England accept Trent Bridge draw

By Matt Somerford

England were unable to push for an unlikely win on the final day of the first Investec Test against India at Trent Bridge.

Three wickets in the opening hour of the day had re-stated England’s growing ambitions, after Joe Root and man of the match James Anderson’s world record 198-run last-wicket stand yesterday had shifted the momentum of the match.

Debutant Stuart Binny struck a composed 78, however, and combined in healthy stands with Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to ensure handshakes on a draw were made at 5.05pm with India 391 for nine.

The final knockings of the game at least offered some light relief with skipper Alastair Cook claiming the first wicket of his 105-Test career.

Cook had only bowled one over in Tests before today, but had Ishant Sharma caught down the leg side by Matt Prior after bowling briefly in tandem with Gary Ballance.

Alastair Cook enjoys his first Test wicket shortly before the handshakes were made on a draw in the first Investec Test

England had started the day in a far more serious mood, knowing they required early wickets if they were to have any hope of heading to Lord’s later this week with a 1-0 advantage in the series.

Stuart Broad duly complied to their wishes as he revelled in overcast conditions.

He struck twice in the first 15 minutes, removing overnight pair Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, in a stirring spell of 6-3-6-2.

Liam Plunkett then bowled Mahendra Singh Dhoni with his first delivery after replacing Broad and, after just an hour of play, India were wobbling at 184 for six and with a lead of 145 runs.

With Jadeja also struggling, he took 38 balls to get off the mark, England were well on top.

But Binny showed the required composure in his first match at this level and Jadeja too began to settle as they saw India to lunch without any more damage.

Debutant Stuart Binny ushers India to safety with a composed 78 after they had been in some bother early on the final day

With the new ball available five overs after the interval, that was the make-or-break period, but England were only able to claim one wicket with it.

Jadeja fished outside off stump to Anderson to offer the right-armer deserved reward after he had repeatedly beaten his bat at the start of his innings, when he took 38 deliveries to get off the mark.

Binny and Bhuvneshwar then set about ensuring the draw in a brisk 91-run stand. Binny looked like he could mark his debut with a century, before he was adjudged lbw to Moeen Ali.

Bhuvneshwar passed 50 for the second time in the game – to go with his five-wicket haul – before Cook decided to end the game rolling his arm over.

The skipper’s only over in Test cricket had been against South Africa at Lord’s in 2008 and he marked his re-introduction to bowling ranks with a couple of impersonations and, finally, his maiden wicket to offer the Trent Bridge crowd some late enjoyment.

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Post-Match Reaction

Investec man-of-the-man James Anderson said: “I still cannot quite believe it. I will be sharing this with Joe (Root) later on. It’s a lot easier on a pitch like that. It was nice to get stuck in and have a partnership with Joe.

“It was important. I’m stiffer from batting, I’ve found muscles where I didn’t think I had!”

England captain Alastair Cook admitted his side had done well to claim the draw after losing six wickets in the afternoon session on the third day: “We had a poor session. Here we lost six wickets on a really good wicket. Thankfully we pulled ourselves out of it.

“(It was) a fantastic hundred from Joe Root and for Jimmy to get 80 – I didn’t see it coming. Thank god he got it. Apart from that one session with the bat, we did pretty well.”

Asked about his maiden Test wicket, Cook replied: “A few people are not talking to me, it was an extraordinary moment for me.”

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said: “We needed some kind of partnership. It was a good Test match for us. We put pressure on them first innings.

“Stuart (Binny) stood up and batted really well. He has played a lot of domestic cricket. He seems the best potential all-rounder we have got. This wicket didn’t suit him much.”

On Root and Anderson’s record-breaking last-wicket partnership, Dhoni added: “We tried quite a few things. It didn’t go our way. On this wicket, it was slightly difficult when the bowlers got tired and the ball got older.”

Evening Session

5.05pm – END OF MATCH! Ind 391/9; Bhuvneshwar 63, Shami 4 – Cook’s final ball is smacked away to the point rope by Mohammed Shami and then the draw is agreed and there are handshakes all round. For those of you out there who keep record of these things, Cook’s spell was 2-0-6-1. They are career-best figures.

4.59pm – WICKET! Ishant c Prior b Cook 13; Eng 387/9 – Cook has a wicket! A ball after doing a Bob Willis impersonation he has dragged the ball down leg and Ishant Sharma has got a feather to the ball. Matt Prior holds a one-handed catch. To be fair, he had a lot of time to get down the leg side to take the catch. The ball was not moving quickly.

4.57pm – Ballance bowls a maiden and, it has to be said, a very good over too. 

4.54pm – Cook’s over costs two runs. Now it’s time for Gary Ballance. I was there the day Cook and Ballance bowled in tandem.

4.51pm – We’re back after drinks. Alastair Cook is going to bowl. He’s only ever bowled one over in Test cricket – against South Africa at Lord’s in 2008. He conceded one run.

4.41pm – Moeen and Root are still plugging away. We have five overs left before the captains can shake hands on this draw.

4.33pm – FIFTY! Bhuvneshwar (114b 8×4 0x6) – A second half-century of the game for Bhuvneshwar who has a pretty good claim to be named man of the match. Throw in his five wickets in England’s innings and he’s my man for that plaudit.  

4.18pm – We’re back after tea and we’ve got 30 overs to bowl. Joe Root and Moeen Ali are likely to bowl the most of those as they try and race through and get this finished.

Afternoon Session

3.57pm – TEA! Ind 347/8; Bhuvneshwar 31, Ishant 5 – We’re heading to Lord’s at 0-0. India lead by 308 runs and it is simply a case of playing out this final session.

3.55pm – CHANCE! – Prior and Anderson have both managed to put down a chance in the same go. Ishant Sharma edged Root behind the ball rebounded off Prior’s knee and then ballooned up in the air and just over Anderson, who just got a hand on it.

3.42pm – WICKET! Binny lbw Moeen 78 (114b 8×4 1×6) – There will be no debut century for Binny. He presses forward to Moeen and when the ball hits his pad umpire Kumar Dharmasena raises the finger. The replays suggested the ball was missing leg, but Moeen won’t care. He’s got three wickets in the innings. That ends a 91-run stand from 120 balls.

3.33pm – Binny gets down the wicket and lofts Moeen over the cover rope for six. It was a pleasant shot. He could be on course here for a century on debut. That would make it quite difficult to drop him for the next Test as some have suggested he might be.

3.22pm – Joe Root is coming on to bowl now. I think it is a case of Cook resting his front-line bowlers now ahead of the second Test at Lord’s, which begins on Thursday.

3.11pm – Moeen Ali returns to the attack and the sight of him gives the impression this might be done. The new ball has brought only the single wicket. Binny welcomes Moeen by reverse-sweeping him for four. India lead by 254.

3.02pm – FIFTY! Binny (86b 6×4 0x6) – Binny takes successive boundaries from Liam Plunkett before profiting from a mis-field at midwicket to tick over to his half-century on his debut. His place is likely still to come under question ahead of the Lord’s Test, but Binny has at least revealed his talent in this second innings. India have needed it too.

2.45pm – Anderson has two loud lbw shouts against Binny but they are turned down by umpire Bruce Oxenford. The first was the closest with Binny reprieved only by the slightest of edges onto his pad.  

2.36pm – We have the unusual sight of Ian Bell wearing a helmet at second slip. He has been prompted to put it on and move closer to the batsman after the ball before, when Binny edged just short of him and for four.

2.22pm – WICKET! Jadeja c Prior b Anderson 31; 249/7 – Perfect timing. Ask and Anderson shall deliver. He draws Jadeja to fish ever so slightly away from his body than he was comfortable with and the edge flies through to Matt Prior – who just about holds on. Anderson deserved that after beating Jadeja’s bat so often this morning.

2.21pm – We’ve had the first two overs of the new ball. The only highlight was a superbly-timed Jadeja back-foot push for four. Unless something happens very soon we’re heading to Lord’s at 0-0.

2.11pm – Okay, here we go. James Anderson is set to take the new ball from the Radcliffe Road End. The fate of this game rests in the next 30 minutes.

2.02pm – Moeen Ali drops short and Ravindra Jadeja whacks it through midwicket for four. That brings up the 50-run partnership with Stuart Binny, from 99 balls.

Morning Session

1.14pm – LUNCH! Ind 230/6; Jadeja 18, Binny 26 – Plunkett bowls the final over before lunch and it costs 13. He was tasked with digging the ball in short, but after Binny pulled away a boundary, Jadeja – who had been on just 10 from 74 balls – then repeated the dose twice more. India lead by 191 runs.

1.07pm – Stokes draws Binny into a couple of plays-and-misses in the last over. England are trying to nick out a wicket before lunch. The new ball will be due shortly after the interval – that looms as the major moment in the day if England are to pull out a win.

12.59pm – Binny gets up on his toes and punches Stokes through the covers for four more. The all-rounder has not had the best of debuts, but he is looking comfortable at the moment. Certainly he’s taking the sting out of England after their early surge.

12.48pm – We have half-an-hour until lunch. England probably need another wicket in that time. Since the sun has broken through the ball has done a lot less.

12.38pm – Stuart Binny brings up India’s 200 with the shot of the morning so far. He crashes a cover drive to the rope. India’s lead is up to 163 with 72 overs left in the day.

12.28pm – REVIEW! – Jadeja comes back for a third run after Ben Stokes slips in the outfield and umpire Bruce Oxenford sends the decision upstairs – as he is allowed to do despite no DRS. The Durham man bullets a throw in from deep point, but Jadeja just makes his ground. It was a close call, which arguably India don’t need to risk at the moment.

12.24pm – Jadeja has finally got off the mark – from his 38th ball. He’s an unconventional sort of cricketer, so it perhaps should not be a surprise that after such a long wait he opted to skip down the wicket and loft Anderson back over his head for four to get going.

12.14pm – WICKET! Dhoni b Plunkett 14; Ind 184/6 – Liam Plunkett rearranges Dhoni’s stumps with his very first ball. Dhoni tried to work it through leg off his off stump. He shouldn’t have as instead he plays around the ball to leave the tail with a lot of work to do.

Plunkett has replaced Broad from the Pavilion End – all three wickets have fallen at that end. Broad’s spell was 6-3-6-2.

12.09pm – Jadeja plays out a Broad maiden. He’s now faced 30 balls without yet scoring.

12.05pm – We have a rare boundary this morning. Dhoni uses the pace of Anderson and guides the ball to a vacant third man. Clever stroke and fairly risk free.

12.01pm – The sun is just starting to break through the clouds here at Trent Bridge. There is still plenty of cover in the sky. Jadeja is still yet to get off the mark after 24 balls. India have scored 12 runs in 10 overs this morning.

11.51am – CHANCE! – Alastair Cook has put down his opposite number Dhoni. Broad almost had a third. The India skipper squeezes the ball to first slip. It was at a perfect height, but Cook has grassed it.

It could have been worse as he then had to dive away and stop the ball crashing into the helmet behind Prior – who is standing up to the stumps – and prevent five runs.

11.45am – James Anderson is yet to strike, but he is getting the ball to move in the conditions. New man Ravindra Jadeja is clearly muddled. He’s just run down the wicket and tried to swipe him. He missed, it looked ugly and his skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni walked down the wicket afterwards and had a quiet word.

11.30am – WICKET! Rahane c Prior b Broad 24; 173/5 – And another for Stuart Broad. This is exactly how the most optimistic of England fans envisaged the day starting. Ajinkya Rahane gets a fine edge that carries comfortably to Matt Prior.

11.21am – WICKET! Kohli lbw Broad 8; 168/4 – England have got the early wicket they were after and it is the dangerman Virat Kohli who has gone. He pressed half forward to a ball that swung back in and trapped him in front. He didn’t add to his overnight score.

Pre-Play News

11.02am – If England are to claim an unlikely win today then early wickets will be crucial. On this pitch, the prospect of doing that appears remote, although in this Test we haven’t had the cloudy conditions and rain we’ve got today. That may make conditions a tad more conducive for the bowlers…maybe.

10.50am – The groundstaff are running a rope around the outfield at the moment and the covers are off.

10.45am – We’re in for a slightly delayed start. The umpires have confirmed that if there is no more rain then play will begin at 11.15am. There is low cloud, but I suspect we should be dry until then.

10.30am – Welcome to today’s live blog of the final day at Trent Bridge. 

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