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Monday, July 14, 2014

Tailenders make merry as Trent Bridge ends in draw




I had earlier happily bragged about Indian tail wagging – from 346 to 457 – a grand partnership between Bhuvaneswarkumar and Mohammad Shami.  The 1st Investec Test at Trent Bridge ended in a draw – happy for Indians haunted by the 4-0 whitewash in the last series here -  Score card would read : India 457 (Vijay 146, Dhoni 82) and 391 for 9 decl (Binny 78, Bhuvneshwar 63*) drew with England 496 (Root 154*, Anderson 81, Bhuvneshwar 5-82)

The scorecard as usual may not reveal the mild drama and the historic partnerships of the tail; the start of the 5th day  appeared more of a formality with draw almost certain – on a dead wicket,  India suffered a serious scare as England took three wickets for 17 runs in the first hour of the morning. The debutant Stuart Binny steered them back to safety and was looking on course for a century on debut before Moeen Ali had him lbw with ten minutes to go for tea. Bhuvneshwar Kumar then scored his second half-century of the match - only the second time anyone had done this from No. 9 - and England didn't even get to begin a second innings as the players shook hands when MS Dhoni declared at the stroke of the final hour. Stuart Binny has been criticized hard for his bowling prowess – but did play well enough, especially as he walked when India were reeling with 6 down with a slender lead of 145.  Ravindra Jadeja had faced 33 balls at the other end without getting off the mark.


On end of day 3 – with around 6 overs to go – last wicket of Root and Anderson were playing – one of the commentators remarked that Dhoni is not attacking as he would not like to take a wicket at the twilight and allow Indians to play at that time – it was not Dhoni’s choice as proved the next day  -  Anderson went on to make 81 - hurting India's hopes of a rare away victory in Tests, making  the highest by an English No.11 and the third-highest by any in that position – stayed for 130 balls – his  partnership with Joe Root produced 198 runs, a world record for the tenth-wicket. They were together for 360 balls, the most by a tenth-wicket pair in Tests, and the only instance of a final-wicket pair playing 300 or more deliveries.

The tenth-wicket pairs from both sides accumulated 309 runs, the most runs scored for the last wicket in a Test. In a rare occurrence, the last-wicket partnership has been the most productive in the match so far ~ Bhuvi was to make another 50 in the 2nd essay too- and that speaks volumes of the inefficacy of the bowling and the type of pitch in which the game was played.  Ishant Sharma became the second Indian after Harbhajan Singh to concede 150-plus runs at Trent Bridge, and the third time Ishant has cost over 150 runs. In the 1st innings the  four new-ball bowlers made  237 runs - Broad (47), Anderson (81), Kumar (58) and Shami (51) - while the four opening batsmen scored only 222 runs.

Besides Murali Vijay who made a 100 and 50, Bhvui basked in some glory – making 2 fifties and taking a 5 for.  The other Indians who did so before him also achieved it in overseas Tests: Rusi Surti (in 1967 in Adelaide), Polly Umrigar (in 1962 at Port of Spain), and Vinoo Mankad (at Lord's in 1952).

So, it is a draw – as India breathes easy – first having avoided any possible whitewash … now we look towards to Lords

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th July 2014.

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