The Sports Matrix: Friday 17 June 2011

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The Independent Online

England make inroads in the rain

England were on top after a rain-affected first day of the third Test against Sri Lanka yesterday at the Rose Bowl’s first Test. They won the toss and put in the tourists, who were 81 for 4 at stumps. James Anderson and Chris Tremlett took two wickets each. MORE

Murray takes on Troicki in warm-up

Andy Murray will play an exhibition game this afternoon against Serbia’s Viktor Troicki. The match will be held at The Boodles, in the gardens of Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire. Murray wants more grass court practice for next week’s Wimbledon. MORE

First Serena, now Venus is humbled

Both Williams sisters have now been eliminated from the Aegon International on their joint return to competitive tennis. Venus lost yesterday to Daniela Hantuchova, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, and the Slovak progresses to the semi-finals. MORE

Liddle wickets help Sussex to win

Sussex beat Middlesex by 49 runs in T20 cricket last night, thanks to four Chris Liddle wickets. Sussex made 165 for 8 batting first at Lord’s, with Murray Goodwin scoring an unbeaten 48. Liddle then took 4 for 20 as Middlesex were bowled out for 116. MORE

Jamie aware of brother’s shadow

Jamie Murray has conceded to i that he will always be compared to his successful sibling. “I’ll always be Andy’s brother regardless of how good or bad my career goes from here,” he said. “I’m very fortunate that I can sometimes play with Andy.” MORE

Fame and Glory wins Gold Cup

Fame and Glory was a comfortable winner at the Gold Cup yesterday at Royal Ascot. The 11-8 favourite won by three lengths. Opinion Poll was second. Jockey Jamie Spencer admitted that it was an easy win. “That was a push-button race,” he said. MORE

Modric offered new contract to stay

Tottenham Hotspur will offer Luka Modric a new contract this summer and claim they will not entertain any bids for him from Chelsea or Manchester. Chelsea have so far bid £22m for the Croatian, an offer Harry Redknapp called “ridiculous”. MORE

Leeds to release Burgess and Cross

Leeds Rhinos are to offload two of their prop forwards, having agreed to release Luke Burgess and Ben Cross. Burgess is expected to join his brothers Sam and George in Australia, where they both play for South Sydney in the NRL. MORE

Ferguson urges McLeish support

Sir Alex Ferguson last night urged Aston Villa fans to support incoming manager Alex McLeish. The Manchester United manager called McLeish “conscientious” and “a good communicator”, who has “done a phenomenal job” in his career so far. MORE

McClaren unafraid of failing again

Every Nottingham Forest manager since Brian Clough may have had to work under the shadow cast by his legacy but Steve McClaren is embracing the history. MORE

Westwood and Donald start poorly

The world’s two top-ranked golfers, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, both struggled on the opening day of the US Open at Congressional yesterday. Donald, the Englishman at the top of the rankings, hit a three-over-par 74. Westwood was one shot worse, shooting 75. Both men acknowledged that they need to improve. “Three-over is not great,” admitted Donald, “but I’ll get stuck in tomorrow and shoot something in the red and make good headway.” Westwood said he had been punished. “I didn’t swing it very well last week either and you just don’t get away with it at the US Open,” he admitted. The pair played alongside the world No 3, Martin Kaymer, who only managed to equal Donald’s score. Graeme McDowell, the defending champion, finished on 70, two shots off the lead. His fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy was five-under through 15 last night. MORE

Do or die time for England U-21s

After two games drawn, England need to win against Czech Republic in Viborg on Sunday to reach the knock-out stage of the European Under-21 Championship. They have scored just one goal and managed little imaginative football so far. MORE

United bid for Lens teenager Varane

Manchester United have bid €10.5m (£9.2m) for the French central defender Raphaël Varane. The 18-year-old plays for Lens, where he is highly rated. He is, however, said to be worried about a lack of first-team opportunities should he join United. MORE