2019 Ashes series

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2019 Ashes series
Part of Australian cricket team in England in 2019
2019 Ashes logo.png
Logo of the 2019 Ashes series
Date1 August–16 September 2019
LocationEngland
Teams
 England  Australia
Captains
Joe Root Tim Paine
Most runs
Most wickets
2021–22 →

The 2019 Ashes Series (officially the Specsavers Ashes Series for sponsorship reasons[1]) is a series of Test cricket matches being played between England and Australia for The Ashes. The venues are Edgbaston, Lord's, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval.[2] Australia are the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2017–18. The series began later than previous series in England and Wales due to the 2019 Cricket World Cup, which took place in England and Wales between May and July. It is the first Test series of the inaugural 2019–21 ICC World Test Championship.[3][4] During the second Test match a concussion substitute was used for the first time in international cricket.

Background[edit]

The 2019 Ashes series began with Australia leading England by 33 series to 32, with five drawn series. Australia had won four of the last 10 Ashes series, including winning the most recent series 4–0 in 2017–18,[5] but the 2015 series, the last to be held in England, was won 3–2 by the home side.[6]

No visiting team had won an Ashes series since England defeated Australia 3–1 away in 2010–11. Furthermore, Australia last won an Ashes series in England in 2001. The two teams previously met in one warm-up game and two ODI matches in the Cricket World Cup held in England and Wales in the previous months, with Australia winning the warm-up game at the Rose Bowl by 12 runs and the group stage match convincingly by 64 runs at Lord’s. In their semi final rematch, England had their own convincing win by eight wickets with 107 balls to spare, en route to winning the tournament for the first time.

Australia's last two Test series before the Ashes were played against India and Sri Lanka during the home summer season of 2018–19. Although India won their tour series 2–1, the first time India had won a Test series in Australia,[7] Australia recovered to win the Test series against Sri Lanka 2–0.[8]

Prior to the Ashes series, Australia had its top-order batsmen David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft available for international selection, who were banned from playing international cricket for 9–12 months due to the 2018 Australian ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town against South Africa.[9] All three cricketers were named in Australia's squad for the 2019 Ashes.[10]

Meanwhile, England warmed up for the 2019 Ashes with a Test series earlier in the year against the West Indies and a one-off Test against Ireland in July. The tour of the West Indies comprised three matches and was won 2–1 by the West Indies.[11] England also won the one-off Test against Ireland, by 143 runs.[12]

Ahead of the series, it was announced that the second day of the Lord’s Test would benefit the Ruth Strauss Foundation to fight cancer. Born Ruth Macdonald in Australia, and the wife of England's Ashes-winning captain Andrew Strauss, had died on 29 December 2018 from a rare form of lung cancer. Both teams wore red caps, with the stumps also red, and fans were also encouraged to wear red. Australia already had a similar tradition – the Jane McGrath Day is the third day of the Sydney Test during the traditional New Years Test time slot, in honour of the English-born wife of Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath, who died from breast cancer, only with pink replacing red, and the proceeds benefiting the McGrath Foundation.[13]

Squads[edit]

On 26 July 2019, Australia announced a 17-man touring party for the Ashes series.[14] England announced their squad for the first Test on 27 July.[15]

 England[16]  Australia[17]

1 Jack Leach was added to England's squad for the second Test, with Moeen Ali being dropped.[18]

Matches[edit]

First Test[edit]

1–5 August 2019
Scorecard
v
284 (80.4 overs)
Steve Smith 144 (219)
Stuart Broad 5/86 (22.4 overs)
374 (135.5 overs)
Rory Burns 133 (312)
Pat Cummins 3/84 (33 overs)
487/7d (112 overs)
Steve Smith 142 (207)
Ben Stokes 3/85 (22 overs)
146 (52.3 overs)
Chris Woakes 37 (54)
Nathan Lyon 6/49 (20 overs)
Australia won by 251 runs
Edgbaston, Birmingham
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pak) and Joel Wilson (WI)
Player of the match: Steve Smith (Aus)
  • Australia won the toss and elected to bat.
  • Stuart Broad (Eng) took his 100th wicket in The Ashes in the first innings of the match,[19] and his 450th wicket in Test cricket in the second innings.[20]
  • Rory Burns (Eng) scored his maiden Test century.[21]
  • Steve Smith (Aus) scored his ninth and tenth centuries in the Ashes, and his 24th and 25th centuries in Tests.[22]
  • Pat Cummins (Aus) took his 100th wicket in Test cricket.[23]
  • Nathan Lyon (Aus) took his 350th wicket in Test cricket.[23]
  • This was the first time since 2005 that Australia had won the opening Test of an Ashes series in England, and their first win at Edgbaston since 2001.[24]
  • World Test Championship points: Australia 24, England 0.

Day one[edit]

The first morning of the Ashes saw Stuart Broad take the wickets of both openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, both (along with Steve Smith) returning to the Test format for the first time since their suspension for a ball-tempering incident in 2018. Warner was the first gone, leg before wicket in the fourth over, while Bancroft was caught behind just four overs later. Despite the early breakthrough, all was not tidy for England as James Anderson, recovering from an injury, bowled only four overs in the session, and while he came back on the field, it was reported at the interval that he was suffering from tightness to his right calf, and he was off the field for a scan in the afternoon.[25] Usman Khawaja was given out after drinks thanks to a review, caught by Bairstow on a thin edge. Despite this setback, Steve Smith and Travis Head managed to hold on until lunch, leaving Australia 83 for three at the break.[26][27]

The first hour after lunch saw the fall of four wickets, due to good efforts by Broad and Woakes, with Head the first to go, leg before wicket to Woakes after a not out decision was referred to the third umpire, the fourth wicket partnership having stood for 64 runs. Matthew Wade was the next man in, but he was soon dismissed in similar fashion. Tim Paine was caught at deep square leg after a "horror shot", and James Pattinson fell two balls later for a duck, leaving Australia 112 for seven at the end of the 40th over. Pat Cummins fell shortly thereafter with the total at 122, but Australia scampered through to tea at 154 for eight, Smith unbeaten on 66.[26][27]

The final session's start was delayed by 20 minutes because of the weather. Peter Siddle and Smith then shared an 88 run partnership, before Siddle was dismissed 6 runs short of a half-century. Smith then managed to keep the strike for the better part of a dozen overs, reaching a century in the process as the fielders were spread out on the boundary, but he was dismissed on the first over of the new ball, having reached 144 runs on his return to Test cricket, lifting Australia to a respectable 284 all out after being 122 for eight, as Nathan Lyon was 12 not out.[26][28]

This left England's openers two overs to navigate before close of play, which they batted out to a score of 10 without loss.[27]

Day two[edit]

The second day's morning saw the wicket of Jason Roy fall, caught behind at slips on a delivery from Pattinson. Joe Root and Rory Burns managed to play out the rest of the session without loss, despite a scare after drinks as Root was beaten by a ball which hit the wicket but failed to dislodge the bails, and was given out after the ball was caught behind, but a review showed the only contact was with the off stump. This left England on 71 for one at the break, wearing down Australia's bowlers but getting little return for their troubles in terms of runs.[29]

After lunch, both English batsmen piled on the runs on a pitch that was becoming more batsmen friendly.[26][29] Root was then given out leg before wicket to Siddle, but the review this time showed he made contact, and the on field decision was overturned. Burns would soon reach a half-century, Root shortly following suit. He was finally out caught and bowled to Siddle before tea, having stood for a 132-run third wicket partnership. New man in Joe Denly stuck around until the end of the session, England 170 for two with Burns 18 runs away from a first Test century.[29]

The evening session saw the umpires decide to replace the ball after the 60th over. The "new" (but still used) ball saw off Denly and Buttler, England now 194 for four.[26] A few overs later, Burns reached his maiden Test century, becoming the first English opener to score a hundred in the first Test of an Ashes series since Graham Gooch in 1993.[26] Burns and Ben Stokes survived the reminder of the extended final session, building a 73-run partnership, as Travis Head and Matthew Wade were brought in to bowl a few overs before the new ball, which claimed no victim by the close of play, England 267 for four, trailing Australia by 17 runs.[29]

Day three[edit]

As play resumed on the third morning, England caught up to Australia's total, Stokes reaching a half-century before being dismissed by Cummins on an edge to the wicket keeper on the next ball he faced, the fifth wicket having stood for 88 runs. Shortly after drinks, Nathan Lyon was the next man to strike for Australia, taking Burns' wicket and dismissing Moeen Ali for a duck in the same over. Bairstow was out to Siddle in the next over, Australia having taken three wickets in the space of 11 balls. Woakes and Broad survived the half-hour left until lunch to put England on 328 for eight, the game in the balance as Australia had limited their first innings deficit to only 44 runs at that point.[26][30]

During the break, there were good news for England as it was confirmed that Anderson, injured on the first day, would be able to bat, and he even bowled in the nets during the interval. Broad and Woakes built a 65-run partnership, surviving until drinks, after which Broad was caught on a short delivery from Cummins. Anderson came in to bat, but was out shortly before the scheduled time for tea, England all out for 374 (a lead of 90 runs), with the innings break leading to the interval being taken early.[30] Concerns over Anderson's fitness were again apparent as he "wasn't moving well between the wickets",[26] and when the teams were back on the field in the final session, he was absent.[30]

With 44 overs scheduled, the evening session began with the early wicket of Warner, after a review saw him off caught behind off of Broad in the third over, his aggregate first and second innings total of 10 runs being his 3rd lowest Test total when batting twice. Ali was the next to strike, removing Bancroft and almost getting Khawaja in the same over as the latter was dropped by Jos Buttler at second slip.[26] Khawaja was finally out on Ben Stokes's second ball, having stood a 48 run third wicket partnership with Smith, who again looked in top form despite being struck by a bouncer later on, which prompted the intervention of team doctors in light of new concussion protocols. Bad light stopped play just after six o'clock, 31 overs having been bowled, with Australia 124 for 3 at the close, leading by 34 runs with Smith unbeaten on 46, with Travis Head also contributing 21 runs to the total.[26][30]

Day four[edit]

The following morning saw a good session for Australia as Smith and Head put up a partnership century before drinks, Smith already with a half-century. England's potential chase became more and more uncomfortable throughout the session, despite a few scares for the batsmen.[31] Head fell just before lunch, having put up a half-century of his own in the 130-run fourth wicket stand. England's bowling attack, lacking Anderson who was out of it for the reminder of the match,[32] did not pick up another wicket by the interval and Australia, at 231 for four, was in a strong position, having extended its lead to 141 runs, and with first innings centurion Smith two runs short of another century.[26]

The afternoon session began with Smith raising his century, becoming only the fifth Australian to get two in an Ashes Test. With the 80th over approaching, Wade raised his own half-century as England was "out of options", with Root, Denly and Ali having spells, which resulted in a few close calls, and a leg before wicket appeal against Smith which was deemed not out after an England review. In the first over of the new ball, Wade was given out, but a successful review saw the decision overturned. Australia finally lost a wicket in the next over as Smith was finally out caught for 142, becoming only the fourth batsmen to score more than 140 in both innings of a Test, though whether this would be a sufficient advantage for Australia was yet to be seen.[26][31] The fifth wicket having stood for 126 runs, skipper Tim Paine was the man in for the few overs left until tea, by which point Australia were 356 for five with a comfortable lead of 266 runs.[26]

The evening session saw Wade get a century of his own, the Australian lead now extended to over 300 runs. Paine was found not out after an England review for leg before wicket, but the sixth wicket partnership, having stood for 76 runs, was broken in the next over as Wade was caught at deep backward square. Paine was bowled by Ali an over later, offering hints of a collapse, but Pattinson and Cummins, both unbeaten, then added 78 runs before the Australian side declared on 487 for seven, leaving England a target of 398.[31]

With seven overs left in the day, England's openers were brought out to bat, safely going through them for 13 runs, with their chances of winning slim, short of them "pulling off a miracle".[31]

Day five[edit]

The final morning saw Burns become only the fourth England batsmen to bat on all five days of a Test, but this accolade meant little when he was dismissed early, caught by Lyon at gully, off of Cummins' bowling. Joe Root was then given out leg before wicket twice, but the decision was overturned on review both times, marking yet more poor umpiring decisions in this match.[26][33][34] Root then stood with Roy until drinks, but the latter was bowled after playing a rash shot at a delivery from Lyon, for a 41-run second wicket partnership. Denly was in and out before lunch, the review not saving him this time, as Lyon struck again and had him caught at short leg. Buttler came in and survived a leg before wicket review by Australia, but Root was dismissed by Lyon 10 minutes before lunch, England 85 for four at the break, after a session which was deemed to be "Australia's morning",[34] thanks mostly to Lyon's contribution.[26]

The afternoon was again fruitful for Australia, as Buttler was bowled by Cummins in the first over after the interval. Bairstow was next to fall, becoming Cummins' 100th Test wicket after unsuccessfully reviewing a caught behind decision on a ball which bounced off his wrist. Lyon struck on the next ball, removing Stokes for his 350th wicket,[26] becoming the fourth Australian to do so, joining Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Dennis Lillee as England were in the midst of a collapse.[35] Chris Woakes managed to slow Australia's progress until after drinks, striking boundaries and surviving a review for lbw, but Ali was then dismissed for Lyon's fifth wicket of the innings, falling to the Australian spinner for the ninth time in 11 innings. England were now in a precarious position, which was not helped by Broad falling for a golden duck, leaving Lyon on a hat-trick ball against Anderson, who however survived it.[34] Woakes was dropped by Smith at second slip a few overs later on a ball that rolled on to the boundary, as dark clouds loomed over the ground. The game was nevertheless finished before tea as Smith successfully caught Woakes two overs later, Australia coming back from being 122 for eight in their first innings to win by 251 runs and take a 1–0 Ashes lead, winning at Edgbaston for the first time since 2001.[34][35]

Steve Smith was named man of the match after scoring a century in each innings.[35]

Aftermath[edit]

After the end of the match, it was confirmed that because of his calf injury, James Anderson would be ruled out of the second Test, and would probably miss the third encounter too.[36] Any further participation in the series was also uncertain, with Jofra Archer expected to replace him.[37] England captain Joe Root nevertheless refused to blame anybody, saying that Anderson had passed all fitness tests before the Test and that his selection for the match had been unanimous. England's pace bowling options remained limited for further tests, however, as potential replacement Olly Stone was also injured in training.[38] Despite troubling performances by other members of the side, including Buttler, Bairstow and Ali, Root did not wish to make any "shotgun decisions" and noted that despite the team's inconsistency, England were far from being out of contention.[39] England's prioritisation of white ball cricket was also put in a bad light after disappointing performances by players more accustomed to the playing conditions of ODIs than Tests.[40]

Australian skipper Tim Paine noted that Anderson's exclusion had deprived England of one of the world's best bowlers, and that his side's confidence grew as a result.[39] However, he also warned against becoming complacent, making parallels with Australia's performance in preceding tours against India, South Africa and Pakistan, where they "[jumped] the gun with an emphatic win only to surrender a high-profile series".[41] In the meantime, Australia played a three-day tour match against Worcestershire, which, as a result of rain washing out most of the final day, was drawn.[42]

Criticism was directed at umpires, who had a total of ten of their decisions overturned in the course of the game, with former Australia captain Ricky Ponting suggesting that ICC's requirements of neutral umpires should be waived in the future, to reduce umpire workload and fatigue. Root, however, noted that players and umpires, both under pressure to perform, make mistakes, and that over-criticism and blame games should be avoided.[43] The idea, which had already surfaced before, had also been opposed by the umpires themselves, who "[were] happier to accept criticism of their decision-making on a basis of skills, conditions, eyesight - just about anything so long as they are not regarded as biased towards one side".[44]

Second Test[edit]

14–18 August 2019
Scorecard
v
258 (77.1 overs)
Rory Burns 53 (127)
Josh Hazlewood 3/58 (22 overs)
250 (94.3 overs)
Steve Smith 92 (161)
Stuart Broad 4/65 (27.3 overs)
258/5d (71 overs)
Ben Stokes 115* (165)
Pat Cummins 3/35 (17 overs)
154/6 (47.3 overs)
Marnus Labuschagne 59 (100)
Jofra Archer 3/32 (15 overs)
Match drawn
Lord's, London
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pak) and Chris Gaffaney (NZ)
Player of the match: Ben Stokes (Eng)
  • Australia won the toss and elected to field.
  • No play was possible on day 1 due to rain. No play was possible after lunch on day 3 due to rain. Start of play was delayed on day 5 due to rain.
  • Jofra Archer (Eng) made his Test debut.
  • Aleem Dar equalled the record for the most Test matches umpired with 128.[45]
  • Steve Smith (Aus) was replaced on day 5 by Marnus Labuschagne, after suffering a concussion on the previous day. This was the first such substitution in a Test match.[46]
  • World Test Championship points: Australia 8, England 8.

Day one[edit]

The first day of the second Test was washed out because of intermittent rain which prevented the ground from drying and the toss from taking place, leaving four extended days, weather permitting, to complete the match.[47]

Day two[edit]

Play began on the second day with England's openers sent in to bat in the morning session. Australia struck in the second over, Jason Roy out for a three-ball duck, caught by Paine off of Hazlewood's bowling, the latter returning to the Test side after not being selected for Edgbaston. Joe Root then came in, but he was trapped leg before wicket by Hazlewood, leaving England at 26 for two. Denly, the new man-in, was hit by a bouncer in the next over, leading to an early drinks break. Nevertheless, he and Rory Burns survived until lunch, contributing a 50-run partnership to rebuild England's innings after the early wickets. This left the home team at 76 for two at the interval.[48][49]

The second session saw Denly caught behind by Tim Paine off of Hazlewood, before Burns reached a half-century. His wicket fell shortly thereafter, however, thanks to a splendid catch at short leg by Bancroft, off of Cummins' bowling. Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes were the next to fall, leaving England 138 for 6 with less than an hour to go until tea. Australia reviewed for lbw against Bairstow a few overs before the interval, but this turned out to be a poor decision and the England batsmen did not lose any more wickets until the break, by which point they were 201 for 6.[48]

The extended evening session, with 37 overs scheduled over two and a half hours, first saw Woakes caught behind on a ball that grazed his glove, and the review did not overturn the on-field decision. England's remaining wickets then fell quickly, with Archer and Broad the next victims. Bairstow reached the 50-run milestone, but he was soon gone, England all out for 258.[48]

This left a theoretical 18 overs in just under an hour for England's bowlers. Warner was the first to fall, in just the fifth over, for his third single-digit figure of the series. However, Bancroft and Khawaja survived eight more overs until the close of play to bring the Australia score to 30 for one.[48]

Day three[edit]

The third morning saw 24.1 overs of play, the second wicket pushing the score to 60 before Bancroft was leg before wicket to Archer. Khawaja edged behind off of Woakes in the next over, and Head did not last long as he was lbw to Broad, Australia 71 for four. Stokes then appealed for another lbw against Wade, but the on-field decision was overturned and Australia lost no further wicket until rain interrupted the proceedings shortly before lunch, the total now being 80 for four.[50] The weather remained inclement throughout the afternoon and the evening, and no further play was possible.[50]

Day four[edit]

Play resumed on the fourth day with Smith and Wade at the crease. Wade was caught at slips off of a delivery by Broad shortly before drinks, but Paine survived with Smith until lunch, the latter reaching a half-century to bring to Australia total to 155 for five at the break, with England failing to make a breakthrough despite a few close calls.[51]

The sixth wicket partnership was however broken after the interval as Paine edged the ball to Buttler off of Archer. Smith was then hit on the arm by a short delivery from Archer a few overs later, but was given the green light to continue after an intervention by team doctors. A review for lbw against Cummins was soon struck down as Archer continued to put pressure on the Australian batsmen. However, Smith had to retire hurt after being hit by a bouncer directly in the neck, falling on the ground temporarily before walking off the field unassisted after having a chat with the team doctor. New man-in Siddle lasted only a few overs, failing to reach a double-digit score, at which point Smith was brought back in. However, he was soon out leg before wicket to Woakes after an unsuccessful review. Australia's tailenders were out before tea to leave the team on 250 all out, with England's second innings to begin after the interval.[51]

Cummins struck early by removing Roy and then getting England captain Root for a golden duck, but Denly survived the hat-trick ball. This led to a 55-run fourth wicket partnership, which ended with Denly caught and bowled by Siddle. Burns would fall next, but Buttler survived until late in the session when rain stopped play for the day with England 96 for four.[51]

Day five[edit]

The final day was again affected by rain as the start was delayed until just after noon. As the players came back on the field, there was confirmation that Steve Smith, struck by a bouncer the previous day, would not come back to the match. He was substituted by Marnus Labuschagne,[52][53] who became the first concussion substitute in Test cricket after the ICC's decision to allow such replacements.[54] Smith would later be ruled out of the third Test at Headingley.[55]

England's fifth wicket stood for the reminder of the morning session as Ben Stokes reached a half-century, unbeaten on 51 at the interval with England at 157 for four. Buttler was caught by Hazlewood off of Cummins soon after lunch, but Bairstow played on with Stokes until the latter reached a century, at which point England declared on 285 for five. This left Australia a target of 267 runs to win off of a scheduled 50 overs, nevertheless leaving England with an outside chance to bowl their opposition out.[52]

Ben Stokes was named man of the match after scoring a century in the second innings.[52]

Third Test[edit]

22–26 August 2019
Scorecard
v
179 (52.1 overs)
Marnus Labuschagne 74 (129)
Jofra Archer 6/45 (17.1 overs)
67 (27.5 overs)
Joe Denly 12 (49)
Josh Hazlewood 5/30 (12.5 overs)
246 (75.2 overs)
Marnus Labuschagne 80 (187)
Ben Stokes 3/56 (24.2 overs)
156/3 (72 overs)
Joe Root 75* (189)
Josh Hazlewood 2/35 (18 overs)
Stumps, Day 3
Headingley, Leeds
Umpires: Chris Gaffaney (NZ) and Joel Wilson (WI)
  • England won the toss and elected to field.
  • Jofra Archer (Eng) took his first five-wicket haul in Tests.[56]
  • England's score of 67 was their lowest against Australia in the Ashes since 1948.[57]
  • Rain delayed the start of play, and shortened both the morning and the afternoon sessions on day one.

Day one[edit]

Rain delayed the toss in the morning and play started shortly after noon with lunch delayed to half past one. Only 4 overs could be completed before rain again interrupted after the wicket of Harris, Australia 12 for one. Lunch was taken early, but rain did not allow for resumption of play until 2 o'clock. Khawaja was then caught after England went upstairs, but only 9.5 overs were possible before rain again prevented continuation. A few more overs were possible before bad light stopped play, with the tea interval also taken early as Australia were 54 for two.[58]

The evening session was unaffected by rain, and Australia's third wicket stood for 111 runs before Warner, having previously successfully overturned an on-field decision, was caught off of Archer. After this, Australia, on 136 for three, collapsed to 179 all out by the close. Archer claimed five more victims to end the innings with figures of six for 45 in his second Test match.[58]

Day two[edit]

The second day was played in sunny conditions, but this did not prevent England having a bad performance with the bat, with Denly the only batsman to reach double digits, as he scored 12 after surviving an overturned lbw decision, England falling to 54 for six at the interval, with the Ashes "hanging by a thread".[59]

The England debacle continued after lunch, with Woakes out on the first ball of the afternoon session, the final three wickets then falling in quick succession as the home side was 67 all out, with Hazlewood picking up a five wicket haul for he visitors.[59]

The dismal batting performance of both teams, the last 18 wickets having fallen for 110 runs, appeared to continue into the second Australia innings as Warner was lbw for a duck in the second over. Harris and Khawaja added 26 runs to the total, surviving a review for lbw, before Harris was bowled by Leach. Khawaja was soon caught by Roy at second slip off of Woakes, and Australia were 82 for three at tea.[59]

After the interval, the fourth wicket stood for 46 runs after Labuschagne was dropped. Head was out with Australia on 97 for four, but Wade and Labuschagne built a 66-run partnership after surviving multiple reviews. Wade, and then Australia skipper Paine were given out shortly before stumps, as Labuschagne reached a half-century to put Australia on 171 for six, a lead of 283.[59]

Fourth Test[edit]

4–8 September 2019
Scorecard
v

Fifth Test[edit]

12–16 September 2019
Scorecard
v

Broadcasting[edit]

Country Television broadcaster(s) Radio broadcaster(s)
 Australia Nine Network[60] ABC Radio Grandstand
 United Kingdom
 Ireland
Sky Sports[61] BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

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