Thursday 4th January 2018

Event of the Day

Our event of the day is the opening day of the 5th and final Test of the 2017-18 Ashes series between Australia and England at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Australia won the first three Tests in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth respectively to secure the series triumph and gain the Ashes. The fourth match - the Boxing Day Test played on the now officially “poor” pitch of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, resulted in a draw that stopped Australia securing the opportunity to complete a series 5-0 whitewash over their biggest rival. England, on the other hand, are determined to win the Sydney Test and gain some respectability for the series. The clear favourite to be named as player of the series is the Australian skipper Steve Smith, who is the leading run-scorer with 604. After the career-best 239 in Perth and the unbeaten 141 in Brisbane, he had another unbeaten century of 102 in Melbourne, and will be motivated to put in another impressive performance at his home ground. Good news for Australia is Mitchell Starc has a realistic chance of returning to the pitch following his heel injury.
English batsman Alastair Cook gives hope to the visitors after his brilliant unbeaten 244 at the MCG, while captain Joe Root will be desperate to score a century after he has managed to pass 50 three times in the series but wth no conversion to three figures. Moeen Ali is expected to retain his place among the bowlers but a second spinner, Mason Crane, will make his debut in the place of the injured Chris Woakes. It should be an exciting first day of the last Ashes Test of the series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NBA game between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors at the Toyota Center in Houston. The two leading teams in the Western Conference meet for the second time this season; in the first clash, on the opening night of the season, the Rockets recorded a tight 122-121 away win. There is another NBA duel today, with the Los Angeles Clippers taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. In the Big Bash League, the Hobart Hurricanes face the Adelaide Strikers at the Blundstone Arena in Bellerive. In golf, the Sentry Tournament of Champions begins at the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii. It’s Day 5 at the Brisbane International ATP and WTA tournament at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Tennyson; and day 6 at the Hopman Cup at the Perth Arena in Perth. In the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs play the San Jose Sharks at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, while the St. Louis Blues host the Vegas Golden Knights at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. There’s a Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium in London.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by England Cricket

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