India’s Pandya’s five wickets sent England collapsing out for 161

England suffered a spectacular collapse  as India took control of the third Specsavers Test on a remarkable second day at Trent Bridge

It was Pandya's first five-fer in Test cricket.
It was Pandya’s first five-fer in Test cricket. © Getty
AIWA! NO! Then press~~In a dramatically redemptive session of play, India made up for this morning’s insipid bowling display by picking ten wickets in an extended session at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
Five of those wickets went to Hardik Pandya in a stunning fulfillment of India’s stubborn persistence with the all-rounder, who rampaged through England’s middle-order to bring up his maiden five-wicket haul.
India’s comeback lay in Pandya’s riveting spell as much as in their catching behind the wicket, the hero being the 20-year-old Rishabh Pant, who caught five to become just the fourth Indian wicketkeeper with as many as five catches on debut. KL Rahul was the more subtle standout, taking three catches to help dismiss Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes.

Root’s dismissal out of the three entailed the most drama and controversy. Pandya’s first delivery of the match had Root poke a low catch to Rahul at second slip, and given what any low catch engenders, the decision was taken upstairs by the on-field umpires, with the soft signal being out. Aleem Dar, short of proof and perhaps burdened by the soft signal, ruled the catch to be legitimate.

Pandya’s five wickets came in 29 balls, only bettered by Harbhajan Singh’s five wickets in 27 balls against Windies at Kingston in 2006. Stokes was his second wicket, edging it behind, as did Bairstow. Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid fell off consecutive balls spread across two overs but a hat-trick wasn’t meant to be. It all started with Ishant Sharma early, who hadn’t bowled in the morning session at all.

Alastair Cook, dropped by Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip, was snaffled next ball by Ishant, who now has the left-hander on ten occasions in Tests. Keaton Jennings fell next ball, it being the first of Bumrah’s over, and then Ollie Pope was strangled down leg soon after, paving for England to plummet from 54/0 to 161 all out.

Jos Buttler was the only blip in a session thoroughly bossed by India. The in-out fields allowed Buttler to take strike for up to five balls in an over, and England could pick up 33 runs for the last wicket before Buttler miscued a big hit off Bumrah to long-on.

Brief Scores: India 329 (Virat Kohli 97, Ajinkya Rahane 81; James Anderson 3-64, Stuart Broad 3-72, Chris Woakes 3-75) lead England 161 (Jos Buttler 39; Hardik Pandya 5-28) by 168 runs

India vs England Cricket Battle, 3rd Test in Nottingham, Day 1: Rahul, Dhawan begin cautiously

ENGLAND lead India 2-0 and viewers tuning to watch and stream the third Test could see the home side seal the series with two matches to spare.

England cricket star Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes will hope to be England’s talisman vs India in the third Test (Image: GETTY)

India will be hungry to keep themselves alive in the five-match Test series against hosts England when they square-off in the third Test at the Trent Bridge. After losing the first two matches, India face a must-win situation. India gave a very good fight before losing the first Test by 31 runs in Birmingham.

In the second Test, they were outplayed by an innings and 159 runs at Lord’s, succumbing within three days. The Indian team management’s major responsibility on Saturday would be to find a perfect team combination as players are going through fitness and out of form issues.

India vs England Live Score, 3rd Test, Day 1: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul Begin Cautiously Against England Seamers
India vs England Live: Rishabh Pant became the 291st player to represent India in Test cricket.© BCCI

India’s playing eleven is likely to witness few changes with Delhi wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant all set to make his Test debut replacing Dinesh Karthik, who has failed miserably so far in the tour, with scores of 0, 20, 1 and 0 in his four innings. Meanwhile, media reports suggest skipper Kohli has more or less recovered from his back problem and is expected to lead his side once again. Also, if opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan returns on Saturday, either Lokesh Rahul or Murali Vijay will be axed from the playing eleven.

Joe Root’s side won a close game at Edgbaston in the first Test with Sam Curran starring in only his second Test match with 4/74 with the ball in the first innings and a crucial 65-ball 63 with the bat in the second.

England triumphed by 31 runs courtesy of Ben Stokes taking 4/40 to bowl India out in the last innings but had to leave him out for the second Test as he attended the affray trial where he was found not guilty earlier this week.

The explosive all-rounder has been picked again at Trent Bridge and Curran is the unlucky man who misses out.

India captain Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli appears to have recovered from a back injury to play in the third Test (Image: REUTERS)

India meanwhile will be glad to have Virat Kohli fit after he recovered from a back injury that was aggravated during the innings defeat in the second Test at Lord’s.

Alisson joins list of Liverpool’s most expensive signings

Alisson’s arrival means seven of the top 10 have also arrived during Jurgen Klopp’s reign at Liverpool.

alisson
Alisson played in all of Brazil’s matches at the World Cup in Russia

Liverpool’s £65million capture of Alisson makes him Liverpool’s second most expensive signing, pushing Adam Lallana out of the club’s top 10 splashes.

This comes in the same summer Fabinho arrived for £39.3million and Naby Keita’s near £53million move was finally made official.

The trio’s arrivals see them shoot towards the upper echelons of the club’s biggest ever signings, easily entering the all-time top 10.

Indeed, both Alisson and Van Dijk are now the most expensive players in their respective positions.

What should be noted, perhaps, is how the top six have all arrived at Anfield over the past 12 months – hinting at a real shift in intent from owners FSG.

Alisson’s arrival means seven of the top 10 have also arrived during Jurgen Klopp’s reign.

Here are the club’s most expensive signings.

Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton, £75million)

Liverpool’s record signing was finally confirmed on December 27, 2017, with Liverpool agreeing to pay Southampton £75million for the Dutch defender.

The deal put an end to a transfer saga that had raged on for months with Southampton refusing to budge during the 2017 summer window.

Since arriving at Anfield, Van Dijk has been a complete success. He has been integral in helping Liverpool shore up a previously suspect defence. A great physique, calm demeanour and great ability to play it out from the back ensure that Van Dijk is a perfect modern day centre-half and has been one of the high points of Jurgen Klopp’s career at Liverpool so far.

Alisson after signing for Liverpool
Alisson after signing for Liverpool (Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC

Alisson (Roma, £65million)

A true transfer saga unfolded but ended with Liverpool possessing the world’s most expensive goalkeeper to join the costliest defender in football.

Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards moved decisively to secure Alisson’s services after Roma’s asking price dropped and the 25-year-old made it clear that his heart was set on signing for the club.

The Reds had initially walked away after being quoted £90million by Roma sporting director Monchi in May and then £75million in June.

However, Roma significantly reduced those demands and as Chelsea sat waiting for Thibaut Courtois to be sold to Real Madrid, Liverpool acted swiftly to beat the Londoners to Allison’s signature.

The Brazilian no.1 has caught the eye during his time in Italy, despite shipping seven goals against the Reds in the Champions League semi-final last season.

(Image: Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Naby Keita (RB Leipzig, £52.75million)

At £52.75million, the second most expensive player to walk through the doors at Anfield will certainly have a lot of pressure on his shoulders.

Based on his displays for RB Leipzig over the past two years, Liverpool fans have nothing to worry about. Keita has boundless excesses of energy, pace to burn allows him to cover right across the middle of midfield and he possesses a genuine talent on the ball that holding midfielders often lack.

Often likened to Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, if Keita can achieve even a fraction of what Kante has in the Premier League then the Reds will have found themselves one of the top midfield talents in world football. Expect him to deliver and then some.

(Image: Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Fabinho (Monaco, £39.3million)

Another big splash into the central midfield department, Fabinho may well partner Naby Keita in the Liverpool engine room this season.

Similarly energetic and strong in the tackle, Liverpool look to be building a side that is equipped to take on any style of play and make an assault on the Premier League crown.

At 24 years old, Fabinho will soon be hitting his prime years and, with international caps for Brazil and a host of Champions League appearances under his belt for Monaco, won’t be concerned by the prospect of signing for such a big club.

(Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Mohamed Salah (Roma, £36.9million)

An argument for THE success story of this list, Mohamed Salah comes in as Liverpool’s fourth most expensive signing. The fee could rise in the future and move him up this list but the current £36.9million outlay spent last summer to bring the Egyptian to Anfield now seems like an absolute snip.

Forty four goals in all competitions for the Reds last season, a Premier League Player of the Year award and coming runner-up in the Egyptian election all mean that Salah has had a year to remember.

A heartbreaking early exit from the Champions League final due to injury only endeared him to the fans more, and he’ll be ready to bounce back following a disappointing summer with his country at the World Cup.

(Image: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal, £35million)

The £35million spent to bring Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal to Liverpool last summer was viewed as a big risk in certain sections of the media and amongst many Liverpool fans.

Proving the doubters wrong, the midfielder has proved great value for money, putting in stand-out performances such as the one against Manchester City in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

A terribly cruel injury ruled him out of the final in Kiev, and subsequently the entirety of next season, in all likelihood.

(Image: Action Images / Paul Thomas)

Andy Carroll (Newcastle, £35million)

The first on this list that Liverpool fans would rather forget is joint-fifth. Andy Carroll.

Signed for £35million and unveiled alongside Luis Suarez, who cost £22.8million, it isn’t hard for Reds to decide which was the success story. Carroll’s short stay on Merseyside was dogged with injury and poor form. He only managed 11 goals in 58 appearances for Liverpool and was eventually loaned out to West Ham where he remains permanently.

Two of those 11 goals did, however, come against Everton.

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa, £32.5million)

The second disappointment on this list, it is dumbfounding to know that £32.5million Christian Benteke was more expensive than names such as Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres and Sadio Mane.

Signed in July 2015 as the man to fill the void left by Suarez, Christian Benteke came to the club with the reputation of a striker who could score goals and bully defences into submission.

What Liverpool received was 10 goals in 42 games for the club before departing for Crystal Palace. A wonder strike at Old Trafford aside, Benteke’s Anfield career was very much a non-event.

Sadio Mane (Southampton, £30million)

Another big spend that now looks to be an absolute bargain, Sadio Mane cost Liverpool £30million when arriving from Southampton in the summer of 2016. Scoring 33 goals in 73 games so far, Mane has been a huge success and is a key part of Liverpool’s three-pronged attack that also features Salah and Roberto Firmino.

Full of pace, tenacity and skill, Mane also has the knack of scoring in big games. He and Liverpool fans alike will be expecting another strong campaign this season as Liverpool look to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title.

Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim, £29million)

Roberto Firmino arrived from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in July 2015 for £29million after an impressive four-and-a-half-year spell in Germany.

‘Bobby’s’ first two seasons at Anfield saw him play very well, working incredibly hard for his teammates and providing an effective foil for the other attacking players in the side.

Last season saw Firmino reach a new level. A career best 27 goals has seen him silence the critics that claimed he can’t deliver the goals to be the central striker at a top club. In doing this, he has also managed to maintain his workrate and team ethic.

‘My heart is Palestinian,’ Maradona tells Abbas

Former Argentina footballer Diego Maradona has told Mahmoud Abbas, “My heart is Palestinian.” The football icon met the Palestinian President in Moscow on Sunday.

Diego-Maradona-and-AbbasDiNwtXfXkAA7pfQ
Former Argentina footballer Diego Maradona (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [Twitter]

Maradona posted a video of the short meeting with Abbas on his Instagram page. It was reported widely in the Arab and Israeli media, including Ynet News.

The footballer regarded by many as the best ever told Abbas that he sympathises with the plight of the Palestinians. “This man wants peace in Palestine,” he said after a short hug. “President Abbas has a country and has a right.”

Abbas thanked Maradona and presented him with a gift in the form of a painting of a dove carrying an olive branch, as well as some Palestinian olive oil.

Read: Argentina cancels match with Israel amid protests

Penniless and homesick Nigerian world cup ‘fans’ got stranded in Moscow

This is how penniless and homesick Nigerian world cup ‘fans’ got stranded in Moscow

The World Cup, ending this Sunday, brought to Moscow fans from all over the world. Among them were at least 300 Nigerian fans who had hoped to see their national team clinch the trophy.

However, among them were other ‘fans’ who went to Russia with the hope of gaining employment.

Upon arrival, they were surprised to discover it was part of an elaborate scam. Not only were the numbers of their ‘prospective employers’ fake, the money they had carried was not enough to cater for their accommodation and food in the Russian capital.

According to Alternativa, a movement against human trafficking and slavery, at least 60 Nigerians have been stranded in the streets of Moscow after they realised that their return tickets were cancelled by the agency in Nigeria. This meant that they had to pay their own way back to their homes.

According to the AFP, the Nigerians had purchased the tickets that included plastic-coated passes that enable foreign fans to enter Russia without a visa during the World Cup.

It is not indicated how the Nigerians were able to obtain these tickets and sell them to fans, although there were reports of plans by human traffickers to flood the World Cup with trafficked people including sex workers.

The football governing body, FIFA stated that it is making effort to identify and stop unauthorised sales of passes.

The Nigerians are currently at the Nigerian Embassy and at the Vnukovo airport in Moscow, seeking help to get home.

“We’ve been sleeping on the floor like fools. We’ve got no place to go. We really do want to go back to our country. We’ve cried, we’ve wept, but still, no solution,” Alonge Ademola, 35, a cement dealer from Lagos told AFP.

According to Crime Russia, some Nigerians ended up at the Sheremetyevo in a bid to get on a Turkish Airline flight that was rumoured to take them home but in vain.

“[On Thursday] in Sheremetyevo about 40 citizens of Nigeria, when attempting to fly to their homeland, encountered problems on registration, their return tickets were invalid,” the Interfax source at the airport said

Alternativa has already helped 50 Nigerians so far, but it believes the number of stranded football fans is still high.

The Nigerian embassy, according to Ambassador Steve Davis Ugbah, is unable to pay for the tickets of all the fans and has since turned to the Russian authorities for help.

He has also counted out the deportation of his country people, insisting that a solution will be found soon.

It is against FIFA rules and values to practice human trafficking.

“Practices of human trafficking are in opposition to FIFA’s own values. The competence to address issues related to human trafficking, like any other criminal activity, is with the relevant national and international authorities (policy, judicial and governmental), and FIFA welcomes the steps that are taken in that respect,” FIFA said on Friday.

How Brazilian soccer legend Pele called for a two-day ceasefire during Nigeria Biafra war in 1960s

pele
‘I promised my father I’d win the World Cup’– Pelé recalls remarkable life in football

He was so powerful and admired by many people in his heydays that he was able to achieve what political leaders and the international community couldn’t – stop a devastating civil war in Nigeria on his own.

The Biafran War was rampant in the 1960s, following the desire of the Igbo people to separate from Nigeria and form the independent Republic of Biafra in the east of the country.

The violent and bloody conflict killed over 3 million people and displaced many.

Pele was then a household name who was playing for a Brazilian club called Santos and had already played in three World Cups.

In 1969, Santos FC realized that the domestic league was not helpful to them, so they started travelling around the world playing exhibition matches against top teams, and Nigeria’s team was one of them.

Two games had been arranged in advance, and due to financial reasons, the Brazilians decided not to cancel the matches despite the ongoing civil war in the West African country.

With football’s magic to bring people together and the influence of the soccer star, Pelé, the two factions in the war agreed on a 48-hour ceasefire so that the games could be carried out peacefully for people to come and watch.

During both matches, it is said that the stadium was fully packed, with spectators, including soldiers from both sides carrying extra chairs to acquire seating for themselves to see the world’s best player display his amazing footballing skills.

The military even opened heavily guarded checkpoints so that people could make their way to the games.

The two sides in the war watched the game together, showing unity despite this being for a brief period.

Once the games were over after the 48-hour period, the two sides got back fighting and killing each other in one of the most brutal wars in history.

The Biafran War ended in 1970 after the Nigerians captured the entire territory. The football legend, Pelé, went ahead to play and win laurels and praises everywhere around the world.

By Crimson Tazvinzwa

Croatia came, fought and conquered while England trudged in lumber; very far, but not far enough

AIWA! We Press: It is painful for everyone. But it is a fact. Football is about winning and losing. And today England lost because of this simple fact.

gareth

On a night of almost unbearable tension, Mario Mandzukic’s well-taken goal in the second half of extra-time was enough to end all the unlikely English dreams and secure Croatia a World Cup final with France.

What do  we need to do to move forward, further than  where we have reached, where we are  here and beyond? Plan, invest, build and train: academies, coaches , managers and players.  And communities. England should not see themselves as a football team whose destination at competitive levels is always failure. Come on! Football was invented in England after all.

Gareth Southgate, the understated manager, has transformed the nation’s relationship with its football team.

He has managed to unify us where everyone else has failed; and he has gone beyond football at that. He made English football more personable to fans and the media. Commonality and a bit of national pride; one’s identity. england-squad-world-cup-2018full

And when the dust has finally settled Gareth Southgate’s The Three Lions Warriors were beaten by the better team – although there wasn’t much in it for anybody.

But England have exceeded all expectations, entered the semi-finals first time since 1966, restored some of their battered international pride and can return home with heads held high.

 

Crimson Tazvinzwa

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