The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 24 July 2012


South Africa finish job and complete England drubbing

South Africa yesterday sealed a thumping innings defeat of England in the first Test at The Oval to endanger the hosts' status as No 1 side in the world. Andrew Strauss and his side were hopelessly outclassed with both bat and ball, as South Africa took the final six wickets on the last day for just 138 runs. Resuming on 102-4 and still well short the tourists' mammoth total, England lost wickets at regular intervals, with only Ian Bell (55) and Matt Prior (40) offering any serious resistance. South Africa lead the series 1-0 with two Tests to play – starting at Headingley in nine days time. MORE

Hoy chosen to be GB flag-bearer

Four-time gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy will bear the Great Britain flag in the opening ceremony. The cyclist was the overwhelming choice of the Team GB members. "I am delighted," he said. "[It] is the stuff of dreams and being a home Games makes it even more special." MORE

Idowu's Games in doubt over injury

Phillips Idowu's participation in the Games are in doubt after the triple jumper opted to miss a training camp in Portugal to remain in London and have treatment on "an ongoing injury". "We will assess the situation in the coming days," Idowu's coach, Aston Moore, said. MORE

Pendleton heads to London in form

Victoria Pendleton feels she is in prime shape ahead of her third Games. "I'm undoubtedly in better form than I ever have been entering a competition in my entire life," the cyclist said. "Whether it will be enough on the day – who knows? But I have done the most I can." MORE

Westwood upbeat despite low finish

Lee Westwood remained philosophical over his latest failed attempt at a major. The 39-year-old finished 45th at The Open. "It didn't happen for me this time," he said. "It is one of those things. You play long enough you get used to it. Rarely do I get in bad moods." MORE

Vettel and Red Bull face further blow

Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull could be penalised for breaching regulations on engine mapping during the German GP. "Blown" diffusers are banned and a technical delegate informed race stewards that Red Bull's map breached the rulebook. MORE

Visitors take spoils in Hull derby

Hull FC claimed bragging rights in the derby match with Hull KR last night, moving up to sixth place with a 32-18 victory at their neighbours' Craven Park. On-loan Jamie Foster kicked six goals as the visitors went over five times. MORE

Banned Barton to train at Fleetwood

QPR midfielder Joey Barton is to train with League Two side Fleetwood Town to maintain his fitness during a 12-game ban. "Will get a much needed sweat on." he said. "Still have three years at QPR. Need to get some fitness in the meantime."

Wilshere focuses on August return

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere remains hopeful of returning to action next month, despite manager Arsène Wenger hinting that he could be out until October. Wilshere has been out of action for a year with ankle and knee injuries. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

If Ernie Els was the first to admit his Open title would be remembered as a gift, this did little to obscure the fact that for four days he put together some of his finest golf in years. MORE