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Ben Duckett and Dan Christian lead Nottinghamshire to second T20 Blast title

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ben duckett and dan christian lead nottinghamshire to second t20 blast title

Ben Duckett exorcised his personal demons by steering Nottinghamshire to their second Twenty20 Blast title a year after being part of a finals day choke.

England batsman Duckett struck an unbeaten 53 to canter the Outlaws to a six-wicket win over Surrey, having been at the crease when they fell a run short in what had appeared a comfortable chase against Worcestershire in the 2019 semi-final.

‘Coming up short and personally being there at the end when we lost meant it was a good feeling for me to get the boys over the line,’ said the 25-year-old.

Ben Duckett and Dan Christian of Nottinghamshire celebrate victory in Vitality Blast 20 Final

Ben Duckett and Dan Christian of Nottinghamshire celebrate victory in Vitality Blast 20 Final

Ben Duckett and Dan Christian of Nottinghamshire celebrate victory in Vitality Blast 20 Final

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33981114 8804729 image a 21 1601852245354

‘Different people have stepped up at different points throughout the season and that’s been the key to our success.’

However, on the latest finish to an English domestic season since 1864, it was Dan Christian whose cameos with bat and ball won two man-of-the-match awards.

After the incessant wet weather that threatened to send Twenty20 finals day into the farce of bowl-outs subsided, the club’s Australian captain all but settled the second semi-final by spraying the empty Edgbaston stands with four successive sixes off Liam Livingstone.

The 37-year-old, who now faces two lots of fortnight-long quarantines before playing Down Under this winter, sandwiched that by contributing to boundary-less spells of 17 and 29 deliveries at the end of Lancashire and Surrey innings respectively.

Duckett scored an unbeaten 53 as his team reached the target with 16 balls to spare

Duckett scored an unbeaten 53 as his team reached the target with 16 balls to spare

Duckett scored an unbeaten 53 as his team reached the target with 16 balls to spare

In the floodlit finale, he finished with figures of four for 23, then followed up with an unbeaten 21 off 11 balls to celebrate with Duckett as he marked victory by reaching an unbeaten half-century.

The chase, completed with 16 deliveries unused and six wickets intact, had looked like being a stiffer test when the Outlaws lost three top-order wickets in reply to Surrey’s 127 for seven.

But, on a very different finals day to the ones of 25,000 full houses, Nottinghamshire came through just 72 hours after Leicestershire literally allowed quarter-final victory at Trent Bridge slip through their fingers with poor late fielding lapses.

In a see-saw contest, Surrey, English cricket’s inaugural T20 champions back in 2003, gained the upper hand through a revitalised Jason Roy, who struck a half-century from 36 balls, and short-form specialist Laurie Evans.

Roy put behind him a sorry international summer in which he mustered only 49 runs in six innings against Ireland and Australia by and thrashing the ball across the dewy outfield to the rope with regularity.

Dan Christian lifts the Vitality Blast Trophy with his team-mates following their triumph

Dan Christian lifts the Vitality Blast Trophy with his team-mates following their triumph

Dan Christian lifts the Vitality Blast Trophy with his team-mates following their triumph

With Evans even more explosive in hitting a 23-ball 43, they threatened to post a score of 150-plus during a sequence of 80 runs in seven overs.

But Christian checked the momentum dramatically when he took the first of two wickets in an over, the 14th of the innings —Evans taking on the huge leg-side boundary and losing.

Roy followed next over and the difficulty new batsmen had in striking cleanly was emphasised by the lack of a single boundary at the death.

Nottinghamshire’s chase got off to the worst possible start when Alex Hales yelped ‘Oh no’ after picking out deep square leg first ball.

Hales had said something stronger upon his dismissal against Lancashire, for which Notts were warned a five-run penalty would be applied for further inappropriate language.

That might have been audible in the Notts’ dugout when Samit Patel failed to make the most of a reprieve two balls earlier by picking out the same man in Rory Burns at wide long-on.  

It provided the golden arm of Will Jacks with a second wicket, and left Notts 19 for three in the fourth over.

However, Peter Trego — only playing because fellow veteran Chris Nash injured his shoulder fielding — joined Duckett for a rapid stand of 63 that was given a shot in the arm in the seventh over when Liam Plunkett was effectively taken for nine off one delivery after sending down consecutive no-balls.

It was decisive, plunging the required rate down to a run a ball and leaving Surrey captain Gareth Batty to admit: ‘We tried different things but you have to take your hats off to Notts and say, ‘Well played’.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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McLaren star Lando Norris SLAMS Lance Stroll after pair clashed at Portuguese Grand Prix

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mclaren star lando norris slams lance stroll after pair clashed at portuguese grand

Lando Norris is planning to steer clear of Lance Stroll in future, scolding the Canadian after their collision at the Portuguese GP which wrecked the Brit’s race.

The McLaren star was flying along in seventh place on lap 18 before his Racing Point rival attempted a wild move around the outside on the entrance to Turn 1. 

Stroll cut across Norris and made contract with his orange machine, spinning off the track and causing damage to both cars.  

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34835444 8878639 image a 111 1603673610262

Lando Norris and Lance Stroll crashed on lap 18 of the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday 

Norris was cruising in seventh before being hit by the Canadian, ending the race in 13th

Norris was cruising in seventh before being hit by the Canadian, ending the race in 13th

Norris was cruising in seventh before being hit by the Canadian, ending the race in 13th 

Stroll span out and also suffered wing damage, failing to finish the race and getting a penalty

Stroll span out and also suffered wing damage, failing to finish the race and getting a penalty

Stroll span out and also suffered wing damage, failing to finish the race and getting a penalty

Stroll couldn’t finish the race and has since been awarded a five-second time penalty and two penalty points by the FIA. Meanwhile, Norris was forced into a pit-stop to fix his front-wing and finished the race down in 13th – out of the points. 

On his team radio while driving away from the incident, Norris fumed: ‘What the ****, what is this ****** doing. I’ve got damage guys.’  

‘I don’t know what he was really doing,’ the 20-year-old added post-race.  

‘He went to the left, which I was quite surprised by when he very easily could have gone to the right. 

Norris was forced into a pit-stop and his race was ruined, falling out of the points positions

Norris was forced into a pit-stop and his race was ruined, falling out of the points positions

Norris was forced into a pit-stop and his race was ruined, falling out of the points positions

The Racing Point driver also crashed with Red Bull's Max Verstappen in a practise session

The Racing Point driver also crashed with Red Bull's Max Verstappen in a practise session

The Racing Point driver also crashed with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in a practise session 

‘Also, I was easily half-way alongside and he just turned in, so he obviously didn’t learn from Friday.’   

The McLaren driver also pointed to an incident Stroll caused at the same turn, clashing with Norris’ live-streaming buddy Max Verstappen in practice.   

The Racing Point driver made a similar move on the Dutchman, cutting across Verstappen’s Red Bull as he attempted to overtake on the inside. 

‘He doesn’t seem to learn from anything he does,’ Norris added. 

Stroll is often under the microscope as his father is part-owner of the Racing Point team

Stroll is often under the microscope as his father is part-owner of the Racing Point team

Stroll is often under the microscope as his father is part-owner of the Racing Point team 

‘It happens a lot with him. I just need to make sure I stay away next time.’ 

Stroll is constantly under scrutiny with detractors pointing to the fact his Racing Point team is part-owned by his father, Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll. 

However, the 21-year-old does have some notable results and has impressed this season, bagging the second podium of his career at the Italian GP. 

He is also the third-youngest podium finisher in the sport’s history, finishing third at the 2017 Azerbaijan GP at 18 years and seven months. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Barely a peek of Donny van de Beek who looks forlorn on the fringes at Manchester United

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barely a peek of donny van de beek who looks forlorn on the fringes at manchester united

There was little to admire about Manchester United here at Old Trafford, but the strength of their bench was certainly impressive enough.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought on Edinson Cavani for his debut, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood. Not a bad supporting cast. The United manager still had Nemanja Matic, Axel Tuanzebe and goalkeeper Dean Henderson in reserve.

Then there was United’s seventh substitute. The blond-haired Dutchman sitting forlornly in the rain waiting for his chance to shine. It has been a peculiar time for Donny van de Beek since swapping a starting spot at Ajax, who enjoyed a 13-0 win on Saturday, for a place on the fringes at United.

Donny van de Beek has struggled to get game-time due to the competition at Old Trafford

Donny van de Beek has struggled to get game-time due to the competition at Old Trafford

Donny van de Beek has struggled to get game-time due to the competition at Old Trafford

What should have been an exciting new chapter in the 23-year-old’s career has turned into a period of frustration bordering on stagnation. United’s £40million signing has made just two starts, in the Carabao Cup against Luton Town and Brighton. Four Premier League appearances as a substitute have produced a total of 61 minutes, plus a two-minute cameo in the Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain.

There is little doubt that Van de Beek is a victim of the short pre-season. He has not had as long as many new signings to adapt to his new environment, and there is a feeling at United that he needs to build himself up physically for the demands of English football. 

But his lack of involvement has only added weight to the argument that United needed to strengthen in other areas instead of adding to their extensive midfield options. 

Solskjaer acknowledged the issue before Saturday’s draw, saying: ‘Donny’s fit enough but it’s competition for places. It’s a new league and it’s giving him time to settle and adjust to his new team-mates. He’s eager to play more but it’s going to be a long season and you’ll see him.’

What followed was another evening on the sidelines. Van de Beek only got on the pitch after the final whistle when he took part in a warm-down session with the other unused subs.

His agent, Sjaak Swart, had voiced exasperation last month, pointing out that Van de Beek scored off the bench on his debut against Crystal Palace and was involved again when United won their next League game with a late penalty at Brighton.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Van de Beek is taking time to adjust to a new league since his move

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Van de Beek is taking time to adjust to a new league since his move

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Van de Beek is taking time to adjust to a new league since his move

Danny Blind, the former Holland coach and father of ex-United player Daley, echoed the mood in his country after Van de Beek was again surplus to requirements for his club having played 90 minutes twice for the national side against Mexico and Italy in the last international break.

‘What was he signed for?’ Blind demanded to know on Dutch TV. ‘I listened to Solskjaer and he had nothing but praise for Donny. Yet he didn’t even give him a cameo. He bought him to beef up the squad. Why not use that squad depth?’

The games don’t get any easier. United face Red Bull Leipzig on Wednesday followed by Arsenal, Istanbul Basaksehir and Everton. Van de Beek is desperate to play a part, but for now the wait goes on.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Man Utd star Paul Pogba has ‘quit playing for France’ over President Macron’s comments on ‘Islamist terrorism’

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man utd star paul pogba has quit playing for france over president macrons comments on islamist terrorism scaled

PAUL POGBA has reportedly quit international football after comments from French president Emmanuel Macron alleging that Islam was the source of international terrorism.

The Manchester United star has allegedly made the decision following the remarks on Friday from his country’s leader.

Paul Pogba has reportedly 'quit playing for France'

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Paul Pogba has reportedly ‘quit playing for France’Credit: Getty

And the French government’s decision to honour the teacher who published offensive images of the prophet Muhammad, which Pogba reportedly resented, are also said to be behind the move.

That is according to various Middle Eastern news sources, but neither the 27-year-old, nor the French Football Association, has commented on the speculation.

United ace Pogba’s alleged decision comes in the wake of the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty, 47, who was attacked on his way home from the junior high school where he taught in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 40km northwest of Paris.



Mr Paty was awarded the French Legion d’honneur, the highest decoration bestowed by the French state, in recognition of the fact that he died for trying to explain the importance of freedom of speech.

Preisdent Macron described the murder as an ‘Islamic terrorist attack’ that took the life of the French teacher.

He later added: “Unity and firmness are the only answers to the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism.”

Pogba’s apparent resignation was published Sunday in the Arabic sports website 195sports.com, which said that the decision to give the teacher the Legion d’honneur and the comments were the motivation for his decision to stop playing as a French international.

Pogba allegedly considered the decision an insult to him and to French Muslims, especially since Islam is the second religion in France after Christianity.

LB TROPHY MANUNITED

Calls are growing meanwhile around the world for people to boycott French goods in the wake of the president’s comments accusing Muslims of separatism and he pledged not to give up cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Pogba made his international debut back in 2013 and went on to lift the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He has won 72 caps and scored ten goals for Les Bleus.

SPORTS GRAPHIC EXPENSIVE SIGNINGS MANUTD v3

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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