Stuart Broad breathed fresh life into the first Test against India to give England hope of an improbable victory on the fifth and final day at Trent Bridge yesterday.
The paceman took two wickets for no runs in five balls on his Nottinghamshire home ground as England enjoyed a dramatic start to the day’s play.
At lunch, India were 230 for six — a lead of 191 runs — with a minimum of 63 overs remaining in the match.
Left-hander Ravindra Jadeja was 18 not out and Test debutant Stuart Binny 26 not out.
A draw had seemed the likeliest result after England’s Joe Root (154 not out) and James Anderson (81) shared a Test record 10th-wicket stand of 198, which eclipsed the 111 put on earlier in this match by India’s last-wicket pair of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (58) and Mohammed Shami (51 not out). However, England took two wickets with successive balls on Saturday to dismiss Murali Vijay, a first-innings century maker, for 52 and Cheteshwar Pujara (55).
Early morning rain delayed yesterday’s scheduled start by 15 minutes, with England hoping it might have freshened up a docile pitch that had proved something of a heart-breaker for the seamers.
Meanwhile, the overcast skies also promised to aid swing as India resumed on 167 for three.
Broad, who had been severely critical of the pitch, struck an early blow when he had Virat Kohli, aiming across the line, plumb lbw for his overnight eight.
The fast-medium bowler then had Ajinkya Rahane (24) edging straight to wicketkeeper Matt Prior. Broad then found Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s outside edge only for England captain Alastair Cook to drop the routine slip catch with his opposing skipper on five.
It was a miss that added to the woes of Cook, already struggling for runs and under fire for his tactics during England’s run of no wins in their eight previous Tests.
Fortunately for England, it was not an expensive error as Dhoni had only made 11 when, aiming toward mid-on, he was bowled by Liam Plunkett’s first delivery yesterday, with the ball reversing in and flicking the front pad before crashing into the stumps.
Jadeja played and missed at several deliveries in taking 38 balls to get off the mark, although he opened his account in spectacular style by advancing down the pitch to drive Anderson back over the bowler’s head for four.
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