Daily Briefing

The Decathlon: Super Saturday, Ben Stokes’s ‘fluke’ catch and Harry Kane’s fitness

Ten things from the world of sport on 31 May

1. June arrives with a bang

The first day of June promises to be a “Super Saturday” for sports fans.

Top of the agenda is the Uefa Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool while there also’s two Cricket World Cup games, French Open tennis, the Epsom Derby and the Premiership Rugby final to enjoy.

The sporting action concludes with Anthony Joshua’s world title fight against Andy Ruiz Jr in New York in the early hours of Sunday.

See the June sports calendar for event start times and TV guide

2. Will Kane start in Madrid final?

The biggest talking point for Tottenham going into the Champions League final against Liverpool has been the fitness of star striker Harry Kane. England captain Kane has been on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury against Manchester City in the quarter-final first leg in April. He is back in training though and should be fit to play a part - either from the bench or from the start.

Champions League final: preview, predictions and team news

3. Ruiz Jr is ready to shock the world

Andy Ruiz Jr says pundits and fans should not underestimate his ability when he challenges Anthony Joshua for the WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight boxing titles in New York this weekend. The Mexican said: “I’m going to pull out the upset. This is what I have worked for my whole life, I’m here to take what Anthony has. I’m ready to shock the world.”

Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr: predictions, UK start time and betting odds

4. Hamilton’s ‘quite average’ start

Lewis Hamilton may have won four of the opening six races in the 2019 Formula 1 season but the Mercedes driver has described his performances as “quite average”. The five-time world champion said: “I definitely feel that it’s been quite an average performance from myself, maybe above average, but generally quite average for the first six races.”

5. Coutinho to replace Hazard?

Chelsea will target Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho as a replacement for Real Madrid-bound Eden Hazard - providing they overturn or delay their transfer ban. In other Premier League transfer news Mesut Ozil could be a big-name casualty of Arsenal’s Europa League final disaster.

6. Edmund retires injured

British No.1 Kyle Edmund was forced to retire from his French Open second-round clash against Pablo Cuevas because of a knee injury. The 24-year-old said: “You don’t want to stop because you feel like you’re quitting, but sometimes you have to. There have been a few times this year I have carried on and nothing got better and sometimes a bit worse. It won’t need surgery right now. If it did I wouldn’t be playing, I’d get it sorted straight away rather than delaying the inevitable.”

7. Raptors win opener

The Toronto Raptors have taken a 1-0 lead in the NBA Finals after beating defending champions Golden State Warriors 118-109 in game one. The best-of-seven series will see the two sides go head-to-head in Toronto in game two on Monday 3 June (1am BST).

8. Asher-Smith and Muir star in Stockholm

British athletes Dina Asher-Smith and Laura Muir were victorious at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. Asher-Smith won the 200m in a time of 22.18 seconds, the fastest in the world this year, while Muir won the 1500m in 4min 5.39secs.

9. Cipriani’s scrum-half role for England?

The Guardian reports that Gloucester fly-half Danny Cipriani could make the England squad for the Rugby World Cup as an emergency scrum-half. England head coach Eddie Jones could gamble by selecting only two scrum-halfs for the World Cup in Japan and Cipriani could get the call by doubling up as a No.9.

10. Stokes: catch was a fluke  

Ben Stokes put in a man-of-the-match performance as England won their opening match of the Cricket World Cup yesterday against South Africa.

The all-rounder top-scored with 89 runs and also took two wickets at The Oval. However, it was his superb catch that will live long in the memory of cricket fans. The catch was so good that it was described in commentary as one of the “greatest of all time”.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Stokes said: “It was a fluke. To be honest I was in the wrong position - if I was in the right position it would have been regulation.”

In case you didn’t see it, here is Stokes’s catch...

Today’s back pages: Stokes catch gives England a flying start in Cricket World Cup


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