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Author Archive for Vic Marks at Lord's

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Jimmy Anderson fireworks help England thrash India in second Test

• India 107 & 130, England 396-7dec• Anderson takes four for 23 in second inningsStuart Broad is a bystander no more. As the competition for the bowling slots in the England side hots up Broad made his first major intervention of the series, a remi…

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Chris Woakes’s first Test hundred puts England in full control against India

• India 107; England 357-6• Woakes shines in partnership with Bairstow at Lord’sThe most timely of interventions from Chris Woakes kept England in charge of the second Test. The Warwickshire all-rounder purred to his maiden Test century in just 129 bal…

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England face all-round dilemma at Lord’s but India may try positive spin | Vic Marks

Chris Woakes or Moeen Ali could step in for the second Test while the tourists, whose bowlers contributed hugely to the drama at Edgbaston, may opt for a second spinnerThe excitement of both sides at the prospect of a Lord’s Test with the sun shining a…

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Moeen Ali thwarts Virat Kohli as shrewd England leave India in a spin

• England 322-7, India 236 – England win by 86 runs• Joe Root ends poor run of form by hitting 113As anticipated the spinners prevailed. But contrary to expectation it was the English spinners, rather than Kuldeep Yadav, who ensured victory on another …

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England should be taking names as Australia ease past Middlesex

• Middlesex 182; Australia 283-6. Australia win by 101 runs• Travis Head’s century eases tourists to victoryThis was as decorous an affair as one might expect. A good sprinkling of curious spectators gathered here to have a look at the visiting Austral…

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Pakistan blow away woeful England to seal crushing victory in first Test

• England 184 and 242; Pakistan 363 and 66-1• Abbas and Amir fire Pakistan to nine-wicket winAfter that little oasis of serenity on Saturday evening, England reverted to type. In the space of 25 minutes wild hopefulness gave way to grim haplessness as …

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Buttler and Bess steer England away from humiliation after Pakistan blitz

• England 184 and 235-6; Pakistan 363• Jos Buttler and Dom Bess lead England fightback after collapseOn a sunlit Saturday evening Jos Buttler and Dom Bess, both oblivious to the torments endured in the dressing room of England’s Test team over the wint…

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Pakistan batsmen build healthy Lord’s lead against frustrated England attack

• England 184; Pakistan 350-8• Babar Azam top-scores with 68 but forced off injuredOn a grey day at Lord’s the situation grew grimmer for the home side. The pattern of the game was sustained as Pakistan outplayed England by dint of solid, unspectacular…

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England horror show leaves patient Pakistan brimming with hope

• England 184; Pakistan 50-1• Last five wickets fall for 19 runs in first-day collapseA post-tea collapse, triggered by Mohammad Abbas and Hasan Ali, two pacemen of Pakistan who look tailor-made for English conditions, punctured any early-summer optimi…

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Ben Stokes rips through West Indies before England collapse in reply

• West Indies 123; England 46-4
• Stokes takes six for 22 after Anderson moves on to 499 wickets

The run-drenched sunshine of Leeds was replaced by the devilish gloom of Lord’s, the glowering skies that have pace bowlers salivating, but still the cricket was captivating and fluctuating wildly. It was a bowler’s picnic. Fourteen wickets fell on the first day, the most at Lord’s since the Ashes Test of 2005, and each one had the balance of the match – and the series – juddering back and forth.

When West Indies were bowled out for 123 Headingley seemed like a mirage but when the players left the field for bad light – despite the blazing floodlights – England were 46 for four, which represented something of a recovery since their fourth wicket fell at 24. Both Alastair Cook and Joe Root have come and gone; more predictably so have Mark Stoneman and Tom Westley. So England will need another lower-order revival if they are to gain a first-innings lead. In the gloaming Dawid Malan and Ben Stokes at least hinted this might be possible.

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Thrilling England win in World Cup final is a great advert for the game | Vic Marks

After two excellent semi-finals, the climax to the tournament provided more fantastic entertainment with the result in doubt until the last ball

It is the women who know how to enthrall. After two riveting semi‑finals in the World Cup here was a final that had a capacity crowd nervously glued to their seats one moment, then leaping out of them in delight yet still never knowing which side would prevail until the final ball was bowled. Somehow the men’s games this summer have been so disappointingly one-sided by comparison.

This was not the decorous Lord’s of seasons past. The fans were chanting and gasping at every twist and turn. In the final overs each ball provoked raucous cheers from one set of fans or the other. Brilliant run-outs, scrambled singles, desperate dropped catches and then at the end – just as in the semi-final at Bristol – Anya Shrubsole was engulfed by team‑mates, exhausted not so much by the demands of the game, but the tension of a magnificent final. One-day cricket is a wonderful game when the outcome seems all-important.

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South Africa in deep trouble as England spin towards victory in first Test

• First Test, day three: England 458 & 119-1, South Africa 361
• Spinners Moeen Ali and Liam Dawson help put England in command

Now the tourists are in a deep hole. They will probably have to bat for four and a half sessions to save the first Test on one of the best Lord’s surfaces of recent times. Its excellence stems not from the unalloyed evenness that batsmen love, but from the fact it is deteriorating as a good cricket pitch should.

The ball is turning a little, the bounce cannot always be trusted and on Saturday night England were ahead by 216 runs with nine wickets in hand. It looks as if Joe Root will be in a position to deliver his first declaration as an England captain some time on Sunday afternoon.

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Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad put South Africa’s Lord’s record under threat

• England 458; South Africa 214-5
• Moeen and Broad take two wickets apiece as tourists struggle

South Africa’s proud and spotless record at Lord’s since returning to world cricket is under threat. In five visits here they have won convincingly four times and drawn once. Currently they are 244 runs behind with five wickets in hand. From here they might settle for another draw.

On another balmy day they were tormented by two of England’s all-rounders, neither of whom was Ben Stokes. Argue among yourselves whether Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali can truly be categorised as all-rounders – maybe the former does not bat well enough and the latter’s bowling is too limited. But there was no denying that in mid-afternoon Moeen joined Broad and five other illustrious England cricketers who have hit 2000 Test runs and taken 100 Test wickets. (The others are Wilfred Rhodes, Trevor Bailey, Tony Greig, Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff). Oddly Moeen has reached 2,000 runs and 100 wickets in the same match – as did Ravi Shastri. Of the Englishmen only Greig, in 37 matches as opposed to Moeen’s 38, has reached this landmark more quickly. Both Broad and Moeen are in fine company.

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Joe Root’s unbeaten 184 puts England on track after South Africa make inroads

• England 357-5 (87 overs)
• New captain rides his luck to finish undefeated on 184

At the first stroke Joe Root has made life easier for himself and his team. The first priority of a new captain who is a batsman has nothing to do with such ephemeral notions as bonding the team or setting the tone; it is to score runs. And at the first attempt Root has delivered in style.

He has sparkled more in the past on his passage towards three figures, but having posted his hundred he was at his impish best, melding sweet and solid orthodoxy with a few homespun specialities that must have had his father and grandad beaming in the stands.

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Joe Root’s unbeaten 184 puts England on track after South Africa make inroads

• England 357-5 (87 overs)
• New captain rides his luck to finish undefeated on 184

At the first stroke Joe Root has made life easier for himself and his team. The first priority of a new captain who is a batsman has nothing to do with such ephemeral notions as bonding the team or setting the tone; it is to score runs. And at the first attempt Root has delivered in style.

He has sparkled more in the past on his passage towards three figures, but having posted his hundred he was at his impish best, melding sweet and solid orthodoxy with a few homespun specialities that must have had his father and grandad beaming in the stands.

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Jeetan Patel helps Warwickshire sink Surrey in Royal London Cup final

• Surrey 136; Warwickshire 137-2; Warwickshire win by eight wickets
• Jonathan Trott in inspirational form at Lord’s with 82 not out

This was a match for the partisan supporter – from Birmingham. It is now ingrained that scores of 300 are required in this format. But here, on a tired, dry old surface in the middle of the square, Surrey collapsed from 99 for two to a paltry 136 all out, which left Warwickshire with the simplest of tasks. There have been only three lower scores in a Lord’s final.

Warwickshire knocked off the runs with eight wickets and 19.4 overs to spare with Jonathan Trott giving an exhibition of high-class efficiency. He finished this mismatch with an exquisite cover drive and 82 runs to his name. Job done and dusted by 4pm. The only thing Surrey won was the toss.

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Bustling Joe Root guides England to win and 2-0 series lead over Pakistan

• Second ODI: England 255-6 beat Pakistan 251 by four wickets
• Root hits 16th ODI half-century with busy 89 from 108 balls

With the minimum of fuss and an absence of tension England pottered to another straightforward victory over Pakistan. They won by four wickets with 15 balls to spare; no doubt a source of joy to diehard supporters of the national side but for those who came to Lord’s in pursuit of rollicking entertainment on their annual day out, there may have been a sense of anticlimax. The outcome was all too predictable once Pakistan’s first three batsmen had been dispatched within 15 minutes of the start.

Related: England v Pakistan: second ODI – live!

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England’s Jos Buttler hints at Bangladesh doubts before Pakistan ODI

• England wicketkeeper declines to be drawn on squad’s willingness to travel
• Pakistan likely to recall Yasir Shah for second ODI at Lord’s

The greatest challenge for the England team on a balmy practice day at Lord’s was to concentrate on Saturday’s one-day international against Pakistan rather than the anxieties raised by the England and Wales Cricket Board’s decision to go ahead with the tour to Bangladesh this autumn.

Most of the relevant England players attended a meeting on Thursday night, where Reg Dickason, the ECB’s security expert, outlined the findings of his trip to Bangladesh. The advice was that it was safe to tour. Jos Buttler, a discreet man, was never going to share much of the contents of that meeting. In contrast to his preferred mode of operating at the crease, Buttler politely dead-batted questions about the discussion.

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Yasir Shah exposes England’s lack of quality in the spin department

The Pakistan slow bowler took 10 wickets in the first Test at Lord’s and highlighted one of the home side’s significant weaknesses in the process

So Pakistan’s four-man attack has outstripped England’s five. There is one obvious reason for that: Yasir Shah. The wrist spinner from the north-west frontier has been the key component in Pakistan’s victory in north‑west London. No Pakistan bowler had taken more than eight wickets at Lord’s. Here Yasir took six in the first innings, when he was not supposed to be so effective, and four in the second.

However, it was not just the wickets that made him invaluable to Misbah‑ul‑Haq. Yasir has been forever adaptable and reliable as a support for the three pace bowlers.

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Chris Woakes and England pin Pakistan back as bowlers dominate Lord’s

• First test, day three: Pakistan 339 & 214-8, England 272
• Woakes takes five for 31 but Pakistan battle hard as match hangs in the balance

Moving day at Lord’s. In fact the movement was often imperceptible as the game sometimes proceeded at a 20th century pace. Wary batsmen gleaned their runs at under three per over. But movement there was. Eleven wickets fell, five of them to the irrepressible Chris Woakes and one side will be celebrating victory before Monday evening. The beauty of it is that we are not quite sure which one it will be.

This is when the cricket can be compelling even if there is not a six in sight, although Misbah-ul-Haq did his best to become the first man to clear the boundary in this Test during his brief and barren innings; the runs may be trickling but every boundary and most certainly every wicket changes the balance of the game deliciously. By the close Pakistan were 214 for eight, a lead of 281, already a substantial target, which was once achieved here by England in 2004 against New Zealand.

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