The sports roundup

Let’s start in reverse order, so cricket then, and yet another defeat to the Aussies losing the game by 7 wickets after a dismal batting performance from England. The only Englishman to get into double figures were Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and Ravi Bopara with Pietersen top scoring with 104 followed by Bell’s 77 and Bopara’s less impressive 21. The big names failed to make an impact again, the recalled Andrew Strauss could only manage 7 runs and England skipper Michael Vaughan could only muster 5 runs before succumbing to Shaun Tait’s bowling. I really think that Andrew Flintoff’s inclusion in the team is looking shaky at best after another lacklustre innings only creating four runs from 19 deliveries, hardly vintage Flintoff. Australia met the English target of 248 at a canter with 7 wickets and 16 deliveries to spare. England’s hopes of proceeding to the semi-finals is looking severely unlikely now as they need to win their remaining three games and rely on other results to go their way. Beating all three teams will be challenge enough for the English considering the West Indies and South Africa stand in the way of England’s world cup dreams.

Formula One, Lewis Hamilton impressed again in his second ever F1 drive to secure second spot on the podium behind his more experienced team mate Fernando Alonso. Hamilton has been impressive thus far, he’s a definite star of the future, maybe he will take the next step up to the top of the podium in Bahrain. The youngster certainly isn’t phased by big name drivers, the move he put on both Ferrari’s into the first corner was amazing, the Ferrari drivers were caught napping by Hamilton and they paid the price. Despite being chased down by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen (it still doesn’t sound right typing that), the young Englishman held him off to take 2nd. BMW managed another good result splitting the two Ferrari’s, Giancarlo Fisichella could only manage 6th for world champions Renault with rookie Heikki Kovalainen bringing his Renault home in 8th with Jarno Trulli’s Toyota splitting the two Renaults. Jenson Button finished a lap down on the leaders in 12th after another difficult race. David Coulthard had to park his car due to a technical failure, his brake pedal was rubbing against the steering column, so had to park his Red Bull!

Football, Plymouth Argyle were beaten for the third time on the road when they visited Elland Road being defeated by a late winner from Leeds’ Lubomir Michalik three minutes from time. Plymouth took the lead when Peter Halmosi latched onto a Sylvan Ebanks-Blake pass to slip the ball past the Leeds keeper. Leeds’ David Healy capitalised on Argyle’s sloppy defending bundling a loose ball into the back of the Argyle net just before the half time break. Another disappointing result for the Green Army, seems that Argyle are in freefall at the moment slipping down to 15th. Now Argyle aren’t safe either, there’s only 6 points between Argyle and a relegation spot, it’s more about survival than a promotion push!

Liverpool were more fortunate on their travels when they visited the Madejski Stadium beating the home team 1 – 2 with Dirk Kuyt’s late winner to secure all three points. Alvaro Arbeloa gave Liverpool the lead picking up a loose ball and running with it exchanging passes with Peter Crouch before calmly lifting the ball over the Reading keeper. To their credit, Reading didn’t lay down, they fought hard and got their reward just after half time with Brynjar Gunnarsson powering a Steve Hunt cross past Liverpool keeper Jose Reina. Jermaine Pennant floated a curling cross into the Reading 18 yard area which Dirk Kuyt gratefully redirected goalbound late in the game. Liverpool have moved five points clear of Arsenal after the Gunners lost to West Ham at the Emirates Stadium, so third is looking good for Liverpool this season; and possible Champions League glory as well, NICE!

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