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The Sport Matrix: Friday 28 March 2014

Hales’ heroics keep England’s World T20 hopes alive

A magnificent century by Alex Hales – the first by an Englishman in T20 internationals – helped England achieve a remarkable six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 last night.

The 25-year-old struck 11 fours and six sixes as England recovered from a horrendous start to reach their target of 190 with four balls to spare.

Sri Lanka had set Stuart Broad’s side an imposing task, Mahela Jayawardene whacking 89 from 51 balls in a total of 189 for 4. England were reduced to 0 for 2 in reply before a stand of 152 between Hales and Eoin Morgan set up victory.

“It is a win we needed as a side,” Hales said. “I am pleased I managed to contribute to a winning team.” MORE

Myburgh’s magic Dutch fall short

The Netherlands just fell short of an unlikely World Twenty20 victory over South Africa, going down by six runs. Chasing 146 after Ahsan Malik took 5 for 19, Stephan Myburgh (51) inspired the Dutch reply, only for them to be bowled out for 139 after a valiant effort. MORE

Tigers run in nine tries against winless Broncos

Michael Shenton and Justin Carney went over twice as Castleford Tigers ran in nine tries in a 54-6 thrashing of London Broncos last night. The visitors led 24-0 at the interval and the Londoners – who have lost all seven games this season – appeared to be heading for a whitewash before Mike McMeeken’s converted try with two minutes remaining got the hosts on the board. Jamie Ellis enjoyed a perfect evening with the boot at The Hive, kicking nine from nine goal attempts.

Griffiths slams ‘big egos’ over cup plans

Saracens chief executive Edwards Griffiths has criticised the “big egos trapped within small minds” that held up negotiations over the European Cup. “Once the egos got out of the way, it was easy to find a solution,” he said. MORE

Van Garderen weathers storm

American Tejay van Garderen was victorious in the fourth stage of the Tour of Catalonia yesterday, pulling away in snow and fog to beat Romain Bardet and Alberto Contador. Joaquim Rodriguez remains overall leader. MORE

Vettel adds voice to engine row

World champion Sebastian Vettel has joined the criticism of the new “quieter” engines. “It’s s***,” the German opined. “I was on the pit wall [during the Australian GP] and it is quieter than in a bar! For the fans it is not good.” MORE

Murray looking  on the bright side

Andy Murray was keen to accentuate the positives after his exit from the Miami Masters. “I was hitting better from the back of the court,” he said, “playing aggressive, taking the ball early. My game is not far from where I want.” MORE

Sport England cuts FA funding by £1.6m

Sport England have cut funding to the Football Association for the grass-roots game by £1.6m. The act was described as a “warning” over the FA’s failure to reverse a decade’s decline in the number of playing adults. MORE

Steve Bunce

Odlanier Solis will need a lot more than just one win to get back anywhere near boxing’s big money and the Cuban must first decide if he really wants to be a boxer or if it is time to live a normal life. MORE

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