England in comfort zone in Essex Ashes warm-up mismatch

England's Ashes warm-up match lost its first-class status halfway through the third afternoon at Chelmsford to allow Boyd Rankin and Reece Topley to bolster Essex's injury-depleted attack.

Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott look dejected as India shine

Champions Trophy final: This is lowest point of my captaincy but we’ll build again, says Alastair Cook

England have 16 days to pick themselves up for the Ashes after Alastair Cook admitted their remarkable defeat by India in the Champions Trophy final was his worst moment as captain.

Jonathan Trott and Eoin Morgan of England celebrate hitting the winning runs as England secure a place in the final

Champions Trophy: Jonathan Trott’s style is made to measure as England get an easy ride

Under-fire batsman delivers shot at glory in final as South Africa self-destruct again

Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka attempts to run out Stuart Broad

Champions Trophy: England v Sri Lanka halfway report

A late flurry from England ensured that, despite a slight middle order collapse, they batted themselves into a very strong position at the halfway stage of their Champions Trophy clash with Sri Lanka.

England v Australia: final report from Edgbaston

England opened their Champions Trophy campaign with a dominant 48-run victory over Australia on a day that saw James Anderson become his country's top one-day wicket-taker.

New Zealand's Martin Guptill is bowled out by James Tredwell

England v New Zealand 3rd ODI: Home side avoid whitewash with 34-run win

England put in a much-improved performance to beat New Zealand in the final game of their three-match series at Trent Bridge today.

England v New Zealand 1st ODI: England beaten comfortably by New Zealand

The hosts could only set a target of 227

England v New Zealand - Report from Day Three at Headingley

England may well have squandered the psychological edge they held over New Zealand, but they have played themselves into an incredibly strong position at the close of play on Day Three.

England v New Zealand second Test - Day Two report from Headingley

Joe Root’s maiden Test century was the highlight for England on an intriguing second day at Headingley.

Stuart Broad of England celebrates the wicket of Brendon McCullum of New Zealand

Stuart Broad's best burst sets up key England win but all is not yet rosy

England 232 & 213 New Zealand 207 & 68: Fast bowler takes seven wickets for 44 runs in Kiwi collapse, but home batting also failed to impress

James Lawton: 301 proves to be magic number for James Anderson

Jimmy Anderson brushed against history again when he took his 300th Test wicket but it was the one which followed that was most crucial to England’s embattled cause.

Bruce Martin of New Zealand celebrates the wicket of Nick Compton during day one of 1st Investec Test match between England and New Zealand

Slow progress for England on the first day of the first Test against New Zealand

The hosts end the day on 160 for 4

Middlesex 428-5 dec Warwickshire 267-5: Unlucky break for Evans adds to Warwickshire woes

The two things Warwickshire wanted to be spared in this match were a spanking and any more injuries. With the unsettled weather on their side, they may not suffer the former, even though they still need 12 to avoid the follow-on. Their list of wounded, however, has grown.

Chris Wright (second from left) and his Warwickshire teammates celebrate becoming County Champions last year

Graeme Welch: Happy that Bears bowlers can defend their crown

Astute Warwickshire attack coach tells Jon Culley they can repeat last year's triumph despite Ashley Giles' departure

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there