Tag Archives: minimal

Australian Open 2013: Andy Murray beats Robin Hasse

Murray ignites grand slam challenge with straight-sets victory over hapless Hasse


01:50 GMT, 15 January 2013



01:50 GMT, 15 January 2013

Andy Murray wasted no time in reaching the second round of the Australian Open with a facile straight-sets victory over Robin Hasse.

The Brit was rarely out of first gear as he sauntered into a two-set lead and the writing was on the wall after an early break in the third.

And Murray closed out the match with minimal fuss to record a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory over the Dutchman.

More to follow…

Game, set, match: Andy Murray cruised through to the second round with victory over Robin Hasse

Game, set, match: Andy Murray cruised through to the second round with victory over Robin Hasse

Easy does it: Murray was always in control as he races to a straight-sets victory

Easy does it: Murray was always in control as he races to a straight-sets victory

Support group: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears (above) and his fan club (below) were in attendance

Support group: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears (above) and his fan club (below) were in attendance

Supporters of Britain's Andy Murray

Supporters of Britain's Andy Murray

Cooling off: Murray barely broke sweat as he began his Australian Open challenge in style

Cooling off: Murray barely broke sweat as he began his Australian Open challenge in style

LIVE: India v England – day two, third Test, Kolkata

India v England – the action on day two of the third Test in Kolkata as it happened



11:08 GMT, 6 December 2012

India v England – essentials

India: Sehwag, Gambhir, Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni (c/wk), Ashwin, Zaheer, Sharma, Ojha.

England: Cook (c), Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Patel, Prior (wk), Swann, Anderson, Finn, Panesar.

Umpires: HDPK Dharmasena (SRI) and RJ Tucker (AUS)

Match referee: JJ Crowe (NZ)

India won the toss and elected to bat

First innings: India 316.

feeds : 'newman_cricket, the_topspin',
tweetCount : 4

Cricket writers on Twitter

Twitter Avatar

Loading tweets…

Feeds provided by Twitter

3am: Morning one, morning all and welcome to Sportsmail's coverage on day two of the third Test between England and India from Kolkata.

The tourists efforts yesterday have rightly been described as heroic after being asked to bowl and taking seven wickets on the flattest of tracks.

Talk of pace and bounce were rendered nonsense early on and huge credit must go to James Anderson and Monty Panesar whose efforts have given England the advantage.

The plan from here is to wrap up the three final wickets with minimal fuss then begin the task of building big first-innings runs.

That's the ideal scenario, of course. But if the previous two Tests have taught us anything the first day has been a pretty accurate precursor of what's to come.

3.14: Right, we've got about 15 minutes before play resumes, enough time to have quick peruse of Bumble's Test diary. Day one left him dreaming of Monty and Bruno!

3.20: James Anderson drew huge plaudits for his efforts on day one. Nasser Hussain stood and admired as he got the better of Sachin Tendulkar.. again.

3.24: So, how do you see the action panning out today Can England wrap up the remnants of this India innings without too much fuss. Or are you worried this low, slow track will start turning big when England come in to bat Twitter and email details are above if you so wish to use them.

91st over: India 280-7 (Dhoni 27, Z Khan 1)

Credit to the hardy bunch of Barmy Army fans who serenade their heroes with a rendition of Jerusalem in the early stages of the over. James Anderson begins the attack for England and MS Dhoni is straight on the attack, taking a couple of steps down the track and firing Jimmy back to the rope at long-off.

92nd over: India 282-7 (Dhoni 28, Z Khan 2)

Are you prepared for another long day at the coal face, Monty He bowled 35 overs yesterday and is hoicked straight into the action this morning. Zaheer Khan is – unsurprisingly – in blocking mood, until the final ball of the over where he takes a quick single to retain the strike. Brave. I like it.

93rd over: India 291-7 (Dhoni 28, Z Khan 6)

Dropped! Anderson is absolutely fuming after Swann (now no longer his best mate) shells a dolly at second slip. What a chance that was. Swann was a close second slip, the ball hit him on the chest/ribs and looped up, but Cook couldn't catch the loose ball. Jimmy responds with a ludicrously short one which bounced over Prior for five runs (with the wide). And Khan slogs the final delivery of the over square for four more. It is all going on.

WICKET! Zaheer Khan lbw b Panesar 6

Khan wastes the extra life he was given in the previous over, lunging forward and playing around a straight one. The ball pitched on middle/leg and straightened enough.

94th over: India 292-8 (Dhoni 29)

Maybe that wicket has saved the Anderson/Swann friendship what with Khan adding not many after Swanny shelled him at Slip Well done, Monty. Your still the man. Although your celebrations remain bloody awful.

95th over: India 296-8 (Dhoni 33, Sharma 0)

Anderson dips one back of a length, Dhoni leans back and clubs the ball backward of square for four runs. Meat and drink that kind of length for the Insia captain. Final delivery is wide of off stump, Dhoni swings hard, but misses, which gives Monty a chance to have a dip at new boy Ishant Sharma.

Magic Monty: Panesar has picked up four vital wickets for England

Magic Monty: Panesar has picked up four vital wickets for England

WICKET! Ishant Sharma b Panesar 0

Lofted flight on the delivery does for Sharma who misreads it and plays all around a straight one. Proper No 10's shot and Monty has a four-fer.

96th over: India 296-9 (Dhoni 33, Ojha 0)

Wicket maiden for the boy Monty. But the face on MS Dhoni as he watched Sharma play all around a straight delivery was a peach. Fuming.

97th over: India 296-9 (Dhoni 33, Ojha 0)

'It's a stalemate', notes Nasser in the Sky comms boxs. And he's right. Dhoni's in blocking mode, until the final delivery which he heaves square for a single to retain strike.

98th over: India 309-9 (Dhoni 46, Ojha 0)

Now, here's a stat: No England bowler has taken three five wicket hauls in a row since 1970-71. Monty has five in his previous two and is on four here. One more, Monty, can you do it Well, no, Dhoni's having none of it as he rocks back on his heels and scores the second SIX of the innings over long-off. And then he scores the third SIX with the final delivery of the over – a massive boomer over midwicket.

99th over: India 311-9 (Dhoni 47, Ojha 0)

Well, if you want anyone marshalling the end of an innings, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better candidate than MS Dhoni. Ojha faces a couple, there's a big lbw shout which is turned down, and the India captain dabs a quick single to retain strike.

100th over: India 312-9 (Dhoni 48, Ojha 0)

A much brighter morning today than the misty fug which enveloped Eden Gardens yesterday, but that hasn't encouraged more spectators in this 63,000-capacity ground. A mere smattering: 4 or 5,000 at most. Monty continues to Dhoni, field set well back, the captain takes a single with the final delivery, chipping one to vacant mid-off.

101st over: India 312-9 (Dhoni 48, Ojha 0)

Nick Knight reveals the news that Phil Hughes will replace Ricky Ponting in the Australia team. I'm no gambling man, but if I was (and I'm not) I would be down the bookies as soon as the door opened to wager every penny I can lay my greedy mitts on for England to win the Ashes. Hughes hasn't enjoyed the best of luck against England. Maiden for Monty.

102nd over: India 312-9 (Dhoni 48, Ojha 0)

Bowling change: Graeme Swann is hoicked in in James Anderson's stead. Much to the paceman's chagrin, I presume – certainly when he has the No 11 to face. Slip, gully and short leg come in, Ojha does well to block out. Maiden.

103rd over: India 312-9 (Dhoni 48, Ojha 0)

Do you think the denizens of Kolkata have any inkling knowledge of Only Fools and Horses Granted, why should those who live in this sprawling metropolis care for the antics of two zooms from Peckham Still, they'll be familiar with the theme tune now that Billy Cooper – the Barmy Army's trumpeter-in-chief has just belted it out.

104th over: India 312-9 (Dhoni 48, Ojha 0)

Proddy, proddy, touch, touch. Ojha's doing his best to hang around, but this seems all rather futile, India haven't added a run in five overs. It's that tedious, I've searched – and listened to – Fat Larry's Band classic Zoom on youtube. Maiden.

105th over: India 316 (Ojha 0)

Bowling change: Steven Finn comes into the action to try and frighten India out of this innings. Which he does!

WICKET! Mahendra Singh Dhoni c Swann b Finn 52

Great work from Swann who races from second slip to pouch Dhoni's attempted cut which booms up off his gloves. And that is that.


On the attack: Cook is hoping to score more big runs as England begin their first innings

On the attack: Cook is hoping to score more big runs as England begin their first innings

1st over: England 4-0 (Cook 4, Compton 0)

England will be very pleased with their work so far. Restricting India to 316 after losing the toss is a super effort, particularly on a pitch which is offering no assistance. But what of England's replay Zaheer Khan begins the attack with two slips and a gully in position. Cook moves off the mark with a well timed dash via point for four runs.

2nd over: England 6-0 (Cook 4, Compton 2)

Ishant Sharma joins Khan in the attack to Compton whose busy defensive strokes I admire so. Compton pushes a quick single to cover, but some shoddy work in the field – an overthrow – allows the England pair to take another.

3rd over: England 10-0 (Cook 8, Compton 2)

It is said that whenever the word 'cricket' is mentioned, a Frenchman or German, somewhere in the world, starts laughing, such is esteem in which they hold the game.

Bucking this trend, however, is former Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann. Didi Hamann, via Twitter: 'England on top if they get 400+ you got to fancy them to win …Anderson outstanding #onlyonemonty'. Thick edge from Cook sends the ball between slips and gully for four.

4th over: England 10-0 (Cook 8, Compton 2)

Six deliveries outside off, Compton doesn't look interested. That's a maiden.

5th over: England 16-0 (Cook 13, Compton 3)

A rather tepid start from the India pacemen. Cook and Compton looking unruffled, the captain helps himself to four via clip off his pads and, erm, that's about it.

6th over: England 17-0 (Cook 13, Compton 4)

The stats suggest Sharma has had the making of Cook more than many bowlers. But the seamer isn't going to trouble the left-hander with his current line, which is too straight into the England captain. He needs to look for the feather edge, wider of off stump if he is to prosper. Unless he can find some extra pace to leave Cook open to lbw. Just a single for Compton.

7th over: England 17-0 (Cook 13, Compton 4)

Pleased to say Eden Gardens is starting to fill up as the morning carries on. Still huge swathes of empty seats, but there's plenty of atmosphere pouring down from the stands as England go about their business diligently in the middle. Compton faces six from Khan and that's a maiden.

8th over: England 21-0 (Cook 17, Compton 4)

Cook hangs hit bat out to Sharma who finds an edge, but it is of the thickish variety and thusly runs wide of slips, but inside gully and brings up another boundary. Maybe some spin before lunch It's only 10 minutes away.

9th over: England 21-0 (Cook 17, Compton 4)

It's another maiden over for Khan, but it was almost so much worse for England after Compton called a kamikaze single, only to send Cook back before any damage could be done. Steady now boys, you're within a sniff of the lunch break. Now is not the time for rash decisions.

In good Nick: Compton has started well as England begin their first innings

In good Nick: Compton has started well as England begin their first innings

10th over: England 21-0 (Cook 17, Compton 4)

Bowling change: Yep, it's time for some spin and Ravichandran Ashwin is hoicked in to turn his arm over for six before the break. Nothing extra going on for him over Panesar or Swann. Maiden.

11th over: England 22-0 (Cook 17, Compton 5)

Short leg comes in for Compton as Sharma changes ends at in the dregs of the session. Just a single for the Somerset man. And that is lunch. Muy bien.

Sportsmail's Lawrence Booth in Kolkata writes: So, England have done the first bit. /12/06/article-2243328-0D25177D00000578-345_306x459.jpg” width=”306″ height=”459″ alt=”Plenty to ponder: Dhoni's side have struggled to break England down” class=”blkBorder” />

Plenty to ponder: Dhoni's side have struggled to break England down

23rd over: England 61-0 (Cook 44, Compton 17)

Full credit to the England pair who are picking the right moments when to stick or twist. The tandem threat of Khan and Ishant had to be seen off, now with Ashwin's gentle spin on, they can vary the attack and take it to the hosts. Just a single from the over.

24th over: England 62-0 (Cook 45, Compton 17)

So, after an hour of the afternoon session, England continue to move forward serenely. They have added 40 runs without the loss of a wicket in the 12 overs thus far. A decent return. But there's plenty left to do. Another single from the over keeps the scorecard ticking over.

25th over: England 62-0 (Cook 45, Compton 17)

Dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot. That's a maiden. And time for some drinks.

26th over: England 62-0 (Cook 45, Compton 17)

England moving along serenely here. They've enjoyed this session so far. They've added 40 runs without losing a wicket. Still plenty of work left to do, mind. Another maiden.

27th over: England 62-0 (Cook 50, Compton 17)

Shot! Zaheer's attempted inswinging yorker arrows in towards off stump, but Cook flat bats back down the ground for four. Stunning shot. Another single also brings up the captain's half-century.

28th over: England 74-0 (Cook 51, Compton 23)

Shot! Compton leaves his crease and punches Ojha high and mighty over the midwicket boundary for another maximum! SIX big runs for Nick, England sitting pretty here.

29th over: England 74-0 (Cook 51, Compton 23)

A series of dots. Six in total. That's a maiden.

30th over: England 77-0 (Cook 53, Compton 24)

Ojha's in now, so we have spin on at both ends. England have played it well thus far. But I can tell you, this over-by-over lark isn't half made difficult with two twirlers on, what with their minute long overs and all. There's steam coming off my keyboard. Cook taps a couple backward of square.

31st over: England 83-0 (Cook 58, Compton 25)

Howizaaaat! Ashwin asks the question, but he's clutching at straws – the ball hit Compton's boot on the flush, but miles outside the line of the stumps. There follows a howler in the field – of which there have already been a few – which allows England to nick a single and overthrows add another four. Ouch.

32nd over: England 86-0 (Cook 60, Compton 26)

Half an hour to go until the tea break, England will be mighty pleased if they reach the break without loss. And will certainly hope to reach three figures by that point, too. Three more singles from Ojha's bowling.

33rd over: England 90-0 (Cook 64, Compton 26)

Courtesy of Sky Sports' statto Bendict Bermange, on Twitter: 'If – or rather – when Cook gets to 88 he will be the youngest to reach 7000 Test runs. Another Sachin record will fall'. Cook finds the rope with a well timed club through covers.

34th over: England 94-0 (Cook 67, Compton 27)

So, after a promising opening 34 overs, England trail by 222 runs. An excellent base from which to work on and takes the pressure off those coming in behind the openers. But India are allowing them to find the singles, find the gaps to keep the score ticking over. A couple of singles and one brace come as England move forward.

35th over: England 95-0 (Cook 68, Compton 27)

An eerie silence around the ground at the moment, despite the fact there must be 15,000 spectators in attendance. The locals have had very little to cheer today. Ashwin zooms through his over, one from it as yet another misfield allows the England pair to cross without too much fuss.

36th over: England 100-0 (Cook 69, Compton 31)

Dhoni's not happy with the ball, he asks the umpires to run it through that piece of kt which measures the balls roundness. It doesn't come up to scratch and so a selection of new'uns is brought on. But even the new cherry cannot help India as Compton chops forward of point to take England past the century mark.

Solid start: The England openers have laid excellent foundations for England's first innings

Solid start: The England openers have laid excellent foundations for England's first innings

37th over: England 104-0 (Cook 73, Compton 31)

Of course Cook will receive plaudits for his excellent form again today, but mention must be made of some of the dross which is being served up. Ashwin dips down a rank wide one and the England captain dispatches it through cover point for four. Easy peasy lemon squeezey.

38th over: England 110-0 (Cook 74, Compton 36)

Compton leans across his pads and clips the ball square for four more. I don't want to gush, but England are filling their boots here at the moment, India need to find a creative spark from somewhere. Maybe they're waiting on an England mistake Doesn't look forthcoming at the moment.

39th over: England 113-0 (Cook 77, Compton 36)

Final few overs before tea now. England must be eyeing the break. They will be delighted to reach it without losing a wicket. India keeping everything crossed that they can.

40th over: England 116-0 (Cook 79, Compton 37)

England nurdle three more singles from Ojha who has looked pretty toothless in his eight overs thus far. And he's going at a shy under four an over.

41st over: England 116-0 (Cook 79, Compton 37)

Ashwin continues, a series of dot balls. That's a maiden.

42nd over: England 116-0 (Cook 81, Compton 40)

Four more from that over as England reach the break without loss. Sterling effort in that afternoon session from the tourists.

Sportsmail's Lawrence Booth in Kolkata writes: That was another sparkling session for England – and a miserable one for India. Cheteshwar Pujara dropped Alastair Cook at first slip on 17, their spinners lacked bite, and the fielding was lethargic. If England reach stumps without major damage, they will be in a decent position to take a scarcely believable 2-1 lead in this four-match series.

Quietly, Cook and Nick Compton have gone about establishing an opening partnership that, despite a few rough edges (mainly Compton’s), seems to work.

Against the odds, Cook has become the aggressor, with Compton content to defend the good balls, chance the occasional quick single to mid-off, and take toll of the free gifts. The six he launched down the ground off Pragyan Ojha was a glorious aberration.

Cook simply looks immovable, and it needed a beauty from Zaheer Khan to induce the error that was spurned by Pujara: the ball shaped to swing in, then held its line before kissing the outside edge. It was the kind of delivery only in-form batsmen tend to nick.

This pair have put on 123, 66, 58* and now 121* since they were parted early on the second evening in Ahmedabad. And if Cook has stolen the headlines, scoring more runs in a series in India than any England captain in history (Ted Dexter, who has been at this game, was the previous record-holder, with 409 runs in 1961-62), Compton has been a more than faithful sidekick.

As for India, some shoddy work in the field betrayed their state of mind. But it's far too early for heads to drop: a couple of quick wickets, and a reversing ball after tea, can bring them back into the game.


43rd over: England 127-0 (Cook 80, Compton 46)

No pressure, but Alastair Cook needs just 20 more runs to become England's most successful batsman ever. Those runs will take him to his 23rd centrury, taking him past the tally of 22 held by Kevin Pietersen, Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Sir Geoffrey Boycott. Compton gets England underway with a rather ugly chop backward of square for four.

44th over: England 131-0 (Cook 81, Compton 49)

India really have been poor in the field today. Two rather shoddy pieces of work turn dicey singles into comfortable strolls. Surely cricket -even in India where the hosts are usually so dominant – has moved on from this part-time-looking attitude.

45th over: England 138-0 (Cook 88, Compton 49)

I'll be honest, we've had a bit of a chat about the impending milestone Alastair Cook could pass if he reaches 100 runs here, and I was worried I could jinx his chances. But with bowling like that, he'll have no trouble becoming the first Englishman to score 23 Test centuries. Man at extra cover could have stopped the ball, I reckon, before it passed him to the boundary. But I think I've covered the quality of India's fielding already.

46th over: England 138-0 (Cook 88, Compton 49)

Ashwin continues – with very little reward. That's a series of six dots – a maiden in old money.

47th over: England 144-0 (Cook 92, Compton 50)

Are they signs of frustration creeping in there from Ishant Sharma The paceman dips one in well short, Compton has to take evasive action and there follows some staring action from the pair. There follows two singles which bring up Compton's half-century. You can't see me, but I'm clapping in admiration. A huge milestone in any player's career. Cook chips in with a dashing drive which finds a the edge and races to vacant third man.

48th over: England 146-0 (Cook 93, Compton 51)

England into the 48th over, still without loss and trail India by 170 runs with all their wickets intact. They won't find parity today, but could be within 50 runs of the hosts' total by the close of play. Two singles dabbed either side of the wicket.

49th over: England 146-0 (Cook 93, Compton 51)

There's a Mexico Wave wending its way round the stadium at the moment. It seem the locals are entertaining themselves seeing as their players are declining to offer any support. I'd ban the bloody things if I could. Mexican Waves, that is. Not locals. Maiden over.

50th over: England 148-0 (Cook 94, Compton 52)

I am getting ahead of myself here, but, for the record, England's highest first wicket stand against India was the 225 scored by Messrs Gooch and Atherton at Headingley in 1990.

51st over: England 152-0 (Cook 98, Compton 52)

Shot! Cook goes on the sweep, finds the rope in front of square to take him to two runs shy of that tantalising 23rd Test century for England.

Man of the moment: Cook has become England's most successful batsman ever

Man of the moment: Cook has become England's most successful batsman ever

52nd over: England 156-0 (Cook 101, Compton 53)

There it is, he's done it! Alastair Cook dabs the two runs he needs to become England's most successful Test batsman, with his 23rd century. Plaudits will rightly rain down on Ice Man. He's on some run at the moment.

WICKET! Nick Compton lbw b Ojha 57

The attempted paddle/sweep, but misses the ball which hits his back leg. That looks plumb.

53rd over: England 165-1 (Cook 106)

Big moment for India , they've been desperate for the breakthrough. The crowd have really come alive now, too.

54th over: England 176-1 (Cook 117, Trott 0)

Zaheer Khan returns to the fray… can he shake up the England pair with a new man in Nope. Cook pulls one just behind square for four and another boundary come via backward point.

55th over: England 181-1 (Cook 118, Trott 4)

So, the ever dependable Trott is in. But he's in dire need of some runs. His scores thus far in this series are 0, 17, 0. Not good enough. But he makes a decent start here, with a flick round the corner for four runs.

56th over: England 187-1 (Cook 124, Trott 4)

The wicket has really endowed the Indian players and crowd with renewed energies. Ishant Sharma has just performed an athletic slid e to save a certain four and the crowd scream their agreement as Ojha asks for an lbw decision against Cook. No dice, well outside the line. There follows a stunning cover drive from the England captain. A real beauty. And that takes us up to drinks.

57th over: England 187-1 (Cook 124, Trott 4)

Here we go then, final hour of the day – or 17 overs. Should squeeze them all in with the spinners in play. If England end the day with just the one in the wickets column they will be mighty pleased. The trick will be to bat all day tomorrow, build a lead of 200-odd and go from there. Granted, that is a best-case scenario, India are formidable on home soil, surely they can't remain as docile as this for much longer. Ojha continues with a maiden.

58th over: England 191-1 (Cook 128, Trott 4)

Cook eyes the ball as it races to the fence via mid-on. He holds his pose, just long enough to let Ashwin know who's in charge. The local producers also show us Trott's three dismissals in this tour. All have come on turning pitches. This is not one of those.

59th over: England 191-1 (Cook 128, Trott 4)

Dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot. That's a maiden.

60th over: England 194-1 (Cook 130, Trott 5)

With spinners on at both ends we might actually end up bowling more than the allotted 90 today. A rare scenario and one which will please Bumble immensely. Trott dabs one and Cook dabs a couple of singles.

61st over: England 194-1 (Cook 131, Trott 9)

Zoooom! Ojha rips through his over at lightning speed, Trott scores what now seems like the obligatory boundary – through midwicket – for England.

62nd over: England 201-1 (Cook 132, Trott 10)

Cook dabs a single to mid-on which brings the England supporters to their feet as England reach the 200 mark. In all honesty, it has been something of a cake walk.

63rd over: England 205-1 (Cook 132, Trott 14)

are still behind by 111 runs, but India already look deflated. It is
like they are being forced to watch and swallow England's lesson in how
to play the conditions in their own back yard. They're probably keen to
get back into the dressing room to regroup and think about the plan of
attack for tomorrow. Trott bangs one through midwicket which zip to the
fence in a flash. Four!

64th over: England 207-1 (Cook 133, Trott 15)

couple of singles and we have nine overs left today. India desperate to
make a breakthrough before the close of play. They need it to give them
some impetus for tomorrow.

Able assistant: Trott is hoping to improve on his poor record in the series

Able assistant: Trott is hoping to improve on his poor record in the series

65th over: England 208-1 (Cook 133, Trott 16)

Trott dabs a single via midwicket. Shot playing is being reined in now as the England pair have their sights firmly set on the close of play.

66th over: England 209-1 (Cook 133, Trott 17)

The life's gone out of this one. Is it worth shaking hands on the day now England aren't playing any shots, India's body language suggests they've had enough for the day.

67th over: England 209-1 (Cook 133, Trott 17)

Dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot. That's a maiden.

68th over: England 209-1 (Cook 133, Trott 17)

You can read more on Alastair Cook's batting heroics today right here. As for the action out in the middle Well, erm, there isn't any, really. Maiden.

69th over: England 210-1 (Cook 133, Trott 18)

Trott pushes to midwicket and England snaffle a single. Sends my heart a-flutter, been a while since England scored four overs left in the day.

70th over: England 212-1 (Cook 134, Trott 19)

Another couple of singles added to the tally in the fag end of what has been a thoroughly successful day for England. The defeat in Ahmedabad seems like a lifetime ago just now.

71st over: England 214-1 (Cook 135, Trott 20)

Final throw of the dice today for MS Dhoni who asks Zaheer Khan to come back in and tried to 'do a Jimmy'. And by that, I mean take a late wicket in the dregs of the day, not the rhyming slang Jimmy Riddle (you can work it out for yourself). Nowt doing, though, three singles from the over.

72nd over: England 214-1 (Cook 135, Trott 20)

The penultimate over of the day starts after a lengthy break for the England pair to take on some fluids. Trott blocks/shoulder arms the life out of the over from Ishant Sharma. Maiden.

73rd over: England 216-1 (Cook 136, Trott 22)

Cook dabs a single to mid-off, Trott angles one to third man and that – my good friends – is stumps.

STUMPS: England are 216-1

Picture Dispute

We are unable to carry live pictures from the third Test in Kolkata due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies. MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Daniel Sturridge wants 80k-a-week to complete Liverpool switch

Sturridge demands 80k-a-week to complete Liverpool switch as Chelsea striker nears exit



10:43 GMT, 4 December 2012

Daniel Sturridge will demand 80,000-a-week to complete a January transfer to Liverpool this winter as Brendan Rodgers looks to bolster his attacking options.

Rodgers has identified a new striker as his main priority with the burden resting heavily on Luis Suarez and has already made enquiries with Chelsea.

On the move Sturridge could be heading to Anfield in January

On the move Sturridge could be heading to Anfield in January

The Anfield club made soundings in the summer, but are now ready to make a firm offer, if they can agree on personal terms with the former Manchester City forward.

The Blues are prepared to allow Sturridge to leave, despite the continuing travails of Fernando Torres, primarily due to his minimal input so far this term.

Sturridge has made just seven starts in the Barclays Premier League this season, his only goal was a tap-in from a yard out, deep into time added on in the clash with Tottenham.

The 23-year-oldis also insistent that he must play through the middle if he were to move to Liverpool next month -a direct move to avoid being played out wide under successive Stamford Bridge regimes.

Strike a light: Sturridge hasn't been as prolific in front of goal this season

Strike a light: Sturridge hasn't been as prolific in front of goal this season

Rangers in crisis: Marvin Andrews rests easily

With Rangers in the clear, Andrews insists he does not fear knock at door



00:14 GMT, 23 November 2012

No worries: Marvin Andrews

No worries: Marvin Andrews

When a man believes in the power of prayer, the threat of a cash demand through the post is of minimal consequence.

Marvin Andrews says he will lose no sleep over the thought of HMRC or the Rangers liquidators coming after his money.

The reported recipient of 316,000 in loans from the Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) scheme introduced to Rangers by the Murray Group, the former Ibrox defender received a letter the same day he signed his contract with the club in May 2004.

romised to fund a sub-trust established in his name and set down a payment schedule, subject to his being a Rangers player on those dates.

The arrangements were far from unusual. The Trinidadian defender, now a pastor in Kirkcaldy, was one of 87 former players and members of staff offered an EBT.

/11/23/article-0-16100C14000005DC-123_634x399.jpg” width=”634″ height=”399″ alt=”Up in the air: Questions remain about Rangers' use of EBTs” class=”blkBorder” />

Up in the air: Questions remain about Rangers' use of EBTs

Instance page 79 of the FTT report, where the terms and conditions relating to the loans were drawn from verbal and documented evidence obtained during the tribunal. They were distinctly unusual.

According to the FTT report, for example, no security was ever requested or required for the hundreds of thousands of pounds borrowed.

Neither was scrutiny undertaken as to why the loans were being requested. Or any vetting performed on whether the loan could ever realistically be repaid.

Sportsmail asked yesterday why the loans were never recalled when the Lloyds Banking Group were knocking at the door of Murray Group demanding repayment of an 18m debt prior to the sale of the club to Craig Whyte.

The report answers that question by saying the players and employees who had an EBT understood they would never be expected to repay the loans against their wishes.

And what sticks out most is the assertion of many of the anonymous witnesses that the loans would never have to be repaid. Not, at least, during their life span.

The anonymous Mr Grey — the agent for a former Rangers manager — is quoted as saying: ‘I could not conceive of any situation where the loans would require to be repaid.’

Mr Violet, meanwhile — the former manager in question — adds: ‘While I knew these were loans, I never thought I would pay anything back during my lifetime.’

For players, managers and former employees alike, then, any suggestion that they might now be liable to pay back the cash will come as a grave shock to the system. An injustice, indeed.

‘I didn’t know what loopholes were in there or anything,’ shrugs Andrews. ‘If there is a problem, then I will deal with it when it comes.’

In trouble: Rangers were relegated due to their financial problems

In trouble: Rangers were relegated due to their financial problems

Privately, the players argue they merely did what they were told. That joining the EBT was involuntary and offered alongside their personal contract on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis.

Yet the man who created EBTs and acted as an adviser to Rangers believes that is no defence. Paul Baxendale-Walker told Sportsmail last year that the players should be held liable for repaying any cash due to the Revenue.

‘The guarantees given to the players that they would not be pursued are very dangerous for the players,’ he said.

‘Because the rules say that if the employee knows what is going on and is party to it, then the employee is liable — not the employer.

‘The players may have been given assurances they wouldn’t be pursued for the money in future, but so what

‘Whoever received those payments now has to pay them back.’

It is far from certain that individual players will be pursued for cash, however.
Mark Houston, a partner at Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants in Edinburgh, believes HMRC have no remit to pursue the players unless it successfully appeals the tribunal decision.

‘The tribunal has ruled Rangers is not liable for tax on payments made under EBT on the basis that the payments were loans and not earnings,’ he said. ‘That effectively closes the door on HMRC being able to go after players.’

Liquidators BDO could still have the power to pursue all the loans on the basis that club money funded the trust, however. So far, they say they are merely reviewing the tribunal’s decision.

For many of the players who brought the glory days to Ibrox, however, the price of that success may yet prove to be unexpectedly heavy.


US Open 2012: Andy Murray beats Milos Raonic

Murray dismantles big serving Raonic to line up US Open quarter-final with Cilic



07:10 GMT, 4 September 2012

The furies of Milos Raonic's serve were made to count for nothing as Andy Murray reached a level not seen since the Olympics to dismantle the young Canadian and make the last eight of the US Open.

Swapping the boiling heat of his last match against Feliciano Lopez on Saturday afternoon for a cool evening, the 25 year-old Scot humbled the world number fifteen in exactly two hours 6-4 6-4 6-2, managing to avoid the expected bad weather due to hit American’s Eastern Seaboard.

For the eighth consecutive time Murray is through to a Grand Slam quarter final and now faces Croatian Marin Cilic, who he comfortably defeated en route to the Wimbledon final in July.

Magic Murray: Raonic was brushed aside with minimal fuss at Flushing Meadows

Magic Murray: Raonic was brushed aside with minimal fuss at Flushing Meadows

Raonic threw everything he had Murray but it was not remotely enough thanks to some brilliant returning backed up by an outstanding serving display of his own that never gave the 21 year-old Canadian, regarded as the game’s most dangerous emerging talent, the sniff of an upset.

There was not a single break point against the favourite’s serve after the match was brought forward in anticipation of weather disruption. If Cilic can be beaten for what would be the seventh time out of eight in their meetings then a semi-final against Roger Federer looms.

'I used a lot of variation tonight,' said Murray. 'Milos has got a huge game, a massive serve and I just had to guess sometimes on the returns. I got lucky a couple of times and I hit my passing shots very well, which was important.

'I've only played him one time before, so you start to see things after a few games. But he started serving a lot of big serves and I was just trying to react as quickly as possible. That’s all you can do. I was lucky because sometimes they fly past you and sometimes you get a racket on it. Tonight I got a racket on it.

'It's so important that you focus on
every service game because if you let him back into it you can maybe not
touch the ball on his service for three or four games. I tried to stay
focused for every point and did a good job of that.'

Big hitter: Murray wasn't dominated by Raonic's mighty serve

Big hitter: Murray wasn't dominated by Raonic's mighty serve

Big hitter: Murray wasn't dominated by Raonic's mighty serve

He was delighted to have got through ahead of threatened thunderstorms.

'We found out it was being switched about five minutes after we arrived at the stadium . It throws you a little bit, but both of us agreed to go on at 7.30 because we heard that rain was coming at 9.30. I was glad we got it done before the rain started.

'I expect a tough match against Cilic. I lost against him here in the fourth round in 2009. I've played him a few times. I won against him at Wimbledon in our most recent match. He’s a tough player. He works extremely hard, he’s got a solid game and I’ll need to play very well to beat him.'

The very first point saw a blinding backhand passing winner from Murray that was to set the tone for the night, although it was tense until he managed to get his first break.

Murray's agonised reaction to missing his first break opportunity told of the pressure that the Raonic serve brings to opponents, but as it turned out there would be plenty more as the Olympic gold medallist began to read the serve.

He got Raonic to 0-40 at 4-4 and was
thwarted by serves of 136 mph and 131 mph, but then managed to get in a
rally which was won with a drop shot.

Put it there: The Pair shake hands after the entertaining clash in New York

Put it there: The Pair shake hands after the entertaining clash in New York

Put it there: The Pair shake hands after the entertaining clash in New York

Put it there: The Pair shake hands after the entertaining clash in New York

Moving with fluency, much more so than in Saturday’s sticky win over Lopez, he got the Canadian in trouble again at 2-2 in the second and on a third break point gratefully received a forehand in the net.

For much of the time he made Raonic look ordinary, and it is true that his all-round game does not match his serve, but the margin of victory was still surprising given the hot streaks he is capable of launching.

/09/04/article-2197962-14D2EC68000005DC-715_306x423.jpg” width=”306″ height=”423″ alt=”All smiles: Murray was watched – as usual – by his girlfriend Kim Sears” class=”blkBorder” />

All smiles: Murray was watched - as usual - by his girlfriend Kim Sears

All smiles: Murray was watched – as usual – by his girlfriend Kim Sears

Murray had only just walked off the court after taking exactly two hours to wrap up the victory when the rain began to fall, which was fitting on a night when it seemed the Scot could do nothing wrong.

He said: 'It just started raining just now, so it was perfect timing to finish.

'When we got told the match was getting moved a bit earlier, it wasn't so much the match getting earlier that was hard – it's knowing there is possibly going to be showers and stops, which can disrupt the rhythm of the match and can make it tough, especially when you're playing against someone with as big a serve as him.

'It's tough to get into a rhythm when there isn't stops in the match. I was glad I managed to get the match done before the rain came.'

At 21, Raonic is closing in fast on the top 10 and his huge serve and forehand make him a threat to even the game's best players.

He had demolished James Blake in the previous round and it was partly because of the danger posed by the young Canadian that Murray made sure his concentration never wavered.

'I knew going into the match that I was going to have to return well,' the third seed said. 'And then I also had to stay extremely focused and give as few points as possible on my serve away.

'He was always going to come up with some big returns or come to the net a couple of times, get me in tough positions on my serve.

In the limelight: Murray looked unstoppable against Raonic at Flushing Meadows

In the limelight: Murray looked unstoppable against Raonic at Flushing Meadows

In the limelight: Murray looked unstoppable against Raonic at Flushing Meadows

'But I passed really well tonight when I needed to. I kind of made him back away from the net. I had to play extremely solid, and I did that.'

Raonic was left almost in awe of Murray's performance, and he told the Scot so when they shook hands at the net.

Raonic said: 'He said, 'Sorry, I got lucky a few times.' I said, “Don't be sorry – it was simply amazing. Keep it up and you'll do well”.

'Considering what I was able to put into the match, to have somebody that took me out of it and neutralised me and took it even one step further… I haven't really felt in that situation too much when I feel like I'm doing things well.'

Raonic had served 89 aces in his first three matches – substantially more than anyone else in the tournament – and in the first few games Murray struggled to get a racquet on the ball.

Get in there! The heavens opened almost as soon as Murray left the court

Get in there! The heavens opened almost as soon as Murray left the court

Murray's tally of 31 winners and 12 unforced errors was a reflection of his quality, while he was delighted to deny Raonic any chance of a break.

'On this surface, against a big hitter like him, normally you'll have to save some break points,' Murray added. 'But I served really smart today, did a good job behind my serve.

'I did the same at the Olympics. I didn't get broken the last three matches I played there. It's really important to serve well the deeper you go in the tournament. It conserves a lot of energy.

'The first round I served really badly, so there were long baseline rallies. It's physically tiring when you're serving at or 29 per cent or whatever I was serving at in the first match. So I was happy with that.'

Manchester United outcast Zeki Fryers off to Standard Liege

England U19 star Fryers heads to Standard Liege after being rejected by United



21:30 GMT, 22 August 2012

Zeki Fryers will travel to Belgium on Thursday for talks over a transfer to Standard Liege.

The England Under 19 defender left Manchester United at the end of last season having appeared in six first-team games but he failed to agree a new contract at Old Trafford.

New challenge: Former Manchester United youngster Ezekiel Fryers is off to Belgium

New challenge: Former Manchester United youngster Ezekiel Fryers is off to Belgium

The 19-year-old has trained with Tottenham during pre-season but a move to another English club is complicated because any fee will be set by a tribunal if the clubs cannot agree, and United want 6million.

Tottenham remain interested but Liege would be able to sign him for minimal compensation.

Lisa Dobriskey reaches 1,500m final

Dobriskey takes another step towards Olympics after reaching trials final



17:01 GMT, 23 June 2012

Former world silver medallist Lisa Dobriskey was delighted to reach the final of the 1,500 metres at the Olympic trials after overcoming a life-threatening illness.

Dobriskey, who won gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and silver at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, revealed recently she has been suffering with blood clots on her lungs.

The result of the clots was a vastly-reduced lung capacity, a problem which was picked up by hospital scans after Dobriskey had reported problems breathing at the end of training sessions.

Out in front: Lisa Dobriskey reached the 1,500m final in Birmingham

Out in front: Lisa Dobriskey reached the 1,500m final in Birmingham

'It's been really stressful but I'm kind of looking at it now and I'm so grateful to be able to run again,' the 28-year-old from Kent said after winning her heat in Birmingham.

'I was told by a specialist that that was it, just give up and take six months off, you won't be able to run. I'm looking at this as such a bonus and I'm so grateful to be back.

'The last scan showed minimal blood clots but the big artery that was blocked has cleared completely. The human body is amazing because they said it would take a long time to recover. Hopefully I can prove my form in time and be in that team.

'I think I've got enough time to play with. It's not been a smooth ride but I've made massive, massive progress in such a short period of time. I believe I can do it, it's just whether they select me.'

The top two in Sunday's final will be
selected for the Olympics if they have a current 'A' standard time, but
Dobriskey does not have that time and will only have until July 1 to do

The honour of being
the first athlete this weekend to seal their place on the Olympic team
fell to Sophie Hitchon in the women's hammer.

Flying the flag: Sophie Hitchon qualified for the London Olympics

Flying the flag: Sophie Hitchon qualified for the London Olympics

Hitchon, 20, had already achieved the 'A' standard of 71.50m and therefore needed to finish in the top two here to make certain of being in London, something she achieved comfortably with victory and a best throw of 69.79m.

A delighted Hitchon, who won the world junior title in 2010, said: 'I'm really excited. I can't really believe it yet.

'I've been throwing really well in training and just wanted to come here and finish first or second and now I'm on the team.'

Jessica Ennis had earlier won the high jump title with an outdoor season's best of 1.89m, with the Sheffield athlete then going on to qualify impressively for this evening's final of the 100m hurdles.

In the men's 100m, teenage star Adam Gemili was again impressive as he powered into this evening's final by winning his semi from Harry Aikines-Aryeetey in 10.20s.

Five-time champion Dwain Chambers also advanced after finishing second behind Simeon Williamson in the next heat, with a photo-finish required to separate the pair, while James Dasaolu and Mark Lewis-Francis were also among the automatic qualifiers.

Easy does it: Adam Gemili eased through to the 100m final in Birmingham

Easy does it: Adam Gemili eased through to the 100m final in Birmingham

Only Gemili and Dasaolu have the current 'A' standard of 10.18s and can therefore secure their Olympic place by finishing first or second in the final.

The final of the men's 400m hurdles lived up to its billing as one of the best races of the weekend, with five of the eight finalists having achieved the 'A' standard.

World champion Dai Greene shrugged off some poor early-season form to claim victory, with training partner Jack Green also securing his place on the team for London with a late surge to overtake Nathan Woodward and take second.

Woodward's hopes were dashed when he stumbled over the final hurdle, while Rhys Williams crashed to the track after hitting the penultimate barrier. Both will now face an anxious wait to see if they receive the final discretionary place.

Leading light: Dai Greene (centre) hopes to add Olympic gold to his collection

Leading light: Dai Greene (centre) hopes to add Olympic gold to his collection

Greene said: 'It's nice to finally make my first Olympic team. It will be a great experience this summer. I will be in great shape by the time the Olympics comes around. I have a few things to work on so it's very promising.'

Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu and Shana Cox both secured their place in London by finishing first and second in the 400m respectively, but things were far less clear in the women's 800m.

Marilyn Okoro and Emma Jackson had the 'A' standard but finished fifth and seventh in the final, with Okoro paying for a foolish early pace.

Scotland's Lynsey Sharp was a surprise winner ahead of Jemma Simpson, but both will need to run the qualifying time by July 1 to claim their place in the team.

Greg Rutherford sealed his place in London by winning the long jump, but there was bad news for world junior champion Jodie Williams, who left the track in tears after pulling with an apparent hamstring injury 15m from the line in the women's 100m final.

Carlisle boss Abbott flies under the radar as Hull look to replace sacked Barmby

Carlisle boss Abbott flies under the radar as Hull look to replace sacked Barmby



22:37 GMT, 9 May 2012

Former Tiger: Abbott

Former Tiger: Abbott

Carlisle manager Greg Abbott has emerged as a shock contender to become new Hull City manager.

The 48-year-old just missed out on securing a play-off spot with the League One club this season – but has impressed the Hull board with the way he has worked with a minimal budget.

Abbott spent four years at Hull as player in the mid-nineties, making 124 league appearances for the Tigers.

Former Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies is also on the shortlist.

Kevin Pietersen slams IPL critics

You're just jealous! Pietersen slams English media for ignoring IPL



17:46 GMT, 12 April 2012

Kevin Pietersen believes England's lack of interest in the Indian Premier League is down to jealousy.

Pietersen is one of just two England regulars participating in this year's IPL, along with Eoin Morgan, as the World Twenty20 champions were largely overlooked by the nine franchises at auction last year.

Jealous: Pietersen slammed the English media

Jealous: Pietersen slammed the English media

With the likes of star names James
Anderson, Graeme Swann and Ian Bell instead preparing for the England
summer in county ranks, the lucrative tournament, now in its fifth year,
has attracted minimal coverage in the United Kingdom.

Pietersen, one of the Delhi Daredevils most high-profile names, believes jealousy in his adopted homeland is at the heart of that, telling reporters: 'The IPL is very much struggling to find acceptance back home.

'It saddens me because I have had an amazing time at the IPL. It's down to a lot of jealousy I think, which is sad.

Star performer: Pietersen was in fine form as England beat Sri Lanka in Colombo

Star performer: Pietersen was in fine form as England beat Sri Lanka in Colombo

'It saddens me, all the negative publicity the IPL gets in the [UK] media, I don't know why.'

Pietersen admitted he did not know why England's best players had been routinely snubbed by the IPL franchises, claiming they would be better than 'some second-rate Australians' who were getting a game.

'I'd love to see more English players available for – well not only available, I would love to see them picked up because I also see some of the games being played at the moment and I just think: “Man, up here would have been lot better if the Andersons, Bresnans and Boparas were involved in the IPL”,' he told CNN-IBN.

Flying the flag: Pietersen is one of only two England players playing in India

Flying the flag: Pietersen is one of only two England players playing in India

'The guys like Bell, you've got world-class players who are sitting in England now wanting to play the IPL when you've got some second-rate Australians getting gigs here.

'So for me, it's sad that I don't have fellow team-mates playing in the IPL and embarking on a magnificent journey here in the subcontinent and it'll help English cricket as well.'

Stuart Broad is the only other England player who was due to play at this year's IPL, but he was ruled out earlier this week due to a calf injury picked up on the recent tour of Sri Lanka.