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Chennai Test: Karun Nair 303 not out, India 759/7 declared

first_imgKarun Nair made an epic unbeaten triple century to power India to their highest ever innings total against a demoralised England in the fifth and final Test on Monday. (SCORECARD)Nair became the second Indian batsman to score a Test triple hundred and his 303 not out helped the hosts post a massive 759/7 before skipper Virat Kohli declared.After conceding a 282-run first-innings lead, England finished on 12/0, needing to bat out the final day to save the match and prevent a 4-0 series loss. (Karun Nair second Indian after Sehwag to hammer Test triple century)Skipper Alastair Cook was unbeaten on three at the close with Keaton Jennings on nine after a difficult day in the field for the touring side.Nair struck his 32nd four off Adil Rashid to bring up his triple century before raising his bat in celebration as his coach Anil Kumble, a keen photographer, captured the moment on camera. (In pics: Karun Nair slams record-breaking triple hundred)Nair was at the other end when Lokesh Rahul, his partner in a 161-run fourth-wicket stand, fell agonisingly short of his double century on Sunday by playing a rash shot when one run away from the milestone.Playing only his third Test, Nair brought up his maiden century in the morning session, turned it into a double after tea and accelerated to reach the 300-mark in an innings which also included four sixes. (Welcome to 300-run club: Sehwag to Karun Nair)Resuming on 391 for four, India lost Murali Vijay for 29 but Nair and Ravichandran Aswin added 181 runs for the fifth wicket to put the hosts firmly in command.advertisementBatting down the order following a shoulder injury, Vijay became debutant Liam Dawson’s first Test victim when the left-arm spinner trapped him lbw.Nair, dropped on 34 by Cook, enjoyed another slice of luck when he hung out his bat trying to leave a Stuart Broad delivery, the deflection running past slip to the boundary. (Karun Nair’s record-shattering triple ton: All the stats you need to know)Ben Stokes bowled with hostility, generating reverse swing from an otherwise flat track, and nearly had Nair caught at mid-off with another short delivery.Nair was on 217 when Joe Root dropped him at slip off Jake Ball and the batsman also survived a stumping opportunity.Ashwin hit a six off Moeen Ali and registered his 10th Test fifty before he fell for 67 to a brilliant diving catch by Jos Buttler off Broad.Virender Sehwag is the only other Indian to make a Test triple century, achieving the feat twice.Brief Scores: England 477, 12/0 (Alastair Cook 3 not out, Keaton Jennings 9 not out) vs India 759/7 declared (Karun Nair 303 not out, Lokesh Rahul 199, Parthiv Patel 71)last_img read more

Arsenal cast off gloom with Europa League first leg romp against Milan

first_imgAfter all the weeks of swimming against the tide, the games when their heads dipped, their bodies felt heavier, Arsenal grasped hold of their Europa League lifebelt and gave themselves a chance of saving their season.If the latter Wenger years have seen Arsenal drift from challenging for the league, their reinvention as a cup team and ability to conjure one-off performances of the calibre that make you wonder why they cannot do this more often, remains intact. They came to Milan and played like a team determined not to take any more punishment. They reminded their critics – and perhaps even themselves – that on their day they can produce a meaningful win. Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Confidence worked its way back into Wenger’s side. When Danny Welbeck and Chambers combined – the former’s neat lay-off met by the latter’s left-foot piledriver – it was as good a sign as any that Arsenal were feeling a lot better about themselves.The chances to increase that lead came in a flurry before half-time. Welbeck seared down the left channel and into the penalty area but his shot was parried by Donnarumma. Mkhitaryan advanced into another promising position only to skim the crossbar. Would they come to regret those opportunities spurned? The question hung in the air until first-half stoppage time. Özil spied another angle of opportunity, Ramsey made one of his forward sprints, and the Welshman’s composure to slip past Donnarumma and tap into an empty net meant the world to Arsenal.Arsenal’s vulnerabilities suggest resting on the laurels of an uplifting 45 minutes would be risky. Sitting back is seldom their most reliable modus operandi. So they continued to press. Welbeck came close to a third at the start of the second half.Milan rallied in fits and spurts but Arsenal defended diligently, ending up with a rare clean sheet adding to the feelgood factors they could take back to London. Facebook Twitter Milan did start with a flash of vigour, threatening the Arsenal goal twice in the opening couple of minutes. Perhaps the whole affair would have taken a different turn had one of those opportunities been taken. Patrick Cutrone ambled into abundant space on the left but dragged his shot wide. Milan seemed to be targeting Calum Chambers, the stand-in right back playing in place of the injured Héctor Bellerín, and moments later Hakan Calhanoglu burst through, engaging David Ospina in a foot race. There seemed to be some contact but Ospina was fortunate Calhanoglu stayed on his feet and ran the ball out of play. Referee Clément Turpin waved the game on.Once Arsenal settled, they burst into the positive flow that had drained away during the recent sequence of losses. Wenger asked his beleaguered team to go back to basics, to be pragmatic, to concentrate on their jobs and dig deep. Arsenal responded by knitting neat moves together to provide a platform. The combinations between Özil, Mkhitaryan and the excellent Jack Wilshere were instrumental.A quarter of an hour into this open, attack-minded tussle, Arsenal conjured the breakthrough. Ever since they signed Mkhitaryan there have been questions about how feasible it was to play with two luxury playmakers. He and Özil linked up delightfully to provide a meaningful answer here. Özil’s chipped pass was executed perfectly, inviting Mkhitaryan to cut back and let fly. The ball ricocheted off Leonardo Bonucci and over Gianluigi Donnarumma. Milan’s sequence of six clean sheets was over and Arsenal’s celebrations were heartfelt. Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan scores his side’s opening goal. Photograph: Luca Bruno/AP Listen Read more Topics Where do Tottenham and PSG go from here? – Football Weekly Extra Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp match reports Arsenal ‘We responded with a good performance,’ says Arsène Wenger Pinterest Share on Twitter What a tonic for the pressurised Arsène Wenger, whose capacity to believe his team can dig their way out of any hole is boundless. The strain had been obvious around the Arsenal squad as they travelled to Milan weighed down by crumpled form and cracked confidence. Somehow the colour returned, happiness began to course through the team and rhythm clicked back. Wenger had urged his team to remember how good they were and his players had the courage to show that – instantly the passes became slicker, the tackles more resilient, the finishes more precise.In an extraordinary first half the story tilted from negative spiral to positive spin, as Arsenal took a commanding two-goal lead thanks to Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey (both brilliantly assisted by Mesut Özil).Milan’s revival under Gennaro Gattuso has lifted the mood at San Siro enough to inspire a wave of fresh optimism in these parts. A near full stadium crackled with energy. But having surfed a wave of optimism inspired by a 12-game unbeaten run, they looked shellshocked as Arsenal’s character returned. Maybe this kind of opponent was not what they anticipated, as Wenger’s men summoned a performance of commitment and attacking intent. Share via Email Europa League Share on LinkedIn Milan Reuse this contentlast_img read more