County Championship: Sam Curran sees Surrey to innings win over Yorkshire

County Championship: Sam Curran sees Surrey to innings win over Yorkshire
Sam Curran takes a wicket against Yorkshire

Specsavers County Championship Division One, Kia Oval (day four):
Surrey 414: Pope 158*, Clarke 71; Bresnan 3-98
Yorkshire 229& 168: Lyth 58; Bairstow 29, Curran 4-47, Virdi 3-52
Surrey (24 pts) beat Yorkshire (4 pts) by an innings and 17 runs

Sam Curran took 10 wickets in a match for the first time as Surrey wrapped up victory over Yorkshire by an innings and 17 runs at The Oval.

The home side needed only 9.1 overs on the final morning to finish the job after Yorkshire resumed on 142-5.

Rikki Clarke had Jonny Bairstow caught behind for 29 and the innings ended at 168 with Jack Leaning out for 28.

In between, all-rounder Curran took three wickets in six balls to finish with 4-47 and match figures of 10-101.

The win was unbeaten Surrey’s second of the season and earned them a maximum 24 points, lifting them to second in the Division One table, pending the outcome of the game between Somerset and Hampshire.

Yorkshire, who were without captain Gary Ballance, will now lose Joe Root and Bairstow to Test duty with England, and head coach Andrew Gale has plenty to ponder after another misfiring batting display.

Bairstow’s early departure was a big blow to their chances of avoiding an innings defeat, and he only added four to his overnight score before edging one that seemed to bounce a little more than he expected.

Teenager Curran then had Tim Bresnan caught behind off an inside edge, before knocking out the off stumps of Steve Patterson and Josh Shaw in the same over.

The final word, though, belonged to Clarke and Leaning was walking off before the umpire raised the finger after being struck on the pad.

Rangers sign Burnley's Arfield on four-year deal

Rangers sign Burnley's Arfield on four-year deal
Scott Arfield in action for Burnley

Rangers have made Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield their first signing under new manager Steven Gerrard.

The Canada international, 29, has signed a four-year deal at Ibrox after coming to the end of his contract at Turf Moor.

Arfield played 20 games for Burnley this season, but has not featured since early February.

Scotland-born Arfield started his career at Falkirk before moving on to Huddersfield and then Burnley.

He spent five seasons with the Lancashire club, helping them gain promotion to the Premier League and then established in the top flight.

“I am delighted to have added Scott Arfield to the squad for next season,” said Gerrard.

“He is a talented and competitive midfielder who has competed at a high level in the English Premier League and internationally for Canada.

“Scott is the first one in and I look forward to working with him and the others who will be coming in to strengthen the squad.”

Rangers finished third in this season’s Scottish Premiership after ending their campaign with a 5-5 draw at Hibernian on Sunday.

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James Haskell: Northampton Saints sign England forward from Wasps

James Haskell: Northampton Saints sign England forward from Wasps
James Haskell

England flanker James Haskell has signed for Northampton Saints for next season on a one-year contract.

The 33-year-old is leaving Wasps in the summer and must be playing club rugby in England to be selected for the national side.

Haskell, who toured with the Lions in 2017, has won 77 England caps and hopes to play in next year’s Rugby World Cup.

“I want to continue my international career for as long as possible,” Haskell told the Saints website.

“The only way I can do that is by putting my best foot forward in club rugby and helping Saints fight their way back into contention for silverware.

Northampton Saints tweet

“I’m really excited and humbled to be joining a giant of English rugby. This is a club with a proud history and a set of passionate and loyal supporters who always make their presence felt.”

Haskell joined Wasps in 2002 and spent 12 seasons with the club, either side of spells playing in France, Japan and New Zealand, and said he has no hard feelings after being deemed surplus to requirements at the Ricoh Arena.

James Haskell tweet

England boss Eddie Jones recalled Haskell for the Six Nations game against France in March after a year away from the international set-up.

Haskell’s Wasps team-mate Danny Cipriani is also leaving, the 30-year-old having agreed a move to Gloucester when his contract with the Coventry-based club expires in the summer.

Security to be reviewed after brawls at Ascot & Goodword

Security to be reviewed after brawls at Ascot & Goodword

More uniformed security officers may need to be deployed at tracks after outbreaks of violence, say racecourse bosses.

Fighting broke out at Ascot on Saturday, a week after police said around 50 people were involved in “multiple altercations” at Goodwood.

Racecourse Association (RCA) chief executive Stephen Atkin said tracks would need to assess security measures.

“It means employing the right level of security staff,” he told BBC 5 live.

“The question you have to consider is how many of those should be in high visibility and how many in plain clothes. That is something racecourses may want to look at and step up the level of visibility.”

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) says troublemakers could be banned from racecourses.

“We have been in contact with the RCA this weekend and we know that courses will take into account the incidents as they make their security plans for each meeting,” it said.

“The BHA does have the power to exclude individuals from courses and will use it where it can.”

At Ascot, a window was smashed at the course as trouble broke out in a stand and footage was later widely circulated on social media of racegoers trading blows outside the entrance.

Police said two men with minor injuries were treated at the scene and no arrests had been made.

Racecourse officials said security had been increased and the incident was dealt with quickly.

Atkin acknowledged that drugs, as well as alcohol, were an issue at some meetings.

“There is very considerable training which the RCA helps run of racecourse staff about serving alcohol in bars and making drinking water freely available and advising people how to pace themselves,” he said.

“With the issue of drugs, there are regular checks on areas that may be prone to drug misuse. The RCA and our racecourse experience group are in regular touch with the police officers’ association about how we can best tackle that. “

The BHA indicated after the Goodwood incident that “crowd control and behaviour” could be taken into consideration when a racecourse licence is issued under new plans.

York racecourse believes it has measures in place for this week’s Dante meeting to prevent trouble.

“We’re obviously aware of the unsavoury incidents and we will take all the sensible precautions to take racegoers’ safety where it should be,” said James Brennan, York’s head of sponsorship and marketing.


Craig Newman, who filmed the Ascot brawl:

There were 20 or 30 people throwing punches. It was after the races had finished.

You could see moving through the crowd how many people were off their faces, whether it was drink or drugs. You could tell it was going to happen.

There was supposedly plain-clothed security, but there was no visible security I could see. Maybe that is what they need, people with fluorescent jackets.


BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

There have been incidents in the past but not on this kind of scale, with this kind of publicity. It’s the talk of the racing community at the moment.

The word that is used frequently when discussing this is cocaine. People are talking not about drink and other things causing this type of problem, but drugs being the number one thing.

One of the priorities for racecourses this summer, one of the initiatives, is to bring in sniffer dogs which have already appeared to try to make certain these kind of people don’t get in.

Racecourses are the place to be to cause trouble at the moment. That type of trouble is harder to carry out elsewhere.

Spanish Grand Prix: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton 'rejuvenated' by victory

Spanish Grand Prix: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton 'rejuvenated' by victory
Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said his dominant Spanish Grand Prix victory had revitalised him after a difficult start to the season.

Briton Hamilton led from pole and now has a 17-point advantage in the championship over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who finished fourth.

The world champion had struggled for competitiveness in the previous three races, despite a win in Azerbaijan.

“It has been a rejuvenating experience,” Hamilton said.

“It’s the greatest feeling to come here and have that kind of performance and have a convincing win.

“Not every win feels as great as this one. It’s my 64th but feels special and unique.”

Hamilton said he had finally rediscovered a good feeling with the car that had been lacking in Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan, following the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

The 33-year-old said that “at no point” did he think he would lose the race, but insisted he was working hard.

“People probably think it was an easy race and I was cruising, but I wasn’t,” he said.

“I was pushing every single lap using it as a test bench to understand what I liked about the balance – how can I play with it more, can I squeeze any more? And then understand what I can get more from.

“In the debrief [with the engineers], I was very particular on what I want them to work on.

“The cool thing about being a world champion is the team listen to what you say and they go away and focus on those areas, and it’s an amazing process you do together and then you come back and it works.”

Team boss Toto Wolff said he believed Hamilton had also been affected by the loss of what would have been a comfortable win in Australia because of a team strategy error.

“The best ones are very sensitive and fragile,” Wolff said. “That is something we know and he knows.

“We went to Melbourne, the car performed well, he was in the lead, solid, and then suddenly he found himself behind a Ferrari and couldn’t overtake. This is difficult to cope with.

“In the following races, we struggled in many areas and all that adds up and was in all our minds. And having a good weekend and putting it on pole and winning by a solid margin is very good for his confidence and anybody’s confidence in the team.”

Both Hamilton and Wolff said they had concerns that they might not be able to keep up the momentum at the next race in Monaco on 24-27 May, however, where Mercedes struggled last year. Hamilton pointed particularly to Red Bull’s performance in the slow, last part of the lap in Spain, which echoes some of the characteristics of the Monaco track.

Hamilton said: “Monaco is going be a serious challenge. The others are going to be hard to beat. [Red Bull’s] Daniel Ricciardo was much quicker in the final sector. That is all downforce. They are going to be rapid in Monaco.”

Wolff said he was “worried” about Monaco, adding: “We have seen in the last years there were tracks that suited us well and some we weren’t perfect. It is very difficult to undo the DNA of a car and Monaco, Budapest and Singapore were all tracks where we under-performed.

“It is a difficult one. Why our car doesn’t like to be quick around the corners in Monaco we haven’t found out yet.

“We know what went wrong last year. But it’s as much as I am overwhelmed with the victory today, my mind is already in Monaco and I remember Sunday night was not as pleasant last year.”