets falling at important moments Australia fell behind the run rate and in the end they were 16 runs short of the target.
There are two more contests to go but the win means England have already won the series and can now try and pursue a whitewash. What a turnaround from the Test Series where Australia won 4-0 to the one day series with England 3-0 up.
Former World number 1 Angelique Kerber sent out a message she is ready for the Australian Open winning her first WTA Title since the US Open in 2016 with suggestions she is getting back to her best. She defeated home favourite Ashleigh Barty with a break in each set to take the title in Syndey 6-4 6-4. She beat Lucie Safarova and Venus Williams on her way to the final having her best week in a long time. With Serena Williams out of the Australian Open, Kerber must have a good chance to take another Grand Slam in this form
In the other WTA event this week in Hobart, Tasmania, Belgian Elise Mertens took back to back titles beating Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu in a rain affected final. The Romanian was in her first WTA final having beaten Alize Cornet to get here, but in the end Mertens experience was the difference as she held it together better as the players were taken off court four times during the contest. Mertens won the deciding set 6-3 to become the first player to win in Hobart twice in it’s 25 year history.
MOON OF LIBERTY WTA TENNIS RESULTS
Sydney International Final
AT THE NEW SOUTH WALES TENNIS CENTRE, SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
Heading into the US Open next week, Australia and New Zealand were the venues for this week ATP Tour events. In Auckland Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain took his second title in three years at the venue defeating Juan Martin Del Potro. Agut raced through the first set 6-1 but Del Potro hit back to take it to a decider. The key break came at 5-5 giving Agut the advantage and chance to serve for the match. He had to save a break point but held his nerve to save it and then serve it out to claim the title.
In Sydney it was the battle of the youngsters as 18 year old home favourite Alex de Minaur in his first ATP Title, took on the rising star from Russia, 21 year old Daniil Medvedev. The Australian got off to a stunning start taking the first set 6-1 but the experience of Medvedev slowly took over. The Russian broke in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out to level. Medvedev then took a double break to lead 4-0 in the decider. The Aussie showed great resilience to fight back, recover both breaks and get the score back to 5-5. de Minaur could not sustain it though, at this point Medvedev broke once more and this time he served it out to take the title after two hours of top class tennis.
MOON OF LIBERTY ATP TOUR TENNIS RESULTS
Auckland Open Final
AT THE ASB TENNIS CENTRE, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain) Beat Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina)
Australia 304-8 (50) (Finch 107 Stoinis 60 M Marsh 50)
England 308-5 (48.5) (Roy 180 Root 91*)
ENGLANDWIN BY 5 WICKETS
ENGLANDLEAD THE SERIES 1-0
England put their test disaster behind them to remind the world they are a serious force in the one day game. Australia batted first with Aaron Finch getting a century (107) supported by Marcus Stoinis (60) and Mitchell Marsh (50) as the hosts posted 304. Opener Jason Roy set about the chase hitting 5 sixes in his brilliant 180 to put England right in contention. Joe Root backed it up with 91 Not Out to lead the visitors home with 7 balls to spare. It’s clear the One Day series will be much more for a contest than the Ashes was and the Barmy Army finally have a win to cheer.
Australia 649-7(Khawaja 171, S Marsh 156, M Marsh 101, Smith 83, Warner 56)
AUSTRALIAWIN BY AN INNINGS AND 123 RUNS
AUSTRALIAWIN THE SERIES 4-0
Australia completed their demolition of England with a crushing win in Sydney. Joe Root top scored with 82 as England put 346 on the board which never looked enough on a flat pitch good for batting. Australia then put England to the sword, Usman Khawaja hit a superb 171 with the Marsh Brothers, Shaun with 156 and Mitchell 101 piling on the pain as Australia declared on 649.
The lead was far too much but England’s capitulation summed up the series. Only Root put up any resistance but he had to retire suffering from de-hydration. The wickets then continued to fall as Pat Cummins led the attack, taking four wickets in each innings. England were finished off for a miserable 180, a fitting climax to a one sided series as Australia celebrated winning back the urn. They also have won nine out of the last ten Ashes matches on Australian soil.
New Zealand started their Rugby Championship campaign by thrashing Australia in Sydney. The All Blacks came out of the blocks fast and delivered a blistering first half. Rieko Ioane and Ryan Crotty scored two tries each as New Zealand raced into a 40-6 lead at half time.
Australia made a game of it with three tries in the second half, but further tires from Damian McKenzie and Ben Smith took New Zealand over 50 points to complete a 54-34 win. The two meet again in New Zealand next week.
South Africa got their rugby Championship campaign off to a winning start scoring four tries to beat Argentina in Port Elizabeth. It was a tight first half with Argentina taking an early lad through a Martin Landajo try, but two penalties from the boot of Elton Jantjies and a try from Courtnall Skosan gave the Springboks a 13-5 half time lead.
From there they took control of the set piece and dominated the second half. Three more tries from Raymond Rhule, Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit enabled the hosts to run away with it in the second half eventually winning 37-15 and claiming the four try bonus point in the process. A good start for the Springboks who head to Argentina for Round 2 next week.