Daily Digest: Romelu Lukaku scores twice as Belgium ease to World Cup warm-up win

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Hey everyone, it’s David Cooper here giving you a bitesize look at the sporting world this morning.

TOP STORY

Romelu Lukaku gave England something to think about as he warmed up for the World Cup with two goals in Belgium’s 4-1 win over Costa Rica.

That took his tally to 13 goals in the last nine international games, as he also provided an assist, and will be Belgium’s main threat in what should be the group decider against Gareth Southgate’s side on June 28.

Dries Mertens and Michy Batshuayi also scored for Roberto Martinez’s men after Bryan Ruiz had put Costa Rica ahead.

That proved to be enough for Martinez’s men as they signed off ahead of their World Cup opener with Panama next Monday.

Read our player ratings from the match.

FOOTBALL

Brazil striker Neymar insists the five-time champions are dreaming of winning the World Cup again in Paris.

The PSG forward scored his 50th international goal during their 3-0 win over Austria on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Lionel Messi said his international future will be determined by his country’s performances at the World Cup in Russia.

Argentina lost the 2014 World Cup final, before suffering successive defeats at the Copa America 2015 and 2016.

CRICKET

England’s limited-overs schedule will truly kick into gear with a one-day international series against Australia.

Eoin Morgan’s side will play five matches in the space of 15 days against the tourists, who are back in action for the first time since the calamitous tour of South Africa earlier this year.

REGIONAL

West Asia Champions Jebel Ali Dragons have announced the sensational appointment of former Wales and Lions scrum-half Mike Phillips as their new director of rugby.

The 35-year-old, who only retired in 2017 and quickly moved out to the UAE, will replace Henry Paul who left the club last month to take up a coaching role with Canada.

FEATURE OF THE DAY

Our man Matt Monaghan reviews how Brazil are shaping up for World Cup 2018 now that their final friendlies are out of the way

Brazil line-up before Austria win.

Brazil line-up before Austria win.

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Daily Digest: Nadal's 11th French Open crown, Scotland v England reaction, World Cup analysis

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Hello, David Cooper here with everything you need to know in the world of sport…

TOP STORY

Record-breaker: Rafa Nadal.

Rafael Nadal saved his best until last as he demolished Dominic Thiem to seal his 11th French Open title.

The 32-year-old continued his extraordinary domination at Roland Garros with a ruthless 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory.

Here, Reem Abulleil has the key takeaways from the showpiece final in Paris.

FOOTBALL

In fine fettle: Neymar.

Brazil came through a testing fixture against a tenacious Austria with a 3-0 triumph on Sunday, some of the football played by Tite’s side a joy to behold.

Our man Matt Jones brings you analysis of the Samba side, here.

With the World Cup only a matter of days away, Matt Monaghan analyses Argentina and Lionel Messi’s role in the side.

CRICKET

Looking dejected: Eoin Morgan.

Looking dejected: Eoin Morgan.

Eoin Morgan admitted England deserved to lose after their humiliating defeat at the hands of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Read more reaction, here.

In Test cricket, West Indies stormed to victory in the first Test over Sri Lanka on Sunday.

REGIONAL

Al Faisal Al Zubair.

Al Faisal Al Zubair.

Oman’s Al Faisal Al Zubair and Khalid Al Wahaibi endured mixed fortunes in the second race at round two of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland in Austria on Sunday.

Al Zubair climbed from a starting position of 16th to finish 11th out of a huge field of drivers at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, but Al Wahaibi sustained a puncture while lying in 15th position and was forced to retire after 13 of the 17 completed race laps.

He had started the race in 17th, one place behind his fellow Omani.

Read more, here.

FEATURE OF THE DAY

One to remember: Alasdair Evans (fourth left) celebrates with his team-mates

One to remember: Alasdair Evans (fourth left) celebrates with his team-mates.

Following Scotland’s sensational one-day international victory over England, Ajit Vijaykumar writes that it was further evidence that next year’s 2019 ICC World Cup in England and Wales is missing out by only having 10 teams competing.

Read his comment piece, here.

SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP

Nadal’s 11th French Open crown was the talk of the social world on Sunday…

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Shaker Ali wins Ramadan Bowling tournament at Zayed Sports City

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Emirati Shaker Ali reaffirmed his position as the nation’s best bowler, beating a strong field in the Ramadan Bowling Tournament at Zayed Sports City.

Supported by ADNOC, Ali held firm in the well-contested Open division throughout the duration of the tournament, entering into the semi-final in fifth position but exiting atop the leaderboard.

Challenged by Omani Hassan Al Kharousi and young UAE national Khamis Al Shamsi, Ali widened his lead further with 1358 points scored across the last six games to take home the trophy and Dh25,000 in cash. Despite a stronger showing in the finals, Al Shamisi’s 1285-point effort could not overcome his semi-final deficit, placing him third below Al Khaousi. Al Shamsi also won second place in the Youth division title days earlier, behind champion Nahyan Al Qubaisi. Uella Marcial of the Philippines was the top female bowler of the tournament.

The Graded division, aimed at amateur bowlers with an average of 185 or below as verified by league play, wrapped up days earlier on 5 June, with Tristan Mananghaya of the Philippines winning the top title, having averaged 202.8 across the final.

Emirati Abdulla Al Mulla (197.7 average) and Filipino Louie Sindayen (197.5 average) followed in second and third place, respectively.

 The Determination Division, which debuted in 2015, continued to motivate people with special needs to overcome their personal obstacles and allowed them to become further integrated into the community through sport this year. With team and singles divisions, 33 participants joined the category.

Abu Dhabi athlete Adnan Saif Al Jabri won the top prize with a score of 813, followed by Ali Al Jaber (804) and Tarek Murad (760), both of Dubai. Dubai’s two squads placed atop the team rankings with Dubai A routing the competition with 2601 points, followed distantly by Dubai B (2377) and Al Ain A (2290).

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