The Sport Matrix: Friday 12 July 2013


Ecstatic No 11 Agar smashes 98 to rescue Australia

Australia’s teenage debutant Ashton Agar scored an extraordinary and historic 98 on another day of incredible drama at Trent Bridge yesterday. The 19-year-old rescued the tourists from 117 for 9 to 280 all out, putting England on the back foot after the second day.

“It’s been a great day, probably the best day of my life so far so I’m rapt,” Agar said afterwards. “I was really happy, I didn’t think I was going to make 98 so to have that happen was fantastic.”

Agar’s innings, which lasted just 101 balls, was the highest-ever score by a Test No 11 batsman, beating Tino Best’s innings of 95 recorded against England last summer. Agar’s stand of 163 with Phil Hughes was the highest 10th-wicket stand in Test history.

Agar could have been the first No 11 to score a hundred but Graeme Swann caught his pull shot, and then congratulated him for his innings. Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook, above, then stabilised England’s innings, taking them to 80 for 2, a lead of 15, at the close of play. Read more

Neville fears for England youngsters

Former England international Gary Neville fears the current generation of young English footballers are having their route to the top of the game blocked despite being capable of playing at the highest level. He said: “I see academy staffs being ripped out of clubs.” Read more

Rooney flies home as Chelsea hover

Wayne Rooney was sent home yesterday from Manchester United’s tour of Asia and Australia with a hamstring injury that the club say will rule him out for a month. His future at United remains unresolved with Chelsea keen to sign the player by the end of August. Read more

Froome wingman crashes out of race

Edvald Boasson Hagen, one of Tour de France leader Chris Froome’s key wingmen, broke his shoulder in a bad crash 2.5 kilometres from the line at Tours and is out of the race, while Mark Cavendish suffered his second straight defeat in a bunch sprint stage. Read more

Ponting ends his first-class career

Ricky Ponting finished on 169 not out in his final first-class innings, helping Surrey earn a draw against Nottinghamshire. Ponting said yesterday: “As much as I enjoy it and as much as I know I can keep playing there are other things I need to look after now.” Read more

Bony seals ‘perfect move’ to Swansea

Wilfried Bony spoke of his delight after moving from Vitesse Arnhem to Swansea yesterday. The forward became the Swans’ record signing after completing the £12m transfer. Bony said: “I believe it’s the right step for me; the perfect move.” Read more

Pardew sends warning to clubs  

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has warned clubs targeting his players they will have to “blow the doors off” to stand any chance of landing them. Tim Krul, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa have been linked with moves. Read more

England fearless ahead of Spain tie

England striker Eniola Aluko believes the experience in their team will help them at Euro 2013. England play Spain today and Aluko said: “There is no reason for us to fear the European Championships or think that we cannot perform.” Read more

Fury: Haye ‘stinks the place out’

Tyson Fury stoked the tension ahead of his highly-anticipated fight against David Haye in Manchester on 28 September. Fury said yesterday: “I’m on everyone’s tongue and you are the one who just stinks the place out against people.” Read more

Judd and Gemili seek world spots

Jess Judd and Adam Gemili are among the British athletes who are hoping to book their places at next month’s World Championships by qualifying in their events at this weekend’s British trials. Read more

James Lawton

The transformation Ashton Agar worked in the company of Phil Hughes, left, was breath-taking, a great and unforgettable phenomenon in the most demanding terrain of their game. Read more