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Bhuvneshwar, Shami lift India

Record last-wicket stands of 111 helps India post 457; England loses Cook on way to 43 for 1 at stumps on day two

Bhuvneshwar, Shami lift India - Cricket News
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami added 111 for the last wicket to help India post 457 on the second day of the first Test.
With the scoreboard showing 346 for 9 not long after lunch, there was a spring in the England players' steps, as they anticipated more than 50 overs to eat into India's total. More than three hours later, when the players walked off at the end of the innings, the spring had disappeared. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami had added 111 for the final wicket – an Indian record against England – from 229 balls, mixing caution and vigilance with some entertaining strokeplay. Both men scored half-centuries before Bhuvneshwar was caught in the deep, and Shami then returned to bowl Alastair Cook off his trousers for just five to complete the most incredible transformation. By stumps on day two of the first Test at Trent Bridge on Thursday (July 10), England had reached 43 for 1 in reply to India’s 457.
 
There was little hint of the drama to come when India went to lunch on 342 for 5, having added 83 in the first session for the loss of M Vijay’s wicket. Vijay hadn’t scored against the new ball on the first evening, but he played a couple of beautiful drives through the packed off-side field even as India built steadily rather than with any great speed.
 
India also had fortune on its side. MS Dhoni hadn’t added to his overnight 50 when he fenced at a Stuart Broad delivery, the 13th of the morning. Matt Prior, who had taken a superb catch to dismiss Shikhar Dhawan, put this one down, reacting a touch too late after having moved significantly closer to the stumps.
 
Just 31 came in the first hour, and Dhoni went 23 balls without scoring before he whipped Ben Stokes from outside off-stump for four. Vijay had seen off 360 balls and batted nearly eight hours for 146 before a delivery from James Anderson nipped back to hit him on the thigh pad.   
 
The innings needed some impetus at that stage, and it was Ravindra Jadeja that provided it, climbing into Moeen Ali in the minutes before lunch. Nearly run out by a throw from Stokes after Dhoni had called him through for a quick single, Jadeja slapped an Ali long hop through mid-wicket for four before clobbering two sixes down the ground.
 
After the interval, he tried to continue in the same vein, but a flail at a fairly wide Stokes delivery only found the edge through to Prior. Dhoni, who had batted with tremendous restraint for his 82, then senselessly ran himself out, charging for a single after stroking the ball to James Anderson at mid-off. The throw at the stumps was unerring. Stuart Binny’s debut innings ended with a lazy waft to backward point, and Ishant Sharma inexplicably shouldered arms to a Broad delivery that clipped the top of off.
 
At Trent Bridge in 2011, India had lost four wickets on 273 to surrender the initiative in a match it had bossed for five sessions. Three years on, it lost four for the addition of two runs. Any sense of gloom in the dressing room gradually dissipated though as Bhuvneshwar and Shami, initially protected by his senior partner, showed admirable commitment against a tiring attack.

Bhuvneshwar batted with impressive judgment of which balls to leave, while Shami functioned more on see-ball-hit-ball lines as the score and England’s frustration mounted. This was not a new experience either. In each of the last two summers, England had conceded century partnerships to a tenth-wicket pair. At Edgbaston in 2012, Dinesh Ramdin and Tino Best added 143, while at this very venue a year ago, Ashton Agar and Phil Hughes put on 163.
 
Shami duly completed his half-century and the 100 partnership with a straight loft for six off Anderson. By then, England’s cup of woe had run over.

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