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04.06.2018 15:20
s Kerbers third final of the year after losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenk Antworten

The sky was wrapped in a blanket of cloud, the air was laced with a light drizzle and the temperature hovered a few degrees too close to uncomfortable - so it is hardly surprising Vernon Philander woke up in a UK state of mind. Lords was the last place Philander took five wickets away from home, more than four years ago, and he may have had a feeling today was the day to change that. It just seemed right.There was enough grass on the surface, enough moisture in the air, enough fortune at the coin toss, and enough of Australias batsmen made themselves available for exploitation. They were also in a UK state of mind, just at a different venue. Their performance dredged up the bones of Trent Bridge when they were shot out for 60 and buried in 18.3 overs. Philander needed a little longer than Stuart Broad did, perhaps only because he spent half the first session recovering from a collision from Steven Smith.By then, physicality was the only kind of aggression Australia had left after Philander followed through on his warning that things would get ugly. Australia would not have expected 4-for-8 ugly, but they have their best batsman to blame for how it started. David Warner played a shot for which only an ugly cry can be consolation, especially considering when it came.Philander used the opening over to get a measure of the movement and soon saw there was more than enough on offer. He sent one swinging down Warners leg side and then tried to correct his line to complete the over but went wayward on the opposite side. Warner chased a delivery he should have left and Australia were opened up.It did not take Philander long to gain control from there and he began to boss proceedings as he had done in Cape Town in 2011, when he led the rout of Australia for 47. He landed the ball in the channel outside off stump and moved it just enough to sow uncertainty in batsmens minds. Usman Khawaja and Adam Voges were done by successive balls that seamed away, forced them to play and took the edge. Callum Ferguson was squared up by the hat-trick ball, prompting a cautious prod which could have brought point into play.Philander did to Australias top order what he had done to England at Lords in 2012, when he cleared the path to the Test mace. The only way to stop Philander when he has found that kind of rhythm is by absorbing pressure and although Steve Smith strived for that, he got more immediate relief in a different way. Smith would not have meant to, but he collided heavily with Philander when the bowler turned to appeal for an lbw after the Australian captain played across the line, was struck on the pads and went for a run. So heavy was the collision that Philander was sent rolling onto the floor, curled up and clutching his left side.Faf du Plessis had to ignore the memories of Dale Steyn going down - in a far less dramatic way, but with far greater consequences - the previous week. He reviewed, but the ball was going down leg and Philander off the field. Philander spent the rest of the session having his shoulder iced, but was able to return after lunch to finish the job. Again, the he used his first over to feel his way back in, tried to hold the length back and even went short, but quickly reverted to his default style. Philanders most emphatic wicket came when he burst through Joe Mennies gate and made the off stump reel, but nothing else about his performance was theatrical. Thats just not how he does it.He left it to Kyle Abbott to pull the Oh my Broad expressions and to Dane Vilas, JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock to claim the front-page photographs with their efforts in the field. Even if Philander does not get all the plaudits, there is no doubt that Philander is back and maybe even better than what we thought was his best, precisely because so many thought he was past it.Philanders last five-for was in February 2013, against Pakistan at home. After that series, Philander lost some of his shine. At that point, he had played 16 Tests, taken 89 wickets at 17.13. After that, although he still managed to become the fastest cricketer in over a century to 100 wickets, he broke through less frequently. In 18 matches after that, he took 41 wickets at an average that had ballooned to 32.85, in a period interrupted by torn ankle ligaments which kept him out of six of the eight Tests last summer. And then came this series.Circumstances have conspired to ask Philander to spearhead the attack and he has responded. Even though Kagiso Rabada has been crowned the successor to Steyn, it must be remembered that it was Philander who ensured Australias lead was negligible. As the senior seamer, Philander has stepped up and leads the wicket charts for series so far.His 10 scalps have come at 13.20 and defied the pre-series expectations of the battle of the bowlers. The talk was about Steyn and Starc; speed and swing. There was not much focus on skill, which is what Philander has built his career on. This innings is one of the finest examples of it. Philanders wickets all came off deliveries that clocked in at under 130kph. Four of them came off balls that landed on a good or full length, on or outside off stump. The magic is not in how much he does, but how little.For Australias batsmen, that means they could not approach him with the UK state of mind that they had at Trent Bridge. 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