Saturday, August 6, 2011

England v India: Trent Bridge, Day Three

England begin the day on 24-1. Ian Bell and the captain, Andrew Strauss, are still at the crease after the loss of Alastair Cook the previous night. England are still behind and will be hoping that they can build a lead. India will be hoping they can have them in the same kind of position as they did in the first innings. Here's what happened on day three in Nottingham:
(Note: Quaxman, Raina and Kumar are colour changing ducks when they come into contact with hot water. And just general heat. So that's why they're a different colour. Sorry about that.)
Ian Bell begins the day with a beautiful shot off Kumar.
Even Strauss admires from the other end, as he is heard saying "Shot". The ball goes to the boundary for four.
Strauss, on 16 rather than 32 this time, has a little poke outside his off stump...
And hands Sreesanth a wicket. England are 57-2 and still behind. Pietersen is the next duck in.
Meanwhile, Ian Bell reaches a half century with a four off Sharma.

Bell brings up England's 100 with another four off Sharma.

KP gives Harbhajan Singh treatment that is similar to that which the Indians gave Graeme Swann.
His paddle sweep goes to fine leg for four. England go into the lunch break at 130-2 and they now have a slender lead. The afternoon session will be crucial to the state of the match.
Pietersen brings up his half century after lunch.
He gets a single off Kumar...
And duly raises his bat at the ground where it all began in England for him.
Bell flicks one round the corner off Sreesanth.

He sets off for the single as Sharma begins to chase...

And he gets the required second for his century...
And duly celebrates.
It is a fine innings for Bell, one that was full of wonderful, mature shots and certainly a century that England required given that they Trott and Swann have picked up injuries and they'd already lost 2 wickets.
Unfortunately for England, KP decides to waft at one from Sreesanth.
He gets a nick on it and is caught behind by Dhoni.
Sreesanth celebrates by bowing down to the spiritual seagull his biggest "fans" and England are 219-3. Morgan is the next man at the crease and he survives until the match suddenly explodes into life the last ball before tea...
Morgan flicks one into the leg side and England set off for a run.
Kumar chases after the ball.
He is very close to the boundary rope when he stops the ball, but replays show that he has indeed stopped it before it went to the boundary.
But Kumar's reaction seems to suggest that he thinks the ball has gone to the rope.

Dhoni, Dravid and Bell begin to make their way off, but the umpire has gone upstairs to check whether or not the ball was a four...
Meanwhile, Kumar throws the ball in and the bails are taken off the stumps.

And India appeal. 
It goes upstairs to the third umpire...
As Bell and Morgan make their way into the pavilion for tea.
Bell is quite clearly out of his ground.
Bell confronts the match officials and as he goes into the pavilion, England seem to be 254-3 at tea.
As the Indian team huddle together after the break, they are given a chorus of boos. Those inside the ground are not aware that Ian Bell is coming back to resume his innings. Over the tea break, India decided to withdraw the appeal after either a lot of soul searching/Andy Flower giving them his death stare or a hefty smack with a clipboard. However it happened, it means that England resume after tea on 254-3 and Ian Bell is able to carry on.
Morgan, who'd been on a pair in the innings, reaches his half century.
And in style. He smacks a six down the ground off Harbhajan...
And duly raises his bat to the appreciative Trent Bridge crowd.
Bell uses his reprieve to reach 150...
Which he does with a single off Yuvraj.
He really rubs it into the Spirit of Cricket's face by reverse sweeping Yuvraj...

For a four.
But Yuvraj gets the breakthrough as Bell tries to guide yet another ball down to the third man area.
Instead, he can only find Quaxman at slip and Bell finally goes for 159. It was a superb innings, but sadly it will now be remembering for a moment of stupidity "naiveness".
India take the new ball and it proves to be effective as Kumar gets Morgan.
He's caught by Dhoni and it means that Morgan's timely innings of 70 comes to an end. England are  329-5 with a lead of 262. 
To everyone's surprise, the next duck in is Jonathan Trott with his injured upper wing.
Trott's awkward innings doesn't last very long. 
He's easily caught by Dravid off the bowling of Kumar for 2, and England are 339-6. Bressy Lad is the next duck in.
But Matt Prior shows that he has come a long way since the jelly bean incident of yesteryear and shows why he is such a wonderful player to have in the lower order.
He hits a four off Sharma. England's lead continues to grow as India's grip on the match fades away.
Prior gets a top edge off a Sreesanth bouncer...

Matt Prior and beard (that's what the brown stuff is. I've been told he looks like a burns victim) watch as it sails to fine leg for a six.
Prior brings up his half century and England's 400 with another four.
He raises his bat and salutes the crowd. (Yes, the beard I did whilst watching Dragon's Den at about 11 at night. It's not my greatest piece of work, I know...)
England close on 441-6. They have well and truly turned this Test around. 
Massive apologies. The weather has delayed the duck cricket reconstructions. Tuesday, I was knackered. Wednesday was very humid and hot, so I was worried that Jimmy/Straussy would melt (they're made of wax, not rubber) and Thursday, rain stopped play. 

Day four will be up soon. What a result and an absolutely brilliant day out! 

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