How Trevor Bayliss kept England focused for World Cup finals

By July 16, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Karunaratne and Thirimanne put Sri Lanka in sight of victory with record stand Karunaratne and Thirimanne put Sri Lanka in sight of victory with record stand

    Sri Lanka put themselves in a strong position to win the first Test against New Zealand as their run chase began with an unbroken century stand.

    Set 268 for victory in Galle, Sri Lanka were handsomely placed on 133-0 when fading light stopped play late on day four.

    Dimuth Karunaratne reached 71 not out and Lahiru Thirimanne was undefeated on 57, in what was already a record first-wicket partnership for Sri Lanka in the fourth innings of a Test.

    New Zealand, who sit second in the ICC Test rankings, stretched their overnight lead of 177 to 267, with BJ Watling adding 14 to his overnight score before being caught behind for 77 by Niroshan Dickwella off Lahiru Kumara.

    William Somerville made an unbeaten 40, with Trent Boult cracking a rapid 26 and last man Ajaz Patel weighing in with 14, the lower-order batting success in the innings of 285 all out suggesting it was a wicket ripe for scoring on Saturday.

    That was how it continued to look as Sri Lanka began chasing down their target, although Tim Southee and Trent Boult gave Karunaratne and Thirimanne cause for early worry.

    Thirimanne was well beaten by a ball from Southee that narrowly cleared off stump, before moments later Karunaratne almost nicked a delicious delivery from Boult.

    It was often Karunaratne who was riding his luck, and it was not until the 22nd over that Sri Lanka, ranked sixth among Test nations, registered a boundary.

    Later, Watling could not cling to a difficult chance as Karunaratne got a bottom edge off Somerville, the ball going through the wicketkeeper to bring up the two runs that took him to a half-century.

    Tom Latham at short leg missed out on a sharp chance as Karunaratne used up another life, and the same batsman was fortunate not to be stumped by Watling in the next over.

    Somerville, a 35-year-old off-spinner playing just his second Test match, took three first-innings wickets and was unlucky to gain no further reward as Sri Lanka edged towards their target in the gathering gloom.

  • Kieran Read hails hard-working All Blacks after Bledisloe Cup triumph Kieran Read hails hard-working All Blacks after Bledisloe Cup triumph

    All Blacks captain Kieran Read saluted his team-mates after they retained the Bledisloe Cup with a clinical 36-0 win over Australia at Eden Park.

    The world champions scored five tries without reply, as New Zealand made amends for last weekend's 47-26 defeat to the Wallabies in Perth.

    Sonny Bill Williams, Sevu Reece and George Bridge were promoted to the starting XV and each scored a try, as Steve Hansen's 100th match in charge proved one to savour.

    Read said: "It feels fantastic. A lot's been said all week and the guys really fronted. So, I'm so happy. It's a trophy that we cherish. I know the Wallabies do as well.

    "We both really love playing for this cup and it showed in these two matches.

    "I don't think you can expect to have a result like that, but it comes through hard work.

    "The team truly believes in each other and that's what we're going to need moving forward."

    His opposite number, Michael Hooper, had high hopes of becoming the first Australia skipper in 17 years to get to grips with the Bledisloe Cup trophy.

    But Read it was who joyously lifted the silverware in Auckland, leaving Hooper to reflect on where the second game in the series went wrong for Australia.

    Hooper said on Sky Sports: "The turnaround in seven days... they dominated all bar a few minutes of that game in all areas, they were really good at the scrum, lineout, so hats off to them.

    "Our boys, we threw everything we had at them the whole game, probably let it get too far away in the end there.

    "We've got a lot of heart, a lot of heart to come down here. We've had a really good week, unfortunately it didn't show out there tonight.

    "But we'll rebuild. We're still rebuilding and gaining momentum.

    "We'll have a couple of days off, it's going to take a toll on our bodies. We'll get back together, regroup, and see what we can learn from this game and build and get better."

  • New Zealand 36-0 Australia: All Blacks take revenge with thumping Auckland victory New Zealand 36-0 Australia: All Blacks take revenge with thumping Auckland victory

    Picked off in Perth, but awesome in Auckland, the All Blacks restored normal order in their Bledisloe Cup rivalry as they crushed Australia 36-0 at Eden Park.

    Embarrassed by last weekend's 47-26 defeat to their trans-Tasman rivals, Steve Hansen's New Zealand restored national pride and retained their trophy with a ruthless win.

    Hansen made changes, after accusing his players of producing "dumb footy" at Optus Stadium, where they lost Scott Barrett to a controversial red card.

    Into the pack came Nepo Laulala and Patrick Tuipulotu, with the backs given a shuffle with the inclusion of George Bridge, Sonny Bill Williams and Sevu Reece.

    Williams crossed for New Zealand's third try early in the second half, after scores from Richie Mo'unga and Aaron Smith had put the hosts firmly in control, and Reece bolted through for the fourth in the 67th minute - his first for the All Blacks.

    Bridge applied the finishing touches with the fifth try in the 77th minute. The changes worked for Hansen, to put it mildly.

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