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The Sport Matrix: Friday 2 August 2013

Captain’s slog puts Australia in Old Trafford boxseat

Michael Clarke's magnificent century helped Australia dominate the opening day of the third Ashes Test against England at Old Trafford.

The visiting captain, right, remained unbeaten on 125, with Steve Smith comfortable on 70 at the other end in an unbroken partnership of 174. Chris Rogers made 84, while Usman Khawaja was surprisingly given out, despite negligible evidence he was caught off Graeme Swann.

“We accept that mistakes can be made,” James Sutherland, Cricket Australia’s chief executive, said as the side sought clarification from the ICC over the actions of third umpire Kumar Dharmasena.

“However, we feel duty-bound to seek further explanation as to how this decision was arrived at.” MORE

CLARKE’S TEST CENTURIES AGAINST ENGLAND

Dec 2006 Adelaide 124

Dec 2006 Perth 135*

July 2009 Lord’s 136

Aug 2009 Edgbaston 103*

Aug 2013 Old Trafford 125*

Bony’s brilliance sets Swans on way

Wilfried Bony scored twice on his debut as Swansea overcame Malmo 4-0 in the first leg of the third qualifying round of the Europa League last night. Michu opened the scoring in the first half. Alejandro Pozuelo added a late fourth ahead of next week’s return leg in Sweden. MORE

Spurs smash record for £26m Soldado

Tottenham Hotspur have completed the club-record signing of the Valencia and Spain striker Roberto Soldado for £26m. The club are short of firepower, with Emmanuel Adebayor on his way out and Jermain Defoe having struggled with inconsistent form last season. MORE

Park’s major bid begins falteringly

World No 1 Inbee Park experienced mixed fortunes on the opening day of the Women’s British Open as she tries to win a record fourth successive major. The South Korean was six under par after 10 holes, but finished on three under, three shots off the lead. MORE

Liverpool bid £22m for striker Costa

Liverpool have made a £21.8m bid for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa. The Brazil international, 24, scored 10 goals in 31 games last season and Liverpool’s offer is believed to have triggered his release clause, with speculation continuing over Luis Suarez’s future at Anfield.

Weir: We’re League One for a reason

Sheffield United manager David Weir has called for a sense of realism from fans. “[They] will have the expectation of going up because we’re a really big club,” he said ahead of tonight’s season-opener against Notts County. “But we’re here for a reason.” MORE

Dzeko’s career at City given new life

Edin Dzeko believes his Manchester City career has been re-energised by the arrival of new manager Manuel Pellegrini. “I feel different, better,” the striker said. “The manager gives me more confidence. That is an important thing.” MORE

Hartley joins six new England faces

Dylan Hartley has been included in England’s 33-man elite squad, despite currently serving an  11-game suspension for a red card last season. Stuart Lancaster also included six new faces, while opting not to include flanker James Haskell. MORE

McShane at double for dominant Leeds

Paul McShane went over twice as Leeds Rhinos eased to a 30-18 victory at London Broncos last night to Leeds move up to at the top of Super League, while bottom side London have now won just one of their last 11 matches

Brown Panther scores for Owen

Brown Panther, part-owned by Michael Owen, won the Goodwood Cup by three and a half lengths yesterday. “It’s a fabulous race to win,” the former England footballer said. “I was a little bit excited.” MORE

James Lawton

Michael Clarke was simply masterful, working the strike, hitting perfectly fashioned shots to the boundary. He produced his credentials as a leader and also as a batsman of superb skill and judgement. MORE

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