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Debutant Binny helps India salvage draw

Bhuvneshwar completes his second fifty of the match as visitors bat out final day to reach 391 for 9

Debutant Binny helps India salvage draw - Cricket News
Stuart Binny scored a crucial 114-ball 78.

A battling, fluent 78 on debut for Stuart Binny helped India come away with a draw against England in the first Test in Nottingham. India had reached 391 for 9 on Sunday (July 13), with Bhuvneshwar Kumar unbeaten on 63, adding another feather to his cap after his half-century and five-for in the first-innings, when play was called off at the start of the final hour.

Drafted into the side for his all-round skills, Binny had an unmemorable outing with the bat in the first innings, but was quick to make amends in the second. He steered India to a position of safety, adding 65 runs with Ravindra Jadeja after England had rattled India in the morning with three wickets.

Ben Stokes had Jadeja caught behind soon after the lunch break and it could have been a cause for concern for India, but Binny defused the situation with an array of confident strokes. A lovely cover drive off Liam Plunkett early on set the tone and he hardly put a foot wrong thereafter. 

A century, however, was not in the cards for Binny as Moeen Ali got one to turn back into his pads. Bhuvneshwar, meanwhile, showed his first-innings fifty was no fluke, following it up with another. 

With the match heading nowhere, Alastair Cook bowled two overs and picked up his maiden Test wicket, Ishant Sharma edging to Matt Prior behind the stumps, before the umpires decided to call the match off. Both sides have a three-day gap to recover before the second Test at Lord’s which starts on Thursday. 

A draw was expected to be the most likely outcome, but some fiery bowling led by Stuart Broad nearly changed the equation during the morning session. 

England was aided in its mission by light drizzle that delayed the start of play by 15 minutes, but Broad was a beacon of light for the hosts in the overcast weather. Virat Kohli was the first to perish, a full delivery trapping him in front for 8. In his next over, Broad induced a healthy edge from Ajinkya Rahane (24), which was duly gobbled up by Prior.

With both overnight batsmen back in the pavilion and the lead in the 130s, India’s lower middle order was suddenly under scrutiny. Jadeja made it amply clear the he wasn’t going to cower against England’s pacers, shuffling down the wicket to James Anderson in search of a big heave. The allrounder seemed to realise it was perhaps not the best shot to be attempted given the context of the match and buckled down after that. 

Broad, however, could have had the wicket of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as well, but Cook muffed a simple catch at first slip. Cook would have been a relieved man that Dhoni was bowled shortly thereafter by Plunkett as India, starting the day on 167 for 3, stumbled to 184 for 6 before Binny and Jadeja steadied the innings.

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