Live Cricket Blog: Shades of Freddie Flintoff as Ben Stokes produces Edgbaston brilliance

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Hello, Denzil Pinto and the Sport360 team are in place to provide you with the latest news, comment and analysis on all things cricket.

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8:30pm – Stokes spell reminiscent of Flintoff’s Edgbaston heroics
BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 06: Andrew Flintoff of England celebrates the wicket of Ricky Ponting of Australia during day three of the Second npower Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Edgbaston on August 6, 2005 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Andrew Flintoff celebrates Ricky Ponting’s demise.

Stuart Appleby’s writes that Ben Stokes’ superb day four at Edgbaston was reminiscent of Freddie Flintoff all those years ago. Read the piece, here.

6:30pm – Joe Root has nothing but praise for his England team-mates after victory against India

Joe Root was pleased with his team after Ben Stokes took three wickets on Saturday

Joe Root was pleased with his team after Ben Stokes took three wickets on Saturday.

3:30pm – Ben Stokes stars as England beat India in the first Test
The all-rounder took three wickets including the prized scalp of Virat Kohli as England completed a 31-run victory against India on Saturday.

Read more on this story by clicking here.

Ben Stokes dismissed Virat Kohli

Ben Stokes dismissed Virat Kohli.

12:00pm – Sunil Gavaskar impressed with Virat Kohli’s batting performance in England

The former Indian captain has had his say on Kohli’s excellent form in the on-going Test series, saying a talented cricketer like him doesn’t need to play county cricket.

Click here for more on what he said.

In impressive form: Virat Kohli

In impressive form: Virat Kohli

10:00am – ‘Sam Curran is showing he has the temperament to succeed in Test cricket’

The 20-year-old English bowler is proving a lot of people wrong in the on-going Test match against England. Did the job by taking four wickets in the first innings before hitting a valuable half-century to give England hope of winning the opening Test.

Our man Ajit Vijaykumar gives his thoughts on the left-arm bowler. Read it here.
Sam Curran has had a strong Test so far in Birmingham

Sam Curran has had a strong Test so far in Birmingham.

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Maxtalent Cricket Academy to focus on longer formats after successful tour of England

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A tour to remember: Maxtalent Cricket Academy

Maxtalent Cricket Academy plan to play more longer format matches regularly following their successful tour of the UK.

The Dubai-based institution arrived back from England last week where their Under-12 and U-16 sides tested themselves against their peers in 30, 35-over and two-day matches.

Altogether, they won six of their eight matches and head coach Sudhakar Shetty said adjusting to the longer formats is something that their aspiring cricketers will have to get used to.

“It was a very good tour for us in England and something that the kids learned a lot,” he said. “In the UAE, there is a lot of emphasis on T20 cricket but we didn’t want them to play that in England. Over there, the emphasis is also on the longer format and this is something we wanted to address.

“All the games were 30-overs and above. Some were 35-overs and then there was a two-day game. It was all part of the learning process because for kids to become the best cricketers, they have to learn how to adapt their game.”

He added: “When boys are at a young age and given their knowledge of playing so many T20 games, it’s very easy for them to lose track of their temperament and skill development as their mindset is all about scoring as many runs as they can. That means you are compromising on things and they don’t get the chance to build any partnerships. We hope that by playing in England, they have learned valuable lessons, especially about building an innings.”

As well the matches, Maxtalent also trained at the MCC Academy at Lord’s while also working with Surrey’s coach Keith Medlycott. He passed on his knowledge in the training nets as well as overseeing strengthening drills.

Shetty added: “Overall it was a fantastic tour for us. The players impressed and really gave the English clubs a tough time which was good to see because there are some really talented cricketers. We hope that they have learnt a lot and that will help them develop their game.”

END OF TOUR AWARDS

Under-16

Best Batsman:  Amrit Pal Singh

Best Bowler: Krish Bandivdekar

Best All-rounder: Sreekar Gudipati

Most Hardworking: Yash Hegde

Most Promising: Harjot Singh

Under-13:

Best Batsman: Rayan Javed

Best Bowler: Jardel Fernandes

Best All-rounder: Shahyan Reddy

Most Hard-working: Ahmed Nadeem

Most Promising: Sanjith Ram

Players’ choice medal award: Armann Joshi

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Ben Stokes stars with the ball as England beat India in dramatic first Test

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Lethal with the ball: Ben Stokes

England finally broke Virat Kohli‘s resistance to secure a 31-run victory over India after a titanic struggle in their 1,000th Test match.

Ben Stokes (four for 40) delivered the telling blows on the fourth morning of the Specsavers series opener at Edgbaston, where Kohli appeared to be leading his team home after adding a second-innings half-century to his tour de force 149 at his first attempt.

But in his first over after replacing James Anderson at the City End, Stokes had the India captain lbw playing across his pad for 51, and then doubled up with the wicket of Mohammed Shami – fencing a catch behind.

Hardik Pandya emerged instead as the only threat to England, but he was last out in a total of 162 when he edged Stokes to Alastair Cook at slip.

India had resumed on 110 for five, with a target of 194 to win and Kohli the key in almost everyone’s mind.

Anderson gave England, and their expectant crowd, a fine start on a sunny morning, but it was not the wicket he told a press conference the previous evening he would go to bed dreaming about.

The immediate prize of Kohli was not to be, but second-best was Dinesh Karthik – ending a troublesome stand of 34 which had narrowed the margins while England’s bowlers tired on Friday.

It was heartening too that when Anderson found the edge, Dawid Malan was safe at second slip.

Malan had dropped Kohli on 21 in the first innings, as well as two others in the match.

But when he held Karthik, he took his ratio to 50-50, with three catches to offset his drops.

It was by design that England limited Kohli to nine deliveries in eight overs at the other end, but a straight-driven four by Pandya off Stuart Broad indicated he had found a plausible new partner.

Kohli brought up his patient, 88-ball half-century with just his fourth four – glanced fine off Anderson – and after two more driven boundaries by Pandya in Broad’s next over, England appeared to be running out of time.

Stokes was having none of that, however.

It took him just three balls to get Kohli, and another three to shift Shami and leave India needing a further 53 from their last two wickets.

At a venue which has seen its share of Test theatre over the years, notably England’s two-run victory over Australia in the 2005 Ashes, there was unsurprisingly still a little way to go.

England captain Joe Root displayed a gambler’s instinct when with 42 needed he brought on leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

It proved wise, though, as Rashid repaid his fellow Yorkshireman with a googly to have Ishant Sharma lbw – confirmed on review.

Then Stokes, who must report to Bristol Crown Court on Monday morning to answer a charge of affray and will therefore miss the second Test at Lord’s, signed off with the last wicket.

India seamer Ishant has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee, and received a demerit point, after a Level 1 breach of the International Cricket Council’s code of conduct for his provocative celebration of Malan’s wicket in England’s second innings.

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