Virat Kohli falls short of century as India show guts at Trent Bridge

India skipper Virat Kohli celebrates reaching 50, he was to fall three short of a deserved ton. (AFP)
Updated 18 August 2018
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Virat Kohli falls short of century as India show guts at Trent Bridge

India captain Virat Kohli fell three runs short of a century but had the satisfaction of leading an India batting revival on the first day of the third Test against England at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
At stumps India were 307 for six after losing the toss.
A day of fluctuating fortunes ended when James Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, struck with the new ball to have Hardik Pandya (18) caught by Jos Buttler at second slip.
That meant Anderson, who before this match had 60 Test wickets at Trent Bridge at just 18.95, had become only the second bowler after Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan to take 100 Test wickets against India.
Earlier India, sent into bat at 2-0 down in a five-match series on a ground renowned for aiding swing, were in trouble at 82 for three come lunch.
Chris Woakes took all those wickets en route to figures of three for 75 in 20 overs.
But a fourth-wicket partnership of 159 between Kohli (97) and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (81), that spanned more than 40 overs, revived India.
Unfortunately for India, neither batsman reached three figures with Kohli — who made a brilliant first Test century in England in the series opener at Edgbaston — dismissed when he edged an intended drive off an Adil Rashid leg-break to Ben Stokes at slip.
Much of the pre-match attention had been focused on Stokes, recalled just days after his acquittal on Tuesday by a court on an affray charge that stemmed from a fight outside a Bristol nightclub in September last year.
But until his catch to dismiss Kohli, it had been a frustrating day for Stokes, whose 15 wicketless overs cost 54 runs.
India were well-placed at 60 for none when Woakes took two wickets for one run in nine balls to remove both openers, with Shikhar Dhawan (35) caught at second slip before KL Rahul (23) was LBW.
And on the stroke of lunch, Cheteshwar Pujara hooked Woakes, man-of-the-match after scoring a maiden Test century in England’s innings and 159-run win in the second Test at Lord’s last week after replacing Stokes, straight to Rashid at long leg.
But Kohli, who on Friday had urged India “to stand up” was as good as his word, while showing no sign of the back trouble that hampered him at Lord’s as he and Rahane treated an engrossed crowd to a traditional top-order Test partnership.
It was a fitting way for India to honor former captain Ajit Wadekar, whose death aged 77 was announced on Wednesday, as were the black armbands they wore in memory of the first India skipper to enjoy a Test series victory in England, back in 1971.
After tea, Rahane had moved on to 57 when Anderson just failed to hold what would have been a spectacular catch at backward point following a flashing edge off Woakes.
Kohli was in superb touch, a gentle push off Woakes speeding down the ground for four.
Rahane eventually fell when he edged Stuart Broad, bowling on his Nottinghamshire home ground, and Alastair Cook at first slip held a brilliant left-handed catch off a chance that really belonged to motionless wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow.
Rashid, having not been required to bat or bowl at Lord’s, then had Kohli, to the star batsman’s evident fury, taken by Stokes to end a 152-ball innings including 12 fours.
But debutant wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant (22 not out), was undaunted, the left-handed batsman scoring his first Test runs in style when, to just his second ball, the 20-year-old left-hander went down the pitch to drive Rashid for six.


Sala tragedy sparks unsavoury legal wrangle

Updated 39 min 20 sec ago
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Sala tragedy sparks unsavoury legal wrangle

  • The plane carrying the striker came down in the English Channel en route to the Welsh capital on January 21, two days after he completed his transfer from Nantes
  • Cardiff have so far refused to pay the first instalment of the club record fee, believed to be £5 million, as they await the results of an Air Accidents Investigations Bureau investigation

LONDON: The tragedy of the plane crash that killed Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala has now entered an ugly aftermath as Premier League club Cardiff City and French side Nantes threaten to go to court over his £15 million ($19 million) transfer fee.
Sala, who was buried at the age of 28 in the Argentine village of Progreso on Saturday, never played a game for Cardiff. The plane carrying the striker and pilot David Ibbotson came down in the English Channel en route to the Welsh capital on January 21, two days after he completed his transfer from Nantes.
Cardiff have so far refused to pay the first instalment of the club record fee, believed to be £5 million, as they await the results of an Air Accidents Investigations Bureau (AAIB) investigation into the causes of the crash.
The Telegraph reported on Sunday that Cardiff believe that if the AAIB find Ibbotson did not hold the necessary license to carry passengers on a commercial basis, then a negligence claim could be launched against whoever arranged the flight.
That would point the finger at agents Willie and Mark McKay, who were hired by Nantes to secure the transfer.
Willie McKay has accused Cardiff of “trying to throw me under the bus” in an attempt to avoid paying the transfer fee.
Speaking to The Times, Willie McKay said his son Mark arranged the fateful flight carrying Sala and Ibbotson, just as he had organized several flights for brokers of the deal in the weeks previously, including Cardiff manager Neil Warnock.
Willie McKay also rejected a statement from Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman that the club were unaware of who made Sala’s flight arrangements.
In his published timeline of events, Willie McKay said: “Emiliano was due to be met by the Cardiff City player liaison officer who was waiting for him to arrive at the Signature Flight Support building at Cardiff Airport on Monday evening (January 21). Cardiff City knew of the flight and who organized the flight.”
Cardiff have also reportedly questioned Willie McKay’s practice of trying to inflate transfer fees by fabricating interest in players from clubs.
“It was us who put in the media about other clubs wanting you — West Ham, Everton etc — to create an interest on you that’s what we do,” Willie McKay wrote in a letter to Sala that has now been made public.
However, that is a common, if dubious, practice among football agents and Cardiff’s case to use that as a reason for avoiding any part of the transfer fee is unlikely to be met with favor should the case proceed to court.
Nantes believe the McKays’ work for them ended when Sala’s move was transfer was completed, therefore absolving them of any responsibility over the arrangements of the flight.
The Guardian reported on Wednesday that Nantes will take their case to FIFA this week if the £5 million instalment is not paid.
“FIFA has not been contacted on this matter,” world football’s governing body said when contacted by AFP.
A resolution via FIFA’s players’ status committee or even the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is likely unless Cardiff relent on their current stance.
“There are, in my opinion, two possible solutions,” sports lawyer Gianpaolo Monteneri, who was head of FIFA’s Players’ Status Department from 1997-2005, told the Press Association.
“The first one is that the parties have established to go to FIFA and, in such a case, the matter is submitted to the players’ status committee in the first instance, with the possibility of an appeal to CAS.
“But it is also possible that the parties have decided to skip FIFA and go direct to CAS.”
Should Cardiff be found to have failed to comply with their contractual obligations without due cause, a range of sanctions are on offer to FIFA, according to Monteneri.
“If certain deadlines, which are mentioned in the transfer contract, are not met then these may trigger consequences for the club in question.
“This can be from an admonishment right up to a withdrawal of league points.”