Anderson ignores whitewash talk

England seamer James Anderson insists the squad are not entertaining thoughts of a 5-0 whitewash over Australia ahead of the third Investec Ashes Test.

Having dominated the series so far with victories at Trent Bridge and Lord’s, the talk now is of a clean sweep over the tourists.

But as Emirates Old Trafford prepares to host its first Ashes clash since the memorable draw of 2005 – when 10th-wicket pair Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath survived the final four overs – Anderson stressed the hosts were concentrating only on the job in hand.

England to face old enemy in World Cup

England have been drawn in the same group as Australia for the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and two qualifying nations will join the Ashes rivals in Pool A of the 14-team tournament.

South Africa, defending champions India, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and a qualifier will compete in Pool B.

England and Australia will meet on the opening day of the competition at Melbourne on February 14.

Durham still alive after triumph

Durham Dynamos completed their Friends Life t20 programme with a fourth successive win when beating Derbyshire Falcons by 37 runs at the Emirates Durham ICG.

The Dynamos must now wait to discover whether they have qualified for the quarter-finals as one of the two best third-placed teams.

Durham were penalised 0.25 points for a salary-cap breach last season, leaving them third in the division on 11.75.

Anderson looks forward to homecoming

James Anderson is relishing the prospect of playing an Ashes Test on his home ground for the first time.

Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen are the only current England players to have experienced a Test against Australia in Manchester, the middle-order batsmen having featured in the thrilling draw of 2005.

Although Anderson was very much on England’s radar at that time – he had already earned 12 Test caps and was brought into the squad for the series finale at the Oval but did not feature – his only five-day matches at Old Trafford to date have been against West Indies, New Zealand and Bangladesh.

Flt20 reaches crunch stage

Half of the quarter-finalists in the Friends Life t20 may be decided this evening in the final round of Friday fixtures.

North Group sides Notts Outlaws and Lancashire Lightning could each qualify tonight, even though the latter are not in action.

Northants Steelbacks have the opportunity to secure their progression from the Midlands/Wales/West Group.

In addition, the winner of the match between South Group rivals Hampshire Royals and Essex Eagles could make it through with time to spare depending on the outcome of Surrey’s encounter with Kent Spitfires.