|Ground:||Trent Bridge, Nottingham|
|Scorecard:||England v India|
|Event:||India in England 2014|
DateLine: 13th July 2014
By Andy Jalil In association with INVESTEC
Nottingham – This Test match will be remembered as a tale of two extraordinary century partnerships for the tenth wicket by both teams for the first time in Test history. Sustaining the mood of the previous evening when he batted for an hour, James Anderson showed his determination not to fail with the bat as he did in the previous Test against Sri Lanka which went within one ball of saving the match. His heroics this time at the crease went all the way to create a Test record for the last wicket of 198. It beat the previous highest of 163 between Ashton Agar and Phil Hughes in the Ashes series last year on this ground.
In a monumental partnership spanning just eight minutes under four hours, Joe Root and Anderson, frustrated India from a stage in the match when it looked that England could well have been put under pressure. Anderson, batting at No. 11, had come to the crease towards the end of the third day’s play with his side trailing by 159. But any hope that India held of a quick end to the last wicket was almost disdainfully dispelled by the England pair.
By close of the fourth day’s play, India on 167 for three were in an overall lead of 128 and while there may possibly be some potential of the match going in favour of either side on the last day, the situation strongly favours a draw. Murali Vijay completed a half century from 119 balls following his hundred in the first innings and Cheteshwar Pujara hit 55 from 101 balls in a 91-run stand to take India to 140 for the early loss of Shikhar Dhawan’s wicket for 29, before both batmen were dismissed by successive balls. Moeen Ali claimed the first two wickets, with a return catch and a stumping respectively and Liam Plunkett had Pujara held at backward point.
In the England innings, helped by a slow pitch with a low bounce, which gave no favours to the bowlers, Root led the resistance at first defensively batting with admirable support from Anderson and then as their innings progressed so did their attacking shots. Resuming on the overnight total of 352 for nine, with his score on 78, Root soon went into the nineties with two fours along the way.
He then took two fours off consecutive balls from Mohammed Shami, a beautiful cover drive, the style of which was textbook stuff followed by a similar shot but a little squarer to cover point which took him to his fourth Test hundred. Anderson, who had passed his previous highest Test score of 34, soon brought up his maiden Test half century from 61 balls when he pulled Shami for his eleventh four.
He went past England’s previous highest by a No. 11 which was 59 not out by John Snow against West Indies at the Oval in 1966. On taking England to 429 for nine they went past the highest tenth wicket stand of 130 for England which had had been put up by R.E. Foster and W. Rhodes in 1903. Meanwhile Anderson on 60 was dropped behind the stumps off the bowling of Shami but that did not deter the left-hander from playing forceful strokes.
At lunch England were 485 for nine with Root on 143 and Anderson on 81. After the break Root got to the milestone of 150 but Anderson, without adding to his score was finally dismissed – having faced 130 balls over – when he became Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fifth victim, edging him to second slip. On 496 all out, England had taken an unlikely first innings lead of 39. Root’s brilliant effort over six and three quarter hours had taken him to an unbeaten 154 from 295 balls.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2014 Andy Jalil)