What you missed this weekend: 8/16-8/18

It’s only a matter of a few weeks before the NFL and NBA get underway as Europe’s La Liga and English Premier League have already started. We still have some pre-season domestic news though along with some UFC and MLB action and the Ashes between England and Australia witnessed a thrilling second test of cricket. 

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215-365 Today at the Ashes Test Match by John Garghan is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

GOLF: BMW Championship

Tiger Woods’ season has come to a disappointing end. After 18 holes, Woods shot even-par 72, which was seven-under overall, and unfortunately, he doesn’t qualify for the next round.

UFC-241: Stipe Miocic

After just a little over four minutes into round four, Stipe Miocic won back his heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier. Although Cormier had 73 more strikes than his counterpart, all it took was just one knockout for Miocic to win his beloved prize. This is the fourth time a champion ended up losing in Anaheim.

NFL: 

Injury news

Los Angles Chargers have lost Derwin James for three to four months due to foot surgery. New Jersey Jets LB Avery Williams tore his ACL in a practice game against the Atlanta Falcons and will probably miss the whole season. The Arizona Cardinals starting cornerback, Robert Alford, broke his tibia bone and will have to sit out for half of the season. The Baltimore Ravens will have to do without Taven Young, who will miss the season due to a neck injury.

Josh McCown

The former Jets quarterback has done a U-turn on his decision to retire and has signed a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. He has signed just a one-year deal with the Eagles.

LA Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys had the edge against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday night in Hawaii, winning 14-10. Devin Smith and Tony Pollard both reached the endzone for Dallas while only JoJo Natson Jr. was able to convert for the Rams.

MLB: 

Gleyber Torres

Gleyber Torres makes his name with the New York Yankees by becoming the second-highest Home Run scorer in a season with the Yankees. He scored his 29th Home Run right before turning 23 years of age.

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols brought light to his name by becoming the player born outside of the United States with the most hits. The Dominican-born player went to 3,168 hits on Saturday night for the Los Angeles Angels against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Soccer: 

Barcelona

Barcelona was welcomed to a shocking start in La Liga by losing 1-0 to Atletic Bilbao. The hero was Aritz Adruiz who scored in the 89th minute.

Cricket: 

The Ashes

Despite Steve Smith scoring 92(161), Australia ended up trailing England by 8 runs at the end of the first innings, being bowled out for 250. To Australia’s dismay, Smith was retired out first due to a concussion after being hit in the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer. When he returned to bat, Chris Woakes caught him LBW after Smith mistakably left the ball. The second innings didn’t start well for England, especially when skipper Joe Root was caught behind the first ball but England found a hero at Lord’s once again in Ben Stokes, who scored his seventh test match century.

Australia needed 267 runs to win in just a few hours, so a draw was the most likely outcome, but for a good amount of time, the England bowlers excellently created doubt in the Australian batting ability. David Warner and Usman Khawaja were both dismissed caught off of Archer’s bowling, but substitute Marcus Labuschagne bravely got to 59 before being controversially being caught out by Joe Root at square leg. In the final hour, England needed four wickets to win and Australia wasn’t in reach of victory, but the likes of Archer, Joe Denly and Jack Leach were unable to find the wickets and the match was declared a draw.

Australia currently leads the five-match series 0-1 after two tests.

To: The Ashes

Edgebaston Cricket Ground,

Birmingham, England, U.K.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

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Howzat – The Ashes Trent Bridge 2015 by Airwolfhound is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Dear cricket,

What reason do I have to constantly have faith in the beauty of this game? What is it about a leather ball being hit by a wooden bat which I love so much? Or is there more to this game of cricket?

Do you know how strong my love for this game is? And not just me, but for nearly every fan who fills his or her leisure time by involving themselves in this sport? Be it from playing to watching to talking about it, is it possible to ever stop loving cricket?

Love for cricket is universal with people from all walks of life able to find a passion for it, be it an old taxi driver in the Carribean, an English father or a poor child in Pakistan. It was this passion which also started a war in cricket, a war which has lasted since the 1880s.

From this war came ashes. Not the ashes of soldiers or gunfire. The ashes of passion. The Ashes. When the stumps at The Oval Cricket Ground in London were burned after Australia beat England on English soil for the first time, ashes were burnt, a newspaper reported “The Death of English Cricket” and war was born.

But after winter comes spring and spirits are reborn. Since “The Death of English Cricket”, every two years The Ashes take place, marking the summit of the cricketing calendar. I’m a Pakistani teenager who has nothing to do with either England or Australia, but what can I do? The Ashes is like a gem to behold, whom anyone would give anything to see at least once in their life. When England take on Australia, it’s as if the rest of the cricketing world disappears from the face of the Earth.

Despite not being English or Aussie, The Ashes have provided moments throughout history which just simply can’t be replicated. And the excitement never dies or ages. Be it in the early 20th century when Sir Donald Bradman walked out to bat for the last time at The Oval and was dismissed LBW for duck or in 2009 when Monty Panesar and Jimmy Anderson batted 11 overs to force a draw.

The Ashes is why I love cricket. Five test matches, five battles, one everlasting war. Will Australia recover and retain the Ashes or will England find success on their home soil and send the Aussie soldiers back home with their heads bowed? I’ve asked a lot of questions in this letter, but you know what? Ignore them. All of them. Just allow us cricket fans to enjoy and love cricket at it’s best. Allow this flame to burn forever, turning our hearts to ashes.

Love, no one special.