Saturday, August 13, 2011

England v India: Edgbaston Test, Day 3

Well, that was riveting. I don't think I really need a long introduction to this blog, because today was a day that a person who loves statistics and records was able to bore the ears off of anyone who was near them. Today was the day the man from Essex showed the cricket loving public what they missed in Brisbane had they been struggling with the time difference. Today was the first time in my life and many other people's lives that England scored over 700 in one innings.

I'll try and make it entertaining, but I'm not promising anything. Here's day 3 from Edgbaston:
England's day of accumulation begins with a single off Sharma.
 5 comes off Sharma's first over of the day as Cook hits a four to third man to take him ever closer to his second Test double century.
Morgan reaches the fourth half century of his Test career with a single off Sharma...

His 50 comes off 73 balls and he raises his bat to the Birmingham crowd. 
Unfortunately though, a light drizzle begins to fall and it's enough for the Aussie umpires to drag off both sides. It's the beginning of a highly frustrating day for crowd in the ground.
England continue to pile on the singles as Dhoni sets a defensive field to begin damage limitation.
This single brings up the 100 partnership.
That's celebrated with the old fashioned wing shake, rather than a punching of the wings together.
Having survived what turned out to be a pretty close LBW appeal, Sreesanth feeds Cook on the leg side again...
Which allows him to run the first run...
And get back for the required second to take him to 200 not out.
Cook celebrates in much the same way as he celebrated his hundred. There's no "doing the KP", it's just a casual raising of the bat and taking off his helmet. This is the man that finds living in the countryside entertaining, so you can imagine what he's like. 
Morgan plays a beautiful shot through the on side for another four.
At the time, it was probably the shot of the day. Because it was probably the only shot of the day that went for more than a single.
The rain, this time heavier, returns though and forces an early lunch. England go in at 503-3 and bar a sudden collapse of biblical proportions, look set to score more runs than they have done in my lifetime. That's a depressing thought. 
England return after the lunch break and Morgan plays a lovely shot of Sreesanth...
And it goes to the boundary for four.
The umpires suddenly bring out the light meters and deem that the light is insufficient and thus "dangerous".
Clearly a team that's 563-3 is seeing the ball terribly and clearly the spinning duo of Raina and Mishra is a threat to anyone's life.
Thankfully the umpires reconsider and the first ball bowled after the delay goes to the boundary for four. The only team in danger are India, and it's their pride at stake.
Cook goes past his highest first-class score of 235*, which he scored in Brisbane. Remember that? That was a fun night staring at Cricinfo and thinking that I was dreaming.
He gets three runs and goes to 237 not out and doesn't really look like stopping soon.
Morgan, meanwhile, takes advantage of the kind Indian bowling and reaches his second Test century with a single.
Cook looks far more delighted for him than he does about his own achievement.
The England balcony are delighted as well, and Morgan salutes the Edgbaston crowd.
In a useless fact that I'm putting in here because it's about Geoffrey Boycott, Cook gets a four that takes him past the 246* that Geoff Boycott scored against India to become second in the list of highest scores by an Englishman against India. He's well on his way to becoming the man with the highest Test score at the Edgbaston ground as well. 
Morgan, looking to up the run rate after reaching his ton, hits one up in the air...
Straight to Sehwag at cover. The mammoth partnership is broken and Morgan goes for 104. England are 596-4.
In comes poor old Bopara. Yes, I say poor old Bopara. I wanted him to do well, but instead it looks like I'll be watching him at Chelmsford for the rest of his career. Never mind. He looks nervous and edgy at the crease (standard) and gets off the mark with a four.
The four also brings up England's 600.
But Bopara soon succumbs to Mishra. He's struck on the pads...
India appeal...
And Simon Tailfeather sends Bopara on his way. He goes for 7 and England are 605-5. 
The other Essex boy is having no such problems.
He reaches his 250 with a quick single.
Prior, feeling sorry for Bopara for being the only guy on the scorecard out in single figures, goes for the big shot as he looks to up the run rate.
He top edges one off Mishra...
Only for Tenduckar to catch it and then do a couple of rolls in the deep.
It brings to the crease Bressy Lad, who decides to take on Mishra...
And dispatches him to the boundary.
It turns out to be a four, not a six, as it grounds before smacking into the huge boundary ropes.
To show that Cook actually did stuff other than run singles, here he is hitting a four off Tenduckar.
Turns out if I'd resat my first year university exams twice during this Test, I'd still find that he was batting come the end of them.
Cook hits his fourth four of the day off Sreesanth. 
Tenduckar can do nothing as Cook makes his way towards a maiden triple century.
Bressy Lad also hits Sreesanth to the boundary, as his figures take an absolute battering. The four takes England to their highest ever score against India. 
England reach a score that Athers thought he would never have to say on commentary with a Cook boundary.
The four brings the total to 666-6. You can only imagine what David Shepherd would be like.
It also brings up the 50 partnership between Cook and Bressy Lad.
The umpires bring out the light meters again though and England, currently on their third highest score ever and the highest in a five day Test, are forced to come off again.
England are 683-6. 

Once again though, as play resumes, Bressy Lad has no trouble seeing the ball...
And duly dispatches it to the boundary for four.
Bressy Lad decides to reach his 50 in style...
As he smashes Ishant Sharma down the ground and into the crowd.
As well as bringing up his half century, it also brings up England's 700. 
Cook searches for the magical triple century, but plays a shot very out of character of his innings...
Which goes straight to Raina who takes the catch. 

Cook is gone for 294 and is sympathetically patted by Ishant Sharma.

Cook's wicket prompts England to declare on 710-7...
And Cook leads the players off the field. He has batted for 803 772 (amended, had the wrong info on the scorecard) minutes, which is the seventh longest innings in international cricket and is the second longest by an Englishman.
England take to the field, along with a weary looking Cook. They have a lead of 486 and India are facing 2 very long and tough days on a deteriorating pitch. 
Jimmy Anderson takes the first over and Gambhir gets off the mark straight away.

Some good work in the deep means that it's only 3 and it leaves Sehwag on strike, who's on a king pair.
Can Sehwag survive? 
No. He nicks an outswinger from Jimmy straight to Strauss at first slip, who duly takes the catch and India are 3-1. 
Sehwag has to go and it's a very disappointing return to the Indian side for him. England though, are jubilant. They are only 9 wickets away from world number one.
On comes Swanny, on a pitch that has evidence of turn. 
And he thinks he's got Gambhir trapped in front in his first over, as he's adamant that it's pad first.
Seaduck Davis is not impressed and gives it not out. Swann is disappointed and if the DRS had been in place, it might've been overturned as Hawkeye shows that the ball would've been hitting middle and leg. 
To rub salt into the wound, Gambhir hits a four a couple of deliveries later.
The umpires bring out the light meter with one over to go and call stumps.
Cook, congratulated by his captain, leads off the players on a day of complete and utter England dominance. India close on 35-1 and trail by 451 runs, but they have been ground into the dust by one man. His innings of 294 is the 6th highest score by an Englishman and, having only had 20 runs in 4 innings, is now the second highest run scorer in the series. Thanks to that innings, he only needs 107 more runs to reach 1000 Test runs in 2011.
I'll leave you to enjoy day 4 now. 

No comments:

Post a Comment