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Jofra Archer and Sam Curran shine as England take charge

Game on. Six of the best for Jofra Archer and a reminder of how infectious Sam Curran can be, his waspish medium pace a darting, giddy complement to the A-Man’s violent pace. Curran’s vibrant appeals, the leaping celebrations are tailor made for Friday afternoons, propelling us into the weekend with hope in our hearts and a smile on our faces, the anti Steve Smith if you like.

Cricket
Australian batsman Travis Head overbalances after being caught out by a yorker from Ben Stokes. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty

Wind and Aussies winners on day when Jofra Archer ran out of puff

For the greater part of the day Old Trafford looked like a windswept cricketing outpost in autumn. Hold on a minute, it is a windswept cricketing outpost in autumn. The presence of stewards standing like sentries out in the middle, their transparent pacamacs billowing in the gale, mocked the scheduling of an Ashes Test north of Watford north of August.

Cricket
'He is the special one,' said Sir Ian Botham of Ben Stokes following his matchwinning performance. Picture: AFP/Getty

Ben Stokes on a par with Beethoven, Van Gogh and Da Vinci

“I’m babbling on, here. I don’t know what to say,” offered our hero to Michael Atherton in the post-match interview on Sky. Don’t worry Ben, neither do we, each and every one of us is lost for words because there are no words that can do justice to what we saw, to account for an innings that might never be bettered in Test cricket, or any form of this beguiling game for that matter.

Cricket
England's top scorer Joe Denly reacts after being dismissed by James Pattinson for 12. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images

England’s dream turns to Ashes as Joe Root’s side are dismissed for 67

This was supposed to be the day England loosened the Australian grip on the Ashes.
What were we thinking? Must have been the bravado talking. You remember Thursday? England lording it after bowling out Australia in just 52 overs, skittled for 179. Well they were back with ball in hand yesterday afternoon trailing by 113 and waving goodbye to the urn.

Cricket
Jofra Archer brought a buzz of excitement among the crowd at Lord's during his six overs against Australia. Picture: Getty.

The Ashes: Stage set for Jofra Archer to pull the strings for England

About the best thing that could be said of England’s batting was the stage it bequeathed Jofra Archer in the final hour of the day. There was no maiden Test wicket in six overs of rapier pace but enough excitement in the crowd and unease at the crease to suggest Archer’s impact in the English cause might echo the lethal longbowmen from which his name derives.

Cricket
Marcus Rashford holds off Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta to fire home Manchester United's third goal. Picture: Julian Finney/Getty

Man Utd 4-0 Chelsea: Marcus Rashford hits brace in emphatic win

First the good bits. Four goals, two in the space of 95 seconds, the third an expression of world class in the pass and the finish, saw Manchester United end the first weekend of the season ahead of Liverpool and Spurs on goal difference, bettered only by champions Manchester City. Why wouldn’t the Stretford End dance like it was 1999?

Football
Rory McIlroy says farewell on the 18th green as he makes an early exit from his home Open. Picture: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Cut is agony for Rory McIlroy as he just falls short

Oh to have the first day back, just one hole, any hole, but mostly the 16th where he rushed a short one and missed. There is no fairground ride in golf like Rory McIlroy. He promised a response and delivered, shooting a best-of-the-day 65 to close on two over par. It was not enough, falling agonisingly one shot the wrong side of the cut mark.

Golf
Rory McIlroy cuts a dejected figure at the 18th hole. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

How Rory McIlroy’s homecoming fell flat

The cheer as Rory McIlory walked up the 18th was one of sympathy. His ball was buried in a hillock to the right of the green. He had taken four strokes to get there. This was not the walk of destiny promised in the build-up, not the note of triumph in which all were invested. He finished with a seven, believe it or not, one better than the score with which he opened his account.

Golf
A jubilant Lewis Hamilton celebrates his victory in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Lewis Hamilton wins for a record sixth British GP

“What a day, love you Silverstone.” The feeling was mutual, 141,000 through the turnstiles to witness Lewis Hamilton drive into history. Any questions about his patriotism, about his Britishness, seemed utterly out of step with the affection washing over the pit straight as he celebrated an unprecedented sixth British Grand Prix victory. That’s one more than Jim Clark, two more than Nigel Mansell.

Other Sport
US baseball icon A-Rod is engaged to Hollywood star Jennifer Lopez. Picture: AP.

‘Anything can happen’ when Red Sox and Yankees clash says A-Rod

There are few 43-year-olds who fill a suit like Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, more familiarly known as A-Rod. The pinstripes he used to wear in the service of the New York Yankees have morphed into an exquisitely cut two-piece in these, the executive years of his baseball career. Mind you, this fella would look 
Beckham-good in a bin bag.

Other Sport
Tyson Fury poses for photographers after defeating Tom Schwarz, of Germany. Picture: AP.

Sound and Fury in this Vegas mismatch

If entertainment was the goal, Tyson Fury scored on his Las Vegas debut. He might even consider a residency on the Strip, not as a boxer since there was too little of that on Saturday night, but as a warbler, banging out karaoke standards via plausible pipes. Addressing his wife Paris after his second-round ‘victory’ over Tom Schwarz, Fury took the mic for a blast of soppy Aerosmith ballad, I don’t want to miss a thing.

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