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.

Australia must dig deep – McGrath

Australia great Glenn McGrath has urged Michael Clarke’s tourists to roll their sleeves up and make sure they do everything in their power to turn things around in the Investec Ashes.

A dominant 347-run victory at Lord’s put England 2-0 up in the five-match rubber and in a position to seal the series in the third Test at Emirates Old Trafford, which starts a week today.

Mature Root similar to Cook – Gooch

Graham Gooch sees a little bit of Alastair Cook’s gold-dust batsmanship already in England’s brightest young thing Joe Root.

It was former England captain and current batting coach Gooch, as Cook’s mentor at Essex, who famously nurtured the talent which has taken his protege to the top tier of international cricket.

Cook has gone on to surpass even Gooch himself, among others, as England’s most prolific Test centurion of all time.

Glamorgan back to winning ways

Glamorgan resurrected their hopes of reaching the Friends Life t20 quarter-finals with a tight victory over Worcestershire Royals at the SWALEC Stadium.

The hosts were indebted to half-centuries from Murray Goodwin and Jim Allenby as well as a match-winning cameo from Ben Wright, the trio helping chase 158 to secure a five-wicket triumph.

Glamorgan went into the match having lost three on the trot after winning all four of their first group games.