The Sports Matrix: Monday 18 April 2011

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The Independent Online

Hamilton beats Vettel in China

Lewis Hamilton won a dramatic Chinese Grand Prix yesterday. Using a three-stop strategy, he overtook Sebastian Vettel on the 52nd lap, as the German struggled on his worn tyres. “He took me by surprise there,” Vettel admitted. “It was a good move.” MORE

Murray form back after Monte Carlo

Andy Murray’s injured elbow may prevent him from playing in next week’s Barcelona Open. His confidence is restored, though, as he reached the semi-final of the Monte Carlo Masters and there lost in three sets to eventual champion Rafael Nadal. MORE

Frankel hardens for 2,000 Guineas

Frankel’s four-length Greenham Stakes success on Saturday sets him up to be the shortest-priced 2,000 Guineas favourite since Nijinsky in 1970. He is 4-6 for the Classic in 12 days’ time, and the 4-1 favourite for the Derby. MORE

Durham bowl out Yorkshire to win

Durham beat Yorkshire by 146 runs at Headingley yesterday, despite some resistance from the hosts. Set 490 to win, Yorkshire were bowled out for 343, with Rich Pyrah top-scoring with 87. Graham Onions, continuing his recovery, took 1 for 56. MORE

Bath battle to overcome Quins

Bath’s 19-15 win over Harlequins at home yesterday strengthens their chances of qualifying for next year’s Heineken Cup, by finishing in the top six. The game’s one try came from scrum-half Michael Claasens after a good run by Shontayne Hape. MORE

Kuyt penalty hits Arsenal title hopes

A late Dirk Kuyt penalty left Arsenal six points behind Manchester United. Robin van Persie had put Arsenal 1-0 up with his own stoppage-time penalty, before Kuyt equalised in the 102nd minute. The added time was due to a head injury to Jamie Carragher. MORE

Dragons beat Hull in Perpignan

Catalan Dragons recorded their third consecutive win by beating Hull 28-10 in Perpignan, for their first home win of the season. A Tom Briscoe try had put Hull ahead, but the Dragons sealed their win when Steve Menzies ran 70 metres to score a try. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

For a spell after Yaya Touré’s goal, Manchester City finally looked the way they should have done for some time; like a team filled with the belief that beating Manchester United was not just an ambition but a right. MORE

Stoke storm past hapless Bolton

Stoke City inflicted one of the heaviest defeats in cup semi-final history yesterday, beating Bolton Wanderers 5-0 to book their meeting with Manchester City in next month’s final. Stoke went ahead after just 11 minutes, when Matthew Etherington’s fierce shot from distance sailed beyond Jussi Jaaskelainen and into the far corner of the net. Seven minutes later Stoke had their second; as Robert Huth shot powerfully after a free kick broke to him. The third goal arrived on the half-hour mark: Jermaine Pennant stole the ball from Martin Petrov, and ran towards goal before sliding the ball to Kenywne Jones, who finished from close range. Owen Coyle made two changes at half-time, but Bolton were little better. Jonathan Walters scored the fourth, finishing well after a good run. He scored the fifth and final goal nine minutes before the end. MORE

Nani: Balotelli was ‘disrespectful’

Mario Balotelli was criticised by Luis Nani yesterday for his provocative celebrations at the end of Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Manchester United on Saturday. “It is not fair,” said Nani. “It was very disrespectful to do that in front of the fans.” MORE

Minor cut ends challenge to Khan

A tiny cut to the face of Paul McCloskey ended his title fight with Amir Khan in Manchester on Saturday. McCloskey’s minor cut in the sixth round was manageable but the referee chose to stop the fight, to the anger of the McCloskey camp. MORE