India make light work of England to breathe life back into the five-match series

India skipper Virat Kohli leads his side off the pitch having beaten England to leave the series at 2-1 after three Tests (AFP)
Updated 22 August 2018
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India make light work of England to breathe life back into the five-match series

  • Tourists win by 203 runs at Trent Bridge to leave five-match series at 2-1 to England.
  • India dominated from the first day in Nottingham to leave series questions about the hosts' batting lineup.

India beat England by 203 runs in the third Test at Trent Bridge on Wednesday to cut the home side’s lead in the five-match series to 2-1.
England, set a mammoth 521 to win, were bowled out for 317.
India needed just 10 minutes to wrap up victory with Wednesday’s 17th ball after England resumed the fifth day on 311 for nine, the match ending when Ravichandran Ashwin had England No 11 James Anderson caught by Ajinkya Rahane at slip — the first wicket for an India spinner in the Test.
This was just India’s seventh Test match victory in England.
It was also a personal triumph for India captain and man-of-the-match Virat Kohli who made 103 in his side’s second innings 352 for seven declared following the star batsman’s first-innings 97.
England, whose captain Joe Root won the toss and fielded, slumped to 161 all out in their first innings when they were punished by Hardik Pandya’s five for 28 — the medium-pacer’s maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
They suffered another top-order slump in a second innings where they had to make cricket history to pull off an improbable win — no side have made more in the fourth innings to win a Test than the West Indies’ 418 for seven against Australia at St. John’s, Antigua in 2003.
England were in dire trouble at 62 for four before a stand of 169 between Jos Buttler, whose 106 was his maiden Test century, and Ben Stokes (62) kept India at bay.
But the recalled India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah then took three wickets for eight runs in five balls on his way to innings figures of five for 85 in 29 overs to leave England on the brink of defeat.
This win kept alive India’s hopes of becoming just the second team, after a Don Bradman inspired Australia in 1936/37, to win a five-match Test series from 2-0 down.
It also represented a remarkable turnaround following their innings and 159-run loss in the second Test at Lord’s.
“The victory was much needed at this stage of the series and to have a performance like that, which was so clinical in all three departments, is something that was pleasing to me as a captain,” said Kohli.
“The players are really proud of what they’ve done in this Test too. Everyone is taking responsibility at the right time,” he added.
Root admitted England’s first-innings batting had let them down.
“It’s fair to say that we very much under-performed in that innings,” he said. “You look at the second innings and the partnership between Buttler and Stokes and that’s a real lesson to our side in how to play Test match cricket.
“Not the fact that they scored at a slower rate or looked to be more defensively minded, but the way they adapted to the situation and were very clear about how they were going to score their runs,” Root added.
The fourth Test at Southampton starts on August 30.


Pakistan beat Afghanistan in last over finish

Bangladesh's Mahmudullah, right, bats during the one day international cricket match of Asia Cup between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (AP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Pakistan beat Afghanistan in last over finish

  • Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6

DUBAI: Experienced batsman Shoaib Malik hit a six and a boundary to pull off a sensational last over three wicket win for Pakistan against a spirited Afghanistan in the Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Malik pulled the second ball of the final over by paceman Aftab Alam over the deep square leg boundary and then whacked the next to deep fine leg for a boundary as Pakistan pulled off a nerve-wracking win in 49.3 overs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Pakistan, cashing a stiff 258-run target, were home and dry to start the Super Four Stage with a much needed win and now face arch rivals India in Dubai on Sunday.
Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6.
Pakistan were off to a disastrous start when opener Fakhar Zaman was trapped leg-before off the sixth ball of the innings by spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for nought.
Imam-ul-Haq scored a 104-ball 80 with five boundaries and a six while Babar Azam knocked an attractive 94-ball 66 with four boundaries and a six during their innings repairing the 154-run stand for the second wicket.
But both fell within the space of four runs as spinner Rashid Khan (3-46) brought Afghanistan back in the game with the asking rate getting stiffer, as Pakistan needed 42 off the final five overs.
Despite losing skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (eight), Asif Ali (seven) and Mohammad Nawaz (ten), Malik kept his cool to sop Afghanistan from posting their third straight win after beating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the first round.
Earlier, Shahidi hit three consecutive boundaries in the final over off Usman Shinwari, but failed to get to three figures off the last delivery after Afghanistan won the toss and batted.
Shahidi finished with a brilliantly-paced 118-ball 97 not out, and added 94 for the fourth wicket with his skipper Asghar Afghan, who smashed five sixes and two fours in his 56-ball 67.
But it was Shahidi who held one end against Pakistan’s bowling in an innings which featured seven boundaries after left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (3-57) had put the brakes on Afghanistan’s early progress.
Shahidi had added 63 for the third wicket with Rahmat Shah who scored a measured 36.
The total is an improvement by Afghanistan after scoring 249 and 255 in their previous two wins against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Pakistani fielders dropped four catches — three off debutant paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi who finished with 2-38.
India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets in Dubai and now meet Pakistan on Sunday, also in Dubai. Afghanistan and Bangladesh meet in Abu Dhabi on the same day.
Top two teams from the Super Four Stages will play the final in Dubai on September 28.