Nottingham: India debutant Stuart Binny’s maiden fifty steered the first Test against England towards a draw on the fifth and final day at Trent Bridge on Sunday. At tea, India in their second innings were 347 for eight, a lead of 308, after Binny, who made 78, and first-innings batting hero Bhuvneshwar Kumar (31 not out) added 91 for the eighth wicket. A draw had seemed the likeliest result after England’s Joe Root (154 not out) and James Anderson (81) shared a Test record tenth-wicket stand of 198, which eclipsed the 111 put on earlier in this match by India’s last-wicket pair of Kumar (58) and Mohammed Shami (51 not out).
But after India had resumed on 167 for three in overcast conditions on Sunday, they lost three wickets for 16 runs to give England a glimmer of hope.Stuart Broad, on his Nottinghamshire home ground, sparked the slump by taking two for none in five balls. Broad, who had been severely critical of a docile pitch, had Virat Kohli, aiming across the line, plumb lbw for his overnight eight.
The fast-medium bowler then induced Ajinkya Rahane (24) to edge 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, however, it was not an expensive error as Dhoni had only made 11 when, aiming towards mid-on, he was bowled by Liam Plunkett’s first delivery Sunday, with the ball reversing in and flicking the front pad before crashing into the stumps. After lunch, England took the new ball as soon as they could, with India 244 for six off 80 overs.
Three overs later, Anderson had Ravindra Jadeja (31) caught behind to leave India 249 for seven. Binny, who before lunch had cover-driven Plunkett for four, was briefly unsettled by a couple of well pitched-up Anderson deliveries.But having made just one in India’s first innings, he quickly regained his composure and a single off Plunkett saw the 30-year-old all-rounder to an 86-ball fifty, including six boundaries.
Kumar, who had also taken five for 82 in England’s first innings, glided Ben Stokes into the vacant third man area for two fours in as many balls.Meanwhile, an increasingly assured Binny went down the pitch to drive part-time off-spinner Moeen Ali over extra-cover for six. Ali, though, had his revenge when Binny played down the wrong line and was given out lbw by Sri Lanka umpire Kumar Dharmasena.
Replays suggested the ball would have missed leg stump but, with no Decision Review System this series because of Indian objections, it was the end of Binny’s near three-hour innings.