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July 24, 2011
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 ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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