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Cricket: Ton-up Smith strengthens Australia's grip

Steven Smith's maiden Test hundred ensured Australia maintained their grip on the Ashes finale at The Oval on Thursday. Smith's 138 not out powered Australia to an imposing first innings total of 492 for nine declared on the second day as they sought a consolation win after England had already taken the series at 3-0 up. When bad light ended play for the day, England were 32 without loss, a deficit of 460 runs. England captain Alastair Cook was 17 not out and Joe Root 13 not out.

Cricket: England's gamble backfires as new boys toil

England's selection gamble backfired as surprise debutants Simon Kerrigan and Chris Woakes suffered a chastening introduction on the first day of the fifth Test against Australia on Wednesday. With the Ashes already retained, England were willing to experiment and Kerrigan and Woakes were unexpectedly named in Alastair Cook's team at The Oval in a bid to see if either was worthy of consideration for the trip to Australia later this year. But on the evidence of a miserable, wicketless day for the pair, their first Test caps could easily prove their last.

Cricket: England v Australia teams

Probable teams and officials for the fifth Ashes Test between England and Australia at The Oval starting on Wednesday: England (from): Alastair Cook (capt), Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (wkt), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Chris Woakes, Chris Tremlett, Steven Finn, Simon Kerrigan Australia (from): Chris Rogers, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke (capt), Steven Smith, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wkt), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner

Cricket: England fall to New Zealand XI in Test warm-up

England lost their four-day warm-up match by three wickets on Saturday when a New Zealand XI chased down a 333-run target with eight balls to spare. BJ Watling led the charge with an unbeaten 89 while opener Tom Latham made 48 as England lost a first-class warm-up match for the first time since being beaten by an Indian side seven years ago. England declared at their overnight second innings total of 256 for nine -- with Matt Prior (68) the main contributor and Graeme Swann unbeaten on 41 -- but their hopes for an early breakthrough did not eventuate.

Cricket-New Zealand v England - 2nd ODI scoreboard

NAPIER, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Scoreboard at the end of the second one day international between New Zealand and England at McLean Park in Napier on Wednesday. England won the toss and opted to field. New Zealand BJ Watling c Cook b Anderson 7 H. Rutherford C Cook b Anderson 11 K. Williamson b Woakes 33 R. Taylor c Buttler b Anderson 100 G. Elliott c Bairstow b Finn 23 B. McCullum c Woakes b Broad 74 J.

Cricket: Broad hat-trick as England win N.Z. tour warm-up

Stuart Broad claimed a hat-trick Tuesday as he led England to a comfortable 46-run win over a New Zealand XI in the visitors' first hit-out of their two-month tour. England made an imposing total of 186 for three after losing the toss and being sent in to bat in the Twenty20 match, with Jos Buttler top-scoring on 57 not out and Eoin Morgan contributing an unbeaten 48.
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