Record-breaker James Anderson seals England win over India

He's done it! The moment James Anderson became Test cricket's most prolific pace bowling wicket-taker. (AFP)
Updated 11 September 2018
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Record-breaker James Anderson seals England win over India

  • Pace ace Anderson overtakes Aussie legend Glenn McGrath to become most successful fast bowler in Test history.
  • England complete a 4-1 series win over Virat Kohli's No. 1 ranked India side.

LONDON: James Anderson became the most successful fast bowler in Test history when he sealed England’s 118-run win over India at the Oval on Tuesday.
With just one wicket to fall, and Anderson needing one more to break the record of 563 he had shared with retired Australia great Glenn McGrath, the 36-year-old Lancashire paceman bowled Mohammed Shami to give England victory in the fifth Test and a 4-1 series win.
India, set a mammoth 464 to win, collapsed to two for three on Monday, with Anderson striking twice.
But a sixth-wicket partnership of 204 between KL Rahul (149) and Rishabh Pant (114) on Tuesday gave them hope of an unlikely victory.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid, however, removed both century-makers in a burst of two wickets for three runs in two overs after tea to leave India struggling at 328 for seven.
The scale of India’s task could be seen from the fact that 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 2002/03.
India resumed Tuesday on 58 for three. Rahul was 46 not out and Ajinkya Rahane unbeaten on 10.
All eyes were on Anderson as he bowled Tuesday’s first over, with the overcast conditions seemingly in his favor.
Rahul though clipped his sixth delivery of the day legside for four to complete a fifty — the first by an India opening batsman this series.
But a stand of 118 ended when Rahane (37) miscued a sweep off Moeen Ali to Keaton Jennings at midwicket.
India’s 120 for four was soon transformed into 121 for five when Ben Stokes had Test debutant Hanuma Vihari, who made 56 in India’s first innings, caught behind for a duck.
But Rahul slapped Stokes over extra-cover for six to go into the 90s in extraordinary fashion before his top-edged pull for four off the all-rounder took him to 97.
The 26-year-old Rahul then pulled the paceman through mid-off, another remarkable boundary, to complete his fifth hundred in 29 Tests off 118 balls including 16 fours and a six.
At lunch he was 108 not out in a total of 167 for five.
Left-hander Pant, who had hit off-spinner Ali for a one-handed six before lunch, gave Rahul superb support on an increasingly flat pitch as runs flowed freely.
Anderson came back on for a second spell but could not break through, with England captain Joe Root’s occasional off-spin also failing to yield a wicket.
Wicket-keeper Pant, who hoisted Rashid for six to go into the 90s, went to his maiden Test hundred in just his third match at this level when he repeated the shot off the Yorkshireman, the ball soaring high over long-on.
The 20-year-old had then faced a mere 117 balls, including 14 fours and three sixes.
At tea, India were 298 for five, needing 166 more runs to win.
But Rashid, a peripheral figure for much of the series, then took center stage.
He turned one sharply out of the rough outside Rahul’s leg-stump to clip the top of the right-hander’s off-stump.
And his next over saw Pant, going for another big hit, hole out to Ali at long-off.
Anderson was denied the wicket he craved when diving wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow dropped a low left-handed chance to reprieve Ravindra Jadeja.
But Sam Curran struck twice with the new ball when the left-arm paceman had both Ishant Sharma and Jadeja caught behind to leave India on the brink of defeat at 345 for nine.
Anderson then gave England the finish they wanted, bowling Shami middle stump.
England started Tuesday in a commanding position after Alastair Cook, their all-time leading run-scorer, had marked his last Test before international retirement with 147 in a total of 423 for eight declared on Monday that also included Root’s 125.

TEST CRICKETS ALL-TIME LEADING WICKET-TAKERS

800 — Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka (133 tests)
708 — Shane Warne, Australia (145)
619 — Anil Kumble, India (132)
564 — James Anderson, England (143)
563 — Glenn McGrath, Australia (124)
519 — Courtney Walsh, West Indies (132)
434 — Kapil Dev, India (131)
433 — Stuart Broad, England (123)
431 — Sir Richard Hadlee, New Zealand (86)
430 — Rangana Herath, Sri Lanka (92)


Riz Rehman is the man with a plan to ensure Premier League passion is Muslim-friendly

Updated 22 September 2018
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Riz Rehman is the man with a plan to ensure Premier League passion is Muslim-friendly

  • Mohamed Salah's record-breaking season has focused attention on the Premier League's Muslim players and fans.
  • Past three players to win Player of the Year have all been Muslim.

LONDON: The face of English football has changed unimaginably since the start of the Premier League in 1992 — not least in terms of the number of Muslim footballers plying their trade in the most popular league in the world.
Twenty-six years ago, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Nayim was the league’s only practicing Muslim. Fast forward to 2018 and there are now more than 40 Muslim players gracing England’s top flight — many of them global stars such as Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante. 
This is a hugely welcome development for the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and its education adviser, Riz Rehman, who is himself a Muslim. 
Rehman’s role involves him supporting players of different backgrounds — including Muslims — and aiming to boost their participation in football. Little wonder, then, that he is delighted that the past three winners of the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award were all Muslim — Salah, Kante and Riyad Mahrez. 
“It’s great for the Muslim community — young people, players, aspiring players and coaches — that three Muslims have won this award and that two of them (Salah and Mahrez) are Arabs,” Rehman told Arab News. 
“It’s very important because it’s created more awareness about Muslims being good at the game and sport in general. It’s important we highlight this.” 
Leading Muslim footballers’ soaring success and stardom have coincided with rising Islamaphobic attacks in Britain following the Brexit vote in 2016. Regressive attitudes toward race, religion and immigration have raged in some parts of the country, as Rehman acknowledged. 
“The biggest misconceptions are that Muslims are all terrorists or that they are all Asian and have long beards,” he said. “Isolated incidents are giving Muslims a bad name.” 
Mercifully for Rehman and the PFA, the likes of Salah and Kante are portraying Muslims in a far more positive — and realistic — light on and off the pitch. 
During his sublime 2017-18 season, Liverpool star Salah topped the Premier League goal-scoring charts with 32 goals and reached the Champions League final. His unstinting brilliance led to him being serenaded with his own song by Liverpool fans, which includes the line: “If he scores another few, then I’ll be a Muslim too.” 

Mohamed Salah has created a positive image of Muslims during his record-breaking year in the Premier League. 


Many social media posts and videos showing young supporters copying the Egyptian maestro’s overtly religious goal celebration have also been posted many times. This involves him performing sujood, the Islamic art of prostration. 
“Things like that are really helping to bring down barriers in the game,” Rehman said. 
Likewise, he cites the fact that Salah and his Liverpool teammate, Sadio Mane, visit a mosque every week after training for Jumu’ah, the Friday prayer. 
Meanwhile, only last Saturday the humbleness of Chelsea’s irrepressible midfielder Kante — who has two Premier League winners’ medals and one FA Cup success to his name — was widely hailed. 
After missing his Eurostar train to Paris, Kante — who achieved World Cup glory with France in July — was invited home for dinner by Arsenal fan Badlur Rahman Jalil after meeting him while praying at a London mosque. Remarkably, Kante duly obliged and spent the evening watching Match of the Day and playing the FIFA video game with Jalil and his friends. 
“People are more aware that we have Muslim players in the game,” Rehman said. “Players are not afraid to come out and embrace the fact that they are Muslims and showing the world that they’re good people.” 
But are the PFA — and clubs in the Premier League and England in general — doing enough to increase Muslim representation in English football? 
“I think things are better than ever. A lot of clubs are working hard on all-inclusive programs,” replied Rehman, who was a promising youth-team player at Brentford before injury cut short his career at the age of 17 in 2000. 
“We deliver workshops aimed at club staff to educate them about better engaging Muslim communities. We get staff and coaches together and tell them more about Islam, what it involves and discuss Ramadan and how it might affect performance and participation at all levels. 
“On the back of that, hopefully clubs will deliver programs around the needs of the community. There are clubs like Crystal Palace who are looking to deliver Asian-specific programs to get more Asian kids playing football, more Asian coaches and look at the Muslim community as well.” 
Rehman himself helped organized an Iftar event at League One outfit Portsmouth earlier this year, which “went really well.” 
“We also had players come along to support the day. Clubs such as Crystal Palace, Leicester City and a few others are showing an interest in holding similar events next season. 
“Leicester City are a club with a massive Asian community and we are supporting them with trying to set up some programs.” 
Also high on Rehman’s agenda is encouraging more BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) coaches into the game. As well as sitting on the advisory group for the Premier Leagues Elite Coach Apprenticeship Scheme, one key program he is involved in is “Sidelined-to-Sidelines.”

N'Golo Kante has been one of the best players in England's top-flight since he moved to the Premier League three years ago. 


This was established by the Zesh Rehman Foundation — which was set up by his brother, a former Fulham defender — to address a shortage of qualified South Asian coaches. 
“We are setting up sessions to try and recruit young coaches at clubs like Crystal Palace, QPR and Chelsea,” Rehman revealed. “Coaches wearing those club badges become role models and are able to influence their own communities and encourage more kids (from under-represented ethnicities) to take up the game.” 
Rehman is keen to recruit more Muslim “ambassadors” at clubs “up and down the country” to emulate the likes of the inspirational Salah. 
“We want them to work with the community, local groups, mosques, and get players to actually go into those communities and build links with the clubs. It’s a two-way thing.” 
Progress has also been made in attracting more Muslim supporters to Premier League matches, Rehman added. Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion are among the clubs that have multi-faith prayer rooms to cater for their increasingly diverse fanbases, he said. 
“Some clubs sell halal food, too, so there’s something for everyone.
“It’s a worldwide game now. Mo Salah has reached out to a lot of people. I think Muslim communities themselves have to make an effort to go to matches. 
“It’s not an overnight success, but you do see different communities represented on match days, week in and week out.”