Sports shorts: England demolish NZ, Southgate warns Maddison
Ten things from the world of sport on Friday 8 November
1. Malan and Morgan destroy New Zealand
Dawid Malan hit the fastest T20 century by an English batsman as the tourists demolished New Zealand in Napier.
Malan scored 103 from 51 balls, reaching his century in just 48, and captain Eoin Morgan struck 91 from 41 as England reached 241-3 – their highest ever 20-over score. The pair, who came together with the score on 58-2, smashed 182 off 76 balls at Napier.
In reply New Zealand were bundled out for 165 in 16.5 overs, with young leg-spinner Matt Parkinson taking 4-47.
“It was not so much the six sixes that made Malan’s innings outstanding, or even his strike rate of 201, but his offside driving. Most white-ball hitting is done leg side, but not this innings by Malan which was all the more handsome for his cover-driving,” says Scyld Berry of the Daily Telegraph.
“Morgan scored even more quickly with 91 off 41 balls and seven sixes. He not only hit well to the short square boundaries with his sweeps and slog-sweeps; less predictably Morgan drove straight superbly.”
2. Man City security fears
Manchester City have sought assurances from Liverpool over the safety of their team bus ahead of their Premier League showdown on Sunday.
Social media posts have called for Liverpool fans to line the streets around the stadium with “pyro, pints, flags and banners”, although police will not reveal the exact route the coach will take before the game.
“City are concerned the coach could be attacked by Liverpool fans as it was in April 2018 before the Champions League quarter-final when bottles, cans and flares were thrown. Although no players or staff were injured, the vehicle was left unsafe to drive,” reports The Guardian.
“While the clubs are in constant dialogue in the build-up to the game – as is normal practice – it is understood the problem has been raised at executive level by City. They expect it to be taken seriously and want a guarantee from Liverpool there will be no repeat of the scenes of 18 months ago.”
3. Celtic win in Italy
Celtic made history as they won a European tie in Italy for the first time, beating Lazio with a dramatic injury time winner from Olivier Ntcham and securing a place in the knock-out stages of the competition with two games to go. “Neil Lennon’s men are made of something special,” says Joel Sked of The Scotsman.
“In two consecutive games they have gone behind against one of Italy’s biggest sides and in two consecutive games against one of Italy’s biggest sides they have won. Such results don’t usually happen with Scottish sides. Yet, here they are in the knockout stages with two games to spare - no Scottish side has ever done that before.
“The way in which they did so made it even more special, dragging themselves back into the game then going toe-to-toe with Simone Inzaghi’s side... This will be remembered for a long time.”
4. Man Utd hit top gear
Manchester United continued their winning run in the Europa League going with a 3-0 win over Partizan Belgrade at Old Trafford. Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were on target as the Red Devils scored three goals at home for the first time since August.
United have yet to concede a goal in this year’s competition and are on a 15-game unbeaten run in the Europa League.
5. Southgate warning for Maddison
Gareth Southgate named a 27-man squad for England’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Montenegro and Kosovo.
Leicester’s James Maddison is included once again despite being pictured in a casino after pulling out if the last squad with injury. Southgate said he picked Maddison on merit but warned him that he wanted players who were “high-performance, low-maintenance”.
Defender John Stones and midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Callum Hudson-Odoi are recalled. There was no room for Spurs star Dele Alli or Man City defender Kyle Walker.
Southgate said that he selected a larger than normal squad because of injury concerns over some players, including Ross Barkley and Mason Mount.
6. Gomes could play this season
Stricken Everton star Andre Gomes could be playing again this season, says manager Marco Silva.
The Portugal midfielder suffered a fracture dislocation of his ankle on Sunday against Spurs and underwent surgery on Monday.
And despite the gruesome nature of the injury it appears that he could make a comeback sooner than expected.
“The feedback I had from our medical staff is that possibly we will see Andre playing again this season,” said Silva.
“After the surgery and all the exams they did, everything went really well. We hope we can see Andre playing again this season. We are not 100 per cent sure but we have good possibilities to do that.”
7. Liverpool escape Origi banner punishment
Liverpool will not be punished over an offensive banner that was unveiled by fans during the Champions League game against Genk. The image of a naked man with striker Divock Origi’s head superimposed on it drew widespread criticism on social media when it was spotted.
“Liverpool issued a strongly-worded statement condemning the actions of the fans responsible and vowed to take action if they could highlight those involved,” reports the Daily Mail.
“UEFA, however, have been unable to take action. No reference was made to the banner in the official reports that were submitted to governing body’s base in Nyon and that meant they were unable to open a case.”
The banner was removed and destroyed by Liverpool officials and the fan responsible has been banned by the club.
8. Stoke to appoint O’Neill
Stoke City are set to appoint Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill as their new boss.
O’Neill is expected to be in charge of Stoke, who are bottom of the Championship and sacked manager Nathan Jones last week, for Saturday’s game at Barnsley.
“It is believed O’Neill will then return to Northern Ireland to take charge of his country’s final two Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Netherlands and Germany on 16 and 19 November before moving to Stoke on a full-time basis,” says the BBC. “Former international player O’Neill, 50, has been NI boss for eight years, leading them to the Euro 2016 finals.”
9. New union for athletes
Dina Asher-Smith has lent her support to the Athletics Association, a new union for athletes, set up after changes to the Diamond League programme.
The 200m world champion tweeted her support for the move after American two-time Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor launched the body to “fight for athletes’ rights”.
The 200m and triple jump are among the events that have been sidelined by the Diamond League for 2020.
“We will fight for athletes’ rights and ultimately demand a seat at the table and a say in how our sport is run and how the sport can grow and evolve without ripping out its core,” saud Taylor.
10. Sonny Bill signs for the Wolfpack
New Zealand cross-code rugby star Sonny Bill Williams has signed for new Super League side Toronto Wolfpack.
“The former Sydney Roosters and Bulldogs forward returns to rugby league after completing his second stint with the All Blacks, for whom he won the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and 2011. Williams, who lifted NRL premierships with the Roosters in 2013 and the Bulldogs on 2004, will now look to add a Super League title to his glittering resume,” says The Guardian.
“Toronto, owned by Canadian-based Australian mining and resources entrepreneur David Argyle, secured promotion to the Super League in September in only their third year of existence.
“The signing of the 34-year-old is the biggest in Super League history and Williams said in a statement he was excited about the challenge that lies ahead.”