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England Vs West Indies: Second Test

England Vs West Indies: Second Test



West Indies win by five wickets!
Hope tucks a couple off his hip, they run two and the West Indies balcony erupts. What a triumph.

OVER 92: WI 320/5 (S Hope 116*) target 322
A wicket for Moeen, but too little too late for England. Five overs remaining.

WICKET! Blackwood st Bairstow b Moeen 41
Blackwood looks to finish it off with one shot… and he’s dropped!!!! It was an ugly shot to Stokes at cow corner, who would have put his house on holding onto what is an utter dolly of a catch. But he shells it. Blackwood then, hilariously, takes his helmet off, charges down the track and attempts to launch Moeen into another stratosphere, only to miss the ball entirely and Bairstow whips the bails off. No bother, he’s done his job. FOW 320/5

OVER 91: WI 316/4 (S Hope 114* Blackwood 40*) target 322
Woakes returns in place of Broad. Not sure Blackwood will be treating him with too much respect… nope. Huge swing and a miss. And another huge swing and a miss. Then a horrible wide that barely lands on the strip, before Blackwood pushes a single. Six overs remaining.

OVER 90: WI 312/4 (S Hope 113* Blackwood 37*) target 322
Moeen carries on, blowing on his hands to keep them warm in the gloom. Hope nudges a couple and that’s all for this over. Seven overs remaining.

OVER 89: WI 310/4 (S Hope 111* Blackwood 37*) target 322
“I can’t think of a more astonishing victory,” says Michael Atherton, of West Indies’ imminent triumph here. And Michael Holding agrees. From the plunging lows of the first Test, it has been a quite superb turnaround by the tourists.

Blackwood continues to move all over his crease to Broad and succeeds in upper-cutting him over the slip cordon for four. Broad fires in a yorker next ball, it thuds into Blackwood’s pads and rolls away to the fine-leg boundary, only for the umpire to somehow (and totally incorrectly) rule the batsman had not attempted to play a shot. Dead ball is the call. No bother – Blackwood simply follows up by stepping back and upper-cutting over third man again for six! Eight overs remaining.

OVER 88: WI 298/4 (S Hope 111* Blackwood 25*) target 322
A bit of spin there for Moeen… but the ball turns past Hope’s leg stump, missing everything as it goes and rolls away for four byes. Six runs off the over. Nine overs remaining.

OVER 87: WI 292/4 (S Hope 110* Blackwood 24*) target 322
Broad continues and there are plenty of conversations going on between bowler/fielders out there. England are more than happy to slow things down and Broad puts Hope on his backside with a brutal bouncer directed straight at the batsman’s throat. Just three singles off the over, but the tourists don’t need any more than that. It’s all pointing at a West Indies victory now. 10 overs remaining.

OVER 86: WI 289/4 (S Hope 108* Blackwood 23*) target 322
An interesting move here from Root as he takes Anderson out of the attack and gives the ball to Moeen. What on earth will Blackwood do now? Well, to the surprise of no one at all, he attempts to hit the very first ball into another county and only succeeds in edging it short of third man. Hope then tries to get in on the act, misses the ball completely and Bairstow whips the bails off. The third umpire is asked to adjudicate on the stumping but… Hope’s foot never moved. 11 overs remaining.

OVER 84: WI 287/4 (S Hope 107* Blackwood 22*) target 322
Blackwood is at it again, freeing his arms and toeing the ball to third man for a single. I’m not too sure how to bowl/attack Blackwood here because the ball could go anywhere. That single brings Hope back on strike and Cook drops him!!!! Hope had a big slash at it and the ball went quickly to the former skipper, but he should really have held on. And that’s his second dropped catch of the day. How costly will that be? 12 overs remaining.

OVER 83: WI 284/4 (S Hope 106* Blackwood 20*) target 322
West Indies in pole position now and Hope has played a stunning innings to put them there. Anderson gives him some width outside off and Hope drives nicely through the covers for four. He’s finding some swing with this new ball but the batsmen are untroubled. 13 overs remaining.

OVER 82: WI 278/4 (S Hope 100* Blackwood 20*) target 322
Unsurprisingly, a refreshed Broad will share the second new ball with Anderson and we are now into the final hour (England must bowl a minimum of 15 overs, although it is highly unlikely they will bowl any more than that unless the game situation changes greatly). An inside edge and a scampered single means a century for Shai Hope, who becomes the first batsman in history to hit a ton in both innings in a first class match at Headingley. Wonderfully well batted. A cracking innings. 14 overs remaining.

OVER 81: WI 275/4 (S Hope 99* Blackwood 17*) target 322
The new ball has been taken, which means Anderson is back and the crowd are urging him on as he runs in. It’s gloomy out there but the floodlights are on and time is not an issue – it’s all a matter of overs that must be bowled tonight.

“This is unbelievable cricket,” says David Gower, and he’s correct. Blackwood steps away to leg and wallops Anderson straight back over his head for six! That is a monster shot and it forces Root to put a long-on and long-off in place… in his first over with the new ball. Blackwood doesn’t care one bit though and attempts the same thing, only to skew it short of the man on the boundary and live to fight another day. 15 overs remaining.

OVER 80: WI 266/4 (S Hope 97* Blackwood 11*) target 322
Woakes continues with what will surely be the final over with this old ball. Just the three singles from the first five balls… before Blackwood shows that I was totally incorrect with my final comment in the last over by marmalising Woakes for four over mid-on. He’s certainly not going to go quietly. 16 overs remaining.

OVER 79: WI 259/4 (S Hope 95* Blackwood 6*) target 322
Moeen hits Hope on the front pad and appeals. Umpire says not out, but England decide to challenge the decision because their reviews will be reset after 80 overs. The verdict is… not out.

OVER 78: WI 256/4 (S Hope 93* Blackwood 5*) target 322
It looks as though Blackwood has been given free rein from the management in this innings. First up he steps down the track and flat-bats it baseball-style, albeit without any timing whatsoever. A* for intent. E for execution. Judging by the rest of the over, it looks as though he’s losing his head a bit here. Twice he loses balance by attempting to smash Woakes out of the park and totally missing the ball. 18 overs remaining.

OVER 77: WI 255/4 (S Hope 92* Blackwood 5*) target 322
A double bowling change sees Moeen return to the attack. Hope thick outside-edges an attempted heave to pick up three down to the third-man boundary, which brings Blackwood on strike and he is not a man to die wondering what might have been. The new man throws the kitchen sink at the ball to pick up an ugly four through cow corner. Half an hour of Blackwood on the offensive could win this match for the tourists. 19 overs remaining.

OVER 76: WI 246/4 (S Hope 88* Blackwood 0*) target 322
That wicket has resurrected this contest again. Woakes is hiding the ball as he runs in, while tempting new man Blackwood outside off stump. He misses with one slash, before resisting for the rest of the over. Wicket maiden. 20 overs remaining.

WICKET! Chase c Crane (sub) b Woakes 30
A change arrives as Woakes is given his chance with this old ball… AND WHAT AN IMPACT. Mason Crane, that is a wonderful catch young man. Chase decides to step down the track to Woakes’ first ball, looks to loft him over mid-on, but Crane (on as a sub fielder), sprints to his left and catches the ball at full stretch over his head. Cracking stuff. FOW 246/4

OVER 75: WI 246/3 (S Hope 88* Chase 30*) target 322
This is tiring work for the two leaders of the England seam attack as Anderson continues. The Sky Sports WinViz (whatever that might be) has the draw at more than 50 per cent, with England’s chance of victory down to a measly one per cent. Just a single from the over. 21 overs remaining.

OVER 74: WI 245/3 (S Hope 88* Chase 29*) target 322
So the new ball is imminent, but Broad and Anderson are continuing to slog their guts out with the old one at the moment. And Broad might just boil over right… about… now. The reason is that Stokes has just had a wild shy at the stumps that then rolled all the way to the boundary for four overthrows. Still the runs keep coming. 22 overs remaining.

OVER 73: WI 240/3 (S Hope 88* Chase 24*) target 322
Hi folks. Alan Tyers has done the hard slog and I’m here for the glory of a West Indies victory… possibly.

Oh wowser – it’s all happening. First of all Anderson finds Chase’s outside edge, only for the ball to fly between keeper and slip for four.

OVER 72: WI 235/3 (S Hope 88* Chase 19*) target 322
They have just made Sir Ian Botham, off all people, apologise for bad language picked up by the microphone. “Sorry if you heard anyone expressing their emotions there,” he growls passive-aggressively. Well, just aggressively. Anyway. Broad is bowling. After two balls of the over, he has a moan about the run up and gets the groundstaff on.

OVER 71: WI 232/3 (S Hope 87* Chase 17*) target 322
Anderson. Splice-splitter! Hope needs a new bat. This one seems to have run out of runs, aside from anything else: he has been stuck in the 70s for a year and a day. Seems to do the trick. He carves the ball through backward point for four. And now tucks the ball to fine leg for another four. He is on to 87. New bat has done the trick.

OVER 70: WI 224/3 (S Hope 79* Chase 17*) target 322
England review when Broad hits Hope on the pads.

I would be amazed if this is given out.

OVER 69: WI 219/3 (S Hope 78* Chase 17*) target 322
And a third maiden! Anderson to Chase. No quarter asked for. Accurate. Jars the splice. Chase solid, determined. Crowd small but passionate. 11 overs until the new ball. West Indies want to see off Broad and Anderson. But how long can Root keep using them, if he also needs to save them for the new pill?

OVER 68: WI 219/3 (S Hope 78* Chase 17*) target 322
Broad. Accurate, tight, backed up by his fielders. This is a maiden as well.

A new type of question for the West Indies batsmen. I would guess they’d be thinking “if we can stay in we can probably score at a decent enough rate”. On paper at least, there are plenty of overs. But a few maidens, does the pressure mount?

Tremendous stuff at Headingley.

OVER 67: WI 219/3 (S Hope 78* Chase 17*) target 322
Anderson definitely getting that ball to tail in now. Chase, gamely forward, a tall man, nullifying it in this maiden.

OVER 66: WI 219/3 (S Hope 78* Chase 17*) target 322
No cracks in the pitch, and little or no turn for Moeen. He’s still a threat with that straight-onner though! This has shaved the edge of Hope’s bat. Wow. That was so close to the outside edge.

OVER 65: WI 214/3 (S Hope 77* Chase 13*) target 322
Anderson. Single to each man. Roston Chase has dominated this nascent partnership thus far. Anderson has got his reverse swing going and nearly does for Hope with one that jags in late.

OVER 64: WI 212/3 (S Hope 76* Chase 12*) target 322
Chase goes hard and is not going home just yet as he throws the hands at a wide one from Mo.. Four to third man.

OVER 63: WI 206/3 (S Hope 75* Chase 7*) target 322
Anderson. Suggestions of late movement. What’s interesting now, I think, is how the pressure shifts. England were the ones really feeling it in the afternoon session. But with the finish line in sight, how do the West Indies handle the pressure? How does a team that rarely wins deal with the chance of a victory?

OVER 62: WI 204/3 (S Hope 74* Chase 6*) target 322
Moeen with a terrible ball – a no ball full toss, spanked for four ie five.

We’re back
An exciting finish awaits! All results in play, as they say.

TEA: West Indies 199/3 (S Hope 74* Chase 2*) off 61 overs. Target 322
123 runs needed, seven wickets remaining. 35 overs remaining. Lights on. Game on.

OVER 61: WI 199/3 (S Hope 74* Chase 2*) target 322
Chase, having made a rod for his own back, manages to endure Anderson for an over. Jimmy measuring him up for the LBW, and the lazy, slow arc of Chase’s bat as he drives at the inswinger here suggests that the cap fits. Anyway. That’s tea.

OVER 60: WI 198/3 (S Hope 74* Chase 1*) target 322
Roston Chase comes in and survives two balls. I think most people thought that would be tea, but the umpires allow England another. I wonder if Roston Chase would have taken a single off the last ball of the over had he known?

WICKET! Brathwaite c Stokes b Ali 95
Such a shame! Bad luck, sir. I don’t know if thoughts of tea, or thoughts of a century, or thoughts of being stuck on 95* over tea played their part. But either way, Moeen gave him the tempter outside off, Brathwaite had a huge booming drive at the ball, he was playing just inside the line of it, maybe expecting turn that didn’t come, maybe he didn’t pick the right line… But whatever it was, it’s a big edge, it’s a smart catch from Stokes at slip. FOW 197/3

OVER 59: WI 197/2 (Brathwaite 95* S Hope 74*) target 322
Anderson gets a bit of lift from a length, some vague wobble, rather than inswing.

OVER 58: WI 195/2 (Brathwaite 92* S Hope 74*) target 322
Moeen continues. One to Hope. Brathwaite solid.

OVER 57: WI 194/2 (Brathwaite 92* S Hope 74*) target 322
Anderson, switches to the Football Stand End. Brathwaite tucks him for two. Then a one. Nervous nineties now. Will that have any bearing? Meanwhile, England continue to kvetch about the ball. Umpires unmoved.

OVER 56: WI 190/2 (Brathwaite 89* S Hope 74*) target 322
Moeen flicks the back pad of Hope, but this was too high. Easy four to fine leg – there is no leg slip – all Hope had to do was get a bit of a tickle on it.

Tea is delayed until 3.55pm.

Just one over for Jimmy…
… Moeen is coming back.

West Indies are now odds-on favourites.

OVER 55: WI 185/2 (Brathwaite 88* S Hope 70*) target 322
Stokes giving his all for the cause, hard and heavy stuff, mixing his lengths up well. Not exactly threatening a wicket but doing a job. Excellent, thumping on drive from Brathwaite for four.

OVER 54: WI 180/2 (Brathwaite 83* S Hope 70*) target 322
Two key things in this over: Anderson does not swing the ball. Broad dives, bravely but perhaps not wisely, to stop a ball and does himself a mischief in the shoulder. Seems to be okay.

OVER 53: WI 178/2 (Brathwaite 83* S Hope 68*) target 322
The floodlights are noticeably on now. Stokes bangs it in. Brathwaite goes for a pull, doesn’t really play this very well, hurried, flaps it. Stokes is pumped, Brathwaite’s pumped. Slashed to third man for two. England are huffing and puffing. Stokes + Woakes have between them bowled 12 overs for 50 and not caused too much alarm.

What they need is their classiest bowler to make this about the head not the heart, and here comes James Anderson for a new spell.

OVER 52: WI 170/2 (Brathwaite 76* S Hope 67*) target 322
Broad whistles the ball past the outside edge of Brathwaite’s bat. Woof. No review, and rightly so, again.

OVER 51: WI 169/2 (Brathwaite 75* S Hope 67*) target 322

OVER 50: WI 168/2 (Brathwaite 74* S Hope 67*) target 322
The fans, who have all been kettled into one or two areas of the stand, are starting to make some noise as they try to inspire Broad. It seems to be working, there’s just a leetle extra bit of hot sauce in this over from Stu. Hope very positive, exaggerated even, as he gets forward to block. Good over, well played, it’s a maiden.

OVER 49: WI 168/2 (Brathwaite 74* S Hope 67*) target 322
Stokes. Four off the over. England unable to exert any pressure at the moment. If this pair are still together at tea… They currently need 154

OVER 48: WI 164/2 (Brathwaite 72* S Hope 66*) target 322
Hope likes to get forward, and he is doing a grand job of that in this Broad over.

OVER 47: WI 163/2 (Brathwaite 71* S Hope 66*) target 322
Stokes gets Hope driving and missing. Hope dibbles the ball to third man for four. Scoring at a good clip: 69 since lunch. 49 overs left in the day and they are going along at a fraction under 3.5….

OVER 46: WI 155/2 (Brathwaite 70* S Hope 59*) target 322
Brathwaite knocks the ball to Anderson’s left at mid on. Jimmy has a choice of diving and stopping a boundary, or swooping and trying to throw down the stumps. He gambles… but fails to gather! That is four. Broad loses his line, and that’s another four. The hundred partnership is up, and England have plenty to talk about over drinks.

Talking of talking, the umpire has a word with Broad, who kicked the turf in frustration at the end of the over.

OVER 45: WI 147/2 (Brathwaite 62* S Hope 59*) target 322
Moeen has been so-so for a while, but this is just actively rubbish, this over. A variety of short, wide and short and wide balls, cheap runs for Hope and that’s a soft 11 runs off the over.

OVER 44: WI 136/2 (Brathwaite 59* S Hope 51*) target 322
Hope pulls Broad away and, if I may be allowed a pun, the West Indies now dare to hope. Shai Hope has scored a really excellent fifty here.

That said, Broad is lurking, quiet at the moment but with the threat of danger, like a simmering Glaswegian in-law glaring at you from across the bar at a family wedding.

OVER 43: WI 132/2 (Brathwaite 59* S Hope 47*) target 322
Hope beaten on the outside edge by that delivery Moeen has really improved of late.

OVER 42: WI 129/2 (Brathwaite 59* S Hope 44*) target 322
Broad getting variable bounce in this over, both kinds as well. This ball keeps low, an inside edge saves KB from an LB. This one pings from nowhere and gives Hope an nasty nip on the hand.

OVER 41: WI 128/2 (Brathwaite 59* S Hope 43*) target 322
That’s a maiden from Ali. This pair doing a grand job, partnership worth 75. England will be telling themselves that one wicket might well bring, er, eight.

OVER 40: WI 128/2 (Brathwaite 59* S Hope 43*) target 322
Broad replaces Woakes. Chris, it pains me to say, looked rather ordinaire. Broad gets one ball to move late, which is something. Are we into “England need a wicket” territory yet? I think we might be.

OVER 38: WI 126/2 (Brathwaite 58* S Hope 42*)
Woakes, full. Hope, accomplished clip for four. But this is a good comeback from Chris! Venomous lifter, stings him on the glove. Did well to keep that down. On a livelier pitch, that was a wicket.

OVER 36: WI 119/2 (Brathwaite 58* S Hope 35*)
Brathwaite starting to look commanding. Woakes causing no worries. England asking about the ball being out of shape. It ain’t.

OVER 35: WI 115/2 (Brathwaite 54* S Hope 35*)
Moeen Ali bowls.

Jimmy Anderson is at short mid on, and he’s in the Wide Awake Club [©Big Wrong] as he reacts quickly to a driven ball, flicking it on to the non-striker’s stumps. Fortunately for West Indies, Shai Hope has done what his brother Kyle Hope did not, he’s alert to the danger and he gets back in time. Phew!

OVER 34: WI 114/2 (Brathwaite 53* S Hope 35*)
Woakes is not looking a threat. He’s bowling full, fair play, but he’s not getting any movement and it’s at a friendly pace. Hope pings him for a two and four, looking comfortable.

OVER 33: WI 106/2 (Brathwaite 52* S Hope 28*)
Hope with two flamboyant strokes well outside off, legit drive behind square for four, then a thick edge for four. Nine runs off the Anderson over.

OVER 32: WI 97/2 (Brathwaite 52* S Hope 19*)
Woakesy’s pace is not what it has sometimes (before injury?) been. He tries two short balls here, one to each man, both sit up nice and friendly likes, and each man pulls him for three. Brathwaite’s shot takes him to a gritty, if slightly fortunate, half century. Well batted.

OVER 31: WI 91/2 (Brathwaite 49* S Hope 16*)
Anderson, with three slips, a gully, and a man at short mid on for the mis-hit drive, gets to work on Hope. The batsman, trying to shovel him through leg, is squared up and beaten all ends up by a ball that moves away. Very next delivery, either down to bravery or foolishness, he tries the exact same shot and nails it through the legside for four.

OVER 30: WI 87/2 (Brathwaite 49* S Hope 12*)
Blameless start from all parties. Woakes hitting his line and length, Shai Hope leaving and lining the ball up well. Blameless start from NEARLY all parties, I should say: the ball has misbehaved here, keeping low.

The players are back out
Chris Woakes has the ball.

Mike Atherton on England asking the umpire to make the decision on that catch
“Disappointing from England. Even if Westley did not know, Stokes did. He saw it.”

LUNCH: West Indies 86/2 (Brathwaite 49* S Hope 11*) 29 overs, chasing 322
West Indies battled hard this morning. Anderson and Broad were a really tough prospect. There was a rotten bit of luck for the tourists when Kyle Hope was run out backing up.

OVER 27: WI 85/2 (Brathwaite 49* S Hope 10*)
Moeen is getting some turn but these gus are playing him pretty well, all told.

OVER 26: WI 84/2 (Brathwaite 48* S Hope 10*)
Chris Woakes with a good ball, Shai Hope trapped on the crease and hit on the pads. Umpire S Ravi fancies this is going down leg, calls not out, and is correct to do so. England, whose use (or rather, non-use) of the review has been exemplary so far today, choose not to ask the third umpire. An attractive back-foot drive from Shai Hope gives him four.

OVER 25: WI 80/2 (Brathwaite 48* S Hope 6*)
Brathwaite, who has been under pressure but has remained positive, slogs Moeen for four.

OVER 24: WI 73/2 (Brathwaite 43* S Hope 4*)
Titanic eight-over spell from Broad. Nicest man in cricket Chris Woakes comes on, keeps the pressure right on there as he swings the first one past the outside edge of S Hope’s bat. Bit of legside stuff later in the over though.

OVER 23: WI 70/2 (Brathwaite 43* S Hope 3*)
Off his seventh ball, Hope is off the mark. A nice drive for three into the covers off Mo.

OVER 22: WI 67/2 (Brathwaite 43* S Hope 0*)
Broad continues his dissection of Brathwaite, he’s beating his edge repeatedly. But Brathwaite hanging in there. Overpitches though here, and Brathwaite drives him for four! Batted.

OVER 21: WI 61/2 (Brathwaite 37* S Hope 0*)
A Moeen maiden. He is getting significant turn.

OVER 20: WI 61/2 (Brathwaite 37* S Hope 0*)
Brathwaite, having unwittingly caused the demise of one Hope, is joined by A New Hope. But Shai can watch from the “safety” of the non-striker’s end for a bit as Brathwaite tries to deal with a tail-up Stuart Broad. Thick edge! Four. Another thick edge! Another four. Broad is all over Brathwaite here.

WICKET! K Hope run out 0
Oh that is an absolute bison of a way to go. Poor old Kyle Hope. He is at the non-striker’s end, Brathwaite wellies the ball back at the bowler Broad, who drops a regulation caught and bowled. SB gets two hands on it, cannot hold on, but the ball is hit hard enough that its momentum keeps it going and it crashes into the non-striker’s stumps. Kyle Hope is run out by a street and, well, that’s just a sickener for the lad. FOW 53/2

OVER 19: WI 53/1 (Brathwaite 29* K Hope 0*)
Hope gets the pulse racing when he plays back to Moeen’s quicker, flatter ball… but he gets the bat down.

OVER 18: WI 52/1 (Brathwaite 28* K Hope 0*)
Broad (and Anderson) really putting some mustard on it this morning, this one absolutely pings off a length from Stuart and climbs past the Brathwaite edge. Kraiggggg faces five, takes a single off the last.

And that will give him first look at Moeen Ali, who is to bowl the next over.

OVER 17: WI 49/1 (Brathwaite 25* K Hope 0*)
Brathwaite edges the ball. It goes to third slip, Westley the man who grabs it. Has it bounced? Westley is non-plussed, not really claming it. Stokes next to him looks also unsure. The umpires are going to have to sort this one out. They decide it has bounced before going into Westley’s hands, and the TV evidence is clear. Not out. (It was a ‘soft signal’ not out on the field, too.)

OVER 16: WI 46/1 (Brathwaite 22*)
That off the last ball of the over. Who knows if the verbals with Anderson played a part in Powell’s loose shot?

WICKET! Powell c Stokes b Broad 23
Broad the triumphant bowler, and you have to sat that it has been coming. Full ball, Powell pushes hard at it, he’s not really moved his feet. Loose. Flies waist-high to Stokes at fourth slip, he does the rest. FOW 46/1

OVER 15: WI 43/0 (Powell 23* Brathwaite 19*)
Anderson finds Powell’s edge, it flies wide of slips for four. At the end of the over, the batsman and bowler exchange a few words, and there’s a bit of macho posturing, coming quite close to each other. Ump steps in.

Gower on the arbitrary-seeming sudden attention on swearing. “You should not have a rule just handed down like that, it’s like a rule handed down by Brussels”

OVER 14: WI 39/0 (Powell 19* Brathwaite 19*)
Broad seams it past Powell’s edge. Now Powell drives, square of the wicket, flamboyant and on the up! West Indies opener rolling back the years there. Lovely stuff. Crunching four. Single to cover, and now a couple to Brathwaite complete a productive over for the tourists. Nasser Hussain notes the pleasing symmetry of the fact that both batsmen have 19 from 42 balls.

OVER 13: WI 32/0 (Powell 14* Brathwaite 17*)
Brathwaite really under the pump here. Anderson has the scalpel out. Thick edge flies wide of fourth slip – there is no gully, incidentally. Now Anderson hits him on the pads with a ball that moves late, but this is going to miss off stump and England are again correct not to review. Beaten later in the over again, by a ball that keeps low.

OVER 12: WI 28/0 (Powell 14* Brathwaite 13*)
Two nice shots in this over, one per batter. Broad overpitches, smartly driven by Brathwaite for four down the ground. And now Powell drills the ball through mid on for four as well. G’wan West Indies.

OVER 11: WI 19/0 (Powell 10* Brathwaite 8*)
You don’t get many freebies from Anderson, so it’s gather ye rosebuds while ye may* for Powell as he tucks this legside ball away for four.

Let’s see if we cannot get some more up-to-date references into the blog as the day goes on, mm? 1648 to start us off with.

* [Robert Herrick, 1648]

OVER 10: WI 15/0 (Powell 6* Brathwaite 8*)
Broad is all over Brathwaite here, he’s jagging the ball off the seam and, at time of writing, he looks a class above the West Indies opening bat. And here he is with a perfect delivery, quick and on Broad’s perfect length, it does just enough. Edged. Cook! Has dropped it. It came quick, but it was at a nice height and very much in Cook’s wheelhouse at first slip. A surprising drop, England’s fourth of the game. I believe that makes 11 for the match in total?

OVER 9: WI 11/0 (Powell 6* Brathwaite 4*)
Some searching stuff from Anderson but also a few down the legside. For a split second there it looked like Powell had auto-asphyxiated himself into a legside strange. But not. He has survived this maiden over.

OVER 8: WI 11/0 (Powell 6* Brathwaite 4*)
Broad to Powell. Edge first ball! Four through the slips. He is squared up second ball but squirts a single. Broad was a bit leg-sidey earlier in the match but this is classy stuff: perfect channel, nibble, one ball keeps low. Tough exam. Brathwaite survives.

OVER 7: WI 6/0 (Powell 1* Brathwaite 4*)
A leg bye gets Powell down the other end. Four slips await, but it’s the ball in to the right-handed Brathwaite that is the first moment of note on day five. It comes back in and raps him on the pad as he tries to shovel away to the legside. Height the saviour, England do not review. Now he beats him outside off. This is a spicy over from Anderson, he gets the ball to climb sharply off a length. Brathwaite does well/is a bit lucky to survive the over.

Right then!
The England players emerge, the skies are leaden, the West Indies are chasing 322. So far, they’ve got 5/0.

West Indies resume on 5/0 (Powell 1* Brathewaite 4*) off 6 overs

Powell is the man on strike, and one JM Anderson is the man with the ball in his hand.

Scyld Berry on yesterday’s play
Moeen Ali owed England, after dropping a sitter in West Indies’ first innings, and he repaid as handsomely as he cover-drove. Moeen’s 84 off only 93 balls enabled England to set a target of 322, which on a wearing pitch would be very challenging for a team used to winning, never mind losing.

Moeen took the bubble that is West Indian self-belief and, with the rapier he wields, burst it long before it could become a balloon. When he came in, England were only 143 runs ahead. When he lofted to long-on, England were out of sight, like an escaped prisoner from Armley jail down the road.

Sir Ian Botham’s pitch report
Sir Ian says that it’s turning off the pitch, there are some cracks. “Jimmy will be delighted, he has got cloud cover. And Moeen will have a big part to play.”

The first thing to tell you is that there is a delayed start at Headingley. 11.15am kick off. Wet outfield.

Good morning
Tyers here. Day five of the Test match, the closest Test we have had for a while.

ICC 2017: England Vs Australia Live

ICC 2017: England Vs Australia Live

England won the toss and chose to bowl against Australia in the last Group A game at Edgbaston. The group has been thrown wide open following Bangladesh’s sensational five-wicket win against New Zealand. A loss or a wash-out will see the two-time winners exit the tournament while a win will knock Bangladesh out. England, who have already reached the semi-finals, will be aiming to continue the winning run.


17:34 hrs IST: Just eight runs from the last two overs from Ali and Ball as Australia are 197/4 after 37 overs. Australia have to improve their scoring but kudos to England for keeping the lid on.

17:28 hrs IST: 15 overs to go now as Australia reach 189/4 in 35 overs. Head got a life as Wood extracted an edge that went just wide of Joe Root at first slip for a boundary.

17:22 hrs IST: Spinners proving to be crucial here. Moeen Ali concedes two as Australia reach 183/4 after 34 overs.

17:18 hrs IST: Wicket Maiden from Wood. How significant will Smith’s dismissal be? Up to Head and Glen Maxwell now.

17:14 hrs IST: OUT! Smith caught by Liam Plunkett at mid-off, first ball of Mark Wood’s second spell.S Smith c Plunkett b Wood 56. Australia 181/4 in 32.1 overs.

17:12 hrs IST: Moeen Ali introduced to the attack. Smith and Head take no risk as Australia reach 181/3 after 32 overs.

17:07 hrs IST: That’s Smith’s 17th ODI fifty as he carted Plunkett for a boundary.

17:05 hrs IST: Superb stuff from Rashid. Concedes just two runs and does his part pegging back Australia who are 172/3 after 30 overs.

17:02 hrs IST: Plunkett goes for a boundary against new batsman Travis Head as Australia reach 170/3 after 29 overs.

16:56 hrs IST: OUT! Rashid gets his first scalp in the form of Henriques as he doesn’t get past Plunkett at mid-on. M Henriques c Plunkett b Rashid 17. Australia 161/3 in 27.4 overs.

16:54 hrs IST: Plunkett comes back and concedes a boundary as Australia are 160/2 after 27 overs. Australia inching towards a good platform for the rest of the batsman to break loose.

16:48 hrs IST: Wayward over from Stokes as Henriques breaks the shackles with two superb boundaries before a wide takes the over tally to 11 runs. Midway mark and Australia are 147/2 after 25 overs.

16:43 hrs IST: Slip for Rashid and he quickly goes through a maiden against new batsman Moises Henriques. Australia 136/2 after 24 overs.

16:39 hrs IST: OUT! Finch skies one from Stokes, caught by Morgan at mid-off. A Finch c Morgan b Stokes 68. Welcome breakthrough for England. Australia 136/2 in 22.5 overs.

16:35 hrs IST: No risk taken against Rashid as Smith and Finch knock off singles and twos. Australia 128/1 after 22 overs.

16:32 hrs IST: Stokes comes back. Two wayward deliveries gifted Australia a boundary and a wide. Australia 121/1 after 21 overs.

16:26 hrs IST: Rashid slips in a quick over with an appeal for lbw against Finch but the ball seemed to go down the leg. Australia 114/1 after 20 overs.

16:24 hrs IST: Australia reach the 100-run mark before Smith drove Plunkett down the ground for a lovely boundary. Australia 111/1 after 19 overs. Will Nelson strike Aussies?

16:18 hrs IST: Time for leg-spin. Adil Rashid goes for fuller lengths for the first five deliveries before dropping it short. Finch and Smith see him out without any trouble. Australia 98/1 after 18 overs.

16:12 hrs IST: Liam Plunkett continues to be miserly, concedes just 3 runs. Australia 93/1 after 17 overs as they go for drinks

16:08 hr IST: Fifty up for Finch, off 47 balls. This is his 16th ODI fifty.

16:06 hrs IST: Consecutive boundaries from Finch gives Australia some breathing space but England missed a slip when Steve Smith edged Stokes past Buttler. Australia 90/1 after 16 overs. Fifty-run partnership completed between Finch and Smith.

16:01 hrs IST: Very good line from Plunkett. Just one run from this over. Australia looking to buy time on this pitch. Australia 76/1 after 15 overs.

15:54 hrs IST: Good over from Plunkett apart from a wide. Australia 72/1 after 13 overs.

15:49 hrs IST: Stokes replaces Wood. Steve Smith looking to move across the stumps and play towards on as much as possible. Australia 70/1 after 12 overs.

15:45 hrs IST: Plunkett comes in place of Ball. Finch straightaway goes on the counterattack with two boundaries. 10 runs from that over. Australia 67/1 after 11 overs.

15:42 hrs IST: Great spell from Wood so far. His figures read 5-0-20-1. Australia 56/1 after 10 overs.

15:37 hrs IST: Smith looks in good touch. Hits a boundary as Australia look to recover quickly. Australia 55/1 after 9 overs.

15:29 pm IST: OUT! Warner edges Wood to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler. Australia 40/1 in 7.2 overs. Great probing delivery and Warner could just fend at it.

15:27 hrs IST: No risk ploy by Australia. One boundary per over should keep them in good stead. This time Warner pulls Jake Ball through midwicket. Australia 39/0 in 7 overs.

15:24 hrs IST: One more boundary for Australia. Mark Wood strayed down leg and Warner just glanced it off his hips. Six runs from the over. Australia 31/0 in 6 overs.

15:21 hrs IST: Run rate finally picking up. Warner pulls Ball for a boundary before some excellent running between the wickets. Australia 25/0 in 5 overs.

15:12 hrs IST: After two good overs, Finch cuts loose by slamming two fours of Jake Ball. Warner follows suit by getting a boundary off Mark Wood. Slowly, both players are getting their eye in.

15:08 hrs IST: Poor batting from Finch. No feet movement and he gets beaten three times. Slow start this by Australia.

15:03 hrs IST: Maiden over from Ball. Right on the money he is. Good start for England.

15:01 hrs IST: David Warner and Aaron Finch are opening the batting. Jake Ball will open the bowling for England.

14:55 hrs IST: Will the rain wreck havoc again in Edgbaston? For Australia’s sake, they will be hoping that it stays away.

14:46 hrs IST: Both sides are unchanged.

14:37 hrs IST: It is a wise decision keeping in mind the rain and overcast conditions

14:33 hrs IST: England captain Eoin Morgan has won the toss and opted to field

14:25 hrs IST: We are moments away from the toss

ICC 2017: England Vs New Zealand Live Updates

ICC 2017: England Vs New Zealand Live Updates

There is a lot at stake for both England and New Zealand at Cardiff today England will put their one foot in the semifinals with a second successive win while New Zealand will aim for two full points after rain denied them a crack at Australia and the two teams settled for a point each in a game that produced no-result.


11:11 pm IST: OUT! Liam Plunkett takes his third wicket as Adam Milne is caught for 10. NZ 223/9

11:10 pm IST: New Zealand need 88 runs to win from 6 overs.

11:07 pm IST: Couple of boundaries for the Kiwis. NZ 220/8

11:04 pm IST: That’s the end of Corey Anderson as he is caught in the deep for 10. NZ 211/8

11:01 pm IST: A win today will take England to four points. New Zealand, on the other hand, will have to depend on other results for their possible qualification to the semi-finals.

10:56 pm IST: OUT! Mitchell Santner was completely fooled by Adil Rashid as he was stumped for 1. NZ 205/7

10:52 pm IST: Brilliant drive from Corey Anderson and it’s a boundary! NZ 202/6

10:50 pm IST: England are just four wickets away from securing their semifinal berth. NZ 198/6

10:47 pm IST: New Zealand need 115 runs to win off 66 balls.

10:41 pm IST: OUT! Another wicket goes down as Adil Rashid traps Neil Broom LBW for 11. NZ 194/6

10:35 pm IST: OUT! Jimmy Neesham goes for the big one but is caught in the deep off Liam Plunkett. NZ 191/5

10:27 pm IST: Neesham picks an over-pitched delivery outside off, and deposits it sweetly over the leg-side, for a one-bounce four inches inside the rope. NZ 178/4

10:21 pm IST: 34 overs gone. New Zealand are 171 for the loss of four wickets.

10:18 pm IST: OUT! A horrible shot by Ross Taylor as he departs for 39. ENG 168/4

10:13 pm IST: New Zealand need 148 to win from 17.3 overs.

10:06 pm IST: Neil Broom is the new batsman for New Zealand. NZ 158/3

10:02 pm IST: OUT! Huge wicket for England as Kane Williamson is castled for 87. NZ 158/3

9:59 pm IST: 30 overs gone. New Zealand are 158/2 (Kane Williamson 85*)

9:50 pm IST: 150 comes up for New Zealand in the 28th over.

9:47 pm IST: 27 overs gone. New Zealand are 147 for 2 wickets (Kane Williamson 80*)

9:42 pm IST: Ross Taylor (27*) also joins the party with a four through mid-wicket. NZ 139/2

9:38 pm IST: Kane Williamson pulls it for a four! Can he guide NZ to victory? NZ 130/2

9:35 pm IST: Consecutive 50-plus scores for Kane Williamson in ODIs v England: 93, 118, 90, 50, 50*.

9:32 pm IST: Williamson is picking up pace after his fifty with another boundary. NZ 118/2

9:30 pm IST: This was Kane Williamson’s consecutive fifty against England. NZ 112/2

9:28 pm IST: Easy pickings for Kane Williamson as he slams his fourth boundary. NZ 107/2

9:25 pm IST: DLS has the Kiwis 22 runs behind after 20 overs. NZ 101/2

9:21 pm IST: Kane Williamson brings up his half century in 66 deliveries. NZ 95/2

9:18 pm IST: Kane Williamson (47*) is inching towards his fifty. NZ 91/2

9:14 pm IST: 19 overs gone. New Zealand are 88/2

9:12 pm IST: An extremely weird boundary for Williamson. NZ 84/2

9:10 pm IST: Kane Williamson (36 off 57) is playing a very slow innings and he needs to accelerate if New Zealand wants to chase this total. NZ 80/2

9:08 pm IST: At the end of 17 overs, New Zealand are 73/2

9:05 pm IST: The asking rate is slowly creeping up for New Zealand

9:00 pm IST: After 15 overs New Zealand are 64/2

8:58 pm IST: Players have resumed the game

8:55 pm IST: And it is drinks break

8:52 pm IST: That must have been a hard hit on the side of the helmet for Kane Williamson. That was a lethal delivery from Liam Plunkett.

8:50 pm IST: Ben Stokes has struck for England. Ross Taylor has joined Kane Williamson at the crease

8:48 pm IST: After 14 overs, New Zealand are 64/2

8:45 pm IST: Martin Guptill is OUT! That is a big blow for New Zealand

8:43 pm IST: It has been a very slow innings from New Zealand so far

8:40 pm IST: And it is 12 overs with New Zealand at 47/1 with Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill at the crease

8:35 pm IST: How Jake Ball celebrated the fall of the first wicket

8:30 pm IST: This partnership between Guptill and Williamson is developing well. If they stay on, New Zealand will have a good chance today

8:25 pm IST: 10 overs gone. New Zealand are 40 for the loss of one wicket.

8:20 pm IST: Martin Guptill is dealing in boundaries right now as he gets his thrid one of the innings. NZ 35/1

8:16 pm IST: Another boundary for Guptill as he blasts the ball through the cover region. NZ 22/1

8:13 pm IST: A boundary for Martin Guptill! NZ 17/1

8:02 pm IST: 4 overs gone. New Zealand are 8/1

7:57 pm IST: Good start by the England pacers as they are making the most of the condition. NZ 4/1

7:52 pm IST: Kane Williamson is the new batsman for New Zealand. NZ 1/1

7:50 pm IST: OUT! Jake Ball castles Luke Ronchi for a duck! NZ 1/1

7:47 pm IST: First run of the innings! NZ 1/0

7:45 pm IST: Martin Guptill and Luke Ronchi to open for New Zealand. Jake Ball to bowl the first over.

7:42 pm IST: Play to resume at 3.15 pm local time.

7:33 pm IST: The match between Australia and Bangladesh was also washed out last night. Will this match suffer the same fate?

7:30 pm IST: It’s raining quite hard and the match is delayed due to wet outfield.

7:11 pm IST: There were forecasts of showers later in the day and that will be one big worry for the hosts after posting this mammoth score.

7:01 pm IST: England have posted 300+ totals eleven times in ODIs out of the last 13 innings when they have batted first.

6:59 pm IST: Another brilliant catch by Trent Boult as the England innings comes to an end on 310.

6:56 pm IST: OUT! Mark Wood also departs as Tim Southee picks up his first wicket. ENG 310/9

6:55 pm IST: OUT! Liam Plunkett goes for the big one but is caught in the deep by Tim Southee. ENG 309/8

6:53 pm IST: Fifty-plus scores for Buttler at a strike rate of 100 or more, out of the 18 times he has topped 50 in ODIs. ENG 306/7

6:51 pm IST: A massive six from Liam Plunkett brings up the 300 for England. ENG 300/7

6:47 pm IST: 14th ODI fifty for Jos Buttler. ENG 291/7

6:44 pm IST: Jos Buttler is playing an extremely important innings for England. ENG 285/7

6:40 pm IST: A mammoth six for Jos Buttler who moves on to 46*. ENG 278/7

6:36 pm IST: A slower one from Southee and Jos Buttler gets a much-needed boundary. ENG 267/7

6:29 pm IST: OUT! Mitchell Santner claims his first wicket as he dismisses Adil Rashid for 12. ENG 260/7

6:25 pm IST: 250 comes up for England in 43 overs. ENG 251/6

6:22 pm IST: New Zealand are currently behind on the required over rate. ENG 250/6

6:15 pm IST: OUT! Trent Boult pulls off a good catch as Moeen Ali departs for 12. ENG 230/6

6:13 pm IST: Spoke too soon as Moeen Ali slams it for a six! ENG 230/5

6:12 pm IST: Both batsmen are struggling to find boundaries for England. ENG 221/5

6:09 pm IST: The win-loss head-to-head in the last ten ODIs between England and New Zealand. In ODI world tournaments, though, NZ have won 6 of the last 7

6:02 pm IST: OUT! Ben Stokes falls agonisingly close to his fifty as he is dismissed by Trent Boult. ENG 210/5

5:58 pm IST: 37 overs gone. England are 209 for the loss of 4 wickets.

5:54 pm IST: Ben Stokes moves within inches of his half century. ENG 203/4

5:51 pm IST: 200 comes up for England in the 36th over. ENG 201/4

5:49 pm IST: 35 overs gone. England are 198 for the loss of 4 wickets.

5:43 pm IST: OUT! Corey Anderson strikes again as Joe Root is castled for 64. ENG 188/4

5:39 pm IST: Ben Stokes is looking quite good and it seems that the all-rounders can become the third half-centurion of this innings. ENG 181/3

5:35 pm IST: 32 overs gone. England are 177 for the loss of three wickets.

5:32 pm IST: Wide from Jimmy Neesham and Ben Stokes was on it in a flash as he guides it through the extra-cover boundary. ENG 173/3

5:29 pm IST: New Zealand have fought back well after the initial onslaught. ENG 168/3

5:24 pm IST: 30 overs gone. England are 166 for the loss of 3 wickets.

5:21 pm IST: A close call for Ben Stokes, but the all-rounder was able to reach his crease in time. ENG 162/3

5:18 pm IST: Another decent over for England sees them end the 29th over at 162/3.

5:14 pm IST: England are 156/3 after 28 overs.

5:12 pm IST: Stokes now hits Boult down the ground for four. Eng 154/3.

5:09 pm IST: Ben Stokes pummels Corey Anderson for a six over mid-wicket. Eng 150/3 after 27 overs.

5:03 pm IST: Fifty for Joe Root! ENG 139/3

5:01 pm IST: After an eventful 25th over, England are 135/3.

4:58 pm IST: Corey Anderson snaps up the dangerous Eoin Morgan in his first over. England are 134/3.

4:54 pm IST: Eoin Morgan dispatches Trent Boult to the leg-side boundary. England re 133/2.

4:50 pm IST: England are 126/2 after 26 overs.

4:45 pm IST: New man Eoin Morgan showing some intent, smashing Trent Boult for a boundary. England are 123/2.

4:43 pm IST: Hales is bowled by Milne. England are 119/2.

4:38 pm IST: Hales brings up his 10th ODI half century. England are 111/1.

4:30 pm IST: 100 comes up for England in the 19th over. ENG 103/1

4:25 pm IST: FOUR! Another boundary for Joe Root as he moves into the 30s. ENG 97/1

4:22 pm IST: Second six for Joe Root as he slams it over long-off! ENG 91/1

4:19 pm IST: This has been a disappointing show by the Kiwi bowlers who looked quite formidable against Australia last time. ENG 84/1

4:09 pm IST: 15 overs gone. England are 78 for the loss of one wicket.

4:04 pm IST: A quicker one from Santner and Hales makes no mistake in hitting his first six of the game. ENG 71/1

4:02 pm IST: Alex Hales plays it straight back and the ball was inches away from Santner’s reach. ENG 65/1

3:59 pm IST: Alex Hales is few runs away from his second half century of this tournament. ENG 63/1

3:56 pm IST: Mitchell Santner is introduced into the attack. ENG 58/1

3:53 pm IST: 11 overs gone. England are 56/1 with Alex Hales playing on 36*

3:47 pm IST: Alex Hales is looking quite comfortable even after losing his opening partner. ENG 46/1

3:43 pm IST: 9 overs gone. England are 41 for the loss of one wicket.

3:39 pm IST: OUT! First wicket for New Zealand as Adam Milne castles Jason Roy for 13. ENG 37/1

3:36 pm IST: Jason Roy was quiet for some now and he has also joined the party. A brilliant boundary through long-off. ENG 37/0

3:32 pm IST: The umpires have called a halt to proceedings to observe a national minute’s silence for the victims of the London attack on Saturday.

3:30 pm IST: It has been a near perfect show from Alex Hales till now as he moves to 23* with another boundary. ENG 31/0

3:29 pm IST: New Zealand have won 41 and England 36 in previous 83 one day internationals between the two teams. Two matches ended in a tie while four matches were abandoned due to weather.

3:25 pm IST: 6 overs gone. England are 25 for no loss.

3:20 pm IST: England can guarantee their semis berth if they win this match. For New Zealand, a loss can mean elimination. ENG 23/0

3:15 pm IST: Short one from Trent Boult and Hales hooks it for a six. ENG 22/0

3:10 pm IST: A good start for England as both Jason Roy and Alex Hales look in fine touch. ENG 12/0

3:06 pm IST: Alex Hales also gets his first boundary of the match. ENG 8/0

3:04 pm IST: Wide from Tim Southee and Jason Roy just caresses it to the boundary! ENG 4/0

3:02 pm IST: Alex Hales had a brilliant outing against Bangladesh in their first match. Can he repeat it against the Kiwis?

3:00 pm IST: Good movement from the very first ball. ENG 0/0

2:59 pm IST: Tim Southee to start the bowling for New Zealand.

02:55 pm IST: Both these teams have faced each other twice in ICC Champions Trophy history. New Zealand won by four wickets in the 2009 edition, while England prevailed by 10 runs in 2013.

02:45 pm IST: This is the 84th meeting between England and New Zealand. The Kiwis hold the advantage in their head-to-head, winning 41 games, compared to England’s 36 wins.

2:30 pm IST: New Zealand have won the toss and opted to field. Yet again, there is no Tom Latham in the Kiwis’ line-up today.

2:21 pm IST: The scene at the Cardiff Wales Stadium on match eve was not pleasant. Neither team could have an outdoors training session, with heavy rain confining them indoors throughout. The silver lining to those clouds is that the forecast for Tuesday is better. But the famously fickle English weather could still have a say in how this match ends.

2:09 PM IST: Both England and New Zealand are coming into the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 on the back of series wins, though England beating South Africa will admittedly give it greater confidence than New Zealand got out of beating Bangladesh and Ireland – though admittedly without most of its ODI core.

The last time these two sides met in a 50-over International Cricket Council event, New Zealand inflicted a humiliating eight-wicket defeat upon England in Wellington during the 2015 World Cup.

Zafar Ansari Retires at 25

Zafar Ansari Retires at 25


Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari has announced his retirement from cricket with immediate effect at the age of 25.

Ansari made his England Test debut last October during the tour of Bangladesh and his shock announcement comes less than a month into the 2017 domestic season.

Ansari took his maiden Test wicket in England’s second Test against Bangladesh in October

The left-arm spinner and middle-order batsman has been with Surrey since the age of eight and combined his studies at Cambridge University with his County Championship career.

He made his one-day international debut for England in 2015 and was set for a Test debut on the winter tour to face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, only to suffer an open dislocation of his thumb the same day he learned of his call-up.

Ansari retires having played in three Tests and a single one-day international in which he didn’t get a chance to bat or bowl. He scored 3,009 first-class runs to go with 128 wickets and also played a regular role in Surrey’s one-day and Twenty20 sides.

He was part of the side that won the Clydesdale Bank 40 title in 2011 and also helped Surrey secure promotion to Division One of the County Championship in 2015.

Ansari told Surrey’s website: “After seven years as a professional cricketer and almost two decades in total playing the game, I have decided to bring my cricket career to an end.

Ansari suffered a serious thumb injury on the same day he was called up to play for England in their series against Pakistan

“This has been a very difficult decision to make and I have not made it lightly. I started playing for Surrey at the age of eight and the club has been a hugely important part of my life since then.

“Surrey have always completely supported me and I am extremely grateful to the club for their backing over the years. It is, therefore, with great sadness that I say goodbye.

“I have always been clear that when the time was right for me to move on I would, and that time has now come. While the timing may come as a surprise, I have always maintained that cricket was just one part of my life and that I have other ambitions that I want to fulfil.

“With that in mind, I am now exploring another career, potentially in law, and to achieve this I have to begin the process now.”

Ansari retires after passing 3,000 first-class runs, scoring three centuries with a top score of 112

Surrey’s director of cricket Alec Stewart added: “Zafar’s exceptionally tough but considered decision is one that we should all respect and understand.

“To retire at such a young age when his cricket career was progressing very nicely, earning a Test debut against Bangladesh last winter, proves that he has given great thought in deciding to walk away from the professional game.

He also took 128 wickets in 71 first-class games with a best of 6-30

“He is one of our own, having come through our age group and academy system where he first played for the county at the age of eight.

“Throughout his time with Surrey he has represented the club with great pride and skill. He will be missed by all his Surrey team mates, members and supporters and I speak on behalf of everyone in thanking him for his loyal service.

“We wish Zafar the very best in whatever the future holds for him and he will always be welcomed back to the Kia Oval with open arms.”

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