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The Sport Matrix: Monday 24 June 2013

Cook defiant after agonising final defeat to India

England captain Alastair Cook admitted he found it “tough to take” after seeing Champions Trophy glory snatched away in dramatic fashion by India yesterday, but insisted he was proud of his side’s  performance in the tournament.

England had looked on course to win their first one-day international global competition after limiting India to 129 for 7 in a rain-affected final reduced to 20 overs per side. They then reached 110 for 4 in reply.

However, the dismissals of  Eoin Morgan (33) and Ravi Bopara (30) in successive balls turned the game India’s way and they took full advantage to claim victory by five runs.

Cook, above, said: “I thought we bowled well, you’d take 130 to chase but it was probably a slightly harder wicket to bat than we probably thought. It is just tough to take at the minute. We were almost there. It was in our hands.

“I’m proud of the way the lads played in this tournament. We’ve been under pressure pretty much throughout.” MORE

Horwill cleared after stamp claim

Australia captain James Horwill has been cleared after being cited for an alleged stamp on Alun Wyn Jones during Saturday’s defeat to the Lions. Horwill will now be available to play in the second Test. MORE

Pietersen returns with unbeaten ton

England’s Kevin Pietersen put himself in contention for an Ashes Test recall as he scored an unbeaten 177 for Surrey against Yorkshire on his return from a knee injury. Pietersen hit 17 fours and seven sixes. MORE

Murray ready for Wimbledon bid

Andy Murray begins his Wimbledon title quest today against Germany’s Benjamin Becker, and believes this could be his year. He said: “I probably feel a lot better about myself and in public than a year ago.” MORE

Porter’s heroics help GB to third

Great Britain finished third in the European Team Championships in Gateshead after a strong showing yesterday. Tiffany Porter’s 100m hurdles victory was the highlight in difficult conditions. MORE

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