England take control of third Test after skittling India for 78 at Headingley

By Sports Desk August 25, 2021

England took complete control of their third Test with India after bowling out their opponents for just 78 on day one at Headingley and replying with 120-0.

The tourists, leading 1-0 in the series and seeking back-to-back Test wins in England for just a second time, were wiped out in just over 40 overs after electing to bat first.

Virat Kohli's side surrendered their last six wickets for 30 and England made a more-that-steady start to their reply by the end of play on Wednesday thanks to Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed.

Star man James Anderson got England off to a flier as he picked up three wickets for the loss of six runs in his opening spell of eight overs, dismissing KL Rahul (0), Cheteshwar Pujara (1) and Kohli (7) in quick succession.

India were in trouble at 21-3 and, while they were given temporary respite by Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, the latter was soon sent packing by Ollie Robinson for 18. 

Robinson picked up from where he left off after lunch with the wicket of Rishabh Pant, who edged straight into the hands of Jos Buttler for just two runs.

That was Buttler's fifth catch and England were not finished there as Craig Overton, in for Mark Wood, got Sharma – India's top scorer with 19 runs – caught trying an awkward pull shot.

Mohammed Shami was then caught at third slip by Rory Burns for a golden duck, before Sam Curran got Ravi Jadeja (4) and Jasprit Bumrah (0) both out lbw.

Mohammed Siraj (3) was the last to fall for a shocked India, the ball coming off his bat and landing in the hands of Joe Root at slip, leaving India with their ninth-lowest total in Test history.

England had the chance to get some runs on the board before the end of play and their batters steadily backed up their bowlers' hard work.

Burns and Hameed produced an unbroken century stand for the first wicket to give England a lead of 42.

Burns reached 52 by the close of play – his 10th Test half-century – and partner Hameed will resume at 60 not out on Thursday as England look to close in on an emphatic victory to level the series.

 

Headingley horror for India

India posted their third-lowest total against England with 78 runs and their lowest since 1974 when skittled for 42 at Lord's.

It was India's third-lowest score ever after electing to bat first, meanwhile, behind the 76 they managed against South Africa in 2008 and 75 against the West Indies in 1987.

England were rampant and Anderson in particular was in inspired form, setting the tone early on. Buttler also deserves special praise as he took five catches in an innings for a second time, previously doing so against the West Indies in 2015.

Hameed steps up on return to top two

Burns and Hameed refused to be budged as England became only the third side in Test history to bowl out the opposition and end day one in the lead with both openers still in play.

That is the 22nd new opening partnership used by England in the past nine years, with Hameed opening the batting in Test cricket for the first time since 2016 after jumping the order following Dawid Malan's recall.

Both men faced more than 100 balls but looked comfortable for large parts, with England's opening partnership registering a century at home for only the third time in five years.

Related items

  • Meyer 'loves' Lawrence progress as Jags look to end losing start in London Meyer 'loves' Lawrence progress as Jags look to end losing start in London

    Urban Meyer is increasingly encouraged by Trevor Lawrence's work in the NFL and hopes his rookie quarterback can lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to a much-needed first win of the year.

    The Jaguars are 0-5 heading into Sunday's NFL London game, although opponents the Miami Dolphins have also struggled to 1-4.

    This was always likely to be another tough season for the Jags, who went 1-15 last year to secure the first overall pick in the draft.

    Jacksonville used that first-round selection on outstanding college QB Lawrence, a key step on their path to turning around a franchise with only one winning season since 2007.

    Facing NFL opposition on a poor team has represented a steep learning curve for Lawrence, whose debut against the Houston Texans brought an entertaining, erratic three-touchdown, three-interception display.

    Week 2 saw only 14 of 33 pass attempts completed for a passer rating of 37.2 – the fifth-lowest of the season through five weeks.

    But there has been steady improvement across the past two games, in which Lawrence has thrown one TD pass, been picked once and rushed for two more scores.

    In Weeks 1 through 3, Lawrence completed only 57.7 per cent of his passes, tossed an accurate, well-thrown ball with 71.2 per cent and offered up a pickable pass with 6.3 percent. Among QBs with 10 or more attempts, he ranked in the bottom four in all categories.

    Across Weeks 4 and 5, however, with 74.1 completion percentage, 83.3 well-thrown percentage and 1.9 per cent pickable pass percentage, Lawrence has operated above the league average in each metric.

    "[Quarterbacks coach] Brian Schottenheimer and [offensive coordinator] Darrell Bevell have had experience with young quarterbacks – from Andrew Luck to Russell Wilson – and they've done really a great job," Meyer said ahead of the Dolphins game.

    "I love the progress, I love the chemistry between the coaches and Trevor, and you can see it on the field.

    "You can see his familiarity now with the offense and the people around him. It's really exciting to watch him grow."

    Coach Meyer, who is also in his first year in the NFL, is seeing "steady progress" from the entire team and said: "We have really good leadership on the team, a really good locker room on this team, and they want to win in the worst way."

    Meyer needs a win as badly as Lawrence, having come in for criticism this season. He also apologised following the team's Week 4 defeat after a viral video showed him sitting on a bar stool while a woman, who was not his wife, danced close to his lap.

    But Lawrence said of the Jags coach: "I think he has done a good job of handling the situation. He has had conversations with the team, one-on-one and with all of us.

    "[It is] just him being the same guy and coming to work, you know, a super hard worker.

    "[He] really cares about this team and no one can deny that, so we are in a good spot and we all respect him. We are just ready to go win some games."

  • Benzema: Barcelona v Madrid still 'the best' without Messi and Ronaldo Benzema: Barcelona v Madrid still 'the best' without Messi and Ronaldo

    Karim Benzema believes the Clasico is still "the best match that exists in football", even with neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo involved for Barcelona and Real Madrid.

    Benzema's Madrid visit Barca next week to begin a new era in one of the game's most famous fixtures.

    After Ronaldo left the capital for Juventus in 2018 – and later rejoined Manchester United – Messi followed his great rival out of LaLiga this year.

    The six-time Ballon d'Or winner, who had been a first-team player at Barca since 2004, joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer when the Blaugrana could not afford to renew his contract.

    In the 21st century, only Diego Forlan (10) has scored more LaLiga goals against Barca than Ronaldo (nine). Messi's 18 Clasico goals are the most of any player against Madrid in that time.

    Benzema, leading the league for both goals (nine) and assists (seven) in 2021-22, is the outstanding player among those who remain, but he insists the excitement around the match is undimmed.

    "For me, it's still the same. It remains the best match that exists in football," he told ESPN.

    "It doesn't matter about the players who are there, who have left or who will join. Real-Barca is historic.

    "The names change, but before there was [Zinedine] Zidane, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, [Samuel] Eto'o. Real-Barca will always be Real-Barca."

    Leaders Madrid will undoubtedly be favourites, even in Catalonia. Ahead of the games this week, when Los Blancos are not in action but Valencia visit Camp Nou, Barca are down in ninth.

    Benzema is impressively holding the fort as Madrid's main man, but Barca are a little short on quality following Messi's departure amid a dire financial situation.

    The Blaugrana's salary cap is only the seventh-highest in the league, a long way behind Madrid's, and doubts remain around Ronald Koeman.

    He lost his first two Clasicos last season, becoming the first Barca coach to do so since Joaquim Rife in 1980. Koeman is also three without a win against champions Atletico Madrid, who beat his side before the international break.

    But Benzema says: "There's never a good moment to play them. A team like Barca or any top team, they can have a poor game and then bounce back again.

    "It's a match that we can't take lightly, even if they haven't played well so far."

    Benzema certainly has played well, and he has made the shortlist for the 2021 Ballon d'Or.

    In this calendar year, the France international has 28 goals and 11 assists for Madrid in all competitions. Across the top five leagues, only three players – Robert Lewandowski (46), Erling Haaland (45) and Kylian Mbappe (43) – have recorded more involvements than Benzema's 39.

    "It's been a dream since I was young and also a motivation – the Ballon d'Or represents the best players in the world and [it is great] to be on the list," Benzema said.

    "If you count who's on there, it's very satisfying. It's always been an objective.

    "You could say [I am close]. What I've done for the last three to four years, to continue to perform at a high level.

    "When I'm playing, I don't think about the Ballon d'Or. I think about helping the team win, providing a spectacle. The Ballon d'Or comes as a result of that, because it's more of an individual focus, but it's all about the collective."

  • Zverev rues missed opportunity as he follows Tsitsipas out at Indian Wells Zverev rues missed opportunity as he follows Tsitsipas out at Indian Wells

    Alexander Zverev rued a missed opportunity to win the Indian Wells Masters as he crashed out in the quarter-finals at the hands of home favourite Taylor Fritz.

    American Fritz saved two match points to pull off an upset 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3) win over Olympic gold medallist Zverev.

    Third seed Zverev was aware he had become hot favourite to triumph in California after Stefanos Tsitsipas crashed out to Nikoloz Basilashvili earlier on Friday, with US Open champion Daniil Medvedev already eliminated.

    And the German was frustrated with his performance against Fritz, which left him unable to add to the Masters 1000 titles he has already won in Madrid and Cincinnati this year.

    "It was just not really my day, to be honest," said Zverev, who had beaten Jenson Brooksby, Andy Murray and Gael Monfils to reach the last eight.

    "I was close to winning, but the level of tennis was just not there for me.

    "Mentally this is not easy for me. My next tournament is Vienna, so hoping I can deal with it well there, but right now I just want to go home.

    "It was a very long season and I have played well but this one hurts because I knew that, after Stefanos lost this morning, I was kind of the favourite to win this tournament, but my tennis wasn't there yet."

    Zverev had won 20 of his previous 21 matches on hard courts and led 5-2 in the deciding set.

    But Fritz was not to be denied, firing 36 winners to secure the second top-five win of his career, with this triumph adding to impressive victories over Italian duo Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner this week.

    Fritz said: "This is the farthest I've ever been in a big tournament. 

    "It is easily the best win of my life, against a really tough opponent on arguably the biggest match I could possibly play, so it's great.

    "The biggest thing was match point down, I wanted to make him serve it out, so I just fought as hard as I could to hold that game.

    "Then I got fortunate in his service game and from there I felt in control and felt really good under the pressure. I kept fighting. The crowd pushing me on meant so much.

    "It is amazing. Especially the way that match ended with such high emotions with the crowd. The crowd was amazing and it is a dream come true."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.