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last updated: Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:39:16 -0400

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali wins Tour de France

2014 Tour de France cycling race winner Italy's Vincenzo Nibali, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, celebrates on the podium in Paris, France, Sunday, July 27, 2014. Left is Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)PARIS (AP) — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner's podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees.

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Sport | The Guardian
last updated: Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:17:21 GMT2014-07-28T12:17:21Z

England v India: third Test day two live! | Simon Burnton and John Ashdown

Cheers for all your emails so far today keep them coming, but send them to for the next couple of hours. I'll be back in a bit. Bye for now!

119th over: England 358-3 (Bell 68, Root 2)

There's some promising turn and bounce here for the spinners, but Sharma's eighth over brings just three singles. And that's lunch. Root who, in answer to all the emails, has played nine innings in Southampton including this one, and been out six times so far trots off the field after a fine session both individually and for his team.

118th over: England 355-3 (Bell 66, Root 0)

A maiden from Jadeja, and one bowled so quickly there'll be time for one more over before lunch. "It's one thing to pay 60 quid a ticket, 15 quid train ticket and 20 quid taxi to the stadium (after going to central Southampton)," writes Patrick Duce. "But now the bars on this side of the stadium appear to have run out of ale, and it's only midday. That's the real issue everyone's talking about."

117th over: England 355-3 (Bell 66, Root 0)

An excellent innings from Ballance, obviously, but he was looking extremely comfortable. Still, England have benefitted from a couple of poor decisions already here, so why not share the love?

At no stage was the ball anywhere near Ballance's bat there. Or his gloves. It flicked a trouser leg on its way through. That's a decent delivery, but a very poor decision.

116th over: England 354-2 (Ballance 156, Bell 66)

Jadeja seems to be bowling alternate overs from each side of the umpire. Ballance hits through the covers for four, and then watches the next delivery spin from off stump past his leg, brushing a thigh, and past a wrong-footed Dhoni on its way to the boundary. "On the mathematical issue, surely he has to score 106 from the point at which his average was 99.33 (two-thirds of nine and then another hundred to keep the average up, assuming hes out in the end)?" writes John Cox. Which sounds about right. Um, probably.

115th over: England 341-2 (Ballance 152, Bell 66)

Pankaj bowls, Ballance pulls and though the ball seems to catch the top edge it flies safely to the long leg boundary and the four runs take him past 150. A quick single later, Bell gets the chance to show us his late cut to third man. Bell's still capable of a fine late cut to third man.

114th over: England 336-2 (Ballance 147, Bell 61)

Jadeja bowls, and the over ends with a very finely-timed shot from Ballance, hitting past square leg for four. "Hows my maths? If Bell has an average of 99.33 in nine innings at the ground, how much does he have to score to bring the average up to 100?" asks James Wilson. "The back of my envelope suggests 107 but I could be wrong." I'm not sure myself, but unless he's not out when this innings ends he surely needs quite a few more.

113th over: England 329-2 (Ballance 141, Bell 60)

Pankaj bowls, and there's a leg bye and little else. "Has our once proud nation sunk to such depths that we are no longer able to raise the aggression and oomph to swat our own flies?" writes Andy MacInally (re over 110). "We have to have a machine do it for us? What next not able to walk to the telly to switch it over so we need a machine to do that for us? Or even a self-walking dog!" Perhaps the electric fly-swatter was bought just for Sundays, when we are too busy resting to do our own insect-crushing.

112th over: England 328-2 (Ballance 141, Bell 60)

Jadeja gives going round the wicket a spin, and Ballance pulls a weak, wide delivery to square fine leg for four. "Richard Culleton could try an Irish pub in Roppongi, where I and some friends caught Vaughany's comeback ton against the Windies in 2007," writes Toby Groom. "Avoid the 'club' next door, unless you want a very weird and disorientating experience." You're going to have to give us a few more details about that nightclub, Toby.

111th over: England 324-2 (Ballance 137, Bell 60)

The sun has come out in Southampton now, and the batsmen are looking very comfortable indeed. Even a couple of short balls don't worry them, Ballance simply ducking out the way.

110th over: England 323-2 (Ballance 136, Bell 60)

Some lovely batting for the sparse crowd to enjoy here, and Bell grabs another boundary with a fine late cut against Jadeja. In nine international innings on this ground, Test and limited overs, Bell is now averaging 99.33. "I share your concern for our alien friends," writes Susan Perry. "I received an Amazon delivery yesterday and it was most disconcerting for that to be happening on a Sunday. It was an electric fly swatter since you ask"

109th over: England 318-2 (Ballance 135, Bell 56)

Bell pulls, and it's fielded in the deep by a diving Pujara. The next ball is shortish and wideish outside off stump, and Bell, having just scampered two, pushes past point for four. Help an OBOer dept: "I'm in a British pub in Tokyo having a pint of (surprisingly good) local ale and eating fish and chips," reports Richard Culleton. "What have they got on the telly? Baseball. Absolutely disgraceful. Anyone know anywhere to watch the test in Tokyo?"

108th over: England 312-2 (Ballance 135, Bell 50)

A maiden from Jadeja, for whom there is some encouragement in the pitch. Paddy Blewer is back, defending his Bell-bothering. "It would appear that fly I threw out re Bell has claimed its first bite," he writes. "Why does he provoke such strong feelings on either side? No doubt he did very well last year and was at the end of a successful period but I still remain to be convinced that overall (a) hes made the most of his talent and (b) he thrives under pressure."

107th over: England 312-2 (Ballance 135, Bell 50)

Shami continues, Bell takes a single and that's his half-century. "The oddity of starting a test on Sunday takes me back pleasantly to the time of rest days, when it was felt that three consecutive days of test cricket was about as much as a highly trained professional cricketer could stand," writes Nick Parish. "Or perhaps it was to give the England supporters a break from the depressing inevitability of being relentlessly tonked by Australia/West Indies/anyone. Anyway, in those days there was never any test cricket on Sundays. In one sense the complete opposite of this test, but in another sense it was just as barmy in ensuring that cricket doesnt happen on both days of a weekend. After all, whos got time to watch cricket on the weekend when they could be washing their car instead?" I do think that if an alien landed in Britain yesterday anywhere, not just Southampton having last visited perhaps 20 or 30 years ago, the first thing he/she/it would want to know is, "What happened to Sundays?" Then it would presumably want to phone home or something.

106th over: England 310-2 (Ballance 134, Bell 49)

Jadeja bowls, and after clipping the ball to fine leg for a couple, Bell takes a couple of little dancey steps forwards before thundering the second delivery back over the bowler's head for a fairly massive six. There is an edge a little later in the over, but not one that was ever going to bring a wicket, and instead Bell skittles off for a single.

105th over: England 301-2 (Ballance 134, Bell 40)

After a good break, Pankaj continues and not a great deal happens. Gary Naylor thinks the reason there are so many empty seats isn't so much the fact that everyone's working, but the fact it's so expensive to get in. £65 does seem a little aggressive, and I suppose the proof is there for all to see.

@Simon_Burnton From what I can see, most seats are £60 and it's another £15 to park and ride. The seats are empty because they cost too much

It's time for major sporting events to be sold like airline tickets. There's a reason so few carriers fly empty seats these days - prices.

104th over: England 301-2 (Ballance 134, Bell 40)

A bit of spin, then, from Ravindra Jadeja, and it's the first maiden over for a good while. The players celebrate with some drinks.

103rd over: England 301-2 (Ballance 134, Bell 40)

Pankaj bowls, and Ballance pushes down the ground for a couple, then hits through midwicket for four and dabbles to long leg for another boundary. Those last two in particular were splendid shots and he's batting excellently again, as any fool could probably deduce from the briefest glance at the scorecard. "Its nice of Paddy Blewer (99th over) to join us from 2008, those long-lost days of Bell never contributing unless everything was already nice and easy," rages Rob Marriott. "Id like both to welcome and to assist our time-travelling friend, and share with him the knowledge that, between 2009 and Englands dramatic collapse at the start of the last Ashes, Bell averaged 53.58, with 12 hundreds and 18 fifties from 77 innings. He also managed to almost single-handedly thrash Australia this time last year. Hopefully, when he has time, Mr Blewer can catch up on these recent developments in more detail."

102nd over: England 291-2 (Ballance 124, Bell 40)

Ballance hits through midwicket and runs three, whereupon Bell hits to fine leg and runs two. "I confidently predict that Bell will be out within the next five overs after you rashly published Paddy Blewers comments," writes Ben Powell. "When will the OBO learn?" The OBO never learns, or even remembers.

101st over: England 286-2 (Ballance 121, Bell 38)

"I was at the Ageas Bowl for yesterday's play," writes Mark Smith, as Bell clips the ball past point for a delicious four. "It's a lovely ground, but I couldn't help reflecting that this was about as full as it was likely to get, given that the rest of the match is Monday to Thursday. It doesn't seem very fair on Hants the venues for the other Tests in this series have had whole weekends of Test cricket which must help revenue. Is it me or have Hampshire been handed the short end of the stick?" It's a rum old deal, sure enough. There's a reason no Test has started on a Sunday in this country before, and that's that it's a silly idea. It's also at the start of the school holidays, which means that some older kids might come to the cricket, but that parents of younger kids are less likely to.

100th over: England 282-2 (Ballance 121, Bell 34)

There's a bit of an lbw appeal against Ballance, though only Shami gets particularly excited about it and rightly too, as the ball pitched outside off stump and was surely going over the stumps too.

99th over: England 282-2 (Ballance 121, Bell 34)

Kumar, despite conceding three boundaries in his previous over, continues and this time there are just a couple of singles. "Easy pitch, no pressure, lots of runs before he comes in watch Bell make a century and cement his place for another year," writes Paddy Blewer, though whether he's relieved by this anticipated development or enraged isn't entirely clear.

98th over: England 280-2 (Ballance 120, Bell 33)

Mohammed Shami comes on, and Bell twice tries to thrash the ball through midwicket, but once he mistimes his shot and miscues the ball straight to mid-on, and the other time he mistimes his shot even more egregiously and misses the ball entirely. In the meantime there are a couple of singles and a final ball defensive prod that races through the covers, eventually being stopped perhaps 10 yards from the rope, by which time the batsmen are well into their third run.

97th over: England 275-2 (Ballance 119, Bell 29)

Ballance smacks Kumar's second delivery towards point for four, and clips the third to fine leg for another, then takes a short breather before clipping the fourth off his pads and through midwicket for an apparently effortless third, struck with no great power but with perfect timing (and the heavy bat probably helps).

@Simon_Burnton England, one-down, have a belter of a pitch, a popgun attack and lightening outfield. We need 530 by 5.30 and a declaration.

96th over: England 263-2 (Ballance 107, Bell 29)

Pankaj bowls to Ballance, and there's a promising hint of movement there for the bowler. Ballance though is entirely untroubled, and takes a single off the fifth delivery.

95th over: England 262-2 (Ballance 106, Bell 29)

Ballance takes a single from ball one, and Bell, having apparently settled into the morning, unleashes a textbook cover drive to add another four to his rapidly-swelling total. Phwoar!

94th over: England 257-2 (Ballance 105, Bell 25)

Now Pankaj does find Bell's edge, but the ball flies between third slip and gully for four. The bowler's peeved by this, and his next delivery is a little wild, heading towards leg stump and clipped to fine leg for four more. That's just the first two balls of the over, but everyone decides that's quite enough excitement for the time being and the remainder pass without incident.

93rd over: England 249-2 (Ballance 105, Bell 17)

A run! Ballance works the first ball towards cover and the batsmen trundle off for a single. And then the last ball is sent in a vaguely similar direction by Bell, but it's fumbled in the field, and then fumbled again. England politely spurned the chance to profit with another run.

92nd over: England 247-2 (Ballance 104, Bell 16)

Pankaj Singh starts proceedings from the other end, and tempts Bell into nibbling a couple of times at deliveries that shaped away from the batsman. The second of them can't have missed the bat by more than a centimetre. Still no runs this morning.

91st over: England 247-2 (Ballance 104, Bell 16)

I was camping this weekend, so gradually becoming encrusted with filth while Alastair Cook was slowly ridding himself, at least to an extent, of his own dark stains. Day two starts with Kumar bowling at Ballance, and the batsman happily leaving everything remotely leavable, which is basically everything. Diverging views of what today's weather will hold. The optimists say this:

Another dry day forecast for day two of the #EngvInd Test match at the Ageas Bowl! @ECB_cricket will resume on 247-2.

Meanwhile in Southampton Jerusalem is being warbled, which can only mean imminent action.

Here's the horrific scene that greeted viewers just a few moments later:

Morning all. I'll make this brief, largely because I got to the office about 90 seconds ago. I can report, though, that a few members of Sky's commentary team are currently discussing things (Alastair Cook's captaincy, again) outside the Ageas Bowl wearing clip-on tie microphones clad in a presumably wind-proofing coating that basically makes it look like they're being attacked by freshly blow-dried juvenile rodents:

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NYT > Sports
last updated: Mon, 28 Jul 2014 01:33:01 GMT

Roundup: Dodgers Complete a Sweep, Ruining Peavy’s Giants Debut
Manny Machado hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, and the visiting Baltimore Orioles beat the Seattle Mariners, 3-2.

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last updated: Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:51:47 EDT

Top 10 matches of Brazil 2014
So that's it for another four years.

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Fox Sports Top Stories RSS feed merging with Breaking News
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last updated: Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:00:00 GMT

Ricciardo career in overdrive
TWELVE months ago Daniel Ricciardo crossed the line at the Hungaroring circuit in 13th place driving a solid yet unspectacular Torro Rosso.

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last updated: Sun, 27 Jul 2014 13:33:03 PDT

Love out for Team USA amid uncertain status
Kevin Love has withdrawn from this summer's USA Basketball roster because of his uncertain NBA status, leaving the Americans without one of their most experienced international players.

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Tom Glavine's road to Cooperstown began in Billerica - Boston Globe

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Tom Glavine's road to Cooperstown began in Billerica
Boston Globe
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Tom Glavine spoke about throwing snowballs at cars from the front porch of his house in Billerica and getting scolded by his mom and dad, Fred and Millie, who put an end to all that. “Needless to say there was one passerby that was ...
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Pirates 7, Rockies 5
The Pirates were able to escape Colorado without a total disaster, as they navigated through a loooooooong back-and-forth contest and eventually emerged with a series-salvaging win. Seriously, talk about good timing for this Sunday Trib feature on baseball’s slow-pace problem. This was a nine inning game with no rain delays and it took 3:58. By the […]

The Pirates were able to escape Colorado without a total disaster, as they navigated through a loooooooong back-and-forth contest and eventually emerged with a series-salvaging win.

Seriously, talk about good timing for this Sunday Trib feature on baseball’s slow-pace problem. This was a nine inning game with no rain delays and it took 3:58. By the time a normal game would have been over (about 3 hours in), it was still the sixth inning.

Josh Harrison stole the show in this one, as he often seems to once people start to proclaim his magic is wearing off. The magic was definitely there on Sunday: four hits – including the game winning homer – and that wasn’t even the highlight of the game:

Just ridiculous. To have the presence of mind to run to third instead of trying to get back to second, then staying in the rundown (which, granted, was poorly executed by Colorado) long enough to get the catcher involved…and at that point you knew he was going to find a way to evade him. Tremendous stuff. That led to the go-ahead run when Ike Davis came up with a clutch pinch hit double. Then Tony Watson gave up a homer to tie the game up, but JHay responded with the go-ahead blast in the eighth. Games like this have become commonplace for Harrison this year, and while the numbers don’t really back it up, this is why he was an All Star.

There were two other Pirate heroes in this game – both very much unexpected: Travis Snider and Chris Stewart. Snider cemented his “pinch hit specialist” status with a game tying homer in the sixth, and Stewart reached base 4 out of 5 times and had a big CS in the 8th. While these two have caught a lot of flak this year, both have played a lot better recently. Stewart actually has a .355 OBP at the moment, and Snider is hitting enough to maybe have a case for some starts over Gregory Polanco.

Maybe today’s not the best day to make that argument, though, because while Polanco has been struggling recently, he delivered a towering blast off lefty Rex Brothers following Harrison’s homer in the 8th. That was the beautiful swing Pirate fans have been dreaming about. He still struck out three times, but was the victim of a few iffy calls and responded well in his final at bat.

One guy who hasn’t responded well to recent adversity is Pedro Alvarez. Yet another throwing error led to a crucial run, and he didn’t make up for it at the plate at all (1 for 4 with 5 LOB before being lifted once the Bucs took the lead). Michael Martinez essentially replaced Pedro late in this game; Brent Morel played in his stead the last two nights. That should tell you what Hurdle thinks of Pedro right now, and it’s hard not to agree with him every time he throws another one away. I don’t really know where the Bucs go from here other than just hoping he remembers how to throw again (or, as I’d do, try and force him to rush throws a bit even when he doesn’t have to). I don’t think you can try and move him to first at least until the offseason, he has no trade value right now (and would be a prime candidate to be the next Jose Bautista if he was moved), and benching him outright creates a giant hole in the lineup, at least until Marte’s back. I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of Harrison at third once Marte is back, though.

Edinson Volquez wasn’t too sharp, which marks two subpar outings in a row after the break – so maybe the red flag is starting to rise on him a bit, but Pedro’s error was a factor (only 2 of his 4 runs were earned). Still, didn’t get through 5 and he caught a huge break when Jared Hughes inherited bases loaded/1 out and promptly got a DP ball (Hughes is the unsung hero of the game for that). The bullpen had a pretty good game outside of Watson’s hiccup, but Watson redeemed himself by adding a second inning to his line for the first time since May. Hurdle has shied away from doing that, but he had to either do that or insert Freri, Gomez, or Pimentel into a tie game. Justin Wilson put up a nice zero and Mark Melancon tossed an absolutely filthy ninth for an easy save.

Losing 2 of 3 to a bad club is never good, but it feels better when you win the finale. The Pirates got a game back from the Brewers and now sit three back (one back of the Cards for second) and 1.5 back in the wild card – so they’re still right there. Big series in SF up next.

Source: FanGraphs

Original article: Pirates 7, Rockies 5

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