(ESPNCricinfo) – After months of pain-staking preparation, cricket’s long-awaited return was held up not by bio-security protocols, the addition of saliva to a ball or a shortage of hand sanitiser – but by the weather. Perhaps it was inevitable after months of sunshine in the UK that rain and bad light would play their all-too-familiar parts, but that did little to lessen the disappointment as only 17.4 overs were possible at the Ageas Bowl.During the three small windows of play possible, England dug in after stand-in captain Ben Stokes won the toss and chose to bat, as Rory Burns and Joe Denly led the recovery after the loss of Dom Sibley only 10 balls into the innings. It looked like a good toss to lose, with overcast skies offering assistance for seamers but the pitch seemingly slowish underneath a firmer top.Jason Holder said he was “not too disheartened” to be bowling first and asked for “discipline” from his bowlers, after opting to pick an extra batsman in Jermaine Blackwood and fielding four frontline quicks including himself.So, 117 days after the last ball in international cricket – a Pat Cummins bouncer which Trent Boult slashed at to offer a steepling return catch in Sydney – Burns defended Kemar Roach into the off side to get proceedings underway, but in all the teams managed just 82 minutes of action.The delayed start offered a chance for Sky – whose £1.1 billion, five-year broadcast deal had given the ECB such an imperative to get this series on – to show off all the new toys in their coverage. Those included a new Big Brother-style diary room for mid-match player interactions and the robot that filled in for a presenter at the toss, but the build-up was primarily dominated by more important issues.Michael Holding and Ebony Rainford-Brent spoke candidly and openly about their experiences of racism, and players and staff from both teams took a knee before Kemar Roach’s first ball, as a sign of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. England wore the names of key workers on their training shirts, and observed a minute’s silence to remember both those who died during the pandemic and the late Sir Everton Weekes.If there were any concerns that the unprecedented circumstances might in some way distract players from the task at hand, West Indies’ opening bowlers made sure that England’s top order were unable to lose focus. Roach started immaculately, finding hints of movement, while in his first over Shannon Gabriel jagged a length ball in off the seam which Sibley ill-advisedly left alone, turning round to see his off stump pegged back.Gabriel’s opening burst was slightly wayward at times, but despite his status as a late addition to the squad after being asked to prove he had overcome his ankle injury, he regularly hit 90mph/145kph and found late movement as the ball passed the bat.He nearly accounted for Denly in his fifth over, who edged him with hard hands through the vacant fourth-slip reason for four, while Roach nagged away from the Hotel End, landing the ball on a sixpence in the off-stump channel.Burns and Denly found scoring slightly easier against Alzarri Joseph – included ahead of Rahkeem Cornwall as West Indies decided to back Roston Chase as their only main spin option – before bad light intervened around teatime. A combination of drizzle and dark cloud kept the teams off the pitch until the umpires eventually decided they had seen enough just before 18.15hrs.The main talking point overnight had been Stuart Broad’s omission from the England team, which Ben Stokes admitted had been “a very tough decision” as he opted to partner Mark Wood with Jofra Archer for the first time in Test cricket.Broad and Chris Woakes, the other man to miss out from England’s 13-man squad, “took it like champions” according to Stokes, presumably in the knowledge that an opportunity would arise later in the series. James Anderson described England’s schedule – which features six Tests in the space of seven weeks – as “gruelling”, and rotation will be an inevitable feature of the summer.There was almost a breach of social-distancing protocols as soon as the coin had landed at the toss when Stokes’ attempted fist bump was met by Holder’s handshake, but with so little time in the middle it was hard to draw any conclusions about the new normal.The broadcasters pumped in a low-level hum of crowd noise, which was conspicuous only when it failed to turn into a ripple of polite applause after each boundary, but the ICC’s ban on the use of saliva may only be noticed when the ball gets older.SCOREBOARD ENGLAND 1st InningsR Burns not out 20D Sibley b Gabriel 0J Denley not out 14Extras (nb1) 1TOTAL (wkt 1, 17.4 overs) 35Fall of wicket: 1-0 (Sibley).To bat: Z Crawley, O Pope, *B Stokes, +J Buttler, J Anderson, J Archer, D Bess, M Wood.Bowling: Roach 6-4-2-0, Gabriel 5-1-19-1, Joseph 3.4-1-11-0, Holder 3-1-3-0.WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel.UMPIRES: Richard Kettleborough, Richard Illingworth; TV – Michael Gough.
Manager Koeman said on Wednesday: “It will be around 11-12 months before he is back. That is a big disappointment but he will come back.”Bolasie is due to have a second operation – on his anterior cruciate ligament – in the coming weeks.The DR Congo international signed for Everton from Crystal Palace in a £25m deal in August, and had played in every league game this campaign up until his injury.Manchester United’s Memphis Depay could be brought in to fill the position in attacking midfield, with Koeman having this season expressed his desire to sign his fellow Dutchman.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Everton’s Yannick Bolasie damaged his right knee in a challenge with Manchester United’s Anthony MartialEverton winger Yannick Bolasie could be out for a year with a knee injury, says manager Ronald Koeman.Bolasie, 27, injured his right knee during the Toffees’ 1-1 draw with Manchester United on 4 December.
Maro Itoje will not be involved against the Azzurri after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury in training.Your England team to face Italy on Saturday in the #GuinnessSixNations, LIVE on @ITVSport from 16:45 GMTPreview https://t.co/uLeASojzEL pic.twitter.com/eIu2Es3UZz— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) March 7, 2019Italy is at the bottom of the table without a point from three games, but Eddie Jones is not expecting a walk in the park as title hopeful England looks to respond to its loss in Cardiff.The England head coach said: “Italy is a bit of an unknown quantity but when [head coach] Conor [O’Shea] allows them to play rugby they play well. Te’o comes in at inside center for his first appearance of the tournament, having recovered from a side strain, so Manu Tuilagi moves to outside center and Henry Slade drops to the bench.Prop Ellis Genge is preferred to Ben Moon, while lock Joe Launchbury replaces Courtney Lawes (calf) and Brad Shields starts at blindside flanker, with Mark Wilson named among the replacements. Related News Six Nations 2019: Maro Itoje (knee) limps out of England training; Charlie Ewels called up as cover Joe Cokanasiga will make his first Six Nations start and Ben Te’o is recalled for England’s Six Nations encounter with Italy at Twickenham on Saturday.Cokanasiga gets the nod on the right wing with Jack Nowell ruled out due to a shoulder injury as Eddie Jones makes five changes to his side that was beaten by Wales. “They have played terrific games in the Six Nations. They are fitter, physically stay in the contest a lot longer and they are quite unpredictable in the way they attack.”England: Elliot Daly, Joe Cokanasiga, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Te’o, Jonny May, Owen Farrell (captain), Ben Youngs; Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Joe Launchbury, George Kruis, Brad Shields, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ben Moon, Dan Cole, Nathan Hughes, Mark Wilson, Dan Robson, George Ford, Henry Slade.
National: NBCSeattle: KINGPhiladelphia: WCAUStream: NBC Live (cable subscription)Seattle (11-5) couldn’t quite catch the 49ers for the NFC West crown, but still nabbed a wild-card spot. Philadelphia (9-7) held off the Cowboys to win the weak NFC East.The broadcast will sound like an NBC Sunday night game. Al Michaels has the play-by-play and Cris Collinsworth is the color commentator, with Michele Tafoya and Heather Cox bringing sideline insights.NFL scores for wild-card gamesYou can keep up with live scores and stats with SN’s live scoreboard.Saturday, Jan. 4GameTexans 22, Bills 19Titans 20, Patriots 13Sunday, Jan. 5GameVikings 26, Saints 20Seahawks 17, Eagles 9 MORE NFL PLAYOFFS: Full TV schedule | AFC & NFC bracket | SN’s picksNFL playoff schedule: What games are on today?Here’s the full wild-card round schedule for the NFL playoffs, plus final scores and how to watch every game live.Sunday, Jan. 5GameTimeChannelSaints vs. Vikings1:05 p.m.FoxEagles vs. Seahawks4:40 p.m.NBCNFL playoff game TV channels, live streamHere’s how to watch every wild-card game during the NFL playoffs.Bills vs. Texans(4:35 p.m. ET kickoff)National: ESPN/ABCBuffalo: WKBWHouston: KTRKStream: WatchESPN (cable subscription)Each of Houston’s six postseason appearances since 2011 has begun with the Saturday afternoon game, a testament to the Texans (10-6) rarely being a favorite to advance and having a relatively small national following. Buffalo (10-6) made the playoffs for just the second time since 2000.As this is ESPN’s only broadcast of the wild-card round, it will be called by the regular Monday Night Football crew: Joe Tessitore on play-by-play, Booger McFarland in the booth as an analyst and Lisa Salters reporting from the sideline.Patriots vs. Titans(8:15 p.m. ET kickoff)National: CBSBoston: WBZNashville: WTVFStream: CBS (cable subscription)New England would be resting this weekend if not for a 27-24 loss to 5-11 Miami in Week 17. The Patriots still won the AFC East but fell short of the first-round bye. Tennessee took its Week 17 chance, clinching a wild card spot by beating the Texans 35-14.CBS is sending its top broadcast team to Foxborough. Jim Nantz will handle the play-by-play, Tony Romo offers analysis and Tracy Wolfson is down on the sideline.Saints vs. Vikings(1:05 p.m. ET kickoff)National: FoxNew Orleans: WVUEMinnesota: KMSPStream: Fox Sports Go (cable subscription)New Orleans (13-3) is tied for the best record in the NFC, but lost the tiebreaker to the 49ers and Packers and is playing in the first round. It’s the first time a team with a record of 13-3 or better has played in the first round since the Saints in the 2011-12 season. The strength of the conference meant Minnesota’s 10-6 record is the worst of the NFC playoff teams.The No. 1 Fox crew is covering this game. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are in the booth, while Erin Andrews and Chris Myers will offer reports from the sideline.Seahawks vs. Eagles(4:40 p.m. ET kickoff) The 2020 NFL playoffs have arrived, and the schedule begins with four games during wild-card weekend.Here’s everything you need to know about the NFL wild-card round games, including a full schedule with TV channels, start times and scores.