Saturday, 26 November 2016


Over 51 – India 148-2 (Pujara 51, Kohli 40)Another over gives India another chance to dine out on some loose stuff, Batty serving up some tasty offerings from around the wicket. Kohli pulls a short ball for four and suddenly 32 runs have been scored off the last 32 balls. Batty remonstrates with himself but it's tough lines not tough words that England require.

Over 48 – India 127-2 (Pujara 45, Kohli 25)
Bairstow tries to inject a bit of noise into England’s attack by appealing twice for lbw against Kohli when the ball hits the middle of the bat. One can only assume that’s the ploy, anyway, other it’s clear his minces have gone. (Mince pies = eyes)

Over 38 – India 98-2 (Pujara 23, Kohli 18)
Kohli has to quickly readjust as Rashid finds sharp turn form around leg-stump.  Closing the face is now something of a risk but Kohli does pilfer one through square leg before Pujara attempts to cut at one that is too close to him, the ball beating the edge and clattering into Bairstow’s gloves.

Over 6 – India 18-0 (Vijay 6, Parthiv 12)
Parthiv successfully reviews after being given ‘out’ caught down the leg-side off Woakes. Umpire Erasmus took his time and gave it but Parthiv reviewed straight away and replays show why, the ball clearly clipping shirt rather than bat.

Over 5 – India 18-0 (Vijay 6, Parthiv 12)
Anderson appears to have accepted the umpires’ decision on that Vijay incident and settles back into his task but is unable to cut off a straight push from the opener that brings two runs. England could well get a lesson on this pitch because it seems that if you get anywhere near to timing it, fielders have little chance in chasing it down.

Over 4 – India 16-0 (Vijay 4, Parthiv 12)
The key point here in the law, perhaps, is that Vijay didn’t seek to wilfully obstruct the field. More of this anon, no doubt, but for now let’s focus on a glorious drive down the ground by Parthiv, who then rather fortunately edges Woakes past his stumps and Bairstow for a second four in as many balls. Balance is on the field in place of Hameed, who is struggling after being hit on the finger again yesterday. Update to follow.

Over 3 – India 12-0 (Vijay 4, Parthiv 4)
Parthiv’s record (before that four) was a rather unimpressive 683 runs in 21 Tests, at an average of 29.70, but his last stroke suggested better is to come. That’s certainly true of Vijay, who pulls high and handsome for four. The over ends in some controversy as Anderson fields off his own bowling and then with Vijay out of his crease shies at the stumps. The ball raps Vijay on the pad and Anderson asks the question of the umpires. They confer and decide not to refer the decision upstairs, presumably because Vijay neither got in the way as much as he got out of it.

Over 2 – India 4-0 (Vijay 0, Parthiv 4)
Wow – the seamers have had their Weetabix this morning. Woakes angles his first ball across Parthiv and beats his man on the drive without quite finding the edge. The left-hander then attempts a quick single to Anderson in the covers but is sent back by Vijay. Nervy stuff by the man playing his first Test for eight years. He does open his account – and India’s – though with a neat clip off his pads for four from the final delivery of the over

Over 1 – India 0-0 (Vijay 0, Parthiv 0)
Anderson does follow Shami’s example – hitting a decent length straight away to Vijay without enjoying his counterpart’s success. Three slips but no gully in place as umpire Gaffaney has an early look at where Anderson is following through on the pitch without having a word. Vijay covers up nicely as Anderson ends the over targeting off-stump and it is a maiden.

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