Grandstand Live: December 23

Grandstand Live: December 23

Grandstand Live: December 23

Updated 23 December 2012, 23:26 AEST

Look back on the final weekend of sport before Christmas with Grandstand's rolling blog coverage.

Welcome to Grandstand's rolling Sunday sport coverage, including updates from the Big Bash League and Sydney to Hobart preparations.

It was a cricket-heavy day but that's a given as we approach the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka at the MCG starting on Wednesday.

Today's highlights:

SIGNING OFF

11:10pm: And I think that'll just about do it for tonight folks. If you've been following along all day, or even since yesterday, I hope you've enjoyed Grandstand Live for another weekend.

Next weekend we'll be in the thick of Boxing Day Test coverage so tune in for constant updates as well as tweets, interviews and - naturally - Kerry O'Keeffe gold.

Until then, have a safe and merry Christmas. This is Adrian Crawford signing off.

BIG BASH LEAGUE

10:16pm: That's all she wrote, ladies and gents. The Adelaide Strikers have done it with no problem whatsoever, chasing down 136 with nine wickets to spare.

It didn't hurt that O'Keefe just bowled a wide to level the scores before Ludeman (71*) hit the winning runs with 4.1 overs up his sleeve.

Adelaide Strikers1/136 (15.5 overs)6/135 (20 overs)Sydney Sixers

T Ludeman 71* (43)

M Klinger 53 (52)

S O'Keefe 1/24 (2.5)S Tait 2/13 (3)

S Smith 58 (43)

M Enriques 32 (26)

Sydney Sixers' title defence is in tatters after a humiliating nine-wicket loss to the Adelaide Strikers in Sunday night's Twenty20 Big Bash League match in Adelaide.

Chasing 136 to win, the Strikers reached 1 for 136 with 25 balls remaining, opening bat Tim Ludeman top-scoring with an unbeaten 71 from just 43 balls.

The Sixers won the inaugural BBL crown last summer and also claimed the worldwide Champions League trophy in October.

But Brad Haddin's outfit has now lost three games in a row and languishes in sixth spot at the halfway mark of the Australian tournament.

Audio: Interview: Tim Ludeman (ABC News)

Read the story: Strikers crush defending champion Sixers

10:11pm: The Sixers have finally struck through Steve O'Keefe, but it's almost too little too late as Brad Haddin whips the bails off to dismiss Klinger for 53.

The Strikers are 1 for 125, needing just 11 runs for victory. Thanks for coming, Sydney. This one's all but over.

10:08pm: That's the third opening-batsman 50 in the Big Bash today as Michael Klinger notches his half-century not long after batting partner Ludeman did so in style.

The timeless RT Ponting did it in the earlier game, making 60 in the Hurricanes' win over Sydney Thunder.

10:02pm: Ludeman shows no sign of letting up - he's absolutely clubbed another leg-side six to the 12th row of the members' stand.

Aaaaand he's been dropped next ball by Moises Henriques at deep mid-wicket. Steve Smith is not impressed at all.

10:00pm: It'll come as no surprise to learn that Tim Ludeman brought up his half-century with a four off 30 deliveries to end the 11th over.

The Strikers are 96 without loss, needing 40 off the final eight overs for victory. Michael Klinger is hanging in there too with 40 off 39.

9:46pm: Well Michael Klinger wants a slice of the action too, so he's just plundered Brett Lee for a towering one over mid-off. The Strikers need a run a ball, 72 from the remaining 12 overs, to win.

9:40pm: Ludeman has just done the same thing two overs later - an 86-metre effort, according to TV - to bring up the 50 partnership. Looks like he wants to get this thing over and done with.

9:32pm: Back to Adelaide Oval for a minute though, as Strikers 'keeper Tim Ludeman has absolutely creamed one for six off Sunil Narine. Huge shot.

After five overs the Strikers are 0 for 34, while the Sixers were 2 for 22.

SYDNEY TO HOBART

9:30pm: Well this has turned into a bit of a one-track blog, hasn't it? All cricket today and not a great deal else.

So to break it up, we've got a little bit of a Sydney to Hobart preview piece.

From Lithuania to Japan to New Zealand, the Sydney to Hobart is the race foreign sailors dream of contesting.

Five boats in the fleet of 77 for the race starting on Boxing Day are foreign entries.

New Zealand has two with Japan, Lithuania and France one each.

Read the story: Overseas sailors praise Sydney-Hobart

BIG BASH LEAGUE

9:17pm: The evergreen Brett Lee has the rock as the Sixers get set to defend 135 at Adelaide Oval. Can the Strikers do it easy?

9:06pm: To while away the minutes in the change of innings, why not take a listen to Ricky Ponting and Chris Rogers' press conferences after the Hurricanes-Thunder encounter in Hobart earlier this evening.

Audio: Media Call: Ricky Ponting (ABC News)

Audio: Media Call: Chris Rogers (ABC News)

9:03pm: At the end of their 20 overs, Sydney Sixers have made 6 for 135 at Adelaide Oval.

Steve Smith's 58 was the best knock for the visitors, who will need to bowl and field like men possessed to defend that small total on this track.

Of the bowlers Shaun Tait was the best with 2 for 13 off three overs, while over-40s star Brad Young (1 for 11 off three) and Matt Johnston (1 for 22 off three) also grabbed a scalp each.

Can't forget Johan Botha either - the guy had two direct-hit run-outs and almost had a third late in the piece. Batsmen beware.

8:57pm: The Wild Thing knows how to go out with a bang in his final over. He's taken a second wicket, this time Jeevan Mendis for 5 off 4, and the Sixers are 6 for 130.

8:55pm: And Tait has come up with the goods, skittling Moises Henriques for 32 to make it 5 for 129 in the 19th over. Could be an early night in Adelaide.

8:52pm: Short-form specialist Shaun Tait has just unleashed the fastest ball of the Big Bash this summer at 153.7km/h. Get outta the way. He's definitely bowling some gas out there.

8:45pm: After this display, no one in the BBL is going to take a sneaky single if the ball is in Johan Botha's hand.

The South African just threw down Steve Smith's stumps with a direct hit for 58 in the 17th over. Sydney Sixers are now 4 for 114 with 3.1 overs to go.

8:27pm: It's been just over half an hour since the last wicket fell but Brad Haddin is the man to go, just as he started to warm up out there.

He clipped one out to Kieron Pollard off Matt Johnston for 22 off 30 balls and the Sixers are 3 for 73.

Haddin just told the television broadcaster's sideline reporter that he reckons 150 is a good score to defend tonight.

8:20pm: The Sixers are plugging away but not terribly quickly - halfway through their innings they've reached 2 for 51 with Steve Smith 25* and Brad Haddin 17*.

They'll have to crank it up a notch if they want to set a competitive target for the Strikers to chase.

7:55pm: Johan Botha has thrown down the stumps superbly to send Steve O'Keefe back to the pavilion for 4 and it's ugly early for the men in pink.

The Sixers are 2 for 10 in just the third over. Was that decision to bat the right one?

7:50pm: An interesting bit of trivia in tonight's game in the South Australian capital - the Strikers have named one-time Australian ODI spinner Brad Young for his Big Bash debut...nearly a decade after he retired from first-class cricket.

He's been thrown the rock for the second over AND HE'S TAKEN A WICKET ON HIS SECOND BALL!

Callum Ferguson has taken a great diving catch to dismiss Daniel Smith for a six-ball duck. Spinners, they get better with age.

7:41pm: There's no time to waste on-air, where Peter Walsh and the team have signed on at Adelaide Oval.

The Sydney Sixers won the toss and are batting first against the Strikers.

7:40pm: It ran 10 minutes over time but the Hurricanes have finally put away the Thunder, winning by 30 runs after the Sydney side struggled to 9 for 147 in its 20 overs.

Hobart Hurricanes4/177 (20 overs)9/147 (20 overs)Sydney Thunder

Ponting 63 (45)

Paine 40 (34)

A Zampa 3/26 (4)X Doherty 3/32 (4)

S Keen 24 (12)

C Rogers 24 (28)

Ricky Ponting's highest Big Bash League score and a hat-trick from Xavier Doherty led the Hobart Hurricanes to a 30-run victory over the Sydney Thunder at Bellerive on Sunday.

Ponting, who turned 38 last week, hit 63 from 45 balls, putting on an opening stand of 111 with Tim Paine (40 from 34) in the Hurricanes' 4 for 177 after they lost the toss.

Spinner Doherty (3 for 32) grabbed a 17th-over hat-trick when he snared Simon Keen (24 from 12), Ryan Carters (10 from 10) and Cameron Borgas (0).

Doherty had Keen caught at mid-on by sub Jason Krejza and Carters stumped by Paine before Borgas appeared unlucky to be judged lbw.

That reduced the Thunder to 7 for 122 before they finished on 9 for 147 for their fourth loss in as many starts.

Read the story: Punter winds back clock at Bellerive

Audio: Hurricanes v Thunder: Big Bash Summary (ABC News)

7:38pm: Zampa didn't last much longer though, with Ben Laughlin crashing his castle for 1 off 5. One wicket to go now and the Thunder need an unlikely 35 runs for victory...off three balls.

7:32pm: What a day for Ponting - he scored 63 with the bat and now he's possibly got his second wicket in three balls.

"Bowl him from both ends" is the call from the Grandstand commentary box, as Adam Zampa walked after being stumped.

But the umpire has called him back...his back foot was JUST on the crease so Zampa survives. He was halfway to the boundary!

7:30pm: Tasmania's favourite son Ricky Ponting has the rock now and, after a shaky start to the over which saw Scott Coyte belt him out of the ground, the former Australian skipper got his man for 10.

Sydney is on the brink now at 8 for 134.

7:25pm: HAT-TRICK! Doherty has taken three wickets in as many balls...because that's what a hat-trick is. That's the fourth one in competition history.

And what would I do without Ric Finlay? He's been good enough to let us know who the other three hat-trick takers were.

@RicFinlay Hurricanes prevail, hurried to victory by a dubious hat-trick to XDoherty. Previous hat-tricks in Aus dom T20 Rimmington, Geeves & Rana

The third consecutive victim was Cameron Borgas, who absolutely threw the bat at it on the danger ball and was given LBW for a gozza.

The Thunder are seven down now and the Hurricanes can already taste that locally brewed victory beer. If the weather in Tassie is anything like it is in Brisbane today, the first one won't touch the sides.

7:24pm: Well, Ryan Carters shouldn't strap himself in. He's been dismissed for 10, stumped way out of his crease, and the Thunder are now six down without adding a run.

Oh, and Doherty is on a hat-trick of course.

7:23pm: Now Xavier Doherty has got in on the act, dismissing Simon Keen for 24 after he aired one out to Jason Krejza.

The visitors are hurting now at 5 for 122 but they're not out of it, needing 56 off 22. Strap yourselves in.

YEAR IN REVIEW

7:12pm: This weekend on the program, our experts have been looking back at their key sporting disciplines to examine the year that was 2012.

Since we cover so much sport here at Grandstand, you can imagine this is a pretty long list.

BIG BASH LEAGUE

7:10pm: Out in the deep Travis Birt has taken a supreme diving catch to dismiss Chris Rogers for 24 off 28 balls and the Thunder are teetering at 4 for 91 in the 14th over.

Looks like the losing streak that Ric Finlay flagged in a tweet earlier this evening could be continuing.

7:03pm: Doug the Rug has struck for one of his own, provoking Azhar Mahmood to clip a big edge to Gulbis for 23 off 20 balls. The Thunder are facing an uphill battle at 3 for 82.

6:57pm: Tonight's Big Bash action doesn't stop at Bellerive, oh no! From 7:30pm (AEDT) we'll take you live to Adelaide Oval where the Strikers are hosting the Sixers.

The Sydneysiders won the toss and elected to bat first on what is apparently a scorcher of a day in the City of Churches.

Peter Walsh and the team will give you ball-by-ball coverage from 7:30pm.

6:56pm: After 10 overs the Thunder still have a lot of work to do at 2 for 64 chasing 178, although Azhar Mahmood and Chris Rogers are putting up a solid resistance.

6:37pm: So was the second one, as it happens. The Thunder are now 2 for 36 in the sixth over after Mark Cosgrove (19 off 16) threw his bat at Laughlin and the skied shot went straight down Doug Bollinger's throat.

6:33pm: The first Thunder wicket to fall is a soft one indeed. Chris Gayle has popped Evan Gulbis up for an absolute sitter to Ben Laughlin at mid-on for 13. Sydney is 1 for 30.

6:21pm: My colleague James may have mentioned earlier that Heat coach Darren Lehmann had stirred up the hornet's nest on Saturday night by questioning the bowling action of Renegades quick Marlon Samuels.

The man they call Boof said he "want[ed] something done" because he has "a problem with 120km/h off no steps".

Well, Cricket Australia has done something - charged Lehmann with breaching the behaviour code for the way he went about airing his grievances.

Read the full story: Lehmann cops heat over Samuels remark

6:14pm: Thunder openers Mark Cosgrove and Chris Gayle are ready to begin Sydney's victory chase of 178 at Bellerive. Make sure to tune in.

Our man Ric Finlay says the visitors have their work cut out for them.

@RicFinlay Sydney Thunder under pressure. They won the first 2 games in BBL, but have lost all 8 subsequently. They need 9 an over to halt the trend.

5:49pm: Hobart has recovered from a mid-innings collapse to post 4 for 177 from its 20 overs, well above the average bat-first score of 166 at this ground.

Owais Shah (26*) and skipper George Bailey (30*) piled on 54 off 26 between them to right the ship for the Hurricanes.

In case you missed it before, Ricky Ponting made 63 and Tim Paine belted 40 as the pair built an opening stand of 111.

Twenty-year-old Thunder spinner Adam Zampa took 3 for 26 and cool Caribbean character Chris Gayle snared the other wicket, that of Punter, whilst wearing his mirrored shades.

That's what Twenty20 is all about folks.

@RicFinlay Bailey/Shah add 54 off final 26 balls as Hurricanes total 4-177 off their 20 overs. Ponting 63 off 45 balls top score. Nannes 4-0-44-0

CRICKET

5:47pm: In light of Sachin Tendulkar's retirement from 50-over cricket, we thought you'd enjoy some vision of his unbeaten 200.

Video: Sachin Tendulkar's ODI 200* (YouTube: Roopesh Varma)

BIG BASH LEAGUE

5:42pm: West Indies star Chris Gayle just copped a well-rounded boo from the parochial Bellerive crowd for not releasing the ball on his run-up.

He can't be surprised though - the guy got Tasmania's favourite son out. Comes with the territory.

5:38pm: Aiden Blizzard (9) can't keep Zampa out either - the young spinner has his third and the Hurricanes are 4 for 125 after 16 overs. Quite a turnaround from 111 without loss.

5:32pm: This updating-the-fall-of-wickets thing is getting tough. Travis Burt has given Adam Zampa his second wicket of the over after he dismissed Paine.

The Hurricanes have lost three wickets for nothing off eight balls.

5:30pm: Double curse. The Hurricanes will hate me. Tim Paine is the next man to fall, departing for 40.

He just told the host TV broadcaster's sideline reporter that the pitch is "not as easy as Ricky made it look". Few are.

Twenty20 gun for hire Owais Shah is the next man up with Travis Burt at the other end also yet to score.

5:27pm: Talk about a commentator's curse. I'm sorry Ricky. RT Ponting has gone for 63, with Chris Gayle the unlikely (but cool-looking) suspect taking the former Australian captain's bails off.

Hobart is 1 for 111 at the end of 13 overs. Hardly a scrappy start for the hosts.

5:23pm: The 12th over was bowled by Dirk Nannes and it's gone for 14. Hobart is currently 103 without loss and the Thunder don't look like they're going to be able to break this partnership up at all.

Punter is sitting pretty on 60* and Paine is 36*. Woah.

5:14pm: If you haven't tuned in to this game, you should. Ricky Ponting has just brought up his half-century off 36 balls with a cracking six. Are you kidding?

He's now 55 and Hobart has reached 85 without loss after 10 overs. Tim Paine is 23 not out.

5:09pm: In a stark contrast to last night's Renegades-Heat showdown at a sparsely populated Docklands, Bellerive Oval looks pretty full if Peter Newlinds' tweet is anything to go by.

@PeterNewlinds Now that's a crowd. @HurricanesBBL #BBL2 #Cricket pic.twitter.com/miW1HrPu

CRICKET

4:59pm: In news just to hand, the BCCI has just tweeted that the Little Master, Sachin Tendulkar, has announced his retirement from one-day international cricket.

The 39-year-old legend has 463 one-dayers for India under his belt, with 49 tons and 96 half-centuries.

He has amassed 18,426 runs - the highest in 50-over cricket ahead of RT Ponting (13,704) - at an average of 44.83 and his best score is 200 not out. You read that right.

He holds the records for the second- and eighth-highest one-day innings in history with the aforementioned double-ton and an unbeaten 186 against New Zealand at Hyderabad in 1999.

Tendulkar also has a respectable 154 ODI wickets, with best bowling of 5 for 32. His bowling average is almost as high as that with the bat though...so we'll leave that stat out.

Read the story: Tendulkar retires from ODIs

BIG BASH LEAGUE

4:53pm: After five overs, Hobart is 28 without loss thanks to the efforts of Punter (17* off 19) and Paine (8 off 11).

There's plenty of firepower behind them in the Hurricanes line-up too, so stay tuned.

MOTORSPORT

4:48pm: It's been a big year on all tracks with Casey Stoner's retirement from the MotoGP circuit, Jamie Whincup's fourth V8 Supercar title and the unmistakable dominance of German speedster Sebastian Vettel in the Formula One.

Will Hagon joined Julian Abbott on National Grandstand earlier this afternoon to flesh out a very interesting year in review. Take a listen below.

Audio: Will Hagon: Motorsport Year in Review (ABC News)

BIG BASH LEAGUE

4:35pm: Play is underway and the Hurricanes have scored a handy eight runs off the first over. Ricky Ponting and Tim Paine are in the middle opening the home side's account.

4:26pm: If you want to keep one eye on the score as it ticks over at Bellerive, you can access our live scorecard here.

4:21pm: As the clock counts down to our live coverage of the Hobart Hurricanes' clash with Sydney Thunder at Bellerive, here's an interesting perspective from stats guru Ric Finlay on Thunder bowler Dirk Nannes.

@RicFinlay Dirk Nannes has 49 wkts in Aus dom T20 - and 10 runs. If Bradman was a good a bowler as Nannes is, he would have had 140,000 fc wickets.

And if that's too full-on for you, how about some cheeky wordplay from our man in Tasmania Peter Newlinds?

@PeterNewlinds Can a Hurricane beat a Gayle? Purple clad crowd building nicely. @HurricanesBBL batting first. Chasing team has won 12 of last 15 BBL games.

4:10pm: Thanks James for the optimistic, if not somewhat hyperbolic, hand-over. As he mentioned, I'm Adrian Crawford and I'll be taking the wheel for the pointy end of this final Grandstand Live blog for 2012.

4:00pm: Right. That's my day done. I need to dash and get those socks before the shops close. Handing over now to the ever-cheerful Adrian Crawford with the first of two Big Bash matches set to kick off. Thanks for your company - James Maasdorp signing off and wishing you a safe and happy Xmas break.

THUNDER WIN THE TOSS

3:50pm: The Sydney Thunder have won the toss and will bowl first against the Hobart Hurricanes. You can listen to the Big Bash battle of the basement live on Grandstand at 4:30pm.

3:11pm: Grandstand's Peter Newlinds is talking to Julian Abbott from Bellerive Oval in Hobart ahead of the Big Bash clash between the Hurricanes and the Thunder.

Peter's playing weatherman, and with at least 10,000 tickets pre-sold for the game, the crowd can expect close to ideal conditions.

"The weather's very good actually, it's fairly cloudy with consistent cloud all around Hobart,

"But it's nice and warm with a little bit of a breeze coming in from the south-east.

"They're ideal conditions, except the cloud is a little heavier than we'd like."

The match is set for a 4:30pm (AEDT) start. We'll be streaming it live on Grandstand. We'll keep you posted on a link to that broadcast closer to the time.

3:00pm: New Zealand's Blair Tuke has spoken to ABC Radio ahead of his first ever Sydney to Hobart race.

Tuke, who won silver in the men's 49er event at London 2012, says his Olympic experience is standing him in good stead.

He will sail on Rikki, and says he is not nervous as his crew is well prepared.

"The Olympics could be pretty nerve wracking for us but it wasn't because we'd done four years of hard work towards it.

"I've done a lot of hard work over the last few months with a lot of the crew to get the boat into good condition, as long as you know you've done all the hard work and the boat's in good knick, so there's no reason you should get nervous really."

Here's our comprehensive guide to the crucial facts and figures ahead of the big race.

2:47pm: Well now my ears are bleeding. Grandstand's Debbie Spillane has introduced myself and quite a few listeners to the horror that is the AC Milan first team singing what used to be a Christmas classic.

Soak in the festive dismay cheer and sing along with Pato, Kevin Prince Boateng and company.

Video: AC Milan sings Last Christmas

2:22pm: The FFA has just announced it has banned an Adelaide man from attending any match under its jurisdiction for two years after breaching the spectator code of behaviour during Adelaide United's clash with Wellington Phoenix.

The match was marred by Phoenix forward Paul Ifill's complaint that he was racially abused while being substituted off the pitch during the Reds' 3-1 win at Hindmarsh Stadium last week.

The FFA ban includes all A-League matches.

Clause (c) of the FFA Spectator Code of Behaviour says spectators must:

respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of their gender, ability, race, colour, religion, language, politics, national or ethnic origin

Read the story: A-League fan outed over Ifill racist abuse

2:07pm: Some English Premier League transfer gossip for you, and reports emerging out of the UK claim Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge is set to have a medical with Liverpool later today ahead of a 12 million pound ($18.6 million) transfer.

Sturridge has been little more than a bit part player for the European champions this season, and has been linked with Liverpool throughout the offseason.

His signing looks more and more likely ahead of the January transfer window opening on New Year's Day.

Read the story: Sturridge set for Liverpool medical: report

1:48pm: Melbourne Victory assistant coach Kevin Muscat says his side has grown in belief over the course of new coach Ange Postecoglou's tenure.

After beating derby rivals the Heart 2-1 last night, Muscat is convinced the win shows the team's true character, with players determined to do what Postecoglou asks of them.

"The belief that's going through the team that if we get our structure right and we pass the ball in the correct manner ... Archie Thompson makes a 70-yard run to get on the end of that ball from Marco Rojas," Muscat said.

"The fact that happens at the end tells me they do believe."

Read the story: Victory growing under Ange: Muscat

1:25pm: The latest on Michael Clarke's fitness is that he has gone in for another scan on his tweaked hamstring after chairman of selectors John Inverarity rated the Test captain as a 50:50 chance for the Boxing Day Test.

Clarke has visited the medical team to see how his hammy has healed up so far after the Test squad trained at the MCG this morning.

To add intrigue to affairs, here's a snap just in of Clarke, Inverarity and coach Mickey Arthur all looking rather pensive in the nets.

12:59pm: Some more favourite moments from you, this time from the ABC Grandstand Facebook page.

Chris Tyre Man Liebke: Surely Anna Mears or Sally McLellan???

Suzi Olsen: Kerry O'Keeffe hamming up the cricket. He's just one funny man. Whether it was him eating chillies to feeling Michael Clarke's pain after copping a nasty low blow. He has the knack of making everyone laugh.

Bill Courtney: Black caviars win at ascot..the hype and expectation were both massive..and to win how she did was extremely memorable (fell over the line)

Jeremy Tierney: Our bowlers breaking down

12:49pm: Curator David Sandurski reckons Australia's Phil Hughes could be one to take advantage of the MCG pitch in the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka.

Sandurski says the pitch he's prepared is very similar to the one on which Hughes hit 158 on for South Australia last month in the Sheffield Shield against Victoria.

"We try and get an even contest between bat and ball. You don't want it too lopsided one way or the other.

"So far this one is tracking similarly to the South Australian Shield match which had a bit in there with the new ball.

"But once you get stuck in there, like Phil Hughes did, you can go on and make a big score."

Read the story: MCG curator happy with pitch

12:45pm: Earlier we asked you what were your favourite sporting moments of 2012. Here's a selection from our Twitter followers.

@russos1991 Clarke's unbeaten 329 at the SCG against India.

@internetzlaura Usain Bolt winning 100m gold at the Olympics. Incredible atmosphere, underdog going in, never looked like losing.

@crickettragic33 Nothing more special than Ricky Pontings retirement!!! #legend

@olsen_suzi Anything that involves @kokeeffe49 making us laugh. He is one funny man. @gerardwhateley call of Black Cavier at royal ascot

CRICKET

12:35pm: Chairman of selectors John Inverarity says Test captain Michael Clarke is a coin-toss decision for inclusion in the Boxing Day side to take on Sri Lanka.

"He's travelling optimistically and well, but he's 50:50 to be fit enough to play on Boxing Day," Inverarity told Fox Sports.

We'll have more Test team news for you throughout the day as soon as it becomes available.

BIG BASH

12:30pm: Controversy! Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann has accused Melbourne Renegades' West Indian import Marlon Samuels of chucking.

Samuels produced a tight spell as the Melbourne side won a fourth-straight game against the Heat at Docklands on Saturday night.

But Lehmann queried how Samuels could generate speeds of over 120kmh with such a short run-up, with replays suggesting a bent arm in his action.

"I've spoken to the umpires about it," Lehmann said.

"I just want something done. He couldn't bowl in the IPL (Indian Premier League) last year, yet he can bowl in the BBL."

Read the story: Samuels bowling action queried in BBL

Cricket Australia says umpires are reviewing Samuel's bowling in last night's match.

The umpires did not raise concerns during the match, but a CA spokesman says Samuels' bowling will be reviewed as well as Lehmann's criticism of the bowler.

The match itself featured the best of the Renegades' big hitting as Tom Cooper (29) and Ben Rohrer (27) helped their side to a six-wicket win over the out-of-sorts Heat.

The Renegades were struggling at the halfway mark at 1 for 49, and Brisbane looked on the cards for an upset when Aaron Finch was out for 33 in the 12th over.

But Cooper stepped up to snatch an unlikely victory for his side, smashing two boundaries and two sixes at just the right time to steer the Renegades home.

12:25pm: Now for a brief wrap of some overseas action. England has levelled the Twenty20 series against India at 1-1 after Eoin Morgan showed off his finishing skills with a six off the last ball in the second T20I in Mumbai.

Chasing the hosts' mammoth 181 and needing three to win off the last ball, Morgan (49 not out) put India's long deliberations about field placements aside to loft a brilliant straight drive into a stunned crowd.

Opener Michael Lumb helped the tourists on their way with 50 runs, while Yuvraj Singh backed up his recent good performances with 3 for 17.

Read the story: Cool customer Morgan levels series for England

And in big news just in, Lionel Messi has wrapped up a barnstorming 2012 with another goal in La Liga to take his calendar year goalscoring total to 91 goals for Barcelona and Argentina.

That's an average of a goal every 66 minutes, which would be amazing for Sunday League level, let alone the pinnacle of the sport.

Messi scored in Barcelona's 3-1 win over Valladolid, meaning he has surpassed Gerd Muller's old goalscoring record by a clear six goals.

PREMIER LEAGUE

12:20pm: There was joy for Manchester City as the English Premier League champions clawed out a 1-0 win over Reading thanks to an injury-time header from Gareth Barry.

The winner sparked an incredulous reaction from Royals manager Brian McDermott, who was incensed the goal was awarded after Barry looked to have clambered all over defender Nicky Shorey to nod in the winner.

Meanwhile, Arsenal's mini-resurgence continued with its third straight win in the league, but it was far from a pretty affair. The Gunners needed a Mikel Arteta penalty to beat Wigan 1-0 and move up to third place on the ladder.

Third and fourth place is as open a contest as you could hope for, with Tottenham (who drew 0-0 with Stoke), Everton (2-1 winners over West Ham) and West Brom (2-1 winners over Norwich) all in a four-way tie on 30 points.

Read the story: City closes gap on leaders United

A-LEAGUE

12:15pm: Archie Thompson grabbed the evening headlines last night with the winner in the A-League's Melbourne derby - a delightful chipped finish that just crossed the line to give the Melbourne Victory a 2-1 win over the Heart.
Marco Rojas opened the scoring for the Victory on 66 minutes before Fred responded late on, only for Thompson to break the Heart (ha!) with his late finish.

Read the story: Victory claim derby win at the death

Meanwhile, there was more misery for Sydney FC as the Sky Blues lost on the road, going down 2-1 to the Newcastle Jets.

Alessandro Del Piero made a decent return from injury with an assist for Yairo Yau, but it was not enough to overcome Craig Goodwin and Emile Heskey's earlier goals for the hosts.

The Central Coast Mariners came up short against Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand, but the table toppers' in-form striker Danny McBreen kept up his solid form with a 10th goal of the season in their 1-1 draw.

12:10pm: As usual, we're always keen to hear your feedback, and continuing the 'Year in Review' vibe, we'll be asking you what your personal highlights were for the sporting year of 2012. Share your thoughts and we'll feature the best responses here on the blog.

12:05pm: Good afternoon and welcome back to our Sunday edition of Grandstand Live. I'm James Maasdorp and while I should be out buying Christmas socks for the distant relatives, I'll be here taking care of you with all the overnight news and morning happenings. Adrian Crawford returns later today to guide you through all the big games this afternoon.

Don't forget to tune in to National Grandstand, or interact with us on Twitter or Facebook. We'll have questions and polls throughout the day where the best answers will be featured in the blog.

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