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Midland stars impress as England beat South Africa by nine wickets

England's Danielle Wyatt in 2012 Credit: Paul Thomas / PA Archive/Press Association Images

England Women got off to a winning start in South Africa, after beating their hosts by nine wickets.

In the 50-over warm-up match, taking place at Mamelodi Cricket Club, South Africa Women Emerging XI won the toss and elected to bat.

Danielle Wyatt, who plays for Nottinghamshire, ripped through the middle-order as she took 3-7.

22-year-old Warwickshire batter Amy Jones also impressed, making an unbeaten 44 from 35 balls.

England made light work of chasing a total of 63 and did so with 39.5 overs to spare.

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Nottinghamshire's Broad named world's best test bowler

Broad is now ranked top in the world Credit: PA

Stuart Broad has become the number one Test bowler in the world after inspiring England to victory over South Africa in the third Test.

Broad's best overseas figures of six for 17 sealed a 2-0 series win in Johannesburg and catapulted him to number one in the International Cricket Council's rankings.

Steve Harmison was the last England bowler to reach the summit, back in 2004, with Sir Ian Botham also achieving top spot in 1980.

Broad, the top wicket-taker in the current series with 15 at 16.46, overtakes India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and injured Proteas paceman Dale Steyn.

Ian Bell dropped from South Africa Test series

England's Ian Bell celebrates his teams series victory during day four of the Fifth Investec Ashes Test at The Kia Ova Credit: PA

Warwickshire’s Ian Bell has been dropped from the England Test squad for their tour in South Africa.

Explaining the decision England selector James Whitaker said:

Ian Bell’s been a huge contributor to English cricket for many years so it’s a hugely difficult decision, but we just felt over the last 7 or 8 months his form had dipped and that it’s time for him to take a break, and I know now he will go away and reassess with a determination to get back in the team.

– James Whitaker

Leicestershire release Redfern and Agathangelou

Dan Redfern (left) and Andrea Agathangelou (right) have been released by Leicestershire Credit: PA

Leicestershire have released batsmen Dan Redfern and Andrea Agathangelou.

Redfern had been with the Foxes for two seasons having signed from Derbyshire, while Agathangelou arrived from Lancashire at the start of the 2015 campaign.

Leicestershire and Rutland cricket chief executive Wasim Khan said: "We'd like to thank Dan and Andrea for their contributions to Leicestershire County Cricket Club and we wish them all the very best for the future."

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Northamptonshire shock Bears to reach T20 final

The teams shake hands at the end of the match Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Northamptonshire Steelbacks produced a stunning bowling performance to shock the Birmingham Bears in the first semi-final of the T20 Blast competition at Edgbaston.

Four early wickets for Northamptonshire slowed Birmingham's hopes for a big early score, with David Willey getting the top three.

Fifty-one from Ateeq Javid helped Birmingham post a respectable score though, with Laurie Evans scoring a quick-fire 18 to total 131 from their 20 overs.

Rory Kleinveldt celebrates the wicket of Tim Ambrose Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Northamptonshire started strongly though, and apart from a slight wobble when a few wickets fell in the middle overs, cruised to the total.

Opener Richard Levi top scored for the Steelbacks, scoring an unveaten 63, with Shahid Afridi hitting the winning runs with two overs to spare.

Northamptonshire will take on either Hampshire or Lancashire in this evening's final.

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