Tag Archives: delivery

England players take the train from Birmingham to London – PICTURES

Now this is what you call an England training session! Rooney and Co on track to tackle Brazil with first-class delivery to Wembley

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All aboard: Wayne Rooney chats to Everton duo Leon Osman and Leighton Baines

All aboard: Wayne Rooney chats to Everton duo Leon Osman and Leighton Baines

Gerd Muller receives Lionel Messi"s signed Barcelona shirt

Special delivery! Muller receives gift from gracious Messi after Barcelona striker breaks German's goalscoring record

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Muller had held the record since 1972, when the man affectionately known as ‘Der Bomber’ fired in 85 goals while at Bayern.

Chuffed: Gerd Muller said he was 'happy and proud' to receive the gift from Lionel Messi

Chuffed: Gerd Muller said he was 'happy and proud' to receive the gift from Lionel Messi

Class: A close up of the signed shirt, saying: 'With my respect and admiration. A hug.'

Class: A close up of the signed shirt, saying: 'With my respect and admiration. A hug.'

But the ever-graceful Messi’s first thought upon breaking the record was for the man he had surpassed.

The 25-year-old sent his beaten adversary a signed Barcelona shirt with the message: ‘For Gerd Muller, with my respect and admiration. A hug. Leo.’ scrawled into the yellow No 10 on the back of the jersey.

Muller was delighted with the gift Messi has shipped to him, and said he was ‘happy and proud’ to be the recipient of such a gesture from 'the best player in the world'.

How many Lionel Messi poses with his four Ballon d'Or trophies

How many Lionel Messi poses with his four Ballon d'Or trophies

Familiar sight: Lionel Messi celebrates another goal against Malaga

Familiar sight: Lionel Messi celebrates another goal against Malaga

The Bayern reserve team coach, who was a truly fearsome striker for club and country during his playing days, watched Messi’s unparalleled goalscoring run last year earn him another record earlier this month: a fourth Ballon d’Or crown.

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell believes that Muller’s goalscoring record was a driving force for the Argentina captain in his bid to score as many goals as possible.

He said that Muller’s prolific performance 40 years ago was ‘a great motivating factor and stimulus for Leo.’

Prolific: Messi took the record from Muller, who scored 85 in 1972

Prolific: Messi took the record from Muller, who scored 85 in 1972

Kevin Pietersen scores 23 England return as Alastair Cook reaches hundred

Captain Cook reaches ton in warm-up as KP falls to left-arm spin on England return

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UPDATED:

11:51 GMT, 31 October 2012

Kevin Pietersen made a skittish 23 in his first innings for England in nearly three months before falling, not for the first time, to Yuvraj Singh’s innocuous left-arm spin.

But it was the less glittering qualities of Alastair Cook that held the tourists together on the second day of their three-day game against India A in Mumbai.

Cook marked his first game as England’s full-time captain with a typically grafting hundred to help his side to 286 for 4 in reply to 369. And with Samit Patel underlining his claim to the Test No 6 slot with an unbeaten 82, this was a job well done. Only a third-ball duck for Nick Compton left a slight headache.

Return: Pietersen produced a swashbuckling 23 before being caught and bowled by Yuvraj Singh

Return: Pietersen produced a swashbuckling 23 before being caught and bowled by Yuvraj Singh

Return: Pietersen produced a swashbuckling 23 before being caught and bowled by Yuvraj Singh

Return: Pietersen produced a swashbuckling 23 before being caught and bowled by Yuvraj Singh

England forthcoming matches in India

Tour match in Mumbai (November 3)

Tour match in Ahmedabad (November 8)

First Test – India v England, Ahmedabad (November 15)

Second Test – India v England, Mumbai (November 23)

Third Test – India v England, Kolkata (December 5)

Fourth Test – India v England, Nagpur (December 13)

There follows three Twenty20 and and five ODI matches.

Inevitably, though, it was Pietersen’s 23-minute stay that focussed the attention.

Walking out calmly for his first knock as an England batsman since
August 6 – when he made 12 in the second innings of the Headingley Test
only two days after his barnstorming 149 – Pietersen traded a
glove-punch with Cook, and went about trying to make up for lost time.

He scampered a single to mid-on from his first ball, edged seamer
Parvinder Awana for four soon after, then launched his sixth delivery –
from the off-spin of Suresh Raina – down the ground for six.

When the next ball was clattered off the back foot through the covers
for four, a Pietersen special looked on the cards. But he was dropped at
forward short leg moments later on 16, and managed only one more
boundary – a pull off Vinay Kumar – before chipping a tame return catch
back to Yuvraj.

The identity of the bowler will irk him as much as the tameness of the
dismissal. Pietersen famously branded Yuvraj a ‘pie-chucker’ during the
tour of India in 2008-09 – but this was the sixth time his part-time
slow left-armers have accounted for England’s alpha male.

Just as embarrassingly, it came only three balls after India A captain Raina had brought Yuvraj on to bowl.

Slow start: Compton went for a third-ball duck

Slow start: Compton went for a third-ball duck

SCORECARD

Click here for the full scorecard from Mumbai

Pietersen’s demise made it 125 for 3, and an all-too-familiar English
meltdown against Asian spinners was brewing when Ian Bell was caught at
slip off Yuvraj for five.

But Cook was in resolute mood, getting well forward on a slow Brabourne
Stadium surface, and Patel immediately began driving sweetly through the
covers.

Dropped down the leg-side on 29 off Awana, Patel built on the good
impression he made during the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. And although
the quality of India A’s spinners was distinctly ordinary, Patel has
made an early bid for the No 6 position for the first Test, ahead of
both Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow.

Top knock: Cook

Top knock: Cook

Top knock: Cook celebrates reaching his ton

Cook, put down by the hapless keeper Wriddhiman Saha on 87 off Yuvraj,
reached three figures with yet another leg-side single, and the pair had
extended their stand to 153 by stumps.

Earlier, after Jimmy Anderson had wrapped up the India A innings with
the first ball of the day, trapping Vinay Kumar lbw, Compton edged his
third delivery to the keeper to depart for a duck.

Not for the first time, comparisons were odious. Back in 1945, his
grandfather Denis made 249 not out here in the Ranji Trophy final for
Holkar. And he followed that a year later with innings of 91 and 124,
playing for Europeans against Hindus.

Ton-derful: Cook was in fine form with the bat as he passed 100

Ton-derful: Cook was in fine form with the bat as he passed 100

Ton-derful: Cook was in fine form with the bat as he passed 100

Top knock: Cook

But Compton, having been perilously close to being bowled second ball by
Ashok Dinda, duly nibbled at the next, with fatal consequences. He may
not get another chance in this game to lay down an early marker for a
Test debut in Ahmedabad.

Jonathan Trott’s 56 steadied England in time-honoured fashion, before
Pietersen – briefly – and Cook – assiduously – pinched the headlines.

Steven Finn will play no further part in this match after picking up a
thigh injury on Tuesday. Scans revealed no tear, but England will now
monitor his rehabilitation over the next fortnight in a bid to get him
fit in time for the first Test, starting on November 15.

Rebuilding: Cook and Patel put on a fine fifth-wicket partnership to dig England out of a hole

Rebuilding: Cook and Patel put on a fine fifth-wicket partnership to dig England out of a hole

Rebuilding: Cook and Patel put on a fine fifth-wicket partnership to dig England out of a hole

Rebuilding: Cook and Patel put on a fine fifth-wicket partnership to dig England out of a hole

Ravi Bopara can"t duck facts

Struggling Ravi just can't duck the facts as curse of No 6 slot strikes again

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UPDATED:

21:12 GMT, 20 July 2012

At some point fate may cut Ravi Bopara a bit of slack. But not quite yet.

Arriving at the crease for his long-delayed return to Test cricket, he walked straight into the kind of perfect storm that is apparently etched into his contract: South Africa had shaken off the first day's rust, Dale Steyn was pawing at the turf, and the ball was singing songs under grey skies.

To his fifth delivery, Bopara narrowly survived Steyn's wild-eyed shout for leg-before. To his sixth, he thought about hooking the world's fastest bowler, changed his mind halfway through the shot, and edged the ball through to wicketkeeper AB de Villiers with the bat resembling a periscope.

Duck for cover: Ravi's wayward stroke saw him return to the hutch without scoring

Duck: Ravi's wayward stroke saw him return to the hutch without scoring

And that was that: in only his third Test innings since he was put out of his Ashes misery in 2009, and his first since last August's fourth Test against India, Bopara was out for a duck – his fifth in 18 knocks at this level.

It came with a hapless predictability, confirming his reputation as a man who might successfully avoid the cracks on the pavement and then trip over a black cat.

England's No 6 slot is the closest thing in this side to a poisoned chalice.

Eoin Morgan was dropped after a horror tour of the UAE, while Samit Patel wasn't even trusted to bat there in Sri Lanka, where Bopara picked up a typically untimely injury. Bopara is far from the default selection.

Steyn on his copybook: Ravi must wonder when his luck will change

Steyn on his copybook: Ravi must wonder when his luck will change

He has been in good form this summer, and looked the part in the recent one – day thrashing of Australia. He even picked up a few cheap wickets.

But he has spent most of his on-off Test career trying to come to terms with the fact that he followed three successive ducks in Sri Lanka in December 2007 with three successive hundreds against West Indies – and then a disaster of an Ashes series in which he managed 105 runs in seven innings from No 3.

If his Test career has been the story of an identity crisis, then at least most people agreed this time the stage was set. That, though, is when Bopara seems to run into trouble.

Ashes to ashes: Bopara endured a torrid time during the 2009 series

Ashes to ashes: Bopara endured a torrid time during the 2009 series

Australian Open 2012: Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams win

Sharapova and Williams make smooth progress into last 32 in Melbourne

Maria Sharapova made swift progress into the third round of the Australian Open, dropping just one game against American Jamie Hampton.

The Russian, seeded four, was pushed harder than the 6-0 6-1 scoreline suggests, but the outcome was never in doubt.

Hampton was comfortable trading blows from the baseline but Sharapova's ability to put away the mid-court ball proved decisive.

Easy: Maria Sharapova strolled into the next round at the Australian Open

Easy: Maria Sharapova strolled into the next round at the Australian Open

Hampton reached deuce in four of the six games in the opening set, but had to wait until the start of the second to get on the scoreboard.

And even then she was given little opportunity to build on that breakthrough as Sharapova maintained the pressure to secure the win in 64 minutes and a last-32 clash with Angelique Kerber or Stephanie Dubois.

Another former world No 1 also progressed early on day four in Melbourne, with Ana Ivanovic seeing off Michaella Krajicek 6-2 6-3.

Thirteen-time grand slam champion Serena Williams was pushed a little harder, especially in the second set, before progressing courtesy of a 6-0 6-4 win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Williams' only real concern early on was the sun from one end which forced her to abandon her usual powerful service delivery in favour of a sliced action.

Sitting down on the job: Former World No 1 Serena Williams also made it through

Sitting down on the job: Former World No 1 Serena Williams also made it through

But such was her domination in the rallies that her Czech opponent still failed to make any headway.

The second set was tighter with Zahlavova Strycova holding her own until a break gave Williams the chance to serve for the match.

The world number 49 had a point to make it 5-5 but Williams saw it out to move into a last-32 clash with either Dominika Cibulkova or Greta Arn.

Williams' scheduled fourth-round opponent is Vera Zvonareva and the seventh seed moved a step closer to that clash with a 6-1 7-6 (7/3) victory over Lucie Hradecka.

Kaia Kanepi, the 25th seed from Estonia, is out, though, after losing 6-2 7-5 to Ekaterina Makarova.

Sealed with a kiss: Petra Kvitova had to fight hard to make it through

Sealed with a kiss: Petra Kvitova had to fight hard to make it through

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova hit back from a break down in the deciding set to edge out Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

Second seed Kvitova won the opener but then looked in real trouble when Suarez Navarro cruised through the second and established a 2-0 lead in the third.

The Czech battled level, however, before completing a 6-2 2-6 6-4 victory in one hour and 47 minutes.

'It was okay at the beginning but then I made many, many mistakes,' Kvitova said.

'I can improve for sure. It was very tough to get back in the third set.'

Saeeed Ajmal rips through England

Ajmal rips through England as Pakistan dominate day one in deserted Dubai

England collapsed to Saeed Ajmal at the start of their first Test series as the world's top team – against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates – but there was hardly anybody there to witness it at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium

Ajmal removed three batsmen in five balls on his way to a career-best seven for 55 – including five lbws – in a total of 192 all out as only England's number seven wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior (70no) managed to resist for long on day one of this three-match series.

Special delivery: Saeed Ajmal sends one down as he gets the better of the England batsmen

Special delivery: Saeed Ajmal sends one down as he gets the better of the England batsmen

Pakistan v England

Click here for a full scorecard

After Pakistan responded with an untroubled 42 without loss at stumps, the indications were that England might be significantly under-par on a pitch yet to misbehave.

Prior dug in against type and showed great resilience and technique amid his team-mates' failures, finding significant assistance only from Eoin Morgan and then Graeme Swann – with whom he added 57 for the eighth wicket.

Andrew Strauss' tourists lost Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott in the first hour even before the intervention of Ajmal, who had taunted them with talk of a new mystery delivery in the build-up to this tough examination of their new world-beating credentials.

Whether the off-spinner was profiting from those mind games was a moot point. But either way, clever disguise of his off-breaks, doosras – and maybe even a 'teesra' or two – proved too much for a succession of England batsmen.

Where are they The Dubai International Cricket Stadium had plenty of empty seats

Where are they The Dubai International Cricket Stadium had plenty of empty seats

Once he entered the attack at 42 for two, he bowled 16 overs unchanged almost until tea – and then returned to finish the job, leaving only Prior unbeaten.

In their first attempt to consolidate since reaching the top of the International Cricket Council world table against India last summer, England found themselves playing a stone's throw from the world governing body's headquarters.

In front of a paltry crowd of hundreds rather than thousands at the 25,000-capacity Dubai International Cricket Stadium, almost exclusively English in this neutral territory for Pakistan's 'home' series, they appeared to be set for a low-key start to this first of 15 Tests this year.

Star man: Saeed Ajmal ripped through England on day one of the first Test

Star man: Saeed Ajmal ripped through England on day one of the first Test

But Cook soon departed, to only the third delivery of spin after Pakistan had turned for the first time to one of their slow bowlers in only the sixth over.

England chose to select just Swann as their spin option, with Kevin Pietersen also able to bowl part-time off-breaks.

Pakistan, meanwhile, named two frontline slow bowlers. But it was neither of them, but instead occasional off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez, who struck.

Cook went back to cut, and a small amount of turn was enough to take the edge for caught-behind.

Job well done: Saeed Ajmal (left) is congratulated by his Pakistan team-mates

Job well done: Saeed Ajmal (left) is congratulated by his Pakistan team-mates

Strauss was joined by Trott, who registered England's first three boundaries before going too far across to Aizaz Cheema to edge behind down the leg-side – the only batsman to be dismissed by pace, and departing exactly as he did in his first innings of this tour against an ICC Combined XI during England's warm-up schedule.

But it was the introduction of Ajmal, Pakistan's fifth bowler used, which spelled real trouble for England.

Strauss paid for an apparent misjudgment, attempting to pull off the front foot and bowled by a ball which did not seem to be short enough.

Ian Bell then went for a first-ball duck, in Ajmal's next over, pushing forward in defence only to get a thin edge behind to a delivery that appeared to have spin imparted but barely moved off the straight.

Resisting: Matt Prior was England's top batsman on 70no

Resisting: Matt Prior was England's top batsman on 70no

Three balls later, Pietersen was lbw – via the series' first DRS ruling – to one that snaked past the outside edge and hit him low on the front pad.

Ajmal ought to have had his fourth wicket almost immediately when Morgan survived an obvious stumping chance on three, and England reached the end of a tortured session with no further losses.

Morgan and Prior were threatening to also negotiate the first hour after lunch, and had almost doubled the score, when the left-hander missed a sweep at Ajmal and was lbw.

Party time: At least the few Pakistan supporters in the stadium seemed to be enjoying themselves

Party time: At least the few Pakistan supporters in the stadium seemed to be enjoying themselves

England failed with a DRS attempt to overturn that decision from Bruce Oxenford, and the Australian was proved right again after Stuart Broad made the same mistake.

Swann drove well, kept Prior company for much of the latter's richly-deserved 115-ball 50 and could hardly be blamed for losing his off bail to a perfectly-pitched delivery from Abdur Rehman which also turned sharply.

Prior grabbed another 41 for the last two wickets as numbers 10 and 11 lent fair support until succumbing, almost inevitably, to Ajmal in England's first sub-200 total since their Ashes defeat in Perth more than a year ago.