Section: Test Match

Cricket: West Indies v England: Kraigg Brathwaite makes ton for hosts

England were frustrated by Kraigg Brathwaite’s composed century as West Indies had the better of the fourth day of the second Test in Grenada.

His 101 not out took the home side to 202-2, a lead of 37.

Earlier, England moved their overnight 373-6 to 464 all out, with Joe Root ending unbeaten on 182.

On a pitch that remains lifeless, a draw seems the most likely result, lengthening England’s wait for a first overseas win since 2012.

If a positive result on the final day is possible, then it is Alastair Cook’s men who are more likely to earn a 1-0 series lead.

However, the lack of opportunities created in the turgid afternoon and evening sessions suggest that an attack lacking variety will find it hard to take the eight wickets required quickly enough for a run-chase to be undertaken.

“We’ll chase anything, we just need enough time,” Root told BBC Sport. “We have to have a really good session with the ball in the morning.

“West Indies need need a lot of credit for the way they played tonight. They were under quite a bit of pressure with lead we had, but they have got themselves back in the game.

“We will have a scrap on our hands if we want to get a result.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: Australia v India: Hosts win series after Sydney Test ends in draw

India survived a last-session collapse against Australia to draw the final Test in Sydney as the hosts secured a 2-0 series win.

Fourth Test, Sydney (day five):
Australia 572-7 dec & 251-6 dec drew with India 475 & 252-7

Declaring their second innings overnight on 251-6, Australia set India a victory target of 349.

Steve Smith’s side were left three wickets short as they chased a final day win with India finishing on 252-7.

Opening batsman Murali Vijay top scored with 80 as Ajinkya Rahane (38) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (20) secured a draw.

Victories in the opening two Test matches in Adelaide and Brisbanewere enough to secure the 2-0 series win for Australia, as the final two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney were drawn.

Despite some disciplined bowling from Australia on a turning final-day pitch, only one India batsman had fallen in each of the first two sessions and the match looked destined for a draw at tea.

Australia were given a glimpse of victory as India collapsed from 178-2 to 217-7 in the final session, but Rahane and Kumar held out in the closing overs with an unbroken eighth wicket partnership of 35.

Earlier, captain Smith took a sensational one-handed diving catch at slip to dismiss Rohit Sharma (39) just before lunch, while spinner Nathan Lyon and fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood all claimed two wickets apiece.

The start of the series had been rearranged and moved from Brisbane to Adelaide following the death of Australia Test batsman Phillip Hughes in November.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: Australia v India: Smith’s 71 takes him past Bradman mark

Steve Smith eclipsed a Don Bradman record as Australia chased victory over India in the fourth Test in Sydney.

Fourth Test, Sydney (day four):
Australia 572-7 dec and 251-6 v India 475

The captain hit 71 off 70 balls to pass Bradman’s 1947-48 Australian record of 715 for most runs in a series against India.

Smith, who had already made four centuries in the series, scored 769 runs at an average of 128.16.

Australia raced to 251-6 and a lead of 348 over India before rain stopped play at the end of day four.

Looking to wrap up the four-match series 3-0, the hosts dismissed India for 475 shortly before tea to take a 97-run lead after the first innings.

India captain Virat Kohli was only able to add seven runs to his overnight score before clipping a Ryan Harris delivery to Rogers at midwicket.

Kohli’s 147 helped bring his tally over the four tests to 646 runs, the second highest by an Indian batsman in an overseas series after the 774 Sunil Gavaskar accumulated in West Indies in 1971.

In response, Australia opener Chris Rogers hit a 77-ball 56 before he was caught at midwicket off Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, while Smith was eventually out lbw to Mohammed Shami.

Joe Burns weighed in with three sixes and eight fours in his 39-ball 66.

Bradman,  who died in 2001 aged 92, is regarded as Australia’s finest cricketer and the greatest Test batsman of all time.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: Australia v India: Kohli makes history & ‘spidercam’ controversy

Virat Kohli became the first man to make three Test centuries in his first three innings as captain on an eventful third day of the fourth Test against Australia in Sydney.

Fourth Test, Sydney (day three):
Australia 572-7 dec v India 342-5

He made an unbeaten 140, while Lokesh Rahul, with 110, helped India finish on 342-5, in response to 572-7 declared.

Rahul was dropped on 46 by captain Steve Smith, who blamed television device ‘spidercam’ for the error.

Smith was “distracted by one of the wires in his eyeline”, said Australia.

Spidercam is a camera system which gives viewers a bird’s eye view of the action using cables to carry a camera on wires above the action.

Australia have already secured the series after winning the first two Tests in Adelaide and Brisbane and drawing the third in Melbourne.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: Australia v India: Steve Smith scores fourth century of series

Australia captain Steve Smith scored his fourth century in successive Tests to put his side in control of the fourth Test against India in Sydney.

Fourth Test, Sydney (day two):
Australia 572-7 dec v India 71-1

Smith’s 117 saw him match Sir Donald Bradman and Jacques Kallis’s record of four hundreds in a series.

The stand-in captain shared a 196-run partnership with Shane Watson (81) for the third wicket as Australia declared their first innings on 572-7.

India recovered from the early loss of Murali Vijay to close day two on 71-1.

Shaun Marsh (73) and Joe Burns (58) also scored half-centuries as all of Australia’s top six batsmen passed 50. Opener David Warner scored a century on the first day.

Smith has scored 698 runs at an average of 139.60 in seven innings in the series.

Australia have already secured the series after winning the first two Tests in Adelaide and Brisbane and drawing the third in Melbourne.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 193 runs to win Test series 2-0

New Zealand completed a fine comeback to beat Sri Lanka by 193 runs and win the two-Test series 2-0.

Second Test, Basin Reserve, Wellington (day five):
New Zealand (221 & 524-5 dec) beat Sri Lanka (356 & 195) by 193 runs

Kane Williamson and BJ Watling’s Test record sixth-wicket partnership on day four hauled the Kiwis back into the match, having trailed by 135 on first innings in Wellington.

Mark Craig took 4-53 as the hosts bowled out Sri Lanka for 196.

“The last little while we’ve played some outstanding cricket,” said New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.

New Zealand have not lost a Test series since being beaten in England in May 2013.

Since then, the Kiwis have won in West Indies and India, beaten West Indies away and drawn against Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Resuming on 45-1 in pursuit of an improbable 390 for victory, Sri Lanka slipped to 110-5 by lunch, and New Zealand wrapped up victory with a session to spare.

McCullum said: “To be able to fight our way out of an incredibly precarious position and not just save the Test, but to go on and win it in the manner that we did is testament to the work these guys do off the field.”

The sides start a seven-match one-day series on 11 January in Christchurch.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: South Africa v West Indies: Hosts win series, Alviro Petersen retires

South Africa beat West Indies by eight wickets in Cape Town to win the third and final Test and take the series 2-0.

Third Test, Cape Town (day five):
South Africa 421 & 124-2 beat West Indies 329 & 215 by eight wickets

The home side began the final day on 9-1, needing a further 115 runs for victory, and Dean Elgar guided them to their target with 60 not out.

Having won the first Test and drawn the second, South Africa took the series to retain the number one Test ranking.

The two teams will play three Twenty20 games and five one-day internationals ahead of February’s one-day World Cup.

A West Indies collapse on the fourth day, when the tourists crashed from 182-3 to 215 all out, left South Africa requiring just 124 for victory.

It was slow going as the Proteas failed to score any runs off the first 44 balls of the day, and Faf du Plessis then fell for 14 just after the hour mark.

South Africa captain Hashim Amla made sure there were no more alarms though as he scored 38 not out to accompany Elgar to the end.

Meanwhile, Proteas opener Alviro Petersen, who was out for a duck in the second innings after scoring 42 in the first, announced his retirement from international cricket after the game.

Having made his international debut back in 2006, the right-hander, 34, appeared in 36 Tests, 21 one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals.

His highest Test score, 182, came against England at Headingley in 2012.

“I feel that at 34 it is time for me to move on with my career,” he said.

“I intend playing county and franchise cricket for the next three years and also concentrating on my foundation and my cricket school.”

Petersen has had spells in English county cricket with Somerset, Glamorgan and Essex, and his departure from the international scene opens up the chance for him to return to county cricket as a Kolpak player.

Kolpak contracts are signed by foreign players, using a loophole in European Union law to avoid counting against the quota of one overseas player per club.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: Australia v India: David Warner in Phillip Hughes tribute during ton

Batsman David Warner scored a century and paid tribute to Phillip Hughes as Australia dominated day one of the fourth Test against India in Sydney.

Fourth Test, Sydney (day one):
Australia 348-2 v India

Warner hit 101 and on reaching 63, he took off his helmet and kissed the ground near the spot where Hughes was fatally injured, when on 63 runs.

“I’m always going to pay tribute to my mate,” said Warner. “Every time I play here I’ll definitely be doing that.”

He shared an opening stand of 200 with Chris Rogers (95) in Australia’s 348-2.

It was Warner’s 12th Test century and third of the series with the 28-year-old needing just 108 balls to reach the milestone.

“It’s very special,” added Warner. “I haven’t scored a hundred at home or the MCG and I was sort of talking myself out of it.

“I said to the players I might as well not play those two Tests because I couldn’t score a run there.”

The opening partnership was ended when Warner was caught in the gully by Murali Vijay off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin.

In the next over Rogers chopped a Mohammed Shami delivery onto his stumps to depart five runs short of his hundred, but stand-in captain Steve Smith (82 not out) and Shane Watson (61 not out) guided Australia to 348-2 at the close.

Australia hold an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series, with emotions in the final match heightened because it is taking place at the same ground where Hughes, 25, died last year.

Cricket Australia unveiled a memorial plaque outside the home side’s dressing room on Monday.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: New Zealand v Sri Lanka: Williamson & Watling set Test record sixth-wicket stand

Kane Williamson and BJ Watling shared a world record sixth-wicket partnership of 365 as New Zealand dominated Sri Lanka on day four of the second Test.

Second Test, Wellington (Basin Reserve) (day four):
New Zealand 221 & 524-5 dec v Sri Lanka 356 & 45-1

Captain Brendon McCullum declared on 524-5, leaving Sri Lanka needing 390 in 107 overs at Wellington’s Basin Reserve to win and square the two-match series.

Williamson hit an unbeaten 242, his first Test double century while Watling made 142 not out, his fourth Test ton.

The record tops the 352 Watling and McCullum made against India last year.

That feat was also achieved at the Basin Reserve, where a bronze plaque marking the achievement had only been set in concrete three days ago.

Williamson spent more than 10 hours at the crease, scoring his ninth Test century and the seventh highest score by a New Zealander.

The 24-year-old faced 438 deliveries, scoring 18 fours, while Watling posted a career-best 142, with nine fours and a six as Sri Lanka toiled.

The tourists had reached 45-1 by the close after Dimuth Karunaratne fell for 17, leaving his opening partner Kaushal Silva (20 not out) and nightwatchman Dhammika Prasad to see them through the final overs.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: New Zealand v Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara closes in on Don Bradman double hundred record

Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara scored his 11th Test double century to move one behind Australia legend Don Bradman’s all-time record.

Second Test, Wellington (day two):
New Zealand 221 all out & 22-0 Sri Lanka 356 all out

He made 203 on day two of the second Test against New Zealand to help his side to 356 all out, a lead of 135.

Sangakkara will quit one day international cricket after the World Cup, which starts in February.

But the 37-year-old said he will “see whether there is a few more months of cricket in me Test-wise”.

Sangakkara, who spent the majority of his Test career keeping wicket – claiming 178 catches and 20 stumpings before giving up the gloves – also became the fastest player to reach 12,000 Test runs on day one.

“It just depends on how everything pans out after this World Cup,” added the former law student.

“It’s really hard to predict what will happen and what my thoughts will be at the end of the World Cup about my future.”

Day two in Wellington ended with the Kiwis 22-0 in their second innings.

Sri Lanka need to win the Test to level the two-match series after aneight-wicket loss in Christchurch.