Stuart Binny saves India, scores 78

Stuart Binny saves India, scores 78

Stuart Binny saves India, scores 78

The score sheet will show the first Test between India and England ended in a draw on Sunday, a dreary one at that. But a closer look will offer you a different picture.

It indeed was an extraordinary game of cricket played over the last five days at Trent Bridge despite having a lifeless pitch. The tailenders, often a quick pick for the bowlers, showed remarkable grit to score a lion’s share of runs for both India and England.

The combination of a wet English morning and a clutch of skillful bowlers have reduced India to 184 for six a few minutes into the first session of the fifth day. But Karnataka’s Stuart Binny (78) stitched together two significant partnerships to save the Test for India.

Binny added 65 runs for the seventh-wicket with Ravindra Jadeja, and 101 runs for the eighth-wicket with Bhuvneshwar, ensuring a draw. Many will think twice now before scoffing at the batting abilities of tailenders.

Earlier, India began the sequence of some unusual proceedings on the second day.

At 346 for nine, India needed some more runs to put England under pressure. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (58) and Mohammad Shami (51 n.o.) stepped in to add 111 runs for the last wicket to take India to 457.

The train of events didn’t end there. England were down and almost out at 298 for nine, on the verge of conceding a heavy first innings lead to India. But Joe Root, their trusted middle-order batsman, added 198 runs in the company of England’s number 11 James Anderson (81), and gave the hosts a lead of 39 runs.

Many records tumbled during that alliance, and none was more important than setting a new mark for the 10th wicket stand. Root and Anderson broke the 163-run stand set for the last wicket by Australia’s Phil Hughes and Ashton Agar last year at the same venue.

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