|Ground:||Trent Bridge, Nottingham|
|Scorecard:||England v India|
|Event:||India in England 2014|
DateLine: 14th July 2014
By Andy Jalil In association with INVESTEC
Nottingham – Excellent batting by Stuart Binny who scored his maiden Test half century on debut and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who hit his second half century of the match and indeed of his Test career, had been the main features of the India innings on an absorbing final day. With the match having drifted into stalemate the captains agreed an end to the first Investec Test an hour early according to the rules, with India on 391 for nine in their second innings and in an overall lead of 352.
India captain MS Dhoni said: “Overall it was a good Test match for us. We were able to put pressure on them in the first innings and after that when there was pressure on us we had a few individuals who stood up and batted really well, so overall plenty of positives.”
With two early incisions into India’s batting by Stuart Broad, in overcast conditions, at the start of the day, one wondered if there was yet another twist in this match. In only the second over, after the tourists had resumed on the overnight score of 167 for three and an overall lead of 128, Virat Kohli was trapped lbw with the ball in line with the leg stump. In his next over, Broad accounted for Ajinkya Rahane who edged a ball outside off stump into the gloves of Matt Prior and that was 173 for five.
Broad was replaced by Liam Plunkett who, with his first ball, removed the India captain. Dhoni tried to play a shot to leg without any foot movement only to be bowled between bat and pad. This was an hour after the morning’s play which had begun a quarter of an hour late because of the early morning rain. With India in a lead of just 145 at this stage prospects had suddenly opened up for England to possibly be able to force a result.
Meanwhile Ravendra Jadeja, who had faced 38 balls before playing his first scoring shot, a drive for four off Anderson, hit straight over the bowler’s head moved on to 18 and Binny on 26. At lunch India were 230 for six but just as the two batsmen looked well set, Anderson struck with a ball moving away from the left-handed Jadeja and taking an edge for a catch behind.
Jadeja had 31 and with India on 249 for seven once again there was a glimmer of hope for England provided they could soon claim the last three wickets as India’s lead was just 210. But Binny piled on the runs in mid-afternoon in an eighth wicket stand of 91 from 120 balls with Kumar, taking their side to 340 and leading by 300. By the time Binny got out, it became clear that India had done remarkably well to reach 340 for eight.
Binny’s fifty had come from 86 balls and when Moeen Ali floated an off spinner to beat him in front of the stumps he was on 78 and with two-and-three-quarter hours at the crease he had virtually made the match safe for his side. It had been an important innings from him as he had come in to bat with India’s innings faltering. His stroke-play had brought him eight fours and a marvellous six over extra cover when he stepped out to lift a ball from Ali.
With the last few minutes to be played out England bowled three jovial overs, two of which were bowled by Alastair Cook who was pleasantly surprised to claim Ishant Sharma’s wicket, caught behind, for 13 after a 47-run stand with Kumar on 63 not out.
England captain, Alastair Cook said: “In this game we had a poor session, we lost six wickets on a really good wicket, thankfully we dragged ourselves out of it with an outstanding hundred from Joe Root and Jimmy (Anderson) to get 80 as well.”
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2014 Andy Jalil)