LITESPORT FORMER Australia opener Justin LangerreckonsRickyPontinghandled things perfectly as England stalled for time in the controversial drawn first Test in Cardiff. With tensions high before Thursdays second Ashes clash, Langer believes Pontings grudging acceptance of Eng- landsdecisiontosendon12thmanBilal Shafayat twice in the closing stages at Cardiff, as well as physio Steve McCaig, is a sign of a newfound composure in the Australia captain. In 2005, Ponting famously lost his cool after being run out by substitute fielder Gary Pratt, but faced with another potential controversy this time the Tasmanian was calmer, describing the tactics as pretty ordinary. Of course that kind of thing annoys you. It was frustrat- ingfortheAustralianteam but the reality is that theyve already moved on, Langer said todayataneventsup- porting Get On, a campaign aimed at improving numer- acy in England. By the time it hap- pened they had prob- ably had about 48 balls atnumber10and11soof coursethereisfrustration. Was it in the spirit of the game? Probably not, but theyll deal with it. Ricky handled things perfectly. Maybe in the past he would have lost his cool over that sort of thing but his lead- ershipisevolvingeveryday.Hesalways been a fantastic captain and he leads by example but he did himself evenmorefavourswiththeway he was controlled in that situation. I thought England might have been a bitmoresubtleaboutit.Tosendthe12th man out two overs in a row and then to get the physio on was a bit ridiculous. The umpires have a responsibility to police that sort of thing. Langer saw both sides to Steve Harmi- son during his Ashes career -- facing one of his most hostile spells in 2005 before taking guard to the seamers infamous wide to begin the last series. With Harmison back in the series and Andrew Flintoff struggling for fitness, Langer said: When Freddie Flintoff is out, Australia are happy and I think its the same with Harmison because they are both such impact bowlers. 34 Tuesday, 14 July 2009 London Lite England to rule on Flintoffs knee tomorrow ENGLAND will have to wait until tomorrow to find out if Andrew Flintoff is fit to start the second Ashes Test at Lords on Thursday. Coach Andy Flower was cautiously optimistic today about the all- rounders chances of figuring, after he had a scan on his troublesome right knee following the drawn first Test in Cardiff on Sunday. Before practice, Flintoff was hopeful but Flower said he would not bowl until tomorrow and would only bat and have a light fielding session today. He saw a specialist yesterday, who was very positive about the knee, said Flower. He thinks he might be able to play in this Test. He will not bowl until tomorrow, and after that, we will see how the knee is. We can not say for certain whether he will be fit. We would like an answer on his availability sooner than the first morning of the Test, for the good of the team, but we would not consider playing him solely as a batsman. Flintoff had a cortisone injection to speed the recovery of the knee, the same one on which he had surgery after playing for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL in April. If Flintoff does not recover, fast bowler Steve Harmison is likely to play, while England will also consider including Ian Bell to strengthen a batting line-up. Flower added: We have a number of fast bowlers who are fit and firing, Harmison is one of those. He also took five wickets for Durham against Yorkshire last week. He and Durham team-mate Graham Onions are both in form. BY HARRY LANE Inbrief Me quit? Youre Gavin a laugh! GAVIN HENSON last night scotched rumours he was quitting rugby. The Wales and Ospreys centre admitted to being disillusioned at the end of last season after another injury setback ruled him out of contention for the British and Irish Lions tour. But the 27-year-old said: It is a complete nightmare, I cant believe my luck, but I have absolutely no intention of quitting the game. Ed wins battle of the Sexes SUSSEX began the defence of their NatWest Pro-40 title with a comfortable victory over Essex at Chelmsford. Replying to a total of 263 for eight, they reached their target with 10 deliveries to spare to claim a four-wicket success. Opener Ed Joyce set them on their way with a fluent 91 from 78 balls. That effort contained 13 boundaries before he was caught behind off left-arm spinner Grant Flower. Seconds out as Windies wilt THE FAILINGS of West Indies second-string line-up were harshly exposed as the hosts slumped to a 95-run defeat against Bangladesh on the final day of the first Test in Kingstown. The home side, missing all their regular starters due to a contract dispute, were set a victory target of 277 but were skittled for only 181. Man-of-the-match Tamim Iqbals impressive knock of 128 put the game beyond the hosts. Ashes already in (hand)bag A DEFIANT half century from captain Charlotte Edwards saw England bat out the final session at Worcester to retain the Ashes with a draw against Australia. The hosts had initially been set a victory target of 273 from 81 overs, but heavy rain at New Road meant that was reduced to 53 overs. Kent batter Edwards 53 not out helped guide the hosts through to the close, with England finally reaching 106. Twell to wear Scottish colours STEPHANIE TWELL has confirmed she will represent Scotland at international level. The world junior 1500 metres champion intends to wear Scottish colours when Glasgow host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. This is something that we have considered for a year or two and I knew in my heart that I would always opt for Scotland, she said. The time is right for that and my family are pleased with me. Today: Warwicks V Middx on SS1, from 4.30pm Down but not out: Englands Andrew Flintoff BY NEAL COLLINS PONTING WAS Langerhits backover captains conduct inCardiff thingcourse that kind ofOf annoys you. It was frustrat- teamAustraliantheforing thatisrealitythebut movedalreadytheyve saidLangeron, sup-eventanattoday hap-ittimetheBy pened they had prob- balls48abouthadably ofso11and10numberat frustration.istherecourse theofspirittheinitWas game? Probably not, but theyll been a fantastic captain and he leads by example but he did In control: Australia captain Ricky Ponting was right to have a word with England 12th man Bilal Shafayat for time-wasting on Sunday says former Australia opening bat Justin Langer, left, now captain of Somerset index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html