England vs India, 1st Test – Day 2


Half centuries from Bhuvi and Shami propel India to a formidable total

In response to India’s 457 all out in the first innings, England were trailing by 414 runs with nine wickets in hand at stumps on the second day.

The hosts were made to wait for their turn with the bat by the determined pair of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami. Batting for the better part of the day, both scored fifties as they posted a record 111-run partnership for the 10th wicket after India lost four wickets for two runs in the early part of the second session.

Shami who had displayed his prowess with the bat then returned to claim Alastair Cook. When play ended on Day 2, England were 43/1 with Sam Robson and Gary Ballance batting on 20 and 15 respectively. 

Earlier in the day, England had almost got a breakthrough in the third over had Matt Prior snapped the opportunity created by Stuart Broad to send back MS Dhoni. However, after that, the India captain and Murali Vijay (146) played patiently to negotiate the morning session. 

James Anderson and Broad bowled a probing line and continued to ask questions off the Indian batsmen. 

After the pair saw off Anderson and Broad’s opening spells, Dhoni stepped out to garner runs off Ben Stokes. The Vijay-Dhoni pair continued to bat along, collecting the odd boundary on the way as they kept the scoreboard ticking. They displayed intent and restrain as they negotiated the bowling to ensure that India posted a healthy total at the end of first session. 

Resuming the responsibility of being the sheet anchor, Vijay carried on from where he had left on Day 1 and entertained with gracefully struck boundaries. He drove Liam Plunkett through mid-wicket to take his team to 300. But, in the last quarter of the session he was given out lbw bringing an end to a carefully compiled knock. 

With the fifth wicket stand broken for 126, Jadeja came to the crease. He survived a run out chance early in his innings but later hit Moeen Ali for a couple of sixes and joined forces with the skipper to take India to 342 for five at Lunch. The visitors had added 83 runs for the loss of one wicket in the first session.

In the second over after lunch the hosts got their second breakthrough of the day; Jadeja departed edging Ben Stokes to wicketkeeper Matt Prior. An over later, England struck a double blow. A direct hit by Anderson from mid-off ran Dhoni out for 82 while Stuart Binny was sent back two balls later as he handed a catch to backward point off Stokes and returned for one. 

In the following over, Ishant Sharma was bowled by Broad reducing India to 346 for nine from 344 for five. Shami then joined Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the middle to stretch the Indian innings after wickets fell in a heap. The pair valiantly scored off the Anderson-led attack as they took India past 400. 

The pair’s stoic resistance for the last wicket partnership extended the session as England struggled to end the stand. The England bowlers hit the deck hard but to no avail, which made Cook reintroduce Broad into the attack. 

The No. 9 and 10 surpassed India’s previous best tenth wicket partnership of 73 runs as they took the innings forward. Challenged with short balls the duo stood their ground to garner runs for the team. Denying England the last wicket, Bhuvneshwar and Shami took India to 433/9 at tea. 

Bhuvneshwar who was on 46 when they resumed in the last session, brought up his half-century with a single off Anderson. And off the next ball, Shami struck the pacer straight over the ropes to reach his fifty and take the partnership past 100. 

With the new ball due, Cook handed the ball to Ali and Bhuvneshwar Kumar went after the spinner. Taking the aerial route he was caught by Joe Root bringing curtains down on the Indian innings. 

After posing problems for England with the bat, they returned to deliver with the ball. Shami knocked back the England captain’s leg-stump to leave the hosts on nine for one.

Dhoni used five bowlers including debutant Binny in search of a wicket but Robson and Ballance saw England through to the end of day’s play. 

Brief Scores: India 457 (M Vijay – 146, MS Dhoni – 82, B Kumar – 58, M Shami – 51, J Anderson – 3/123)

England 43/1 (S Robson – 20*, G Balance – 15*, M Shami – 1/15)    


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