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22.06.2018 14:42
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England Women overpowered New Zealand 31-14 to win the final of the Langford Sevens in Canada on Sunday. New Zealand were first off the mark in a first half which featured five tries, but it was England who lead 19-14 at the break, with two tries from Heather Fisher, who was named player of the final.Joanne Watmore followed up her first-half try with a second from a counter-ruck and despite a strong battle, Englands experience and fitness shone through to put the game out of New Zealands reach. Captain Emily Scarratts breakaway try in the first half was followed up by further touchdowns from 20-year-old Abbie Brown and a sprint break from Watmore. England captain Emily Scarratt was impressed that her side dug deep to claim victory Reflecting on the final win, Scarratt said: It was an awesome first half. There was a bit of ping pong to start, with tries scored and conceded but the girls dug deep.Weve had a good couple of weeks out here in America and Canada and its been a really long while for an England Womens Sevens team to get something like this in our hands were over the moon. Head coach Simon Middleton said the performance was sensational Coach Simon Middleton said: The girls put in a spectacular day of rugby. These tournaments are all about day two as we have just proved as our performances all day were sensational.We didnt have a great day one but we dusted ourselves off and the girls have shown what a talented group they are and what great shape they are in.England, who finished second in Pool C after losing to Canada, put on dominant displays against the USA and World Rugby HSBC Womens Sevens Series leaders Australia to reach the final.They opened the second day with a decisive 29-7 victory of the USA, with Watmore and Danielle Waterman, making her first series appearance following 13 months on the sidelines, each scoring twice.Their 15-5 semi-final win against Australia was a major upset and the first time this season that Australia failed to win a round, having claimed top prize in Dubai, Sao Paulo and Atlanta.With under four months to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Middleton added: We came into this double legger [Atlanta and Langford] wanting to get certain results to progress as a squad and we got that. Heading into the final round in Clermont-Ferrand in France over the weekend of May 28-29, England remain third in the overall series standings, but now sit just four points behind New Zealands 64, with Australia well ahead on 76. Also See: Title hat-trick for OConnor Adams win gold in Turkey Hayes: Equal pay a slow-burner Majors on Hulls mind Authentic Dennis Eckersley Jersey . Jordan Lynch, the all-purpose Heisman Trophy finalist from Northern Illinois, failed to make it into that exclusive club. Authentic Dave Henderson Jersey . The Croatian served 21 aces and hit 42 winners against Sijsling, who double-faulted to give Cilic a 4-3 lead in the deciding set. "All the players, they know me and they were really happy to see me and they were really happy that this is over for me," Cilic said. . Murray beat Sam Querrey 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-3 to clinch Britains opening-round victory against the United States on Sunday at Petco Park. "Im proud of the way Im playing just now, because I had to do a lot of work to get back to where I want to be," Murray said after celebrating with his teammates on the red clay court in a temporary stadium in left field of the downtown home of baseballs San Diego Padres. Authentic Joe Morgan Jersey ., for the next three years with the signings on Monday of Daryl Townsend and Michael Carter. Wholesale Athletics Jerseys Authentic . Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced Wednesday that the team would assign Swedish forward Elias Lindholm to his nations team for the upcoming tournament. There are at least two types of book readers. (I refer to the people who read books and not those new-fangled devices.) The first type read their books in one go, rarely pausing for rumination, reflection or any handwork with pencils or highlighters. If at all, they reflect on the book after theyre done reading.Then there is the rare type - those who cannot read a book without obliterating it with dog ears, notes in the margin, underlined passages and bookmarks. They convert the reading experience into a process. Perhaps they even stop every few minutes to tweet out interesting lines.If you are one of the latter, you will take days to get through young Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilakas Chinaman. That is even if you really want to finish this brilliant book as quickly as you possibly can. With clever lines on every page, Chinaman is the most tweetable book Ive ever read.In hindsight it appears to me as if Karunatilaka wrote the book with a checklist in his mind: Thats one more page done. Do we have a joke? Check. A brutal dig at cricket? Check. An irreverent swipe at Sri Lankan culture? Check.A superb work of fiction blended with non-fiction that makes you sit up night after night reading it? Double check.Chinaman is, mostly, the story of a Sri Lankan journalists hunt for a long-forgotten, and fictional, Sri Lankan cricket player called Pradeep Mathew. Mathew has a brief, meteoric cricketing career in the late 80s and early 90s that sees him achieve superhuman bowling records. But he vanishes as quickly as he appeared.As the curious, and increasingly obsessive, journalist, Karunasena, begins to peel back the layers of Mathews life he realises something is amiss. Mathew has vanished not just from the cricketing scene, it appears he has ceased to exist. His existence has even been expunged from the record books. And there is something disturbingly Orwellian about it all.Yet Karunatilakas book is equally about Karunasena. I wish I knew more about the author to see how self-referential this character is. Or maybe they just share Karunas. But the character of the 64-year old journalist is a wonderful device to place the topic of Sri Lankan cricket within the larger themes provided by Sri Lankan society and history.So on the one hand there is the obsessed, alcoholic journalist, well into the twilight of his career, going in search of a human mirage. But on the other there is the very real world that this journalist occupies. One of his friends is a diplomat who may have an ugly secret that involves little boys.ddddddddddddYet another is a member of Sri Lankas Burgher minority, who is as obsessed with cricket as Karunasena is. And somewhere in the final third of the book a bomb explodes at a train station. It happens casually, the death toll described as if in an afterthought.Most of all Chinaman is a book about cricket. Karunatilaka has crafted a thinly veiled version of modern cricket, complete with reviled commentators, horny cricketers, loose women and big, bad money.Did I say the veil was thin? I meant to say it is almost transparent. One of the books minor characters is the Turbanned Indian Commentator. Mentioned frequently enough so that after a while he is just referred to as TIC. Earlier in the book there is a beefy English cricketer, whose idea for a documentary is what really kicks off the hunt for Pradeep Mathew. His name is, but of course, Tony Botham.Karunatilaka skewers cricketers old, new, good and bad, all in style. And with prose that is infectious. Once you get past the first 50 pages, which are the slowest but not by much, the book is - no cliché intended - unputdownable. The mysteries of Pradeep Mathew, combined with the brutal dissection of cricket and the delicious morsels of cricketing trivia come together to form one of the strongest, most immersive plots in a sports novel, or indeed any novel, I have read in a long time.The book is not without its gimmicks. There are a few towards the end that are particularly laboured. And there are a few occasions where the dialogues seem too smart by half. But all good innings have room for a few hoicks over slip. And Chinaman is a Test match-winning innings-at-the-death watch-over-and-over-on-Youtube kind of a book.At least one commentator has called Chinaman the first great Sri Lankan novel. Perhaps it is. It certainly is a superb novel. For all cricket fans, especially those from the subcontinent, it is a compulsory addition to their library.And if you cant stand cricket, this is still a book well worth reading. For sheer scope, ambition and inventiveness. Karunatilaka has smashed this out of the park.Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew by Shehan Karunatilaka Random House Currently available in Sri Lanka and online. 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