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.


Petra Kvitova positive ahead of Dubai final against Belinda Bencic

Updated 22 February 2019
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Petra Kvitova positive ahead of Dubai final against Belinda Bencic

  • World No. 4 wins third three-setter of the week beat Hsieh Su-wei and claim place in the final.
  • Swiss star Bencic deals a forehand smash to Svitolina's chances of unprecedented hat-trick.

LONDON: If Petra Kvitova does get her hands on the Dubai trophy against Belinda Bencic on Saturday, she will be quick to admit she did it the hard way.
The two-time Wimbledon champion was once again made to toil at the Aviation Club as she finally overcame Hsieh Su-Wei 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. It was her third three-setter in four days and came about as much through sheer grit and determination as any superior groundstrokes or serves.
“Yeah, it was (tough),” the Czech said.
“It was a tough one, for sure. She really didn’t give me anything for free.
“It was a tough first set. I’m glad that I was able to came back in the second. Anyway I didn’t play great at the end of the first.”
Coming into the event the world No. 4 admitted she was undercooked and in need of some game time. While, in hindsight, the three-setters against Katerina Siniakova and Jennifer Brady in the first two rounds probably did her some good, another match that went the distance was probably not in the ideal script for the 2013 Dubai champion.
But Hsieh is a tricky opponent and she proved it once again on Centre Court. The world No. 31 hits two-handed shots off both sides and was trying to beat her fourth top-10 seed of the week. That included wins over Angelique Kerber in the third round and Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals.

Bencic will try to upset Kvitova in Saturday's final at the Aviation Club (AFP) 


She started off in much the same vein as she had finished against Kerber and Pliskova, hurrying Kvitova around the court and making life as uncomfortable as possible under the hot Dubai sun.
“She’s very tricky,” Kvitova said about Hsieh, who grabbed five games in a row to take the opening set and go up 1-0 in the second.
“I didn’t really play the best at the end of the first set. But I calmed down afterwards a little bit,” Kvitova said.
“With Hsieh, I need to be a little bit patient. ... It’s not really that easy to make those winners against her.”
While she has 
not consistently displayed her A-game this week it should come as no shock that Kvitova has made today’s final. It was the second seed’s 17th victory of 2019 — a feat bettered by no one — and it will be her third final of the season and 35th of her career. She revealed that her presence in the showdown is thanks to her mental toughness and she admitted that after a long week she will have to draw on that a lot today.
“I think I’m pleased with my kind of mental focus after losing the first set, that I was more calmer when I came back and played from the beginning of the second set,” Kvitova said.
“I still kind of felt that I can do that somehow — it was something weird.
“I’m a bit tired right now, to be honest. I have a final, so I don’t know how I going to recover. Hopefully I have a few hours to do something with me.”
Of her sparkling form so far this year she said: “It’s a bit weird, to be honest. I didn’t really expect anything like that. Well, to be honest, I didn’t expect anything, which I already achieved this year. For me, everything is just bonus.
“As I mentioned, the tennis, it’s a bit like escape this week. This is unbelievable to be in the final when I’m escaping from something. Yeah, very interesting.”
In the other semifinal Bencic once again upset the odds to overcome world No. 6 Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-3, 7-6. The Swiss went into the clash as the underdog, but from the off the world No. 45 was aggressive and deservedly won.
In doing so she ended Svitolina’s 12-match winning streak in Dubai and ended the two-time defending champion’s hopes of becoming the first woman to win three Dubai titles in a row.