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Sport shorts: England cricket captain Joe Root returns to form and football fans wait on Ballon d’Or awards and FA Cup draw

England captain Joe Root celebrates his double century against New Zealand in Hamilton
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England captain Joe Root celebrates his double century against New Zealand in Hamilton
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England captain Joe Root celebrates his double century against New Zealand in Hamilton 

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David Gray/AFP via Getty Images
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England captain Joe Root celebrates his double century against New Zealand in Hamilton

Ten things from the world of sport on Monday 2 December

One-Minute Read
Monday, December 2, 2019 - 12:50pm

1. Root hits double ton 

England cricket captain Joe Root has returned to form with the bat after scoring 226 in the second Test match against New Zealand. 

See related 
Today’s back pages: British and Irish FAs set for 2030 Fifa World Cup bid

One down in the two-Test series, Root’s efforts have given England hope of winning the match, but rain could hamper play tonight in Hamilton. New Zealand go into the final day on 96-2, trailing England by five runs. 

After averaging 27.40 in 2019, Root was delighted to hit a big score. He told Sky Sports: “I have felt close for a long time, it has been around the corner

“I had the bit between my teeth when I got going and wanted to make it a real big one and give us an opportunity to win this game.

“The frustrating thing is the forecast isn’t great, hence why we sped things up at the back-end of our innings. We have given ourselves a chance and if we get a cluster of wickets you never know.”

2. Aussies thrash Pakistan 

Australia have secured a 2-0 series victory against Pakistan after winning the second Test by an innings and 48 runs. David Warner’s 335 not out gave Australia the chance to declare on 589-3 and enforce the follow-on. Spin bowler Nathan Lyon then took 5-69 as Pakistan were all out for 302. 

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3. Who will win the Ballon d’Or?

The winners of the men’s and women’s Ballon d’Or awards will be announced tonight in Paris. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is favourite to win his sixth career men’s Ballon d’Or while England duo Lucy Bronze and Ellen White are both shortlisted for the women’s trophy. The ceremony is expected to start at 7.30pm (GMT). 

4. Up for the cup

Tonight also sees the draw for the third round of the FA Cup. Live on BBC Two from 7pm to 7.30pm, the draw will see Premier League and Championship clubs enter the competition while there will also be five non-league clubs waiting to find out their third-round opponents.

5. Racing pundit Lysaght to leave BBC 

The Daily Mail reports that much-respected BBC radio racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght will be leaving the corporation after 30 years. The Mail says the 54-year-old’s exit will cause “shock and disappointment” in racing circles.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the 2019 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

6. Lewis linked with Ferrari

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton finished the 2019 season in style with victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix yesterday. 

While the British ace was celebrating another title win, the sixth of his career, much of the talk in F1 has been about the 34-year-old’s future in the sport. 

After seven years with Mercedes Hamilton has one year left on his contract and it’s reported he could see out his career with Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari in 2021? It’s not being ruled out...

7. Alonso open to F1 return 

The BBC reports that Fernando Alonso is “open” to a return to Formula 1 in 2021. The Spaniard, 38, is a two-time F1 world champion and is currently planning to race in the Indianapolis 500 next year. 

8. Gunners held at Norwich

Unai Emery may be no more but the chaos remains at Arsenal as the Gunners were held to an action-packed 2-2 draw away at Norwich City. 

The result means Arsenal’s winless streak now stands at eight matches with their last league victory way back in the first week of October.

Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League is now eight points as the Reds made it 14 league matches unbeaten with a 2-1 victory at home to Brighton.

Arsenal show familiar failings in life after Unai Emery

Liverpool march on but Klopp is only concerned about Everton

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For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today 
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9. Silva’s VAR bullet 

The future of Everton manager Marco Silva is a major focus of the press today. 

Everton lost 2-1 to Leicester City yesterday after a controversial VAR goal, but the Daily Mail says Toffees boss Silva refused to blame the decision on a result that could cost him his job.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s injury-time winner was awarded by VAR and the marginal call leaves Silva on the brink. The Mail reports that Silva is likely to remain in charge for Everton’s Merseyside derby clash with Liverpool on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, Watford are looking for a new boss after Quique Sánchez Flores was fired just 85 days since taking the job. 

10. FAs set for 2030 World Cup bid

The Times reports on its back page that the British and Irish football associations (FA) are set to go ahead with a joint bid to host the Fifa World Cup in 2030. 

England’s FA has been leading a feasibility study and according to the Times the associations believe they have a “significant chance of success”.

Today’s back pages

British and Irish FAs set for 2030 Fifa World Cup bid

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