In Brief

Today’s back pages: Sibley sets up England victory charge and the FA Cup kids are alright for Liverpool

A round up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 6 January

England on top in second Test

England’s cricketers receive much praise in this morning’s newspapers after their exploits on day three of the second Test against South Africa. 

Writing in The Times, Michael Atherton singles out opener Dom Sibley, whose unbeaten 85 has helped the tourists compile what should be an unassailable lead of 264 with six wickets remaining. 

“There were some encouraging signs from a player whose idiosyncratic technique will always raise eyebrows and invite questions,” writes Atherton.

Metro highlights the evergreen James Anderson, England’s 37-year-old fast bowler, who took five South African wickets in their first innings, and in doing so broke Ian Botham’s record for the most five-wicket hauls taken by an England bowler. 

It was Anderson’s 28th five-for, in his 151st Test, and now among fast bowlers only Australia’s Glenn McGrath and Richard Hadlee of New Zealand have taken more. 

As Wisden points outs, Anderson’s current team-mate, Sam Curran, was just four when he claimed his first Test wicket in 2003.

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Qatar World Cup worry

With tensions rising in the Middle East following last week’s air strike by the United States, The Sun says that there are growing “concerns” about the viability of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar. 

The country is an ally of Iran and has been subjected to a Saudi Arabia-led blockade that has closed the country’s borders and ended direct flights from neighbouring states. 

The paper claims that Fifa is “reluctant to talk up problems at this stage” but is monitoring events.

Young guns send Reds through

Much is made in the papers of Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over Everton in their FA Cup third round clash against Everton. 

The Reds fielded a callow side against a strong Everton outfit, but still emerged victorious thanks to a brilliant strike from 18-year-old Curtis Jones. 

Jurgen Klopp stood down the likes of Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson but his faith in his youngsters was rewarded, says the Daily Mail. 

The paper quotes the Reds manager saying it was a “sensationally good performance from a not-very experienced team”.

Today’s newspaper back pages

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