Goalkeepers John Ruddy and Asmir Begovic were the stars as Birmingham and QPR battled to a 0-0 Championship draw at St Andrew’s.

Begovic, the former Chelsea, Bournemouth and Stoke goalkeeper, and ex-Wolves keeper Ruddy, both 36, produced a string of saves as the hosts missed the chance to climb into the top six overnight.

QPR created the first chance when Ilias Chair crossed from the left and Sinclair Armstrong looped a header over the bar.

Only a desperate, acrobatic goal-line clearance from QPR midfielder Sam Field prevented Blues taking a 21st-minute lead.

Lee Buchanan’s fierce cross flicked off centre-back Steve Cook and looped over Begovic, but Field hooked the ball away, replays showing it was half over the line.

For all Birmingham’s attacking intent, QPR forced the first save of the game when Paul Smyth cut in on his left foot and his shot from just inside the box was pushed away by Ruddy.

Blues responded soon after when right-back Cody Drameh’s cross-shot was shovelled away at the near post by Begovic.

The home side continued to push for the opening goal and had three efforts blocked in the box, Jay Stansfield trying his luck with a header and then a shot either side of an effort from Miyoshi.

They then went close to taking the lead within two minutes of the restart.

This time Krystian Bielik produced a snapshot that was kept out by a stunning one-handed save by Begovic at full stretch.

Rangers went just as close to breaking the deadlock from the next move.

Chair gave himself room to cross on the run after a one-two split the defence and he pulled the ball back to Field, whose side-footed effort was palmed away by Ruddy and hit Armstrong before bouncing just wide.

Scott Hogan then missed a golden chance. The Birmingham striker had only Begovic to beat after Miyoshi put him through but sidefooted too close to the keeper.

Stansfield forced another save from Begovic when he cut inside and fired goalward from just inside the box.

But Ruddy produced arguably the save of the match when he tipped away Lyndon Dykes’ downward header from Albert Adomah’s cross as both sides had to settle for a point.

Preston boss Ryan Lowe insists he is not getting carried away after he saw his side come from behind to earn a sixth win in a row with a 2-1 victory over Birmingham at Deepdale.

A cautious first 45 minutes from both teams was in complete contrast to the second when Jay Stansfield smashed the Blues in front less than a minute after the half-time interval.

Preston have yet to taste defeat in their opening seven matches and were on level terms when Krystian Bielik headed into his own net, and Lowe’s side claimed all three points when Milutin Osmajic rifled under the legs of visiting keeper John Ruddy to get his first goal in English football to keep Preston top.

Lowe insists the dressing room are keeping their feet firmly on the floor despite their breathtaking start.

He said: “We are not going to get too carried away.

“In football, things can change very quickly, we know that. Everyone would love for us to do what Luton and that have done and get to the Premier League, of course, but we are not sitting here and saying that is going to be the case. It’s a hard-fought season, we’ve got to keep battling it out and winning games of football.

“It’s exciting at the moment but of course we can’t get carried away. You only have to look at the teams that have been in and around last season and the teams at the bottom end up at the top, the league is that crazy.”

Lowe hailed striker Osmajic who scored his first goal for the club in just his second appearance after signing from LaLiga side Cadiz.

He continued: “Milly can finish, which we knew.

“He was wrapping the side of the nets and he has a lot of power, it was a fantastic finish.

“When you come to a new football club, you want to run around and impress but I said to him ‘impress doing the right things, by making the right runs’, and he made them runs.”

Birmingham suffered their second straight defeat after going unbeaten in their opening five games of the season, and have slipped to seventh in the table.

John Eustace was disappointed in the way his side conceded the equaliser but believes the dressing room will take heart from their performance. He said: “We are a team that pride ourselves on defending set plays and collectively as a group.

“I think conditions were very tough, very windy and a mistake from both the lads so disappointing to concede in that manner but I think the way we got hold of the game again was positive.

“It’s about going through the process, every day in training, every game we play there are lots of positive signs. Tonight we came and played some good football, we are going to get better as a group but loads of positives.”

Milutin Osmajic scored his first goal in English football as Championship leaders Preston came from a goal down to beat Birmingham 2-1.

Jay Stansfield’s strike in the opening minute of the second half threatened to end Preston’s unbeaten start to the season but the table-toppers were on level terms when Krystian Bielik headed into his own net in the 51st minute.

Preston then made it six wins from their opening seven games thanks to Osmajic’s composed close-range finish in the 67th minute.

After a tight and cagey first 25 minutes, the game was almost unlocked by the hosts when Duane Holmes played in Brad Potts inside the area with the goal at his mercy but he blazed over the crossbar from close range.

Birmingham had the lion’s share of possession throughout the first half-hour and mustered their first half-chance when Keshi Anderson ran on to the end of a long ball before he skied his effort into the Preston fans behind the goal.

The game’s first shot on target came when Liam Millar let fly from 25 yards but it went straight down the neck of John Ruddy.

The Blues went looking for an opener themselves but Koji Miyoshi’s drilled long-range effort was comfortably saved by Freddie Woodman to keep the game goalless heading into the break.

Birmingham broke the deadlock straight after half-time when Miyoshi slid Stansfield through on goal before he touched and lashed home to make it 1-0.

Preston were not behind for long, getting back on level terms just five minutes later after Alan Browne’s corner was turned in by Bielik into his own goal.

The second half of the contest was a much more entertaining affair and Birmingham almost regained their lead but Ivan Sunjic’s goal-bound effort was well saved by the diving Woodman.

Birmingham went in search of another goal to try and get back to winning ways but Anderson’s strike from outside the area was again stopped easily by Woodman.

The Lilywhites turned the game on its head midway through the second half, once again Browne was the creator who slipped Osmajic through before he coolly slotted under the legs of Ruddy to get his first goal for the club.

North End almost increased their advantage in the 85th minute when Holmes unleashed a dipping effort towards goal but it was tipped over the frame by Ruddy.

Birmingham’s own unbeaten start to the campaign was ended on the weekend at the hands of Watford and they had enough time to bounce back after nine minutes of added time was greeted with a huge roar from the travelling contingent.

The visitors sensed an opportunity when the ball fell for Gary Gardner who let rip from outside the area but the deflection fell nicely for the hosts who cleared and held on for three points once again.

On-loan striker Jay Stansfield’s second-half goal rescued a point for Birmingham against Millwall to maintain the club’s unbeaten start to the Championship season.

Stansfield grabbed his second in two league games after Kevin Nisbet had given the Lions an early lead.

Birmingham’s Scott Hogan could have equalised deep into first-half stoppage time but his penalty was saved.

The West Midlands side started brightly with Lee Buchanan’s dangerous left-wing cross heading for Hogan but the City striker was quickly crowded out.

Juninho Bacuna then sliced high and wide as it looked like the home side were taking control.

But the visitors struck after just six minutes.

City keeper John Ruddy got a hand to Nisbet’s 22-yard free-kick but could not keep it out after Kevin Long had fouled Tom Bradshaw.

Stansfield glanced a header wide of Millwall keeper Matija Sarkic’s back post before Bradshaw’s effort sailed over Ruddy’s bar.

Bacuna went close twice in as many minutes as the hosts battled to get back on terms.

Blues skipper Dion Sanderson headed over Keshi Anderson’s free-kick at the back post when he should have hit the target.

Millwall thought they had gone 2-0 up after 20 minutes.

Ryan Leonard fired in a George Saville corner but the spectacular strike was disallowed after his volley was judged to have hit Jake Cooper who was standing in an offside position.

The home crowd grew restless as opportunities dried up with the visitors defending resolutely.

However, Birmingham were awarded a penalty five minutes into stoppage time in the first-half after Sarkic fouled Anderson as he latched on to a slide-rule Bacuna pass.

But the goalkeeper made amends as he dived to his right to brilliantly save Hogan’s spot-kick – and Ivan Sunjic shot wide from the rebound.

The equaliser came eight minutes after the restart.

Stansfield hammered a stunning shot into the bottom left-hand corner after he ran on to an outstanding reverse pass from Bacuna.

And Stansfield, on loan from Fulham, almost put Birmingham ahead minutes later but his fierce attempt was well dealt with by Sarkic.

Millwall still posed a danger and Ruddy had to be alert to smother Saville’s 25-yard effort on his line.

City midfielder Krystian Bielik headed away Brooke Norton-Cuffy’s attempt as the frantic contest continued to swing from end to end.

Sarkic acted quickly to cut out Sunjic’s drilled cross into the six-yard box in the closing minutes.

A final chance fell to left-back Buchanan who blasted high and wide as Birmingham pushed forward hunting a late winner.

Cardiff manager Erol Bulut was delighted with his team’s 3-1 victory over Birmingham – and hopes he can bolster his defence before Friday’s transfer deadline.

The Bluebirds boss watched as his side scored through Rubin Colwill, Ryan Wintle and Zion Etete and saw Blues’ Lukas Jutkiewicz sent off midway through the second half.

They did so having made 10 changes to the side which beat Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend – and with a makeshift defence as Ebou Adams lined up alongside Perry Ng and full-back Mahlon Romeo.

“I am delighted because today we played without centre-backs, we created a back three with midfielders,” said Bulut.

“After the opponent was with 10 players we get a little bit relaxed and thought the game was finished. It is not finished, sometimes against 10 players it is more difficult.

“We need centre-backs, today we tried to create centre-backs. I hope at least one, maybe two centre-backs.

“I cannot see anything, wait until Friday then we will see some surprises – I hope.”

Blues counterpart John Eustace felt Jutkiewicz’s dismissal was the turning point.

“I thought it was very harsh from where I was, Jukey was pushed over at the start, he was rolling over then he has turned to try and get the ball and he has caught the lad on the back of the legs,” he said.

“It is a hard red card, it is something we will have to look at and see if we can appeal it. I will have to have a good look again tonight.

“I felt the first 20 minutes caused us a lot of problems, their shape, we couldn’t get used to that. The early goal certainly helps them as well.

“I thought we grew into the game, we got to grips with their shape, we were better with their press, were higher up the pitch. We need to be better in that final third with the decision-making.

“Coming into half-time we were positive, we tweaked a couple of things and I thought we started the second half quite well then obviously the red card just changes the game.”

Birmingham’s unbeaten start to the season ended at St Andrew’s as slick Cardiff strode to a 3-1 victory and passage into the third round of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2014.

It took the Bluebirds just three minutes to open the scoring as Karlan Grant burst away from Marcel Oakley down their right. The former West Brom man rolled a pass into Rubin Colwill’s path and the 21-year-old stroked home first time.

Blues’ best moment of the first period came in the 24th minute when Andy Rinomhota was booked for bringing down Juninho Bacuna from behind. The Curacao international picked himself up and curled the free-kick over the wall only to see Alex Runarsson superbly tip on to the bar.

The hosts’ task became even more difficult in the 56th minute when Lukas Jutkiewicz was sent off for serious foul play after a late challenge on Mahlon Romeo.

Cardiff doubled their lead 12 minutes later when Ollie Tanner picked out Colwill in the penalty box and the youngster laid back for Ryan Wintle to strike unerringly into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Birmingham made a contest of it with 20 minutes to go as Manny Longelo threaded a pass into the path of Scott Hogan who finished neatly between the goalkeeper’s legs, but Erol Bulut’s men settled it with a back-post finish from Kion Etete four minutes into added time.

Birmingham head coach John Eustace says match-winner Jay Stansfield will be a “really big player” for the club after his wonder goal gave his side a 2-1 win against Plymouth.

On-loan Fulham forward Stansfield, 20, volleyed home from the edge of the box in the fifth minute of time added on for a dream debut for the substitute to make it three wins out of four for Blues.

“Jay is an excellent player and it was an outstanding finish,” said Eustace.

“He comes with a real hunger and a great pedigree and for him to choose to come here over 12 or 13 other Championship clubs is a really massive statement of intent from the club.

“It’s very pleasing he chose to come to us.

“We’ve watched him over the last couple of seasons to see how he’s progressed and developed and he’s going to be a really big player for us.”

Eustace was relieved after Argyle played a full part in the game and looked like earning what would have been a hard-earned point until Stansfield’s wonder goal.

“Plymouth are in a really good moment. They have got really good momentum, they have a fantastic manager who plays the right way and they’re a fantastic footballing team,” he said.

“They did really well when we weren’t at our best and we knew they’d have a lot of the ball.

“It was a real collective performance in a game where we weren’t good with the ball which was disappointing.

“We need to be better when we have the ball but we were always a threat in transition.

“They had a couple of good chances from balls over the top where John Ruddy pulled off a couple of good saves.

“This was our toughest game of the season but we knew that if we defended our box properly then with our pace we had a chance on the turnover.”

Blues led in the eighth minute when Scott Hogan got ahead of Kaine Kesler-Hayden to slide the ball home from close range after the tricky Koji Miyoshi crossed from the left.

Plymouth equalised on the hour when Morgan Whittaker’s curling left-footed shot was saved by John Ruddy and Ryan Hardie reacted quickest to stab home.

Then came Stansfield’s moment of glory. The former Exeter attacker latched onto fellow substitute Lukas Jutkiewicz’s pass before lobbing Lewis Gibson then lashed a volley into the roof of the net to clinch victory.

Plymouth manager Steven Schumacher said: “I was gutted to lose the game in that fashion in the 95th minute again.

“And after what happened last week (Southampton’s Che Adams scored a 90th-minute winner to win 2-1) I’m devastated.

“Again I thought we played really well but I don’t want to keep saying after games that we did great but got beat – that’s doing my head in.

“But it’s part and parcel of football and we’ve got to learn from our mistakes.

“Today I felt we caused our own problems with that goal in the last minute.”

Schumacher felt if Argyle had stuck to their footballing principles they might not have conceded Stansfield’s wonder goal.

“There were 15 seconds to go and we had a throw-in – all day we’d played them short and controlled possession,” he said.

“This time we threw it short then tried a big diagonal pass and it probably wasn’t on.

“If we’d have kept possession and played it into the corner it would have been game over and we’d have gone home with a point.”

John Eustace was keeping both feet firmly on the ground after goals from substitutes Koji Miyoshi and Lukas Jutkiewicz maintained Birmingham’s impressive start to the Championship campaign.

Miyoshi, a 40th-minute replacement for the injured Ethan Laird, volleyed his first Blues goal in spectacular fashion deep into first-half stoppage time.

And Jutkiewicz settled the outcome six minutes from time with a close-range finish, shortly after being sent on for Keshi Anderson.

Blues boss Eustace said: “It was an outstanding effort by the whole group, but it’s important not to get carried away because this team has still got to grow together.

“Koji Miyoshi came off the bench against Leeds and was really exciting. Today again he showed what an important player he is going be for us.

“He was out for nine months before joining us, so we have to be careful how we manage him. But his talent is there for all to see and he will get better with games.

“We had a few injuries that could have hurt us. Ethan Laird and Siriki Dembele picked up muscle strains, which might have been disruptive.

“But we adapted really well. Juninho Bacuna moved to right-back and looked as if he had played there all his life.

“We set out to be strong and competitive in all areas of the pitch and that was the case throughout the game.

“We paid Bristol respect because Nigel Pearson has been with them for a while now and is building something.

“They are a good side whose strengths we had to counter and to a man the players did their jobs.

“Last season we were beaten here. But this is a new group of players with a new mentality.

“Obviously, the season has started well for us. But we will stay level-headed and keep working hard because the Championship is so competitive that you have to turn up every week.”

The Robins had centre-back Rob Dickie sent off for a second yellow card on 75 minutes and could have no complaints, even though Nahki Wells missed a great chance to level on 82 minutes just before Jutkiewicz’s clincher.

Manager Pearson admitted: “It was a bad day at the office for us. We didn’t play very well.

“We were laboured in our passing and made too many unforced errors, with things like the ball slipping under players’ feet.

“We should have been level at the break but went in a goal down because an individual switched off and didn’t do his job at a set-piece.

“I still believe we are better than we were last season and will do well. We were on the front foot even with 10 men towards the end and missed a great chance to equalise.

“But we didn’t manage the key moments well. You have to take your chances when they come along in the Championship and not concede poor goals because the difference between winning and losing in so many games is very small.

“We are looking at the possibility of doing some business before the transfer deadline, but it will have to be right for the club and in line with what we are building.

“I didn’t go overboard when we won away last week and it’s certainly not all doom and gloom today.”

Goals from substitutes Koji Miyoshi and Lukas Jutkiewicz gave Birmingham a 2-0 Championship away win against a Bristol City side who finished with 10 men.

The visitors took the lead in first-half stoppage time when Keshi Anderson’s corner was not cleared and Miyoshi, just introduced for the injured Ethan Laird, found the roof of the net with a sweet right-footed volley.

The home side’s task became more difficult when centre-back Rob Dickie was shown a second yellow card on 75 minutes for blocking a run by substitute Jordan James, having already been booked for dissent in the first half.

And any hope the home side had of a recovery was snuffed out six minutes from time when Jutkiewicz, introduced on 73 minutes as a replacement for Anderson, converted a low right-wing cross from close range.

Birmingham were good value for a win that maintained their promising start to the season, while inflicting a first defeat on their hosts.

Robins boss Nigel Pearson gave a first start of the season to winger Anis Mehmeti, while Birmingham were unchanged from their 1-0 home victory over Leeds.

Blues made a bright start and their first attack saw Scott Hogan head over from Juninho Bacuna’s left-wing cross.

Defences dominated for much of the first half and chances were at a premium. Siriki Dembele fired over from distance for Birmingham on 21 minutes.

Four minutes later the hosts’ first meaningful goal attempt saw Sam Bell’s shot blocked. Dickie headed over from the resulting corner.

Birmingham looked more dangerous and Max O’Leary had to save a Bacuna shot on 35 minutes. Then came the injury to Laird that saw Miyoshi sent on as a 40th-minute replacement.

The Japanese substitute made an immediate impact, forcing a good save from O’Leary before breaking the deadlock deep into three minutes of injury time.

Both managers made changes at the break, Pearson sending on Haydon Roberts and Mark Sykes for Cameron Pring and Harry Cornick while Blues boss John Eustace introduced James for Dembele.

Bristol City began the second half on the front foot, Zak Vyner failing to make contact with a Mehmeti corner and a Sykes run halted by a foul that earned Lee Buchanan a booking.

But Birmingham soon responded and Bacuna grazed a post with a left-footed shot before Miyoshi sent another effort wide.

Both sides were fully committed but still it was Blues creating more openings as a James shot brought a diving O’Leary save.

Dickie’s dismissal only seemed to fire up the home side and substitute Nahki Wells should have equalised on 82 minutes when shooting wide from Bell’s low cross.

It proved an expensive miss as Jutkiewicz quickly settled the outcome.

Tom Brady is determined to help Birmingham maximise their potential having become minority owner of a club he hopes to help with promotion on and off the field.

Jaws dropped on both sides of the Atlantic when the seven-time Super Bowl winner recently announced he was coming on board at the Championship club.

Brady has entered into a partnership with Birmingham’s new owners Knighthead Capital Management and taken a minority stake, as well as becoming chairman of their new advisory board.

The 46-year-old becomes the latest North American personality to sprinkle stardust on English football, with Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney transforming Wrexham and former NFL star JJ Watt boosting Burnley.

The moves have undoubtedly helped raise those clubs’ profile and Brady hope to do the same, yet he insists his partnership is about more than bringing commercial benefits to Birmingham.

“Those guys have done a good job and I think they’ve done a good job promoting the club,” Brady told the PA news agency.

“I think for me it’s more than promotion. It’s about getting to understand what makes a great, successful team and organisation.

“I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of some of those and to impart some of the things that I’ve learned over those years is part of me beyond my own personal playing career.

“There’s a different part of my career that I’m now starting and it will be deeply meaningful to me.”

Brady was speaking alongside chairman Tom Wagner, who led the takeover of a club that has been through its fair share of difficulties since relegation from the Premier League 12 years ago.

There was therefore an understandable air of hope and excitement on Saturday as Birmingham played their first home game since the new owners came in.

A bouncing St Andrew’s welcomed its biggest crowd since before the pandemic and celebrated the start of a new era in perfect fashion as Lukas Jutkiewicz smashed home a stoppage-time winner against Leeds.

“I would just say that today is just the beginning,” chairman Wagner said after Birmingham’s last-gasp 1-0 win. “What we have planned is well beyond what we’ve done thus far. It’s only been four weeks.

“Tom’s influence here I expect to have an enormous difference because of the quality of the experience that he brings and will bear great fruit in the years ahead.

“We’re really quite excited about what all that means for the club in the longer term.

“We view this as a marathon, not a sprint. I hate using that overused colloquialism but ultimately it really is.

“It’s something that we think really matters and having a long term vision is important.”

The first month has certainly been positive and Brady’s arrival has caught the imagination, with the former quarterback smiling when it was put to him some may see his arrival at Birmingham as a publicity stunt.

“I’ve got a little knowledge about sports!” the most decorated player in NFL history said. “It doesn’t mean I know everything.

“I’ve been in sports for a long time, so I’ve heard a lot of different things over a long period of time.

“Look, I think you’re here to learn and gain information and gain an understanding of why things work and why they don’t work.

“You don’t have all the answers coming over here to understand that, but the only way to do it is to come experience it and see where we can lend a hand to help the club win.”

Brady managed that on his first trip to St Andrew’s, giving the players an inspirational pep talk before they went out to beat recently-relegated Leeds.

Birmingham boss John Eustace said the star’s first day on the ground showed the benefit of his involvement, adding that “the vision that he’s got for the football club is amazing”.

Those lofty ambitions may not be achieved straightaway, but Brady has pledged to do “whatever it takes” to help the Blues flourish.

“I’m a great fan of sports and I see how it brings people together,” the Patriot, Buccaneer and now Bluenose added.

“I played games in this country and the world is global.

“We’re all travelling, we’re all a part of different things and I love sports, and I love teamwork, and I love winning, and I love a passionate fan base.

“I was an underdog myself, so to see a team that maybe hasn’t maximised its potential in a while, to be a part of that is a great opportunity and let’s see what we can make of it.”

Lukas Jutkiewicz smashed home a stoppage-time winner against Leeds as Birmingham celebrated the life of Trevor Francis and the start a new era in front of NFL great Tom Brady.

There has been precious little to cheer about since the Blues’ relegation from the top flight 12 years ago, but the recent takeover led by American businessman Tom Wagner has finally brought hope back to the club.

Brady went onto join as minority owner nine days ago and the former quarterback made his first trip to a rocking St Andrew’s on Saturday as Birmingham secured a 1-0 win.

Substitute Jutkiewicz fired home from the penalty spot at the death in a dramatic end to a drab encounter on an emotional day in the second city.

Birmingham paid a touching tribute to their greatest ever player before-kick-off, with Jasper Carrott leading the tributes to Francis following his death last month.

The comedian said Francis was “a hero, a role model and a symbol of a time when there was real hope in this stadium” – a feeling of hope he felt was now back at St Andrew’s.

The positive feeling around the club brought the biggest crowd since February 2020 but the occasion did not live up to the hype in a poor first half devoid of opportunities.

Both sides improved after the break and pushed hard for a late winner, which went Birmingham’s way after Daniel James brought down Ethan Laird in the box.

Illan Meslier got a foot on Jutkiewicz’s thumping penalty but could not stop it finding the back of the net as seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady celebrated a successful first visit.

The performance, as much as a result, will alarm Daniel Farke’s Leeds – who were without wantaway Willy Gnonto and fellow forward Luis Sinisterra at St Andrew’s.

Neither team did anything of note in a first half that appeared to be impacted by the emotional start to proceedings.

The fact there was only one minute of added time at the end of the opening period highlighted just how uneventful it had been.

The second half began in brighter fashion and City’s Keshi Anderson met a Siriki Dembele cutback with a shot that deflected narrowly wide.

Leeds responded with a James cross-shot that forced John Ruddy into action, before Georginio Rutter saw a fierce drive blocked by Krystian Bielik moments after coming on.

John Eustace’s hosts had a huge chance in the 80th minute but Kevin Long powered a free header from six yards just off target.

Bacuna saw a driven effort held before Birmingham hearts were in mouths as Sam Byram glanced an effort across the face of goal in front of the 2,213 away fans.

But City were pushing hardest for the win and were gifted a chance by James’ late error.

The former Manchester United flyer brought down Laird as he attempted to stop the lively right-back meeting a diagonal ball, with referee Tim Robinson pointing to the spot.

Newly-introduced Jutkiewicz leathered home the penalty and chants of “USA, USA, USA” filled the air as Birmingham saw out victory.

Birmingham Bears booked a home Vitality Blast quarter-final with a two-wicket victory over North Group rivals Notts Outlaws at a damp Trent Bridge.

The Bears were already sure of a place in the knock-out stages after five straight wins, but found themselves in big trouble on seven for four chasing 169 as Pakistan paceman Shaheen Afridi took four wickets in the first over.

However, opener Rob Yates put together a calm 65, with Jacob Bethell and Jake Lintott both making 27, to see them home with five balls to spare.

Although Tom Moores had earlier hit a swift 73, the Outlaws always looked to be under par after being bowled out for 168 in their 20 overs.

The Outlaws now need to beat Leicestershire Foxes at Trent Bridge in their final game to join the Bears in the last eight.

Lancashire Lightning saw their derby showdown against Yorkshire Vikings at Emirates Old Trafford abandoned without a ball bowled because of heavy rain.

With the points shared, second-placed Lancashire are still not secure of progression, but Yorkshire miss out having needed victory to keep their hopes of qualification alive.

Worcestershire’s match against Durham ended in a tie on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern after bad light brought an early end at New Road.

Durham opener Graham Clark had made 78 from 47 balls with Michael Jones (39), Brydon Carse (39) and Ashton Turner (33 not out) also making useful contributions in their side’s 216 for four.

The Rapids were 112 for three after 11 overs, with New Zealander Mitchell Santner making a swift 42 and Adam Hose unbeaten on 16.

With a point each, Durham’s quarter-final hopes are over, while the Rapids need to win at Derbyshire on Sunday to progress.

Tom Wood struck a maiden T20 century to drive Derbyshire Falcons to a 71-run win over Leicestershire Foxes which keeps their qualification hopes alive.

Wood smashed an unbeaten 110 – with 12 fours and four sixes from 57 balls – while fellow opener Harry Came made 56 as the Falcons posted 231 for four, their highest T20 total.

Peter Handscomb lead the Foxes’ reply with 61, but Zaman Khan took three for 27 as Leicestershire finished 160 all out.

Derbyshire now need to beat Worcestershire to have a chance of making the quarter-finals.

Tom Banton’s fine 84 helped South Group leaders Somerset pull off an 18-run win over Surrey at the Oval.

Somerset, who had already secured a home quarter-final, made 208 for five after being put in to bat.

New Zealand duo Matt Henry (four for 30) and Ish Sodhi (three for 33) then helped limit Surrey to 190 for nine in reply, leaving them needing to beat Essex to stay in the mix for the runners-up spot.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Hampshire Cricket (@hantscricket)


At the Ageas Bowl, Australian Ben McDermott struck 54 to put defending champions Hampshire Hawks in prime position for a quarter-final spot with a 21-run DLS win over Glamorgan.

Hampshire reached 97 for two in 9.2 overs before a rain delay, and Glamorgan were set 83 in six overs.

Despite Colin Ingram’s quickfire 34, good defensive bowling saw Glamorgan restricted to 54 for one as Hampshire moved level with Surrey in second place on 16 points.

Ravi Bopara’s fine century helped Sussex Sharks beat Kent Spitfires by 11 runs in another rain-hit match at Canterbury.

Bopara made his highest T20 score of 108 as Sussex posted a formidable 228 for seven.

In reply, Kent were 31 for one when heavy rain set in, and a revised DLS target was set of 129 from 10 overs.

Although Alex Blake made 30 and Jordan Cox an unbeaten 37, it always looked a tough run chase, and the hosts finished on 117 for four.

Middlesex beat Essex by two wickets in a high-scoring clash at Chelmsford to dent the Eagles hopes of making the quarter-finals.

All-rounder Ryan Higgins hit a swift 61 and Martin Andersson’s unbeaten 24 saw Middlesex home in the final over, despite Matt Critchley’s career-best five for 28.

Essex had made 225 for six, with 69 not out from Daniel Sams, but now head to the Oval on Sunday needing victory over Surrey to stand any chance of progress.

Jelena Ostapenko won her second title on grass with victory over Barbora Krejcikova in the final of the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham.

In a battle of the top two seeds, it was the second seed who came out on top, with Ostapenko triumphing 7-6 (8) 6-4.

It was the Latvian’s first title since Dubai last February and her first on grass since Eastbourne in 2021.

Ostapenko clinched a very tight first set on her fourth set point in the tie-break after saving one chance for Krejcikova and moved to the brink of victory at 5-1 in the second set.

Czech Krejcikova, who will return to the top 10 on Monday, threatened a comeback, winning three games in a row, but Ostapenko made it across the line.

“She’s a really great player and congrats to her and her team,” said the 26-year-old, who has survived several close battles this week.

“I was really close from 5-1 to 5-4 but then I managed somehow and I’m really, really happy about it. I was fighting every match. I played five great matches, this was the only match in two sets. It’s a great preparation for Wimbledon and there’s still a couple of things I can do better.”

Krejcikova, who was playing her first final on grass, did not drop a set until the final and felt losing the first-set tie-break was crucial to the outcome.

“She’s playing well,” said the top seed. “I’m disappointed but that’s tennis. (The tie-break) was maybe the key to the match because when you play the first set that long and you are up, down, up, down all the time – I was very unfortunate.

“I definitely had a great week. It was really nice to be here, I really enjoyed it. It’s special to play on a centre court and to enjoy the support. I’m definitely looking forward to coming back.”

Trinidadian defending World Indoor 400m Champion Jereem Richards was the lone Caribbean winner at the 2023 World Indoor Tour Final at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham on Saturday.

Richards, who ran a personal best 45.00 to win the World title in Belgrade in 2022, ran a season’s best 45.74 for victory in the Men’s 400m ahead of the USA’s Vernon Norwood (45.92) and Ireland’s Jack Rafferty (46.66).

This was the Trinidadian’s second win in a row after. He ran 45.84 to win at the Millrose Games on February 11.

Elsewhere, 2019 World Champion Tajay Gayle jumped a season’s best 8.13m for second in the long jump, won by the USA’s Marquis Dendy with 8.28m. American William Williams was third with 8.03m.

2022 World 200m Champion Shericka Jackson ran 7.18 to finish fourth in the 60m behind the British pair of Dina Asher-Smith (7.05) and Darryl Neita (7.12). The USA’s Destiny Smith-Barnett finished third in 7.15. Asher-Smith’s time broke her own British record.


Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls crushed their Caribbean rivals Barbados Gems 103-24 to go 3-0 in their 2022 Commonwealth Games campaign on Monday.

Page 1 of 2
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.