India in charge as Shami stars

2014-07-10 20:23
Mohammed Shami (AFP)

Nottingham - India number 11 Mohammed Shami has embarrassed England with the bat and then ensured home captain Alastair Cook's poor run of scores continued as the tourists seized control of the first Test at Trent Bridge.

India piled up 457 on Thursday's second day following a record last-wicket stand against England of 111 between Bhuvneshwar Kumar (58) and last man Shami (51 not out), that highlighted the slow pace of the pitch.

Both batsmen scored maiden fifties at this level as they far exceeded their previous Test-best innings of 39 (Kumar) and 11 (Shami) respectively.

Shami then made it 25 innings for Cook since the last of his England record 25 Test hundreds when he bowled him round his legs for five after the ball deflected off the left-handed opener's thigh pad.

"When you are in a bit of a rut, you've not scored runs for a while, things go against you," England paceman Stuart Broad said of Cook's dismissal.

"But it will turn. It only takes a cover-drive or dropped catch to change your momentum."

Sam Robson (20 not out) and Gary Ballance (15 not out) saw England to 43 for one at stumps.

"It was a good day because it's not a good wicket for bowling so we needed at least 450 runs," Kumar told reporters.

"Now it's time to bowl really well, "We are confident we can get them (England) out. The pitch might help the spinners later on."

Kumar, reflecting on his partnership with Shami, added: "I tried to play most of the over when Shami came in but later he was playing his shots."

England had looked like dismissing India for under 400 when the tourists slumped to 346 for nine after several self-inflicted wounds.

But for the second time in as many Tests at Trent Bridge, England found themselves on the receiving end of a huge last-wicket stand after Australia's Phil Hughes and Ashton Agar put on a world record 163 last year, in a match Cook's side won nonetheless.

England might have been expecting some runs from Kumar, who has a first-class hundred behind him.

But the batting of Shami, who prior to this match had a Test average of 3.33, was something else.

Their stand comfortably surpassed India's previous highest tenth-wicket partnership against England of 73 shared by Anil Kumble and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth at The Oval in 2007.

- Miserly Broad -

In the circumstances, Broad's economical return of two for 53 in 33 overs on his Nottinghamshire home ground was especially creditable.

"It was frustrating but we tried pretty much everything with the ball," said Broad.

New-ball partner James Anderson extended his own record for most Test wickets at Trent Bridge to 52 with three for 123 in 38 overs.

But England's lack of a specialist spinner, and the workload problems this could lead to in a five-match series crammed into six weeks, was emphasised by part-time off-break bowler Moeen Ali's expensive return of one for 97 in 18 overs.

India resumed Thursday on 259 for four with opener Murali Vijay 122 not out and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who won the toss, unbeaten on 50.

Given the conditions on another sunny day, England could ill-afford to spurn chances.

But when Dhoni, still on his overnight score, edged a full-length Broad delivery, wicketkeeper Matt Prior, diving to his right, dropped the one-handed catch.

Vijay's near eight-hour innings eventually ended when he was lbw to Anderson, having faced 361 balls, including 25 fours and a six.

India were well-placed at 342 for five at lunch.

But shortly afterwards they lost four wickets for two runs thanks to a mixture of poor shots allied to Dhoni's needless run out for 82.

Kumar eventually completed a 133-ball fifty with a single off Anderson.

And the very next ball saw Shami reach the landmark in style with a straight six off the England spearhead, having faced just 73 balls including six fours.

Shami eventually chipped Ali to mid-on but the damage had long since been done.

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