Tag Archives: streak

World Cup qualifying round up with Mario Balotelli and Robin van Persie both scoring twice

Super Mario continues scoring streak with two goals for Italy… and Van Persie moves above legend Cruyff in Dutch record books

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

23:49 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

23:59 GMT, 26 March 2013

Mario Balotelli continued his hot streak in front of goals with both goals in Italy's 2-0 win over Malta.

The former Manchester City striker struck a penalty home in the eighth minute before rounding off the win with a cheeky lob inside the area on the stroke of half-time.

The victory, which also saw keeper Gianluigi Buffon deny Malta's Michael Mifsud from the penalty spot, puts Italy three points clear of Bulgaria at the top of Group B.

All smiles: Mario Balotelli celebrates scoring his second goal in Italy's 2-0 win over Malta, and in action (below)

All smiles: Mario Balotelli celebrates scoring his second goal in Italy's 2-0 win over Malta, and in action (below)

MALTA, MALTA - MARCH 26: Mario Balotelli of Italy#9 and Gareth Sciberras of Malta compete for the ball during the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifier match between Malta and Italy at Ta Qali Stadium on March 26, 2013 in Malta, Malta.

Meanwhile, Robin van Persie's season got even better as a brace in Holland's comfortable 4-0 win over Romania lifted him above Dutch legend Johann Cryuff in the national side's all-time scoring table.

Former Spurs midfielder Rafael van der Vaart opened the scoring in the 11th minute, while after the break Van Persie struck twice, the second a penalty, and Jeremain Lens added a fourth in the final minute to leave the Netherlands seven points clear at the top of Group D.

Van Persie wasn't the only Premier League player starring in their national sides' win, as Chelsea's Eden Hazard netted the only goal of the game in Belgium's victory over Macedeonia.

Jubilation: Robin van Persie celebrates topping Johan Cryuff's scoring record, and with Arjen Robben (below)

Jubilation: Robin van Persie celebrates topping Johan Cryuff's scoring record, and with Arjen Robben (below)

RVP

The winger took the ball past two defenders before firing low with his left foot to cement his side's place at the top of Group A above Wales' conquerers Croatia.

Liverpool centre back Daniel Agger was also on target, salvaging Denmark a point against Bulgaria by converting from the spot to earn a 1-1 draw.

Watford's on-loan star Matej Vydra was another English-based player to score twice, setting the Czech republic well on their way to a 3-0 victory at Armenia before the visitors sealed the win through substitute Daniel Kolar.

On target: Chelsea's Eden Hazard scored Belgium's only goal in their triumph over Macedonia

On target: Chelsea's Eden Hazard scored Belgium's only goal in their triumph over Macedonia

In England's group, Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Khacheridi helped 10-man Ukraine edge to a 2-1 win over Moldova, who grabbed a late consolation through Alexandr Suvorov.

Robert Lewandowski scored two penalties either side of Lukasz Piszczek's strike, while Lukasz Teodorczyk and Jakub Kosecki were also on the scoresheet as Poland hammered San Marino 5-0.

On the up: Watford's Czech Republic striker Matej Vydra celebrates after scoring his second goal

On the up: Watford's Czech Republic striker Matej Vydra celebrates after scoring his second goal

Germany moved five points clear of Sweden at the top of Group C after their Borussia Dortmund connection inspired them to a 4-1 win over Kazakhstan.

Marco Reus was on target twice with Mario Gotze and Ilkay Gundogan also scoring for Joachim Low's men.

Top of the group: Marco Reus of Germany scores his team's fourth goal in their rout over Kazakhstan

Top of the group: Marco Reus of Germany scores his team's fourth goal in their rout over Kazakhstan

Greuther Furth's Heinrich Schmidtgal scored a consolation for the visitors, who caused Germany an unexpectedly high number of problems in the second half.

Stuttering Portugal also claimed a win, with second-half goals from Bruno Alves and Hugo Almeida sealing a 2-0 Group F victory at 10-man Azerbaijan.

Ipswich defender Tyrone Mings gives tickets to skint fan

Every little helps: Ipswich youngster Mings helps 'skint' fan out with tickets

By
Angus Paterson

PUBLISHED:

10:40 GMT, 17 March 2013

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UPDATED:

11:55 GMT, 17 March 2013

Footballers get a lot of bad press but Ipswich defender Tyrone Mings is being hailed left, right and centre for his act of generosity on Saturday.

He had been wished good luck before the game by a supporter on Twitter, who said he wasn't able to make it because he was 'skint'.

Mings asked him if he could get to the game and upon receiving a positive response, told the fan that he was setting aside two tickets for him.

New ground: Tyrone Mings made the step up to Ipswich from non-league Yate Town

New ground: Tyrone Mings made the step up to Ipswich from non-league Yate Town

The twitter conversation

Although Mings, 19, was just an unused substitute for the game, the fan will have enjoyed his day out as Ipswich beat Bolton 1-0.

Carlos Edwards scored his first goal in two years to boost the club's bid to beat the npower Championship drop and dent Bolton's play-off charge.

The veteran winger struck with just two minutes to go as Bolton's five-match winning streak shuddered to a halt.

The twitter conversation

Good job you went: Carlos Edwards (left) scored the winner as Ipswich won, but Mings stayed on the bench

Good job you went: Carlos Edwards (left) scored the winner as Ipswich won, but Mings stayed on the bench

Rafael Nadal beats David Ferrer 6-0 6-2 in Mexican Open final

Nadal crushes Ferrer to claim Mexican Open title… and he's raring to go for Indian Wells!

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

12:32 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:44 GMT, 3 March 2013

A dominant Rafa Nadal dismantled fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6-0 6-2 on Saturday to win his second Mexican Open title and continue his successful comeback from a long injury lay-off.

Nadal, ranked fifth in the world, needed just over an hour to dispatch top seed Ferrer and was delighted with his form.

'For me, I played almost perfectly,' said Nadal following the match. 'My knee responded well all week.'

King of clay: Rafael Nadal collects his trophy wearing a sombrero in Acapulco

King of clay: Rafael Nadal collects his trophy wearing a sombrero in Acapulco

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Moving on: The Spaniard will play in the Indian Wells Masters tournament next week

Nadal also confirmed he would play in next week's Indian Wells hard-court tournament, despite speculation he might skip the event to spare his knee.

'My heart tells me I should continue competing, that I need to move on to the next tournament,' he added.

Nadal had been sidelined for more than seven months due to a partially torn tendon in his knee. He made his return early last month at the Chilean Open, losing in the final to Argentine Horacio Zeballos. A week later he claimed the Brazil Open title.

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against David Ferrer

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against David Ferrer

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against Ferrer

The former world number one charged out of the blocks and won the first eight games against three-time defending champion Ferrer, who saw his 19-match winning streak at the clay-court event come to an end.

'Rafa was just better than me today,' said Ferrer.

World No 4 Ferrer waited 44 minutes to win his first game of the final, the crowd erupting in applause as he put away a service winner to trail 2-1 in the second set.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Success: Nadal added the Mexican title to his triumph in Brazil and final in Chile since his return from injury

Crushed: Ferrer admitted his compatriot was the better man on the day

Crushed: Ferrer admitted his compatriot was the better man on the day

With Ferrer serving down 3-1, an extended rally in which both players scrambled back and forth from the net ended with a top-spin lob winner by Nadal, bringing the crowd to its feet and the score to 30-30.

Second seed Nadal, the 2005 Mexican Open champion, won the next two points to go up two breaks in the set and virtually put the match away.

Six Nations 2013: George North pitch invader was his dad! EXCLUSIVE

EXCLUSIVE: Look behind you, George – the pitch invader who wants a quick word is your Dad

By
Luke Benedict

PUBLISHED:

22:45 GMT, 11 February 2013

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UPDATED:

07:53 GMT, 12 February 2013

When George North scored the match-winning try against France in Paris with only eight minutes to play, one supporter was so caught up in the moment that he simply had to celebrate it with his boy.

North’s father David was sitting only 20 feet from where his 6ft 4in son caught a bouncing ball, bulldozed over Francois Trinh-Duc and stretched over the line to score.

The 12th international try of his career was scored in the corner of the Stade de France where most of the travelling supporters were based.

Look behind you: George North was grabbed after his try against France, but it turned out to be his Dad

Look behind you: George North was grabbed after his try against France, but it turned out to be his Dad

Look behind you: George North was grabbed after his try against France, but it turned out to be his Dad

David had watched his son’s career every step of the way and, for a moment, lost himself in the excitement.

Speaking to Sportsmail, the 54-year-old said: ‘It was a freezing night and we were sat in that corner, right in front of where George caught the ball. I was just so happy and overwhelmed watching him score.

‘It was such an important game for the team and I know first hand how hard they have been working to get that victory. Before I knew it, I was on the pitch.

‘Thinking back, I know it was a silly thing to do, but I just got caught up in the excitement of it all.’

David revealed that as soon as he explained to the pitchside stewards who he was, he was allowed to return to his seat.

David may have been ecstatic that Wales had ended their eight-match winless streak, but George was too focused to notice his father was on the field next to him, patting him on the back.

North Jnr said: ‘He was in that corner in a big group of Welsh fans. He just lost his head in the excitement.

‘To be honest, I can’t understand why running on to the pitch was the first thing that came into his head!’ he added after the 16-6 win.

Pure delight: The try kick-started Wales' Six Nations campaign and inflicted a second defeat on France

Pure delight: The try kick-started Wales' Six Nations campaign and inflicted a second defeat on France

‘My back was turned and I was jogging back to the halfway line for the kick-off. I was oblivious to it. A couple of the boys were saying, “Is that your old man” And everyone was like, “No, it can’t be”.’

While George remained oblivious to his father’s joy, his team-mate on the wing, Alex Cuthbert, spotted David running on to the pitch, recognised him and smiled before jogging over to tell the try-scorer.

North added: ‘It was such a huge match for us and he is such a devoted supporter of Welsh rugby that he just got caught up in the moment.’

Former Wales centre Tom Shanklin joked: ‘It just shows that George’s dad is a mad fan like all Welsh fans really.’

When George was representing Wales at Under 16 level, North Snr drove his son from Anglesey in north Wales to Cardiff for training and matches.

The journey took between four-and-a-half and six hours. The doting father did so twice a week, sometimes more.

George has spoken of his gratitude for the sacrifice that his parents made in helping him turn his favourite sport into a career.

When he was asked who his rugby idols were, he named the recently retired Wales wing Shane Williams first, then his father.

Saracens 32 Sale 12: David Strettle stars to storm back into England reckoning

Saracens 32 Sale 12: Strettle stars for Sarries to storm back into England reckoning

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

18:25 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:44 GMT, 6 January 2013

Forgotten wing David Strettle fired Saracens to success over struggling Sale in the absence of England full back Alex Goode, who is now an injury doubt for the Six Nations.

Goode missed Saracens’ final Aviva Premiership match at Vicarage Road with a shoulder injury picked up three weeks ago against Munster.

Mark McCall, Saracens director of rugby, said Goode needs another two or three weeks of rehabilitation before he is likely to play again.

ar: Strettle scores Saracens' first try

Star: Strettle scores Saracens' first try

He said: ‘At the minute we are looking at the non-surgical route but it all depends on how his rehab goes.

‘If he makes the progress they (the
medics) hope, he’s got a great chance of making the Six Nations, but
England may want him to play a game or two.’

Goode could yet be joined in the England squad by Strettle, who lost his place last summer due to a hernia operation.

Owen Farrell is favourite for England's no.10 shirt after Flood was cited for an alleged tip tackle

Spot on: Owen Farrell is favourite for England's no.10 shirt after Toby Flood was cited for an alleged tip tackle

ENGLAND WATCH

Stuart Lancaster has no worries about the goal-kicking of Owen Farrell, who scored 22 points.

Eight from eight kicks took his Premiership ‘hot streak’ to 20.

He also weathered the attempts of Sale’s heavyweight centres Johnny Leota and Sam Tuitupou to power past him.

England centre Brad Barritt had another solid match and provided the pass for David Strettle’s try.

McCall hopes his decision to switch Strettle to the left wing might prompt a return to the squad to be announced on Wednesday.

McCall said: ‘David has really
relished the chance to play on the left wing and England don’t have any
out-and-out natural left wingers.’

Strettle showed his try-scoring
ability here by breaking through a stubborn Sale defence in the 62nd
minute of a match dominated until then by the goal-kicking of Owen
Farrell and Danny Cipriani.

Saracens finally cracked the Sale
midfield by using Farrell and substitute Charlie Hodgson as decoy
runners, which allowed Brad Barritt to put Strettle in the clear.

Sale's James Gaskell tries to break through the midfield

Scrap: Sale's James Gaskell tries to break through the midfield

Strettle also delivered the final act
by neatly placing a grubber kick through the Sale defence for Hodgson
to score the second try 10 minutes from time.

Saracens moved second, two points behind Harlequins.

Phew! Relief for Lambert after ending three game losing streak with "huge point" at Swansea despite conceding late equaliser

Phew! Relief for Lambert after ending three game losing streak with 'huge point' at Swansea despite conceding late equaliser

By
Andrew Gwilym, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:26 GMT, 1 January 2013

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UPDATED:

00:39 GMT, 2 January 2013

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert described his side's 2-2 draw at Swansea as a huge point, despite seeing them denied all three by Danny Graham's injury-time equaliser.

The Villans had conceded 15 and scored none in their previous three games and Wayne Routledge added to their woes as he fired the hosts ahead in the ninth minute.

But relegation-threatened Villa had looked set to take the points when Andreas Weimann levelled just before the interval and Christian Benteke scored from the spot when Nathan Dyer conceded an 84th-minute penalty for a foul on Weimann.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert needs to improve things on the pitch

Under pressure: Lambert's side are just one point off the relegation zone after Swansea's stoppage time goal

However, Graham fired home a rebound in a late goalmouth scramble, to leave Lambert with his head in his hands.

A point at least ends Villa's miserable run of defeats and, despite the crushing disappointment, Lambert feels he can take great heart from a gutsy effort by a side with an average age of just 23 years and 119 days – making it the youngest the club had ever fielded in a Premier League fixture.

Villa players react as they concede an equalizer

Gutted: Villa players were left dejected after conceding in the 94th minute

He said: 'It is a huge point although we should have seen it through. But it's a massive point and we were very good and threatening in the second half.

'In the first half they were coming at us from all angles and we had to weather that storm and we needed a couple of good saves from Brad and they also hit the woodwork.

'But to get the goal before half-time certainly helped us and it had a galvanising effect, it gives you something to get going and in the second half we were very good.

'We have been beaten heavily in the last three games so this is a huge point for the future of the club.

'The young lads in the side have been excellent and when you get beaten heavily you learn a lot about people and today showed they are mentally strong.'

Looking up: Christian Benteke celebrates after scoring the second goal for Aston Villa from the penalty spot

Looking up: Christian Benteke celebrates after scoring the second goal for Villa from the penalty spot

Injury-hit Villa, already without the likes of Darren Bent, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Charles N'Zogbia, Ron Vlaar, Nathan Baker and Richard Dunne, also lost Ashley Westwood to an ankle problem after he was felled from behind by Michu's clumsy tackle.

And Lambert will wait before assessing how severe the problem is.

He said: 'He is hobbling at the minute but we will see how he feels. We think it is his ankle.'

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, meanwhile, was left scratching his head as to how his side had not won a game in which they had almost 70 per cent possession and had threatened to run away with during an opening half-hour when Villa were all at sea.

Michu, Graham and Routledge were among those to miss gilt-edged chances, and the Dane said: 'We did not win because we only scored one goal from seven chances with that first-half performance.

Danny Graham celebrates after scoring the late equalizer for Swansea

All Smiles: Graham wheels away after scoring the last minute goal

aston

'It was a great performance – it could have been 4-0 after 12 minutes – but we know how it is when you don't take chances.

'It means one mistake, one free-kick, one corner or whatever it is and the game is back level, and that is what happened at the end of the first half.

'They had only been near our goal two or three times in the first 45 minutes and we gave Villa belief they could come from behind and get something out of the game.

'If we had got a second or third we would maybe be sitting here talking about a 5-0 win.'

Laudrup was also disappointed his side were not awarded a penalty just before the hour mark.

Joe Bennett was penalised for handball on the left-side of his own area as he blocked Angel Rangel.

But referee Mark Halsey only awarded Swansea a free-kick on the edge of the box when the ball had appeared to strike Bennett just inside.

When asked if he thought it was a penalty, Laudrup said: 'Yeah of course, both of his feet are on the line and the hand is inside, I think the line is still part of the box so there was no doubt about it.

'It was a clear penalty but it was not given and that's that, we have to go on.'

World Darts Championship: Mervyn King beaten by Dean Winstanley

King overthrown by unseeded Winstanley in classic early encounter at Ally Pally

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UPDATED:

00:21 GMT, 19 December 2012

The King was dethroned on Tuesday night at Alexandra Palace as Dean Winstanley beat Mervyn King 3-2 in a first-round classic at the World Darts Championship.

Winstanley showed why he was the most feared unseeded player as he eventually prevailed in a match that went to sudden death by dumping the world No 14 out of the tournament in the first round.

It was a perfect start for Winstanley as he won the opening set 3-2 with some solid finishing. The 31-year-old checked out 98 and 83 on his own throw before hitting double 16 in the deciding leg on King’s throw.

You beauty: Dean Winstanley celebrates after winning his first round match against Mervyn King

You beauty: Dean Winstanley celebrates after winning his first round match against Mervyn King

Day five results

Steve Beaton 3-0 Kyle Anderson

Wes Newton 3-0 Johnny Haines

Mervyn King 2-3 Dean Winstanley

Colin Osborne 3-0 Lourence Ilagan

The world No 50 continued his hot streak into the second set and checkouts of 106 and 70 saw him take a 2-1 lead. It seemed nailed on that Winstanley would go two sets up but he missed seven darts at a double in legs four and five and a grateful King hit double 12 to take the second set 3-2 to level at 1-1.

The King was then eager to take advantage as Winstanley pondered his mistakes and soon the World Grand Prix runner-up was 2-1 up. King won the first leg before hitting double six to break in the second and then, with Winstanley sitting on 12, he checked out 140 to win the set 3-0.

But Winstanley didn’t crumble and some consistent play on his own throw in set four along with a double top checkout against the throw saw him win the set 3-1 and level at two sets apiece.

And the drama had only just begun as the final set went to sudden death. First it was King who surged ahead as he checked out 102 against the throw to go 2-0 up.

Short-lived: King was all smiles as he headed to the oche before his first match of the World Championship

Short-lived: King was all smiles as he headed to the oche before his first match of the World Championship

Winstanley came roaring back, though, and his 56 checkout in leg four levelled the set at 2-2 before he hit double 19 in leg five to throw for the match. But then it was The King’s turn to hit back as he won the next two legs to lead 4-3.

And then, just when it looked like momentum couldn’t shift again, Winstanley checkout out 70 to level at 4-4 before breaking the throw to lead 5-4.

King needed to win the 10th leg to take the match to a tie-break and he looked on course to do so before missing two darts at a double to allow Winstanley to close out a thrilling match with double top.

World No 6 Wes Newton didn’t suffer the same fate as King on Tuesday night as he beat Johnny Haines 3-0.

King dethroned at Alexandra Palace: The world No 14 was upset by the feared Winstanley

King dethroned at Alexandra Palace: The world No 14 was upset by the feared Winstanley

The Warrior was edgy at the start but picked up his form to run out a comfortable winner and move through to the last 32.

It was a strange opening set at Alexandra Palace as the first four legs all went against the throw before Newton hit double 16 in the deciding leg to take it 3-2. Newton then made a flying start to the second set with a break, but he then struggled to close out the next leg on his throw, in the end winning it in 28 darts as both men missed a hatful of doubles.

And, despite Haines wining the third leg to cut his second-set deficit to 2-1, Newton produced a moment of magic as he hit 171 to leave 36, which he mopped up on his next return to seal the second set.

Newton then finished Haines off in double quick time as he took the third set 3-0, hitting checkouts of 73 and 135, and won the match by the same margin.

Comfortable win: Wes Newton cruised through to the second round after beating Johnny Haines

Comfortable win: Wes Newton cruised through to the second round after beating Johnny Haines

Steve Beaton started day five with a straightforward 3-0 win against Australian qualifier Kyle Anderson to set up a second-round clash with James Wade.

Colin Osborne rounded off the evening with a 3-0 win over Filipino Lourence Ilagan, who came through a preliminary-round contest earlier in the evening.

Ozzy put in a good performance against the impressive qualifier from the Philippines to move into the second round.

There are just two more days of first-round action at Ally Pally and Wednesday sees Ronnie Baxter, Colin Lloyd and Simon Whitlock start their World Championship campaigns.

England"s ruthless streak turned India series around – Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain: England's new ruthless streak turned series around

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UPDATED:

23:46 GMT, 17 December 2012

The first Test in Ahmedabad may have seen England beaten heavily but the second innings there proved a turning point both in this series and in the future of this team. Without it things could look very different now.

Just look at what had gone on before then. The high of going to No 1 in the Test world last year was followed by a 5-0 one-day thrashing in India, then a 3-0 Test hammering by Pakistan in the UAE followed by a convincing Test series defeat by South Africa last summer and then a very poor performance in spinning conditions in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

All the good vibes about the England cricket team were starting to be questioned.

Ruthless: Stuart Broad was gone from the side after two poor tests

Ruthless: Stuart Broad was gone from the side after two poor tests

More from Nasser Hussain…

Nasser Hussain: We have to bring in DRS for all Test matches
16/12/12

Nasser Hussain: Little Master has no answer to the immaculate Anderson
14/12/12

Nasser Hussain: Careless England fail to punish defensive Dhoni and leave the door ajar
13/12/12

Nasser Hussain: Don't let India off the hook now – win and leave them in turmoil
11/12/12

Nasser Hussain: Do Dhoni, Gambhir, Sachin and India legends still have Test hunger
09/12/12

Nasser Hussain: Captain fantastic is allowed to make one slip-up
07/12/12

Nasser Hussain: Fletch told me 'This lad will be a great…' I just couldn't see it!
06/12/12

Nasser Hussain: Sachin just cannot work paceman out as Anderson gets the better of him again
05/12/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

But when Alastair Cook scored a big hundred in a losing cause in Ahmedabad in that second innings things changed. It was the moment the captain said to his team: ‘Hang on, there are no demons here. The ball is not spinning both ways. If we show some character, application and belief we can do this.’ And since then the transformation has been astonishing.

Everything England have done since then has been right. And their business has been conducted in a quite ruthless manner. There has been no dilly-dallying, no worrying about reputations. This has been anything but a closed shop.

Tim Bresnan has been a very good cricketer for England but as soon as Cook and Andy Flower realised they had made a mistake in not picking Monty Panesar for the first Test the Yorkshireman was gone.

Stuart Broad was England’s vice-captain and one of the leading wicket-takers in world cricket in 2012 but when he had two poor Tests and England knew they had to get a fit-again Steven Finn in the side, Broad was also gone.

Samit Patel had not done too much wrong but once it became clear that his bowling was not going to be required with Panesar in the team England took one look at him and said: ‘He’s not one of our best six batsmen.’

And then they overlooked Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan to make another ruthless, and what turned out to be a thoroughly astute, call in picking Joe Root.

England basically had to nail everything to win this series after going one down and they did it. Look at Kevin Pietersen. He was a frenetic wreck in the first Test and only had a couple of days to come up with a defensive technique against his old nemesis, left-arm spin. What happened He went out and smashed 186 in Mumbai.

Good call: Joe Root was brought in for business and it proved a wise decision

Good call: Joe Root was brought in for business and it proved a wise decision

Consider also that this effectively became a three-match series when you look at how poor the wicket in Nagpur was.

Nobody
was going to get a result on that so England had to win in both Mumbai
and Kolkata, which they did in spectacular fashion. Two players stand
out — Cook and Jimmy Anderson. The way the new captain went about his
work was hugely impressive. He is a run machine. Cook would always start
again after a big innings as if he still had everything to prove.

Tour by numbers

Tour by numbers

He was never out straight after an interval or after drinks, as many were in this series, and he always made sure he kicked on after reaching a hundred.

And Anderson was world-class. The deliveries and spells he produced. The hold he had over Sachin Tendulkar. He led the attack with great energy and gusto, and he was not even as grumpy as he can be. Jimmy set the tone and he enjoyed what he did.

India are not the side they were. If I was putting together a composite side from the two teams I would start by picking the whole England attack. England, for once, had better spinners than India in Indian conditions. The tourists were fitter, both physically and mentally, and hungrier for Test cricket. India would not have been able to take four wickets late in a day, after two sessions without a wicket, as England did on Saturday.

India went one up and just thought they could prepare a turning pitch and England would crumble. They showed too much bravado.

And England made them pay very heavily indeed for that.

Picture dispute: We are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur 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.

Tony Fernandes describes Queens Park Rangers" start to season as disaster

Fernandes slams QPR's start as 'nothing short of disaster' after record 16-game winless streak

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UPDATED:

21:12 GMT, 11 December 2012

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has slammed his club's start to the Barclays Premier League season, describing the campaign so far as 'nothing short of a disaster'.

The Malaysian entrepreneur took to Twitter after watching the club go a record 16 games without victory with their 2-2 draw at Wigan on Saturday.

Despite replacing Mark Hughes with former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp last month after Rangers' dismal start, Fernandes said he 'won't leave any stone unturned' in his bid to save his club from the drop.

Disaster: QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has slated his club's start to the campaign

Disaster: QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has slated his club's start to the campaign

Fernandes will be at Loftus Road on Saturday for the visit of west London rivals Fulham, and urged fans of rock bottom Rangers to keep their spirits up.

He tweeted: 'Holiday today in malaysia. Went early xmas shopping. But all I want is 3 points. Hehehehe.

'Its been nothing short of a disaster. Its not where we are. But boy we put so much effort into this. Good honest effort.

'Keep your spirits up. Laughing smiling and being positive helps. Won't leave any stone unturned to try fix this. tough as it is. Hopefully santa gives us some early presents.'

Both Redknapp and Fernandes are desperate to break QPR's duck at the weekend, but a win will still leave them at least five points from safety.

QPR escaped relegation by a point last season, when Manchester City clinched the Premier League title with a last-gasp victory over them in the final match after midfielder Joey Barton had been sent off for lashing out at Carlos Tevez.

Mire: Rangers have gone a record 16 games without a win at the start of the season

Mire: Rangers have gone a record 16 games without a win at the start of the season

Saviour: Harry Redknapp (right) is hoping to turn the west London club's season around

Saviour: Harry Redknapp (right) is hoping to turn the west London club's season around

Wolves 1 Birmingham 0 match report:

Wolves 1 Birmingham 0: King scores at wrong end to hand derby win to Solbakken's men

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UPDATED:

19:43 GMT, 8 December 2012

Marlon King's own goal handed Wolves the derby spoils as they saw off neighbours Birmingham at Molineux.

King has bagged 13 goals for City this season, but he found the net at the wrong end in the first half to hand Wanderers their first home win in seven attempts stretching back to late September.

The striker sliced past Jack Butland when attempting to clear Bakary Sako's drilled free-kick at the front post, with Nathan Redmond also guilty of turning his back on the ball as part of a one-man wall.

Unlucky: Marlon King put the ball in his own goal

Unlucky: Marlon King put the ball in his own goal

MATCH FACTS

Wolves: Ikeme, Ward, Johnson, Berra, Foley, Henry, Sako, Doumbia (Davis 74), Ebanks-Blake (Pennant 84), Sigurdarson, Doyle

Subs not used: De Vries, Stearman, Batth, Forde, Nouble

Booked: Johnson

Goal: 34 (og)

Birmingham: Butland, Caldwell, Davies, Spector (Morrison 46), Caddis, Robinson, Mullins, Elliott, Redmond (Lovenkrands 72), King, Hall (Burke 80)

Subs not used: Doyle, Packwood, Hancox, Morrison, Diop

Booked: Robinson, Mullins

Referee: Taylor

Attendance: 21,339

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Wolves put in a much-improved
performance after the break and enjoyed several chances to extend their
advantage, but profligate finishing and some superb saves from Butland
ensured the result hung in the balance until the final whistle.

It was only the second time Wolves
have won back-to-back games this season after last weekend's 4-1 triumph
at Bristol City, a result which ended a nine-match winless streak.

Birmingham went into the clash also
underperforming this term and struggling at the wrong end of the npower
Championship table, although it was they who started the better, Paul
Caddis seeing his curling effort from 20 yards well parried away by Carl
Ikeme.

Bjorn Sigurdarson found the
side-netting for the hosts after good work down the left by Sako before
Ikeme had to be alert once again to tip over after Roger Johnson and
Jonathan Spector tussled to get on the end of Redmond's set-piece.

Blues were certainly posing the
greater attacking threat and looking the more lively, but Wolves were
steadily coming into the game more as the first half wore on.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake saw his appeals
for a penalty waved away before Kevin Doyle put the ball into the net
only to be denied by the assistant's flag.

But Wolves did get the breakthrough just minutes later.

Ebanks-Blake went down easily under a
soft challenge from Steven Caldwell right on the byline outside the
penalty area. Sako whipped in the resulting free-kick and King could
only divert the ball into his own net at the near post when trying to
clear.

It was a goal Wolves arguably did not
deserve on the overall balance of play in the first half, but that will
not have mattered much to under-pressure manager Stale Solbakken.

Wolves have been heavily criticised of late for lethargic second-half performances, but that was certainly not the case tonight.

Sigurdarson found himself clean
through almost immediately after the restart only to fire straight at
Butland, although the assistant's flag was raised.

Doyle's driving run ended with a shot
narrowly wayward of Butland's left-hand post before Sako finished
another mazy venture forward with an effort off target as Wanderers
dominated.

Stephen Ward brought a solid save out
of Butland at his near post, with Curtis Davies deflecting Doyle's shot
on to the top of the crossbar from the resulting corner.

Butland then produced a superb instinctive save to keep out Sigurdarson's header from Sako's corner, keeping Blues in the game.

But they could not force a late
leveller and Wolves were left celebrating only their third derby success
over their local rivals in 15 attempts.