Brandon Nimmo drove in four runs and had three of the New York Mets' season-high 22 hits as Major League Baseball's hottest team rolled to a 14-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday.

Francisco Lindor went 4 for 4 and knocked in two runs as the Mets won their sixth consecutive contest while collecting their most hits in a game since recording 23 against the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 15, 2019.

Nimmo had a two-run homer among his three hits and DJ Stewart added a three-run blast as New York battered Texas starter Jon Gray for nine runs and 11 hits in just three-plus innings.

Pete Alonso, Mark Vientos and Francisco Alvarez also had three hits each to support a solid start from David Peterson, who allowed two runs and struck out six over six innings to move to 3-0.

After Lindor singled to open the game and later scored on Alonso's base hit to put the Mets up early, New York broke open the game with six runs in the second.

Lindor's single brought in Vientos for a 2-0 lead and Nimmo followed with a run-scoring hit of his own to extend the margin. Alonso made it 4-0 with his second RBI single of the night before Stewart launched Gray's pitch into the right field seats to cap the big inning.

Peterson served up Robbie Grossman's two-run homer in the third inning that got the Rangers on the board, but Nimmo followed Lindor's single in the fourth with his eighth home run of the season to give New York a 9-2 advantage.

The Mets struck two more times in the fifth as Lindor doubled in a run and Nimmo added another RBI single. Stewart singled in the sixth and later crossed the plate on Alvarez's hit to increase the lead to 12-2.

Alvarez had another run-scoring hit in the eighth as the Mets scored twice more during the inning.

The defending World Series champion Rangers lost their fourth in a row and dropped six games below .500 at 33-39.

Pirates' rookie Skenes bests Reds to stay unbeaten

Paul Skenes continued an outstanding start to his MLB career by throwing six sharp innings and leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds to open a three-game series.

Skenes improved to 4-0 by yielding just one run on six hits and striking out seven. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft now sports a 2.29 ERA through his first seven major league starts.

The heralded rookie's lone run allowed came in the top of the first inning, when Jeimer Candelario singled and scored on a double by Spencer Steer.

Pittsburgh countered with three runs off Carson Spiers in their half of the first, which began with a walk to Andrew McCutchen and Bryan Reynolds' ground-rule double.

Oneil Cruz then drove both runners home with a single and later moved to third on Rowdy Tellez's double before crossing the plate on Ke'Bryan Hayes' groundout.

The Pirates extended their advantage to 4-1 in the second inning on consecutive doubles by McCutchen and Reynolds, who finished with two hits along with Tellez.

Spiers (0-1) made his first start of the season for Cincinnati, which has now lost three straight. The right-hander worked six innings while permitting all four Pittsburgh runs.

Schwarber's two homers help Phillies extend Padres' road woes

Kyle Schwarber belted a pair of two-run homers to lead the way as the Philadelphia Phillies extended the San Diego Padres' road losing streak to eight games with Monday's 9-2 rout.

Alec Bohm added a three-run homer and went 3 for 5 to help the National League leaders bounce back after losing two of three games to the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend. Rafael Marchan finished 4 for 4 with two RBIs, while Trea Turner had a pair of hits in the Philadelphia shortstop's return from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him since early May.

The Phillies also received a strong start from Cristopher Sanchez (4-3), who held struggling San Diego to two runs - one earned - in seven innings.

San Diego entered Citizens Bank Park off three straight road losses to the New York Mets over the weekend, and fell behind 2-0 when Schwarber followed Marchan's third-inning single with a blast into the seats off Randy Vasquez.

Vasquez (1-4) walked Brandon Marsh to lead off the bottom of the fourth, which led to another run when the outfielder took second on a wild pitch and scored on Marchan's single.

An error by Marsh led to a run in the top of the fifth that got the Padres on the board, though the Phillies answered in their half when Bohm took Vasquez deep with Turner and Bryce Harper aboard.

Schwarber struck again in the sixth with a homer off Adrian Morejon that extended the lead to 8-2 and once again scored Marchan, who had reached on a single.

Both teams scratched home a run in the seventh inning, as San Diego's Donovan Solano brought in Jurickson Profar with a double and Marsh doubled and later scored on Marchan's fourth hit of the game.

Vasquez lasted just 4 1/3 innings and was lit up for six runs on 12 hits. 

 

Jayson Tatum delivered a magnificent performance in Game 5 of the NBA Finals with 31 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists, and the Boston Celtics capped a dominant season by cruising to a 106-88 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday to capture their first league championship since 2008.

Returning home off a 38-point Game 4 loss that extended the series, the Celtics bounced back with authority by leading the clincher from start-to-finish to put the finishing touches on an unquestionably title-worthy 2023-24 campaign.

After recording the league's best regular-season record at 64-18, Boston went 16-3 in the post-season to earn the 18th NBA title in franchise history, breaking a tie with the Lakers for the most by any team.

Jaylen Brown compiled 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Game 5 and was named Finals MVP. The All-Star forward averaged 20.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and five assists per game for the series in addition to playing lock-down defence on Mavericks star Kyrie Irving, who was held under 39 per cent shooting in three of Dallas' four losses.

 

Kylian Mbappe suffering a late head injury marred France's Euro 2024 victory over Austria as Didier Deschamps was left concerned about the Les Bleus star.

The Real Madrid-bound attacker sustained a blow to his nose after an aerial challenge with Austria's Kevin Danso before Mbappe was withdrawn on Monday.

France held on for a 1-0 victory in Dusseldorf to move level with fellow Group D leaders Netherlands, but Deschamps will have to sweat over Mbappe's fitness before facing Ronald Koeman's men on Friday.

"[His] nose is not good at all," the France head coach, who hit 100 wins in charge of his country with the victory over Ralf Rangnick's side, told reporters.

"Even if it's just the nose, it's the big negative point for us tonight."

Mbappe missed a gilt-edged opportunity in the second half as his wait for a European Championship goal continued.

The former Paris Saint-Germain man remains without a goal from a total of 18 shots in the tournament, while he has registered 12 strikes from 39 attempts at the World Cup.

Mbappe played the cross in for Max Wober's decisive first-half own-goal, however, as the centre-back's inadvertent error proved the difference in the pair's tournament opener.

France are the first European side at major tournaments (World Cup/Euros) to benefit from 10 own-goals, four more than any other side – Germany are the next best on six.

Deschamps was still satisfied with Les Bleus' work, though acknowledged their failure in front of goal.

"Happy with what the players did even if we missed opportunities to double the tally," he added. "It was not perfect but we were solid.

"We could have been more efficient offensively but it's good to start with a win.

"There's quality and talent but being solid and working together is also important. We're not going to be over-confident, but it's a good start."

N'Golo Kante was named as the Player of the Match after his efficient display in midfield, having only returned to the international setup for this tournament after a two-year absence.

No France player made more successful tackles than Kante's two (level with Jules Kounde), while the midfielder's pair of interceptions marked the most for Les Bleus.

"Everything was not perfect but we have the result we wanted, this is a good start," Kante said. "There are solid foundations, we have to be more efficient.

"It makes me happy to be back. Things have changed, makes it feels good to get back into this jersey."

The defeat ended a run of seven games without a loss for Austria in all competitions (W6 D1), while it was only their second reverse in their last 17 matches (W12 D3).

Yet former Manchester United boss Rangnick refused to point the blame at any of Austria's players.

"We are all very disappointed... we allowed France to go ahead, they didn't shoot their goal, it was an unlucky own goal by us," Rangnick said.

"I think no one can accuse the team of not being engaged enough, not running enough. They gave their everything.

"They didn't always make the right decisions with the ball. But it isn't easy, the French were aggressive, and played compactly and that wasn't a surprise."

France got their Euro 2024 campaign up and running with a 1-0 victory over Austria on Monday.

That came after Slovakia had stunned Belgium by the same scoreline.

Elsewhere, Romania were big winners against Ukraine.

With the use of Opta data, we take a look at the standout statistics from day four at Euro 2024.

 

Austria 0-1 France: More Euros frustration for Mbappe 

Kylian Mbappe's quick feet did for Austria's defence in Dusseldorf, as the soon-to-be Real Madrid forward beat his man and whipped in a ball that was inadvertently turned home by Maximilian Wober.

That proved to be the decisive moment for Les Bleus, though Mbappe could have put an entertaining contest to bed midway through the second half, only to miss when one-on-one with the Austria goalkeeper, from a chance that registered a 0.6 expected goals (xG) value.

Mbappe remains without a goal from a total of 18 shots at the European Championships, while he has registered 12 goals from 39 shots at World Cups, and to compound his frustration, he appeared to suffer a broken nose in a challenge with Kevin Danso late on.

France got over the line, though. Their coach Didier Deschamps has now won 100 matches in charge of Les Bleus, (D30 L24), 59 more than any other manager (41 wins under both Michel Hidalgo and Raymond Domenech).

Les Bleus have won their sixth consecutive opening game of a major tournament, the longest current run of any European side.

Austria, meanwhile, saw a run of seven games without a loss (W6 D1) come to an end. It was only a second loss in their last 17 matches (W12 D3) for Ralf Rangnick's team.

France are the first European side at major tournaments to benefit from 10 own-goals, four more than any other side (Germany next best on six).

Deschamps fielded France's youngest starting XI at the European Championships (27y 273d) since June 26th 2012 against Spain (27y 079 d).

At the other end of the spectrum, veteran Olivier Giroud came on from the bench to play at his seventh major tournament.

Romania 3-0 Ukraine: No possession, no problem

Romania earned just their second win at the Euros (D5 L10), and they did it in style by thrashing Ukraine. In fact, this was their biggest-ever victory at a major international tournament. 

 

The victory came with Romania recording just 29 per cent of the possession. That is the lowest share for a winning team on record (since 1980) in a single match at the European Championships.

Nicolae Stanciu got things started with a stunner. He became the first player ever to score at the European Championships while playing for a Saudi Arabian club (Damac).

Excluding own goals, Romania had three different goalscorers (Stanciu, Razvan Marin, Denis Dragus) for the fourth time in a match at a major tournament, also doing so against Peru (1930 World Cup), Cuba (1938 World Cup) and England (Euro 2000).

Dennis Man, meanwhile, is the first Romanian to provide multiple assists in a major tournament match since Gheorghe Hagi against Colombia at the 1994 World Cup.

Ukraine, on the other hand, extended their record of most games played at the Euros without keeping a single clean sheet (12). They have also failed to score in 67 per cent of their games at the competition (8/12), the highest rate of any nation to take part in more than one edition.

Belgium 0-1 Slovakia: Bang out of Luk

Romelu Lukaku was guilty of missing several gilt-edged chances, while also being frustrated by VAR, as Belgium suffered a shock loss to Slovakia in Group E's other match.

Belgium missed four Opta-defined big chances in this match, the first time they’d done so in a European Championship game since 1980 against Spain (also four missed), as Slovakia held on after Ivan Schranz's goal in the seventh minute, which was the quickest goal Slovakia have scored at a major tournament.

While Slovakia have won each of their last four competitive internationals, their best winning run in competitive games since a run of five between October 2016 and September 2017, Belgium suffered their first group stage defeat at the European Championships since going down 2-0 to Italy in 2016.

Kevin De Bruyne did not have his best game, though still created four chances, taking his overall total of opportunities created at the Euros to 40. Since 1980, only Luis Figo (42) and Cristiano Ronaldo (41) have crafted more chances at the finals.

Jeremy Doku was at fault for Slovakia's goal, though he did his best to make up for it going the other way, completing six dribbles to put the opposition on the back foot.

Across the last two editions of the Euros, there have only been four instances of a player completing six or more dribbles in a match, and two of those have been Doku.

Slovakia's defensive grit, and a little bit of luck, got them through in the end.

They named three players in the starting XI who were 35 or older – Peter Pekarik (37), Juraj Kucka (37) and Martin Dubravka (35). Slovakia are only the second nation in European Championships history to do so, along with France in 2008. 

Rory McIlroy intends to take a break from golf after his US Open collapse as the Northern Irishman bemoaned the toughest day of his career following further major disappointment at Pinehurst.

The four-time major champion has not triumphed in one of golf's top events since 2014 at the PGA Championship.

McIlroy came within touching distance of ending that decade-long wait on Sunday but fell short in disappointing circumstances as Bryson DeChambeau claimed the US Open title by a shot in North Carolina.

The 35-year-old McIlroy managed to bogey three of his final four holes in the last round at Pinehurst's No.2 course, including a woeful miss from a short putting distance on the 18th.

DeChambeau was left to save par with an impressive up-and-down from the near-side bunker, leaving McIlroy to rue another missed opportunity on the major stage.

"Yesterday was a tough day, probably the toughest I've had in my nearly 17 years as a professional golfer," McIlroy wrote on social media.

"Firstly, I'd like to congratulate Bryson. He is a worthy champion and exactly what professional golf needs right now. I think we can all agree on that.

"As I reflect on my week, I'll rue a few things over the course of the tournament, mostly the two missed putts on 16 and 18 on the final day.

"But, as I always try to do, I'll look at the positives of the week that far outweigh the negatives. As I said at the start of the tournament, I feel closer to winning my next major championship than I ever have.

"The one word that I would describe my career as is resilient. I've shown my resilience over and over again in the last 17 years and I will again."

McIlroy was expected to play in this week's Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

However, the world number two confirmed he will not feature as McIlroy prepares for a break after suffering a brutal blow to his major hopes.

"I'm going to take a few weeks away from the game to process everything and build myself back up for my defence of the Genesis Scottish Open and The Open at Royal Troon," he concluded.

The Scottish Open does not start until July 11, leaving McIlroy with almost a month to recover from this setback.

Euro 2024 is truly up and running, with five of the six groups having already gone through their first matchdays.

On Monday, favourties France clicked into gear with a 1-0 win over Austria.

That came after Romania thrashed Ukraine 3-0 and Belgium were the first major side to suffer a shock defeat, going down 1-0 to Slovenia.

But what about the action on social media? We've picked out some of the best posts...

 

The stars are out

There's plenty of big names taking in all the action in Germany, and there were some superstars in attendance to watch on as France faced Austria in Dusseldorf.

Among them were Portuguese great Luis Figo, Germany icon Philipp Lahm, and Spain legend - and current Bayer Leverkusen coach - Xabi Alonso.

Lahm posted on Instagram: "#AUTFRA in best company! Amazing how fans from Europe and all over the world have turned Germany into a big festival within just a few days."

Expected broken bones (xBB)?

Poor old Kylian Mbappe. He just can't catch a break at the Euros.

He did help create France's winner against Austria, but subsequently missed a great chance (one that had an expected goals value of 0.6) in the second half, and is yet to score at the European Championships.

To top it off, he then sustained what appeared to be a broken nose when his face clashed with Kevin Danso's shoulder.

Mbappe also received a booking before he was eventually substituted. Opta Analyst saw the funny side, at least. 

Evergreen

Eyebrows were raised in some quarters when Didier Deschamps elected to select N'Golo Kante in France's squad.

At 33 and having struggled with injuries in recent seasons, Kante now plies his trade out in Saudi Arabia.

Yet he was simply magnificent in the heart of France's midfield against Austria. He attempted three tackles, won two of them and made two interceptions in an all-action display.

Key skills

Fan parks in Germany are equipped with CPR training centres, so supporters can learn how to potentially save a life if required.

And it's not just the fans who are able to take in a lesson. 

As UEFA's official X account showed, the players are getting involved too. The Romanian team gave it a go.

Midfield an issue for England?

Gary Neville is out in Germany as a pundit for ITV Sport, though the former England defender was back on Sky Sports to share his thoughts on the Three Lions' display against Serbia on Sunday.

And Neville fears for the balance of Gareth Southgate's midfield.

"The midfield is the major concern and the fluidity of the game that comes through there is one thing we need to try and work on in the group stage because when we play against a good team, we'll have to have it right," said Neville. 

"There are some small alarm bells around balance and having a good group of players that are very talented but are we as good a team?"

Quickfire tour

Ever wondered what it's like behind the scenes at a team training camp at a major tournament?

Well, Scotland's social media team allowed fans to have a quick peep behind the curtain by sharing a 45-second video of their Alpine training base.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a town in Bavaria, and it's as picturesque as you can imagine.

Where's Wally?

Can you pick out one character in a sea of red and white?

The Austria fans were out in uniform for their clash with France!

Would you like fries with that?

It was far from a dream start for Belgium, as they slumped to a 1-0 loss to Slovakia.

Romelu Lukaku was twice thwarted by VAR, and squandered numerous big chances.

But Lukaku can at least take solace in the fact he is not the Belgium fan who elected to turn up to the match wearing a hat resembling a portion of french fries... That really is having a chip on your shoulder!

France started their quest for Euro 2024 glory with a narrow 1-0 victory over Austria after Max Wober's first-half own-goal proved decisive in Dusseldorf.

The two-time European Championship winners had to wait until the 38th minute for their breakthrough, with Wober turning Kylian Mbappe's cross into his own net on Monday.

Les Bleus held on in the second half to earn Didier Deschamps his 100th win in charge of France, though there was concern as Mbappe received lengthy treatment for a head injury late on before being withdrawn.

Deschamps will hope Mbappe is passed fit after that issue as France prepare for Friday's clash with fellow Group D leaders Netherlands, who share top spot in the pool after overcoming Poland 2-1 on Sunday.

Deschamps' men settled into their seamless groove early on, with Mbappe racing clear of the Austria defence before seeing his effort repelled by the strong palm of Patrick Pentz.

Yet for all of France's dominance in possession, Austria remained resolute in defence and almost struck first against the run of play 10 minutes before the interval.

Christoph Baumgartner found himself unmarked inside the France box after Marcel Sabitzer's deft knockdown, but was unable to find a way beyond the onrushing Mike Maignan when rushing a glorious chance.

Just two minutes later, Deschamps' deadly attack showed their ruthless nature as Mbappe chopped inside before delivering towards the near post, where Wober inadvertently headed past the helpless Pentz.

Mbappe should have doubled France's lead after the interval but somehow fired wide when one-on-one with Pentz, leaving the Real Madrid-bound forward still waiting for a first European Championship goal.

Les Bleus remained the most likely to find a decisive second goal but Theo Hernandez's teasing delivery just evaded Antoine Greizmann before Marcus Thuram also went close.

Yet the battling victory was marred by the injury to Mbappe, who was forced off in the final minute of normal time after suffering a concerning blow to his nose when challenging for an aerial duel with Kevin Danso.

Mbappe's wait for maiden Euro goal goes on

Mbappe produced an influential display but was far from his clinical best for Les Bleus as his first goal at this tournament continues to elude him. 

The former Paris Saint-Germain attacker has now failed to convert any of his last 17 shots at the competition, in stark contrast to the 12 goals he has managed from 39 attempts at the World Cup.

His one-on-one opportunity in the second half had an expected goals tally (xG) of 0.6, second only behind Griezmann's opportunity (0.75 xG) in the area 11 minutes later. 

Aside from Mbappe, France were wasteful in the final third as a collective, registering just three shots on target in the contest from 14 attempts – underperforming their xG by 1.03. 

Austria down, but certainly not out

Ralf Rangnick's team can be proud of their defensive display against France's star-studded attacking line, with their fighting efforts seeing them make the most tackles (27) of any side at the tournament so far. 

However, their struggles against Les Bleus continued as Austria have now won just one of their last 11 meetings against France in all competitions, with that sole victory coming in 2008. 

Austria will still hope to replicate their last-16 run at Euro 2020, their best-ever finish in the competition, and face Poland in Berlin on Friday before concluding their group campaign against the Netherlands.

Angus Gunn acknowledged Scotland let everyone associated with them down after Germany's 5-1 rout at Euro 2024 – but insists Group A progression is not off the cards.

Steve Clarke's team were humiliated on Friday in the tournament opener as Scotland suffered their second-heaviest defeat ever at a major tournament, after their 7-0 loss to Uruguay at the 1954 World Cup.

Antonio Rudiger's late own goal was the only thing the thousands of travelling Scots could celebrate, leading Gunn to apologise to all involved with the Tartan Army.

"We let ourselves down, our families down and obviously the fans, which is probably the most difficult to take," Gunn said in an interview published on Scotland's X account on Monday.

"It's down to us to bounce back now, and the good thing is that we've two more games to put it right, and we can still reach our target."

Clarke declared four points was the target before the European Championship started as Scotland aimed for their first-ever progression to the knockout stages of a major tournament.

Scotland will need to get results against Switzerland on Wednesday, and Hungary in their final group game four days later, if they are to hit Clarke's ambitions.

It appears a tough ask, too, as Scotland have won just six of their 33 matches at major tournaments (World Cup/Euros), a win rate of 18 per cent.

Among European nations with 25+ matches played at such tournaments, only Bulgaria (13 per cent – 4 from 32) have a poorer win ratio.

Gunn remains confident of an unlikely escape from Group A, however.

"We know what we have to do in terms of trying to get out of the group," the Scotland goalkeeper added.

"Obviously they [Switzerland] got a very positive result in their first game as well, so it's going to be difficult, but from our point of view, it's pretty straightforward."

Scotland managed to make it through a qualifying group for this tournament that included Spain and Erling Haaland's Norway.

Gunn wanted to remind supporters of his team's progression as negativity swirls around their opening-game performance.

"You look back at how far we've come, how well we've done to qualify, and you have to take belief from that," Gunn continued. 

"We've got to target two wins that can get us through the group, and if we can do that, we've reached our target."

Domenico Tedesco refused to place the blame on any individual performance as Belgium slumped to Euro 2024 defeat against Slovakia, with Romelu Lukaku missing a host of chances.

Ivan Schranz's seventh-minute finish in Frankfurt proved the difference on Monday as Slovakia stunned the world's third-best side in their tournament opener.

Belgium forward Lukaku produced a profligate showing, spurning a pair of glorious first-half chances before seeing two goals disallowed by the VAR as Tedesco's side chased a late equaliser.

Lukaku accumulated an expected goals (xG) tally of 0.82 throughout the Group E meeting, with that total far greater than the entire Slovakia team combined (0.59).

Yet Tedesco, who suffered a first defeat in 15 games since replacing Roberto Martinez as Belgium boss, did not pinpoint specific players when discussing Belgium's downfall.

"For me, it hurts a lot," Tedesco said. "I don't want to point the finger at people. You can be sure we will speak about many things but we will do it internally and not through the media.

"I knew we would lose one day but unfortunately it was today. Honestly, there is not much I can say to the team to improve.

"We created many chances, big chances. Of course, if we take one, then it makes the game easier."

When pressed on Lukaku's form in front of goal, Tedesco defended the former Chelsea and Manchester United striker.

"Romelu has been playing for Belgium for a long time," the Red Devils' head coach said. 

"He knows how to score goals, I don't need to tell him that. He is a top-class player with great character."

Lukaku saw his first effort ruled out for an offside after Amadou Onana's headed knockdown before his late finish was again overturned as Lois Openda was deemed to have handled in the build-up.

"It's tough to speak," Tedesco continued. "If we had won I could tell you more about my opinion.

"But we lost and I want to be seen as a fair manager so I don't say anything. We have to trust these guys. I trust the VAR. If they decide it's handball, we have to accept it."

Belgium's defeat leaves Group E wide open after Romania hammered Ukraine 3-0 on the same day, with Tedesco's side needing a response against Edward Iordanescu's team on Saturday.

Another loss would push Belgium further towards an unlikely group-stage exit, though Tedesco wants to use the Slovakia disappointment as motivation.

"Naturally everyone is disappointed but you can harness that," he said. "You can make use of it. I always said our group would be very tricky and shouldn't assume that we will go through."

Belgium captain Kevin De Bruyne was also frustrated as his side suffered their first group-stage defeat at the European Championship since losing 2-0 to Italy in 2016.

The Manchester City star said: "It is a pity. The first 20 minutes we were really good and we made such a mistake for which we were punished.

"In the second half it was better, we upped the tempo. We deserved to win but did not score and that is the way it is. Apart from a few other chances we didn't give much away.

"We adjusted some things at half-time and then played well. We pushed, we created chances. We certainly deserved to at least a draw because we didn't play badly."

England must stick with Phil Foden despite an "off night" against Serbia in their Euro 2024 opener, according to Manchester United great Roy Keane.

Foden created just one chance in Sunday's 1-0 victory as the Manchester City star moved to the left flank, making way to accommodate an attack of Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane.

The 24-year-old still managed 19 passes in the final third, only bettered by match-winning team-mate Jude Bellingham (24), but failed to register a single shot in an unusually quiet outing.

Former United midfielder Keane has no doubts over Foden's ability, however, and lamented critics calling for his dropping from Gareth Southgate's starting XI.

"This idea that you should start taking him out of the team, Phil Foden is an amazing, fantastic player who has had a great season," Keane said on ITV on Monday.

"OK, he was quiet last night but he is entitled to an off night. Don't be writing this kid off. He has got so much talent. You stick with him.

"You can talk about tactics and systems until the cows come home. Foden and these quality players will produce. He had a quiet night. Relax, everyone. He will be fine."

Bellingham stole the show as his 13th-minute header from Saka's deflected right-wing cross proved the difference.

Real Madrid's Champions League-winning midfielder also became the first player to score for the Three Lions at both the World Cup and European Championship while playing his club football outside of England.

Kane was another to be kept quiet by Serbia, though the England captain had a late header expertly pushed away by Predrag Rajkovic.

Keane insists Southgate's plethora of talent will always deliver in some form, though, whether it comes from Kane, Bellingham, Foden or any other player.

"They have got to stay calm with it all," Keane added. "Because they have three or four world-class players, when Kane or Foden are having a bit of an off-night, players like Bellingham will step up.

"It might be Foden or Kane in the next game. That is the beauty of having four or five world-class players."

England head to Frankfurt on Thursday to face Denmark, aiming to extend their embryonic lead at the top of Group C before their final meeting with Slovenia.

New Zealand concluded their disappointing T20 World Cup campaign in style as they swept aside Papua New Guinea, emerging seven-wicket victors in Trinidad. 

Lockie Ferguson starred for the Black Caps, becoming the first bowler at a men's T20 World Cup to bowl four maiden overs in a spell, claiming three wickets to dismiss their opponents for 78.

Trent Boult ended with figures of 2-14 after taking out Hiri Hiri and Norman Vanua in what could be his T20I for his nation, after declaring this World Cup would be his last in this format.

New Zealand started their chase shakily following the early loss of Finn Allen in the second ball of their reply, but Devon Conway's knock of 35 from 32 steadied the ship for Kane Williamson's side. 

Conway hit three sixes before falling to Semo Kamea, with Williamson and Daryl Mitchell on hand to secure a Black Caps win and end the tournament on a high after they exited a World Cup before the last four for the first time since 2014.

 

Data Debrief: Fantastic Ferguson dazzles 

Ferguson's hugely impressive display saw him also become the second bowler in T20Is to record four maiden overs.

The last to achieve that feat was Canada's Saad Bin Zafar, who took two wickets without conceding a run against Panama in a T20 World Cup Americas Region Qualifier in 2021.

 

Carlos Alcaraz is not wanting to dwell on his French Open triumph as the Spaniard prepares for Wimbledon by featuring at the Queen's Club Championships this week.

The 21-year-old secured his third major title this month after overcoming Alexander Zverev in a five-set final thriller at Roland-Garros.

Alcaraz is the youngest player in the Open Era to win the singles title at three different grand slams, with the Australian Open the only one missing from the set.

The world number two has one thing on his mind, however, as Alcaraz turns his focus to the grass-court challenge awaiting at Queen's, and subsequently the next major Wimbledon.

"We have to be focused on the tournament that we are playing right now," Alcaraz said. "Roland-Garros was a fantastic two weeks for me, a dream come true lifting the trophy.

"But right now my mind has to be here on the grass to be ready. As soon as I can to play good tennis and to get ready for Wimbledon.

"Right now my focus is on the grass and then after that, my mind will be on clay again to be at my best for the Olympics."

Just a year ago, Alcaraz headed to Queen's with only four ATP wins on grass.

A year later, the big-hitting youngster is getting ready to defend his title in the Wimbledon warm-up tournament before attempting to go back-to-back at the next major.

"I have more matches in my bank on grass and now with the great run I had last year at Queen's and Wimbledon, I know a little bit on how to play and understand the game a little bit on grass," he added.

"I am more mature playing on this surface. The first practice I have done here, my movement wasn't as good as last year but it is a slow process, so I have to be really focused in every practice and every match."

Alcaraz took the fewest main draw appearances of any player in the Open Era to win titles on grass, clay and hard courts.

He celebrated that French Open glory with a tattoo of Paris' Eiffel Tower on his left ankle, before jetting off for further toasts to his success.

Asked on his plans after Paris, Alcaraz said: "I had a few days off. I went to Ibiza with a group of friends. I had fun. It was a great time celebrating Roland Garros and I just had fun.

"For me as a player, I need this kind of thing. Every player is different but for me to reach my best tennis I have to separate the professional part from the personal part.

"I have some days off to forget a little bit that I am a professional player. Being with my friends and family means I can rest a little bit."

The groups and fixtures for the Super 8 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 has been confirmed with both co-hosts West Indies and USA making it through to the second stage that will see the eight teams battle for a place in the semi-finals at the biggest cricket carnival spectacle ever.

Super 8 qualifiers are:

  • Group A: India and USA
  • Group B: Australia and England
  • Group C: West Indies and Afghanistan
  • Group D: South Africa and Bangladesh

The eight teams will be divided into two groups:

  • Group A: India, Australia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh
  • Group B: USA, England, West Indies, South Africa

Four of the Super 8 qualifiers have won the World Cup previously, India, England, West Indies and Australia. Super 8 matches will be played across four West Indies venues: Antigua and Barbuda (four matches), Barbados (three matches), Saint Lucia (three matches) and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (two matches).

Each team will play every other team in its group once, with the top two sides in each group qualifying for the semi-finals, to be played in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana on 26 and 27 June, respectively.

The Super Eight stage commences in Antigua on Wednesday 19 June with a clash between USA and South Africa at 10h30. That same evening West Indies take on old rivals, England in Saint Lucia. The two sides have a prolific cricketing history, with the co-hosts ensuring a dominant display at home against England in recent years.

Full Fixtures (Local time)

19 June

USA v South Africa, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua (10h30)

England v West Indies, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia (20h30)

20 June

Afghanistan v India, Kensington Oval, Barbados (10h30)

Australia v Bangladesh, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua (20h30)

21 June

England v South Africa, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia (10h30)

USA v West Indies, Kensington Oval, Barbados (20h30)

22 June

India v Bangladesh, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua (10h30)

Afghanistan v Australia, Arnos Vale, St Vincent (20h30)

23 June

USA v England, Kensington Oval, Barbados (10h30)

West Indies v South Africa, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua (20h30)

24 June

Australia v India, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia (10h30)

Afghanistan v Bangladesh, Arnos Vale, St Vincent (20h30)

 

Aryna Sabalenka has confirmed she will not compete at the Olympic Games in Paris next month in order to prioritise her health. 

The world number three retained her Australian Open title at the start of the year but suffered defeat in the quarter-finals of the French Open at Roland-Garros.

The Belarusian's loss was her first before the semi-final stage of a major tournament since 2022, and she intends to rest ahead of the for the hard-court season which begins at the US Open 22 games after the Olympics. 

"I prefer to have a little rest to make sure physically and health-wise I'm ready for the hard courts," said Sabalenka, who was the runner-up last year in New York. 

"Especially with all the struggles I've been struggling with the last months, I feel I have to take care of my health.

"It's too much for the scheduling and I made the decision to take care of my health."

Sabalenka is currently in Germany preparing for the Berlin Open, and faces Daria Kasatkina in the last 16 of the competition, having come from a set down to beat Marta Kostyuk on Monday. 

Page 7 of 3643
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.