England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 4th day July 24, 2011

Ishant shines, Stuart sizzles


Spell of the day
Would England bat comfortably through the morning session to set up their lead? That wasn't in India's plans and they hauled themselves back into the Test through Ishant Sharma's spine-tingling spell of three wickets for one run in 16 balls. He began with possibly the ball of the match to remove Kevin Pietersen who gloved a bouncer to the wicketkeeper. Then, five balls later, Ishant found the edge of Ian Bell's bat with a lovely leg cutter and soon claimed his third when he speared one through Jonathan Trott's flat-footed drive. If he could have added a fourth then the match was there for India, but by the time he claimed Eoin Morgan the sting had gone from the visitors.

Catch of the day
Morgan's dismissal, however, did spark the one moment of minor controversy in the day. He spliced a pull to midwicket where Gautam Gambhir dived forward to take a fine, low catch. Morgan, though, stood his ground and neither of the on-field umpires were willing to give the decision. So it was left to the TV official but, unlike Pietersen on the second morning, this time even the foreshortening didn't create any doubt and Morgan was soon walking off.

Insect of the day
Stuart Broad managed to avoid a king pair as he jabbed down on a full-length delivery but came within a fraction of a second of having real problems with his second ball. Just as Ishant entered his final delivery stride an insect, perhaps a wasp, buzzed into Broad's face and he rapidly pulled out of the shot leaving Ishant to abort at the last moment. Broad immediately apologised and Ishant took it well with a smile. However, a second later and Ishant could have splattered the stumps.

Reshuffle of the day
Sunday began with news of an illness to Sachin Tendulkar but the world didn't stop turning. He will still be able to bat, but not until 12.41pm on Monday afternoon or until five wickets have fallen. For a while, India's bigger concern was over Gambhir who took a fearful smack at short leg when Matt Prior crunched a sweep into his elbow. Gambhir knew immediately he had a problem and was soon helped off the field and towards hospital for an x-ray which, fortunately, revealed only bruising. In his absence Rahul Dravid opened the innings and VVS Laxman came in at No. 3.

Record of the day
Prior and Broad took the game away from India with a superb seventh-wicket stand, firstly through consolidation until tea then outright aggression. In the process they set a new record for England's seventh wicket against India, beating the 125 added by Derek Randall and Phil Edmonds at Lord's in 1982, and also, more curiously, became England's second-most prolific seventh-wicket combination.

Wicketless over of the day
Ishant bowled a few that were very good, but Broad's six balls to Dravid in his second over were of the highest class. The second ball jagged past the outside edge then the next one cut him half between bat and pad. Just to make life tougher for Dravid he then had to face a ball that kept low around off stump - a player in lesser form would have been in trouble. The over was building in a similar vain as Andrew Flintoff's to Ricky Ponting at Edgbaston in 2005. Back then, a no-ball allowed Flintoff the crucial seventh delivery to remove Ponting but here Broad had to be content with a maiden.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mohammad Khurram on July 25, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    now this is the time BCCI must think about IPL. Indian team suffering bundle of injuries and as all know all the players are injured now were playing their best in IPL.

  • Ashik on July 25, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    A nightmare of a match if you are a Indian Fan. Zak out on the first morning of a test match, Gauti with a bruised elbow, Sachin down with Fever, Dhoni looking like he left his brains behind,Bhajji bowling like a parttime spinner...Sorta if anything can go wrong it will.... Still egging India On....Sleepless in Seattle

  • Martin on July 25, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    @HatsforBats; goodonyer - I'd buy you a Schooner anytime!

  • kans on July 25, 2011, 4:51 GMT

    @sabby khurana, yup mate we knew that it wud take some time for ishanth to adjust the lengths and for pk he is he fittest person playing for india and surely is a tough guy, had doni taken broads catch of baji and pk we cud have gone for a win, but given the fitness issues a draw gonna be a hard fought one.good to see Indians improved and adjusted to conditions so early in the series..............

  • kieran on July 25, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    @ 5wombats: I'd love to get a pint, unfortunately by the time I scrape together the funds for the airfare to London + tix I think the match might just be over. Oh for the return of timeless tests, although I'm hoping for a quick finish to the match, the late nights in Aus with this match and the Tour de France are starting to wear me down.

  • Vikram on July 25, 2011, 2:08 GMT

    That the second inning stalwarts of India, namely Gambhir, Dravid, Laxman and Dhoni, are still available to bat is good news for India. Sachin is mostly a distraction than anything else in second innings.

  • Andrew on July 24, 2011, 23:43 GMT

    @ StraightHit - correct, although I suspect he still has a 5-wicket haul in him, just a matter of whether its too late. The selectors should show some balls & play Harbhajan @ #7 - he's basically a batting allrounder at the moment anyways!

  • Vinay on July 24, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    Sachin ill, Gambhir injured and Zaheer hasn't played after half of day one - not a fair match up - test cricket should allow a total replacement by a 12th man when the opposing team's doctor can certify a major injury, like football etc. It will be good news for allrounders - they will always be the 12th men since the team would not know who would be injured and who wouldn't be - alternately a batting cover and a bowling cover should be named and the 11 players listed marked against those two so an injured batsman cannot be replaced by a bowler in the 4th innings if your team has already batted and so on.

  • Krishnan on July 24, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    Gambhir is brave to stand so close at forward short-leg for Bhaji's bowling.

    MSD should know better than to have close-in fielders for Bhaji.

  • John on July 24, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    Good to hear that Gambhir isn't too badly hurt. Fortunately the blow was on his left elbow, which in his case is the rear elbow and unlikely to be hit when he is batting unless he plays an ill-advised hook. Ishant had a great burst, but then Prior, with first Morgan then Broad, took the game back for England. I'm sure India will fight hard tomorrow, but if England are patient and keep up the pressure they should be able to work their way through the Indian batting. I'm looking forward to a good day's cricket tomorrow. @5wombats- wish I could meet you for a pint, but it's a long way to Lord's from Illinois!

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