Monday 17 December 2018

Woakes in for Stokes as England make two changes

England's Chris Woakes. Photo: Jason O'Brien/PA Wire
England's Chris Woakes. Photo: Jason O'Brien/PA Wire

Cricket

England have dropped out-of-form Dawid Malan and replaced him with uncapped 20-year-old batsman Ollie Pope in their 13-man squad to face India at Lord's this week.

Pope's promotion is one of two changes, with the other enforced as Chris Woakes returns in place of Ben Stokes. The Durham all-rounder is absent for the second Test while he attends Bristol Crown Court on a charge of affray.

National selector Ed Smith, who has already made a clutch of bold calls since beginning his tenure this summer, has again placed his faith in youth by selecting Pope.

He is the same age as Surrey team-mate Sam Curran, who was England's man of the match in the thrilling 31-run win at Edgbaston.

Fewer than 24 hours later, Pope, also a wicketkeeper but in the Test frame as yet only as a specialist batsman - has entered the equation on the back of his outstanding county form so far this season.

Comfortable

Meanwhile at home, Clontarf completed the line-up for All-Ireland T20 finals day by retaining the Alan Murray Cup on Saturday with comfortable victories at Sydney Parade.

The All-Ireland holders will defend their title on Saturday week against Cork County, Waringstown and Brigade in the North West on Saturday week.

Bill Coghlan led the way with 54 from 39 balls as Clontarf chased down Leinster's 131-7 to win their semi-final by five wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Joe Morrissey then took four wickets as Clontarf bowled out Merrion, who had defeated YMCA in the second semi-final, for 100 en route to an even more emphatic victory in the final.

The Castle Avenue side triumphed by six wickets with 23 balls in hand.

Irish Independent

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