AS IT HAPPENED — England vs. India, second Test: Tourists facing defeat at Lord's

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India got off to a great start on day three of the second test at Lord's. (AFP)
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Updated 11 August 2018

AS IT HAPPENED — England vs. India, second Test: Tourists facing defeat at Lord's

  • Woakes score first Test ton to make India toil at home of cricket.
  • India bowled out for 107 in their first innings.

STUMPS — England 347-6 (India 107): England took control of the second Test thanks to a brilliant maiden Test ton from Chris Woakes. The all-rounder looked every inch a top-order batsman as, in tough conditions, he took the game to the India attack. 

The tourists started the session in dire need of early wickets, with the hosts already 99 runs ahead with five wickets in hand. But those scalps did not materialize as Woakes and Jonny Bairstow kept piling on the runs, each addition to the total making an India victory ever more unlikely. 

Chris Woakes celebrates his first Test century, the all-rounder ended the day on 120 not out. 

Even though Bairstow was the more senior of the pair, it was Woakes who looked the more impressive, driving, cutting and pulling the ball with authority around the Lord’s outfield. He raced to his first Test century and at stumps was 120 not out. 

By this point Bairstow was not with him. The wicketkeeper batsman out just seven runs short of his ton, caught by Dinesh Karthik off Hardik Pandya (two for 66) for a well-played 93

Jonny Bairstow deserved a century but was out for 93 as England took the gsme away from the tourists.

But while the Yorkshireman deserved to reach three figures, his despair will surely be tempered by the sight of Woakes reaching his first Test century at the home of cricket, becoming only the seventh Englishman to be on both honors boards at Lord’s. 

At stumps Woakes and Co. were on 357 for six, 250 runs ahead of India. With rain forecast for the next two days there is a strong chance Joe Root will declare overnight and get Virat Kohli’s side into bat. 

For the tourists it seems their only hope of avoiding defeat and going 2-0 down in the five-match series is to perform a rain dance and hope the heavens open. All in all this was a chastening day for India.

It was tough day in teh field for Virat Kohli and Co. 

AFTERNOON SESSION — England 230-5 (India 107): India needed a quick start after the lunch break in a bid to prevent England’s first-inning lead from being too large. The sight of big-hitting Jos Buttler at the crease would not have settled their nerves, but such has been the difficulty to score on the Lord’s pitch that Virat Kohli and Co. would have doubtless backed themselves to make early inroads. 

Unfortunately for the tourists Buttler got 24 off 35 balls — quick scoring on this wicket — before he was LBW off Shami (three for 67). That meant England were on 137 for five, already 22 runs ahead of India’s first-innings total of 107. Again, not much, but on a pitch such as this runs almost count double. 

A rare bit of joy for India during the second session at Lord's as Shami take Jos Buttler's wicket. 

That brought in Chris Woakes (55 not out) and alongside Jonny Bairstow he ensured more pain for India. Together, with the pitch getting easier to bat on, the pair put on 99 for the sixth wicket before tea. Bairstow (62 not out) in particular looking at ease the longer he was out in the middle. 

Bairstow has look at ease on a tough Lord's pitch. 

The challenge for Kohli’s side after the tea break is exactly the same as it was after the lunch break: take early wickets. They will hope they are more successful second time around.

Chris Woakes gave Bairstow fine support as England stretched their lead.

MORNING SESSION — England 89-4 (India 107): It was a good morning for India as they took four England wickets to get them back into the second Test at Lord’s. Having been bowled out for 107 on day two of the stop-start, rain-affected match at the home of cricket, the tourists knew they had to make early inroads into the hosts batting line-up.
With the sun shining it looked like perfect batting conditions, but the rare rainfall of the previous two days in London still gave the India attack hope they could bowl their side back into he match.
After an assured start Keaton Jennings was the first to depart, LBW to Mohammed Shami (two for 27) for 11. As so often happens they did not have to wait long fir the second wicket, Alastair Cook caught behind for 21 off Ishant Sharma (one for 26) to leave England on 32 for two.
That brought in new cap Ollie Pope. The 20-year-old played only 15 First-Class matches before this clash leaving many to wonder whether the young gun had what it takes to take on the world’s best side. He got off the mark with a four and looked composed throughout out his innings of 28 before he was LBW to Hardik Pandya (one for 16). As first innings go in Test cricket it was a good one. The wicket offered the bowlers something, he outscored Joe root at the other end and so far at least it is the best score of the match.

Pope looked at home on his Test debut before before being out LBW for 28 

Pope’s wicket left the hosts on 77 for three, with two experience batsmen at the crease in Root and Jonny Bairstow. Just before lunch, however, India struck with the vital wicket of the skipper. Root LBW to Shami for a less than fluent 28.
The second session will be vital with India still looking to get early wickets to keep England’s first-innings lead to a minimum.

Mohammed Shami celebrates the vital wicket of Joe Root 

Blue Point focused on Al-Quoz glory after magical run at Meydan

Updated 15 February 2019

Blue Point focused on Al-Quoz glory after magical run at Meydan

  • Star sprinter proves class with easy G2 win in Dubai.
  • Charlie Appleby hopeful over Al-Quoz Sprint chances.

LONDON: Star sprinter Blue Point is on course for glory in the much-anticipated Al-Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night. That is the message from Godolphin after a brilliant victory in the G2 Meydan Sprint on Thursday.
The Dubai-based stable have long held high hopes for the Shamardal horse and the five-year-old’s win confirmed that they have something special on their hands.
Blue Point took up the running from Faatinah with more than two furlongs to race and readily opened up daylight over his rivals approaching the final furlong, quickly going clear.
For Charlie Appleby the performance only went to prove that Blue Point has it in him to steal the show on Dubai World Cup night in March.
“If he brought his class, he was going to be good enough to win, but we had left a bit on him because the G1 Al-Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night is our target,” the Godolphin trainer said.
“No disrespect to this race, and we were pleased to win it, but it was the right stepping stone onto the Al-Quoz.
“I was pleased to see him in the paddock, more so than a couple of days ago when it looked like he had a couple of pounds left on him. He had tightened up a bit.
“We were always confident that he was going to come forward for whatever he did. He is a five-year-old now and a professional — getting better with racing. He came alive two furlongs down and it was only a matter of William asking him to pick up and do a bit of work.”
The “Boys in Blue” always place a lot of focus on the World Cup night and a second win in the Al-Quoz sprint — Appleby saddled Jungle Cat to victory last year — is one of the aims for the famous race meeting in March.
“I am very pleased and, all being well, he should step forward for it and all roads will now lead to the Al-Quoz Sprint,” Appleby said.
“I feel that he is not overly exposed as a sprinter — we looked after him as a two-year-old and a three-year-old, while he wasn’t over-raced last year so he is entitled still to be learning.”
Added to the optimism surrounding Blue Point is the fact that William Buick feels he is coming to form at just the right time.
“It was a nice comeback opportunity for Blue Point and he did it very comfortably, doing everything right. It was lovely to see him come back like that,” the jockey said. “He has probably matured a little bit compared to 12 months ago and the biggest difference this year is that he is a G1 winner this time. He had proved himself and feels like a very confident horse — there is no question that he is a top sprinter.”
Meanwhile, Godolphin’s star G1 performers Hartnell, Best Of Days and Alizee have been entered for the world’s richest mile race, the $5 million All-Star Mile to be run at Flemington on March 16.
Head trainer James Cummings confirmed that all three horses will seek a place in the famous race.
“We think it’s great the way in which it really engages with not only the racing audience, but potentially reaching out beyond just that and bringing in a wider audience from not only Australia, but from around the world,” Cummings said. “We’re really excited to be a part of the richest mile race anywhere in the world.”